Solti archive goes to Harvard’s Loeb Music Library

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The archive of Sir Georg Solti, a body of work of significance to musical scholars and musicians worldwide, has come to Harvard’s Loeb Music Library, the University announced today.  The collection includes hundreds of scores heavily marked for performance and annotated by Solti, one of the 20th century’s most renowned conductors of opera and symphony and winner of more Grammy Awards than any other recording artist in any category.

Rather than mark up a score and reuse it for subsequent performances, Solti approached each performance as if it were new, creating a uniquely marked score. Accumulated through an accomplished career that spanned decades, these scores illustrate how Solti’s thinking progressed, how he solved musical problems, and how he adapted performances to suit a particular context.

“Sir Georg’s conducting scores are of special interest and importance to musicians and scholars as they provide insight into the workings of an inspired and accomplished musical mind, laying bare understandings of style, technique, and interpretations of monuments of Western music,” said Virginia Danielson, the Richard F. French Librarian of Loeb Music Library. “We are tremendously grateful to the Solti family for this most generous gift, which is so significant to music performance and scholarship.”

In keeping with the University’s efforts to provide broad access to resources, the Solti gift will enable the collection be digitized and made available online for scholars and music enthusiasts around the world via Loeb Music’s Digital Scores and Libretti site and the Music Treasures Consortium portal hosted by the Library of Congress. Use of these materials will be promoted through collaborations with agencies such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the British Library, which own related material.

Cataloging and processing of the archive has begun and the Library hopes to make the collection available to scholars and musicians by early next winter.  Much of the work will be accomplished in Harvard’s state-of-the-art audio and digital preservation labs.