viola da gamba


Our tasks for the immediate future:

I. Permanent residence for the collection

II. Exhibitions all over the world

Since my youth I have been collecting fine string instruments of the 16th to the 18th Centuries. The collection today has been classified by international experts as “unique in the world”. It comprises over 200 choice violins, violas, violoncellos, violas da gamba, violas d’amore, barytons and historical bows created from 1570 to 1780, all of which are faithfully restored to the original measurements and playable. These instruments are regularly lent to professional musicians and outstanding students for recordings, competitions, auditions and concerts. This is why the collection, besides being a notable historical patrimony, also represents a living and vital heritage for our society today.

I. Permanent residence for the collection and its musical and pedagogical activities

II. Exhibitions
We are seeking opportunities to share this cultural heritage with audiences in other countries in the form of temporary exhibitions, accompanied by concerts on the instruments of the collection.

Please, contact us with your advice and suggestions, which could help us realise this marvellous project. We would appreciate your recommendations and help in establishing contact with interested institutions which could host an exhibition.

Prof. José Vázquez
Orpheon Foundation


What we wish to accomplish:

A. Establish a permanent residence for the collection and its musical and pedagogical activities with its own early music festival using the instruments of the collection. We are convinced that there is a great potential and a significant interest in this museum, since ours is the only collection in the world where all of the instruments are restored to playing condition and placed in the service of music.

B. Demonstrate unequivocally the significance of a viable, active and dynamic cultural entity, with its obvious potential for tourism, education and the cultural enrichment of its citizens.

C.  Make accessible in a systematic manner this cultural heritage to the educational system: schools, universities, conservatories of the home country, in order to promote interest in this heritage among the young.

The establishment of a permanent residence for the collection of historical musical instruments, beyond the very evident point of reference which it represents for a city, a region, a province or even a country, does not geographically limit the field of action of this collection. One should bear in mind that this patrimony belongs, at least in principle, to the whole of Western Culture and, by consequence, to all non-western cultures which historically and in our times share these affinities. Therefore it is not just desirable, but rather of great importance that the cultural activities which this center generates, should carry the aesthetic values and the cultural patrimony to other regions of the world.
for the study and interpretation of Renaissance, Baroque and Classical music, organology, restoration and related disciplines, which would allow us to extend the programme throughout the world, thus helping to disseminate the knowledge obtained through the work with these instruments.

Documents on the collection (printable form):



Technical data:

Letters of recommendation

Audiovisual documentation (access via internet):

Photographic documentation:

Film: Orpheon Foundation

Film French TV:

The exhibitions of 2009:

Basauri, Spain, 2009:

Cuenca, Spain. 2009:

Château de Lunéville, France, 2009:

Next exhibition: Castello di Duino, Italy, 2010:

Special installations (shown during the exhibitions via television, computer screens):
The Operation of a Urinary Bladder by Marin Marais
The bass Viola da gamba by Joachim Tielke, 1683
The bass Viola da gamba by Joachim Tielke, 1697
The Baryton and Joseph Haydn at Esterhazy
William Turner, viol maker in London
A Tale of Two Sisters - a Family Reunion
The Viola da gamba in Italy
The Viola d'Amore
Violoncello by Andrea Amati, 1664 - The Reconstruction by Roland Hoüel

The European Union Project realised in 2007: Vienna, Minoritenkirche, Salzburg: Barockmuseum

viola da gamba

A future soloist, selecting his first instrument!

exhibition historical musical instruments

Abbey de Noirlac, France, July, 2007


updated 29.01.2014