US concertmaster offers $5,000 for return of stolen violin

US concertmaster offers $5,000 for return of stolen violin


norman lebrecht

December 23, 2020

Alexander Reshetnichenko has been reduced to playing a student’s instrument after his violin was stolen from his home in the summer.

A front-desk player in the Albany and Valdosta symphony orchestras, Alex says: ‘the violin is a work of art by Alfredo Contino, made in 1920. One bow is made by Hermann Richard Pfretzschner.’

Call him with information on (706) 989-5009.


  • henry williams says:

    surely he has insurance.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    A genuine Pfretzschner bow alone often sells for more than the reward here.

    Even a particular bow can have its quirks and a professional “learns” his or her bow as much as they “learn” his or her instrument. And you can go the better part of a lifetime before you find the ones that work for you, insurance money or no insurance money. Even if the money is enough to acquire another Contino and another Pfretzschner — they might not be “right,” as Barcelo commented.

    Since it sounds like the entire case was stolen, there were probably two sets of replacement strings in that case. I don’t know what strings Mr. Reshetnichenko prefers but professional level strings run $50 to $100 a set. Rosin — again I don’t know his preferred brand but likely Hill or Andrea, hope it wasn’t Leatherwood because then we’d be talking big bucks. As for the case I see that Bam France is going for nearly $600 on Amazon. I’m glad I am not in the market for a case these days. Not to mention that most of us have repair tools, violin peg compound, shoulder pad, spare chinrest, and little personal things in our cases. So even ignoring the fiddle there might be $800 or even more in ancillary losses.

    The sad thing is that to a pawn shop owner this Contino, the bow, and its case might as well be a $99 Chinese “No toni” stolen from a middle school locker, at which point the thief might just toss the thing in a dumpster. And the police these days often have better things to do (in their opinion) than look for a fiddle.

    Good luck Mr. Reshetnichenko – all violin players are pulling for you.

  • Anita Tipping-Wheeler says:

    One of our Dallas Symphony violinist had his Strad stolen. Then someone saw it was on some website for sale. Some police dept followed up and got the guy and also got the Strad back. The DSO had had it insured at the time for $250,000 but it was worth a million. They just had to repay the $250,000. Then the violinist gave a concert on it and I saw it live. Had a photo taken but don’t have access. I’m a season tkts and go frequently.

  • SZS says:

    What is a “front-desk player”? My wife used to play and has no idea. Nor does Google.

    • William of Urbana says:

      A term that used to be more common referring to the first-chair and second-chair players, as they share a music stand.