LONDON – Can his fractured fiddle — a million-dollar Guadagnini — be fixed? It's too early to tell.
David Garrett, a former model who has been called the David Beckham of the classical scene, said he tripped while carrying his 18th century violin as he was leaving London's Barbican Hall after a performance, smashing it to bits.
"I had it over my shoulder in its case and I fell down a concrete flight of stairs backward," Garrett said Thursday. "When I opened the case, much of my G.B. Guadagnini had been crushed."
Garrett said he bought the 1772 violin for US$1 million in 2003, and he is now hoping to get it repaired in New York, where he is based.
"I hope and pray that it can be fixed, but if it can't, I hope my insurance policy will let me buy another great violin," the 26-year-old musician said. He told The Associated Press that other published accounts saying the violin was a Stradivarius were incorrect. Guadagnini is believed by some to have been a student of Antonio Stradivari.
The accident occurred Dec. 27 but only became known this week when he returned to London for another concert at the Barbican and told British reporters what had happened.
For his Valentine's Day concert there, he is playing a Stradivarius that's been lent to him.
Garrett gained attention as a child prodigy. Before he was 10, he played as a soloist with the London Philharmonic, according to his Web site. When he studied at the Juilliard School in New York, he became a part-time model to help supplement his income.