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Seven-figure fiddle on show

PUBLISHED: 12:58 04 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:57 03 March 2010

NOT many people can say they have played one of the world's most famous instruments.

But Ipswich violin virtuoso Karenza Peacock will be doing just that as she plays for the town's orchestral society.

NOT many people can say they have played one of the world's most famous instruments.

But Ipswich violin virtuoso Karenza Peacock will be doing just that as she plays for the town's orchestral society.

The musical maiden has been loaned a £1million 18th Century Stradivarius by the Royal Academy of Music for the performance.

She said: "I'm terribly nervous, I hope I don't drop it off the end of the stage or anything."

The violin was named after 19th Century French violinist Jean Pierre Maurin and was completed in 1718 – during the so-called Golden Period of Antonio Stradivari.

And according to Karenza, playing the illustrious violin is a unique experience.

She said: "It's normally kept under lock and key at the academy. It almost starts to make a sound before you really start playing – it makes it all a lot easier.

Karenza is now stranger to high-pressure situations. The former Ipswich High School pupil was a star turn at one of the concerts celebrating the Queen's Jubilee.

She played for Ipswich Orchestral Society for many years and admitted being in awe of the soloists.

Her homecoming performance is set for the Corn Exchange on June 7 and will see her perform one of the most challenging pieces for a violinist.

She said: "I'm playing Mendelsohn's Violin Concerto, which is one of the most difficult concertos.

"I've played it with just a piano quite a lot, but it will be really nice to play it with a full orchestra.

"All my family and loads of old school friends are coming down so it will be really brilliant."

Karenza's appearance will be one of the highlights of Ipswich Orchestral Society's 100th anniversary season.

And it will be a chance for Karenza to make a rare trip back to her home town in among a hectic playing schedule with her string quartet and various London orchestras.

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