No Room on Jet for His Antique Violin. Then, a Great Idea

Giora Schmidt performs onboard after flight attendant rallies passengers to make room
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2019 9:07 AM CDT

Stories about airplanes and musicians with antique instruments often don't end well. Witness exhibit A from 2016. But Classic FM has a story that provides an antidote. It seems American-Israeli violinist Giora Schmidt just barely made his Delta flight to Cincinnati, and by the time he boarded, there was no space in the overhead bins for his antique Italian violin. He asked a flight attendant for help, and she made a unique announcement over the PA system: "Would one or two fellow passengers be kind enough to put some of their belongings underneath the seat in front of them so that he can have space for his violin—in exchange for a little concert onboard?"

And that's how it went. Schmidt was able to store his violin for most of the flight, but he got it out toward the end and treated passengers to Bach's Partita No. 3. "This was an absolute first for me," he tells Classic FM. "I couldn’t believe how much the passengers appreciated it—filming on their phones, and with a huge round of applause at the end." As Simple Flying notes, Delta's policy requires such instruments to be stored in the overhead bin or some other compartment, and if space is filled, they would have to go with checked baggage. Given that Schmidt says that wasn't an option for the precious violin, he "got very lucky," per the Simple Flying post. (More uplifting news stories.)

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