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December 25, 1996

Apgar Quartet Plays Perinatologist's Instruments

JAMA. 1996;276(24):1939-1940. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540240017009

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IN MAY 1996, a group of pediatricians acquired and then donated 4 special musical instruments to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. The instruments—a viola, cello, violin, and mezzo violin— were crafted by perinatology pioneer Virginia Apgar, MD (1909-1974). The donation will allow music lovers at the medical college to play tribute to one of the most remarkable physicians and women of the 20th century.

This gift has made possible the establishment of the Apgar Memorial String Quartet, which can be heard performing at Columbia and occasionally elsewhere at gatherings of pediatricians and perinatologists. One such venue was the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) held in Boston, Mass, in October.

The establishment of the quartet was due in large part to the efforts of L. Joseph Butterfield, MD, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver,