Police recover 1758 violin stolen on Munich train

Police recover 1758 violin stolen on Munich train


norman lebrecht

June 19, 2016

Munich police have recovered a 1758 Landolfi violin that was stolen on a Munich S-Bahn train in April. A suspect brought it into a police station.

He is being questioned.

The owner has been reunited with the instrument, signed ‘Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi nella Contrada di Santa Margarita al segno della Sirena Milano 1758’.


Some violin stories do have happy endings.


  • Britcellist says:


  • Olassus says:

    Wasn’t stolen. Was carelessly left on the S-Bahn.

    It is quite common for responsible people to take left-behind items into their possession for the purpose of managing the proper return to the owner.

    • John Borstlap says:

      In this case it seems that the finder wanted to try-out the instrument a couple of months himself before handing it to the police. How a player can leave his/her instrument in a train is beyond comprehension – the only possible excuse is that it was after a modern music concert.

      • Olassus says:

        Really? My misunderstanding. Well, that was a bit nervy of him.

        “How a player can leave his/her instrument in a train is beyond comprehension.”

        +1. And yet it happens a lot!

        • NYMike says:

          After a day of an LSO rehearsal plus movie soundtrack recording, LSO’s co-principal violist got off a commuter train in a haze of tiredness, leaving his viola behind. Fortunately, CCTV? cameras picked up the the thief and the viola was returned forthwith.

          • John Borstlap says:

            Amazing…. I told this story to a violin friend of mine and she said: “Yes, but that’s different, it’s a viola’.

          • James of Thames says:

            OK, I can’t resist sharing this one:
            A violist stopped at a store to pick up a few items. Once inside, he suddenly realized that he had left his instrument on the back seat of his car. He rushed out into the car park to his vehicle, but sure enough, the window was broken, and inside were –
            three more violas.

  • bratschegirl says:

    Hooray! Delighted to hear some happy news.

  • As he got off the bus my father realised that he had left his violin on it. He ran after the bus, which was in heavy traffic, to the next stop and managed to get it back !

  • Nick says:

    It happens even to the most illustrious of artists. On arriving at New York’s Peninsula Hotel nearly 20 years ago, a tired Yo-Yo Ma got out of his taxi and checked in forgetting that he had left his Strad cello in the taxi’s trunk! It took the efforts of various city officials right up to the Mayor’s office to locate the taxi driver who fortunately was going off-shift 3 hours later. The Strad was still in the trunk. I presume the driver will have received a handsome tip!

  • Derek Williams says: