An Italian classic comes to the symphony

The Richmond Symphony’s concertmaster, Daisuke Yamamoto, will be playing a classic Italian violin in future concerts, thanks to a permanent loan from an unnamed investor, supporting what the orchestra describes as “Music Director Valentina Peleggi’s vision to develop the sound” of the ensemble.

The violin, labeled as having been made in 1705 by Giovanni Battista Rogeri, was selected by Yamamoto, Peleggi and Ellen Cockerham Riccio, the orchestra’s principal second violinist, from a group of instruments offered by international dealers and brought to Richmond for tryouts.

The Rogeri was selected for its “playability, depth, sound quality and resonance,” according to a news release from the symphony.

Rogeri (c. 1642-c. 1710) learned his craft from Nicolò Amati, one of the most influential luthiers in the violin-making center of Cremona, Italy. (Andrea Guarneri was among other apprentices of Amati’s; reputedly, he also taught Antonio Stradivari.) After his apprenticeship, Rogeri set up a workshop in Brescia, another northern Italian town famed for its stringed-instrument craftsmen. Rogeri’s finest instruments, like those of Guarneri and Stradivari, were based on “Amati style” design, construction and finish.

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