David Garrett sells New York apt to buy a Guarnerius

David Garrett sells New York apt to buy a Guarnerius


norman lebrecht

September 07, 2022

The German violinist just spent 3.5 mllion Euros at auction on a Guarneri del Gesù.

To afford it, he tells Bild, he had to sell a New York apartment.

It was a 42nd birthday present to himself, he adds.


  • Gerry Feinsteen says:

    Well, I hope he lends it to violinist.

    • David K. Nelson says:

      Ouch! Ouch! But funny. Actually, the guy can play — there are enough You Tubes out there that show that. But no doubt about it, he’s making more money this way. Might as well grab that del Gesu now before the middle age paunch and male-pattern baldness set in. He might also want to invest in shirt buttons. They’ll be needed. Perhaps there is a volume discount.

    • Henrick says:

      I don’t find this comment clever, funny or even with a grain of truth – just mean-spirited. The guy can actually play and his success speaks for itself.

      • CDN-ditzygypsy says:

        Ida Haendel and Itzhak Perlman definitely agree about his chops. And he studied with both of them. Imagine being that guy who finds a video of ONE pop song using a looping pedal out of the dozens and dozens of songs and videos David has out. I’m in western Canada and even I have heard of him. But then again, I don’t live in a musical bubble. How dull that must be.

  • william osborne says:

    The video below has had over 117 million views. Normally, I especially dislike looping music, but this is better than most. It helps that it is probably more a studio production than something live. This video also isn’t the worst in spite of the kitsch, superficiality, and bombast. There’s just enough substance in his cross-over work that we have to consider the number of views and ask ourselves some difficult to answer questions–questions we ignore at our peril.


    • Minnesota says:

      “Difficult to answer to questions we ignore at our peril”. Such as?

      This video was not magic, although it might have seemed so to some naifs in 2013. Randy Rainbow does something similar in his popular satirical political videos on YouTube where he plays himself and several backup singers, all via clever video and audio editing he does in his NYC apartment. Garrett is hardly the first classically-trained musician who decided to be a pop star instead–while “laughing all the way to the bank,” following Liberace.

      • William Osborne says:

        Such as? One example of several: How do we maintain high aesthetic standards when relatively debased classical music as in the video I mention receives 117 million views while while our orchestras so often go bankrupt or are constantly in financial stress? The orchestra in San Antonio, the 7th largest city in the USA, is just the most recent example of a bankrupted orchestra. Or shall we pretend we don’t see anything?

        • Mick the Knife says:

          I would not criticize David Garrett’s music as compared to some of the orchestras that have had recent financial crisis. Some of the programming of my local orchestra (a level up from San Antonio) is truly “cringeworthy” (e.g., Mahler 2 Rap). Since I realize they are trying to save their financial asses, I just wish them well and attend the many concerts that do appeal to me.

    • Gerry Feinsteen says:

      Again, Mr Osborne, a bit late to the party.
      Perhaps this story got him followers, along with his modeling career, and not his violin-playing per se.

      “A hooker and porn star suing her former fiance, an international violinist, says their whirlwind and tempestuous relationship left her with broken ribs and kidney stones from being forced to drink his urine.

      Both the broken ribs and the “urine incident,” as it is described in the June 3 complaint, happened during wild sex, months apart, on kitchen counters.

      Ashley Youdan leveled the allegations in a $20 million complaint against man-bun-wearing violinist David Christian Bongartz in Manhattan Supreme Court. Bongartz performs under the name David Garrett.

      She calls the German-born hottie “one of the most famous international pop and classical violinists.” A footnote to the 17-page action says Bongartz got his first Stradivarius from German President Richard von Weizacker when he was 11.

      “He’s leading a double-life,” Youdan’s attorney, Edward Hayes, said in an interview Tuesday. “He admits to the allegations against him. It’s just an awful case. She was desperately in love with him. She wanted to make the relationship work and she was terribly abused.”


      • Berent says:

        ‘Mr Feinsteen’ what exactly is your point apart from demonstrating that you have an unhealthy obsession with other people’s private lives and a capacity for irrelevance?
        Nothing above tells you anything about his abilities as a violinist.

        • Gerry Feinsteen says:

          Consider the full thread. I was merely replying to Mr Osborne’s comment regarding Mr Garrett’s 117m views on a single video in which Osborne asks if cross-over work should be taken more seriously. However, most cross-over performers and ensembles do not have such high views. Recalling how I first learned the name, Google came in handy.

          We all wish him well and hope that the dear violin is not fallen on.
          His early recording of Paganini caprices with piano was indeed notable. He’s now found his place, musically.

          It was indeed a smart investment. And no doubt, the ‘Garrett’ del Gesu is already worth more now that a celebrity owns it.

  • Timmy says:

    What a photo!! Tells you everything you need to know!

  • DG says:

    Didn’t Jascha Heifetz pose for a similar headshot? Ha.

    • Stephen Drettler says:

      l no one compared to yasha Heifetz and I don’t think anyone ever will Iris was one of a kind he was the Caruso of violinist

  • Sean McManus says:


  • IP says:

    Where is the guarantee he won’t fall over it, like he did with the Strad?

  • Thomas M. says:

    Doesn’t seem like such a premium price considering Aaron Rosand sold his ex-Kochanski Guarneri some years ago for US$ 10 million. But prices for valuable old Italian instruments have been declining in the past few years, maybe because people have finally realized that they’re not worth that much money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let us hope that is the case. It is sad to hear of how much money is wasted on buying the mystique of an old instrument. Careers have been limited by the mythology surrounding old instruments. Perhaps in the future only artists like Garrett will feel the need for the marketing cachet of an old instrument, and the leading artists can play sonically equivalent, but much cheaper modern instruments.

      • Thomas M. says:

        Several famous old instruments have been “underperforming” at recent autions, not meeting expectations or failing to find buyers at all. The pinnacle of madness was the attempt to sell a Stradivari viola (he only made 6 or 8!) for a starting bid of 45,000,000€ a few years ago. It failed spectacularly.

    • Anon says:

      Prices falling! Just like NY city real estate I presume.
      This Strad (or 4 bedroom condo) used to be $8 million, but now it’s only $7 million. Move fast! Won’t last!

    • Gerry Feinsteen says:

      Much more factors into the price of a violin than its name and age. There is condition and also whose hands it has been in (the Vieuxtemps del Gesu, or Paganini Il Cannone del Gesu, or the Stradivari Quartet owned by Paganini, the Feuermann Strad cello, etc), etc. As not every Strad violin is a masterpiece, neither are the prices consistent.
      I would say, relative to much else in the world of art pieces, some quality old violins are a rare investment opportunity. The Vieuxtemps del Gesu went for at least $16m US (right?).

      Not to mention private sales tend to reach higher prices than auctions, where Garrett got his ( the Kochanski del Gesu and Vieuxtemps were private sales).

  • V Martinez says:

    LoL at the snarky comments from jealous, bitter wannabe’s.

    • CDN-ditzygypsy says:

      Clearly they don’t realize he studied with Ida Haendel, who raves about and adores him, as well as Itzhak Perlman at Julliard, who also sings David’s praises, and Perlman just did a duet with him on his latest album. It’s funny to see petty people jealously yammering away online about things they quite clearly know so little about. David is a very fine violinist and went from prodigy to adult pro and his crossover albums have only helped to promote the world of classical music to people who wouldn’t have given it a second thought otherwise. And interestingly enough he is also the fastest violinist. Clean and fast. Of course, fast isn’t everything, but when combined with his precision, it’s better than slow.

  • Jean says:

    I am happy he has sold the new York apartment and I am happy he has treated himself to another violin and wish him many happy years of playing it for himself and us his fans.

  • Vasiliy says:

    This actually makes me sad, that he would sell a house to buy a violin.

    I love opera, but if I broke into the housing market, I’d never sell my house to buy a piano or score.