The World’s Only Global Musical Instrument Museum ®

PHOENIX: August 04, 2014 Download this press release >

Travel to Italy Without Leaving the Valley

Say "Buon giorno" to Italian Music, Culture and Food at "Experience Italy" on September 6 and 7

PHOENIX (Aug. 4, 2014) On September 6 and 7, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) invites guests to “Experience Italy” in honor of the museum’s new exhibit that showcases the rich heritage of violin makers from the city of Cremona, Italy. Guests will live “la dolce vita” at MIM with live musical performances, an Italian-inspired menu at Café Allegro, wine sampling, gallery talks and hands-on activities for all ages.

MIM’s first signature program to focus on Italian music will highlight one of the museum’s recent additions to the Europe Gallery. The “Violin Makers of Cremona” display allows guests to see a workshop as if the violin maker were in the process of creating his instruments. The workshop exhibit was inspired by actual tools and parts made by Antonio Stradivari still preserved at Cremona’s Museo del Violino. At 1:30 p.m. on both days, Dr. Kathleen Wiens, MIM’s curator for Europe, will discuss the exhibit, including information about the early master luthiers of Cremona and how their methods set the standard for violin makers around the world. On Sunday, Scottsdale-based luthier Joel Shewchuk will join Dr. Wiens for a special Q&A session.

Three musical performances will be featured each day. First, accordionist Augie Figurelli will join violinist Shannon Bohall for a performance of popular Italian songs at 11 a.m. Then, Rhea Miller, soprano, and Justin Carpenter, tenor, from Arizona Opera will perform Italian arias and art songs at 12:30 p.m., accompanied on MIM’s Steinway grand piano. Lastly, Tetra String Quartet will explore Italian chamber music in the MIM Music Theater at 2:15 p.m.

“Italy is famous throughout the world for its rich history of music, art and culture,” said Celina Chiarello, public programs manager at MIM. “It will be such fun to see so many different Italian elements coming together for this celebration. Everyone will be able to find something to enjoy.”

Guests can also learn about Italian art from artist and instructor Roberta Kritzia, who teaches MIM’s Art of Music classes. At 3:15 p.m. on both dates, Kritzia will demonstrate basic visual art techniques, give a short introductory drawing lesson and share information about Italian artists from the 15th through the 19th centuries.

Family-friendly activities for the weekend include a violin craft-making session inspired by MIM’s new violin workshop exhibit, in which participants can create their own stringed instrument from everyday materials. Additionally, face painters will be available and guests can snap a few photos with props at MIM’s photo booth.

Chef Chris Lenza of Café Allegro will draw on his Italian heritage to prepare a menu of some of his favorite dishes, available for purchase. Highlights include Pasta e Fagioli (borlotti bean, ditalini, olive oil, garlic, tomato), Roman-style tripe (beef tripe, Roma tomato, crostini, parmigiano), pork osso buco (Barolo, gremolata, heritage polenta, mirepoix) and Frutti di Mare (seafood salad with celery, greens, farro berries, fennel, Calabrian chile vinaigrette). Guests ages 21 and over can also sample Italian wines from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., including La Gioiosa Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, Ripa delle Mandorle Bianco and Famiglia Pasqua Passimento Rosso Veneto. Full-sized glasses and bottles will also be available for purchase.

For those who would like to take a bit of Italian culture home, the Museum Store will feature CDs, books and souvenirs related to the music of Italy.

“Experience Italy” performances and activities are included with paid museum admission. Admission is free for Circle of Friends donors. Admission to the Tetra String Quartet performance in the MIM Music Theater can also be purchased separately for $7 per person.

This program is supported by the Italian Association of Arizona and the Sons of Italy in America–Camelback Lodge #2633.

General Admission: $18
Teens (ages 13‒19): $14
Children (ages 4‒12): $10
Children 3 and under: Free

“Experience Italy” Museum Hours
Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101). For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit or call 480.478.6000.


About MIM
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches the world by collecting, preserving and making accessible a wide variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. We offer our guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming and exceptional musical performances. MIM also fosters appreciation of diverse cultures around the globe by showing that we all innovate, adapt and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul.

Find MIM on Facebook:
Follow MIM on Twitter: @MIMphx
Subscribe to MIM on YouTube:

Media Contact
Erin Miller, Media Relations Manager, MIM