LOS ANGELES (AP) — The violins of Antonio Stradivari, arguably the most famous instruments ever created, have an almost mystical reputation for beauty and heavenly tone. This week eight of them have been brought together in the City of Angels.
"Strad Fest LA" is a four-day series of performances that culminates with a Saturday charity concert.
Xiang "Angelo" Yu says it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to hold one of the nearly 350-year-old violins. For the festival he is playing the 1666 "Serdet," the earliest known existing Stradivarius violin.
Stradivari created violins, guitars, cellos and other stringed instruments in his workshop in Cremona, Italy. About 650 survive today and they can sell for millions of dollars.
The violins are revered as extraordinary. Researchers have offered innumerable suggestions to explain the rich, resonant tones of the best Stradivarius violins.