THE SCOOP Regina Symphony Musician Robbed Of Centuries Old Violin


empty case and bow
Photo: Ri Butov (Pixabay)

An Italian instrument dating from the 1790s has been stolen from Katie Gannon, a violinist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra.

According to a report in the CBC, Gannon returned home on March 23 to find her front door gaping open. Her worst fears were realized when she saw that the prized violin was missing.

Along with the violin, thieves took a TV, video game console, and art supplies. The TV stand was found in a back alley, and Gannon has been combing neighborhood alleys, along with waste bins, on the theory the perpetrators may not be aware of the value of the instrument. She’s also been hitting up pawn shops, secondhand stores, and anywhere else she can think of.

Katie Gannon was a winner of the Penderecki String Quartet Chamber Music Prize, and earned a Masters in Music Performance from Memorial University in Newfoundland. She has been a member of the Regina Symphony Orchestra since 2001, and is a board member and faculty of the Prairie Cello Institute. Along with her performances with the RSO, Katie has played with the Globe Theater and Living Sky String Quartet.

Gannon says the violin cost $ 18,000 back in her student days, and it has followed her throughout her career.

“My whole life is based around teaching and playing and performing, so I use it all the time, and it’s just not there anymore,” Gannon told the CBC. “It’s really painful.”

Police are investigating. Given the lack of a ready market for the instrument, and its specialized nature, it’s possible it may simply be returned.

“What people have been saying is things like this tend to turn up months later,” Gannon remarked.

The violin comes from an uncertain maker, bearing no label or mark. Its distinguishing features include black, geared pegs, three cracks on the back that have been sealed, and another small crack on the top right. The case is black with a maroon interior.

For now, she’s using a borrowed violin, and hoping for the best.

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Latest posts by Anya Wassenberg (see all)
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