More Lost Violins

The probably best-known case of a lost or stolen instrument was when in 1999, world-famous musician Yo-Yo Ma left his prized cello (worth $2.5 million) on the back seat a New York City cab. After a long search, NYPD officers tracked down the valuable and 266 years-old rare instrument in a Queens garage. But there are more lost violins.

Then, some years ago, Chouhei Min, the famed Minnesota Orchestra violinist, lost her Guadagnini violin (crafted in 1778 in Turin, Italy, and valued at more than $500,000) as it was stolen from the Minneapolis Mount Olive Lutheran Church basement.

Now, Boston MBTA police officials say they’ve found a missing violin that’s worth $40,000. This story will really touch your heart. The violin was lost on June 10, just around midnight, when its owner accidentally left it behind at Boston’s South Station.

On Tuesday, the MBTA Transit Police called for the public’s help to identify and trace a woman who the police said held the precious instrument, though the $40,000 violin did not belong to her.

On late Tuesday night, police officials said that the exclusive violin had been found, without saying where exactly and how the precious instrument had been located.

Police officials stated that the person (a Boston woman) who had scooped the violin up at the South Station location last week, was no longer suspected of stealing the violin and that she assists with the ongoing investigation. The violin’s owner was waiting for her train and she had put her things down. Then, we don’t quite know what happened, but sometimes people just forget things. So she forgot her instrument and boarded the train, according to Transit Police officials.

After the woman initially had left the instrument behind, she went a couple of stops down T before realizing she no longer was in possession of the precious instrument. Apparently, an unidentified woman then took the violin with her.

Tuesday morning, Transit Police officials posted a clear picture online of the woman they believed to have picked up the precious violin. The police posting read “Know her? Contact us when you recognize her”. Obviously, all information that could lead to identifying the woman who took the violin would be helpful to locate the instrument and get it back to its rightful owner.

This was not the first time that a precious musical instrument has gotten lost on the T. In the Boston Globe archives we can read that in 2010, Berklee College of Music professor Valerie Rose Taylor had left her violin in a crowded Boston bus. Fortunately, she was reunited with her violin pretty quickly through the help of some committed T employees.

Taylor was recorded saying that losing her 1968 precious instrument, which is not just a violin but has sentimental value as well, was feeling like leaving her leg behind. And in 2013 it happened that a Boston musician accidentally left his flute (valued at $5,000) behind at Park Street station. The precious flute picked up fortunately by a stranger who had the flute returned to the musician.