You Don’t See This Every Day

Renowned cellist and Inside The Arts author Lynn Harrell published an article today announcing that after 50 years of making music together, he has decided to sell his 1720 Montagnana. The post recounts his time purchasing the instrument in 1962 but one of the real highlights is a particular line that is just about the best example I’ve come across that embodies the very unique relationship between a musician and his/her instrument.


What I learned early on is an instrument of great character needs a strong personality in its player to bring out the best of its voice and resonance. ~ Lynn Harrell

Overall, the article is decidedly a historical account of Harrell’s time with the cello but done in such a way that it comes across more as a genuinely touching tribute.

Most musicians performing on an instrument of this caliber are purely users in that one or more benefactors, or a foundation, actually own the instrument. Consequently, given how rare it is to see a musician live in both of those roles, the article is decidedly unique and certainly worth your while.

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One Response to You Don’t See This Every Day

  1. Bruce Hembd Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    I love this. Speaking from left field as a brass player, I tend to forget that there can be a soulful and historic relationship between an instrument and its owner.

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