Expansion of Music Rooms at the Lobkowicz Palace
In June 2019, we completed the final phase of cataloguing the Lobkowicz Music Archive. This six-year project was led by Vassar College Associate Professor of Music, Dr. Kathryn Libin, in collaboration with Dr. Petr Slouka, Curator of the Lobkowicz Music Collection, and Soňa Černocká, Curator of the Lobkowicz Library and Archive. The work was also supported by five Vassar College students and alumnae: Alison DeSimone, Ella Middleton, Ava Linvog, Joe Gusmano, and Alex Bartholomew.
When this project began, the only existing record of music was a handwritten inventory from 1893. To make these documents more comprehensible and accessible to study, the Lobkowicz Music Collection, now thoroughly catalogued according to modern principles, is available through a searchable online database. For the first time in its history, students, scholars, and enthusiasts from around the world can comprehensively access the collection's musical treasures.
The Music Archive, comprising some 5,000 items, was assembled over three centuries by principal members of the Lobkowicz family who were not only patrons, but also enthusiastic collectors, performers, and composers. The family’s personal tastes and affinities are reflected in the collection, which include 18th-century lute tablatures, oratorios and operas in manuscript and early prints, and performing parts for symphonies and quartets — some with hand-written annotations — by Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.
The next phase after cataloguing the music collection is expanding the exhibition spaces in which to display them — now possible thanks to generous donations raised at the Muses of Music fundraiser in September 2019. New dedicated music galleries at the Lobkowicz Palace will showcase the breadth of the rich collection, including musical scores and receipts, archival and accounting records, family correspondences, and other never-before-seen musical treasures. Expansion of the music rooms will enrich the quality of the visitor’s experience with more in-depth content, enhanced by audio-visual technology, modern vitrines, and thoughtfully curated displays. Reconstruction of the current music galleries at the Lobkowicz Palace is underway and scheduled for a Spring 2021 opening.
*This article includes content from The Lobkowicz Collections Music Series: Highlights by Kathryn Libin with Petr Slouka.