Skip to comments.Juilliard given rare manuscripts
Posted on 03/01/2006 5:57:30 AM PST by Renderofveils
Original manuscripts by Bach, Mozart and Brahms form part of a 139-item collection of sheet music donated to the Juilliard School in New York. The artefacts - donated by collector Bruce Kovner, chairman of the music acedemy's board - will be housed in a reading room from September 2009.
Highlights include working manuscripts of Beethoven's only opera Fidelio and Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No 9.
School president Joseph Polisi said it was "by its very definition priceless".
A lifelong music lover, Kovner began collecting manuscripts more than 10 years ago when he noticed a flow of rare artefacts coming onto the market.
"Great manuscripts were becoming available at prices which I thought were quite a bargain compared to a stuffed shark by Damien Hirst," he said on Tuesday.
It will be housed in a climate-controlled reading room Many of the pieces - including an 80-page handwritten script by Beethoven, sold at Sotheby's in London in December for £1.1m - were bought anonymously at auction.
Works range from Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas, written in the 1680s, to 20th Century compositions by the Russian composer Schnittke.
Pieces by Schubert, Schumann, Wagner, Mahler and Stravinsky also feature, often bearing inscriptions and annotations by their creators.
Mr Polisi said it was "one of the finest private collections of music scores to be amassed in modern times".
"The availability of these manuscripts will provide unprecedented opportunities for scholars and musicians at the school and elsewhere for many years to come."
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Yes, and they fit better on the coffee table.......
Evel Knevel (sp?) sez, "Oooooh - can I jump that?"
Be careful what you say about Julliard. ;-)
My 8 year old is thinking about going there. And he LOVES all the old bourgeois stuff, starting with JS Bach himself.
What is Juilliard a school or a museum?..
Moonbats do not make good accountants..
For anyone who may be curious.
He's got a lot of work to get to where he wants to go (Carnegie Hall & the like), he can't get there all on talent.
But he works hard at it already.
He's a pretty ornery, opinionated little guy; I don't think folks will be able to persuade him that JS Bach isn't the greatest. :-)
I hope he sticks to his guns.
Here's Jay Nordlinger at National Review Online on the subject of this thread:
Yesterday morning, I was in the office of the president of the Juilliard School, staring at manuscripts of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and his Grosse Fuge. Also at a chunk of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro.
Yes, I said manuscripts, as in manuscripts originals.
And what did you happen to be looking at Tuesday morning?
As you may have heard, Juilliard has acquired a stupendous collection of musical manuscripts. Bruce Kovner did the collecting, and he has given his purchases all of them, apparently to the Juilliard School. They are never to be sold.
Kovner is one of the world's great businessmen, and he is also an intellectual and art lover. (You may be interested to know that he is chairman of the American Enterprise Institute and chairman of the Juilliard School.) For the last decade or so, he has amassed his manuscript collection, which includes works of Bach, Schubert, Schumann well, everybody, really. The earliest manuscript comes from the 16th century; the latest comes from the 1990s (Schnittke).
Kovner plays the piano and harpsichord (à la WFB). He also plays the markets like a violin, or so the record would show.
He said, at the school yesterday, that he had a choice between putting those manuscripts "under a mattress" and sharing them with the public and he chose to share them through his gift to Juilliard. ("Gift" seems too weak a word for something like this, but there you have it.) The manuscripts will be kept in state-of-the-art surroundings.
The president of the school, Joseph Polisi, had referred to the collection as "priceless." And, in a poetic sense, it is. But it's not literally priceless, of course, because Kovner bought all of these manuscripts. So, how much did they cost, all told? Kovner replied that he didn't know he hadn't done the accounting. Millions, however.
And was he done collecting musical manuscripts? Maybe not. He may acquire some other things, in the future. (Perhaps he has a wish list.) Kovner also collects paintings and books.
He said he got kind of a spiritual kick out of collecting the manuscripts, and looking at them joining up with the composers through them, in a way. I stared hard at the Ninth Symphony manuscript and the others. No one reveres the music all of it more than I, but I must say that the manuscripts didn't do anything for me. Not even a slight frisson.
This is some defect in me, I feel sure.
You may recall my writing from, or about, Salzburg last summer. Some of us had taken an excursion to Garmisch, to be shown around the Richard Strauss home (by the composer's grandson). I have never felt closer to individuals by visiting their houses, or handling their effects, or what have you. Most others do, I believe, and I envy them.
As to Bruce Kovner: What a marvelous life he seems to be living, and what fantastic uses he is making of it.
Juilliard is the most prestigious school of performing arts in the US.
And according to what I read elsewhere on the subject, John Q. Public will be able to make appointments to view the manuscripts once they are put on display. These treasures are not exactly disappearing into someone's private vault. ;)
Waste of school funds.. buying artifacts..
I'm presuming you didn't read the article.
Bruce Kovner bought (bidding anonymously for each) the manuscripts for his PRIVATE collection. Then DONATED them to the school, on the condition that they are never sold. The school is putting them on display.
The only funding the school is going to have to front is the care and preservation (and display) of the manuscripts. And imagine there will most likely be unsolicited donations to help with that front as well.
Ugh.. If rare manuscripts are not guarded (in NYC) they WILL BE stolen.. probably by students..
Schools do not make good museums.. i.e. security guard wages (and other costs like insurance) in perpetuity..
Much like the Stravinsky "Soulima" collection already displayed at Juilliard? Or perhaps the works by Brahms and Ysaye already there?
I can get you the phone number to the school, if you'd like to let them know you think students will rip pages out of the manuscipts and shove them into their bookbags to buy more Ramen.
Otherwise, I'd suggest not trolling.
Trolling?.. I'm not a member of NEA.. I'm a home schooler..