Michael Stern, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin
Corigliano The Red Violin (complete with film)
The Academy Award-winning film The Red Violin follows the intricate history of a beautiful antique violin that is traced from its creation in Cremona, Italy, in 1681, where a legendary violin maker (Carlo Cecchi) paints it with his dead wife’s blood to keep her memory alive, to an auction house in modern-day Montréal, where it draws the eye of an expert appraiser (Samuel L. Jackson). Over the intervening years, the violin travels through four different countries, where it has a profound impact on all those who own it.
- The Red Violin was inspired by one of Antonio Stradivari’s violins, the 1721 Red Mendelssohn, which features a unique red stripe on its top right side. By the time the film was made, the Red Mendelssohn was owned by Elizabeth Pitcairn, heiress to the PPG fortune, whose grandfather purchased it for her 16th birthday for $1.7 million at auction.
- The film is an international co-production, allowing for a larger budget to be accumulated from various sources, making The Red Violin one of the most costly Canadian films produced to date.
- Christoph Koncz (as Kaspar Weiss the orphan virtuoso) was only nine years old when featured in The Red Violin. He is an Austrian-Hungarian classical musician that became an internationally-renowned violinist and conductor.
- Joshua Bell, the solo violinist on the sound track, was also a violinist double. When actors were shown playing the violin in close-up, Bell would hide behind the actor, and his left hand would be the hand seen by the camera on the neck of the violin. According to an interview with Bell on NPR, he was scolded several times by Director François Girard for overacting.
Read more here:
- The Red Violin Trivia: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120802/trivia
- History of the “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius: http://www.elizabethpitcairn.com/stradivarius/
- The Red Violin: Meridian Collection: https://www.popmatters.com/the-red-violin-meridian-collection-2496136816.html