Page 3 Profile: Roberto Ruisi, Violinist


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The Independent Online

If music be the food of love, play on ...

Teenage violinist Roberto Ruisi has been entrusted with a Stradivarius worth £1m. John Ludlow, who owns the instrument, loaned it to the 18-year-old, who is the leader of the National Youth Orchestra (NYO), after discovering they shared a number of similarities.

A hatred of playing second fiddle?

Both of them hail from Edgbaston, Birmingham, and attended the same school. Like Mr Ruisi, Mr Ludlow became the (first) leader of the NYO in 1948 and went on to teach at the Royal College of Music, where Mr Ruisi is going to study.

Why is he borrowing the violin?

Mr Ruisi will play the Stradivarius – it dates from the 1680s – at a series of high-profile performances while on tour with the NYO this month, including at the Royal Albert Hall in London yesterday as part of the BBC Proms. “It’s been amazing to play on such a remarkable instrument,” said Mr Ruisi, who began playing a violin aged three and became the youngest ever leader of the NYO at 14.

How does his forerunner rate  his aptitude?

Mr Ludlow, who has led orchestras at the Royal Opera House and English National Opera, said of his successor: “Robbie already plays the fiddle far better than I ever did, and has a really fine future ahead of him.”