Strad Heist Gets Vanity Fair Treatment

The Lipinski Stradivarius robbery crossed one more notoriety threshold this month thanks to a feature article via November issue of Vanity Fair in an article by Buzz Bissinger. According to an inside source close to the story, it is one of the most thorough accounts to date and you can access the article by picking up a print copy or online subscription.

In addition to Bissinger’s article, NPR’s Daniel Hajek published a segment on 10/12/2014 that includes an interview with Frank Almond, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster who plays the Lipinski and was the victim of a brutal attack at the hands of the robbers back in January. It’s a good listen if for no other reason than to hear the phrase “unusual Scooby-Doo-looking van” cross paths with the life of a Stradivarius violin.

Rounding out the coverage is a 10/3/2014 article in the Journal Sentinel by Gina Barton that reports on the second robber’s long awaited guilty plea to felony robbery. Salah Salahadyn will be sentenced on November 10, 2014 while his accomplice, Universal K. Allah has already plead guilty and is serving a 3.5 year sentence.

FAVF

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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