The History

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The History

The Fondazione Centro di Musicologia Walter Stauffer is one of the most important private institutions for the promotion of music and music culture in Italy.

Established in Cremona, in 1970, by Italian-Swiss patron and entrepreneur Walter Stauffer, the foundation aims to promote and support advanced musical training for string players, traditional Cremonese violin making and musicological research.

In 1985, the foundation established the Stauffer Academy, an ambitious educational project aimed at supporting future generations of musicians, with some of Italy’s most renowned masters contributing to its creation: Salvatore Accardo (violin), Bruno Giuranna (viola), Rocco Filippini (cello) and Franco Petracchi (double bass).

Through a forward-thinking scholarship program, the Stauffer Foundation provides full financial support to all of the academy’s students, highlighting their talent and excellence.

The foundation is also a member of Cremona’s principal musical and cultural institutions, including the Ponchielli Theater Foundation, the Antonio Stradivari Violin Museum Foundation and the Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory.

Stauffer supports the International School of Lutherie and the Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage of Cremona, promoting professional training and academic research through a research doctorate program, support for the publication of scientific papers, and the establishment of the ‘Stauffer Fund‘, a valuable archive that’s available to the public.

The foundation owns a uniquely valuable collection of historical instruments, which are exhibited on loan at the Violin Museum in Cremona. The collection includes a Guarneri del Gesù violin, an Enrico Ceruti violin, a Girolamo Amati viola and an Antonio Stradivari cello.

Stauffer has its institutional headquarters at the historic Palazzo Raimondi. In 2015 Stauffer acquired ownership of Palazzo Stradiotti, an iconic building that, after major renovation works, was returned to the city of Cremona as Palazzo Stauffer. The building now houses the Stauffer Center for Strings. Dedicated to string players, this innovative multifunctional campus has inspired the entire international music community.

In light of cultural, social and technological change, the Stauffer Center represents a natural evolution of the Stauffer Foundation’s commitment to strengthening, relaunching and developing its institutional mission, carrying forward the great tradition and excellence of Italian music and the extraordinary cultural heritage of the city of Cremona, the world capital of violin making.

The history behind the Founder

The precious collection of fine historical instruments

The governing body of the Fondazione Stauffer.