Image of instrument, the 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivarius violin

1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivari violin 

This instrument, made in 1717 by Italian violinmaker Antonio Stradivari, has been in the possession of a number of collectors and noted violinists.

Prior to the outbreak of World War II, the violin was owned by an English astronomer (Rankin), from whom Victor S. Fletcher purchased it. Mr. Fletcher brought the violin to New York and sold it to Felix Kahn. Violinist Sascha Jacobsen acquired the violin subsequently, and used it for many years in concerts and as first violin of the famous Musical Art Quartet. In 1943, Jacobsen sold the violin, to violinist Paul Fite of Missouri. In 1954, the instrument was bought by Robert West and by Leon E. Weinstein in 1961. The violin was played by Mr. Weinstein in his famous duets with Sam Shopsowitz. Other violinists who have played this violin include Steven Staryk, Philip Frank, Maurice Solway, Andrew Dawes, and Lorand Fenyves.

In 1980, Mr. Weinstein donated the Stradivarius to the Ontario Heritage Trust in the hope of starting a collection of great musical instruments to be made available to outstanding Canadian musicians who would not otherwise have the opportunity to play them. The Stradivarius was generously transferred to the Canada Council for the Arts at a ceremony in November 1988 at Roy Thomson Hall, where it was also presented to the first winner of the national juried competition for its loan.

The instrument has a two piece back which displays a strong figure descending from the the centre joint. The ribs and scroll are made of matching materials. The two piece top is mostly medium width grain, widening at the flanks. The lower left wing being added by the maker. The varnish is of a red brown colour over amber.

Donor: Leon E. Weinstein and The Ontario Heritage Trust (formerly the Ontario Heritage Foundation)
Acquired: 1988


Past winners:

1989 - 1994 Scott St. John (London, Ontario)
1994 - 1999 James Ehnes (Brandon, Manitoba)
2000 - 2003 Annalee Patipatanakoon (Toronto, Ontario)
2003 - 2006 Hermine Gagné (Montréal, Québec)
2006 - 2009 Jean-Sébastien Roy (Montréal, Québec)
2009 - 2012 Caroline Chéhadé (Ville Mont-Royal, Quebec)
2012 - 2015 Emily Westell
2015 - 2018 Timothy Chooi
2018 - 2022 Timothy Chooi

Instruments and current winners