Stolen viola is found smashed in a ditch

Nancy Drye, a player in the University of Pennsylvania Orchestra, had her viola stolen from her home in Powelton earlier this month. She treasured the instrument, which she thinks dates from Paris around the time of the French Revolution.

Its remains were found Wednesday night on a vacant lot in west Philadelphia.

‘It feels like a death in the family,’ says Nancy.

smashed viola


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  • I feel sad for her.

    If my instrument were destroyed tomorrow, I could order a new one from the factory the next day, or locate a similar one on the used market. I would be sad, but it could be replaced.

    Sure, there are fine luthiers who can make a new viola for her. But somehow I doubt she’ll be able to commission one from the original maker….

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