The violin once belonged to 20th-century virtuoso violinist Raoul Georges Vidas, nicknamed ‘the grandson of Massart’


Violinist Bartu Elei-Ozsoy with the 1760 ‘ex-Vidas’ Guadagnini violin 

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The Paris Conservatoire has loaned the 1760 ‘ex-Vidas’ Guadagnini violin to 20-year-old Turkish violinist Bartu Elci-Ozsoy for the duration of one year. The violin, made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, was previously owned by Romanian-born violinist Raoul Georges Vidas (1901–1978) and was donated to the Paris Conservatoire by the late virtuoso’s mother Anna Vidas, who outlived her son by three years.

Vidas studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Henri Berthelier, a student of the renowned pedagogue Joseph Massart, who had also taught Kreisler, Wieniawski and Ysaÿe, which earned Vidas the nickname ‘the grandson of Massart’. The instrument was donated in memory of Vidas and Berthelier, with the purpose of granting young violinists the chance to perform on an exceptional instrument that would otherwise be unaffordable for them. It has since been loaned to many violinists now leading promising careers, including Stéphanie-Marie Degand, Yun-Peng Zhao and Elei-Ozsoy’s violin professor Sarah Nemtanu.

Elci-Ozsoy is currently enrolled in the final year of his master’s at the Paris Conservatoire, simultaneously completing his advanced studies in conducting at the École Normale de Musique de Paris with Julien Masmondet. He made his triple debut at the age of 15, performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and conducting Mozart’s Symphony no.29, as well as his own first symphony. He made his US debut in November 2023, performing a series of concerts in New York, Chicago and Washington DC, and at the United Nations headquarters.

‘As I embark on this new chapter with the “ex-Vidas” Guadagnini, I am reminded of the power of music to connect, inspire and transcend,’ Elci-Ozsoy told The Strad. ‘It is an honour to be a part of this story, to contribute to the legacy of this magnificent instrument, and to share it with audiences around the world.’

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