A fresh perspective for the Europe Gallery

MIM is excited to welcome Matthew Zeller as the new curator for the Europe Gallery. Zeller received his master’s degree in musical instrument history from the University of South Dakota. He wrote his master’s thesis on the design principles of the great Cremonese violin maker Andrea Amati. He also reconstructed the original dimensions of two of Amati’s instruments. Zeller earned his doctorate in musicology from Duke University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University, which focused on how music uses timbre structurally and functionally. He is also an experienced violin maker and restorer. 

We spoke with Zeller about his new role at MIM.

Do you have an exhibit in the Europe Gallery you’d like to take on first?
Adding more violins from Cremona, Italy, is my first thought, naturally. One of my goals is to bring to MIM instruments by the big three violin-making families: Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivari. But I extend my passion for fine and rare violins to all instrument types. I hope to capture the essence of musical innovation and to captivate our guests by highlighting fascinating aspects of instruments.

What do you hope to accomplish at MIM?
I have been fortunate to travel the world studying some of the finest and rarest violins and historical keyboard instruments. I hope to bring these experiences to Phoenix for all to share. I want to expand the story of interconnectedness and evolution in European musical instruments while highlighting regional differences and, of course, acquire the finest examples that will continually wow our guests.