The L.A. Phil released a statement that a rare Stradivarius cello played by their Principal Cellist Peter Stumpf was stolen from a home in Loz Feliz. They’re asking the public for tips and information. From what I understand, this cello is one of only 60 Strad cellos in the entire world. Even people who don’t know/like/care about classical music have at least heard of the famed Stradivarius stringed instruments & know how exceptional & uncommon they are.
If I was a professional cellist who had my cello (especially a Strad) stolen, I think I would probably just cry until it was returned.
But what’s the point of stealing something so unusual? To me, it’s akin to stealing a piece of artwork that is “priceless” because it’s unique. Though valued at $3.5 million, this cello is really irreplaceable. It’s not like you can go and sell such a cello without someone realizing that it was the stolen cello. Besides which, part of the value of the cello (aside from the obvious quality & sound of the instrument), is the fact that it is a Stradivarius and that Strads are rare. And if you don’t say it’s a Strad, the value would go down considerably.
I don’t get it.
The L.A. Phil statement is below…
(LOS ANGELES, CA – April 27, 2004, 11:00 AM) — The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association has notified the Los Angeles Police Department that the Stradivarius cello played by Philharmonic Principal Cellist Peter Stumpf was taken from a home in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. The instrument was last seen on April 24, 2004.
Nicknamed the “General Kyd” for the man who brought it to England at the end of the 18th century, the instrument is valued at $3.5 million. The cello was made in Cremona, Italy, in 1684, and is the property of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. The British premiere of Dvor·k’s famed cello concerto was performed on this instrument in 1896 by cellist Leo Stern. Purchased by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in the early 1970s, the cello has been played by a member of the Philharmonic since then. Stumpf began playing the instrument in October 2002 when he joined the orchestra. The instrument was in a silver coated plastic cello case measuring 54 inches by 20 inches and manufactured by Bam.
The Los Angeles Police Department and other authorities are investigating the disappearance. Anyone with information about the missing cello should call Detective Donald Hrycyk of the LA Police Department at (213) 485-2524. Anonymous tips or information can be directed to the established hotline at (213) 972-3500. The cello can be returned at the Artists’ Entrance of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles. No questions will be asked.
Description: The missing cello is dated Cremona 1684. The varnish has a rich golden-brown color; the instrument is in repaired condition. The back is formed by two pieces of maple cut half-slab and is marked by an irregular figure which is interspersed by knot formations in the middle bouts. The sides of maple match that of the back. The table is cut from two pieces of spruce with even, medium-broad curl. The instrument was in a silver coated plastic cello case manufactured by Bam.
Length of body: 30 1/2 inches
Middle: 10 1/16 inches
Upper bouts: 14 1/8 inches
Lower bouts: 18 19/32 inches
LAPD: Donald Hrycyk, (213) 485-2524
HOTLINE: (213) 972-3500
MEDIA: Elizabeth Hinckley, (213) 972-3034; Cell: (323) 864-0429