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Friday, March 31, 2023

Linz Bruckneruni receives estate from conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt

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Unforgotten: Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016) (APA)
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Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929–2016) was one of the world’s leading experts on early music. He was considered a pioneer of historical performance practice, in which music is played with historical instruments based on original notes. The musician, who was born in Berlin and spent the last years of his life with his wife Alice in St. Georgen/Attergau, spent hours in archives to explore how music was played when it was created.
The Bruckner University in Linz is now receiving the maestro’s artistic estate. Rector Martin Rummel founds the Nikolaus-Harnoncourt-Zentrum, which the state finances with 460,000 euros per year for five years for the time being. “It is a special budget that is not diverted from culture or the university,” says State Cultural Director Margot Nazzal.
The legacy is extensive. It contains 50 meters of shelves of sheet music and two cubic meters of letters, essays, notes on works and performance practice, and lecture notes by Harnoncourt. “It will create a bubble bath of enthusiasm,” says Franz Harnoncourt, son and CEO of the health holding of the state of Upper Austria. There have been inquiries from the USA, Germany, France and Austria for the estate: “It was important to us to give it to where it can do the most.” This estate also means responsibility: “It would be crazy to let it gather dust .”
Three people will work in the center, which is located at the university. The line will be advertised next week. In the next 18 months, the estate will be digitized and then made publicly accessible on a website. Conferences and events are also planned. The documents themselves remain in St. Georgen, the university receives all non-commercial rights of use. Governor Thomas Stelzer: “With this center, the person of Harnoncourt remains alive and can continue to have an impact.”
As a token of appreciation for his wife, the violinist Alice (1930-2022), the square in front of the university will be renamed Alice-Harnoncourt-Platz from April.

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