A Musician, a Maecenas

Discover the incredible sound of historical instruments!

By National Music Museum

Assumption of the Virgin (1st half 16th century) by Gregório LopesNational Music Museum

"A Musician, a Maecenas" is a cycle of concerts with historical instruments from the collection of the Museu Nacional da Música. This cycle seeks to promote one of the most important instrumental collections in Europe, with the help of exceptional musicians who play pro bono and give voice to Portuguese national treasures and instruments of great historical value. This exhibition evokes the history of this cycle from its first season in 2013 until 2018.

Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (16th century) by Unknown authorNational Music Museum

The concerts of the cycle are real journeys to the Museum’s collection, making the instruments known through commented concerts and an historical contextualization, often extended to the chosen repertoire.

The maintenance and interpretation of the musical instruments and the communication of each one’s history are factors that are closely linked and result in a combined action between the Museum and the patrons of the cycle (musicians, builders / restorers and other partners).

Virginal (1620) by Joannes RuckersNational Music Museum

At the end of the 2018 season the cycle will feature 53 concerts, performed by more than 50 musicians using 24 historical instruments from the Museum’s collection, 6 of these restored as a consequence of the work done, but several others intervened and maintained.

Harpsichord (1758) by Joaquim José AntunesNational Music Museum

The 1758 Antunes harpsichord was present in all seasons of the cycle between 2013 and 2018, being, together, with the "Stradivarius" cello the most played instrument. José Carlos Araújo (on four occasions), Joana Bagulho, Jenny Silvestre, Enno Kastens, Michele Benuzzi, Cristiano Holtz, Flávia Castro, Masumi Yakamoto and Miguel Jalôto were the musicians who had the opportunity to give life to this harpsichord, in solo concerts or accompanying other instruments of the collection.

Piano (1922) by C. BechsteinNational Music Museum

The piano that belonged to the Portuguese composer Luís de Freitas Branco (1880-1955) was used in six concerts of the cycle by Duarte Pereira Martins, João Paulo Santos (on two occasions), Jill Lawson, Luís Costa and Akari Komiya, accompanying the "Stradivarius" and "Lockey Hill" cellos as well as the viola built by Francesco Emiliani. The concert by Luís Costa, accompanying his brother Fernando Costa, was recorded by RTP2.

Cello (1st half 19th century) by Henry Lockey HillNational Music Museum

The "Lockey Hill" cello that belonged to the Portuguese cellist Guilhermina Suggia (1885-1950) shone in four concerts of the cycle, played by Nuno M. Cardoso (on two occasions), Fernando Costa and Teresa Valente Pereira. In the first three cases it was accompanied by the two Bechstein pianos of the Museum and, in the last one, it integrated a quartet with three other cellos from the collection. So that it could be played, the cello was intervened by the luthier Christian Bayon.

Cello (1725) by António StradivariNational Music Museum

Being one of the most emblematic pieces of the Museum's collection, the "Stradivarius" cello was heard in all seasons of the cycle, such as the 1758 Antunes harpsichord. In order to ensure its preservation, this cello is played only a very limited number of times a year. During the cycle this privilege belonged to Irene Lima, Levon Mouradian and Pavel Gomziakov (on two occasions each) and Clélia Vital, Paulo Gaio Lima, Marco Pereira, Maria José Falcão, Filipe Quaresma and Varoujan Bartikian.

Fortepiano (1763) by Henri-Joseph van CasteelNational Music Museum

The pianoforte van Casteel is one of the very rare original pianofortes built in Portugal that have survived. In 2013 this instrument celebrated 250 years. Thanks to the visibility achieved with the cycle, it was possible to move forward with its restoration, an intervention conducted by Geert Karman, a renowned Dutch restorer and builder of old key instruments. Following his work, the pianoforte would then be played in three concerts by José Carlos Araújo (on two occasions) and Pieter-Jan Belder.

Violin (1780) by Joaquim José GalrãoNational Music Museum

The 1780 "Galrão" violin is one of two violins built by Joaquim José Galrão belonging to the Museum’s collection. It was played by Raquel Cravino in 2013 and by Daniel Bolito in 2017 in concerts in which it accompanied a cello from the same builder and the 1758 Antunes harpsichord as well as the 1925 Bechstein piano and the 1797 ‘Dinis’ cello.

Cello (1769) by Joaquim José GalrãoNational Music Museum

This cello was built by Joaquim José Galrão and belonged to King D. Luís I of Portugal. During the cycle it was played by Nuno M. Cardoso, Amarilis Dueñas Castán, Raquel Reis and Marco Pereira, in concerts where it was accompanied by other cellos of the collection (1781 Galrão, Lockey Hill and Dinis), a violin (also Galrão) and the 1758 Antunes harpsichord.

Bass viola da gamba (1st half of the 18th century) by Pieter RomboutsNational Music Museum

Viola da Gamba built by the prestigious builder Pieter Rombouts (1677-1749), disciple of Hendrick Jacobs. Dating from the first half of the 18th century and built in Amsterdam, this instrument was played in 2014 by Birgund Meyer-Ohme and, in 2016, by Sofia Diniz in concerts in which it was accompanied by the 1758 Antunes harpsichord.

Oboe (1st half 18th century) by Johann Heinrich EichentopfNational Music Museum

Johann Heinrich Eichentopf was probably the most prominent wind instrument builder of his time. The oboe of his own authorship that integrates the Museum’s collection is an extremely rare instrument. During the cycle it was played by Pedro Castro along with a modern copy of the instrument, built by the Portuguese builder Diogo Leal. This allowed the audience to compare the sound of the two oboes.

Cello (1781) by Joaquim José GalrãoNational Music Museum

Esperanza Rama, Martin Henneken and Fernando Costa were the musicians responsible for playing the 1781 Galrão cello during the cycle. In the concerts held it was accompanied by the 1769 cello of the same builder and, in another occasion, also by the "Lockey Hill" and "Dinis" cellos.

Cello (1797) by Félix António DinisNational Music Museum

The 1797 Dinis cello was presented in four concerts of the cycle, benefiting from an intervention by the luthier Elise Derochefort. Diana Vinagre (on two occasions), Gonçalo Lélis and Nuno M. Cardoso were the musicians who gave life to this instrument, along with the organ Fontanes, three other cellos (two Galrões and Lockey Hill) and the Bechstein piano of 1925 together with the violin Galrão of 1780.

Organ (1780/1790) by Joaquim Antonio Peres FontanesNational Music Museum

The organ built by Joaquim António Peres Fontanes is one of the Museum’s national treasures. In the course of the cycle it was played by Miguel Jalôto in two concerts in the seasons of 2015 and 2016, accompanying, on two occasions the Diniz cello played by Diana Vinagre.

Theorbo (1608) by Matheus BuchenbergNational Music Museum

The 1608 theorbo of the German builder Matheus Buchenberg is one of the instruments that was restored as part of the work developed for the cycle, in this case thanks to the sponsorship of Agostinho da Silva (administrator of the CEI-Zipor Group). The restoration was carried out in 2014 by the builder and restorer Orlando Trindade and allowed the use of the theorbo in four concerts by four different musicians: Hugo Sanches (with soprano Manuela Lopes and Pedro Sousa Silva on the flutes), Pietro Prosser, Helena Raposo (with Orlanda Velez in the voice) and Vinicius Perez.

Piano (1925) by C. BechsteinNational Music Museum

The Bechstein grand piano dating from 1925 was another of the instruments restored thanks to the work carried out for the cycle, in this case by the company pianos.pt. Once restored, it became one of the most recurrent instruments, played by Duarte Pereira Martins (on three occasions), Marina Dellalyan, Joana David, Anne Kaasa, António Rosado and Lucjan Luc at concerts in which it accompanied some cellos and violins of the Museum’s collection.

Clavichord (1783) by Jacinto FerreiraNational Music Museum

Given its fragility, the clavichord built by Jacinto Ferreira in 1783 was not actually played in the course of the cycle. However, a modern copy of this instrument would be used by Cremilde Fernandes in a concert in 2015. In this concert the public was able to enjoy the original instrument in counterpoint with its copy.

Bassoon (1801) by Heinrich GrenserNational Music Museum

The bassoon made by the German constructor Heinrich Grenser was used by Hugues Kesteman in a concert with the Ensemble Contágio Barroco formed also by Filipa Oliveira (Bisel Flute), João Paulo Janeiro (harpsichord) and Remi Kesteman (cello).

Clavichord (1730/1760) by Unknown authorNational Music Museum

Built in the region of Aveiro, Portugal, this clavichord of unknown author is one of the Museum’s national treasures. It was played by José Carlos Araújo to interpret 18th century Iberian Music.

Clavichord (18th century) by Unknown authorNational Music Museum

This 18th century clavichord of unknown authorship, thought to have been built in Germany, was played occasionally over time, the last one by José Carlos Araújo in a concert of the 2016 season of the cycle. In this concert Araújo played yet another clavichord from the collection.

Portuguese guitar (1959) by Joaquim GrácioNational Music Museum

The Portuguese guitar made by Kim Grácio, and donated to the Museum by António Brochado da Mota in 2015, was the instrument used by Luísa Amaro and António Chainho in the concerts they performed for the cycle, respectively in 2016 and 2017.

Violin (1867) by António Joaquim SanhudoNational Music Museum

The 1867 violin built by António Joaquim Sanhudo was the instrument used by Daniel Bolito to play Beethoven and Brahms in the closing concert of the 2016 season of the cycle, accompanied by the 1925 Bechstein piano.

Viola (1748) by Francesco EmilianiNational Music Museum

Roxanne Dykstra was the violist responsible for presenting the 1748 viola built by Francesco Emiliani, in a concert of the 2018 season, in which it was accompanied by the 1922 Bechstein piano.

Harpsichord (1789) by João Baptista AntunesNational Music Museum

The 1789 Antunes harpsichord was one of the instruments restored by Geert Karman following the work developed for the cycle. It will be premiered in the 2018 in a concert where it will have the company of the 1758 harpsichord. The two instruments will be played by José Carlos Araújo and Miguel Jalôto. Until the end of the 2018 season the it will also be played by Cremilde Rosado Fernandes.

Harpsichord (1782) by Pascal-Joseph TaskinNational Music Museum

National treasure and an instrument of enormous historical and organological value, the Taskin harpsichord had been waiting a few years for the conclusion of its restoration process, which would finally happen in 2018, in a process involving several intervenients: Ulrich Weymar (organological restoration), Laboratório José de Figueiredo (restoration of decorative elements), Geert Karman (harmonization, tuning and replacement of jumps) and a few other collaborators. Now that this process is completed, the harpsichord will finally be presented in a concert in 2018.

Piano (1844) by Boisselot et FilsNational Music Museum

The closing concert of the 2018 season of the cycle will star the Boisselot & Fils piano that Franz Liszt (1811-1886) brought with him to Portugal in 1845. This instrument is being restored following the work developed for the cycle. Once this process is concluded the Museum will have one more emblematic instrument of its collection in conditions of being played.

Credits: Story

Graça Mendes Pinto

Rui Pedro Nunes

Rui Pedro Nunes

Catarina Silva, Fernanda Maciel, Marisa Rocha, Rui Pedro Nunes, Sara Ferreira

Direção-Geral do Património Cultural / Arquivo de Documentação Fotográfica (DGPC/ADF), Museu Nacional da Música, Aurática

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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