New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is staging an exhibition of rare Italian and Cremonese stringed instruments.
The show is of the Sau-Wing Lam collection of violin-family instruments, which is one of the most important collections of bowed Italian stringed instruments ever assembled by an individual. It is being mounted in collaboration with the Antonio Stradivari Foundation of Cremona.
The collection is being exhibited for the first time in the United States. An amateur violinist and violist, Lam bought his first important violin in the 1960s and assembled his impressive collection of violins and bows over the next 25 years.
The exhibit includes significant instruments such as the Baltic violin by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, Bavarian and Scotland University violins by Antonio Stradivari, Ex Collin violin by Nicolò Amati, an extremely early viola by Andrea Amati, and a violin by Giuseppe Guarneri.
On 12 April, the Salomé Chamber Orchestra and guest artists will play the rare violins and violas of the collection at the museum. Works featuring viola will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ‘Sinfonia Concertante K. 364’, Lera Auerbach’s ‘Dialogues on Stabat Mater’, and the New York premiere of Richard Dubugnon’s arrangement of Richard Strauss’ ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ suite for string orchestra. Tickets cost US$35.00.
On 21 April, the museum is hosting a series of free lectures on ‘Cremona and Its Violin-Making Tradition’, ‘Storied Strings: The Art of Violin Collecting’, ‘From Andrea Amati to Antonio Stradivari: Birth and Splendour of Violin Making in Cremona’, and ‘Made in Cremona: 21st-Century Violin-Making Techniques’. There will also be a free performance by violinist Sergej Krylov playing the Stradivari Scotland University, which dates to 1737.
The exhibition coincides with the Year of Italian Culture in the United States. It runs to 30 June 2013.