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Letter from the Founder

Stradivari Society Founder Mary Galvin
Photo: John Kringas
At the Kristóf Baráti recital, part of the Woman’s Athletic Club Recital Series in Chicago: Society Chairman Geoffrey Fushi, legendary virtuoso Ruggiero Ricci, Suzanne Fushi, pianist Angela Yoffe, Mary Galvin, Society recipient of the “Lady Harmsworth” Stradivari violin Kristóf Baráti, and Dawn Meiners
Photo: John Kringas

Dear Friends,
In 1985, Dorothy DeLay, the legendary pedagogue of The Juilliard School, came to us with a request: to provide the loan of an outstanding instrument that could give voice to the artistry of her extraordinarily gifted student, Midori. With the fulfillment of that one request, we realized that there were many more promising musicians that might never be able to reach their full artistic potential without the use of such an instrument — and The Stradivari Society® was born. Today the Society is helping many exceptional young artists around the world, but there is so much more work to be done.

Talent, dedication, and hard work are simply not enough to successfully launch a professional career. A great instrument is essential, allowing virtuosos the exceptional sound and flexibility that grants them vast new possibilities of nuance and expression. The synergy resulting from the ideal pairing of artist and instrument is at the heart of great music-making. Unfortunately, the gap separating musician from instrument has never been wider. The finest examples of instrumental masterworks by Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù have become coveted works of art that sell in the millions of dollars each, placing this essential “tool” well out of the reach of even the most successful performer, and instead into the vaults of collectors or behind glass in museums.

In recognition of this “State of the Art,” we at The Stradivari Society are working to bring artist and instrument together by encouraging philanthropists to acquire the finest Italian instruments for use by today’s most accomplished young artists. In so doing, the philanthropist’s generosity helps not only to preserve our cherished classical music traditions but also to significantly advance classical music performance around the world — benefiting music lovers through live concerts, audio recordings, and television.

The pride of owning a significant and valuable work of art and the gratifying relationship that develops between artist and benefactor are deeply satisfying for us and our Stradivari Society® patrons. The private concerts performed by artists for their patrons and special guests are a source of profound musical enjoyment.

Midori went on to become one of the foremost violinists of our time and, in recognition of the great need for exceptional instruments to be in the hands of exceptional musicians, a patron of The Stradivari Society®. Others whose careers have been furthered by the Society include the distinguished violinists Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Leila Josefowicz, Sarah Chang, Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Paul Huang, Augustin Hadelich, Kyoko Takezawa, Philippe Quint, to name just a few—but there are still many more outstanding artists that need our help. We invite you to find out more about becoming a Stradivari Society patron by contacting Paige Ben-Dashan at 312-663-0150 or paige@beinfushi.com


Mary Galvin, Founder