Immerse Yourself in the Sights and Sounds of Perfection. . . .
On view only at MIM, this one-of-a-kind exhibition introduces the story of how early violin makers from the northern Italian city of Cremona shaped music from the sixteenth century onward. See and hear timeless masterpieces that were handcrafted by master luthiers, including Andrea Amati, the founding father of the violin; the rogue genius Guarneri del Gesù; and the master himself—Antonio Stradivari. The exhibition includes several modern-day masterworks that demonstrate the continuing influence of Cremona’s early masters.
The History of the Violin Brought to Life as Never Before
Stunning video footage will immerse you into the life of the violin. Your journey starts in the Fiemme Valley forest, where the early masters sourced their wood, and then moves on to the many places where violins come to life. These include the courts of European royalty, whose patronage inspired our enduring fascination with instruments of the string family; the cobblestoned streets of Cremona and the workshops of expert violin makers who call the city “home”; and the science labs where researchers try to unlock the tangible and intangible features of the violin’s sound. Your final destination is the concert stage, where exceptional musicians bring these instruments to life through music.
One of the oldest existing violins, the “Carlo IX” by Andrea Amati (c. 1566), made for a son of the powerful Catherine de Medici while at the French Court. Private Collection, Courtesy of the Friends of Stradivari
Why is Stradivari considered the greatest maker? MIM’s exhibition includes tools, patterns, and forms he used during his over seventy years of craftsmanship, which reveal his quest for perfection. Courtesy of Museo del Violino
Prague-based luthier Jan Špidlen: “Cremona and Italian violin making are important topics for every violin maker. Our idols Amati, Stradivari, and Guarneri set the standards for us who work in modern times.” Violin by Jan Špidlen, 2003
Catherine de Medici
The 1728 “Artôt-Alard” Violin by Antonio Stradivari, on museum display for the first time in the USA. Photo courtesy of Endre Balogh / EndresArt.com
The “Violino Barocco” inlaid violin made in the United States in 1941 by a modern master, Simone Fernando Sacconi Courtesy of Friends of Stradivari
Scientist Piercarlo Dondi performs a 3D scan of the 1734 “Prince Doria” violin by Guarneri del Gesù, which will be showcased in MIM’s exhibition.
Partners and Sponsors
In partnership with:
Friends of Stradivari
The Friends of Stradivari is an international network that brings together collectors, museums, dealers, artists, and lovers of the Cremonese classical violin-making tradition. It provides opportunities for masterpieces not typically accessible to the public to be promoted, admired, studied, and appreciated.
Museo del Violino
For five centuries, Cremona, Italy, has been the world’s capital of violin making. The city’s Museo del Violino has added a new page to this distinguished history by providing a center where the Cremonese legacy and its extraordinary masterpieces can be shared with the world.