The $6 Million Chrysler


Internationally celebrated violinist Yi-Jai Susanne Hou tells this story about how one person reacted when informed she’d been granted the use of a $6 million Stradivarius violin.

Susanne told an audience recently she was in the middle of recording her latest CD when the loan agreement expired on an earlier premium violin she’d been using.  Not long after, a call came from the Carnegie Foundation about a replacement.  She went to New York and unexpectedly faced having to choose from an extremely wide range of rare violins.

Susanne said she went from one to another, but it was “Miss Mary” that ‘spoke’ to her.  And that was the Stradivarius she brought home.  A few days later it went with her into the studio to finish recording her CD.  During the recording session, the audio technician commented on the sweet mellow tone of the rare instrument.

She described to him her delight with having the use of such a remarkable violin.  Susanne explained the instrument was made around 1735, was once owned by the renowned composer and violinist Fritz Kreisler about 100 years ago, and was valued at more than $6 million.

To which the technician responded:  “That sounds like an awful lot of money to pay for a second hand Chrysler.”


About The Artist: In 1999, Susanne Hou became the first violinist in history to be awarded three gold medals by unanimous decisions at international violin competitions in the same year: Concours International Long-Thibaud (France), Lipizer International Violin Competition (Italy), and Sarasate International Violin Competition (Spain).  Susanne told the above story on March 4, 2012 during a guest appearance with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra in Vernon, B.C. 

One thought on “The $6 Million Chrysler

  1. In what year did she tell this story, 1999 or more recently? Love your blogsite. I’ll take the time to read more of your stories after I make all of my publicity contacts for SAW. Thanks for your help, too. Judith


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