Ex-Victor Aitay

A violin by Pietro Guarneri of Venice

Venice, circa 1750-55

labelled Petrus Guarnerius Filius Joseph Cremonensis fecit Venetiis Anno 1746

length of back 35.5cm.

This violin once belonged to Victor Aitay (1921-2012). For 19 years between 1967 and 1986, Victor Aitay was concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. By the time of his death, at the age of 91, he had played with the orchestra for 50 seasons. Born in Budapest, Aitay studied under Léo Weiner and Imre Waldbauer at the Franz Liszt Royal Academy before serving as concertmaster of the Hungarian Royal Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra before the Second World War. Various prestigious appointments ensued before he settled at the CSO under Fritz Reiner.

During his tenure as concertmaster, Aitay played a 1715 Stradivari violin which was owned by the orchestra. In addition to his Peter Guarneri, Aitay also owned violins by G.B. Guadagnini and J.B. Vuillaume.

Victor Aitay

Other instruments we have sold by this maker

Articles related to this instrument

A violin by Pietro Guarneri of Venice

20 October 2017 - Dilworth, John

In his final article examining featured instruments from our forthcoming auction, the luthier, restorer and expert John Dilworth analyses lot 186 – the Ex-Victor Aitay Peter Guarneri violin made in Venice circa 1750-55. Each member of the Guarneri family wrought... Read more

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