Rachel Barton
Home Instrument Loan Program

Instrument Loan Program
I have been the grateful recipient of borrowed instruments for most of my career, from the small violins of my childhood to the glorious Amati, Stradivari, and Guarneri del Gesù which have been my companions for recordings and professional concert engagements.  It has always been my dream to give back by helping the next generation of talented young musicians, and it is a great joy to have that dream come true.

The Rachel Elizabeth Barton (REB) Foundation’s Instrument Loan Program allows young artists to benefit from the use of high-quality instruments that otherwise would not be available to them.  The goal of this program is to unite talented students and young professional artists with instruments of a quality that encourages their growth as musicians and enables them to communicate their music more effectively.  Instruments currently on loan range from fine student level stringed instruments to antique bows and the rarest of vintage concert instruments. 


We are always in need of fine instruments for this purpose!  Outright donations of instruments or of funds to secure high-quality instruments are always welcome.  We also seek the loan of stringed instruments and bows.

In appreciation, we would be pleased to recognize your gift on the REB Foundation’s Web site and in our other publications.  We would also be pleased to acknowledge you whenever your instrument is used in performance or recording or is featured in the media.

Donating or lending the instrument of a loved one who has passed away is a unique and special way to honor their memory.  We would be pleased to attach his or her name to the name of the instrument so that they can be remembered each time the instrument is heard publicly.

Donating an instrument

Donating an instrument to the REB Foundation ensures that this special stringed instrument or bow will be cared for, played by deserving young artists, and shared with appreciative audiences into perpetuity.  If you wish, we will tell you which student or young professional is benefiting from the use of this instrument, and you will receive regular updates on the progress of this young artist’s career. 

Lending an instrument

Lending an instrument through the REB Foundation is a wonderful opportunity to protect your valuable investment while ensuring the quality of future string performance by helping the next generation of gifted young musicians.  Your instrument will be monitored and cared for according to the highest professional standards. You will know which student or young professional is benefiting from the use of your instrument, and you will receive regular updates on the progress of this young artist’s career.  Additionally, special concerts in your home or in the venue of your choice can be arranged.  If you already have a particular young artist in mind, we would be happy to help facilitate and oversee the loan arrangement.

Thank you for your interest in the REB Foundation’s Instrument Loan Program.  I would be happy to speak with you personally to discuss lending or donating opportunities. Please do not hesitate to contact us at (312) 329-1170 or


Rachel Barton Pine, President


5 antique violins
5 high-quality handmade modern violins
7 antique violin bows
1 antique 3/4-size violin and 3/4-size bow
1 antique 5/8-size violin
1 antique 1/2-size violin and 1/2-size bow
1 high-quality handmade modern 1/4-size violin and 1/4-size bow
1 high-quality handmade modern 1/8-size violin and 1/8-size bow
1 antique viola
3 high-quality handmade modern violas
1 high-quality modern viola bow

Current Recipients
To view information about current recipients and instruments on loan,
click here.

REB Foundation Newsletter
To view information about previous recipients and current news, click here.

YouTube playlist – REB Foundation Young Artist Recipients


Criteria for determining instrument loans

Applications are accepted from young classical players of bowed string instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass, viola da gamba) between the ages of bowed string instruments between the ages of 6 and 30 of any gender, race, ethnicity, or country of origin. Instrument loans are given on the basis of musical talent and accomplishment, artistic aspirations, financial need, and the availability of suitable instruments.  We do NOT provide support for the private purchase of instruments.

Please click here for a printable application form.
(Requires Adobe Acrobat reader - click here to download for free.)

Application materials (All of the following may be submitted via e-mail except for the recordings.):

  • Completed information sheet.
  •  A cover letter which provides an explanation of your financial situation including other sources of financial support, a description of your  career and artistic goals, a description of your current instrument, and the reasons you are seeking the loan of an instrument and/or bow.
  •  Biographical data.
  • A list of current activities.
  • TWO copies of a recent (within 12 months) audio or video recording of your playing, labeled with your name.
  • At least one letter of recommendation from a teacher or other professional musician – please include name, address, telephone number, and email address for the person writing the recommendation.
  • At least three additional references – please include name, address, telephone number, and email address for each reference.
  • Documentation of financial circumstances to demonstrate need - we may request additional paperwork if necessary. All financial information and materials will be held in the strictest confidence.
  • A current headshot, high-resolution or glossy photo. This photo will be used for publicity purposes should you be awarded an instrument and/or bow; it will not be used when evaluating your application.


Applicants may be asked to play an audition and/or to be interviewed.

Expectations of recipients

The recipient must use the instrument as his/her main instrument and shall not loan the instrument to any third party nor place the instrument in the care or custody of any third party without the prior consent of the Foundation.  The recipient must maintain the highest standard of care for the instrument.  The instrument shall not be left unattended in any public area or in the trunk of any vehicle or in an unattended vehicle or in any hotel or in other public lodging or exposed to damaging temperatures or climate conditions.

Please click here for printable instrument care guidelines.
(Requires Adobe Acrobat reader - click here to download for free.)

The instrument will be insured by the Foundation.  The insurance policy will be made available to the recipient and the recipient will reimburse the Foundation the cost of insuring the Instrument during the loan period.

STRING INSTRUMENTS: Any tonal adjustments, maintenance, repairs or restoration work necessary must be performed by a luthier approved by the Foundation.  Instruments should be inspected by the luthier every four months. The recipient is responsible for the costs of all tonal adjustments and regular maintenance of the instrument.

BOWS: Any rehairs, maintenance, repairs or restoration work necessary must be performed by an archietier approved by the Foundation. The instrument should be inspected by the archetier every six months. The recipient is responsible for the costs of rehairs.

The recipient will notify the Foundation about his/her artistic development (i.e. competitions, concerts, recordings, reviews, feature articles, radio and TV appearances) at least every three months and shall also notify the Foundation of the time and place of any artistic appearances as soon as this information is known by the recipient.  The recipient shall cite and state the name of the instrument and the fact of sponsorship on or in all concert programs, press reports, etc.

The recipient shall perform as a soloist on behalf of the Foundation, making up to three command performances per year.  The Foundation will reimburse the recipient for reasonable travel and accommodation expenses approved by the Foundation in association with the command performances.  If an accompanist is necessary, the Foundation will provide one at its expense.

Failure to fulfill these expectations may result in immediate termination of the loan.

Please direct inquiries and send materials to:

The Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation
Instrument Loan Program
PO Box 11388. Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 329-1170
FAX: (312) 329-9240

Please write to us at if you know of any other resources that should be added to this list. Thank you.


Copyright Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation