Just in: Abbado’s goodies are left to Berlin

press release:

Berlin receives Abbado bequest

The musical estate of Claudio Abbado (1933–2014) is to come to Berlin. The donation to the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library) – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage in Berlin) includes an extensive collection of scores, handwritten notes, audio/video releases, musicological literature and letters. The Staatsbibliothek is to look after the collection and make it available in a reading room dedicated to Claudio Abbado. It is also planned to digitise large parts of the archive. The Berliner Philharmoniker will curate the content of the collection. In addition to the existing Claudio Abbado Composition Prize, exhibitions will be held, works analyses will be made possible, and study opportunities for young conductors will be created.

An agreement to this effect was signed by Paolo Lazzati, president of the Fondazione Claudio Abbado, Barbara Schneider-Kempf, director general of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and Martin Hoffmann, general director of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation at the Berlin Philharmonie on 3 March 2016.

The Fondazione Claudio Abbado was set up by the heirs of Claudio Abbado at the end of 2014 to preserve the musical legacy in its entirety and to donate it to an institution that guarantees its archiving and availability on a permanent basis. It was also a particular concern of the Abbado heirs that the legacy be kept alive.

The Fondazione is delighted that the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and the Berliner Philharmoniker are taking on this task together. The music department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin is the perfect place for the archive as it specialises in the preservation and restoration of valuable manuscripts and is one of the world’s leading institutions in this field.

Due to their long-term artistic bond with Claudio Abbado, the Berliner Philharmoniker are ideal to supervise the archive content and to realise projects that offer young conductors and musicians the possibility of working with the archive.

The Staatsbibliothek and the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation are delighted that they have been entrusted with the Claudio Abbado collection which will thus find a permanent home in Berlin.

abbado berlin philharmonic (bpo)


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  • Switzerland for his body, Berlin for his stuff.

    What happened to his love for Italy, for the great institutions of Bologna, where he lived?

    • The Italians are broke, they have neither the means nor the will to preserve their culture.

      The Germans, the English, the Americans have been the curators and conservators of ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian culture and history for a long, long time, all free of charge.

      It’s the (northern european) white man’s burden.

      • Of course, I forgot the French, who have kept the Mona Lisa save and sound for centuries. Frankly, the Louvre should charge Italy annual storage fees for guarding all their da Vincis and Michelangelos.

        • Italy should charge the Louvre, or take the Monalisa back. Italians are so saturated in their artistic wealth and they tend to be overly generous with the world. Unfortunately, other people’s mentality on being generous is different.

      • The Italian Renaissance and classical culture, it’s a mix of “North of the Alps”, Arabic, Jewish, Spanish, Moorish influences. A bit of Roman heritage as well.
        Italy did not enjoy much of an own national cultural heritage, which is why the act so irresponsible with it.
        Italian culture is like the Italian gigolo. A big ego, little substance.

        • What utter nonsense. Amazing how the barbarians, usually from the north of Europe, with their ugly cities, lousy food, poor cultural heritage and badly dressed citizens always look down on Italy to compensate for everything they don’t have. Go eat a meatball and dance in the rain.

          • All of Europe is looking pretty ugly these days, IMO. I’m thankful I live in Australia. Very thankful.

            And Italian culture from the past is absolutely stunning; thank goodness for Monteverdi, to name but one!! Today I get a thrill seeing the occasional interview with somebody like Pollini, dressed in one of those elegant suits. And I’ve long held the view that there are few things REALLY as classy in this world as a cultured and high class Italian, especially one in an Armani suit!!

  • “I’m thankful I live in Australia. Very thankful.”
    Holly, girlfriend, you’ve got to be joking!
    Sounds like your often written about period in Vienna was a complete waste of time.

    • No, I absolutely LOVED it there 5 years ago – but now it has changed irrevocably like the rest of Europe (we saw that 9 months ago!) and we and our cashed up friends won’t ever venture that way again. We’ll leave that to the younger generation. And middle eastern tourists, of course.

      • Oh, and I forgot to mention the BPO Digital Concert Hall – which is a great innovation which saves me going to Europe – and the fact that so many European people want to make Australia their home these days that we are quite overwhelmed with applications!!! Go figure.

        • Rather a changing Europe than the static pretentious boredom that is Down Under.
          And Digital bla is couch culture.

  • I’m so glad that I’m not European! You have old deep wounds always bleeding.
    I don’t see any big issue, since Abbado longer engagement was the Berliner Philharmonic (Perhaps the most important of his career). The donations was not to any other place in Germany, nor even to Germany as a country but to a city . I can figure out that Italy does not receive donations like this one, due to the fact that they produce and lend many guys like Abbado and don’t receive anyone back for pure lack of it. In this case, I would not be ashamed if I was an Italian, such Abbado.

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