Student offers reward for stolen 18th century violin

Times Staff Writer

A valuable 18th century violin on loan to a music student with a budding solo career was stolen from her car Sunday while the car was parked outside a Pavilions grocery store in West Hills.

Lindsay Deutsch, 20, who studies at downtown’s Colburn School of Performing Arts, is offering a $10,000 reward for the return of the 1742 Sanctus Seraphin violin, valued at $350,000, and the 1830 Francois Tourte bow, valued at $160,000, that was stolen along with the instrument. The insurance policy for the violin and bow excludes theft from an unattended vehicle.

The violin and bow were lent by Los Angeles philanthropist Peter Mandell, a professional bassoonist who owns a collection of about 18 fine stringed instruments. He lends the instruments to young artists.

“I’ve been lending instruments since 1987, and this is the first time this has ever happened,” Mandell said, adding that such instruments are so easily recognizable that they are difficult for thieves to sell to reputable music dealers.


Without the violin, Deutsch said, “my dreams of being a solo violinist are down the tubes. I moved to California six years ago in order to study violin -- my whole family moved here -- so it’s very important to recover it. I have lots of important engagements this summer, so until I either find this or get another violin, all my engagements for summer are gone.”

The theft is being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.