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EVENT: Times of Power

Violins Above Borders / Stradivari in Rijeka – Kresnik and Cremona

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The Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka is holding an exhibition entitled “Violins Above Borders / Stradivari in Rijeka – Kresnik and Cremona“ to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Franjo Kresnik, “the man who read violins”, a Rijeka native who made violins and cracked the code to making the best violins in the world, such as those fashioned by Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú in Cremona, Italy, at the turn of the 18th century.

The Violins Above Borders / Stradivari in Rijeka – Kresnik and Cremona exhibition dedicated to the Rijeka-born Dr. Franjo Kresnik, who taught and made violins in the early 20th century and was known in European circles as “the man who reads violins”, will open on 6 December 2019 as part of the European Capital of Culture programme at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka.

This doctor succeeded where many before and after him had failed – he cracked the code to making the best violins in the world, such as those fashioned by Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú in Cremona, Italy, at the turn of the 18th century.

In addition to the violins Dr. Kresnik made himself, as many as eight violins from Cremona will be displayed at the exhibition that is to be held in his honour, including a Stradivarius and a Guarnieri, courtesy of the Museo del Violino in Cremona, the partner museum of the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka.

Violins made by Dr. Kresnik, as well as by Stradivarius and Guarnieri, will be played at concerts scheduled to take place during the exhibition in Rijeka. The gala opening concert will feature performances by Marco Bronzi on the Lam and Principe Doria violins made by Stradivarius and Guarneri del Gesú, respectively, and Davide Burani on the harp.

Violinom iznad granica / Stradivari u Rijeci – Kresnik i Cremona

Kresnik was one of the foremost authorities on traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona of his time and possessed an uncanny ability to identify the violin maker and the year the instrument was constructed simply by listening to it.

The exhibition, which is part of the Times of Power flagship of the European Capital of Culture 2020, will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Franjo Kresnik.  Kresnik’s craftsmanship and the legacy he left behind to Rijeka make him one of the archetypal protagonists of the Times of Power flagship, which presents Rijeka, a city that has been governed by seven countries over the past century, as a kind of laboratory of European history, consciousness and conscience.

The Consulate General of the Italian Republic in Rijeka and the Kvarner Music Festival are co-organisers of this exhibition and programme, during which noteworthy concerts will be performed on violins made by the violin makers that are the subjects of this exhibition, while Infobip and Prostoria will provide financial support and equipment.

Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral