Tuesday morning, though, he awoke after a night during which temperatures dipped into the 30s to find the violin that served as his livelihood and his joy had been stolen in the night.
Landry immediately made a sign informing his morning fans of what occurred and outstretched a red Solo cup to passersby in the Joliette station in hopes of raising enough to buy a new one.
Marie-Philippe ML saw the sign and snapped a photo, posting it to Facebook with a message that explained, in French, why she shared it: “in the hope that a good Samaritan has a violin to give.”
That’s when staff at the Orchestre Métropolitain, which is “dedicated to bringing classical music from here and abroad to the entire community of Metropolitan Montréal,” according to its website, found the post and showed it to the orchestra’s CEO Jean R. Dupré.
“We were really, really touched by this posting,” Dupré told The Washington Post via telephone on Tuesday night. “We said, ‘Oh my God, this poor man lost his only way of communicating his passion to others.'”
He didn’t waste any time in calling his friends at Maison du Violon, a local violin shop, to ask if they would like to help him replace Landry’s instrument. According to Dupré, they said, “that’s a great idea.”
They offered to help Dupré give Landry a brand new violin, case and bow by selling it at cost, CBC reported.
“We found a solution to help him out,” Dupré said. “We had to realize this person was not just a nobody. We knew this person, because he had been playing in the subway for the last six or seven years. This person was a person who played music.”
Francis Lapointe of the Maison du Violon said they wanted to “put music back in his life,” according to CBCnews.
Dupré’s motivation was simple.
“This is what the orchestra is all about,” he said.
Meanwhile, Landry prayed, convinced in his faith that God would deliver him a new instrument.
“God’s gonna give me a new one,” Landry said. Otherwise, he would “go through a lower level of poverty, which is to live without my violin.”
He told Dupré he was lost without his instrument.
“I talked to God this morning and said I cannot live without my violin,” Landry told him.
As the head of the city’s orchestra and a music lover, it’s a feeling Dupré understands.
“If you know music, the musicians actually connect with their instruments,” he said.
Tuesday afternoon, Dupré, joined by a CBC news crew, delivered the violin to Landry. The resulting video shows the bearded man’s eyes light up as he rips off his red-and-black checkered jacket to free his arms and begin playing.
“Immediately when I gave him the violin, he opened the case and said, ‘God listened to me,’” Dupré said. “He just grabbed the instrument right at that exact moment and began playing.”
“It was really a special moment for us and for music as a whole,” Dupré said, adding that he hopes the experience will encourage others to help those in need.
“I hope it was actually inspiring for other people,” Dupré said. “It was a small gesture, but I hope it inspires other people. That’s what the takeaway should be.”