Delving into the Physical Mysteries of the Violin
SIOUX FALLS – A seminar entitled “Raiders of the ‘Lost Secret’” begins at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in Gilbert Science Center, room 241.
Joseph Nagyvary, PhD, professor emeritus from Texas A&M, will discuss the Modern Science and the Holy Grail of the Stradivarius violin.
Christian Zamora, first violinist with the Augustana String Quartet and adjunct faculty member at Augustana, will play at 6:30 p.m. in the GSC Pendulum Lounge.
Professor Nagyvary has brought an unprecedented level of academic expertise to bear upon the age-old violin puzzle. A native of Hungary, he majored in chemistry at the Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest (1952-1956); he became a student of the Swiss Nobel Laureate Paul Karrer in 1957, and received his PhD in the chemistry of natural products in 1962.
While in Zurich, he had his first formal violin lessons on a violin which once belonged to Albert Einstein, a coincidence which helped turn his attention to the physical mysteries of the violin. He gained his first glimpses into the art of violin making from the Zurich luthier Amos Segesser. In 1963, he spent a postdoctoral year in Cambridge with Lord Alexander Todd, a British Nobel Laureate.
He came to the United States in 1964, and settled down in Texas in 1968 where he has remained a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Texas A&M University until his retirement in 2003. Professor Nagyvary was the recipient of a Career Development Grant, and numerous other research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and NASA.
His discoveries concerning the classical violins were made public in more than 255 lectures sponsored mainly by the American Chemical Society. On such occasions, his claims were examined by professionals and comparisons were made between Professor Nagyvary's new recreations and the finest locally available antique Italian violins, including several Stradivarius.
This program is sponsored by the Sioux Valley section of the American Chemical Society in conjunction with the Augustana Music Department.
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