Famous 'Red Violin' performance supports UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases
September 20, 2011
2 min read
Celebrated violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn performed with the legendary "Red Mendelssohn" violin during an intimate Sept. 18 fundraising event in support of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases. The storied instrument, crafted in 1720 by virtuoso Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari, is widely considered one of the best sounding and most beautiful of Stradivari's violins and inspired the Academy Award–winning 1999 film "The Red Violin."
The afternoon affair was held in the Japanese garden of the Beverly Hills residence of entrepreneur and philanthropist Paula Kent Meehan, co-founder of the Redken hair products company, and was co-hosted by philanthropists Barbara Davis and Candy Spelling. Tennis greats Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf and actress Sela Ward also attended.
At the event, Dr. Gary Gitnick, chief of the UCLA Division of Digestive Disease and Dr. Eric Esrailian, the division's vice chief, presented an overview about the division's leading research and clinical offerings. In addition to the musical performance, guests were treated to wine and hors d'oeuvres in the tranquil garden setting, which features a traditional Japanese tea house, a pavilion, a koi pond and a Noh theater.
The UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, a world leader in diagnosis, treatment and research, and is home to nearly 80 faculty physicians and scientists, each with a specific area of expertise in basic science and/or clinical research and treatment. The division's fellowship program includes some of the brightest and most talented young physician-scientists in the country. The division continues to be rated the best in the western United States and was ranked No. 6 among digestive diseases centers in the U.S. in the most recent U.S. News & World Report survey.