‘Devastated’ violinist leaves rare 310-year-old instrument worth £250,000 on train… so was forced to borrow his wife’s to lead the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for Andrea Boccelli shows
- Stephen Morris left £250,000 instrument on the London to Orpington service
- Violin was one of only a few made by master craftsman David Tecchler in 1709
- The classical musician has also played on film scores including Lord of the Rings
A devastated musician forgot his 310-year-old antique violin on the train just days before he was due to lead the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in concert.
Stephen Morris, who left the £250,000 instrument on the London to Orpington service Tuesday night, has now launched a desperate public search.
The ‘piece of history’ was one of only a few made by master craftsman David Tecchler in 1709 and the distraught violist likened losing it to having a limb lopped off.
And in a further blow, Mr Morris had been due to play the violin while leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in two Andrea Boccelli concerts at the weekend.
Stephen Morris, who left the £250,000 instrument on the London to Orpington service Tuesday night, has launched a desperate public search
The musician, who has also played on film scores including Lord of the Rings and James Bond and recorded with David Bowie and Stevie Wonder, reported it to lost luggage and British Transport Police.
Mr Morris urged anyone who found the violin, which he bought in 2003 and described as ‘a piece of history’, to ‘please return it’.
‘It’s devastating to lose it and quite apart from its value, it’s my livelihood,’ he told the BBC.
‘I was really only its custodian – one of many people who have played it – and I had hoped to pass it on to another violinist eventually.’
The ‘piece of history’ was one of only a few made by master craftsman David Tecchler in 1709 and the distraught violist likened losing it to having a limb lopped off
Tecchler was part of the renowned Roman School of Violin Making in the 17th Century and was considered to be the institution’s leading violin and cello maker
Mr Morris from Sydenham, London, had to borrow another violin from his wife Sarah Sexton – also a professional musician – for performances in Manchester and Leeds at the weekend.
WHO WAS DAVID TECCHLER?
Born in 1666 in Lechbruck in Bavaria, David Tecchler was one of the finest German luthier’s of the 17th Century.
Little is known about his life, except that he travelled to Rome in his 20s where he began crafting string instruments.
In the late 17th Century, demand for string instruments was soaring.
Although his cellos and double basses were most sought, his violin’s are also prized.
Ray Shows, founding member of the Artaria String Quartet plays a violin by David Tecchler from 1726.
He said: ‘According to my colleagues playing this other violin hasn’t affected my performance but it is was like having my arm cut off.
‘The way my instrument responds is like having a limb – your hand and brain know exactly where to go when playing.’
Tecchler was part of the renowned Roman School of Violin Making in the 17th Century and was considered to be the institution’s leading violin and cello maker.
The instrument had recently been restored and was in a white case when it was left on the train. It was also marked with Tecchler’s name.
Mr Morris had been on the 22.58 London Victoria to Orpington service on Tuesday when he lost the instrument.
He said he had been told by BTP they would be looking through CCTV to see if anyone left the train with the violin.