Violinist re-emerges with CityMusic Cleveland, custom instrument in hand

Posted on: March 16, 2011

In Monday’s (3/14) Plain Dealer (Cleveland), Donald Rosenberg writes, “Few people have a better grasp of the sublimity of instruments on the order of Strads and Guarneris and the precarious business of these astronomically priced violins than Dylana Jenson, who will be in town this week to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with CityMusic Cleveland.” Jenson had been loaned a 1743 Guarneri del Gesu at 17 by Los Angeles Philanthropist Richard Coburn, only to have him take it back when she announced her engagement to British conductor David Lockington, because, “as Jenson recalls him telling her, ‘you’re obviously uncommitted to your career.’ … The withdrawal of the del Gesu sent Jenson into an artistic and emotional tailspin from which she wouldn’t begin to emerge for more than a decade. … In 1995, cellist Yo-Yo Ma guided Jenson to Samuel Zygmuntowicz, a luthier (maker of stringed instruments) in Brooklyn, N.Y., who had begun making a name for himself for superb instruments commissioned by violinist Isaac Stern and other prominent soloists and chamber musicians.” Zygmuntowicz built Jenson a custom instrument, which he tweaked in 2005 to add focus to the sound, giving it the power of the Guarneri Jenson had played. “The sizzle of the reworked violin can be heard to mesmerizing effect on the recording of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Barber’s Violin Concerto that Jenson made in 2008 with the London Symphony and conductor Lockington. She’ll play the instrument in the Tchaikovsky concerto this week with CityMusic Cleveland.”

Posted March 16, 2011