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Watch cellist Noémi Raymond-Friset play a Caprice by Alfredo Piatti

Robert Rowat

Did you know the Canada Council for the Arts manages a collection of more than 20 string instruments totalling over $41 million in value? Known as the musical instrument bank, these violins, violas, cellos and bows date from the late 1600s to the early 1900s and bear the names Stradivari, Guarneri and Gagliano, among others. Every three years, musicians compete for the chance to borrow them.

Of the musicians currently in possession of these instruments, we recently invited 11 to our Montreal studios to give a demonstration.

Below, Noémi Raymond-Friset presents her 1769 Joannes Guillami cello, valued at $350,000 and donated by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. She plays Caprice, Op. 25, No. 7, by Alfredo Piatti.

Raymond-Friset recently began a doctorate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., studying with Steven Doane.

In November, she and her cello will travel to Viña del Mar, Chile, to take part in the Dr. Luis Sigall International Musical Competition. She's also planning some performances with pianist Lysandre Ménard.

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