Crafted during the period when the 48-year-old Stradivari was experimenting with his "Long Pattern" violins, this 1692 cello was once the concert instrument of Mats Lidström and Katherine Jenkinson. The cello had passed through several dealers and firms throughout its lifetime, includingJean-Baptiste Vuillaume and Hart & Son in 1850; W.E. Hill & Sons in 1926; Gerald Segelman in 1945 and finally the Royal Academy of Music in 2000.
The cello's top is of spruce with medium grain while its back is of two-piece slab cut maple of faint narrow curls, with two knots in the lower bout. The scroll is of similar stock and the instrument is covered with reddish-brown varnish.
Guy Johnston made his debut performance on the 1692 "Segelman" cello at a showcase at J & A Beare’s on May 9, followed by the launch of the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival on May 12.
Upcoming performances include a recital with Singaporean pianist Melvyn Tan on May 29 at Wigmore Hall — in a program of Chopin and Mendelssohn, as well as two works by Sterndale Bennett and Joseph Phibbs.
"Feeling extremely lucky to have this opportunity," Johnston wrote on his Facebook. "Here’s to the next chapter!"
Johnston has won the BBC Young Musician of the Year, Shell London Symphony Orchestra Gerald MacDonald Award, and a Classical Brit. As a soloist, he has performed with international orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, among others.
Artistic Director of the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival, he is also a founding member of the award-winning Aronowitz Ensemble. He serves as Associate Professor of Cello at the Eastman School of Music and guest Professor of Cello at the Royal Academy of Music.