Buying a world-class instrument is the dream of any budding musician studying at the Elder Conservatorium of Music. Unfortunately, for most, it’s also a daunting and near-impossible task.
Such was the case for Bachelor of Music undergraduate Mae Napier-Traeger before the generosity of donors saw her become the custodian of the Koenig-Betcher violin last year.
Mae was gifted the Koenig-Betcher, which is a copy based on 3D scans of the golden period Stradivari “Sancy” of 1703, for the final 18-months of her studies.
The beautiful instrument is newly made, thus the sound is raw and the settling process has just begun. “I’m starting to hear a great sound coming through and it is really inspiring to experience this,” said Mae. “I love the power this violin holds as it complements the sweetness of the sound.”
Mae said the Schwerdtfeger she used through high school “was a great student violin” but when speaking of her new instrument, she gushed, “I love playing on this violin so much, it is amazing to have the opportunity to play something through my university career that is of the Betcher standard.”
Music is at the centre of Mae’s ambition. Unsure of her career path, something of which she is certain is “that it needs to include music.” As a result, Mae enrolled in the Bachelor of Music for its “amazing mix of discipline, creativity and freedom.”
Currently, she plays in two bands, including an Irish band where the techniques and styles stray far from those of her classical training. She also enjoys teaching violin to others.
Looking to the future, Mae is entertaining the idea of joining an orchestra. For now, she knows “the hard work I put in now will pay off in one way or another.”
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