The Canada Council for the Arts has acquired five exceptional instruments to add to the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank (MIB).
The bank, a collection of donated or loaned instruments, features violins, cellos, and bows made by some of the world’s finest luthiers including Stradivari, Gagliano, and Pressenda.
The newly acquired instruments include a 1730 Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello valued at $750,000; an 1871 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin valued at $250,000; and a 1900 Stefano Scarampella violin valued at $160,000.
In addition, the Canada Council will receive two loans: the 1768 Miller Januarius Gagliano violin valued at $300,000 from Mrs. Miller of Toronto, and a 1929 Carlo Giuseppe Oddone cello valued at $200,000 from an anonymous donor.
Now, a few lucky Canadians are going to have a chance to play some of these superb instruments.
Every three years Canada’s professional classical musicians have a chance to compete for the privilege of borrowing one of the instruments as they traverse the globe, playing on some of the world’s greatest stages.
The hopeful contestants play before a jury of peers and professional musicians in hopes of acquiring one of the masterpiece instruments contained in the more than 20-instrument collection. The lucky few will inherit the instrument for three years.
This year’s finalists, who were chosen in June, will perform in Toronto in September before a jury who will decide the fate of the feted instruments for the next three years.
The collection, founded in 1985, is worth over $29 million and contains various violins, cellos, and bows. Over the years the bank’s instruments have come from donations, instrument loans, and purchases made with donated funds.
“The Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank runs on inspiration, talent, and generosity,” Canada Council director and CEO Robert Sirman said in a press release.
“Thanks to donations, endowments, and loans, we are able to get more of these finely crafted instruments into the hands of talented musicians. This means that more audiences can experience the power, depth, and beauty of music created by pairing a centuries-old instrument with an exceptional soloist.”
In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts, the Canada Council for the Arts administers and awards many prizes and fellowships in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, engineering, and arts management.
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