After returning to the U.S., from Zagreb, I moved to Los Angeles. There, I married a violinist who got her advanced training from a Russian husband and wife team. They produced many Tchaikovsky competition winners and concertmasters of major orchestras.
I had told her for a number of years about the quality of i Solisti di Zagreb and her skeptical reaction was, “Yeah, yeah, I’m sure they’re good”. When they performed in Los Angeles, I brought her to their concert.
On the way to the venue we saw a man carrying a double violin case in front of us. We followed him through the hall entrance and into the green room where the musicians were warming up. I said hello to my old colleagues and the man, a wealthy doctor, opened up his violin case and produced a Stradivarius and Guarneri. He said, “Feel free to use these, if you’d like, for tonight’s concert.” Tanko Ninic changed the program and i Solisti played a concerto for two violins so that they could use both instruments. After the concert my wife said, “I always heard that this level of ensemble was possible, but I never thought I’d get to hear it”.