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THE JEWEL OF TAIWAN

The Chimei Museum in Taiwan houses the largest collection of stringed instruments in the world. The Strad Calendar 2020 marks 30 years since its founding, as Dai-Ting Chung and Andrew Guan highlight some of the remarkable treasures within its walls
Above left–right 1656 Nicolò Amati violin; scroll of 1707 ‘Dushkin’ Stradivari violin; ‘Lafont, Siskovsky’ Guarneri ‘del Gesù’ violin Below Taiwan’s Chimei Museum
Chimei owns the only extant quartet of playable Andrea Amati instruments. Their first concert together took place in June 2019

In 1990 the Taiwanese–American violinist Cho-Liang Lin sold his instrument, the 1707 ‘Dushkin’ Stradivari, to Shi Wen-long, the founder of Taiwan’s Chimei Corporation. It was to be the first purchase of a fine, important instrument by the newly established Chimei Foundation, and the beginning of a collection that now numbers more than 1,370 stringed instruments from 1,120 different makers over five centuries and across six continents. When Shi Wen-long is asked about his motivation for such unreserved support and investment, his answer is always the same: he wants to offer makers and musicians as many fine-quality instruments as possible, for both research and performance. On average, Chimei lends out about 260 instruments annually for exhibitions, concerts and music competitions.

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About The Strad

We talk to the members of the Belcea Quartet and ask why more young people are turning to period performance. Students of Kató Havas pay tribute to the late violin teacher, and there’s a look at asymmetric instruments. Plus a Mendelssohn Masterclass and Renaud Capuçon’s Life Lessons.