Evanston RoundTable, April 10, 2014
The new shop for the instrument rental company Adiana Quality String Instruments got off to a good start on April 3 with the usual ribbon-cutting ceremony but also something close to a fanfare: a Bach solo sonata played by the firm’s co-owner, David Yonan, at the Carlson Building.
Surprised visitors darted through the lobby while Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and a bevy of other civic and musical figures looked on as Mr. Yonan also performed a movement from the Bach Double Concerto with his student, Larissa Cerda, a high school freshman. A heating vent in the corner of the lobby droned an accompanying bass note and at one point Mr. Yonan had to re-tune his instrument, but it all sounded great.
Mr. Yonan is an award-winning violinist who studied at the Music Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University, as well as the Juilliard School in New York City and the Berlin Music Academy. He has won top honors at the Ruggiero Ricci International Violin Competition in Germany, as well as other international prizes.
Adiana was originally founded in 1999 by Adina Salmansohn and her late husband Eric Chapman, a North Shore instrument dealer, along with their friends Diana and Lee Humphrey. When Mr. Chapman passed away three years ago, Ms. Salmansohn bequeathed much of his instrumental inventory to Mr. Yonan so he could continue the business.
But Mr. Yonan’s vision is more than just renting instruments. “We want to encourage youngsters to play, and that means having good quality instruments to rent at affordable prices,” he said.
To that end, in 2002 he founded the Fine Arts Music Society to provide scholarships to young people with proven financial need to pursue music studies. Adiana is also currently partnering with the Ravinia “Reach Teach Play” outreach program as well as the Highland Park Sister Cities Foundation to work with youngsters in the Youth Orchestra of Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.
This was the submitted article; the final version was edited slightly for length.