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Elizabeth Pitcairn Performs with her Legendary Red Stradivarius Violin

By Mittie Roger

Celebrated violin virtuoso and sweetheart of San Miguel Elizabeth Pitcairn will perform with her legendary Red Stradivarius in two concerts for Pro Musica, accompanied by Louise Thomas on piano, on March 4 and 6, Friday and Sunday, at 5pm at St. Paul’s Church, Cardo 6.

Pro Musica Concert Series
Elizabeth Pitcairn
Fri and Sun, March 4 and 6, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
120/250/350 pesos

The historic violin was crafted in 1720 by Antonio Stradivari, generally considered the greatest violin maker of all time. Soon after, it disappeared more than 200 years, spawning a great deal of speculation, including the Oscar winning film, “The Red Violin.” The coveted Red Stradivarius came into the hands of Elizabeth Pitcairn at the tender age of 16 when her mother, a Julliard−trained cellist, learned of its upcoming auction at Christie’s in London. A bow maker from New Jersey named Robert Ames was the mystery bidder used to purchase the violin, which disguised the identity of the true owner for many years.

When asked about her experience with the violin, she says, “It’s endlessly inspiring to play this violin—the possibility of what it can do is the elusive carrot—the better I play, the more the violin has to give.”

Internationally acclaimed, Elizabeth is one of America’s most loved violin soloists.

In her tremendous concerts for Pro Musica, she will explore a range of sonatas and virtuoso pieces. The great set pieces will include Mozart’s Sonata No. 18 in G Major, unusual in that it has two movements rather than the usual three or four; Debussy’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, the third and last of a projected set of six works composed during his terminal illness with cancer; and Mendelssohn’s Sonata in F Major, the third of his violin piano sonatas, rediscovered in 1952 by Yehudi Menuhin. All are great works, but the Mendelssohn in particular stands out for its transcendental artistry from the very first bars.

Pitcairn will further delight with a host of virtuoso gems, including Elgar’s La Capricieuse, the spectacular nature of which demonstrates it was composed for an artist of the highest caliber. Its nickname, “Le Staccato,” refers to its brilliant up-bow staccatos. Glazunov’s Grand Adagio from the ballet Raymonda will also be featured, a piece every concertmaster finds overwhelmingly joyous, but difficult to perform. The program also includes the delightful “Flight of the Bumblebee” from Rimsky-Korsakov’s infrequently performed opera, The Tale of Tsar Saltan, based on a fantastic Pushkin poem.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are 120/250/350 pesos donation each and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca; La Conexión, only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time. Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site,, or contact us at


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