Oi Ton Koopman Peter Dejans C Mar K Boone

Orpheus Instituut acquires prestigious library Ton Koopman

News January 22, 2020

The Orpheus Instituut acquires the prestigious library of Ton Koopman. The focus of the collection is 17th- and 18th-century music, its cultural context and performance practice. The collection will be housed in the historic Koetshuis (coach-house), which is located next to the Orpheus Institute. The new research group 'Resounding Libraries' will develop projects around the collection.

Ton Koopman (°1944) enjoys worldwide fame as an organist, harpsichordist, conductor, music pedagogue and researcher. He is one of the pioneers of the early music movement. His historically informed interpretations of Bach, Buxtehude and their contemporaries, as well as music from the later 18th-century, can be heard on hundreds of acclaimed CDs.

In the course of his sixty-year career, Koopman has collected an impressive collection of books and music. Among the thousands of prints and manuscripts are numerous unique works, including a cantata by Handel unknown until recently. In addition to this historical library with works from the 15th to the 19th century, Koopman has also collected thousands of modern books and periodicals on Baroque music and culture. Many of the books, both old and modern, have been annotated extensively by the artist himself, making the collection unique.

This is a real working library with a wealth of practice-oriented literature and scores. This collection is a dream for every performer of baroque music.
Peter Dejans - Director Orpheus Instituut

Thanks to the patronage of the Désiré Collen Foundation, the Orpheus Institute is able to bring this gem to Ghent. Peter Dejans, director of Orpheus Institute: "This is a real working library with a wealth of practice-oriented literature and scores. This collection is a dream for every performer of baroque music." The Orpheus Institute is a leading European centre for artistic research in music since 1996. In particular, the processes of music-making are central to the activities of the Institute, which now has 35 researchers.

New research group

For the development of a new research group around the Koopman collection, the Orpheus Institute has secured the financial support of the Department of Economy, Science & Innovation of the Flemish Government. The collection will be housed in the Koetshuis (coach-house), which is located next to the Orpheus Institute. This eighteenth-century building on the historic site of d'Hane Steenhuyse is made available by the City of Ghent and will preserve Koopman’s books in optimal conditions. There will also be a multifunctional space for publicly accessible lectures, seminars, workshops and concerts. The renovation of this historic building started in the autumn of 2019 and will last until spring 2020.

The research group Resounding Libraries, with baroque specialists Dr Bruno Forment (principal investigator) and Dr Huub van der Linden, will develop projects around the collection to encourage innovative artistic practices and develop new methods within the digital humanities. In this context, the Orpheus Institute will also open up the collection digitally to make it available to researchers in Belgium and beyond. The team will be further strengthened in the future in order to realise these ambitions.

3 J Detail C Bruno Forment 2

Bruno Forment

Bruno Forment has degrees in music theory and art studies (PhD, 2007). In 2007-8, he visited the University of Southern California as BAEF Fellow and Fulbright-Hays grantee. The support of the Flemish Research Fund allowed him to carry out postdoctoral research at Ghent University (2008-2015). Bruno Forment has taught at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, KU Leuven, and the Royal Conservatoires of Brussels and Ghent. He served as coordinator to music ensembles, classical music departments and heritage centres. The recipient of multiple awards, he is the author and editor of four books and dozens of essays on opera, performance practice and scenography.

Huub van der Linden

Huub van der Linden is a musicologist and cultural historian whose main research interest is in different aspects of the circulation and use of music, books, and other types of information and objects. His research has focused on the musical culture of early modern Italy, often in connection with his interests in the visual arts and book history. At the Orpheus Institute he continues to work on the circulation, ownership, and use of (music) books, as well as develop new research on the interaction between book knowledge and practical knowledge in the field of music.

Koetshuis

Korte Meer 20A, 9000 Ghent (Belgium)

The Koetshuis (coach-house) is located next to the Orpheus Institute. This eighteenth-century building on the historic site of d'Hane Steenhuyse will also include a multifunctional space for publicly accessible lectures, seminars, workshops and concerts. The renovation of this historic building started in the autumn of 2019 and will last until summer 2020.

Koetshuis verbouwingen