Heroic Musicianship

by Suzanne Calvin

Titanic Violin

There are many “Holy Grails” in the world of music ranging from places where important works were first premiered to the instruments upon which they were composed to the autograph scores themselves. But there’s also a little corner of intense musical interest in an ensemble that was probably more fashionable than formidable in their musical skills -- yet unsurpassed in their courage and dedication to duty. I am speaking, of course, of Wallace Hartley and his bandmates aboard the R.M.S. Titanic on that cold and fateful night in the North Atlantic a hundred years ago.

Now comes word that Hartley’s violin was not only recovered along with his body (in a valise strapped to his chest) but that the violin in question has -- after seven years of testing and intense research -- been positively identified and is about to go on display in Belfast, Ireland where the ill-fated vessel was built.

In a tale reminiscent of “The Red Violin,” Hartley’s instrument went first to his grieving fiancee, then wound up in the hands of the Salvation Army, and on from there before it’s origins began to be seriously investigated. ┬áRead the whole story from CBC News (who also provided the photo) right here.

Trivia question: Do you know why the ship was called the “R.M.S.” Titanic? ┬áThe answer is in the mail.

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

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