One of the challenges facing many young violinists today is gaining access to a suitable instrument, most of which are so expensive they are owned by investors rather than artists. That’s where Rare Violins of New York In Consortium comes in. The Consortium works to link benefactors and their instruments with deserving musicians, and with their support, the Michael Hill International Violin Competition has created an exciting new prize for the 2019 competition, the Arancio Prize.
The Arancio prizewinner will gain the use for two years of a rare instrument crafted by Nicolo Amati, one of the triumverate of lauded Cremonese violin-makers (Amati, Guarnerius, Stradivarius). This particular instrument, dating from 1645, is known as the “Ex Christian Ferras”, in recognition of the fabulous twentieth-century French violinist who played it (see him here tossing off the devilish Hora Staccato with a shrug of his shoulders).
Sir Michael Hill, a collector of fine instruments and bows, has repeatedly effused about the importance of a quality bow, and to walk the talk, he will also be loaning one of his treasured bows as a prize this year. The W.E. Hill & Sons bows is in excellent condition and features a gold and tortoise shell fleur-de-lis.
The winner of the Arancio prize will be announced at the Grand Finale in Auckland (tickets are here).