THE SCOOP | Regina Symphony Orchestra musician robbed of century old violin

Photo: Ri Butov (Pixabay)

An Italian instrument from the 1790s has been stolen from Katie Gannon, violinist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra.

According to a report published in the Radio Canada, Gannon returned home on March 23 to find her front door unlocked. Her worst fears came true when she saw that the precious violin was missing.

In addition to the violin, the thieves took away a television, video game console and art supplies. The TV stand was found in an alley, and Gannon combed through the neighborhood’s alleys, as well as trash cans, on the theory that the perpetrators might not be aware of the instrument’s value. She’s also been to pawnshops, thrift stores, and wherever else she can think of.

Katie Gannon won the Penderecki String Quartet Chamber Music Prize and earned a Masters in Music Performance from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has been a member of the Regina Symphony Orchestra since 2001 and a board member and teacher of the Prairie Cello Institute. Alongside her performances with the RSO, Katie has performed with the Globe Theater and the Living Sky String Quartet.

Gannon says the violin cost $18,000 when she was a student and it followed her through her career.

“My whole life is based on teaching, playing and performing, so I use it all the time, and it’s just not there anymore,” Gannon told the Radio Canada. “It’s really painful.”

The police are investigating. Given the lack of a ready market for the instrument and its specialized nature, it is possible that it will simply be dismissed.

“What people have said is that things like this tend to show up months later,” Gannon remarked.

The violin comes from an uncertain maker, bearing no label or mark. Its distinctive features include black geared pegs, three rear cracks that have been sealed, and another small crack in the top right. The case is black with a brown interior.

For now, she is using a borrowed violin and hoping for the best.


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Latest posts by Anya Wassenberg (see everything)
Latest posts by Anya Wassenberg (see everything)