Leopold Auer

A storied Stradivarius in Annapolis

A storied Stradivarius in Annapolis

Tchaikovsky's enormously popular Violin Concerto had a rough start. After the 1881 premiere, one reviewer famously said it made him wonder "if there can be music that stinks to the ear."

That just added insult to the first injury to Tchaikovsky's pride, which had happened when he tried to dedicate the concerto to Russian violinist Leopold Auer, whose artistry and 1690 Stradivarius the composer had in mind for the work. But Auer dismissed it as "unplayable."

This weekend, you can hear the concerto played on the very same Auer Stradivarius by Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman in performances with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.

"My theory is that...