Showing off $5M violin

The sounds of a 300-year-old, $5.5 million violin rang out across Kelowna's Blackbox Theatre Thursday.

The 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivari violin is currently in the possession of 23-year-old Timothy Chooi, a Victoria native who now lives in New York City.

Two years ago, Chooi won the prized instrument for three-years through the Canada Council for the Arts Music Bank.

“Each winner gets to choose one of the 15 violins or cellos, and we're able to use them for the next three years,” Chooi said.

The acclaimed violinist is the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra's special guest artist during their three concerts this weekend. The OSO held a rehearsal Thursday in preparation for their weekend run. 

The Symphony will be playing three different works at each concert, in Kelowna Friday, Penticton Saturday and Vernon Sunday.

“People who have never been to a symphony tend to think of us as very stuffy and very elitist, and that's kind of the old way of thinking about an orchestra, but what I love about symphony orchestra is that the power of the acoustic sound of all those instruments pulling together is such a visceral, physical experience, so hearing it live is very different from hearing it on a, do people still listen to CDs?” said Rosemary Thomson, OSO music director and conductor.

This weekend's show involves 65 musicians, plus Chooi on the renowned violin.

The OSO has ticket information on their website.  

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