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18th century violins centre stage in lunchtime concert

Aug 29th, 2014 | By | Category: Arts/Entertainment, Latest News

VIOLIN HISTORY: (From left) James Jin and Julian Baker hold the Hungarian and Italian violin gifted by Clare Galambos-Winter. The two musicians have been given the violins while studying at the school of music.

VIOLIN HISTORY: (From left) James Jin and Julian Baker hold the Hungarian and Italian violins gifted by Clare Galambos-Winter.  IMAGE: Amanda Carrington

A COUPLE of 18th century Italian and Hungarian violins were center of attention at a recent concert at the New Zealand School of Music .

Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University held the concert in memory of the late Clare Galambos-Winter, the musician who gifted the two violins to the school.

The school annually awards the violins to two outstanding students: this year James Jin and Julian Baker are the recipients

Ms Galambos-Winter has also gifted financial scholarships to the school.

James Jin has been playing the violin for 21 years and received both the Hungarian and the Italian violin during his time at the school.

James says the Hungarian violin helped with expression and tone production.

“It is a huge improvement on any violin I have played previously but needs to be played more, so I have now been encouraged to do so,” he says.

Julian Baker has been playing the violin for 16 years and received the Italian violin this year, as an undergraduate in his third year of study.

He  says it is very different to others he’s played.

Julian says it’s all about first impressions when you try a new instrument and it’s really important that you click with it.

“It’s got so much sound and a special character to it and it’s amazing to think that if it was made in 1793, how many people have actually played it,” he says.

Events and Marketing Coordinator at the music school, Stephen Gibbs, says the violins have their own personality with a feminine and masculine characteristic.

“Clare didn’t want the violins to be put in a museum or a case and used as an artifact. She wanted them to be used by musicians and that’s why she gifted them,” he says.

Both violins are made by a Luthier, or string-maker, which makes them unique.

He says they’re not factory made and certainly not your average student’s violin.

You can watch a documentary on Clare Galambos-Winter on the Victoria University School of Music website.

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