On March 9th, 2023, German master organ builder, architect and founder of the Organ Art Museum and the Oberlinger Foundation, Wolfgang Oberlinger and his wife Yue Oberlinger-Shen visited the Yu Art Foundation (‘YAF’) during their business tour in China, appreciating YAF’s violin collection and exchanging ideas on music and art.
The Oberlingers watched the story and performance of YAF's violin masterpieces
Wolfgang Oberlinger comes from a family with a long history of organ building, and he operates the organ building company ‘Oberlinger-Orgelbau’ now in Windesheim. The Oberlinger family has been engaged in organ building since 1778. From 1860 they built up their own workshop in Windesheim. With the support of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the Organ Art Museum was opened by Wolfgang Oberlinger in Windesheim in 2001, in which the collection of historical instruments that the family has collected over many years is shown. The museum displays over 30 keyboard instruments, including organ instruments, clavichords, art harmonium and square pianos. In addition to historical instruments, there are replicas and contemporary instruments. The modern museum is a super-regional tourist attraction and a cultural institution with concerts and special exhibitions held. Since 2017, the Organ Art Museum has been awarded the title of ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ by UNESCO. Since 2018, the Organ Art Museum has been operated by the Oberlinger Foundation founded by Wolfgang Oberlinger. The Oberlingers have heard about YAF and its significant collection for long in the music world, and they are also neighbors and friends of Klaus Meffert, the Chairman of the Board of Meffert AG. Due to these connections and coincidences, the Oberlingers planned this specific visit to YAF while in Beijing.
The Oberlingers appreciated YAF's violins
During the visit, both parties introduced the history of each one’s art foundation and instrument collection. The Oberlingers gave a general overview of their family business, the organ museum and the significant instruments within their collection. The manager of YAF told the collection story and showed the performance video of YAF’s violin masterpieces such as the ‘General Dupont’ Stradivari. YAF presented ten top-level string instruments from its collection for the Oberlingers to appreciate, including violins of B. Calcagno - the leading luthier of 18th-century Genoa, A. Mezzadri - the father of Ferrara’s violin-making school, G. Fiorini - the 19th-century pioneer who led the revival of the classical style, and his 20th-21st centuries’ followers A. Poggi and G. Savini, displaying the impact of the classical Cremonese tradition passed on to different Italian cities and to following generations. The Oberlingers closely appreciated YAF’s violins and listened to their sounds successively and comparatively, spending an enjoyable and memorable time at YAF.
Wolfgang Oberlinger played on YAF's Steinway piano and spoke highly of its tone quality
The Oberlingers also sent cordial invitation to YAF to visit their museum collection in Germany and to bring the cross-cultural exchange to a deeper level in the future.