Video of 'Jingle Bells' performed on a Stradivarius violin

Lucky music student gives classic thanks for special gift

Clara Saitkoulov performs on the Stradivarius violin. Photo by Brandon Martin.

A music student whose holidays have been brightened by a very special gift struck up a classy way to offer her thanks.

Clara Saitkoulov performs on the Stradivarius violin. Photo by Brandon Martin.

A generous friend of Rice University's Shepherd School of Music lent the school a coveted Stradivarius violin known as the 1687 Kubelik, giving one lucky student every year a chance to play the instrument.

Graduate student Clara Saitkoulov (pronounced "sight-ko-lav") — the first student selected to play the Stradivarius — showed her gratitude by playing a special version of a seasonal classic. She was joined by Shepherd School doctor of musical arts piano student James Palmer and graduate percussion student Alex Garde to perform their unique version of "Jingle Bells."

Listen to it here.

For more information on the violin, visit https://news.rice.edu/news/2021/shepherds-got-new-old-set-strings.

Happy holidays, music lovers, from Rice University.