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Iona's Violin

Iona plays on a violin made by Philip Ihle in 2015.  It is modelled on the 1740 Guarneri del Gesu which was used by Jascha Heifetz for virtually all his concert and recording work.  It was nicknamed the 'David' after Ferdinand David who premiered Mendelssohn's violin concerto.


The violin was made to order but was not purchased.  After some alterations it was invited to be entered into a listening test at the Barbican, organised by The Strad magazine.  Roman Simovic, leader of the LSO, played it along with his Stradivari violin and four other old instruments where it was the audience's choice!  You can listen to the sound test here.

The violin is varnished with walnut oil intensely red coloured with madder lake.  The wood and varnish work matches the original closely, especially the characteristic features of purfling and Heifetz's fingerprint, a lighter colour, on the lower treble bout of the front.

Iona had the opportunity to perform Bruch's Scottish Fantasy in June 2015 on this violin.  She was so impressed with it that it had to be purchased!

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