Oxford, United Kingdom, December 02, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- There is little time left for anyone who’d like to admire some priceless musical instruments, violins and violas made by world famous Italian makers such as Stradivari, Amati and Gasparo. These masterworks are kept in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which is going to close for redevelopment on the 23rd of December and will remain closed for about a year.
This advice comes from Monica Cuneo, a respected Oxford based viola player, an expert of the viola who has created a website about it, www.viola-in-music.com (appreciated even by the Encyclopedia Britannica), with curiosities such as famous composers and violin players who played viola and a wealth of information about the instrument. “Not everybody knows what invaluable treasures are in this which is one of the first public museums in the world”. The most famous instrument here is a violin, “The Messiah”, by Antonio Stradivari. However, especially noteworthy are also three extremely rare violas: one by Andrea Amati, nearly 450 years old, another one by his sons and a third one by Gasparo da Salò. These violas are important in the history of music and of musical instruments because of their size (they are much bigger than modern violas) and also because Andrea Amati and Gasparo da Salò were the first makers ever to produce violins with the shape they still have nowadays and started the world famous Italian violinmaking schools, in Cremona and Brescia. These three precious violas are also featured in the www.viola-in-music.com website and some time ago Monica was granted the privilege to hold them in her hands.
They are beautiful instruments and music lovers, enthusiasts and students should hasten to the museum to enjoy these and many other musical masterworks, some richly decorated, with a long history.
Monica is a powerful, entertaining interview, she’ll tell your audience:
- why these instruments are so valuable
- why The Messiah violin by Antonio Stradivari has this name
- what is the difference between violin and viola
- what is the difference between these ancient violas and modern ones
- why large violas are extremely rare and no longer used
- how to know whether an old violin or viola is a Stradivari
- how much these instruments are worth.
Monica Cuneo is also a passionate violin & viola teacher and has translated three books on string playing and teaching. To book an interview, call (+44) (0)7985 025129.