The twelve-piece collection, which will enhance opportunities for students at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music to make great music, includes violins made by eighteenth-century masters Antonio Stradivarius and Sanctus Seraphin, as well as bows made by Nikolai Kittel, Francois Tourte, and W.E. Hill & Sons. In addition to the collection — which originated with Lavern "L." John Twiford, whose brother, Glen, graduated from UCLA in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in art — the foundation, which was established with the help of Twiford family attorney Arthur D. Ehrenreich, will contribute funds to establish an endowment for the maintenance and repair of the instruments.
The UCLA campus is already home to the 1732 "Duke of Alcantara," one of only two hundred and forty-eight remaining Stradivarius violins in the world.
"This gift is in honor of the Twiford family members who accumulated and treasured the violins and bows in the collection," said Lynn Running, the foundation's president and Ehrenreich's daughter. "The gift is also in honor of my father, who envisioned that the collection would find its way to UCLA, where the instruments would be played by top-tier faculty and burgeoning musical virtuosi. It has been a rewarding journey to partner with UCLA and to see this vision come to fruition."
"Any school in the world would dream of having these instruments in their possession, and we feel very lucky and grateful to be trusted with such an honor," said Movses Pogossian, professor of violin at the Alpert School of Music. "These treasures of art are also high-precision tools designed for our craft, and they will give our string students the most valuable opportunity to make beautiful music."
(Photo credit: UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music)