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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[ 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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Annual Alumni Assembly Tours Collection

On Thursday, November 10th the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments hosted two tours for the annual assembly of the Yale Alumni Association. This year’s gathering focused on the arts, stressing the importance of the professional schools of art, drama, architecture, and music as integral parts of Yale’s creative environment –an environment which distinguishes it from other major universities.

The Collection’s curators led the guests through the museum’s three galleries, where discussions ranged from descriptions of treasured objects, to the Collection’s inter-disciplinary collaborations with different departments within the university. Some visitors had strong personal ties to the Collection as they reminisced on classes and tours of the past, while others found themselves in the museum for the first time.

Full Article

Published November 18, 2016
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YCMI Student Worker Succeeds
in Major Competition

bixby-web-300x200Clarinetist and YCMI student worker Bixby Kennedy ’16 MM took second prize in the Ima Hogg Competition, winning a silver medal, a cash prize, and the opportunity to perform with the Houston Symphony. During the past year, Bixby has been assisting with the cataloguing of our clarinet holdings. His keen interest in historical performance practice inspired him to borrow a Classical-style clarinet from our collection of historical replicas so that he could learn first-hand about the differences between clarinets at the end of the eighteenth century and now. Read more about Bixby’s participation in the competition by clicking here.

Published June 28, 2015
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Inter-Departmental Collaboration:
YCMI and Engineering’s CEID

Students in ENAS 118 meet with Susan E. Thompson on 26 March 2015 to learn about the acoustics of the museum's gallery of keyboard instruments.

Students in ENAS 118 meet with Susan E. Thompson on 26 March 2015 to learn about the acoustics
of instruments in the museum’s gallery of keyboard instruments.

This spring, Collection staff members Susan E. Thompson, Curator, and Kelly Hill, Museum Intern, had the privilege of working with students and faculty of the Engineering School in their course ENAS 118: Introduction to Engineering, Innovation, and Design. During this six-week collaboration, students were charged with the task of bringing hidden aspects of the museum to the attention of daily visitors. Their projects were carried out in the industrial labs of the department’s newly built Center for Engineering, Innovation and Design (CEID).

Pipers and Narwhals

Led by professors Eric Dufresne and Lawrence Wilen along with graduate assistant Matthew Reagor, the students were divided into two groups of five.

Music Team A (“The Little Pipers”) was instructed to devise a project or model that would address the unusually fine acoustics of our second-floor keyboard gallery and concert hall; whereas Music Team B (“The Narwhals”) was instructed to develop a way of acquainting visitors with instruments hidden away in storage. Each group eagerly embraced the challenge of producing an interactive installation aimed at educating our public, enhancing their visits, and encouraging their return in future.

The Narwhals wasted no time in imagining a game that could be played by both children and adults to discover “behind-the-scenes” instruments. They created “The Music Explorer,” which challenges the participant to select a particular instrument based on the sound it makes. If the player guesses correctly, he is taken to an informational screen where he can learn more about the instrument through gifs, graphics, and brief textual descriptions. The team had the opportunity to explore many modern technologies, including 3D scanners, 3D printers, and the CEID’s laser cutter. Together, they programmed the game completely from scratch and created a keyboard-like console to house the unit’s electrical workings and screen.

Team A & The Little Piper ~ 2015-04-27 14.16.40

The Little Pipers: Ben Rodriquez-Vars, Amelia Holcomb, Doo Lee,
Ariège Besson, and Rodrigo Huyke

Meanwhile, The Little Pipers brainstormed to find a way to feature the invisible instrument of the Collection: the acoustically live gallery upstairs. Musicians are sensitive to the fact that the space you perform in is just as important as the instrument you play on. Our gallery, which doubles as a concert hall, is acoustically well-suited to enhancing the sounds of early musical instruments. The Little Pipers worked to explain this hidden phenomenon by creating a hands-on installation. Two wooden pipes were built to demonstrate maximum resonance frequencies–G and D–when a Bach minuet was played. An 11-foot PVC pipe coiled into a transportable case enables visitors to gain a better understanding of the physics of sound and, in turn, a better appreciation for the construction of our gallery and the music it helps create.

Successful Collaboration

Although the goal of the collaboration was to reveal hidden aspects of the museum and its holdings, the creative process involved in realizing the students’ projects served to strengthen the bond between two distinctly different departments at Yale. Because the Collection is housed at 15 Hillhouse Avenue, right next to Mason Laboratory and across the street from Dunham Laboratory (which connects to Becton and the CEID), such interdisciplinary explorations are easily possible, enabling all concerned to investigate dimensions of the arts and sciences that are sometimes overlooked–that is, the creative and artistic sides of the sciences as well as the structural and analytical sides of the arts. This need for collaboration was eloquently expressed by student Cameron Yick, ’17:

“At the risk of over-generalizing, humanities disciplines identify problems in context and the engineering disciplines develop tools for solving problems. However, it’s very possible to get totally stuck in your specialty and forget that you need to work with people from the other space for your work to be meaningful. These collaborations may not necessarily happen in the professional world, so it’s especially important that such teamwork happens in school. Getting people to appreciate the value of interdisciplinary projects early may plant a seed that encourages people to be more curious and open to finding solutions/problems from unexpected sources as they go about daily life.”

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the School of Engineering and Applied Science in future and hope our public will enjoy interacting with these unusual additions to our galleries for the duration of the period that they are on display.



Published May 31, 2015
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Celebrity harpsichord?

Yale Alumni Magazine
Mar/Apr 2015

harpsichord-blanchet-4876Some time in the late nineteenth century, an unknown antiques dealer decided that this harpsichord wasn’t glamorous enough. It’s a rare 1770 instrument by Pascal Taskin, harpsichord maker to King Louis XV and head of the most admired workshop in the history of French harpsichords. Nevertheless, it got a makeover. Taskin’s name was allowed to remain on it—but “Restored by Taskin” was added, to suggest an earlier maker. Paintings were incorporated to imply that it once belonged to Émilie du Châtelet (1706–49), an important French scholar and Voltaire’s mistress from 1733 to 1740. The woman seen here on the inside of the lid is meant to resemble her, and the chateau to her right is Cirey, where she lived with Voltaire.

When the harpsichord was donated to the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments in 1957, it came with an essay asserting a date in the early 1700s and du Châtelet ownership. But to Richard Rephann ’64MusM (1932–2014), who became director of the collection in 1968, it was an unmistakable Taskin. He unraveled the mystery, exposed the paintings as fakes, and analyzed the instrument’s unique design and bold workmanship—the real reasons for the rarity and historical value of this harpsichord.

Published April 30, 2015
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Yale Collection of Musical Instruments featured in New York Times

New York Times | By Phillip Lutz

In 1640, Andreas Ruckers of Antwerp was producing harpsichords of such clarity and consistency that they were the envy of Northern Europe. Most of those harpsichords, like others of their vintage, have disappeared or been radically altered, sometimes with disastrous results.


One that hasn’t, however, sits among the more than two dozen period keyboards on display at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments in New Haven. Apart from the slight extension of its range in the early 18th century, the floridly adorned, single-manual instrument remains fundamentally untouched, its soundboard yielding a brilliant tone that, on a recent weekday, carried throughout the collection’s quarters, a onetime fraternity house on Hillhouse Avenue.

“It’s like finding a classic car in an old barn,” said Dongsok Shin, a harpsichordist. “Not too much has been done to change it.” MORE

Published March 29, 2015
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[ in the press ]

Music at Yale spotlights the Collection

The most recent issue of Music at Yale, the alumni magazine of the Yale School of Music, included an article about the Collection of Musical Instruments. The article was written by Jane Mitchell ’13MM, an intern at the Collection.

Published July 9, 2014
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[ in the press ]

Yale Collection of Musical Instruments live streams Juilliard Baroque Sunday

purvis-collectionNew Haven Register By Joe Amarante NEW HAVEN » Tickets to the Sunday afternoon concerts at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments museum on Hillhouse Avenue are a tough get. But there is a way to be a part of this series in celebration of the skilled instrument craft and musical artistry that continues Sunday at 3 p.m. with a Juilliard Baroque ensemble concert. The concert will be held in the acoustically strong, second-floor gallery at the Collection on Hillhouse Avenue that only seats about 100 people. You can call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203-432-4158 to see if you can get a reservation, but the other way to experience the concert is by calling up the live stream of it online at “It’s fantastic. It’s so beautiful,” the Yale Collection’s Director William Purvis said of the concert space, which this week will include the Blanchet harpsichord from the 18th century. “The space is wonderful for the harpsichord.” MORE

Published January 28, 2014
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