The Cremona-based institution was honoured for its role in supporting higher music education, promoting musicological research and the teaching of Cremonese violin making

Tantardini and Mattarella

Stauffer Foundation president Alessandro Tantardini with Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy. Photo: Press Office of the Palazzo Quirinale

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The Cremona-based Stauffer Foundation has received the ‘Presidente della Repubblica’ Award. One of the most prestigious honours in Italy, the award was bestowed by president Sergio Mattarella at a ceremony held at the Quirinal Palace in Rome.

Created in 1948, the award is given to outstanding personalities and institutions in the spheres of music, science and the arts. It is awarded jointly by the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca. In his award speech, the Accademia di Santa Cecilia’s general director Michele Dall’Ongaro praised the Stauffer Foundation as one of Italy’s leading institutions supporting higher music education, the promotion of musicological research and the teaching of traditional Cremonese violin making. He also singled out the work of also the Stauffer Academy, established by the Foundation in 1985 to provide support to the artistic growth of young string players from Italy and around the world.

‘It is an honour to receive this recognition from President Mattarella. It rewards a work with roots far back in time, but still alive and fruitful,’ said Stauffer Foundation president Alessandro Tantardini. ‘It also testifies to the extraordinary work of those who preceded me in this role, and of the founding maestros of the Academy, which allows us today to provide support to young talents, protagonists of the future of music, violin making and research.’

The Stauffer Foundation was established on 19 October 1970 by Walter Stauffer, an entrepreneur and philanthropist of Italian–Swiss descent. Stauffer was fascinated by the cultural heritage of his home town of Cremona, and the Foundation now collaborates with some of the city’s leading musical institutions including the International School of Violin Making.


The “Presidente della Repubblica’ award plaque. Photo: Press Office of the Stauffer Academy

The Stauffer Academy was founded in 1985 in Cremona, on the initiative of violinist Salvatore Accardo. It brings together leading exponents of Italian music to offer courses dedicated to each of the main stringed instruments, free of charge. Currently, alongside Accardo (violin) are Bruno Giuranna (viola and chamber music), Antonio Meneses (cello) and Franco Petracchi (double bass). Since 2010 the Stauffer Academy has run a course exclusively for string quartets, taught by the Quartetto di Cremona, which is made up entirely of Stauffer alumni (Cristiano Gualco, Paolo Andreoli, Simone Gramaglia and Giovanni Scaglione).


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