By Joe Sugarman

• Classicfm.com is reporting the upcoming Sotheby’s auction of a Stradivarius viola—one of just 10 in the world. Made in 1719, the instrument has been called the world’s finest and is expected to fetch in excess of $45 million. There’s a video of David Aaron Carpenter playing the instrument on the website, and, yeah, it sounds pretty good.

• Two Yoshikis for the price of one? Huffington Post has coverage of Japanese classical crossover artistic holding a piano battle with a hologram image of himself at the SXSW music conference. Tough to decide who is better…

• Also on the high-tech-front, Wired magazine’s website has an interesting story about Neil Harbisson, a colorblind composer who has conducted the first concert using colors instead of notes. Working with Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica youth choir and the Catalan Quartic String Quartet, Harbisson conducted by flashing colors that corresponded to notes.

THIS-JUST-IN_with text.png• Has it really been 40 years since the Kronos Quartet first altered our ideas about classical quartets? Indeed it is. NPR has this interview with members David Harrington, John Sherba, Sunny Yang and Hank Dutt reflecting upon the decades. According to the story, the group has taken on more than 800 new works or arrangements from composers — or a new piece every two weeks! — for the last 40 years. Talk about prolific…

• “Are pianists the super-athletes of the world?” That’s the question posed by music teacher, conductor and author Michael Griffin on his blog. Griffin argues that playing Frédéric Chopin’s “Fantaisie-Impromptu,” which requires 360 distinct motor actions per second, takes more complex muscle coordination than those used by footballers. Could pianists be an untapped market for Under Armour?

• And if you’ve been following along with the situation with the Minnesota Orchestra, The New York Times has the latest news on the return of its conductor, Osmo Vänskä.

• Video Worth Watching: British music journalist Jessica Duchen posted a cool video of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Chorus doing the flash mob thing at the Odessa Fish Market. Yes, it’s a highly unusual spot for a concert — but, wow, the place seems to have some surprisingly good acoustics…