On 2/3/2014, Frank Almond posted a note on his blog, non divisi, thanking everyone for their support along with publishing a genuinely heartfelt letter from the stolen instrument’s owner.
In case you missed the big news, armed robbers attacked Almond and sole the Lipinski Stradavarius violin he was using on indefinite loan from the owner. There’s a good article by Allan Kozin in the 1/30/14 New York times but to get the full impact of how much attention this heist has generated, just do a Google search for “Lipinski Strad.”
You can, and should, read the entire statement but here are a few of the highlights worth pointing out here.
It has been my joy and privilege to own the Lipinski Stradivari in recent years. I have thought of myself more as a guardian of a treasure than an owner, a treasure that needs to be seen and heard. It has been in my family for over five decades, deeply loved and used in performance across the world. As a non-violinist, non-public figure, it has felt more natural to me to remain relatively anonymous. Not expecting the violin to participate in this tendency, I had the good fortune to find Frank to take loving care of it every day and to use his musicality and virtuosity to express his vision with its glorious voice.
Perhaps it’s appropriate to say also that I’m not part of any upper echelon, musical or other, just a person who loved her family violin with all its memories and three hundred years of history more than the many opportunities to sell it. My heart is broken.
And in case you missed the breaking news over the weekend about the $100,000 reward being offered, you can read about that in the official offer’s statement.
Additional pressure has been turned up at airports where reports of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents checking violins going through security gates in hopes of finding the purloined instrument are on the rise; clearly, people are taking this seriously and hopefully, the combined efforts will help lead to the instrument’s recovery.