German violinist Augustin Hadelich, who now lives in New York City, has a close tie to Buffalo. He is in possession of the Stradivarius violin known as the “Ex-Kiesewetter,” one of three priceless instruments owned by Buffalo philanthropists Clement and Karen Arrison. The Arrisons lend their violins to promising violinists through the Stradivarius Society of Chicago. The Ex-Kiesewetter, named for a German master who owned it centuries ago, was until recently on loan to the immensely talented Russian-born violinist Philippe Quint.

The drama fits in poignantly with Hadelich’s life. Born in 1984, he was 15 when he was badly burned when tractor fuel caught fire on his parents’ farm in Italy. The burns covered the upper half of his body, including his arms, and a doctor told him he would probably never play the violin again.

He persevered, though, and miraculously bounced back. Now he is considered one of the world’s foremost young violinists. He has a style that is beautifully delicate and capable of great emotion, gifts that can only speak more eloquently thanks to the invaluable instrument he now holds in his hands.

Hadelich and the Stradivarius will perform the famous and romantic Violin Concerto of Johannes Brahms. The concert begins with “The Chairman Dances,” John Adams’ “foxtrot for orchestra.” It culminates in Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7.

Mary Kunz Goldman


Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra with violinist Augustin Hadelich – When: 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Where: Kleinhans Music Hall. Admission: $27-$74. Info: 885-5000.