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Violin signed by Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Willem Dafoe, Kevin Kline

Violin signed by Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Willem Dafoe, Kevin Kline

Violin signed by Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Willem Dafoe, Kevin Kline
August 29
10:32 2017

Paul Peabody, a violinist with the New York City Ballet, played the violin solo in “My Heart Will Go On” from the movie sountrack. He will auction off a violin autographed by fellow artists. Here he plays a selection from the Titanic theme. As a first violinist for New York City Ballet for nearly 40 years, Paul Peabody has played plenty of romantic music, from Faure to Prokofiev to Tchaikovsky.He also created a violin solo on one of the most romantic singles of the 1990s, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” from the 1997 film “Titanic.”But the Nyack native isn’t romantic when it comes to one of his instruments, even though it chronicles nearly half his career. He’s auctioning it off to help several charities in India about which he is passionate.ARCHIVES: Simon says he’s not done conducting A leaf-peeper’s guide It’s a bright orange, acrylic, six-string Tucker Barrett “Luma” electric violin he played for more than 20 years, at the ballet and as a session musician alongside A-listers of music, stage, screen and ballet.But don’t take Peabody’s word for it. His collaborators signed the instrument. There’s Paul McCartney’s autograph on the neck. And Celine Dion’s is over there. And Natalie Cole’s. Look on the back and you’ll see Sting and Willem Dafoe and Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, who added two other names: “Princess” and “Frixos,” characters they played in the 1994 film “Princess Caraboo.”There’s Wynton Marsalis and Sheryl Crow and Lauryn Hill. Peabody played on Hill’s yet-to-be-released Christmas album. Paul Peabody, a Nyack resident, has played violin forBuy PhotoPaul Peabody, a Nyack resident, has played violin for the New York City Ballet for years, is auctioning off a violin, autographed by musicians and celebrities including Paul McCartney, Celine Dion and Stevie Wonder. The violin is on display at The Beast With a Million Eyes Art Gallery in Nyack. Peabody will donate the proceeds to a few charities in India, including one that provide surgery for cataracts, and one that provides surgery for cleft palates. (Photo: Seth Harrison/The Journal News)It also has NYC Ballet luminaries, from chief Peter Martins to Shaun O’Brien, who danced with the ballet for 42 years, including more than 30 holiday seasons as Herr Drosselmeyer in “The Nutcracker.” He signed, appropriately, as Drosselmeyer.There are others, including producer BabyFace and Stevie Wonder. Yes. Stevie Wonder.The violin is on display at Nyack’s Beast With a Million Eyes Art Gallery, where owner Lex Reibestein says he thinks the instrument — accompanied by a certificate of authenticity — will appeal to a cross-section of bidders, from collectors of musical instruments to conservatories to autograph collectors. The silent auction closes Sept. 13.Signature eventsEach autograph comes with a story, a snippet of a life’s work with an instrument tucked beneath Peabody’s chin.McCartney signed it at a rehearsal for the 2015 Kennedy Center premiere of “Ocean’s Kingdom,” a ballet piece NYC Ballet commissioned the former Beatle to write. Getting the autograph took some stealth.“I thought of it like Jason Bourne,” Peabody says, referring to the action hero. “If I’m going to get a chance, I’m going to have a moment, if I get a moment.”During a rehearsal break, Peabody hopped over the pit rail and stood with the neon orange instrument in front of him, hoping it would draw McCartney in.It worked.“I just stood there and finally he came over and said, ‘So what is that?’ I thought ‘It’s now or never.’ I walked past my big boss, Peter Martins, and said ‘Peter, you’ve already signed it.’”Once face to face with McCartney, whose music played such an outsized role in his youth, whose every album release was an event, the best Peabody could muster was: “My name’s Paul, too.”That was enough. Before long, McCartney was talking shop, asking Peabody his thoughts on the piece. Then he signed Peabody’s bright orange calling card.Mission accomplished for the violin-toting Jason Bourne.Paul Peabody, a Nyack resident, has played violin forBuy PhotoPaul Peabody, a Nyack resident, has played violin for the New York City Ballet for years, is auctioning off a violin, autographed by musicians and celebrities including Paul McCartney, Celine Dion and Stevie Wonder. The violin is on display at The Beast With a Million Eyes Art Gallery in Nyack. Peabody will donate the proceeds to a few charities in India, including one that provide surgery for cataracts, and one that provides surgery for cleft palates. (Photo: Seth Harrison/The Journal News)Celine Dion signed the violin at The Grammys when she sang “My Heart Will Go On.”“I was concertmaster for the recording session and after everyone left, I stayed around and played some Celtic things and it was a hit,” Peabody recalls. His bit of improvisation was included in the song, which is one of the best-selling single

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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