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Editor’s letter


Each great instrument has a story to tell. Waiting to be discovered in its lines and curves are the secret practices of its maker – and beyond this the economic and political circumstances of its time. For some instruments more than others, the people who have owned and played them also define their identities. The ‘Romanov’ Amati – subject of this month’s poster for subscribers – is one such example. Constructed in 1677 by Nicolo, grandson of Andrea, the viola can count among its owners the Princes Romanov. Saved from the Russian Revolution by Prince Vasili Alexandrovich Romanov, nephew of Tsar Nicolas II, the instrument was spirited to the US and eventually found its way into the hands of the esteemed Max Aronoff of the Curtis Quartet.

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About The Strad

We examine the 1677 ‘Romanov’ Nicolò Amati viola and the Royal Danish Orchestra’s instrument collection. Manfred Honeck explains how playing viola informs his conducting and Linus Roth discusses Weinberg. Plus the first in a two-part Berg Masterclass, with Leila Josefowicz.