Stradivarius ‘f’enomenon

Stradivarius violins.
Famous for masterpiece quality and record-setting auction prices,
with a sound that has enchanted royalty and heads of state for centuries.
Among musicians, the chance to play a Stradivarius is an honor granted only to a chosen few.

Acclaimed in venues large and small, in intimate salons and grand concert halls,
Stradivarius violins have a sound that is uniquely alive. Far from being antiques,
they are living instruments, with a distinctive sound that has captivated audiences for centuries.

We call this the "Stradivarius ‘f’enomenon,"
and we're holding a special experiential event in Tokyo in 2018 to introduce it to a wider audience.
Gathering 20 Stradivarius violins in one location, the event will be the largest of its kind yet in Asia,
and unlike any the classical music world has seen.

Breaking free of the concert hall,
the event will give attendees a chance to experience the Stradivarius ‘f’enomenon in a friendly,
intimate setting, and enjoy a close, personal encounter with 300 years of musical history.
It will also use advanced technology to transform raw audio data of the unique Stradivarius sound
into non-auditory visual and tactile art.

At Stradivarius ‘f’enomenon,
we will showcase three centuries of master craftsmanship and musical heritage in multiple dimensions.
With both exhibits and live performances we will offer an up-close and personal experience
that will be the talk of the town—one that everyone who attends will want to share.


Prologue to the Festival

‘Stradivarius,’ an indispensable factor to talk about the history of the violin, of which name is overwhelmingly widely known, is going to be featured in the upcoming festival. Following the exhibition held in Cremona City to commemorate the 250th year after Antonio Stradivarius’ death (1987) and the exhibition held at Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology in London (2013), we declare the opening of the first Stradivarius Festival in Asia, here in Tokyo in 2018.

Stradivarius is known as string instruments worthwhile over a million dollars, but the fact is that ‘its true value’ is not commonly communicated. Why has it been holding special sounds that touch people’s hearts over 300 years? Though most people in the world today are living with scientific progresses (and especially in these five years or so, everyone has seen the amazing progress of the digital world, like iPhone), Stradivarius still touches our hearts as if instruments with spirits. We strongly hope that more people will experience this miraculous phenomenon and that more people will be interested in the violin, which will open the door of the classical music more widely that is now gradually shrinking. Such a hope has driven us to the resolution to hold a violin festival in Tokyo and to make it most widely accepted in the world.

There are a great many music-promotion events in Japan, and concerts are held somewhere every day. However, few of them ‘feature instruments themselves.’ We have hoped to originate a festival to treat violins as talents, not as merely tools. To learn their history like we learn a man’s whole life, to listen to persons in the relative world, to listen to their live sounds, and to be able to see the figure of the sounds that is generally believed to be unseen, we will try to reach the world of the violin from various dimensions by making the most of the teamwork that is feasible with today’s intelligence.

Thanks to the approvals and supports for our idea by Violin Museum in Cremona City, Royal Academy of Music in London, Tokyo University of the Art, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology, Habistreutinger Stradivari Foundation and many other foundations, music schools and museums, 20 Stradivariuses have gathered in Tokyo. It is the very first time in Asia that so many Stradivariuses gather at one place. It is also the first time for all of the about only ten violas and the about only five guitars made by Antonio Stradivarius to land our country. As we think we may be able to talk about something with a series of artwork that would lead us to Stradivarius’ root, we have strived to have an exhibition of Andrea Amati (presumably 1505-1579), who was Stradivarius’ teacher. We also try to draw a future sketch of the violin by exhibiting today’s renowned craftsmen’s artwork, who will vigorously work with craftsmanship to be after Stradivarius.

“In prior to the sport Olympiad, there should be a cultural Olympiad,” declared the British Council. To prepare a place for people who will act for the culture in the future. We think Tokyo 2020 should share the commission. The country of Japan has many excellent musicians. They will create a culture of the future. By lending them ‘Stradivarius,’ which have driven the classical music culture, we would like to spin thread of a new history of the classical music. Without the instruments that have been preserved carefully in many countries, over times, crossing borders, and handed over generations, we could have never reached here. We could not be more fortunate if importance of support for instruments, which have backed up the music culture and art, were successfully communicated to you at this opportunity.

Executive Committee of
TOKYO STRADIVARIUS FESTIVAL 2018 Chairman / Representative Curator
Nippon Violin Co.,Ltd.PresidentSota Nakazawa

Forward messages

Paolo Bodini
CEO Museo del Violino
President “friends of Stradivari”

Antonio Stradivari is undoubtedly “The Voice” of Cremona across the world. His name is synonymous with artistic excellence, refined craftsmanship and unparalleled sound. His work remains an absolute benchmark for every violinmaker of any time or any land, and the tradition of violinmaking that has evolved around his figure over the past five centuries has been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Meanwhile, the Museo del Violino (MdV) is the only place in the world where this unique history can be preserved and shared with the international public in the very setting in which it took place.

For these reasons, the participation of the MdV in the TSF2018 is most significant: together with the impressive collection of beautiful instruments by this great Master, that the organizers have admirably been able to assemble in Tokyo from all over the world, exclusive artifacts from Stradivari’s workshop and original documents about his life are being exhibited by the MdV for the first time in Japan.

Two unique pieces will arrive from Cremona in Tokyo: the only playable guitar, out of the existing five, made by Stradivari (the “Sabionari”), and a beautifully decorated violin by Andrea Amati, made for the king of France Charles IX, that represents the beginning (a sort of “Big Bang”) of the violinmaking tradition in Cremona, about 150 years before Stradivari came to life.

All the above testify to the importance of TSF2018, the first event of this kind not only in Japan but in the entire Asian continent.

The Museo del Violino is happy and honored to participate as a co-organizer and it is our sincere desire that this festival will reinforce the strong ties that already exist between Cremona and Japan, not just in the field of violinmaking, but also in the more general cultural exchange between two great nations that share a longstanding history of friendship and artistic appreciation.

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood,

The Royal Academy of Music in London is honoured to support the Tokyo Stradivari Exhibition 2018 as wonderful instruments are gathered from all around the world in celebration of the great master.

Our contribution to the exhibition is the ‘Kustendyke’ violin, one of the seven Stradivari instruments from the great Royal Academy of Music Collection. Made in 1699 – a pivotal year in Stradivari’s career and the dawn of his ‘Golden Period’ – this is the first time this graceful long pattern violin has travelled to Japan.

Our valuable instruments were first exhibited outside the UK in 1987, 250 years after the master’s death, and recently Stradivari instruments from the Academy Collection returned to Cremona Italy and, in 2013, three Academy Stradivaris were exhibited in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in 2013, amongst the very finest extant examples of his output: the ‘Viotti’, ‘Habeneck’ and ‘Archinto’ viola?’

The 2018 Tokyo exhibition is sure to highlight new aspects of Stradivari’s workshop and offer new ways of exploring the great Cremonese tradition, established by the Amati family in the mid 16th century – about a century before Stradivari’s birth in 1644.

At the same time, the strong collaboration between the Royal Academy of Music and the Tokyo University of the Arts gathers pace. We much look forward to our joint orchestra performing at the 'Stradivarius Concert' on 1 July 2018 at the Suntory Hall.


The Stradivarius 'f'enomenon is a months-long festival of music that includes concerts, events, and an experiential exhibition. Unlike anything the classical music world has seen before, the exhibition will give music lovers an opportunity to enjoy the unique sound of the world's most famous stringed instruments, as well as a chance to explore their fascinating history, construction, and distinctive tonal quality.

June–September 2018

STRADIVARIUSSatellite Events

Special satellite events will feature performances at smaller halls and other venues throughout Japan, allowing people from all walks of life to enjoy the unique Stradivarius sound in a more intimate setting.

October 2018

STRADIVARIUSExperiential Exhibition

The festival will culminate in October with a unique experiential exhibition of Stradivarius instruments and their 300-year history. Featuring live performances, demonstrations of construction techniques, and interactive exhibits that explore the mystery of the unique Stradivarius sound, the exhibition will offer a close, personal encounter with 300 years of musical heritage.

May–June 2018 (Partnership Event)


Playing 11 different Stradivarius instruments, guest musicians from the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra will present concerts at Tokyo's Suntory Hall and nine other locations throughout Japan.


ANA becomes the official airline partner.
January 24, 2018
TSF2018 official website launched.
January 23, 2018


c/o Nippon Violin, 4F& 5F, Dorumi-gyoen Bldg,
5-29-7 Sendagaya, Shibuya,
Tokyo, zip 151-0051, Japan


ANA becomes the official airline partner.