Concert Series of Early Music at Yale Collection of Musical Instruments Delights the Ear and Eye and Enlivens the Spirit

One of the world’s foremost collections of its kind, the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, housed at 15 Hillhouse Ave., regularly provides a setting for concerts of early music by prominent performers and provides audience members with an opportunity to take a closer look a the masterfully conserved instruments on display.

Among the roughly 1000 items in the Collection’s holdings are rare string instruments from the 17th through the 19th centuries (including a Stradivarius violin); wind instruments from the greatest European makers and a significant representation of American masters; and an unsurpassed collection of organs, pianos, spinets, clavichords, virginals, and harpsichords from the workshops of many of the most renowned virtuosi of their craft. Many of these rare keyboard instruments are restored to playing condition and are regularly featured in live performances.

Since the year began, the Collection has hosted two noteworthy concerts: The Smithsonian Chamber Players made their Collection debut January 23 in a performance of quintets by Mozart and Beethoven, and the Quaver Viol Consort, all playing different sizes of the viola da gamba, performed in celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the Elizabethan Club.

Still to come this spring:

Paolo Pandolfo, a viola da gamba virtuoso, will perform on Sunday, February 27, at 3 pm. Considered “One of the most brilliant and poetic of the instrument’s current exponents” by Gramophone (UK), Pandolfo will be accompanied by Thomas Boysen on the theorbo (a long-necked relative of the lute) and baroque guitar.

The Yale Baroque Ensemble, the ensemble-in-residence at the Collection, will make its Carnegie Hall debut on April 25 as part of the Yale in New York series. Using the School of Music’s collection of baroque bows, the Ensemble will offer a free preview concert at the Collection on Sunday, April 10 at 3 pm. The program, called Stylus Fantasticus, features avant-garde music from 17-century Italy and Germany, including chamber sonatas in the stilo moderno by Dario Castello, Biagio Marini, and G.B. Fontana, along with ensemble sonatas by Antonio Bertali, Johann Schmelzer, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, and others. The concert is free, but tickets are required.

Director of the Yale Schola Cantorum, Masaaki Suzuki, a renowned player of early keyboards, will give a special harpsichord recital on Tuesday, April 26, at 5 pm. The program will include music by Louis Couperin, William Byrd, Jakob Froberger, Dietrich Buxtehude, and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Pianists Dorothy and Nicholas Renouf will give the last concert of the Collection’s season on Sunday, May 1, at 3 pm. Nicholas Renouf is an associate curator of the Collection of Musical Instruments. The concert will feature the Collection’s grand piano made by Erard in Paris in 1883. The Renoufs will play music for piano four hands by Mozart, Schubert, Dvorak, and Fauré.

Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $20, $15 for seniors and Yale staff, and $10 for students. For more information, visit or call the Collection at 203 432-0825. Information about the Yale School of Music is available at or 203 432-4158.

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Dorie Baker:, 203-432-1345