Judith Rich's mother taught her that if she ever wanted anything done, she needed to do it herself.
So when her $160,000 violin was stolen from Abravanel Hall last month, the one thing the Utah Symphony violinist refused to do was to wait idly for the instrument to come back."I feel a lot better by doing something," Rich said. "I want whoever took it to know that I'm not just sitting by. I'm working my tail off to let the whole world know about this violin."
"The whole world" is just about right. By now, more people know about the 1822 Nicolas Lupot than ever would have had the violin not been stolen.
The violin, which was given to Rich by her mother when she was 13, was taken from a musicians' lounge at Abravanel Hall following a morning rehearsal April 3. Salt Lake police and the FBI have been investigating the theft.
The case has also received substantial media coverage, including an article in USA Today, and Rich has placed $10,000 reward ads in every newspaper in the area, including small weeklies in Magna and Tooele. But Rich did not feel that was enough.
On Mother's Day, she and her husband spent six hours distributing fliers to grocery and discount stores from "North Temple to Draper," she said. The fliers had color and black-and-white photos of the violin to show as much detail as possible.
Rich has also visited every pawn shop on State Street (about 15 in all), and her husband has tried pawn shops along Redwood Road and in West Valley City.
Since none of that resulted in any real leads to the violin's whereabouts, Rich expanded her search globally.
Last week, she finished addressing and mailing letters, reward posters and newspaper articles to 550 violin stores in every corner of the world, "from Moscow to South Africa to Chile to China," she said. Wednesday, she finished mailing the same package to 100 national and 146 international symphony, opera and ballet orchestras.
Friends helped her translate some letters into French, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.
Rich has also registered the violin with the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, which keeps an active file of stolen instruments, and placed ads with Strad Magazine, the American Federation of Musicians Union magazine and an instrument lost-and-found Web site on the Internet.
Upon her request, the U.S. Customs Department has agreed to be "on the lookout" for anyone trying to fly out of the country with the violin.
None of her efforts have come cheap. Rich figures that by the time the last letter was mailed, she had spent at least $2,000.
"My husband said, `This is going to cost you a lot of money,' and I said, `Is money really the issue here?' " Rich said. "I'm not angry at the person that took the violin. I just keep hoping and praying that his heart will be softened, that he will find a way to get it back to me."
So far, the only clues as to who may have taken the violin have come from two psychics Rich visited recently. Both gave her a similar description of the thief, she said.
One psychic told Rich the man was an Abravanel Hall insider who saw stealing the violin as "an opportunity to get even," but not necessarily with her, Rich said.
The other psychic encouraged Rich to keep spreading the word.
"I think I've pretty much covered the bases . . . unless somebody else comes up with an idea," she said. "I haven't called President Clinton yet, but I don't think I'm his type."