RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

New violin museum and Stradivari Festival in Cremona

4th September 2013 Print
Museo del Violino

From 14 September to 13 October, STRADIVARIfestival, organized by the Fondazione Museo del Violino Antonio Stradivari Cremona, will offer the chance to hear some of the great violin maker’s most celebrated instruments in the hands of top performers from the international concert scene. This unusual and fascinating festival will explore an artist who was able to revolutionize the tradition and technique of making violins, reaching heights that have never been equalled.

The inauguration of the Museo del Violino, on 14 September 2013, will be celebrated with a concert by the Lucerne Festival Strings orchestra, with two precious Stradivaris and exceptional performers including soloist Arabella Steinbacher and concertante violinist Daniel Dodds.

On Saturday 21 September, the Stradivari Quartett will take to the stage of the Giovanni Arvedi Auditorium. As the name suggests, the ensemble performs using original instruments made by the great violin maker, perfect masterpieces played by talented young musicians – Xiaoming Wang, Sebastian Bohren, Lech Antonio Uszynski and Maja Weber – in a collaboration of excellence able to express the thrill of emotions.

The following week the spotlight will turn on Renaud Capuçon and his ex-Panette Guarneri “del Gesù”. On Saturday 5 October, during the annual meeting of the “friends of Stradivari” – the international network managed by the Fondazione Museo del Violino Antonio Stradivari linking those who collect, study, play or simply love the great masterpieces of classic Cremonese violin making – Dan Zhu, an emerging talent on the international concert scene, will use the “Scotland University” Stradivari to play a virtuoso selection ranging from Corelli to contemporary pieces via Beethoven and Verdi. Finally, on 12 October, Mario Brunello and Andrea Lucchesini will be exploring the aesthetic and poetic rationale of Beethoven’s Sonatas Op. 5. 

Meanwhile, every Sunday, precious Stradivaris from the Museo del Violino collections will be played in concerts that would be impossible elsewhere, with Edoardo Zosi and Maria Grazia Bellocchio, the Amati String Trio, the Noûs and Guadagnini quartets, Lena Yokoyama and Anastasiya Petryshak trying the instruments out in chamber groups and very diverse repertoires.

The STRADIVARIfestival programme features all this and more: study days, open lessons and meetings with the individuals who are working every day to protect and promote the cultural value of violin making and the excellence of the craft.

A focus of special attention will be the exhibition “Bottega Italiana”, which will present a small but carefully chosen selection of string instruments, selected from the over 1,300 instruments preserved by the Museum of the Chi Mei Cultural Foundation in Tainan, Taiwan.

The exhibition features 19 violins, two violas and one violoncello – made between the end of the 17th century and the first half of the 19th century – all instruments of the highest quality and in an excellent state of conservation. They represent the output of Italian violin makers who are important but not widely known, often precisely because of the rarity of their works.

As exemplified by the title, which means “Italian workshop”, the exhibition wants to show to the public the wealth of ideas and variety of forms and models that can be found in classic Italian violin making. As the exhibition progresses, it reveals how many violin makers with great personality and considerable technical and artistic skills were active throughout north-central Italy. With their works, these artisans contributed to making the violin the popular instrument we know so well today.

The wide geographic area and extensive time period the exhibition covers allows for fascinating readings. The reciprocal influence of violin makers working in the same city will be clear, but it will also be interesting to evaluate the influence of the work of the supreme Stradivari, and more generally the Cremona school, on great Italian violin making.

Antique musical instrument restoration and conservation has become fully incorporated into the history and theory of restoration. Science today provides remarkable tools for analysing works of art, using diagnostic techniques already widely tested in major Italian restorations of individual artworks, frescoes and archaeological sites.

Violin making and music, art and place will interweave in harmonious intermittence, combining shapes, colours, words and sounds. Thanks to the variety of so many contributions and offerings, the festival will become a unique opportunity for the researchers and experts who will savour the themed exhibitions and dedicated lectures, for performers who want to see rare and precious instruments and hear them played live, for collectors and dealers, for violin makers who want to compare their work and also for anyone who is curious about the origin of the unique fascination exerted by the city and its ancient violin-making tradition. Cremona is the festival’s willing accomplice, both backdrop and stage, distinguished by a rich historic and artistic heritage that makes the city one of Italy’s foremost cultural destinations and offers an enchanting enticement to visit.

For more information, visit /

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Museo del Violino