Auction house stages benefit sale for virus-hit musicians

Auction house stages benefit sale for virus-hit musicians


norman lebrecht

April 06, 2020

The online auction house Tarisio is giving away its commissions at the next auction to ‘musicians around the world who have been affected by COVID-19’.



We are dedicating our May auction as a special benefit sale. The total commissions earned will be donated and divided into grants in the amount of $600 each. We expect to distribute a total of approximately $100,000 in grants. Any musician, anywhere in the world is welcome to apply. Grants will be awarded on a lottery basis.

The auction will be unique in that it will feature 10–20 exceptional instruments by known, collectible makers. Already committed to the sale are instruments by Fagnola, Bisiach and Capicchioni. We will be announcing highlights leading up to the sale going live and if you would like to participate or contribute, please contact us.

Apply for a grant via our online form.


  • John Borstlap says:

    It’s only for string players.

    • John Holmes says:

      Losers of the lottery will share the proceeds of manuscript sales from ‘The complete works of J. Borstlap’

      • John Borstlap says:

        Wholeheartedly welcomed……. there are too many piles of paper here anyway and the sheets my PA takes away unnoticed, can’t stem the flood.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Are you sure the losers won’t just be made to read Bore-slop’s manuscript.

        • John Borstlap says:

          I had a good laugh about that and asked him to respond, but he said he wouldn’t dignify such [redacted] with a reaction. But he slammed the door quite harder than normal.


  • Allen says:

    “To be eligible for a grant, applicants must have a music degree in violin, viola or cello, be professionally engaged as a musician and be in need of financial help due to COVID19. ”

    Not even available for professionally Contrabass players?

    • Bill says:

      Perhaps Tarisio doesn’t sell basses? I don’t recall seeing any in the catalog listings. If you play something they don’t sell in any appreciable number, it wouldn’t exactly be giving back, would it? Is there a problem with their choosing to limit their support to players of instruments where they make their money? Or should we be up in arms that oboists and percussionists and so on aren’t eligible?

    • John Borstlap says:

      The girth of the double bass is an embarrassment for many a sensitive musician.

      Also, it is a cumbersome instrument, often at war with its player:

  • David K. Nelson says:

    In an ideal world I’d have the means to purchase one of those instruments to help the cause (and acquire a much better fiddle or viola in the process). My late teacher let me try his Fagnola from time to time and it was really splendid.

    Tarisio specializes in violins, violas and cellos, likely because of the famous collector it is named after, Luigi Tarisio.