Lorin Maazel's 1783 Guadagnini Violin Sold at Auction for Charity

Article excerpt

Sale of renowned instrument raises money for arts foundation

It's not a Strad, but maestro Lorin Maazel will have you know that his 1783 Guadagnini is second to none. "The violin is one of the spectacular examples of Guadagnini's expertise," Maazel says. "Everyone loves his instruments. Strad is much more known, but the truth of the matter is that there are Guads that are equal or in some cases superior to Strads."

On November 10, Maazel auctioned his violin, which he played for the past 66 years, through online auction house Tarisio in New York City. The violin fetched $1,080,000. Tarisio's pre-sale estimate was that the violin would sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

The money raised from the violin's sale will go toward an endowment for the Castleton Festival, launched in 2009 by Maazel and his wife, Dietlinde Turban Maazel.

The festival, held at the Maazel's farm in Virginia, aims to educate and develop the careers of young instrumentalists, singers, and conductors. "I love this sort of sale," Tarisio director Jason Price says. "It's such a great thing to generate goodwill and money for a cause and make everyone a real winner on every level." Maazel has had a lengthy career as a conductor. At age 11, he conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra on the radio. He later served as music director of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and, until 2009, the New York Philharmonic. …