In this video Hannah Nepilova speaks to author and feature writer Helena Attlee, whose recent book Lev’s Violin follows the journey of an Italian instrument, named after its former Russian owner Lev Atlas, from dusty workshops, through Alpine forests, Venetian churches, Florentine courts, and Russian flea markets. Along the way it tells us of princes and orphans, virtuosos and fraudsters, collectors, composers, travellers and ranconteurs.
Attlee is also the author of The Land Where Lemons Grow, a cultural history of Italy - its art, perfume, food, even its mafia - told through the story of its citrus fruit. Passionate about Italy, she has spent many years organising and running tours of Italian gardens.
Back home in the UK she runs writing workshops in unusual locations, including parking lots and lavender farms.
The real-life Lev’s Violin is now subject of a crowdfunding campaign: ‘Save Lev’s Violin’ that seeks to fix the violin’s broken neck and restore its body. To visit the crowdfunding website, click here.
A review of Lev’s Violin, An Italian Adventure will run in the August issue of The Strad.