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The Violin Channel Vanguard Concerts Series 2

September 29, 2022 9:00 pm EST

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STOLEN VIOLIN | 1896 Léon Fischesser Violin Stolen in Cape Town

Petrus De Beer is a member of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and had his 126-year-old violin stolen from the trunk of his car

 

“My dear violin was stolen tonight out of my boot at the Heritage Square ‘secure’ parking,” Petrus De Beer wrote on Facebook. “I’m totally devastated. No words. The damage is incomprehensible. [Please let me know] if anybody hears or sees anything,” he continued. “It’s like a piece of my heart is gone.”

De Beer is a full-time member of South Africa’s Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. His 1896 Léon Fischesser violin has been missing since late July this year but he sincerely hopes that it will be recovered soon. 

As reported in a South African newspaper, De Beer was in a recording studio at the time the theft occurred at the Heritage Square parking area in Cape Town’s city center. By the time he’d reached his car, De Beer saw that his trunk was slightly open.

He noticed that his iPad was still in the back and some sheet music, which he believed must have slipped from his violin case when the person took it along with the instrument. He had asked the guards at the parking lot if they noticed anything, to no avail. 

 

 

De Beer’s Léon Fischesser violin was made in Geneva, Switzerland during a violin-making competition, which it had won. Fischesser was a French violin maker who began freelancing in Geneva in 1889 and then in Paris in 1905. 

“This is a beautiful violin with incredible detail,” De Beer explained. “It also has sentimental value, because my mother gifted it to me shortly before her death 10 years ago.”

Many of De Beer’s friends and colleagues have reached out to pawn shops and music stores to look for his violin. Additionally, Cape Town’s community radio station, Fine Music Radio, posted that De Beer is willing to pay an undisclosed reward for the safe return of his violin.

 

 

The violin’s identifying characteristic is patterned and cracked varnish at the end of the neck at the violin’s scroll, giving it the appearance of crocodile skin. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sergeant Bottoman-Ozoani at the Cape Town Central Police station


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