Oligarch lends Strad to rising Russian soloist

Oligarch lends Strad to rising Russian soloist


norman lebrecht

July 30, 2014

The ‘Molitor’ Stradivarius, which has been played in the past by Elmar Oliveira and Anne-Akiko Meyers is being loaned by present owner Maxim Viktorov to the Luxembourg-based virtuoso, Alena Baeva. She gets to play it for a year.

Viktorov has a collection of ten instruments which include the so-called ‘Ex-Paganini’ violin by Carlo Bergonzi and the ‘Ex-Vieuxtemps’ violin by Guarneri del Gesu. (source: Ingles & Hayday).

alena baeva

photo (c) Victor Eskenasy


  • alec johnston says:

    ….and who is playing the other nine? Especially I would love to hear the Ex-Vieuxtemps…

  • Rgiarola says:

    I’m a little confused, since according to Class Act music critic Robert D. Thomas in a interview with Anne-Akiko Meyers on Oct/2013, she said that the Strad “Ex-monitor/napoleon” was purchased by her for 3.6 M USD. Also that she has since the beginning of 2013 the lifetime use of the “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu for concerts and recitals thanks to an unnamed benefactor who purchased it at a Chicago auction.


    The Ex-Vieuxtemps 1741 Guarneri Del Gesu had been recently played by Anne-Akiko Meyers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPslZVBUFqk

  • Will Duffay says:

    Seems slightly cruel to lend a great violin for only a year!

  • Brent Hudson says:

    Judging by the performances you can hear from Baeva, Meyers, Olivera, and presumably others, in online videos and elsewhere, the Molitor is a good Strad.

    • Brent Hudson says:

      This is the first I’d heard that the Vieuxtemps was purchased (for a very high price — $18M?) by Victorov. Evidently he also owned the Molitor all along while it was used by Meyers, then exchanged the two violins, loaning the Molitor to Baeva?