Collection Closed for Renovations to Building’s Exterior

The Collection’s home at 15 Hillhouse Avenue is currently undergoing renovation. As a consequence, the museum is closed to the public until February 2020. Staff may be reached by telephone or email.

Telephone: 203 432 0822


William Purvis, Director

Susan E. Thompson, Curator

Christina Linsenmeyer, Associate Curator

Timothy Feil, Program Coordinator

Will Robbins

Published November 13, 2019
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Christina Linsenmeyer appointed Associate Curator of the Collection of Musical Instruments

Christina Linsenmeyer

Robert Blocker, Dean of the Yale School of Music, has recently announced that Christina Linsenmeyer will join the staff of the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments in May 2019. Below is his announcement to the Yale community:

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Christina Linsenmeyer has been appointed Associate Curator at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments and will begin her work in May. “Christina’s deep knowledge and broad perspective will contribute to our mission the moment she joins our team,” Collection Director William Purvis said.

Most recently, Dr. Linsenmeyer worked as a researcher at the Sibelius Academy at the University of the Arts Helsinki, in Finland. She was a founding Curator and served as interim Head of Curatorial Affairs at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dr. Linsenmeyer earned a doctorate in musicology from Washington University in St. Louis, a diploma in violin-making from the North Bennet Street School in Boston, and a bachelor of arts degree with honors in music from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. She is passionate about cultural history and the arts and has spent the past two decades specializing in musical-instrument museums and organology. Dr. Linsenmeyer has also explored transdisciplinary approaches to the visual and aural aspects of music history and the intersections of aesthetics, social history, and material culture.

A contributor to numerous international publications, she has made presentations at such notable institutions as the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, the University of Edinburgh’s Musical Instrument Collection, and the Violin Society of America. She is the Secretary of the International Council of Museums’ International Committee for Museums and Collections of Instruments and Music.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Linsenmeyer.

Warmest regards,

Robert Blocker
The Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music
Yale School of Music

Published April 17, 2019
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On Tuesday, April 16 at 4pm DMA candidate Jonathan Salamon (‘23 YSM) will present his lecture-recital, Rediscovering Marianna Martines, Composer and Performer in the Vienna of Haydn and Mozart.

Marianna Martines (1744-1812) was an important and widely-admired figure in her day who dropped into obscurity after her death. A four-hands sonata partner of W.A. Mozart’s at musical parties, she was praised for her beautiful singing, virtuosic keyboard playing, and prodigious skill as a composer. This lecture-recital examines Martines’s place in music history at the crossroads of the classical style in Vienna and concludes with a performance of her harpsichord sonata in A, Op. 5 (1765).

Jonathan Salamon is completing his second year of the Doctor of Musical Arts program in harpsichord at the Yale School of Music, where he also earned his Master of Music degree. A native of Connecticut and New York City, Jonathan received his bachelor’s degree from New York University. He teaches secondary harpsichord students at Yale and has presented lecture-recitals at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments and at the Historical Keyboard Society of North America’s 2018 conference. Most recently, he presented his DMA thesis at Temple University’s 2019 THEMUS Conference. His research and performance interests include classical improvisation, galant schemata theory, the music of J.S. Bach, and baroque performance practice.

Published April 11, 2019
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Requiescat in pace – Frank Rutkowski


Requiescat in pace
Francis Edwin “Frank” Rutkowski
12 December 1932 – 18 January 2019

Builder and Restorer of Harpsichords
Jersey City, New Jersey

Conservator of Harpsichords, Virginals and Clavichords
Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments

Audio clip and score:
Louis Couperin, Pièces de clavecin ré mineur, Prélude (unmeasured) (2:06 minutes)

Harpsichord by Rutkowski & Robinette, Jersey City, New Jersey, 1985
Richard Rephann, harpsichordist
Yves A. Feder, recording engineer (live performance) / Sunday, 3 February 2003
Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre (Paul Brunold / Davitt Moroney, editors)






Published January 22, 2019
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[ 2018-19 Concert Series ]

2018-19 Concert Series

Last year, the Collection celebrated the historic fiftieth anniversary of its annual concert series in grand style featuring staff favorite Paolo Pandolfo, and ending with an all-Schubert program in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution.  For the fifty-first season, the collection will continue to offer a distinguished slate of historical-context performances.

The critically acclaimed harpsichordist Władysław Kłosiewicz will open the Collection’s concert series on October 7 with a tribute to Wanda Landowska (1879-1959), a Polish harpsichordist whose performances, recordings, teachings, and writings greatly in uenced the revival of the instrument in the early twentieth century.

Born in Warsaw in 1955, Kłosiewicz became enamored with the harpsichord in his youth. During his teens and twenties, he studied at the Warsaw Academy
of Music under the tutelage of Julitty Sleńdzińskiej, and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, in Siena, Italy, under Ruggero Gerlin, who had been a close associate of Landowska.

In 1978, Kłosiewicz was invited to perform with the Polish Chamber Orchestra under Jerzy Maksymiuk, an opportunity that launched his career. For the past forty years, he has participated in the establishment and artistic direction of such period ensembles as the Concerto Avenna and Musica Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense and has been instrumental in producing the collected stage works of Claudio Monteverdi with the Warsaw Chamber Opera. As both a soloist and a chamber musician, Kłosiewicz has won numerous prizes in the categories of musical interpretation, basso continuo realization, and the performance of contemporary music.

In 1984, he was awarded first prize in harpsichord at the prestigious ARD International Music Competition in Munich, when no second or third prize was awarded. Kłosiewicz’s many recordings include the complete harpsichord works of François Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Johann Jakob Froberger, the partitas of
J.S. Bach, and the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. His recording of Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations for the Pro Academia Narolense Foundation received the Fryderyk prize (Poland’s highest music award) in 2000.

Kłosiewicz’s program at the collection, “Landowska in Memoriam,” will include works by J. J. Froberger, L. Couperin, F. Couperin, and J.S. Bach. Sponsorship is provided in part by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

On November 4, the Collection will welcome the Dark Horse Consort for the ensemble’s rst visit to Yale. Inspired by the bronze horse statues in Venice’s famed St. Mark’s Basilica, the ensemble attempts to recreate the glorious sounds of such composers as Giovanni Gabrieli, Claudio Monteverdi, and Heinrich Schütz.

Hailed as “stellar” by The New York Timesand “splendid” by The Boston Globe, the early music ensemble is dedicated to unearthing the majestic late Renaissance and early Baroque repertoire for brass instruments. The program, “The Golden Age of Brass: Seventeenth Century Music of Germany, England, and Italy,” will include works by Speer, Scheidt, Locke, Byrd, Adson, Hammerschmidt, Vierdanck, de Wert, Gabrieli, and Merulo. Members of the Dark Horse Consort appearing on this program will include cornettists Kiri Tollaksen and Alexandra Opsahl, and sackbutists Greg Ingles, Erik Schmalz, and Mack Ramsey.

The Boreas Quartett Bremen makes its debut appearance at the Collection on February 3, 2019, when recorder players Jin-Ju Baek, Elisabeth Champollion, Julia Fritz, and Luise Manske will be joined by their mentor Han Tol in a performance of music from the sixteenth century to the present.

The group formed at the Hochschule für Künste, in Bremen, Germany, where they studied with Tol, the internationally renowned Dutch recorder virtuoso, teacher, and conductor. The ensemble takes its name from Boreas, the Greek god of the north wind.

Since their student days, the quartet has maintained an active performance schedule beyond Germany, playing in South Korea, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Together, the quartet’s members have acquired more than forty recorders of different sizes and design, including a twelve-piece Renaissance consort by Peter van der Poel of Utrecht. Other recorders in their collection were made by Ralf Ehlert, Francesco Li Virghi, and Luca de Paolis.

In 2015, the ensemble released a CD on the German music label classic production osnabrück (cpo) featuring Han Tol in a recording of the twenty-one In Nomines by Christopher Tye (c. 1505-before 1573). The Boreas Quartett Bremen is supported by the “Laudate, Cantate” foundation and the Heinz-Peter and Annelotte Koch Foundation, both located in Bremen.

The Collection will present Steven Isserlis and Robert Levin in a program of works for cello and fortepiano by Beethoven on February 24. Lauded for his probing musicianship and instrumental virtuosity, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a uniquely varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, author, educator, and broadcaster. He has a strong interest in historical performance, working with many period-instrument ensembles and giving recitals with harpsichord and fortepiano. Pianist Robert Levin is heard throughout the United States and abroad in recital, as a soloist and in chamber music concerts. Equally at home on modern piano, fortepiano, and harpsichord, he is also an authoritative scholar of the Baroque and Classical periods, and of Mozart in particular.

Isserlis and Levin are frequent duo partners. The New York Times praised one of their Beethoven recitals, offering, “Not surprising given their experience together and their continuing partnership, Mr. Isserlis and Mr. Levin proved kindred spirits, each matching the other’s phrases in temperament and dynamics, right down to the quietest turn of phrase. But what was most impressive — and Beethovenian — was the power of their climaxes, especially in the A major.”

After five years, the celebrated ensemble Quicksilver Baroque will return to the Collection on March 31 to present a program titled “Violini a Due: An Italian Journey.” On this dazzling musical trip, Quicksilver will take collection audience members to the cradle of the virtuoso violin through its rich development, from Castello to Corelli. Of the group’s most recent recording, Fantasticus: Extravagant and Virtuosic Music from 17th Century Germany, Gramophone wrote, “Quicksilver signi es something unpredictable and swiftly responsive. It’s the perfect name for an ensemble that demands exceptional instrumental skills … Many of the works contain surprises around every corner, as the composers let their imaginations soar through curious shifts of meter, harmony and form that jolt and delight the ears in equal measure. But extravagance and virtuosity are also employed to more subtle effect with the players spinning long lines coloured by delicately applied ornaments, and altering dynamics and phrasing to highlight the music’s expressive beauty … Fantasticus, indeed!”

Click on Concert Sereies out this link for ticket information:

Published September 11, 2018
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YCMI Staff visit Yale’s new IPCH

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Carol Snow and Kelly Hill examine the museum’s silver keyed bugle by E. G. Wright, Boston, 1853.

Last week, members of the Collection staff travelled to Yale’s West Campus to tour the brand new Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. Interns Katrin Endrikat and Kelly Hill, as well as student assistant Daniel Fears, met with Carol Snow, Deputy Chief Conservator and the Alan J. Dworsky Senior Conservator of Objects, to discuss strategies relating to the preservation of brass instruments in our collection.



The IPCH Lab. Pictured here, one of our keyed bugles (copper and brass) and one of our ophicleides (badly tarnished), both from the 19th century.

Three examples of metal instruments accompanied us to the IPCH: a keyed bugle made of copper and brass, a keyed bugle made of silver, and an ophicleide so incredibly tarnished that its metallic medium is unknown. As Carol examined the instruments, she offered recommendations for preserving them, weighing the pros and cons of using lacquers, polishes, and tarnish-preventing cloths. With regard to the ophicleide, we learned that the Technical Studies Lab is equipped with the technology of x-ray fluorescence in which elemental analysis can determine the composition of the tarnished material.

At one point, we were joined by Ian McClure, the Susan Morse Hilles Chief Conservator, who is a violin maker by avocation. He kindly examined one of the baroque violin replicas from our circulating collection and offered advice on how to maintain the state of the instrument while it is being lent to students for use in Yale School of Music activities.

Having the opportunity to visit such impressive, state-of-the-art facilities was a treat, and we look forward to more shared experiences with the IPCH staff in future.

Published July 10, 2015
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In memoriam: Richard Rephann, 82

rtr-at-blanchet-webRichard Rephann, harpsichordist and director emeritus of the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, died peacefully at Arden Courts Memory Care Community in Hamden, Connecticut, on 29 December 2014. A victim of Alzheimer’s disease, he was 82.

The elder son of Clarence Franklin Rephann and Thelma Louise Hamill, Richard Thaddeous Rephann was born on February 9, 1932 in Frostburg, Maryland. As a teen, he attended the Johns Hopkins University Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where he studied piano under Mieczyslaw Munz and Alexander Sklarevsky.

His long association with Yale University began in the fall of 1961, when he became a harpsichord pupil of Ralph Kirkpatrick. Following the completion of a master’s degree in 1964, he received faculty appointments as Instructor in Harpsichord Playing in the School of Music and Assistant Curator of the Collection of (Historical) Musical Instruments. In 1968, he became Director of the Collection (a post he held for 38 years), while being appointed full Professor (Adjunct) of Organology and Harpsichord Playing in the School.

During his tenure, the Collection’s home–a former fraternity building at 15 Hillhouse Avenue–was transformed into a facility for conserving, studying, and presenting to the public the rich holdings of a growing collection. Rephann raised funds to have architects and contractors transform the fraternity’s dining area, billiard room, and ballroom into effective gallery spaces for exhibitions. A climate control system, which is crucial to the preservation of old and highly sensitive objects, was installed and gradually updated as technology in this field evolved.

In 1967, Rephann initiated an annual series of concerts presenting music from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Now the longest-running series of its kind in this country, it presents some of the most distinguished soloists and ensembles of the “early music” movement in concerts that often feature restored instruments from the Collection’s holdings. These concerts have been recorded since the early 1980s, initially by Yves A. Feder of Killingworth, Connecticut, and more recently by the recording studio of the Yale School of Music, making the museum’s series one of the most well-documented early music series in existence.

*  *  *

keyboard_gallery4Rephann’s career as a museum director was complemented by his career as a harpsichordist. Nonetheless, he appeared annually in performances at Yale and at other colleges and universities. His fascination with and daily proximity to historical instruments allowed him to experiment with repertoire suited to harpsichords of different national schools—Italian, Flemish, French, German, and English. In his later years, he identified with the music of Johann Jakob Froberger, Louis Couperin, Jean-Henri D’Anglebert, François Couperin, and Jean-Philippe Rameau. Although he never recorded for commercial release, many of his live performances are now part of the museum’s archive.

A devoted teacher, Rephann maintained a studio of Yale pupils who now hold positions as organists and harpsichordists in churches, universities, and colleges around the world in New York, Boston, Providence, Washington, DC, Buffalo, Chicago, San Francisco, Tacoma, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Kobe City, Seoul, and Montreal; Birmingham, AL; Fort Collins, CO; DeLand, FL; Mount Prospect, IL; Pittsburg, KS; South Hadley, MA; Gladstone, NJ; and Arlington, TX .

*  *  *

During the 1960s and 1970s, while riding the crest of the early-instrument-revival wave, Rephann came into contact with performers and builders from all parts of the globe, including Fernando Valenti, Gustav Leonhardt, Luigi Tagliavini, Albert Fuller, Douglas Allanbrook, Igor Kipnis, Edward Smith, Blandine Verlet, Egbert Ennulat, Idar Karevold, Lola Odiaga, Preethi da Silva, William Christie, Mark Kroll, Alan Curtis, Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock, William Porter, Davitt Moroney, Andrew Appel, Scott Ross, Boyd Jones, Frank Hubbard, William Dowd, Friedrich von Huene, Carl Fudge, Eric Herz, Sheridan Germann, Martin Skowroneck, John Brombaugh, Noel Mander, Frank Rutkowski, Robert Robinette, William Hyman, Walter Burr, Keith Hill, Wally Zuckermann, David Way, Malcolm Rose, Don Angle, John Bennett, Thomas McCobb, and Rodney Regier.

In the late 1970s, the Collection received an endowment from George P. O’Leary (Yale, BS, 1964; PhD Physics, 1969) that enabled Rephann to launch an extensive program of conservation and restoration which continues to the present. Consulting with some of the foremost experts in the field of musical instruments–Lloyd Adams, Laurence Witten, Andrew Petryn, Jacques Francais, Hugh Gough, Frank Hubbard, René Morel and Andrew Dipper, he established guidelines for the restoration of string and keyboard instruments in particular. In 1982, Frank Rutkowski and Robert Robinette were appointed as Conservators to the museum. They subsequently initiated an ambitious project of “de-restoration” aimed at correcting the many mistakes made in previous clumsy and misguided efforts to repair keyboard instruments and make them playable. Their removal of unnecessary accretions, consolidation of all existing original elements, and reapplication of historically appropriate materials have brought the instruments into a state of conservation that maximizes their integrity as artifacts and allows them to sound today as closely as possible to the way they were originally intended to sound.

*  *  *

strings-01The Collection became a valuable resource for the various musical curricula of the University under Rephann’s direction. He regularly taught courses in the history of musical instruments, in which the Collection was used as a laboratory for students investigating the structure, morphology, and development of musical instruments in relation to their historical context. He encouraged colleagues in Yale’s music departments and its College of Arts and Sciences to bring their classes to the museum for special presentations pertinent to the subject matter of a course, often involving demonstrations and performances on museum instruments. Scholars, performing musicians, and instrument makers from all over the world were (and continue to be) accommodated in their requests to closely examine instruments in the Collection.

During Rephann’s tenure, the Collection tripled in size. Its growth and many of its activities as a museum were funded through outside sources (chiefly individuals identified by the Director) as well as by the generous support of his Board of Advisors and of the Associates of the Collection, a museum membership organization that he established in 1977.

Rephann’s publications include checklists and catalogues of the Yale Collection, the Pedro Traversari Collection (Quito), the Robyna Neilson Ketchum Collection of Bells, and The Schambach-Kaston Collection of Rare Strings and Bows (Osaka College of Music). One of his last periodical articles, “A Fable Deconstructed,” deals with the design, construction, and decoration of the two-manual harpsichord by Pascal Taskin, Paris, 1770, in the Yale Collection.

In 1984, Luther Noss, dean of the School of Music from 1954 to 1970, noted that the Collection had made “phenomenal progress…under Rephann’s direction. The University recognized this in 1976 by granting the Collection ranking as a separate Department, with control over its own fiscal and managerial operations. This greatly increased its possibilities for further development, and Rephann has succeeded in building a strong body of outside support from among individuals throughout the country who have a special interest in this field.”

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of the Collection, its role in the University, and its presentation to the New Haven community for over forty years, Rephann was presented with the Morris Steinert Award, the museum’s highest honor, upon his retirement in 2006.

William Purvis, the current director of the Collection, said, “During his 42-year tenure, Richard’s staunch advocacy and powerful vision transformed the Collection of Musical Instruments into one of the finest collections of historical instruments in the world. All who knew him valued his incisive intellect and refined taste. He not only transformed and enriched the Collection, but also the lives of everyone who knew him.”

*  *  *

Mr. Rephann is survived by his wife, Susan E. Thompson; daughter, Lola Voysest Rephann of Jersey City, NJ; brother, Oliver Rephann of Simpsonville, South Carolina; brother-in-law, Rev. Kirk E. Thompson (Katherine) of Saint Johnsbury, VT; sisters-in-law, Claudia R. Thompson (George Exner) of Wooster, OH, and Lewisburg, PA, Julia A. Thompson (Michael Young) of Friday Harbor, WA, and Cheryl Keefe (Van Kelly) of Bernardsville, NJ; nephews, James Thaddeous Rephann and Evan Thompson Keefe; nieces, Anne Marie Rephann Moore, Cameron Thompson Exner, and Laurel Thompson Exner; his first wife of seventeen years, Lola Odiaga of New Haven; and his colleague of thirty-five years, Wm. Nicholas Renouf of Guilford.

A memorial concert is scheduled for Sunday, 04 October 2015, at 3:00 PM, at the Collection of Musical Instruments, 15 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven. Seats may be reserved by calling 203 432 0822.

Robert Blocker, current Dean of the YSM, wrote: “The School of Music, Yale University, and the discipline of music owe a debt of profound gratitude to Richard for acquiring and preserving some of the world’s most significant musical instruments, ensuring that they were properly housed, and opening these treasures to the public through public performances, teaching, and research. Richard’s vision and determination secured for music and for Yale the privilege of acting as custodians of these irreplaceable instruments.”

Contributions in Mr. Rephann’s memory may be sent to the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments, P.O. Box 208278, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8278 (; or to the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Unit, 1 Church Street, Suite 600, New Haven, Connecticut 06510 (

Published January 6, 2015
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