Theft alert: Precious violin stolen in London

Theft alert: Precious violin stolen in London


norman lebrecht

July 27, 2016

From Krysia Osostowicz, 1st violin of the Dante Quartet and professor at the Guildhall:



Last night at 7pm my violin was stolen from outside Brixton tube station while I was unlocking my bike.

The violin is by Francesco Goffriller, but not labelled and is in an oblong brown Gewa case along with three bows: a Voirin, a Tubbs and an Ouchard.

The case contains a Kun shoulder rest and Melos rosin. The zip compartment has no music but one A4 sheet of handwritten paper.

As you can imagine, I am desperate to recover my violin and bows. Please share this with all your musician friends and colleagues and if you come across it please contact me on 07976755082 or 07917261441 (a reward is offered). PLEASE SHARE!


UPDATE: A swift and happy ending.



  • Robert Roy says:

    OMG! I’m so sorry to hear that. I really hope the thief is caught and brought to justice.

    Best wishes.

  • Doug says:

    Leaving your violin unattended, even for a brief moment, outside of Brixton station? That’s asking for it.

    I hope she at least stopped at Frano Manco for some comfort food.

  • Walter Delahunt says:

    Very nice, Doug. And helpful.

  • Maria Brewin says:

    Will the thief even know what it is?

    I mean a violin, not a Goffriller.

  • Sherban Lupu says:

    I think it is totally irresponsible for someone who carries in a violin case a violin and bows worth around 250000$ to ride on a bike in Brixton (or anywhere else for that matter)! If she cannot drive she should have taken a taxi! It is much cheaper than loosing valuable instruments!

    • Kate says:

      How much were you paid for your last gig? Enough for a taxi in London? If so please send me your agents details and I’ll sign up with them…

    • Robert King says:

      Why shouldn’t a violinist ride a bicycle? Half my orchestra arrive on bicycles to London rehearsals nowadays. In London it’s often the quickest way to get from A to B. The same happens in Berlin. And half the musicians of Amsterdam cycle. I had a double bass player arrive in Lucerne a while back with his double bass strapped to his back. In the 21st century, a bike is a normal method of transport.

      As to the idea of taking a taxi every time: have you any idea of the cost of taking a taxi in London, twice every day? To do so would knock out half your earnings on the average London musician’s pay.

      Most of us have at some time in our lives been distracted for a second, left the car unlocked, for a second put down a bag that we would normally never let out our sight, left a window open in our house, and so on. Musicians are human. We make mistakes. The vast majority of SD’s readers will be wishing the wonderful Krysia every ounce of good luck in getting back her precious violin as soon as possible.

      • Krysia Osostowicz says:

        Thanks, Robert, for your kind comment! The theft was my own fault, and I’m just enormously grateful that the violin was found after all. During the dreadful two days when it was lost, I greatly appreciated all the moral support from people such as yourself. Very best wishes, Krysia

    • sydney manowitz says:

      Have been trying to reach re another matter Aş dori să achiziţionez următoarea partitură:

      titlu: “SERENADE en SOURDINE”
      compus de GEORGE ENESCU
      editor: SHERBAN LUPU
      instrumente: VIOARĂ şi VIOLONCEL
      Editor: Sherban Lupu

      Este posibil ca acest titlul este inclus în un volum al muzica lui Enescu – ar putea avea un titlu de genul “Muzică necunoscută a lui Enescu”.

      Sydney Manowitz
      Adresa mea de e-mail este

  • Marg says:

    I can’t imagine the distress of this loss. I really hope it is found soon and in perfect condition. However, I am wondering why it is that with some regularity I read of instrument losses on this blog. Do musicians get so accustomed to having their instrument with them they begin to forget what an incredibly precious commodity it is and in taking it for granted let their guard down.

    • Nick says:

      I have to agree with the sentiments expressed by Marg and one or two others. If you own a very valuable instrument, it doesn’t matter how you transport it – as long as you have your eye on it every second! Why would it be necessary to lay it on the ground (as I assume must have been the case) whilst a bike is locked? Don’t violin cases have a shoulder strap? If someone is carrying $250,000 in cash in a bag, would they seriously place that bag on the ground with many people around and then turn away to do something else? Of course they wouldn’t! That is inviting disaster. So why does it happen with valuable instruments? Robert King is correct: we all make mistakes. But letting a briefcase or a shopping bag out of our sight is one thing. Leaving a hugely valuable instrument is quite another!

  • Sean Bishop says:


  • Toth Peter says:

    We’e like to share our deepest compassion to Krysia Osostowicz. These are among the hardest moments in live. Also I want to express that I feel digusted by some ignorant comments. We need to play these wonderful instruments for our audience, we work all our live with the goal to touch the sublime wonder of a complete sound. We are obligated to travel around the half world to give concerts, and we carry all the time these incredibly precious instruments with us around. Even take them even with us when we go make pipi…
    This is just a huge responsability, and it is the nature of live, that shit happens. I am sure, that Krysia Osostowicz lives with the whole consciousness of this responsability, that she assumes the privilege to play on such marvellous instruments. There is no question about this, so please stay away with erronous counsels.

    It is now just 2 weeks, that a less unique violin, but with a quite high value (20’000€) was stolen to our son in the train. He is just 12 years old and has to travel each week 5 hours to attend his teaching at the university in Basel. He fell asleep cause of the strenous effort he gives for to carry on his considerable talent.

    The most professional musicians had to go through this.

    • Krysia Osostowicz says:

      Dear Peter, thanks so much for your kind comments. You are right that I have to live with the responsibility of using such a wonderful instrument every day. I am acutely aware that in this instance the theft was my own fault, and now I feel hugely grateful to have the violin back after all. How dreadful for your talented young son to fall asleep and have his violin stolen on the train. I send him my sincere sympathy and wish him all the best of luck.
      Very best wishes,