The international virtuoso Frank-Peter Zimmermann is locked in last-minute negotiations to hold onto the Stradivarius he has played for the past twelve years. The 2002 loan, by an executor for a bankrupt bank (WestLB), expires tomorrow (Friday).
Under the contract, Zimmermann has the right to buy the instrument, known as the Lady Inchiquin Stradivarius, when the contract ended. But two offers that he made, based on independent estimates, have been rejected by the executors.
Now time is ticking out. Next week, Zimmermann has concerts in New York and doesn’t know what instrument he will play.
Its not quite the Greek tragedy that is being played out in Berlin, but for the artist it is almost equally existential.