Kevin Sutton wrote:
>Mr. Runnion plays on the Guarneri cello from the Joe Q. Gazillionaire
>memorial musical instrument collection."
Oh my, seeing my name in the same sentence as "Guarneri cello" just made
my mouth water and my heart go pitter-pat.
A few years ago I went to the General Manager of the orchestra in
Barcelona where I was principal cellist to inquire about the possibility
of the orchestra purchasing instruments for the principal players. Some
orchestras do this, I believe the orchestra in San Antonio Texas has a
pair of Strads, and there are others as well. Anyway, he grudgingly agreed
to perhaps think about the idea, and said I should look around for an
instrument. So I popped off to London, went to one of the fine shops there
and said "show me the best you got." I sat in a little room and played an
extraordinary instrument, I forget now who the maker was but it was one of
the Italian masters.
It was an amazing experience. I had never played anything like this.
Imagine, if you will, driving a used 2-door Chevy all your life around
the secondary highways near Elizabeth, New Jersy. Then you step into a
brand-new Maserati and take it for a spin around the Scottish highlands.
I was transformed from a fairly decent professional orchestra musician into
a world-class soloist with a distinctive voice and exquisite sound. The
music flew out of my fingertips with an ease that I had never imagined. At
one point I tapped on the back of the instrument with my knuckles and even
that sound was musical and full of meaning and life. This is the kind of
effect an instrument has on a player. I wanted to spend the rest of my
life in that little studio. The price of the instrument was about
Anyway, I returned to Barcelona ready to negotiate and call the shop and
order delivery. Sat down with the manager, a political appointee in Spain
who in real life was a car salesman who knew less than nothing about music.
I told him about this miraculous instrument. He looked at me and said,
"You know, as I understand it, these old instruments, for a while they're
pretty good, but after a while they're just OLD. This instrument sounds
like it's too OLD. I don't think we can do this." And that was the end of
>Any ideas on how members of this forum might get such a foundation
This is indeed a worthy and wonderful cause and would make a real and
enourmous contribution to the advancement of the careers of those who
receive the instruments. I believe a foundation like the one Kevin
proposes is the best way to approach it. And unlike other foundations
that simply give away money and grants, every penny or pound or peseta or
mark invested in this foundation would pay returns to the investors, as
instruments are a financial commodity, possibly one of the most valuable
per ounce that exist. I look forward to seeing how this develops.
More Trio Notes at http://www.serafinotrio.com/serafino/trionotes10.html