Violinist Vilde Frang Granted Use of 1734 ‘Rode’ Guarneri del Gesù

The violin has been played by a number of high profile violinists including Pierre Rode, Norbert Brainin, and Kyung Wha Chung

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Like many soloists have experienced, the quest to find the right match is an arduous one, but once they do, it is transformative to their playing and career.

Enter J & A Beare and the Stretton Society — a private philanthropic club that supports classical music and musicians through various stringed instruments and platforms — who used their international network and years of experience to assist Frang in her journey.

The project was facilitated by violin dealer Steven Smith of J & A Beare and Stephan Jansen, bow expert and co-founder of the Stretton Society.

"Words cannot describe what a milestone the discovery of the 'Rode' Guarneri has been for me," Frang commented.

"Having had the privilege to explore an incredible selection of instruments recommended by J & A Beare in search of the right instrument, the 'Rode' happens to be the violin of my dreams. Thanks to them, and to the incredible generosity of the Stretton Society who have secured the long-term loan, I feel truly blessed that I am able to keep on playing on it! My joy and gratitude are expanding every day."

"The ex ‘Rode’ is a truly exceptional example of Guarneri del Gesu’s mid-1730’s production," Steven Smith told The Violin Channel.

"For me, it stands out as being an acoustically perfect violin. Whilst retaining the slightly darker and immensely rich tonal qualities typically associated with del Gesu’s work, it also possesses an extraordinary piercing power capable of resonating and cutting through any polyphony of orchestral accompaniment."

A graduate of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg and the Kronberg Academy, Frang is recognized as one of the world’s new generation of top international soloists. She has won numerous awards including the Grand Prix du Disque, Edison Klassiek Award, Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’Or, and the Gramophone Award.

"This violin is a perfect match for Vilde who is a truly unique artist, soloist, and committed chamber musician with an extremely personal voice," Smith added.

"It has been quite a journey to find her an instrument that fulfills all her wishes and matches her expressive qualities."