$100,000 Reward To Solve A Rare Crime


A Stradivarius violin in the Palacio Real de Madrid. 



From the New York Times of 1.31. 14

$100,000 Reward Is Set for Stolen Stradivarius Violin


“The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra announced late Friday afternoon that a $100,000 reward was being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to the safe return of the 1715 Stradivarius violin stolen from the orchestra’s concertmaster, Frank Almond, after a chamber concert in Milwaukee on Monday evening.

Susan Loris, a spokeswoman for the orchestra said she was unable to identify the source of the reward money. It could be the orchestra, the anonymous owner of the violin (it was given to Mr. Almond as a permanent loan in 2008) or others.”

The remainder of the article including an interview with the concertmaster from whom the violin was stolen is here:


And this is what happened:

Hoodlums, thieves, highwayman, or what have you, waited in the freezing cold parking lot of the Wisconsin Lutheran College’s auditorium for Frank Almond, the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. (And it wasn’t cold like it gets here in Washington, DC occasionally. The temperature in the parking lot was several degrees below zero (F) with a wind chill of minus -25 degrees.)

When he got to his car a man pounced and zapped Mr. Almond with a stun gun. He collapsed. But it wasn’t Mr. Almond they were after but what he was carrying–a Stradivarius violin made in 1715. The robber grabbed the violin and jumped into the car of an accomplice and they drove away into the night.

I’ve never heard of such a valuable musical instrument stolen like this.

You can read the entire article from the New York Times here:


A Violinist’s Triumph Is Ruined by Thieves


It should have been one of those nights musicians live for. Frank Almond, the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for nearly two decades, had just closed a chamber concert in his own “Frankly Music” series with Messiaen’s hushed, eerily intense “Quartet for the End of Time.” Mr. Almond drew the graceful, ringing high notes of the finale from his prized 1715 Stradivarius violin, producing a tone so intensely focused that the audience in the Wisconsin Lutheran College’s 388-seat auditorium sat in awed silence for 20 seconds before applauding.



Wikipedia entry on Antonio Stradivari is here: 








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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/