Most of the world's great violinists and cellists, people such as Nadia Solerno-Sonnenberg and Yo Yo Ma, ply their trade on the famous instruments made by the great instrument-makers of Cremona, Italy over two hundred years ago -- names such as Stradivari and Guarneri. Sadly, though, as these instruments continue to soar in value, they are less and less likely to be owned, and played, by musicians. Classical musicians simply can't afford them, which means that they will end up being owned by large institutions such as banks and large museums.
It appears that the great violins and violas and cellos will fall silent over the next few decades, as the instruments pass into the ownership not of those who can play them but those who can afford to own them.
(Link via Sean, who finds some pretty good stuff when he's not scanning Ebay for used jerseys once worn by Tom Brady.)