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Darcy Kuronen Receives the 2023 Curt Sachs Award

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

AMIS is pleased to announce that Darcy Kuronen is the 2023 recipient of the Curt Sachs Award.
Kuronen with the instrument collection of the MFA Boston

AMIS is pleased to announce that Darcy Kuronen is the recipient of the Curt Sachs Award for 2023.

Following his graduate studies at the University of South Dakota and a position there as research associate at what is now the National Music Museum, Darcy began his ascent at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1986 as Department Assistant, then Curatorial Assistant in 1989, Keeper of Musical Instruments in 1995, and finally Curator of Musical Instruments from 1999 to 2020. Besides contributing to several books on musical instruments during his tenure at MFA, Darcy authored two books on the collection including a catalog of his seminal guitar exhibition “Dangerous Curves.” He contributed dozens of articles and reviews to JAMIS and other journals, including “The Musical Instruments of Benjamin Crehore” in Journal of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Besides winning for him the 1994 Densmore award, the Crehore article characterized Darcy’s important career contribution to the study of a rich regional heritage of instrument making, especially including Boston piano makers, and expanding outward, eventually becoming a database of surviving musical instruments throughout New England and the Northeast.

The AMIS newsletters from the last four decades are full of reminders of the many roles Darcy filled and how many initiatives he led or pushed forward. He served as Vice President and on the Board of Governors and on many committees, including the program committees for several meetings, hosting two meetings himself (2002 and 2015), and chairing the Electronic Initiatives Online committee with significant success.

Darcy was likely to be found at the Boston Early Music Festival representing the society at its information table or hosting events and serving on discussion panels. His service to the musical instrument specialty included generous consulting to numerous smaller university and institutional collections, curating, for example, an exhibition of the Boston Symphony Orchestra collection. He also provided advice and encouragement for private collections, including that of Marlowe Sigal before, during, and after its transfer to the Sigal Music Museum in Greenville.

Perhaps the most lasting of Darcy Kuronen’s legacy will be the encouragement, guidance, and opportunity he has always given to young people entering the field of organology and museums. Several of the movers and shakers in the organology field were encouraged and mentored as young people by Darcy, perhaps by his encouraging them to apply for a Gribbon award, then making them feel at home attending and presenting at a first conference. He works to maintain connections with and between people, then uses that resource to connect us to each other to promote our various projects.

We thank Darcy Kuronen for his contributions to our society and to the field, and congratulate him for deserving the 2023 Curt Sachs Award.


 




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