Missing Chicago flute turns up in pawnshop

Missing Chicago flute turns up in pawnshop


norman lebrecht

February 04, 2021

The $22,000 flute that Berklee student Donald Rabin left on a Chicago subway train has been found….



Apparently, another passenger took it to sell around various stores, but a social media campaign made it too hot to handle.



  • Jack says:

    Great result.

  • V.Lind says:

    Well, isn’t he a lucky little elf.

  • Patricia says:

    Clearly there was nothing Magic about it.

  • Hans-Dieter Glaubke says:

    Diese Nachricht, dieses Ereignis bedarf internationale Nachrichten, dazu noch wert für erachten? Seit langem bedauere ich, dass ich die Prioritäten der Menschheit nicht immer verstehe oder ernst nehmen kann und die Absicht habe, sie Verständnis geben zu wollen.

    • Armchair Bard says:

      (H-D G) Calm down, dear! Everything has its place.

    • HugoPreuss says:

      Okay, first: despite the German sounding name, the German in this post is hideous. The sentences are bungled beyond repair, which makes me question the name… Second: this is a blog devoted to classical music, not the front page of the New York Times. So, why are you surprised to find news about classical music on this site?

      • Hans-Dieter Glaubke says:

        Ihre Google Übersetzung ist ja lächerlich und sehr falsch geraten. Kurze Reisen auf digital Suche münden oft in verkehrte Ergebnisse. Ihre Einstellung zur deutschen Sprache und derer Ausdrucksformen bleibt für Sie, vielleicht, eine unerreichbare Aufklärung. Sie scheinen keine Kapazität zur Differenzierungen der beiden Sprachen zu zeigen. Das scheint nicht nur Ihre einzige Schwäche zu zeigen.

        • HugoPreuss says:

          Sorry, your “German” remains bad and simply incorrect, both regarding the words and the grammar. And yes, German is my native tongue. The insinuation that I had to use google translate for English, however, made me laugh. Keep up the good work!

    • BruceB says:

      Aus dieser Sicht ist diese gesamte Website irrelevant.

      (über Google Translate, Entschuldigung für die umständliche Formulierung)

      • Brettermeier says:

        “(über Google Translate, Entschuldigung für die umständliche Formulierung)”

        Don’t bother. He, too, used Google Translate.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      “Schade, . . . . schade, . . . . schade, schade, jing jing, jing . . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=4wgiAsYuOuw

    • CJ says:

      And in English?

      • BruceB says:

        Basically he was saying “why do we have to read about this? Is this international news? This makes no sense.”

        I replied “According to that point of view, this entire website is irrelevant,” and apologized for any awkward phrasing since I was using Google Translate.

    • Brettermeier says:

      The name may sound German, but the German does not.

  • Malcolm James says:

    When my cor anglais was nicked nearly 20 years ago it was found in the local cash generator. Pawn shops are one of the first places the police look, particularly, I suppose, for instruments which are less commonly played and thieves are less likely to know what to do with.

    • Mr. Knowitall says:

      In most American cities pawn shops are required to report purchases, including serial numbers, to the police department. Decades ago my stolen saxophone (apartment break-in, not left on the L) was recovered just that way from a Chicago pawn shop.

    • Christopher Clift says:

      About 30 years ago my late wife’s (spare) oboe was stolen from backstage in a hall where she was playing. It was discovered by a van driver from a visiting opera company, in a local pub, where a guy was trying to sell it saying ‘Who wants a flute for the kid, for thirty quid’. She was also lucky to get it back more or less undamaged. (Someone had tried to prise off a couple of keys, obviously thinking they were SOLID silver, rather than silver plated)

  • JussiB says:

    I was hoping it would turn up on Pawn Stars.

  • Petros LInardos says:

    To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell. Social media is one of those keys.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    He better get it insured… and stop taking the train, because now everyone knows he’s packing a $22,000 flute.

  • BruceB says:

    Great news!

  • Christopher Magyar says:

    I once left my Steinway D on a subway ….

  • Herbie G says:

    Looks like he was rooked, it was pawned, someone spotted it ‘en passant’ and it was returned to him by a knight in shining armour. He was a real mate.

  • becken says:

    Didn’t Yo-Yo famously leave his Strad in a NYC taxi?

    • Mr. Knowitall says:

      Yes. There must be something about cellos and NYC taxis. Two years later Lynn Harrell left his Strad in a New York cab and two years after that Eric Picard left his Vuillame. At one time Yo Yo Ma and Harrell played Strads that Jacqueline du Pré had owned. Don’t know if those were the ones left in taxis.

      • Bill says:

        The 1693 Stradivari that du Pre and Harrell both played was indeed left in a cab by Harrell, and recovered. The 1712 Stradivari that was played by du Pre and Ma was not left in a cab by Ma; that was his 1733 Montagnana.

  • fflambeau says:

    The homeless man who found it pawned it but the pawnshop owner called police when he saw a story about the missing flute. It has been returned to the owner.