AN EXTRAORDINARY ARTIST, coupled with an exemplary instrument, is an experience that forever remains in an audience’s memory. Likewise, witnessing an established musician and orchestra perform on a suite of contemporary recreations of the greatest instruments of all time, such as The Amati Foundation Historical Collection, will become a moment to be cherished for a lifetime.

     Imagine the first violinist performing on a recreation of Antonio Stradivari's "Soil" violin of 1714 that is hand crafted to the exact specifications of Stradivari's instrument with one difference: instead of looking 300 years old like the actual instrument, this one looks as fresh and new as it did the day it left Stradivari's workshop.

     The Amati Foundation is commissioning a collection of reproductions of 34 of the most important violins, violas, cellos, and basses ever made, by makers such as Stradivari, Guarneri, Vuillaume, Maggini, and others, awarding the work to a select group of 34 of the world's best, award-winning, contemporary makers. While replicating the original appearance and dimensions of these masterpieces, the makers will utilize contemporary techniques to ensure optimal acoustic properties in order to fulfill today's performance demands.

     Completion of the instruments will result in the most unique collection of historically accurate stringed instruments in existence. As the centerpiece in promoting the educational efforts of The Amati Foundation, the Historical Collection's public exposure will greatly enhance the public's knowledge of the Foundation, its mission, its programs, and the difference it makes in the children's lives, while bringing worldwide recognition to the Historical Collection's benefactor.

    The Historical Collection will appear in public performances at orchestras, displays at museums, and displays and performances at leading music schools in the United States and abroad. A book and video/dvd illustrating the development of the collection, coupled with extensive branding and public relations efforts for the Collection in general media and at each venue it appears, will provide extensive knowledge of the efforts of The Amati Foundation’s programs and its benefactor.


A replica of the 1734 Guarneri del Gesu violin, "Prince Doria" by Michigan-based maker Joseph Curtin.
Maryland-based maker Christopher Germain created this violin based on the "Plowden" by Guarneri del Gesu, circa 1735.
     Upon completion, the Collection will be displayed at an unveiling event for educators, musicians, media, and the public. After 30-60 days of public display, the Collection will begin its eight year loan program permitting professional orchestras from around the world to utilize the collection for live performances. This will provide a unique event in which to draw patrons, increase revenues, and expose classical music performances to new audiences.  Orchestras will be encouraged to invite school-aged children to attend the events at no cost or at a reduced price.
     The Collection will also be loaned to museums and schools, exposing the instruments to hundreds of thousands of individuals. This gives the public the opportunity to view the work of today’s top makers and see replicas of many instruments that have been locked away in museums and private collections for years. It also provides museums a compelling attraction to increase attendance and gain new patrons.
     Beginning8 years after the tour begins, individual instruments will be loaned to outstanding young musicians who are pursuing studies in music or entering the music profession, enabling them to perform with world-class instruments, while keeping The Amati Foundation and the benefactor’s names in the public arena for years to come. The timing of this effort coincides with The Amati Foundation educational program, whose first students will be graduating from high school, allowing The Amati Foundation to place outstanding instruments in the hands of students who are entering a music school or professional music career. This provides talented musicians the tools required to excel in their musical careers.


The Makers

Over 30 of the world’s greatest stringed instrument makers, representing eight countries, have been chosen to participate in this monumental effort. As the architects of this unique collection of instruments, their efforts, via documentation and display on the world’s stages, will expand the craft of violin making while proving that exceptional performance instruments can be made by today’s luthiers.  

Those invited to participate include:

United States

  • Gregg Alf
  • David Burgess
  • Joseph Curtin
  • Christopher Germain
  • Boris Odio de Granda
  • Joe Grubaugh & Sigrun Seifert
  • Philip Injeian
  • Feng Jiang
  • Francis Kuttner
  • Mario Miralles
  • Guy Rabut
  • Ben Ruth
  • Andrew Ryan
  • Kurt Widenhouse
  • Samuel Zygmuntowicz

United Kingdom

  • Peter Beare
  • John Dilworth
  • David Rattray
  • Roger Hargrave


  • Raymond Schryer
  • Jim Ham

Czech Republic

  • Jan Spidlen
  • Frank Ravatin
  • Patrick Robin
  • Andrea Frandsen
  • Marcus Klimke


  • Hieronymus Koestler
  • Martin Schleske


  • Luca Primon
  • Primo Postini
  • Marco Nolli
  • Daniele Tonarelli


  • Zheng Quan

Gregg Alf (USA)
Jan Spidlen (Czech Republic)
Raymond Schryer (Canada)
The Stradivari Hellier (click on photo for larger image)

The Instruments

Chosen for their historical importance, craftsmanship, past ownership, and other criteria, the listing of instruments to be recreatedrepresents a wide range of maker's styles. The instruments range from famous violins such as Stradivari's inlaid Greffuhle which resides in the Smithsonian Institution collection and Guarneri's Soil and Kochanski violins (now played by Itzhak Perlman and Aaron Rosand, respectively) to Yo-Yo Ma's famous Montagnana cello and a double bass designed by the Cremonese maker Enrico Ceruti, yet never before built.


     Antonio Stradivari

            il Cremonese 1715 

            Greffuhle 1709

            Tuscan 1690 

           Gibson ex Huberman 1713

            Soil 1714 

            Messiah 1715

        Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu

            LeDuc 1743 

            D’Egville 1735 

            Stern ex-Panette 1737 

            Vieuxtemps 1741 

            Kochanski 1741 

            Lord Wilton 1742 

        Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

            Tsar Nicholas 1840 

        Nicolo Amati

            Alard 1649

        J.B.Guadagnini 1753




        Antonio Stradivari

            Banks 1690 

            McDonald 1690 

            Spanish King 1696 

        Giovanni Paolo Maggini

        Antonio and Hieronymus  Amati 1610-1620 

        Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

            Count Doria 1848 

        Nicolas Gagliano 1580          

        Gasparo da Salo 1580

        Andrea Guarneri 1664




        Antonio Stradivari

            Bass of Spain 1713 

            Duport 1711 

            Batta 1714 

        Francesco Ruggieri 1695 

        Andrea Guarneri

        Dominicus Montagnana

         Sleeping Beauty 1739

            Yo-Yo Ma 1733


Double Bass



            Karr / Koussevitsky  1611

        Giovannia Paolo Maggini 1630 

        J.B. Guadagnini 1710 

        Enrico Ceruti

Quartet - The Two Masters Quartet


The Amati Foundation Two Masters Quartet was designed to recognize the important contributions that Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu made to the art of violinmaking. The quartet will be completed alongside the Amati Foundation Historical Collection and will be loaned to quartets worldwide with particular emphasis on emerging quartets. The Two Masters Quartet is currently available for sponsorship. Please inquire. The quartet will feature bench copy recreations of the following instruments.


        Antonio Stradivari

            Violin Dolphin 1714

            Viola Archinto  1696  

        Guarneri del Gesu

            Violin Stretton 1726

            Cello Messeas 1731


A book, VHS/DVD, and television documentary will be created alongside the instruments. These will be available for purchase at orchestra and museum events as well as on The Amati Foundation web site. A booklet, "The Benefits of Music in Education" will be printed that provides students and their parents important information on music education, its effects on mental development, and how to select a teacher and instrument. This will be provided at no cost to students attending orchestra dress rehearsals.

If you are interested in participating in this exciting endeavor as a primary benefactor, including full public relations and marketing coverage, branding, and other forms of recognition during the life of the program, or wish to become a secondary sponsor of the Collection, with recognition in the book, printed materials, and web site, please contact William Townsend, Chairman, at The Amati Foundation via e-mail , by telephone at 512.261.0761, or use the submission form below.

Sponsor An Instrument

For a tax deductible contribution of $150,000 you can become the patron of an individual instrument, ensuring that orchestras and musicians around the globe have access to the Historical Collection. Plus, upon conclustion of the global tour, the instrument will be loaned to outstanding young performers, providing them the essential tools-of-the-trade they require to pursue their professional careers -- all made possible through your generosity and support of the arts. For information please contact Beryl Huang, Vice Chairman via e-mail or by telephone at 512-261-0761.

For additional information on title and instrument sponsorship please download the Adobe PDF file below.



Click to download Title and Instrument Sponsorship information.





Download an Adobe Acrobat PDF brochure on The Amati Foundation Historical Collection. Click on the link to the right. Don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader? Download it here.


The Amati Foundation Historical Collection