To mark the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the death of Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767), the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles presents some of the most rare documents from its collection of works related to the composer.
The majority of these manuscripts come from teh collection of Johann Jacob Heinrich Westphal (1756-1825), organist at Schwerin, and they were acquired by François-Joseph Fétis, the first director of the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles, in around 1840.
Brussels today is home to around 420 manuscripts by Telemann, including 6 autographs and a significant number of unicas.
In 2015, following the closure of the CeBeDeM (Centre Belge de Documentation Musicale, 1951-2015), the library acquired over 350 metres of scores by Belgian composers from the 20th and 21st centuries. A unique chance! And also a chance to give well-deserved space to Belgian composers. The exhibition presents archival documents, autograph manuscripts, and editions and recordings of numerous Belgian composers dating from the eighteenth to twenty-first century.
This exhibition paid homage to the eminent teacher and piano professor at the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles from 1948 until 1976, E. del Pueyo, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of his death. The exhibition presents this pianist originally from Saragossa, through archival documents, photographs, posters, publications, annotated scores, working notes and recordings.
In the years between 1910 and 1930 there was a real boom in illustrated scores, mostly of lighter musical repertoire. At this time, the success of a song would still be measured in terms of how many copies of an edition were printed. Songs published before 1940 are almost always released in three versions: a large format for the voice and piano, a large format for piano solo, and a small format for voice solo.
The songs of that time and the illustrations on the scores reflect the era of the roaring twenties, the spirit of lightness, love of dancing (waltzes, tangos, ...) as well as the interest in jazzy rhythms like the charleston, blues or swing and for latino or other exotic rhythms.
This exhibition presents numerous scores from the Library collection, inlcuding a good number by Belgian composers, which were released by Brussels publishing houses. The title pages are printed using lithography or zincography. The three big names in Belgian illustration of the time were Magritte, Valéry and Peter De Greef. These illustrated covers are often real works of art.
The library has a collection of international significance of manuscripts and printed editions of works by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. This collection came principally from the private collections of the German collectors Johann Jacob Heinrich Westphal and Guido Richard Wagener.
On the occasion of the tricentenary of C.P.E. Bach, son of Johann Sebastien Bach, the library presents some of his manuscripts.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the death of Joseph Jongen, the library presents numerous documents which belonged to him, and which allow us to get to know him. Foremost a composer, Joseph Jongen was also a professor and director of the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles. This exhibition presents his archival collection, including autograph manuscripts, first editions, correspondances, literary manuscripts, iconic documents, and concert programmes and posters.
The library has a magnificent collection of portraits of musicians, drawn in pastel by the Belgian artist Jamotte. These portraits are in a lage format, and were done on card. Musicians portrayed in the collection include Joseph Jongen, François-Auguste Gevaert, Emile Chaumont, Fernand Brumagne and Victor Vreuls.
The exhibition presents projects and plans made in 1877 by the architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar (1811-1880), in preparation for the construction of the official residence of the director and secretary of the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles, situated on the square at Petit Sablon.
None of these projects which were planned in the neo-renaissance style were actually ever fully realised.
Cluysenaar, the figurehead of eclecticism, was inspired by many different styles of architecture throughout his career.
He always chose the style which was most suited for the brief which he was given for each project.
The Conservatoire building was constructed between 1872 and 1876. As for the wing which was intended as private appartments for the director and secretary, construction started in 1877. After first housing the Musical Instruments Museum, this part of the building today is home to the administrative departments of the Conservatoire.
One hundred years after his death, the Conservatoire pays hommage to François-Auguste Gevaert (1828-1908) who was director of the Conservatoire from 1871 to 1908.
Held on the twentieth anniversary of Jazz at the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles, this exhibition celebrates the jazz department.
The first part of the exhibition pays homage to the professorial staff from the first years of the department. The teaching staff of the Conservatoire in fact included some of the great names of the jazz world, including, to name just a few examples: Richard Rousselet, Paolo Radoni, Bruno Castellucci, Steve Houben, Charles Loos or Eric Legnini. Their work is represented through photographs, press clippings, and sleeves from vinyl and CD recordings.
The exhibition also takes a look at teaching in the department, for example, mentioning some of the first students and a few of the significant moments of the Conservatoire Big Band, through archival material, concert programmes, posters and photographs.
Finally, along with some musical instruments, a number of other teaching 'aids' are on show, taken from the collections of the Conservatoire Library, for example scores and publications related to Belgian jazz in particular.
So the theme is indeed the "Swingin’expo at the Conservatoire !"
Two years after the independence of Belgium, a great moment for the new state was the foundation of the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles. Taking the Conservatoire de Paris as its model, and the visionary François-Joseph Fétis as its first director, the young institution was soon to be seen as one of the most prestigious schools of art in Europe. 175 years later, the Conservatoire has become an institution of higher education in the arts, and here organises an exhibition retracing its own history.