february 9, 2017.
a jewel in Melbourne’s crown: a reflection by lerida

Tinalley recently learnt that on February 10th, Melbourne jeweller, Kozminsky, will be closing its doors for the final time.  Many musicians will remember that before we purchased sheet music online (or downloaded it from IMSLP) we would visit a Melbourne institution, Fine Music.  Tucked upstairs, down a little obscure lane connecting Bourke Street and Little Collins, McKillop Lane, Fine Music was a treasure trove of freshly pressed editions of Barenreiter, Henle, Sikorski or (excessively priced) Durand.  The excursion was also an opportunity to browse the magnificent window displays of a jewel in Melbourne’s crown, Kozminsky.   Immersed in the hustle and bustle of Bourke Street, the store was a reminder of the elegance of yesteryear…

I remember when the Quartet had been accepted to compete in both the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition, two major competitions scheduled within weeks of each other, we suddenly realised that we needed performance practise. The cost of venue hire, advertising, ticketing… after several hours of brainstorming in Justin’s bachelor pad, he suddenly said ‘What about the jeweller, you know, the one with the amazing store near Fine Music, Kozminsky?’.  I was sceptical.  But we rang and I spoke with Kirsten Albrecht.  Kirsten immediately said, ‘why don’t you come in this afternoon and I’ll speak with you about it?’   I remember vividly that it was a scorching Melbourne day, I arrived in my little summer dress, and after years of gazing through the glass, I entered the store for the first time.  Kirsten sat me down, listened to Tinalley’s story (at that time, we had been together 4 years) and after conferring with her brother Ben, came back and said ‘how about $5000?’ I was stunned.   I felt like Kirsten had just offered me a million dollars.  That was the beginning of a wonderful association that Tinalley has been privileged to enjoy for ten years.

The Kozminsky ‘door’ was always open.   Michelle and I were loaned jewels for international tours, photo shoots and special events… Kirsten and her wonderful staff helped us organise sumptuous events in the upstairs gallery celebrating Tinalley’s achievements and unveiling new chapters in Tinalley’s life …  in fact, in truth, the only reason why Adam and Justin are married is because of the magnificent rocks they presented their wives when the question was popped… rings selected under the discerning gaze of Kirsten!

But what is extraordinary about the relationship between Kozminsky and Tinalley, is that we shared a passion and a vision.   Kozminsky listened to Tinalley’s story and wanted to be a part of its next chapter.  And Kozminsky went above and beyond in its efforts to support Tinalley.  Ten years later, I realise how rare that support is.

When Kozminsky closes its door on February 10th, 2017, Melbourne will not only lose an iconic link to the heady days of sophistication and elegance, but a rare jewel in the modern world.