Legendary Violin Donated to RNCM

The RNCM recently received a very special violin, used to accompany stars such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Shirley Bassey.

The 1762 Nicolaus Gagliano instrument, worth an estimated £120,000, was donated to the College by Christine Bradbury-Sullivan, a graduate of the Royal Manchester College of Music, who died on 30 October at the age of 67.

A professional violinist with orchestras including the Hallé, Sydney Symphony, Adelaide Symphony and South Cheshire, Christine enjoyed a fantastic career, which included performing in some of the Gold Coast’s top hotels with some of the world’s biggest stars.

Her sister, Linda Higgins, who presented the wonderful instrument, together with three bows worth collectively in excess of £5000, to Chris Hoyle, RNCM Head of the School of Strings, and Viola Tutor Alex Robertson, said: ‘Christine lived in Australia for a while and she used to tell me how she would spend long days in front of the pool with her friends before heading to some of the Gold Coast’s biggest hotels to perform for an hour with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Shirley Bassey. I think it’s fair to say the violin has seen a few things.’

It was Christine’s wish that the violin was donated to the RNCM and used by a student following restoration.

11 December 2013