The String Instrument Foundation in Memory of Lars Järnåker – or the Järnåker Foundation – was founded in 1976 through donations made by Erik Järnåker, industrialist, amateur violinist and lover of string instruments, in remembrance of his deceased son Lars.
The Foundation is independent but is administered within the realm of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
Its purpose is to lend string instruments primarily to highly talented young musicians, to eminent soloists and chamber musicians, and to string section leaders in professional orchestras and ensembles. In order to qualify for a loan the musician must be either Swedish or active in Sweden.
Many of the instruments owned by the Järnåker Foundation represent some of the greatest names in Italian and French violin making during the 18th and 19th century. The collection also contains a number of fine master instruments of a later date and from other countries.
Over the years the Järnåker Foundation has made a considerable impact on music life in Sweden. Master instruments are extremely expensive and are therefore out of economic reach for most musicians. It is a joy to see that today, as a result of the Järnåker Foundation, far more instrumentalists than before have the possibility to play on top quality instruments.
By tradition, the Järnåker Foundation will arrange a chamber music concert in memory of Erik Järnåker on the Twelfth Night of every year. The concert takes place in Stockholm, and it offers top performances in exciting, new constellations of musicians who all play on instruments on loan from the Järnåker Foundation.