Share this...

Friday, July 3, 2015

The sweetest notes of all - Stradivarius violins and my guest Lee Christine

My guest on this cold, grey Melbourne winter day is fellow Escape author, Lee Christine.

Music has always played a part in Lee's life and as a teenager she loved playing the guitar and writing songs. Those lyrics were all about love so when she turned her hand to writing novels later in life romance was the obvious choice. Lee’s novels are sexy, fast-paced and contemporary. She lives on Australia’s eastern seaboard and loves snow skiing and playing the alto saxophone.

Lee writes wonderful romantic suspense and her three part 'Safe' series has received fantastic reviews.  A Dangerous Arrangement (Dangerous Arrangements Book 1) , book one in Lee’s next romantic suspense series has just been released.

In keeping with her interest in music,  she is bringing us some little known facts about the wonderful Stradivarius violins. 


Thank you Alison for having me of your blog today!

In my latest romantic suspense novel, ‘A Dangerous Arrangement’ released by Escape Publishing, my heroine plays a Stradivarius violin, an instrument constructed of a dense Croatian maple and made by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) an Italian luthier.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Stradivarius, primarily the violin, though Stradivari also made violas, harps, guitars and cellos. And for a long while now, I’ve wanted to write stories about classical musicians, performers at the top of their game who’ve been given access to instruments worth millions of dollars, such as the Stradivarius, though tenures with certain orchestras.

Experts don’t really know what gives the Stradivarius its superior sound though it is believed to have something to do with the density of the wood.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra own a Stradivarius violin valued at around three million dollars. It is Australia’s only Stradivarius and is played by Satu Vanska, the assistant leader of the orchestra. I partly used Satu as inspiration for my character of Marina Wentworth as well as Kirsten Williams, associate concertmaster with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

There are only 650 Stradivarius instruments left in the world and each has a unique nickname. The following is a list of famous people who have owned and/or played a Stradivarius instrument:-
·         Andre Rieu: plays a violin called ex-Captain Saville, made in 1667
·         Queen Elizabeth: owned a violin called Oistrakh, made in 1671
·         Napoleon Bonaparte: owned a violin called Molitor, made in 1697
·         The Mendelssohn Family: owned a violin called the Red Mendelssohn, made in 1721
·         Da Vinci Family: owed a violin called the Leonardo Da Vinci, made in 1725
·         Julian Lloyd-Webber: played a cello called Barjansky, made in 1690
·         Yo-Yo Ma: plays a cello called Davidov, made in 1712

Other owners include the King of Spain, US Library of Congress and some US and UK universities.  Many also owned by different musical foundations and museums.

Visit Lee Christine at her website:  Click HERE


When violinist Marina Wentworth arrives in Venice en-route to a cruise ship for a short working holiday, the last thing she expects is to be confronted by a handsome stranger demanding answers. After going to great lengths to keep her real reasons for the trip a secret, Marina refuses to let her immediate attraction to Dean Logan derail her plans.

Desperate to recover his latest super yacht designs, Dean doesn’t want to believe the lovely violinist is involved in the devastating cyber-attack that threatens to destroy his yacht building empire. However his growing feelings for Marina fail to extinguish the nagging suspicion that she is hiding something.

Set against the backdrop of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Dean and Marina must navigate the dangerous waters of secrecy, attraction, and the fusion of two very different worlds. Will their lives remain discordant, or will they take the chance at true harmony?