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He is one of the most celebrated craftsmen in history. George Eliot said this about him, “Tis God gives skill, but not without men’s hands: He could not make Antonio Stradivari’s violins without Antonio.” 250 years later the world’s greatest musicians still play his instruments: YoYo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Itzhak Perlman to name a few.
Antonio Stradivari made over one thousand stringed instruments of which about six hundred survive today. He took the craft of violin-making to a level that no predecessor could have imagined. But when he died, his secrets went with him. Mysteries, unanswered questions and copies abound, but one thing is certain: the power, the projection, the beauty and that incredibly sweet sound have yet to be matched.
Toby Faber, author of “Stradivari’s Genius”
James Buswell, violin soloist and chamber musician and
professor at New England Conservatory of Music
Chris Reuning, owner of Reuning & Son violins and partner of Tarisio auctions.
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“Think globally, act locally,” used to be on the bumper of every earth loving environmentalist from Maine to California. But over the past three decades that sentiment got lost.
The green movement left the backyard and took office space in Washington D.C. and other centers of power. And that, says Gus Speth, is where some of the passion disappeared. Speth is one of this country’s leading environmentalists. He helped organize the first earth day back in 1970, and went on to found the Natural Resources Defense Council.
While he is as green as they come, he thinks the movement has got to stop thinking it can win battles with treaties and legislation, and instead bring the case for Mother Earth back home — back to the backyard.
James Gustave Speth, dean and professor in the practice of environmental policy and sustainable development at Yale University’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, author of “Red Sky at Morning” and “Worlds Apart,” former administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and former chair of the UN Development Group.