A Guadagnini from Indiana University

A highlight of our May auction, this fine violin by G.B. Guadagnini was loaned to the young Joshua Bell when he was a student of Josef Gingold at Indiana University

The highlight of our May New York auction is a violin by G.B. Guadagnini made in Milan in around 1750, sold by the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (IU). For over half a century this violin was loaned to deserving students, including the young Joshua Bell, who became a student of Josef Gingold at IU Jacobs School of Music aged just 12.

The 14-year-old Bell performs on this violin in a 1982 Josef Gingold masterclass.
Video featured by kind permission of Charles Avsharian, Shar Music Company

‘I officially started my concert career in 1982, at the age of 14, while continuing my studies at Indiana University with the great Josef Gingold. I was unable to afford a great violin of my own at this time, but thankfully Indiana University was in possession of a wonderful Guadagnini violin, which they kindly let me use during this crucial period of my musical life, until I was finally able to purchase an instrument of my own. I played dozens of concerts on this Guadagnini, and I have fond memories of its glorious tone.’ – Joshua Bell

The Jacobs School of Music at IU, Bloomington, is one of the most influential music schools in the world. Founded in the 1920s, it was enriched by the wave of European musicians and intellectuals who moved to the US after the Second World War. Some of the greatest teachers of the 20th century made Bloomington their home, including Janos Starker, Josef Gingold, William Primrose, Franco Gulli and Miriam Fried. Out of the IU music program came dozens of world-famous soloists and thousands of string players who earned prestigious spots in leading orchestras. Among the soloists who claim IU as their alma mater are Noah Bendix-Balgley, Jacques Israelievitch, Paul Katz, William Preucil, Cyrus Forough, Andrés Cárdenes and Martin Beaver.

Joshua Bell plays the Guadagnini violin to Josef Gingold. Photo courtesy of Indiana University

Thanks in part to the gravitational pull of the Jacobs School of Music, Indianapolis evolved into a musical hub with a vibrant symphony orchestra and a world-famous international violin competition taking place every four years. It’s no small miracle that this midwestern city has become an reference point internationally for musicians.

This Guadagnini is one of five instruments in our May auction that are being sold by the Jacobs School to benefit their students and faculty.

G.B. Guadagnini violin c. 1750. Photos: Tarisio

Tarisio sold this Guadagnini in our New York auction, May 2019.  

Subscribe to the Cozio Archive

Over 12,000 instruments and bows by 3,000 different makers

Over 200,000 photographs

Certificates and other documents

Detailed provenance information

Browse the Cozio Archive

210,000+ Photographs

36,000+ Instruments & Bows

3,500+ Violin & Bow Makers

11,000+ Historical Owners

57,000+ Auction Results

14,000+ Certificates & Documents


You already have a Tarisio account. Please login to continue.

Forgot Password



Please register or ​to continue.



Please register or ​to continue.

We have sent you an email.
Please follow the link to confirm your registration.


Create Your Password

Click the button below and we'll email you a link to generate your Tarisio password.