ABOUT THE VIOLIN
GB Guadagnini Violin, 1753 - 57, Milan
Carmel Hakendorf was a virtuoso violinist, who in the early 1950s was invited by Sir John Barbirolli to give her debut in London. Unfortunately the excitement of the invitation was overshadowed by the poor quality of her violin. Determined to ensure that this young artist had an instrument worthy of her considerable talent, the Music Committee of South Australia launched a public subscription, which with the help of several performances by Carmel, raised 1,750 pounds. With this considerable sum they purchased a magnificent violin crafted by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in Milan c1753 – 57.
In August 1955 the South Australian Guadagnini Violin Trust was established to preserve the violin for future generations. Miss Hakendorf held the violin for many years and was a member of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Following her retirement, the violin was lent to a number of well-known violinists including William Hennessy, Jane Peters and Sophie Rowell.
Now 60 years later, the violin is valued at US$1M. No additional funds were raised to cover its ongoing maintenance and insurance and the instrument was at risk of falling into disrepair. Ngeringa Arts, now known as UKARIA, agreed to become custodians and the Supreme Court of South Australia appointed it trustee in 2013.
In 2015 the violin returned to Cremona, Italy for restoration at the workshop of Eric Blot, an international expert in fine Italian instruments. Based in the city made famous by Stradivari, Eric and his team see many of the world’s greatest instruments. After much discussion, restorer Barthélemy Garnier set to work and completely changed the set up (every item that is not original and needs to be replaced from time to time). The results were astounding and the violin has a much richer voice with more power particularly in the middle and lower registers. It was also pains-takingly cleaned so it now looks museum quality.
The Board was so delighted with the transformation that it decided the violin needed a new name to reflect its true character and beauty. At the suggestion of Kerry Heysen-Hicks, who made a contribution to the public subscription when she was in grade two, the instrument will now be known as The Adelaide.
In 2015 the violin was awarded to Paul Wright for a term of three years.
Born in Adelaide Paul began his violin studies with Lyndall Hendrickson and continued at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey in the United Kingdom. He went on to study at the Guildhall School in London and the Juilliard School in New York, the latter under Ivan Galamian.
Paul has performed with leading ensembles and orchestras in Australia and overseas including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Australian String Quartet, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Liaison and many others. He is also deeply involved in the performance practice of music from the 18th and 19th century and has performed in numerous early music ensembles.
Based in Perth, Paul has enjoyed many seasons as guest concertmaster of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra including the complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies under Asher Fisch in 2014.
Paul has been on the faculty at the Australian National Academy of Music and for 25 years he has held a senior lecturing position at the University of Western Australia, School of Music. In 2015 he stepped down from this position to focus on other projects and performance opportunities nationally.