Stolen Baroque Violin, Cash Reward

by Alan Choo
Published March 18, 2024

On March 8, the violin of Alan Choo, concertmaster and assistant artistic director of Apollo’s Fire, was stolen. Choo and his friends and colleagues have been sharing his “Cash Reward: $2,500” poster on social media — including a “no questions asked” plea for the return of the instrument.  

Baroque violinist Alan Choo playing a 2018 instrument by Jason Visltear. (Photo courtesy Alan Choo)

On March 8, Alan Choo wrote:

My 2018 Jason Viseltear Baroque violin was stolen from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, today, between 1:30-3:00pm during a rehearsal lunch break. It is in a blue BAM contoured violin case, which also contained a Louis Begin Baroque bow. If this happens to miraculously come your way in the future, please let me know!

My backpack was stolen together with my violin, with my AirPods in it. Using “Find My” tracking, it showed that it was in Taylor Heights, but unfortunately neither we nor the police could locate it. And then the live location on my AirPods seemed to have stopped…

This violin has been such a major part of my career and I would be sad to not play on it again. Any help and lookout for me is much appreciated! Thank you everyone!

…I am so grateful to all of you who have been sharing my posts, and reaching out to check in on me and offer support one way or another. I’m sorry that I haven’t had the time or mental/emotional space to respond much, but please know that it has registered deeply in my heart and it’s giving me so much strength.

Choo followed up with a new post on March 15:

Alan Choo’s Baroque violin from the shop of Jason Viseltear, based on a Testore (Photo courtesy Alan Choo)

Ever since I lost my violin a week ago, I’ve been playing Apollo’s Fire concerts every single day to kids and families, sometimes 2 or 3 in a day. My work as a musician goes on, and the power of communicating music has taken on a new profound meaning for me recently. Many of you have come up to me after concerts to say that my music has uplifted your spirits and helped heal the soul.

Truth is, that’s what music does for me first and foremost, and I experience this myself before transforming it into outgoing energy. Whoever removed my violin from St. Paul’s last week, I would like this mysterious power of music to eventually reach you as well.

But first, I need my violin back.

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