'A Gift of Music' on Christmas

December 25, 2008 8:46:05 AM PST
A special tale: The story of a talented musician and the man she calls her "Benefactor." Mira Wang was born in the people's Republic of China but came to the U.S. to go to college -- where she was able to develop her remarkable talent.

The sweetest sound around can be found at the Manhattan apartment of Mira Wang who plays a "stradavarius" violin...made 300 years ago.

"Stradavarius is kind of the father or godfather of all violin makers, and the great thing about it s: it has a very special sound," says Mira Wang.

Its tone simply cannot be duplicated.

Sandy Kenyon: "Do you find it has made your playing better?"
Mira: I do think it allowed me to reach a certain level that I was not able to with a lesser good instrument."

The violin is a triumph of old world craftsmanship and so rare -- just a few hundred are played regularly.

"Certainly these instruments are valuable so it's very difficult for musicians to afford them," Mira says.

And as the old saying goes, if you have to ask how much it costs -- you definitely can't afford a Stradavarius violin. Wang is not a rich woman yet she gets to play this one every day, thanks to Garry Fisher, a retired doctor.

Dr. Fisher and his wife own the valuable violin but let Mira keep it to us free of charge. Hearing her play is reward enough for him.

"The violin has its own character and I think the violinist and the violin sort of grow together and they learn to do their duet in the most favorable possible way," Dr. Fisher says.

Wang and her husband, Jan Vogler are emerging superstars in the world of classical music so important their recent concert here was attended by Thomas Hesse: a top executive the giant, Sony Music corporation yet even in the midst of all of her success this virtuoso remains deeply grateful.

"I cannot tell you how often I feel. I am so fortunate, I am able to use this great tool to make such wonderful music," says Mira.

WEB PRODUCED BY: Lakisha Bostick

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