The Augustinus Foundation and the instrument collection

The Augustinus Foundation was established in 1942. The philanthropical activities are centered around the mail areas: Art, Culture, Research and Social and Humanitarian initiatives. Distributions for the Danish cultural life account for more than 80 percent of the grants awarded every year. Contributing to a vibrant classical music life plays an important role for the Foundation.

In 2023 the Foundation supported the Danish society with 66 Million Euros (EUR).

For inquiries regarding application opportunities to the Augustinus Foundation, we refer to the Danish section of the website. The English section of the website pertains to the Augustinus Foundation's Instrument Collection.

Equipping leading musicians

Denmark has a rich music tradition with musicians ranking among the best in the world and vibrant venues across the country. A strong classical music life has been a key stone in the Augustinus Foundation's work through decades, and the foundation supports hundreds of concerts, festivals, recordings, compositions and projects every year. As a special contribution to the music life and its musicians, the Augustinus Foundation owns one of the finest instrument collections consisting of violins, violas, cellos and Steinway pianos.

The ambitions of the instrument collection is to equip the country's leading musicians with the finest possible instruments and in that way help the musicians fulfill their potential.

Ensembles and soloists

The Foundation has provided instruments to musicians from ensembles like The Danish String Quartet, Trio Con Brio Copenhagen, Nightingale String Quartet, Trio Vitruvi and Novo Quartet. In addition to this, the Foundation owns instruments that are on loan to soloists from the oldest orchestra in the world, The Royal Danish Orchestra, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra and Odense Symphony Orchestra.

The collection of fine instruments

In 1978 the Foundation purchased its first instrument, a violin from 1699 by the Milanese luthier Giovanni Grancino. Is has since amassed a collection of more than 25 fine old stringed instruments including violins, violas and cellos in addition to a number of fine violin and cello bows.

At the heart of the collection are instruments by the Italian masters from c. 1600-1900 - the works of Antonius & Hieronymus Amati, Nicolo Amati, the Gaglianos, Giovanni Battista Guadagnini and Joseph Guarnerius. The Foundation does not resell instruments and does not purchase them as investments. Acquired instruments are therefore heard by tens of thousands of concert-audiences, radio listeners every year and on multiple recordings.

Antonius Amati, 1627

"The grand piano has a fantastic sound and enables me to convey my musical ideas. The musical joy the piano gives me is invaluable in my further work as a pianist". Gustav Piekut, plays a Steinway model O. Photo: Julia Severinsen

The New Collection

In 2023 the Foundation has taken the first steps in order to establish a collection of fine instruments made more recently. The aim is that the collection will eventually contain brand new, hand-built acquisitions of top quality - instruments that can develop into fine instruments in the long term.

As a part of "The New Collection" the Augustinus Foundation owns seven Steinway model O available for aspiring piano talents.

The young talents Stefan Burchardt and Christine Bernsted holds violins by Stefan-Peter Greiner. Photo: Ehrhorn-Hummerston

Niklas Walentin, sonata no. 6 in E major, op. 27 No. 6, Eugène Ysaÿe; video: Tom McKenzie; sound: Viggo Mangor; location: Saftfabrikken på Møn

Nightingale String Quartet, 'Skumrende Landskab', Rued Langgaard; choreography: Jens Schyth Brøndum, DeLeónCompany; dancers: Jens Schyth Brøndum og Lukas Hartvig-Møller; video: Tom McKenzie; location: Kedelhuset, Carlsberg