Fiddle news: Heifetz violin goes to Ray Chen

Fiddle news: Heifetz violin goes to Ray Chen


norman lebrecht

September 12, 2022

The Taiwanese-Australian violinist Ray Chen has been given one of the world’s best instruments on loan.

It’s the the 1714 ‘Dolphin’ Stradivarius violin, formerly owned by Jascha Heifetz, and it’s being loaned to him by the Nippon Music Foundation.

Ray Chen was the soloist on the soundtrack of The Song of Names (pictured with Francois Girard and Howard Shore).


  • Sascha Mandl says:

    Beautiful fiddle! However, my former teacher Sidney Harth (who played the Dolphin after JH) said that it was “formidable but very tricky Strad to play”. Perhaps it may be the reason JH parted with it.
    Wishing Ray a fun adventure with it.

  • Henry williams says:

    I hope he has good insurance.

  • Genius Repairman says:

    Fantastic! Ray Chen is a great violinist and a very down to earth human being.

  • K says:

    Not entirely correct… The Dolphin is great, but Heifetz himself preferred the David Del Gesu. To state the Dolphin is one the best instruments in the world (relatively speaking of course) is a bit of a stretch.

  • CRWang says:

    Even if I use Babe Ruth’s bat, I still can’t bat like Babe Ruth.

  • Mark says:

    The fiddle was on loan to Akiko Suwanai until 2019. One of the best Stradivarius owned by the Nippon Foundation.

  • Paul Sekhri says:

    Well deserved! Ray is an extraordinary violinist and a great human.

    • Simon Scott says:

      I am inclined to agree with you. However,at times I find Ray’s playing at bit ‘gung-ho’ but not to worry,he will grow a bit older!

  • The Tempo Police says:

    The Dolphin Strad is certainly the Ferrari of violins – on so many recordings it raced poor Jascha through the score at breakneck speed. I would have loved to have heard him play on a slower violin.

  • EK says:

    Well this is a tragedy….Ray Chen….out of tune and screechy on most days. The upside, it didn’t go to a 10 year-old!