The Totenberg Strad

What a wonderful story we heard on NPR’s Morning Edition today – the Stradivarius violin stolen from Roman Totenberg 35 years ago was to be reunited with the family today. Nina Totenberg, famous NPR reporter, tells the story as only she can – how the violin disappeared after one of her father’s performances, how her father always knew who took it but couldn’t prove it, and the unlikely series of events that reunited the violin with the family.

The story woke me up this morning to total alertness, because the Drinan family has a connection to that Strad. Back in the 1970s, Roman Totenberg occasionally performed on that Strad at fundraisers for my uncle, Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, and Bob later became good friends with Nina in Washington.

At my uncle’s wake at Georgetown University in 2007, Nina told me that she really wanted to attend Bob’s funeral the next morning, but she was scheduled to cover Scooter Libby’s trial. We looked at each other, smiled and nodded, and both allowed as how Bob would want her to go cover the trial. And so she did.

The Drinan family is thrilled that the Totenberg family has recovered their lost violin.

P.S. Here’s the update to the story from All Things Considered. The family plans to restore it and then sell it to a “great concert artist.”

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians:

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here.

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