Violinist to Serenade Taxi Driver

Concert at Newark airport for cabbie who returned $4M Strad
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2008 11:13 AM CDT
Violinist to Serenade Taxi Driver
Philippe Quint   (

When violin virtuoso Philippe Quint left a 1723 Antonio Stradivari “Ex-Kiesewetter” in a New Jersey taxi two weeks ago, he was distraught: The $4 million instrument was not only irreplaceable, it was on loan. But the cab driver returned the violin next morning, and today, in gratitude, the Grammy-nominated musician will perform a private concert—at the Newark airport cab stand.

Quint originally gave the cab driver, a 57-year-old Egyptian immigrant, $100, and has since arranged for free tickets to his Carnegie Hall performance in September. The city gave him a medal. “I was going to give him everything: my leg, my arm,” Quint said. “This violin is my heart and soul. It’s everything—and it’s not mine.” (More classical music stories.)

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