Matthew Zeller

Curator for Europe

Curatorial and Collections Department

Matthew Zeller is an organologist, musicologist, and violin bow maker. He holds a PhD in musicology from Duke University and a master’s degree specializing in musical instrument history from the University of South Dakota, where he worked at the National Music Museum. He taught music history and theory, including courses on the history of musical instruments, at McGill University and Duke University. He has also been a curatorial consultant for the Duke University Musical Instrument Collections.

A specialist in Italian violins and French bows, Zeller is a leader in the field of historical metrology and musical instruments. His research includes in-depth studies of violin-family instruments from the Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivari families, and his publications include discussions of Amati instruments and northern Italian measuring systems of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He founded the Organology Study Group within the American Musicological Society, and he is active in both the American Musical Instrument Society and the Violin Society of America.

Zeller trained in bow making under Jean Grunberger at the Bow Making School of America and in violin making and restoration in various professional settings. Prior to his bowed string instrument training, he studied brass and woodwind restoration and was a member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians. Zeller also studied music composition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, film and media production at the University of Utah, and museum studies at Northwestern University.

At MIM, Zeller is primarily responsible for the collections and exhibits in the Europe Gallery.