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Phoenix museum opens exhibit following history of violin maker Antonio Stradivari

PHOENIX — Get ready to be immersed in a wave of overwhelming musical past through a unique exhibit of the most prestigious string instrument in history: The Stradivarius.

Stradivarius: Origins and Legacy of the Greatest Violin Maker” is a new exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. The unique experience takes music lovers, students and connoisseurs alike through the history of violin-making and the man who turned this instrument into what it is today.

“Some people might say that it was the maker, Antonio Stradivari, who make them great,” said exhibit curator Dr. Kathleen Weins, PhD. “One could say he perfected the formula and he was so good at it, even hundreds of years later makers still imitate his methods and product.”

Through a headset provided before entering the room, guests will be able to hear narrations of the life of Stradivari, and the craftsmen he modeled. A collection of more than 50 personal tools and instruments make up one of the largest groups of artifacts displayed in one museum.

The exhibit includes 10 historic and modern examples from the string family, including violins and violas. It also showcases a 1728 Stradivarius violin on public display for the first time in America.

“Some of the pieces come from our collection that we have in our museum that we have in Cremona” said Paolo Bodini, board member of the Museo del Violino in Cremona, Italy. The rest of the instruments come from private collectors and members of the international institution Friends of Stradivari, which Bodini is the President.

Walking through the gallery, guests will be taken through a journey of violin craftsmanship, the science behind the instrument’s creation and the performances by top musicians that bring the music to life.

The exhibition includes handcrafted pieces not only by Stradivari, but also by other master violin-makers such as Andrea Amati and Guarneri del Gesu.

Though the name “Stradivari” connotes power and royalty as it relates to the violin, Dr. Weins said she encourages anyone who is interested in learning this part of violin history to experience the exhibit.

“Whether their interest be science, nature, craftsmanship, music, everyone will find something that is meaningful to them,” Dr. Weins said.

The Stradivarius exhibit runs through June 5, 2016. The Musical Instrument Museum is the only stop for this exhibit scheduled in the United States.

Admission to the exhibit is $10, or $7 when purchased with general museum admission.

In addition to the exhibit, the museum is also hosting a series of concerts with some of the world’s most talented violinists, such as Regina Carter and Midori.


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