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20th April 2009, 9:46am
World's greatest violin maker showcased at LPAC
Paul Barritt The leader of the famous Hallè orchestra, Paul Barritt, will perform classics from Bach and Mozart as one of the finest violins ever made returns to its home city of Lincoln.

He will play the priceless ‘Lincoln Strad’ – a violin fashioned in 1695 by the great Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivarius – in a spectacular concert at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC).

The performance, Lincoln Strad Plus! is part of the LPAC’s International Concert Series. It will take place at the venue on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford campus on Sunday 26 April.

Paul Barritt will be joined on stage by Graham Oppenheimer, Artistic Director of the International Concert Series, who will be playing one of only 12 Stradivarius violas in the world. This instrument, which is on loan, was made in 1696.

It offers fans of classical music the rare chance to see two Stradivarius instruments being played on stage at the same time.

The Lincoln Strad has already toured Lincolnshire schools as part of a project to give music fans around the county the opportunity to see and hear this famous instrument.

The violin was bequeathed to the people of Lincoln by Lady Dudley Pelham on the condition it was used by the leader of the Hallè. The Hallè, founded in 1858, is the oldest existing symphony orchestra in the UK and one of the oldest in the world.

Graham Oppenheimer said: “This is the second year running we have brought the Lincoln Strad back to Lincoln. We want as many people as possible, young and old, to be able to see and hear this wonderful instrument. At the concert people will be able to learn more about the history of the violin and its connection with Lincoln. They will also be able to hear the work of great masters being performed on a great masterpiece.”

Paul Barritt (violin) and Graham Oppenheimer (viola) will perform Lincoln Strad Plus! at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre on Sunday 26 April.

The performance begins at 4pm, with a pre-concert talk at 3.15pm. This gives members of the audience the chance to speak directly to the artists about their work and the history of the Lincoln Strad.

Tickets cost £12 (£10 concessions, £5 students). They are available from the LPAC and Engine Shed Box Office, which is open Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm, by phoning 0844 888 4414 or online at

Before the concert, a free strings masterclass will be held for talented young musicians from around Lincolnshire. Schools interested in taking part should contact the LPAC on the details above.

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