What’s so special about a Stradivarius?

Emma John learns to play the stradivarius

The Guardian writes:  Antonio Stradivari's violins are so famous they make the news when they get stolen. But are they really worth the steep price tag?

It's the joke that no violinist can avoid. You'll be just opening your case as some wag slides past with a grin and the inevitable question: "Is that a Stradivarius?" Disguising your inner groan, the accepted response is to shake your head wistfully, and smile back "I wish!" Well, today, the joke is over. Not because I've stabbed the well-meaning punter in the neck with my bowtip. But because the instrument I am carrying is ...........

http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/aug/06/stradivarius-violins-ashmolean-absentees