The Calleva Foundation has been creating this fine instrument collection since 2010. The challenge is to assemble instruments from the highest calibre of international makers, to create a pool of early 21st-century instruments that are the best available in the world. Primarily consisting of stringed instruments, the collection also includes a significant collection of bows.
The Calleva Foundation project has two main objectives. One is to build a legacy for future generations of talented young musicians as a form of bursary via the loan of an instrument that they would not otherwise have access to during their formative years. The second is to encourage the making and appreciation of the finest new instruments, both in the modern and Baroque traditions.
All players are influenced to a greater or lesser degree by an instrument's appearance, and an old or antiqued instrument with a nice wear pattern certainly has more to hold the eye. In any given period, however, instruments of varying quality are made, and older is not necessarily better. Most instruments improve with regular playing, and the more consistent the playing, the more they will improve. The Calleva Foundation hopes to demonstrate over time that these fine new instruments can compete with many older instruments, and that with good playing and due care, they will improve further still.
The Calleva Collection instruments are on loan to the Royal Academy of Music for use by Academy students, giving tomorrow's musicians a better understanding and appreciation of contemporary instruments. The bows offer the students the chance to experiment and explore how their playing might be developed further with different bows.