Armed robbers steal Stradivarius from US concertmaster

Armed robbers steal Stradivarius from US concertmaster


norman lebrecht

January 29, 2014

A precious violin known as the Lipinski Stradivarius was stolen Monday night from Frank Almond as he left a recital at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee. Police believe this was a targeted theft. The robbers felled Almond with a stun-gun around 10.30 pm before making off with his instrument. He has been given the week off to recover from injuries and shock.

Almond, concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, plays the 1715 violin on loan from unnamed private owners. It is valued in the region of $3m to $5m dollars.

Full report here. Concertgoer update here.

lipinski strad frank almond

Separated at birth: Frank Almond compares his 1715 Strad to Itzhak Perlman’s, dated 1714.



  • timthecomposer says:

    I thought Daniel Hope played this one? Or at least – I heard an excellent BBC programme about it that he presented, and I’m sure he gave a demonstration …

    Ah! I’m wrong. But only a bit. From Daniel’s website:

    “Hope plays the 1742 “ex-Lipiński” Guarneri del Gesù, placed generously at his disposal by an anonymous family from Germany. The instrument carries the name of its owner, the 19th-century Polish violinist Karol Lipiński, who shared the stage with Paganini, Schumann, and Liszt.”

  • Hope’s violin is a del Gesu. This is the ex Lipinski Strad. Same family name, different violin maker.

    Hope the Strad is recovered swiftly and the robbers brought to justice.

  • Brian says:

    I wonder if, like so many art heists, it’s some wealthy private collector who contracted the theft? Since every Strad on the planet is apparently well known and accounted for, only idiots would think they could actually fence it Unless they are holding it for ransom.

    • timthecomposer says:

      Let’s only hope that they don’t try to smuggle it out on Delta Airlines, or take it through customs at JFK…