Special donation to the Early Music department

5 December 2022

Thanks to a generous donation from the Adriana Jacoba Fund, the Early Music Department has acquired a beautiful Basse de Violon. It was built in 1800 by the American violin maker Abraham Prescott, and recently restored by Guust Francois.

The Basse de Violon, a predecessor of the cello, was the largest one of the violin family and enjoyed popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries. The famous orchestra 'Les 24 violons du Roi' contained 6 of these instruments, probably built by Andrea Amati on behalf of Charles IX of France. Lully conducted this orchestra in the 17th century, which then belonged to Louis XIV and was mainly used for ballet and court dances. Due to its large size, the Basse de Violon was especially suitable for playing bass lines and formed an important basis in chamber music at the time, later taken over by the double bass.