The Nydahl Collection (The Foundation for the Advancement of Music Culture), was founded in 1920 by Rudolf Nydahl (1882-1973). Nydahl studied music at Conservatoire de Paris in the beginning of the last century, but eventually returned home to Sweden to manage a wine shop founded by his father.

 

  Lute  
 

When the Swedish state in 1919 monopolized the trade with alcohol, it expropriated the Nydahl wine shop. Rudolf Nydahl used the income to further his great interest in music by creating a music foundation already the following year 1920. The objective of this foundation was to establish an institution, in the manner of the Conservatoire de Paris, serving in education and research. The institute would collect and maintain an archive of music manuscripts, scores, letters and other music-related material. It would also come to acquire and preserve historic musical instruments.

A museum of items collected by Rudolf Nydahl was first opened in Stockholm in 1967, and was in 1979 moved to its present location at Riddargatan 37 in Stockholm . In addition to its archives, the Museum houses a collection of approximately 550 old instruments, of which 75 are keyboard instruments, such as harpsichords, clavichords, pianos and organs dating from the 16th century up to the 1940's. Two hundred of these are on permanent display in six rooms, of which three are furnished in period style.

Initially the foundation arranged courses and lectures in harmony and solfège, but is now largely concerned with maintaining the Museum and serving the public and musicologists with information, scans, etc. The Museum occasionally arranges concerts and lectures in its unique venue. The music manuscript collection includes works of such composers as Beethoven, Chopin, Donizetti, Mozart, Rossini, Schubert and Schumann, as well as those of Swedish and Scandinavian composers.

A Catalogue of Music Manuscripts (about 2000) was published in 1995, and in addition to these, the collection contains 6172 autograph letters and documents by and to composers, musicians, and publishers. The Catalogue of Letters and other Documents was published in 2000.

The archive also contains iconographic material with a collection of drawings, paintings and photos, a library of scores (including many first editions), and a collection of music literature formerly belonging to the late Professor Ingmar Bengtsson. Also his correspondence is kept in the archive. Due to economy and lack of space, the museum does no longer acquire any new items.

Pegbox from a Viola da Gamba by Joachim Tielke, Hamburg 1696.