IRVINE, Calif. — A California concert violinist is playing sweet music on one of the rarest instruments in the world: a $5 million Stradivarius.

Iryna Krechkovsky reportedly will use the instrument for three years. The so-called Baumgartner Stradivarius is 324 years old. Krechkovsky says its tone is as sweet as dark chocolate.

The violin is one of 17 rare instruments loaned out every three years by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Top Canadian musicians compete for a chance to play them, and Krechkovsky was among the chosen. She moved to Irvine with her husband, pianist Kevin Kwan Loucks. They’re artists in residence at UC-Irvine.