Thursday 27 April 2017 at 8pm

The Genius of Antonio Stradivari

Lecturer: Toby Faber
Location: DESY rooms 4a/4b

Lecture Summary

Antonio Stradivari at work in his studio

A romanticized image of a craftsman-hero. Edgar Bundy, 1893.

Two hundred and fifty years after Antonio Stradivari’s death, his violins and cellos remain the most highly prized instruments in the world. Loved by great musicians and capable of fetching fabulous sums when sold, their tone and beauty are legendary. Every subsequent violin-maker has tried to match them. Not one has succeeded. How can that be? This lecture explores that central mystery by following some of Stradivari’s instruments from his workshop to the present day. It is a story that travels from the salons of Vienna to the concert halls of New York, and from the breakthroughs of Beethoven’s last quartets to the first phonographic recordings. Toby Faber’s book "Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello and a Genius" was described in The New York Times as ‘more enthralling, earthy and illuminating than any fiction could be.’ The lecture is illustrated with pictures of violins and of key individuals and locations, as well as with some short musical recordings.

Biography of Lecturer

Tony Faber has written two works of narrative history, "Stradivari's Genius" and "Fabergé's Eggs", published by Macmillan in the UK and Random House in the US, and given lectures associated with these two subjects at venues including The Victoria and Albert Museum, Bath Theatre, The Library of Congress and the Huntington Library, as well as a number of literary festivals. His career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of its sister company, Faber Music, a trustee of Yale University Press (UK) and a director of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society

Download poster [186 KB]

Tony Faber's website