The Violins Above Borders / Stradivari in Rijeka – Kresnik and Cremona exhibition, which will display the Stradivarius and Guarneri violins, will open as part of the European Capital of Culture programme at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka.
Tamara Mataija, Faust Cacciatore and Tea Perinčić are the exhibition curators. Sanjin Kunić and Nikolina Radić Štivić are the exhibition designers.
The general sponsor of the exhibition is the Consulate General of the Italian Republic in Rijeka, with support from the Italian Union, Kvarner Festival, and the Infobip and Prostorija companies from Vodnjan and Sveti Križ Začretje, respectively. The exhibition is co-financed with funds provided by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and the City of Rijeka.
The Violins Above Borders / Stradivari in Rijeka – Kresnik and Cremona exhibition, which will display the Stradivarius and Guarneri violins, will open tomorrow, on 6 December, at 6 p.m. at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka. The exhibition is part of the Times of Power flagship of the European Capital of Culture project, which deals with Rijeka and themes that are emblematic of the city.
It tells the story of the Rijeka native Franjo Kresnik, a doctor and a true aficionado of violins who came closer than anyone else before him to unravelling the unparalleled mystery of violin craftsmanship in Cremona, which was spearheaded by Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú at the turn of the 18th century. Technology notwithstanding, their skill has not yet been rivalled, as evidenced by the world’s best violinists who prefer playing on Stradivarius and Guarneri violins.
How they made the best violins on the planet remains a mystery in the music world and the subject of scientific research. And yet, about a hundred years ago, one man from Rijeka found the answer. It was Dr. Kresnik who left an impressive legacy to his city and to the entire world. He achieved exceptional results and became “the man who read violins”, as he was called at the time.
Therefore, in honour of Dr. Franjo Kresnik and the 150th anniversary of his birth and as part of the European Capital of Culture project, the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka (PPMHP) will hold an exhibition dedicated to the work and legacy of Franjo Kresnik, an extraordinary man, who has unfortunately remained unknown to the general public despite his truly impressive legacy.
His life, work and the violins he made will be showcased at this exhibition, which will also provide Kresnik’s answer to the question of the violins from Cremona.
“Franjo Kresnik, a Sušak and Rijeka native, a successful paediatrician and bohemian, was a step ahead of his time and his life, work, persistence and dedication showed that one could transcend the political borders in Rijeka, a city in which he spent most of his life. The exhibition is dedicated to the work and legacy of an extraordinary man, who has unfortunately remained unknown to the general public despite his truly impressive legacy. With this exhibition, the European Capital of Culture and the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka, will attempt to do him some justice by showcasing his life, work and the violins he made. Also, in honour of Dr. Kresnik, the exhibition will display eight violins from the Violin Museum in Cremona, including a Stradivarius and a Guarneri violin, courtesy of the partnership between our Museum and the Violin Museum in Cremona”
, Radić Štivić noted and added that this is the second exhibition of the PPMHP programme Borders – Between Order and Chaos, which is being conducted as part of the European Capital of Culture project.
Several concerts at which musicians will perform on Kresnik’s and Cremona violins will be held as part of the exhibition, with the first scheduled for tomorrow’s opening ceremony, during which Marco Bronzi will play the Stradivarius and Guarneri violins, with support from David Burani on the harp.
The violins from Cremona will be displayed in Rijeka until 8 March 2020, when they will be replaced with instruments from the holdings of the PPMHP. The Violins Above Borders / Stradivari in Rijeka – Kresnik and Cremona exhibition will be open to the public until January of 2021.