Fallen Concertmaster: I’m fine. My violin requires extensive surgery.

James Cuddeford, Australian concertmaster of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, has popped up on social media to assure us that there are no lasting effects from his alarming fall from the stage during Saturday’s concert.

James, feeling faint, rose from his chair between movements of the Schumann concerto, but fell off the stage onto his precious 1769 Nicolo Gagliano instrument. James was taken to hospital and sent home the following day.

James messages: ‘I am recovering well. Amazingly, no surgery required – however, my violin does require extensive surgery….’

The violin is believed to have suffered  a crack at the centre of the soundboard but the neck is intact.

james cuddeford1


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  • Best of luck to Mr. Cuddeford and his instrument. Thankfully there are more luthiers, specialising in complex instrument repair today than ever before.
    I do recall two luthiers in Berlin achieving remarkable results with a Stradivari violin belonging to the Staatskapelle Dresden. A concertmaster had inadvertently sat on it in 1910 and it had been a “pile of debris”, that had seen several unsuccessful repair attempts until ending up in the workshop in Berlin.

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