Louis Kaufman’s violin on Bonhams

A fine French violin owned by the legendary Louis Kaufman (1905 – 1994) goes under hammer on May 23 at Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London.

Probably the most recorded violinist in history to date, Louis Kaufman was born in Portland, Oregon, and by the age of 13 was studying with Franz Kneisel at the Juilliard (New York’s Institute of Musical Art), from where he went on to fame and fortune. He is famous for solo performances on over 500 film scores. Kaufman played on the soundtracks of such classic movies as “Casablanca”, “Gone with the Wind”, “Showboat”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and “Psycho”.

Kaufman is also famed for almost single-handed revival of Vivaldi’s music. Today it is hard to imagine a time when the name of Antonio Vivaldi was virtually unheard of. Since Kaufman’s first recording of “Le Quattro Stagioni” (“The Four Seasons”) it has become one of the most famous and prized pieces in the basic repertoire of classical music.

The rich red-brown instrument to be sold at Bonhams is by “Gand & Bernardel Luthier du Conservatoire de Musique 1884,’ and is estimated to fetch £10,000 – 15,000 at auction. Two fine silver mounted violin bows which belonged to Kaufman are also included in the sale; one by N. Maire of Paris, circa 1850, and the other by P. Simon, Paris, circa 1860. They are estimated to fetch between £6,000 – 10,000 and £10,000 – 15,000 respectively.

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Published in: on May 23, 2005 at 5:38 am  Leave a Comment  

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