The ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius of 1721 and Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund

"Lady Blunt" Strativarius 1721

“Lady Blunt” Strativarius 1721

The news that the ‘Lady Blunt’ stradivarius violin of 1721 was sold for a record setting $15.9 million at the auction is hardly new any more to those who are interested in stringed instruments.  I heard about the event on the news last June and also found that Nippon Music Foundation was the seller in the effort of raising relief fund for the earthquake/tsunami victims. But, I didn’t dig in too deeply and later almost forgot about it until I found the invitation to the auction site that came in the mail while I was sorting out one of our piles of references a couple of weeks ago. I don’t have any idea why we were in the mailing list, but that gave me an opportunity to look into the event once again.

I was going to study more about the ‘Lady Blunt’ and other background information for the post, but the auctioneer of the instrument Tarisio has a very extensive list of things related to the sale here,  so I decided to skip the step all together.

While Phil was wooing and oohing about the beauty of the instrument, amazed how well preserved it was considering the history of it, etc.,  I could not help but wonder what Stradivari would have thought if he learned that, almost three hundred years after he created this instrument, the proceeds from the sale of the violin would go to help thousands of people, especially orphaned children of Japan, far away from Cremona, Italy where he lived and brought some wood into life to become world finest stringed instruments!

And this is to all violin makers out there who are working hard to create your own fine instruments, you might be contributing to the world far more than you could imagine in your life time!



Old tradition with a modern twist (2)

I found the following article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune very interesting. Even though the twist featured in this article is more sophisticated and high-tech, such as scanning a violin with a CT Machine and creating the parts using a CNC machine, the three people behind it share the same kind of passion with Phil – the passion to create great instruments for all levels of musicians.  Read on…


Old tradition with a modern twist

One of the essentials of violin makers has long been to have their tools super sharp.  No matter how skilled they are, they can’t create great instruments without help from their precision tools.

A few years ago, when I thought we were ready to throw out a treadmill, Phil just could not part with its variable speed motor “just in case.”

Since then, he turned the motor (along with the control panel) into a tool-sharpening machine.  Yes, you probably could find a similar item at internet sites such as eBay or Amazon, but I love the fact Phil always comes up with the brightest ideas/gadgets out of something that seems almost useless to others like me.


Treadmill turned into sharpening machine

Philip Carves a Cello Scroll

Greetings! This is Philip’s youngest daughter, Laura. I spent the morning of New Year’s Day with my father in his studio. I took this photograph of him as he meticulously carves the scroll of his cello.

Philip Carving Cello Scroll


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Cello in progress at Phil's studio in Northfield, MN

Cello in progress at Phil's studio in Northfield, MN

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