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The Violins of Cremona’s Ancient Luthiers Played by Andrea Obiso in New York

Nippon Violin celebrates 40 years with a trunk show of legendary violins and the exhibition of the Sicilian violinist. First stop: Manhattan

by Fabiana Pintus

Andrea Obiso with one of the precious violins exhibited in New York. (Photo: Francesca Magnani)

The value of all the violins displayed in the Grand Army Plaza Suite for the show is above 80 million dollars. Some of them are the most prestigious instruments in the world made by the most famous Italian luthiers. Among them is a special Guarnieri “del Gesù” made in 1732, a Guadagnini 1769, a Ruggieri and six Stradivari. The oldest one is a Stradivari made in 1673, more than 300 years ago.

For the whole weekend a special and cozy room of the famous Hotel Plaza in the center of Manhattan has been converted into a baroque-style salon. The Nippon Violin, a Japanese company which promotes music and the public interest in the field, invites us to the international Violin trunk show that, starting from New York, will take place also in London, Cremona – Italian hometown of the lutherie art – Seoul, and Tokyo.  To gain momentum at this opportunity on their 40th anniversary, the Japanese company is showing some of its special treasures to the guests.

Sota Nakazawa with the precious violins exhibited in New York. (Photo: Francesca Magnani)

Sota Nakazawa, Representative Director of Nippon Violin, welcomes me to the show. He describes the instruments with all the love and the passion that he delivers daily to his job. “Ancient violins are a heritage that humankind should hand over to the next generations. They are not just instruments, but living beings”, Sota Nakazawa said.

Sota Nakazawa’s relationship with the violin is special and somewhat unique: his father was a violinist and used to repair the instruments himself. Sota’s first encounter with a violin was with an Italian instrument. Ever since, the music of the violin has always been in his life and he transferred all of his dedication to the famous family company, Nippon Violin. “We wanted that everybody could touch with their own hands and stare at those beautiful pieces of the heart in person” Sota Nakazawa said; “that is the reason why we are so happy to organize not just a common show, but our Violin Trunk Show”.

Nippon Violin, takes care of rare violins from all over the world and restores them to their original beauty and sound, also giving the opportunity to many talented international violinists to play them.

The value of all the violins displayed in the Grand Army Plaza Suite for the show is above 80 million dollars. Some of them are the most prestigious instruments in the world made by the most famous Italian luthiers. Among them is a special Guarnieri “del Gesù” made in 1732, a Guadagnini 1769, a Ruggieri and six Stradivari. The oldest one is a Stradivari made in 1673, more than 300 years ago.

Andrea Obiso plays one of the precious violins from Cremona. (Photo: Francesca Magnani)

Three hundred years of history are still alive through the unique sound of these precious pieces of art. The trunk show had emotional moments during the performances of Andrea Obiso, an extremely talented violinist and well-renowned all around the world.  “It’s a great honor for me to perform with these famous Italian violins that represent the legend of the luthier’s art. Stradivari and Guarnieri instruments made the history of music and as an Italian, I’m very proud to take part in this great event in New York City. The idea of a trunk show is absolutely brilliant because for the first time, violins play an active role in the event; they are the protagonists and they show how alive they are. I hope violins will always be preserved like Sota Nakazawa does with his company” Andrea Obiso said.

Andrea Obiso explained to the guests how his violin, a Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù made in 1741, gives back the elasticity and “softness” to the music that is characteristic of those ancient instruments. To play one of these prestigious violins, a musician must take care of it with sensitivity, knowledge and professional skills. Those notes touch our hearts directly and, judging from the feeling in the air, also those of all the guests in the room.

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