Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, New Haven

#6 of 7 in Museums in New Haven
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Located on scenic Hillhouse Avenue, the Yale Collection of Musical instruments is home to an extensive collection of rare, unique, and valuable instruments. In addition to preserving and restoring the instruments, the Collection serves as a valuable educational resource for musical life at Yale. The museum has regular public visiting hours, and features an annual concert series as well as lectures and demonstrations. Today, the Collection is comprised of nearly one thousand instruments, from ancient to present-day.

Amongst the permanent exhibits is a large gallery of historical keyboard instruments, including elaborately painted harpsichords from the 17th- and 18th-centuries, and a Bechstein grand piano once owned by Wagner. One of the world's largest collections of bells is also housed here, featuring instruments as old as 1500 B.C. Other highlights include violins by Antonio Stradivari and Jakob Stainer, a viol by Pietro Guarneri, and an assortment of curious hybrid and specialty instruments.

The annual concert series presents many of today's foremost artists performing in an intimate setting. Recent seasons have included appearances by Juilliard Baroque, Paul O'Dette and Ellen Hargis, and Tapestry, as well as regular performances by the Collection's resident ensemble, the Yale Baroque Ensemble.
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  • Even though the gallery was not open due to the Covid pandemic, I did have an opportunity to go on their online gallery. I have never seen a hurdy-gurdy or a ratchet instrument before. This...  more »
  • There is a small, but very nice collection of old and very old instruments housed here. My favorites were all of the various sizes of violins as well as some amazing harpsichords on the upper level.....  more »
  • A MUST-SEE MUSEUM!! Anybody who love music, this is your place!!! With friendly staffs, they show you the past and history of their collections of old original musical instruments!! Definitely would come back here!
  • This is a small but amazing collection of very old musical instruments. There are woodwind instruments such as oboes, keyboard instruments such as harpsicords, stringed instruments such as violins, bells of various types, and a few other items as well. Allow 45 minutes to go round the museum.
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