The musician Sally Beamish relates movingly in the Guardian how the theft of her instrument in 1989 changed her from a performer to a composer.
A friend found the two bows in an alleyway. In the following weeks, I scoured markets and antique shops, convinced I would find the viola. These unique instruments don’t just disappear – any dealer would have recognised it immediately. But the years went by, and it has never been found.
I made a conscious decision back then that something positive had to come out of this. I wanted to be able to look back and say: “If my viola hadn’t been stolen, then I would never have …” And what I wanted most of all was to become a full-time composer.
Sally has a premiere at the Proms this weekend. Read her full story here.