The young man in this story is a dedicated musician, a clarinettist. He is, in fact, too dedicated, because he has very limited talents and abilities. Refusing to face the facts of his limitations, he is hard on himself and everyone around him. After the conductor of the orchestra he has been playing in commits suicide, he is left with a quite valuable violin. His decisions about what to do with it motivate his actions throughout the rest of the film.
Source : allmovie.com