Instrument Lending Program

The Maestro Foundation lends high quality stringed instruments and bows to gifted young musicians during the most critical stage in their professional development. Most of these students attend the finest music schools and conservatories but are unable to afford the tools necessary to facilitate their performance careers. In addition, it is rarely possible to master the essential nuance and refined techniques on student instruments.

The Maestro Foundation lends over 90 violins, violas, cellos and bows, used in excess of 95,000 hours per year. This collection will sustain many generations of musicians. Maestro is committed to commissioning living makers whenever possible. New instruments rival and often exceed older instruments in sound and quality at a reduced cost.

Interested students should first ask a teacher to submit a recommendation. Once that has been submitted, students should then complete the application.

For more information, write J. Aaron Sanders:


The Maestro Instrument Endowment Fund encourages patrons of classical music to directly nurture and support emerging young artists and their craft. Consider endowing an instrument or bow that allows a musician of modest means and prodigious talent to achieve their potential. Assist us in our goal of adding two new instruments to the Instrument Lending Library on an annual basis. Your legacy will last as long as the instrument – hundreds of years, generations of music.


Without a professional quality instrument, a promising young musician is powerless to develop his or her individual voice.

Exorbitant prices make it impossible for most students to purchase instruments. A proper instrument can mean the difference between winning or losing a competition, an orchestra audition, or a chamber ensemble position.

The Maestro Foundation lends over 90 quality stringed instruments and bows to deserving young string players during the most critical stage in their development.

Instrument Financing Program

The Maestro Foundation offers financing and rental opportunities to encourage selected alumni of the Instrument Lending Program to purchase their own instruments. This program guides and supports young musicians as they transition into their careers.


Recipients of Maestro’s assistance have been counted among first-prize and laureate winners of international solo instrumental and chamber music competitions, Avery Fischer Career Grant recipients, and professional orchestra musicians and soloists on stages all over the world.

Estelle Choi

What a great honor and privilege to have had a beautiful Lucchi bow on loan from The Maestro Foundation to fulfill my lifelong musical dreams. Using this exquisite bow exposed me to new sound worlds and color palettes that have expanded my creative potential. Thank you Maestro for your generosity.

Estelle Choi
Cello, Calidore Quartet
B.M., A.D., Colburn School
M.M., Yale School of Music


I am extremely grateful to the Maestro Foundation for the loan of the Ravitan cello. This instrument and Maestro came to me at a crucial time of need. Without their support, I would not have been able to play on such a wonderful instrument and pursue a professional career as a cellist. I will always be grateful.”

Eric Han, cello
Seattle Symphony
B.M., Colburn School


I am extremely grateful to perform on the Joachim & Yaeko Bolck Neapolitan viola and Beverly & Herbert D. Sturman Lucchi viola bow from the Maestro Foundation. I received the instrument just as the Ulysses Quartet began to achieve its potential. The power and richness available in this viola and bow has enabled me to perform at the highest level and continue growing as a musician.”

Colin Brookes
The Ulysses Quartet
B.M., The Juilliard School
M.M. and A.D., Yale School of Music
D.M.A. candidate, Stony Brook University

Natalie Helm

The Maestro Foundation has been by my side for the past seven years of my career. It provided me with an exceptional instrument during the final years of my schooling and then immediately loaned me the funds to purchase the instrument of my dreams. Their impact on my career has been profound and I am deeply grateful for the Foundation’s contributions.

Natalie Helm
Principal Cello, Sarasota Orchestra
B.M., Curtis Institute of Music
A.D., Colburn School

Rachel Halvorson

Just months into playing the 2009 Mario Miralles viola that Maestro chose for me, I took first prize at two competitions in Los Angeles. Its sensitive playability has allowed me to do the work I need to do at this critical time in my musical education, and its beautiful color palette inspires me and spurs me forward.”

Rachel Halvorson, viola
B.M., Oberlin
Conservatory of Music
M.M., Rice University
Shepherd School of Music

photo credit: Yang Bao

A violinist without a proper bow will never be able to fully communicate musical ideas to an audience, no matter how potent those ideas may be. The Maestro Foundation provided a beautiful bow made by Giovanni Lucchi that has served these needs. It possesses warmth, brightness, clarity, and a unique character. I have performed on this bow in concerts and major international competitions around the world. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Kenneth Renshaw, violin
B.M., The Juilliard School

Many recipients attend the finest conservatories and music schools but are unable to afford the tools necessary to facilitate their growth. It is rarely possible to master essential nuance and refined techniques on student-grade instruments. Having access to tools of quality has enabled recipients to remain competitive with their peers since 2001.

All told, over 160 ILP recipients have attended over 40 institutions across the globe.

Azusa Pacific University | UC Berkeley | Boston University | CalArts | Carnegie Mellon | Chicago College of Performing Arts | Cleveland Institute of Music | Colburn | CSU-Fullerton | CSU-Long Beach | CSU-Northridge | Curtis Institute of Music | DePaul University | Eastman School of Music | Freiburg Musikhochschule | Glenn Gould School | Indiana University |The Juilliard School | Mannes School of Music | Manhattan School of Music | New England Conservatory | Northwestern University | New York University | Oregon University | Royal Academy of Music | Royal College of Music | Rice Shepherd School of Music | Royal Conservatory of The Hague | Rutgers University | San Francisco Conservatory of Music | Southern Methodist University | Stony Brook University | UC-Los Angeles | UC-Santa Barbara | University of Kansas | University of Maryland | University of Michigan | USC Thornton School of Music | University of Texas at Austin | Yale School of Music |

Alumni of the Instrument Lending Program have gone on to join the ranks of over 35 professional orchestras and ensembles in eight countries including:

  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Calidore Quartet
  • Danish National Symphony
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
  • LA Opera Orchestra
  • Pittsburgh Symphony
  • Rochester Philharmonic
  • San Diego Symphony
  • Sarasota Orchestra
  • Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • St. Louis Symphony
  • St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • Stravanger Symphony
  • Ulysses Quartet
  • Utah Symphony

Photo Credits:
Estelle Choi: Jeff Fasano
Eric Han: Pete Checchia
Colin Brookes: Matthew Holler
Natalie Helm: Toby Oft
Rachel Halvorson: Natalie Gaynor
Kenneth Renshaw: Yang Bao