Mon, Jul 06, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Chimei Museum promises to continue loan of violins

USE IT OR LOSE IT:The museum said that violins are nothing more than well-preserved pieces of wood if they are kept locked away in a safe and never used

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer

After congratulating Taiwanese violinist Tseng Yu-chien (曾宇謙) on winning the silver medal in the violin category of the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow on Wednesday last week, Tainan’s Chimei Museum said it would continue to provide violins of excellent quality to talented individuals for free.

Tseng, 20, beat contestants from Russia, Moldova, South Korea and Germany in Taiwan’s best-ever performance in the competition, which is held every four years. Despite only securing the silver medal, Tseng was in effect the top winner in the violin category as there was no nominated candidate for the first prize.

Tseng performed using a violin loaned from the Chimei Museum, which was crafted by Italian luthier Giuseppe Guarneri between 1730 and 1734.

The museum said it was honored that one of its violins helped Tseng win the silver medal in the prestigious competition.

The museum said in a statement that over the past 10 years it has loaned items from its collection of prized violins to students competing on the international stage to not only give back to the community, but also to realize one of Chi Mei Group founder Hsu Wen-lung’s (許文龍) dreams.

The museum currently has 1,362 violins in its collection and has allowed more than 3,000 violinists to borrow more than 220 violins over the past decade, the museum said.

The museum is just a facility where the violins are kept and protected, Hsu said, adding: “If prized violins are only kept in a safe, they are nothing more than well-preserved pieces of wood.”

“We hope to continue to freely provide violins of excellent quality to talented individuals who would otherwise be unable to afford the cost of using such instruments,” the museum said in its statement.

Tseng has borrowed 14 violins from the museum since he was 11, according to the museum.

The violin used at the competition has been loaned out many times, the museum said, adding that it was loaned to violinist Hu Nai-yuan (胡乃元) in 2011 and to Tseng from 2011 to 2012, when he used it to win first prize at the Isang Yun Competition.

The museum said that Tseng’s choice of bow when he first borrowed a violin from the museum was the least expensive in the collection, adding that he is more focused on making the music he wants to and not on the name or brand affixed to his instrument.

However, the museum declined to comment on the price of the violin.

Additional reporting by CNA

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