Sale Process Announced for Historic String Instruments by Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesu and Other Great Masters

Dee Billia's picture

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO), owner of the renowned Golden Age Collection of historic string instruments, announced a timetable for expressions of interest to purchase the collection of violins, violas and cellos.

Since the Orchestra announced its intention to sell the 30-instrument collection in mid-March, there has been a high level of interest exhibited in obtaining the collection. Individuals and consortia of investors have contacted the Orchestra in hopes of purchasing all, or part, of the collection of string instruments created by such masters as Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù, Guadagnini, Testore and others.

Officials of the NJSO indicated that a formal process is in place in order to fairly evaluate offers for the collection. An Expression Of Interest form will be issued to all potential applicants who contact the NJSO, with a return deadline of June 1, 2007. The form is also available at All qualified statements of interest will be reviewed during the month of June. Invited applicants will then be contacted for further steps leading to a formal offer. The objective is to close the sale by the end of the summer.

The Orchestra is considering all offers through this process and will entertain the possibility of selling the collection either as a whole or individually. Orchestra management indicates a transaction that will allow the Orchestra to continue playing the instruments is one that would be viewed favorably, but is not a condition of sale. Stewart Pollens, founder and director of Violin Advisor, LLC and trained as a violin and keyboard-instrument maker, is serving as representative for the NJSO in the sale. Pollens served as conservator of musical instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1976-2006. "This is an important collection," stated Pollens. "We are hopeful that an investor, or group of investors, will be willing to buy the collection and then loan the instruments back to the orchestra. This is not an unusual practice for collectors who want to hear their fine instruments played on a regular basis."

The NJSO is accepting expressions of interest submitted to the following address:
André Gremillet, President & CEO
Ref: Golden Age Collection
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
2 Central Avenue, Third Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is composed of some of the country's finest musicians, led by Music Director Neeme Järvi, performing statewide on a regular basis throughout the year. Its mission is consistent with artistic excellence combined with community engagement and is realized through a uniquely designed concert series and education/outreach programming designed to enhance and enrich learning for children and adults alike. The orchestra tours to seven different venues throughout New Jersey. The AIG/New Jersey Symphony Broadcast Series is a syndicated program carried throughout North America by 96.3FM WQXR (New York) and WFMT (Chicago). For more information about the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, visit or e-mail
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's programs are made possible in part by The New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.

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