By Kristine Hamlyn
Fourth-year violin student Chris Anstey is the first
to use the music school’s newly-acquired 1919 Pilat
Violin. Valued at $25,000, the violin is the work of Ernst
Paul Pilat, a great violin maker of the Budapest school who
became one of the most sought-after luthiers of the 20th-century
after his move to New York in the 1930s.
The violin is one of his very early works, made while he was
still working in his father’s shop in Budapest. Dr.
David Peters, who funded the purchase of the violin, says
he is very honoured to be able to support talented young musicians
in this way, and credits the director of Memorial’s
music school, Dr. Tom Gordon, with leading the way in the
The return on investment in purchasing
an instrument like this is sometimes better than endowing
A dentist by profession, Dr. Peters is a great
lover of music and has been involved with the School of Music
in numerous ways since its inception. He was especially proud
to see the young and talented Mr. Anstey be the first to benefit
from the instrument.
“The return on investment in purchasing an instrument
like this is sometimes better than endowing a scholarship,”
explained Dr. Gordon. “For example, the only thing holding
a student like Chris back is the quality of his instrument.”
Mr. Anstey, who has been playing the violin for over 20 years,
added that being able to practice and perform on a superior
instrument is an exciting challenge.
“It so much better than what I’ve been using,”
he said. “It will help me to develop more steadily.”
Mr. Anstey used the $25,000 instrument most recently during
his graduate performance recital on Monday, April 12. The
official unveiling of the School of Music’s new 1919
Pilat Violin will take place Saturday, May 8, in the D.F.
Cook Recital Hall.