A 300+ year old Stradivarius violin was deeply connected and a hero to a story was untold until today. The documentary film “The Return of the Violin” by Roy Mandal, brought tears to my eyes as I watched the film. Who knew a violin, music, and a musician, in particular, a Polish Jew, could save so many people’s lives and rescue so many families by forming the Palestine Orchestra in the horrible, scary, era of Hitler.
When the news was revealed that Bronislaw Huberman’s lost violin was finally found, I didn’t think much about it other than another Stradivarius violin surfaced, and it’s going to be expensive. And, years later, Joshua Bell acquired his Stradivarius and paid a fortune for this red color violin. The Red Violin is what I connected to this violin until today. What’s ironic is that the lost and found violin also ended up in the hands of another virtuoso solo concert violist, and he is also of Jewish decent.
I was educated that being a musician would be “poor, can’t making a living unless you are genius like Beethoven, even so you won’t know it until after you’re dead”, but I was madly in loved with the piano. My first introduction to music was when I first heard my cousin perform on stage when I was only 5 years old. Thereafter, I exchanged my piano lessons for straight A’s every term and earned my first piano with 2 straight years of being one of the top 3 students in my class and won 8th place in a youth piano competition in Kaosuhing, Taiwan. Later in my life, I used my scholarship money to purchase my dream piano, and I carried it wherever I moved through out my college life to now as a mother of two
beautiful children. I continue to care for the piano, and it is in a great shape, has beautiful sound, and is gorgeous looking. Because of the knowledge implanted in me by my parents and the people sourrounding me, and of course with so much news about starving musicians and artists, I never intended to go to music school and receive a music degree, but I also didn’t stop learning music, and continue to perform piano and solo lyric soprano pieces until my life entered a new chapter. 😉 Moreover, I’ve continued learning the violin. Because during my 2nd year of college, I decided to learned violin, and I was so obsessed with it that I vowed to myself that my violin will sound just like my singing.
As I watched and guided my two kids learn and practice music, I had a dream to share music along with my kids with autistic children. Once again, because my father told me once “you must able to take care of yourself before you can think to help others,” it is still a dream today.
Through the lens of the survivors of the Holocaust, the story not only talks about a horrible event but also how a great Jewish violinist used his violin and music to send a message to the world. By reaching out and seeking help, the orchestra that later became the Israeli Philharmonic helped save people’s lives and souls — as many as he could. In addition, it tells how other musicians sacrificed their opportunity just to save more lives. Along expanding my knowledge of being a “musician” with the power to save people’s life just like soldiers or politicians and make a name for the world to remember, for people to honor.
The film ended with few seconds clip of Joshua Bell performing Brahms Violin Concerto in D, Op 77 for the opening of the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews — the perfect music to recount their history.
The Return of Violin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZRS3f4Ir8Q
The Return of the Violin chronicles the odyssey of a 301-year-old Stradivarius, now played by Joshua Bell. http://www.92y.org/Event/The-Return-of-the-Violin
A STOLEN STRADIVARIUS, A 51-YEAR OLD SECRET http://www.nytimes.com/1987/05/14/nyregion/a-stolen-stradivarius-a-51-year-old-secret.html?smid=fb-share