Home New Renowned Violinist Emily Sun Takes Custodianship of Historic ‘Adelaide’ Violin

Renowned Violinist Emily Sun Takes Custodianship of Historic ‘Adelaide’ Violin

by Madonna

Renowned Australian violinist Emily Sun has assumed the role of guardian for an exceedingly rare 250-year-old Italian violin known affectionately as “The Adelaide.” This remarkable instrument, valued at $US1 million ($1.55 million), was meticulously crafted by the famed luthier Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in Milan between 1753-1757. Its name, “The Adelaide,” stems from its acquisition by the people of South Australia in 1955.

Sun graciously accepted the responsibility of caring for this historical masterpiece in November 2023. Expressing her gratitude, she remarked, “I feel very privileged to play on this beautiful instrument during this fleeting period of its already long life and history. [This violin] has a very rich sound with a lot of depth.”

“The Adelaide” belongs to an elite class of instruments known as the “golden age” instruments, a select group crafted by renowned makers from 17th and 18th century Italy, including Amati, Stradivari, Guadagnini, and Guarneri. Due to their exceptional historical significance, rarity, and exquisite craftsmanship, these instruments command staggering prices, making outright ownership a rarity among musicians.

Originally purchased in 1955 to support the London debut of Adelaide-based violinist Carmel Hakendorf, “The Adelaide” garnered widespread support from the South Australian community, who contributed to its acquisition through a public subscription. Subsequently, a trust was established to safeguard the violin for future generations.

Over the years, “The Adelaide” has been played by esteemed performers such as Melbourne-based violinist Sophie Rowell and Adelaide-born Paul Wright, both influential figures in the Australian music scene. In 2013, facing financial challenges, the trust entrusted the instrument to Adelaide’s UKARIA Cultural Centre for maintenance, ensuring its preservation and continued contribution to the musical landscape.

Under the current arrangement, “The Adelaide” is loaned to various Australian musicians for three-year periods, with the possibility of extensions. Emily Sun, known for her role in the 2011 documentary “Mrs. Carey’s Concert” and winner of prestigious awards such as the ABC’s Young Performers Award in 2018, is the latest custodian of this extraordinary violin.

Reflecting on her connection with “The Adelaide,” Sun likened it to a marriage, evolving and deepening over time. She expressed her excitement at bringing “a piece of Australian story” to global audiences, as she travels between Australia and the UK, gracing stages with the enchanting melodies of “The Adelaide.”

Sun’s profound appreciation for this instrument, coupled with her exceptional talent, ensures that “The Adelaide” will continue to captivate audiences around the world, preserving its legacy for generations to come.

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