Mr. Gary Sturm, of the Smithsonian Institute, visited the Truman Orchestra students today to talk about one of the greatest violin-makers, Antonio Stradivari. Within his presentation, students were awed by Stradivari's precision producing hundreds of high-quality instruments with tools that appeared almost crude to the modern-eye. Our Truman string students are now equipped with the knowledge to recognize many of the fine details of an authentic Stradivari instrument.
Mr. Sturm will be inducted into the Lindbergh Hall of Fame, Alumni Award,. Congratulations, Mr. Sturm!
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Mr. Sturm's Bio
Gary Sturm worked for over thirty years to increase the scope
of the Smithsonian Institution’s collections of musical instruments, with a special interest in the violin family. A mathematics major from Beloit College, he pursued European Studies at the University of Copenhagen before joining the Smithsonian in 1975. In 1981 he acquired the Smithsonian's first Stradivari instrument, the 1701 "Servais" cello, leading to subsequent recordings and documentation of this extraordinary, and hitherto publicly concealed instrument. As a result of his work, the collections today boast five Strads and five complete quartets, including a quartet made by Nicolo Amati (whose family developed the first violin), and the exquisitely decorated Herbert R. Axelrod Stradivari Quartet.
Gary has been responsible for the preservation and study of over 5000 musical instruments that range from Tennessee fiddles to elegant French harpsichords, has served as Executive Director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society (establishing its endowment foundation), and ended his Smithsonian tenure as the Chair of the Division of Cultural History. He has participated in more than a dozen Smithsonian exhibitions, recordings, publications, and films on subjects ranging from automatic musical instruments to electric guitars, and presented programs of classical performances that toured across the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan. Facilitating nontraditional museum programs, the outreach of Gary’s creative work stretches from local school children to global audiences, scholars, musicians, and instrument makers.
While retired in 2009, Gary continues to work as emeritus curator at the Smithsonian. He has been active in the creation and 2010 opening of the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, is the founding President of the Capitol Skating Fund, which fosters young figure skaters, and is the Board Chairman of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Virginia. Gary resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Carlene, and two Great Danes.