Friday, August 7, 2015

THAT Stradivarius! Enough Excitement For ONE Day! I Was There...

As some of you know, I was an educator at the Longy School of Music for over a quarter century, being involved mostly with piano as the major pursuit, although  I taught theory and composition whenever I was called upon to do so. Some of my most golden memories are connected with one of the most loving and genuine musicians I have ever known. He was my boss, the Director of the school,  Roman Totenberg.
Before he accepted the position of Director at Longy, he had already been recognized  internationally as an eminent violinist and teacher - I continue to include among  my favorite recordings for unaccompanied violin by Bach, a number of works done by Totenberg. His warmth and genuineness  were one- his message as a musician was Totenberg.
On a day (I remember it to be  a Thursday), a concert was given at the school, some 35 years ago. To be brief, Totenberg's precious Stadivarius disappeared  during that period.
Chaos was pandemic. I remember the swirl of all kinds of motion in the school during those minutes. Physical swirls; emotional swirls; swirls of a kind of fear - how could such a thing happen? Were these turbulent eruptions all around me real?
I remember John Henning, one of  Boston television's better known reporters appearing at the school. I recall so many of my contemporaries expressing deep concerns for  Totenberg and  what he must have been experiencing within himself  during all this tumult, let alone the days and months to follow.
Yesterday, I was overjoyed to learn that the violin, a generation later, has been recovered.
I can only wish that in some form, or some manner, that Roman Totenberg, who passed away some three years ago, also knows that his beloved violin is back with him.



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