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Violinist Alexandra Tirsu Receives Ida Haendel's Stradivarius

In the coming days, Tirsu will record a range of solo repertoire on the instrument, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Donato Cabrera


London's J & A Beare has loaned the 1699 Ida Haendel Stradivarius to the 30-year-old Moldovan-Romanian violinist Alexandra Tirsu.

In 2021, Alexandra Tirsu was a laureate of the ARD competition, where she also received the audience prize. In addition, she has received prizes at the 2018 Seoul International Music Competition and the 2014 Osaka International Competition. Tirsu is currently a student of Janine Jansen.

With her new instrument, Tirsu is in the process of making her first recording, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Donato Cabrera. They will perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, the Beethoven Romances, and a new concerto by the Austrian composer Paul Lorenz — all of which will be recorded at Abbey Road Studios.

Ida Haendel played on the 1699 Stradivarius for the majority of her career, having first acquired it in the 1950s. In particular, she found the instrument to be of an excellent size for her smaller-than-average hands.

"Most good instruments are built rather heavily; I was very lucky to find this one," Haendel told journalist Jessica Duchen in 1986.

"[The violin] has a very beautiful sound and is a lovely-looking instrument. A lot of people think it is one of the best. It doesn't have an extremely loud sound — but then I never thought that the violin should be like an explosion!"

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