Tessa Lark, 29, announced on Thursday that she has been awarded the use of a c. 1600 G. P. Maggini violin, through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.Violinist
A native of Kentucky, Lark is known both as a classical soloist and a proponent of bluegress and new music, premiering works by contemporary composers and even writing some of her own. Last spring Lark received the 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, and prior to that, in 2016, she received an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She was the Silver Medalist in the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition. Lark is a graduate of New England Conservatory, with an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School, having studied with Kurt Sassmannshaus, Miriam Fried, and Lucy Chapman, Sylvia Rosenberg, Ida Kavafian, and Daniel Phillips.
Lark has been playing the 1683 "ex-Gingold" Strad since 2015, when as second-prize winner she received it on loan from the Indianapolis competition. (First-prize winner Jinjoo Cho had opted not to use it, already having another fine violin on loan.) Lark returned the violin this fall, to be granted as an award in the 2018 Indianapolis competition. This year's first prize winner Richard Lin, who currently has a c. 1700 Testore violin on loan from the Taiwanese Chi-Mei Foundation, is considering the Indianapolis competition's award violins, of which he would have first pick: the Gingold Strad as well as two modern violins, a 2018 Paul Crowley violin (Brooklyn) and a 2014 Philip Ihle violin (London).
The Stradivari Society has been pairing artist with instruments since 1985, beginning with the loan of the 1735 "David" Guarneri del Gesù to Midori. Encouraged by the late Dorothy DeLay (Midori's teacher - and many others'!), the late Geoffrey Fushi (of Chicago's Bein and Fushi) and Mary Galvin founded the Society to help pair fine instruments and patrons with promising young artists.
Since its inception, the Stradivari Society has enabled instrument loans for numerous artists including Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Vadim Repin, Midori, Sarah Chang, Vadim Gluzman, Philippe Quint, Augustin Hadelich, Maxim Vengerov, Paul Huang, and Kyoko Takezawa. The organization also assisted teachers, foundations, and ensembles with loans of fine Italian antique instruments.
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