200-year-old violin there for the plucking

A MAGNIFICENT 200-year-old violin made by one of the 19th century’s greatest craftsmen will be presented to the winner of a prestigious music competition.

Heineken Ireland, in association with the CIT Cork School of Music (CSM), invited applicantions last night for the 2010 competition for the Heineken Ireland violin.

The instrument, which dates from the early 1800s, was made by Georges Chanot, regarded as one of the great 19th century Parisian violin-makers.

He was renowned for choosing the best wood and for his exquisite workmanship. His instruments boast powerful, deep and robust tonal qualities and examples of his work are rare, and highly sought after as concert instruments.

The competition violin was bought by the brewing giant in 1985 to support the development of Irish violinists. Today, it is worth up to €100,000.

A panel of judges, including three members of the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, Keith Pascoe, Simon Apell and Christopher Marwood, and Joan Scannell, the head of CSM’s Department of String Studies, chaired by CSM director, Dr Geoffrey Spratt, will chose the winner.

The coveted instrument will then be presented to the winning musician for a period of up to four years. The holder will also receive a bursary of €5,000 to help with the purchase of a bow.

The instrument will be handed over by the current holder, Anna Cashell, during a concert in CSM’s Curtis Auditorium next year.

Dr Spratt said: “I note that all of the previous recipients of the 200-year-old instrument – Maighread McCrann, Declan Daly, Catherine Leonard, Sarah Sexton and Anna Cashell – were able to use this wonderful instrument to advance their careers as professional violinists and I look forward to this year’s competition with great enthusiasm,” he said.

“Over the years, the many talented recipients of the Heineken Ireland violin have achieved acclaimed musical careers and we are immensely proud of the positive impact and contribution this sponsorship has been in supporting such talented musicians in this regard,” Heineken Ireland corporate affairs manager Declan Farmer said.

Entrants must be over 21 and undertaking or accepted for professional music training.

- Send your CV, including one CD, to the director, CIT Cork School of Music, Union Quay, Cork, on or before September 24.

Picture: Elaine Kelly from Mallow, a Cork School of Music pupil, in the Cork School of Music with the Heinekin violin worth in excess of €100,000. Picture: Cillian Kelly


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