In 2010, UKARIA embarked on one of the most significant philanthropic projects in Australia's musical history – the acquisition of a unique quartet of rare stringed instruments (c.1743–1784) crafted by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini.

Guadagnini is one of history’s foremost luthiers, in company with Stradivarius and Guarneri del Gesu. This matched set of instruments, held in trust by UKARIA and made available as a set in perpetuity to Australia’s most outstanding string quartet, is unprecedented anywhere in the world. The current recipients are the Australian String Quartet.

The instruments included in the collection are:

1784 Guadagnini Violin (Turin)

1748–49 Guadagnini Violin (Piacenza)

1783 Guadagnini Viola (Turin)

c.1743 Guadagnini Cello ‘Ngeringa’ (Piacenza)

Through the generosity of Ulrike Klein AO, the Klein Family Foundation, Maria Myers AC, Allan Myers AC, the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation, Didy McLaurin, Joan Lyons, David and Pam McKee and many other donors, UKARIA completed the project on 18 December 2017, raising the funds to acquire all four instruments at a total cost of $6,183,188. Read more:

This project has brought together a group of visionary patrons who understand the significant cultural value in a collection of this calibre.

Philanthropic Champions

Ulrike Klein AO

Klein Family Foundation

Allan J Myers AC

Maria J Myers AC

James and Diana Ramsay Foundation

Didy McLaurin

Joan Lyons

Mrs F.T. MacLachlan OAM

David McKee AO and Pam McKee

Pauline Menz

Dr Rabin Bhandari

Lang Foundation

Hartley Higgins

The Board of UKARIA also recognises and thanks the following donors who have each made a significant contribution to this project:

Major Gifts

Don and Veronica Aldridge

Elizabeth Clayton

John Clayton

Colin and Robyn Cowan

Katherine Fennell

Fran Gerard AM

Julian and Stephanie Grose

Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett

Richard Harvey AM

Lyndsey and Peter Hawkins

Janet and Michael Hayes

Jari and Bobbie Hryckow

Thora Klein

Tupra Pastoral Company

Macquarie Foundation

Mr H.G. MacLachlan

Mrs S.T. McGregor

Peter and Pamla McKee

Janet McLachlan

Robert O'Callaghan and Pam O'Donnell

John Phillips

Margaret Piper

Jill Russell

Nigel Steele Scott

Sidney Myer Fund

Mary Louise Simpson

Gary and Janet Tilsley

Ian and Pamela Wall

Janet Worth

Click here to read more about the generosity of the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation.

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