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Museum and Collections

Deputy Principal (Programmes and Research): Timothy Jones MA, DPhil, LTCL

Telephone 020 7873 7443 Email

Head of Collections: Angela Doane BA, MA, MLSci Curator of Art and Iconography: Janet Snowman MA, Hon ARAM, FRSA Curator of Stringed Instruments : David Rattray Hon ARAM Librarian: Kathryn Adamson MA, Dip Lib, Hon ARAM Museum and Collections Administrator: Appointment pending Administrator, Instrument Loans: Samantha Self

The Academy is the second-oldest conservatoire in the world and is home to world-renowned collections of musical materials and artefacts that enrich our performance culture, inform our teaching, focus our scholarship, and form a visible, public symbol of our shared musical heritage. The Academy’s award-winning museum – housed in the York Gate building – is a hub of teaching and research, alive with classes, rehearsals, seminars and public events. The museum exists for the benefit of all Academy students and staff, and you are strongly encouraged to explore its treasures and learn from them.

The jewel in our crown is our collection of over 250 stringed instruments, acquired for the benefit of students and recent alumni. It includes a world-leading group of Cremonese instruments by makers such as Antonio Stradivari, Nicolò Amati, Andrea Guarneri and Giovanni-Battista Rogeri.

The Academy’s keyboard collection showcases the technical development of the piano from 1785 to 1850. It features English, French and Vienna-style pianos, and highlights links between the instruments and makers, composers and performers. All the keyboard instruments are maintained to playing standard and are available to students to enhance their studies.

Recommended as one of Britain’s five best music museums Classic FM magazine, February 2007

Recommended as one of the best smaller museums in London Time Out magazine. January 2009

‘One of the premier and most accessible collections in the world’ The Strad, March 2006

Other instrumental collections include horns formerly owned by Aubrey and Dennis Brain; early instruments from the collection of David Munrow; and the Becket Collection, a unique set of instruments maintained in an historic state, and available to students who wish to gain experience of performance on period instruments.

The Academy owns remarkable collections of performance materials, ranging from sixteenth-century lute books in the Robert Spencer Collection to autograph manuscripts by Purcell, Sullivan, Vaughan Williams and other leading composers, to marked scores and parts from the collections of Sir Henry Wood, Sir John Barbirolli, Lord Menhuin, Otto Klemperer and Sir Charles Mackerras which offer us unique insights into the working methods and interpretative ideals of these twentieth- century giants.

In addition, the Academy owns autograph materials by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Liszt and other seminal nineteenth-century figures, reminding us of the Academy’s intimate connections with the canon- builders of the past. These items, and many other important iconographic materials, are accessible online through the Academy’s iconographic catalogue Apollo.

Research Culture Our museum is more than simply a space for displaying these treasures: it is a hub of teaching and research in the Academy, not only for our own students and staff but also for the lifelong learners who attend our regular educational events. See Research, page 40, for more details.

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