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School of music receives Stradivarius, other rare instruments from donation

The Twiford foundation, which invests in humanities and cultural education, donated 12 violins and bows to the Herb Alpert School of Music. Among the collection was a Stradivarius violin, which is now the second in UCLA’s collection. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Kate Nucci

February 14, 2020 11:24 am

A humanities foundation wrapped up its violin donation to the Herb Alpert School of Music with a bow.

The school of music received a donation of 12 valuable violins and violin bows, including a rare Stradivarius, worth a total of almost $3.5 million, according to a Feb. 10 press release. It also received a fund to maintain the instruments, the press release read.

Stradivarius violins are among the most famous and rare violins in the world. Crafted in 16th-century Italy by the Stradivarius family, many believe they have a superior sound to other violins, although some studies refute that claim.

The violins were donated by the Twiford Foundation, which funds cultural arts and humanities education primarily in Arizona, according to its website. Twiford’s founder’s brother, Glen Twiford, is a UCLA alumnus, according to the press release.

Twiford’s donation gave UCLA its second Stradivarius violin. UCLA received its first, the “Duke of Alcantara,” more than 80 years ago, although it disappeared in 1967 and remained lost for several decades before resurfacing in the hands of a violin teacher in 1994. Students have to audition to play the first Stradivarius at concerts.

The donation also includes a Seraphin violin and a bow from the company W.E. Hill & Sons, both of which originate from the 18th century.

Students will be able to play on and learn from the violins and bows from the donation. Most of the collection has been in use already by UCLA students at the music school, according to the press release.

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Kate Nucci | Assistant News editor
Nucci is the 2019-2020 Assistant News editor for the Features & Student Life beat. She was previously a contributor for the Campus Politics beat from 2018-2019 and Copy staff from 2017-2019.
Nucci is the 2019-2020 Assistant News editor for the Features & Student Life beat. She was previously a contributor for the Campus Politics beat from 2018-2019 and Copy staff from 2017-2019.
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