Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performs for first time since violin theft

CREATED Jan 31, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan 31, 2014

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MILWAUKEE – Tonight the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra played its first concert without concertmaster Frank Almond, and the beloved and rare violin he plays night after night.

“We heard it so many times and it is a beautiful instrument and he plays it gorgeously,” says Lillian Haback.

It was just five days ago Almond was walking to his car after a concert when police say a man and woman approached him and attacked the violinist, stripping him of his rare Lipinski Stradivarius violin. The crime had many music lovers like Kitty Klein stunned and outraged.

“I think it’s a travesty against the whole city of Milwaukee," she said.

Late Friday an anonymous donor offered $100,000 reward for the safe return of the 300-year-old instrument.

“We hope it turns up. I hope someone says we only wanted $10,000 and we will return it and it will be okay," said Paul Lynts.