In the near future a new public museum will be inaugurated which will house several collections of historical musical instruments. The most radically innovative aspect of this museum is that the instruments will be fully employed in the service of music: it is the sonorous heritage of these instruments that we endeavour to preserve, not their appeal as attractive pieces of furniture from times past. (Almost all other museums seal their instruments in glass cases, never to be restored, played or heard again!) Our program envisions the involvement of musicians, both resident and from abroad, as well as the active participation of the local community in music-making activities.
This museum offers visitors the unique opportunity to experience visually and acoustically some very fine instruments from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical Periods. The displays will serve primarily didactic purposes, at once embedding the instruments in the context of social history and the fine arts, as well as emphasizing the role these instruments can assume in the authentic interpretation of music respecting its inherent aesthetic principles.
As an integral part of the activities of this museum, exhibitions of the instruments will be presented on a regular basis both here and abroad. The collection has already visited several countries: Austria, Italy, Germany, France and Taiwan.
Festival of Early Music
Organized by the museum and the regional cultural entites, the series will present music from 1500 to 1830 employing - as much as possible - instruments from the collections.
Institute for the Performance Practice of Early Music
Regular professional studies at both a conservatory and a university level with diplomas for historical instruments, performance practice and teaching. The program should comply with the regulations of similar local musical institutions. At the discretion of the Board of the Museum, some instruments of the Vázquez Collection may be placed at the disposal of the students of the institute. An arrangement with the conservatory of the city will be made whereby the students would complete all basic and theoretical subjects at the conservatory and the practical subjects at the museum's institute. Particular emphasis will be given to interdisciplinary studies in the fields of humanism, history, the fine arts, literature and languages.
The library, which is currently being systematically enlarged and which is accessible to students and faculty of the institute, presently consists of:
1. vocal and instrumental music from 1480 to 1800 in facsimiles and modern editions of scores and parts and
2. research materials on performance practice, theoretical works, treatises.
The museum plans to host seminars on a regular basis with both investigative and performance orientation. Collaborations with institutions and organizations worldwide are being sought, particularly in interdisciplinary fields of humanistic studies.
Intended for professional and amateur students alike, these courses are designed to engender interest in these instruments and their music among a wider public, as well as to encourage participation in chamber music. An integral part of these courses is a series of concerts by the faculty members, to which the general public is invited.
The School Program
Introduction to these instruments and their musical heritage for the educational system: elementary schools, high schools, universities, music conservatories. Demonstrations, guided tours, development of video programs and publications with didactic emphasis.
A recording studio will be installed in the museum in order to facilitate the production of a complete series of cd's documenting the work of the museum. Artists will be invited to avail themselves of the instruments of our collections to produce these recordings.
Based on the models of the similar institution founded by Telemann and later led by Bach in Leipzig, the Collegium Musicum invites professional and lay musicians and students of the community and surrounding area to join an orchestra, chamber ensemble, madrigal ensemble or larger choir under the direction of both the professors of the institute and guest artists, to rehearse and perform works from the Renaissance and Baroque to the Classical Periods. In this way, the community will be integrated into the activities of the foundation and its museum.
Institute for the Restoration of Historical Musical Instruments
This comprises the two branches: 1. keyboard instruments and 2. string instruments. The restorers will be responsible for the study and documentation, drawing up of accurate plans of the principal instruments for worldwide distribution, organological research and the regular restoration work on the instruments of the collections. For the interested public, the instrument makers will also hold courses for restoration, maintenance, historical tunings of keyboard instruments and instrument making for the layman.
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