How to lose a musical instrument in 10 days

It was the crescendo heard around the world – when our £26,000 Bosendorfer crash-landed into the daffodils at the Two Moors Festival HQ back in 2007, we became something of a household name overnight thanks to intense media coverage that saw the festival extend its reach as far as China. We were even mentioned in a question on University Challenge – fame and fortune indeed!

The hapless piano movers aren’t the only ones to have been struck with a bit of bad luck – there are lots of ways to rid yourself of that cumbersome cello, it would seem. Musicians all over the world have been a bit careless with their beloved instruments over the years, with someone just this week leaving a multimillion-dollar Stradivarius violin on a train in Switzerland.

Luckily, it was handed into lost property – but just imagine the fear that must have gone through its owner’s heart when they realised it had disappeared. Maybe it’s a Stradivarius curse… In 2008, unfortunate musician David Garrett tripped up at the end of a performance and landed flat on his 300 year-old violin. “I fell down a flight of steps and on to the case. When I opened it the violin was in pieces. I was just sitting there on the floor. I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t get up. I didn’t even know if I was hurt – I didn’t care,” he told the Daily Telegraph at the time.

Accidents aside, it appears that musicians are, generally speaking, quite a forgetful bunch. A survey conducted at the start of last year by Allianz Musical Insurance revealed that although almost half of musicians questioned said their instrument was one of their most precious possessions, 25 per cent had either lost it or had it stolen.

The top reasons for loss of an instrument were having it stolen from a vehicle, leaving it at a concert venue, leaving it on public transport, leaving it in a hotel or having it stolen from home.

Make sure you have insurance, folks! What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you instrument-wise?


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