Stradivarius heard for first time since 1980 theft

By , on March 14, 2017


The three daughters of renowned violinist Roman Totenberg have heard the sound of their late father's Stradivarius for the first time nearly four decades after it was stolen. (Photo by Tomasz Skowroński (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
The three daughters of renowned violinist Roman Totenberg have heard the sound of their late father’s Stradivarius for the first time nearly four decades after it was stolen. (Photo by Tomasz Skowroński (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons)
NEW YORK — The three daughters of renowned violinist Roman Totenberg have heard the sound of their late father’s Stradivarius for the first time nearly four decades after it was stolen.

The prized 18th century instrument came back to life on Monday at a private Manhattan concert, tucked under the chin of Totenberg student Mira (MEE’-rah) Wang.

The violin disappeared in 1980 after a Totenberg performance in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The thief was an aspiring violinist who kept the Stradivarius hidden, patching some spots with glue. After his death, his ex-wife alerted authorities.

The instrument was returned to the family in 2015 by Preet Bharara (buh-RAH’-ruh), then the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.

Wang immigrated from China to study with the Polish-born Totenberg, who died in 2012 at age 101.