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Press release

Rare Italian Stringed Instruments from the Sau-Wing Lam Collection on View at the Metropolitan Museum Beginning December 18
December 18, 2012 – June 30, 2013

Location: The André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments, 2nd floor

A spectacular musical instrument collection assembled by Sau-Wing Lam (1923-1988) will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning December 18.   This is the first time that works from the renowned Lam Collection will be on public display in the United States. The instruments on view—nine violins and one viola—will include such masterpieces as the Baltic violin by Giuseppe Guarneri “del Gesù” (1698-1744), and the Scotland University and Bavarian violins by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737).  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. 

The exhibition is made possible by The Amati, Friends of the Department of Musical Instruments.

In conjunction with the installation, four concerts will be presented in the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. The first of these programs will feature two guest violinists, Daniel Hope & Karen Gomyo, with The Salomé Chamber Orchestra in an all-Bach program on December 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 February 2, April 12 (featuring Philippe Quint), and May 4.  

These concerts are generously supported by the Brodsky Family Foundation.

About Sau-Wing Lam and His Collection
The Sau-Wing Lam collection of violin family instruments is one of the most important private collections of bowed Italian stringed instruments ever to be assembled by a private individual. Sau-Wing Lam was born in Shanghai, China, where he graduated with a degree in economics from St. John’s University. In 1948, he moved to New York City and eventually became president of the Dah Chong Hong Trading Corporation, Inc., an import-export business that established some of the most successful automobile dealerships in the United States.  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.  

The Sau-Wing Lam Collection of Rare Italian Stringed Instruments is organized by Jayson Kerr Dobney, Associate Curator in the Department of Musical Instruments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A Sunday at the Met afternoon program will take place in conjunction with the exhibition on April 21, 2013.

The installation and related programs will be featured on the Museum’s website at

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December 6, 2012

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