The New England Conservatory is the new owner of the the 1714 Stradivarius violin, bought by Johannes Brahms’s friend Joseph Joachim in 1849, when he was just 18 and played as his principal instrument throughout his life.
The Strad was left to the NEC by the estate of the violinist and teacher Si-Hon Ma, who died in 2009, aged 84. Professor Ma, an NEC graduate and sometime player in Georg Szell’s Cleveland Orchestra, was professor of music at Kent State University in Ohio, from 1971 to 1994.
He bought the instrument from the Rembert Wurlitzer company in New York in 1967. It was previously owned by an American collector, Hugh Long.