CHARLIE THOLLANDER (IM 2016) is volunteering at the Saint Francis Food Pantry this summer. He’s also being tutored in geometry to get a leg up on his academics for next year. But that’s not the whole story.

The rest of this serendipitous story starts with a violin, or rather several violins, some of which Charlie had outgrown by the time he’d reached the seventh grade. A man looking for student violins came to his house. Of all the violins, the only one the man was interested in was the one that Charlie was playing at the time. That man was Leon Igudesman, a violinist who plays with the San Francisco Opera, with whom Charlie will be studying violin this summer.

Charlie has a different violin now– similar to the one Mr. Igudesman performs with–a copy of a Guarneri del Gesu, only Charlie’s was made in 2009 and Mr, Igudesman’s is from the 1800s. As Charlie explains it: “Guarneri del Gesus are violins made by the Guarneri family that have an overarching dark-warm sound which envelopes the concert hall. They're powerful violins comparable to Stradivarius violins. Stradivarius violins have a sweet, bright, tone which contrasts with the Gesu.”

A very good story, with unexpected plot twists and a happy ending.