Read an interesting article in the Chicago Trib concerning a company that acts as a broker for fine violins (strads, amatis, etc.). The broker persuades wealthy benefactors to purchase these million-dollar fiddles so that young virtuosi can use them for performing and auditioning. In exchange, the violinists must pay insurance, take the instruments back to Chicago twice yearly for tweaking and checkup, and must do "command performances" in the living rooms of their wealthy patrons. If they fail to do this, they run the risk of losing the instruments. At first glance, this seems like a great way to get these priceless instruments into the hands of musicians and make sure they're being played rather being left to lanquish in a safe somewhere (the fiddles, not the musicians). But the article (written by Howard Reich) didn't paint a very flattering picture of this practice. I realize that the prices for old basses isn't quite as high, (but, hey, to me $40,000 might as well be a million). Are there any programs such as describe above for young bass virtuosi?