MoMI -- Museum of Musical Instruments

About The MoMI:

   The Museum of Musical Instruments (MoMI) gives people a unique opportunity to examine, explore, and experience the finest examples of 19th and 20th Century musical instruments. Hank Risan and Bianca Soros established MoMI in early 2000, choosing to build a virtual museum to reach the largest possible audience of music lovers throughout the world. Risan and Soros feel that guitars are an enlightening medium for examining our society, conveying important developments in technology, communication, and fashion. These soulful and beautiful icons of our culture now have a home where they will be preserved for enjoyment by future generations. Plans for constructing a physical museum are underway, with groundbreaking ceremonies tentatively scheduled for Spring 2002.

Hank Risan

Hank Risan is chairman of the board at The MoMI, (, America's first virtual musical instrument museum. He began searching for vintage Martin guitars when he was 17 and has spent the past 25 years assembling a vast collection of the finest 19th and 20th Century guitars. A renowned vintage guitar dealer, Risan has advised historians and helped clients establish important collections, many instruments from which have been displayed in museums, books, and magazines. He studied graduate-level mathematics, art history, and neurobiology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Berkeley, as well as mathematics at Cambridge University in England. At age 21 Risan won an award for his original research in mathematics from the National Science Foundation. Risan plays piano and guitar, and has enjoyed a life-long love affair with music. He believes that the guitar is fine art, and it is his honor to share a portion of his collection at

Bianca Soros

Bianca Soros is executive director at the Museum of Musical Instruments and is one of the most knowledgeable writers on the subject of 19th and 20th century guitars. Her work has been published in NPR, Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, 20th Century Guitar, Strings, Guitar Graphics and Vintage Gallery magazines, and her dynamic photographic compositions have appeared in numerous publications, including Martin Guitars: An Illustrated Celebration of America's Premier Guitarmaker. Soros has a B.A. in art history, specializing in the 19th and 20th century, and an advanced degree in film critical studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has assisted the FBI with art authenticity investigations. It is Soros's desire that the museum experience for visitors to the MoMI is entertaining and educational.

Chris Gill

Chris Gill is editor-in-chief for Gill was formerly senior editor at Guitar Player and Guitar World magazines, who have published more than 400 of his articles and interviews. He was also the editor-in-chief of the acclaimed guitar collector's publication Vintage Gallery. His book Guitar Legends - The Definitive Guide to the World's Greatest Guitarists was published by Harper-Collins in 1995. Gill has been a guitar collector since 1974, and his personal collection currently consists of more than 40 instruments. He received a B.A. degree in literature/writing from the University of California, San Diego, where he also studied experimental music and instrument design. He believes that the guitar was one of the most important elements in the development of Western culture during the 20th Century.