Bronislaw Huberman: Sarasate Jota Navarra

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Huberman's stolen violin:
Before 1936, Huberman's principal instrument for his concerts was the 1713-vintage Stradivarius "Gibson", which was named after one of its early owners, the English violinist George Alfred Gibson. It was stolen twice. In 1919, it was stolen from Huberman's Vienna hotel room, but recovered by the police within 3 days. The second time was in New York City. On February 28, 1936, while giving a concert at Carnegie Hall, Huberman switched the Stradivarius "Gibson" with his newly acquired Guarnerius violin, leaving the Stradivarius in his dressing room during intermission. It was stolen by a New York nightclub musician, Julian Altman, who kept it for the next half century. Huberman's insurance company, Lloyd's of London, paid him $US30,000 for the loss in 1936.

Altman went on to become a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. and performed with the stolen Stradivarius for many years. In 1985, Altman made a deathbed confession to his wife, Marcelle Hall, that he had stolen the violin. Two years later, she returned it to Lloyd's and collected a finder's fee of $US263,000. The instrument underwent a 9-month restoration by J&A Beare Ltd., in London. In 1988, Lloyd's sold it for $US1.2 million to British violinist Norbert Brainin. In October 2001, the American violinist, Joshua Bell, purchased it for $4,000,000.

The Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman (1882-1947) made his d├ębut as soloist in a Spohr violin concerto at the age of seven. In Berlin Joachim would not accept him as a pupil, since he was never willing to teach child prodigies, but Huberman studied with there with Joachim's assistant and with various teachers, including Marsick in Paris, while consolidating his career as a virtuoso. He aroused great enthusiasm in Vienna, where he appeared in 1895 with Adelina Patti in her farewell concert, and in 1896 played Brahms's Violin Concerto in the approving presence of the composer. After 1933, when he refused to appear any more in Germany, he turned his attention to the establishment of an orchestra in Palestine, which after his death became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.