The FIU Collegium Musicum Instrument Collection features a wide variety of instruments donated or purchased through the generosity of numerous benefactors.
Our harpsichord and chamber continuo organ are the pride of our collection. These two wonderful instruments are in constant use throughout the school year at both FIU and in the community.
The harpsichord is a 1974 Carl Fudge transposing Flemish double, which the School of Music acquired through the generosity of The Lady Suzanna P. Tweed and Carleton Tweed Charitable Foundation and the FIU College of Arts and Sciences. Its visual beauty is matched by its powerful sound and lovely tone. Recent virtuosi who have chosen to perform on this instrument in both ensemble and solo settings include William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, Jean Rondeau, and Anthony Newman. The ornately painted lid can be seen at the top of all these pages.
To celebrate the retirement of the School of Music’s founding director Fredrick Kaufman, Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim provided the School of Music with a generous gift of a Bennett & Giutarri transposing chamber organ that has dramatically expanded the repertoire the Collegium Musicum can perform to include the wealth of sacred music produced in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. In addition to their use in concert and recitals, the harpsichord and organ are used extensively in our performance practice seminars such as Tunings & Temperaments where our students learn to tune them in a wide variety of historical tuning systems.
Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim also graciously provided the funds for the School of Music to purchase a Schlicker practice organ from the Eastman School of Music. This fine instrument is used for organ practice when the main organ, the spectacular four-manual 74-rank Sydell Ida Wertheim Organ named in honor of Dr. Wertheim’s mother and housed in the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center Concert Hall is unavailable for practice. According to former FIU Provost and Executive Vice President Douglas Wartzok, “FIU’s Collegium Musicum has few peers when it comes to organ resources.” Other benefactors to the early music keyboard area include the late Robert Heath and Carl Fudge, both of whom repaired and maintained our keyboard instruments in support of the program.
Violas da Gamba
The core of our large collection of violas da gamba consists of the Theron McClure Collection of Student Viols. With the assistance of Patricia Sidlinger and Suzanne Ferguson, the late Theron McClure, a long-time bassist with the Cleveland Orchestra and early music pioneer, began a trend of viol donations that continued with gifts from Kip Irvine, Michael Twyford, and David Chatfield. Our collection includes several basses, tenors, trebles, vielles, and a pardessus as well as bows, cases, and music. Without their vision and kindness, we would not be able to offer our viol class every semester.
The FIU School of Music owns two lutes: an 8-course Daniel Larson Renaissance lute donated to the program by Ned Mast and a 14-course Ray Nurse archlute. Richard Stewart has provided FIU students with a large collection of lute music.
Brass and Woodwind Instruments
Our collection also includes two sackbuts, i.e., the early version of the trombone.
Thanks again to Theron McClure and Patricia Sidlinger, Collegium Musicum also possesses a full array of recorders and crumhorns, a large collection of recorder music, and a Monk cornetto.
Collegium Musicum owns ten Baroque bows that are in constant use.
Inquiries regarding the rental of instruments in FIU’s collection should be directed to Nathalie Brenner.