Feature Article

What It’s Like Having a Rare Instrument Stolen by Doyle Armbrust

In January 2014, a Stradivarius violin once again became the subject of national conversation. It wasn’t because the $5 million instrument had sold for an obscene sum at auction, but because its owner, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond, had been assaulted with a stun gun, the violin disappearing into the night.

The robbery and recovery of Almond’s 1715 Lipinski Strad has since become a case study in instrument theft. While the perpetrator, self-described “art thief” Salah Salahadyn, is now behind bars, the antique instrument—appraised at $5 million in 2012—continues to permeate national news. That’s best explained by the rarity of instrument theft, a phenomenon increasingly confined to America’s classical hubs.

Read More