An unexpected journey through Italy, led by the voice of a violin.
From the moment she hears Lev’s violin for the first time, Helena Attlee is captivated. She is told that it is an Italian instrument, named after its former Russian owner. Eager to discover all she can about its ancestry, and the stories contained within its delicate wooden body, she sets out for its birthplace, Cremona, once the hometown of famous luthier Antonio Stradivari. This is the beginning of a beguiling journey whose end she could never have anticipated.
Making its way from the cobbled streets of sixteenth-century Cremona, through cool churches, glittering courts, and little coastal opera houses, Lev’s Violin takes us from the heart of Italian culture to its very furthest reaches. Its tale of princes and orphans, virtuosos and fraudsters, collectors, composers, travellers and raconteurs, swells to an enrapturing meditation on the power of objects, stories and music to shape individual lives and craft entire cultures.