The Australia Chamber Orchestra has today announced that ACO Chairman Guido Belgiorno-Nettis AM and Michelle Belgiorno-Nettis have purchased the 1726 Stradivarius violin, regarded as one of the most remarkable violins in existence, for long-term loan to the Orchestra.
The instrument will be named the 1726 Belgiorno Stradivarius by the ACO in honour of the Belgiorno-Nettis’ generosity, and will be played by ACO Principal Violin Satu Vänskä.
The 1726 Belgiorno Stradivarius violin was made during the later years of Stradivari’s life and is a pinnacle example of the celebrated craftsman’s work. It will join the only other known Stradivarius instrument in Australia, the 1728/29 Stradivarius
violin, which was purchased by the ACO Instrument Fund in 2011 and is currently played by ACO violinist Glenn Christensen.
“It is a very special thing for Australia to have this instrument,” said Vänskä. “The 1726 Belgiorno Stradivarius is one of the great violins of the world and carries all of the trademarks of Stradivari’s inimitable artistry; the tone is exceptional in its brilliance, and it has a spectacular palette of colours and expressions. But what makes this instrument so special is that, like all of Stradivari’s best instruments, it has a soul and a personality of its own.
“Owning a Stradivarius is practically impossible for my generation of musicians, so to be the custodian of an extraordinary instrument such as this one is the opportunity of a lifetime.”