Violin goes missing on NJ transit

Violin goes missing on NJ transit


norman lebrecht

September 23, 2019

Message received:

The composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery has lost her Karl Dennis, 2016 Del Gesu model violin and Dörfler violin bow. It was in a violin shaped black carbon fiber case with stickers along the top.

Montgomery lost it on the NJ Transit traveling between New York City and Montclair, NJ, on Friday September 13, on train 6263 at 4:52pm. She has alerted NJ Transit of the missing instrument.

Montgomery asks that any leads be sent to:

Montgomery is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. She is the composer-in-residence for the Sphinx Virtuosi, and an Artistic Partner with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. This coming season, her works will be premiered at Carnegie Hall, Stanford University, the National Cathedral, the Cincinnati Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. She is currently writing works for the New York Philharmonic and National Symphony. She is a Graduate Fellow in Music Composition at Princeton University, a member of the Catalyst Quartet, and performs regularly with Silkroad Ensemble and Sphinx Virtuosi.



  • V.Lind says:

    “Lost”? Is that musician-speak for forgot or left behind? I mean, stolen is stolen.

    The incidence of musicians forgetting instruments is becoming epidemic. Time they developed a pill.

    • D.H. says:

      It doesn’t say anything about it being stolen.
      May you share a similar fate with something that you love. Then you can go take a different type of pill to deal with the PTSD and eat your own words at the same time.

      • V.Lind says:

        That’s what I’m saying. She somehow lost it. Have you not read the regular reports of similar around here? I realise, as you pointy out in answer to someone else, how busy musicians are — but if they are carrying the means of their livelihood and profession and passion, how do they “lose” them so often?

    • Bruce says:

      I would submit that it’s not an epidemic, or becoming one (considering the number of instruments that are taken on subways/ trains/ taxis/ etc and are not lost), but many/most losses are highly publicized so it looks like musicians lose their instruments all the time.

      BTW, is there a need to nitpick about words in this situation? I don’t mean sparing the feeeeeelings of the poor musician, I just mean nitpicking. She knows what train she was on and what time it was. She left it on the train, and now it’s lost. On the off chance that it was picked up by transit authority personnel, should it be taken to the “Left and Found”? :-/

  • Nick2 says:

    There is no information about how the violin case disappeared, but it appears to be yet another instance of an owner paying insufficient attention to an instrument valuable to her whilst on a train. I sincerely hope it is found and returned in perfect condition. I cannot help but feel, however, that had Ms. Montgomery been more vigilant it would not have disappeared.

    • D.H. says:

      Some of us would never consider stealing anybody else’s property. You can have a high IQ and still be too trusting. IQ is not “street smarts”, but you can master street smarts with a high IQ if you focus on it as a study. I’m certain it has been the subject of at least one doctoral thesis in anthropology…
      But hopefully this is just a misplacement. But let’s face the facts here: if she’s that busy with all of that work, (and I know she is SWAMPED from my own personal experience of being a performer), she could most certainly be distracted, just the same as anybody else who works that hard.
      She has multiple jobs and is in high demand: it means she has a lot of distractions.
      Cut her some slack or show us what you can do that is so great…
      I’m certain you’ve had times when you had lost your vigilance…
      Everybody does.
      If you haven’t, maybe it’s time for your own karmic experience. That might elicit a little bit of empathy.

  • anon says:

    Well, it’s just a model Del Gesu. Insurance will get her a new one.