Sau-Wing Lam’s collection of rare Italian string instruments will go on display for the first time in the United States at the Metropolitan Museum of Art later this month. The collection includes rare violins by Antonio Stradivari.
Sau-Wing worked as president of the Dah Chong Hong Trading Corporation, Inc. in New York City, n import-export business that established some of the most successful automobile dealerships in the United States, according to the museum.
An amateur violinist and violist, Lam bought his first important violin in the 1960s and over the 25 years assembled his impressive collection of stringed instruments and bows.
Today, Sau-Wing Lam collection is considered one of the most important private collections of bowed Italian stringed instruments ever to be assembled by a private individual, according to the museum. He died in 1988.
The Met’s exhibition will include nine violins and one viola.
Masterpieces such as the Baltic violin by Giuseppe Guarneri “del Gesù” (1698-1744), and the Scotland University and Bavarian violins by Stradivari (1644-1737) will highlight the installation.
The opening date of The Sau-Wing Lam Collection of Rare Italian Stringed Instruments coincides with the 275th anniversary of the death of Antonio Stradivari.
four concerts to be held in the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium will feature artists playing these rare instruments.
Guest violinists Daniel Hope and Karen Gomyo, with The Salomé Chamber Orchestra will play in an all-Bach program Dec. 22. Hope will perform on the Baltic Guarneri “del Gesù” of 1731 from the Lam collection. Additional events featuring the collection will be held on Feb. 2, Apr. 12 featuring Philippe Quint, and May 4. The Brodsky Family Foundation is underwriting the events.
A “Sunday at the Met” afternoon program will take place in conjunction with the exhibition on Apr. 21. The exhibition is made possible by The Amati, Friends of the Department of Musical Instruments.
Installation dates: December 18, 2012 – June 30, 2013
Location: The André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments, 2nd floor