I am very grateful to have been given the help of Nigel Brown and the Stradivari Trust in order to acquire a Joseph Gagliano violin to use throughout my career. The Sophie Rosa Violin Trust was launched to set up a syndicate which owns shares in the violin. Fundraising for purchasing the instrument has now been completed and I am grateful to all those that have been involved. Over the next 20 years I will be able to acquire the violin gradually over time and eventually become the outright owner. The Trust will accept donations from any sponsors wishing to help me achieve this aim. For further information regarding the Stradivari Trust, registered charity please contact the trust manager, Kate Lee at instrument.schemes@googlemail.com. http://www.stradivaritrust.org/


The violin is a Joseph Gagliano of Naples, dated 1795. It was once owned by the famous nineteenth century violinist, August Wilhelmj. The violin comes with hand written letters of his detailing the sale of the violin in 1899. Below is a recording of once of his arrangements for violin and piano, Wagner Albumblatt played on the very violin that he himself played on!

When I first began to play on the Joseph Gagliano violin I was struck by the instrument's beautiful, rich, warm and velvety tone. It has the power to project in a large hall, whether playing fortissimo or pianissimo, while also having the full range of tone colours and textures to explore when interpreting the music. The character of the instrument's sound fits my musical personality very well and I feel very much at home when playing on it. It is also very humbling to hold a piece of history in your hands, knowing that the violin was once owned by the great nineteenth-century violinist August Wilhelmj. The violin is an absolute joy to play on and I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful instrument to accompany me in my future career.

Click here to see a video of the violin being played.

Letter from Joseph Chanot dated 1898.
I am also delighted to announce that the Stradivari Trust has recently set up a Trust to help me acquire a Fonclause violin bow to match the violin. The bow comes with a Bernard Millant certificate pictured below. Fundraising is currently underway and further information can be provided by the trust manager, Kate Lee at:instrument.schemes@googlemail.com. http://www.stradivaritrust.org/.

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