Pittsburgh Violin Master Crucial in Recovering Rare Stolen Fiddle

The rare and extremely valuable Stradivarius had been missing for 35 years.

photo courtesy of f.b.i. New York

Phillip Injeian sells and repairs instruments at his shop in downtown Pittsburgh. He is well-known among Pittsburgh musicians is now is getting national attention.

Injeian recently authenticated a long-lost 1734 violin, known as the rare Ames Stradivarius. The instrument previously belonged to Roman Totenberg, a master violinist who died in 2012.

The violin disappeared 35 years ago. Allegedly, a young violinist named Philip Johnson plucked the instrument from Totenberg’s office at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass. Since Johnson's death, no one knew for sure where the violin had ended up, until Johnson’s ex-wife found a violin while cleaning her house in California. She told a musician friend, who recommended she take the instrument to Injeian for authentication.

Johnson followed that advice, and Injeian did confirm that yes, she had rediscovered the rare Stradivarius. He then got in contact with the FBI’s art team, who notified Totenberg’s daughter, NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg, that the missing heirloom had been recovered. She and her sisters joined Injeian in New York at the U.S. Attorney’s office for a ceremony on Thursday.

With only 550 still in existence, these violins are expensive. At an auction in 2011, one sold for a record $15.9 million. But the Totenbergs say they’re planning to sell the Stradivarius to a performing artist rather than a collector.

“It’s a wonderful example of his work, and it’s in excellent shape,” Injeian tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He added that the instrument needs a little bit of TLC for which he will be happy to provide his expertise.

Although the Stradivarius’ bow still is missing, the violin will live to sing another day.


photo via wikipedia commons


#TakingFlight: Bahamas bound

Do you fear your summer slowly is coming to an end? Well, theoretically, it doesn’t have to. 

On Friday, Pittsburgh International Airport launched new nonstop service to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. So to evade our inevitably cold winter this year, you can hop on a plane and forget about your troubles!

The carrier, the Canadian airline Sunwing, is going to use newly installed Common Use Terminal equipment, which allows more than one airline to operate from the same gate. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the new flights will operate every five days from now through Oct. 26. Another advantage, incoming flights will arrive pre-cleared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Bahamas. That means no long lines at Customs here.

Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis says the airport is planning to install more common use terminal equipment to meet growing demands in its transition from a mega-connecting hub airport.


photo by Elaina Zachos


The weather has been great lately, and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership wants everyone to know how many people have been using the downtown Penn Avenue bikes lanes.

The PDP now is posting real-time data about bike lane usage on its website. Back in April, counters were installed at three different intersections along Penn Avenue to keep track of the bike traffic.

To the delight of cyclists, usage continues to grow. Average use during weekdays has grown from 534 in April to 864 in July.

Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the PDP, released a statement saying the city has seen an increasing number of bike users. The U.S. Census reports that only 2.2 percent of Pittsburgh residents commute via bike, but that’s a 408 percent increase since 2000.

“This data is evidence of the important role bike commuting plays in our Downtown transportation network,” Waldrup says in a statement. 



Categories: The 412