A mega expensive violin forgotten in the train back with its owner
To lose an instrument worth a whopping 290,000 Euros is certainly not a normal, nor pleasant, mishap. This is exactly what British musician Stephen Morris had achieved. While he was sending a few social media posts around the world on the London suburban train, the usual rush hour tumult began at the train station. He simply forgot the fabulous 310-year-old violin when he got off the train.
An instrument that has enchanted the top players
The 51-year-old violin soloist Stephen Morris is a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. He has worked with a number of high profile artists including Stevie Wonder, U2, Andrea Bocelli and David Bowie. He has also contributed to the soundtracks of films such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “James Bond“. Always present as the musical companion of this virtuoso: his baroque violin, made in 1709 by the renowned David Teccler.
A painful loss in an all too hectic daily life
Stephen was in pure panic when he noticed the loss of his antique violin. To make matters worse, there were also two really historical bows in the violin case. One of the two used to belong to the American violinist Michael Rabin. Morris told the BBC, “It’s like my arm’s been chopped off.” Understandable; for us musicians anyway. After all, the instrument was – and still is – not only his livelihood, but a real piece of history. Morris quickly went public and reported the loss to the London police.
Full-speed hunt for a violin
A surveillance camera image was used to search for the 25- to 30-year-old man who was supposed to have taken the glossy white violin case. Morris and the police were supported by the London Transport Authority, which immediately viewed the surveillance videos. Stephen Morris also launched a public appeal through various media. About a week later he received a private message on Twitter.
Mysterious theft or embarrassing mistake?
Someone claimed to know the person in the CCTV picture. It’s entirely possible that the message came from the man himself. He sounded very apologetic and claimed he’d made a big mistake. He claimed that secret negotiations took place in response. What followed was that a man handed the violin back to the musician in a parking lot. The handover was supervised by the London police. The alleged “thief” was neither arrested nor threatened with police investigation.
The only thing that matters: The instrument is back
Whether the valuable instrument was forgotten, lost or stolen is unknown. The owner says he has forgotten about the incident. According to unconfirmed reports, however, the police initially assumed that it had been stolen. In any case, the press is again writing its sensationalist fingers to the bone. The fact is, it was gone, for whatever reason. The only thing that counts: A week passed before Morris got his beloved instrument back, along with all its historical accessories. The instrument is back, just like that, including the case and bows, completely intact.
Just the blink of an eye
Now the violin can continue its journey with Stephen Morris. After all, its journey has been going on since the 18th century. It’s somewhat cute that Morris tells the BBC in an interview that he has been playing this violin for over 15 years. Because quite honestly: In the lifetime of this antique instrument, that’s just the blink of an eye. After all, it has experienced eras that we only know from history books!