Teenage Musician Loaned £1 Million Violin
An 18-year-old violinist has been loaned a rare instrument worth £1 million by a professional musician who is not only awed by the boy’s musical ability but has also been touched by the similarities in both of their lives and music careers.
John Ludlow’s Stradivarius violin dates back to the 1680s and came to be in his possession in 1965. Stradivarius stringed instruments are those created in the 17th and 18th centuries by the Stradivari family, with their reputations describing apparently indefinable quality of sound that can neither be explained nor recreated.
The violin has been loaned to Roberto Ruisi from Edgbaston in Birmingham who will lead the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) of Great Britain in high-profile performances such as at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, the Sage Gateshead in Gateshead, and the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall, all happening later this week.
Like Roberto, John comes from Edgbaston, and both attended King Edward’s School there. Roberto became the youngest leader of the NYO at the age of 14, the same orchestra that John became the first leader of in 1948. Roberto is also going to study at the Royal College of Music, where John used to teach.
John explained that he believes in Roberto’s talent – to the point that he describes the teenage as a better fiddler than even himself. “What do you do when you find yourself outclassed?” he asked. “In this case, applaud it with enthusiasm. It is a gesture of faith in Robbie’s future.”
“It has been amazing to play on such a remarkable instrument,” Roberto commented. “To me, the Strad is not just a violin, but is an extension of myself, allowing me to communicate all my musical ideas.”