Stradivarius and Other Rare Italian Violins Come to Houston This Weekend

The event is free, the experience . . . priceless! Have you ever wondered what it's like to play a Stradivarius? Houston-area violinists - past and present - can to try their hand on such a musical treasure this weekend

Friday, June 16, 7 p.m. in Dudley Recital Hall - UH Moores School of Music , Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., UH Moores School of Music, Room 108. University of Houston Moores School of Music, 3800 Cullen Blvd., Entrance #16

Florian Leonhard, a global expert on rare Italian musical instruments, will bring a dozen of extremely rare violins and bows for his talk, "The Modern Day Sherlock Holmes - A Study in the Process of Authentication," for the 28th Annual Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival (TMF) at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. The event is FREE and open to the public.

Rare violins on display and for play will include Stradivari, Guameri del Gesu, Amati, Guadagnini, Rocca, Dyotioni, Vuillaume and Gagliano. Among the featured instruments will be a 1735 Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, ex 'Ferdinand David,' one of the great violinists of the 19th century most well known for having debuted the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. This was the first of two Guarneri instruments that David would own, the second of which became the concert instrument of Jascha Heifetz. It is the violin with which Midori made her Carnegie Hall debut. Leonhard will also bring a 1731 ex "Kreutzer" and a 1707 Stradivarius.

"We're extremely honored Mr. Leonhard will join our 2017 Texas Music Festival guest faculty to share his knowledge with our students and to be so gracious as to invite them to try out a Stradivarius," said Alan Austin, TMF General and Artistic Director and a professional violinist for more than 35 years. Local violin students and professionals alike are welcome to participate. At 7:30 p.m., for TMF Orchestra Series Week 2, violin virtuoso Lucie Robert, a professor for the past 25 years at Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College of Music in New York City, will celebrate her 20th anniversary on the TMF Faculty performing Chausson: Poéme and Ravel: Tzigane, pieces she played at TMF two decades ago. "Lucie has been an integral figure in TMF's evolution. We're thrilled to showcase her with the TMF Orchestra," said Austin. The program also includes the Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition.

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