Eighteen Canadian string players have won the right to perform on rare instruments or bows for the next three years, courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). The thirteen violinists and five cellists all participated in a competition-style selection process to receive instruments in the care of the CCA’s Musical Instrument Bank. The collection includes four Stradivaris and one Guarneri ‘del Gesù’.

The winners include violinist brothers Nikki and Timothy Chooi. Nikki, a prizewinner at this year’s Queen Elisabeth Competition, received the c.1700 ‘Taft’ Stradivari, and Timothy, who took the special violin prize at the 2010 Menuhin Competition, was given the 1729 ‘del Gesù’. Other winners included Rachel Desoer, cellist with the Cecilia Quartet, which came first in the 2010 Banff International String Quartet Competition. She received a 1929 cello by Italian maker Carlo Giuseppe Oddone. Another cellist, Ariel Barnes, was given a 1730 instrument by G.F. Celionati, which is featured in The Strad Calendar 2013.

Established in 1985, the CCA Musical Instrument Bank now includes instruments valued at more than CA$29m, through a series of loans and donations. Previous beneficiaries include James Ehnes.

Full list of winners

•    Arnold Choi: c.1696 'Bonjour' Stradivari, valued at $11m
•    Ariel Barnes: 1730 'Newland' G.F. Celionati, valued at $750,000
•    Se-Doo Park: 1824 'McConnell' Nicolò Gagliano, valued at $500,000
•    Rachel Desoer: 1929 Carlo Giuseppe Oddone, valued at $200,000
•    Karen Ouzounian : c.1830 Jean-Dominique Adam cello bow, valued at $50,000


•    Timothy Chooi: 1729 Guarneri 'del Gesù', valued at $5m
•    Nikki Chooi: c.1700 'Taft' Stradivari, valued at $5m
•    Iryna Krechkovsky: 1689 'Baumgartner' Stradivari, valued at $5m
•    Emily Westell: 1717 'Windsor–Weinstein' Stradivari, valued at $5m
•    Jonathan Chan: 1715 Domenico Montagnana, valued at $900,000
•    Véronique Mathieu: 1820 G.F. Pressenda, valued at $380,000
•    Matilda Kaul: 1747 Januarius Gagliano, valued at $350,000
•    Emmanuel Vukovich: 1768 Januarius Gagliano, valued at $350,000
•    Boson Mo: 1871 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, valued at $250,000
•    Jing Wang: c.1700 Giovanni Tononi, valued at $250,000
•    Kerry DuWors: 1902 Enrico Rocca, valued at $225,000
•    Carissa Klopoushak: 1869 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume and Vuillaume model bow, total value of $212,000
•    Andréa Tyniec: 1900 Stefano Scarampella, valued at $160,000