Orpheus Institute Ghent

Orpheus Institute, Ghent Belgium

The Orpheus Institute is a leading European center for artistic research in music and an influential driving force for new developments in artistic practice. (www.orpheusinstituut.be)

Ton Koopman Music Library

In the course of his sixty-year career, the Dutch conductor and musician Ton Koopman has assembled an impressive collection of books and sheet music. He is a recognized expert in Baroque music, especially that of Bach, and a leading figure in the “authentic performance” movement. Among the thousands of prints and manuscripts he collected are numerous unique items, including an until recently unknown cantata by  Händel. In addition to this historical library with works from the 15th to the 19th century, Koopman also collected thousands of modern books and magazines on Baroque music and culture. Special is that many of both old and modern books have been extensively annotated by the musician.

Thanks to the patronage of the Désiré Collen Foundation the Orpheus Institute was able to bring this coveted pearl to Ghent. The collection is housed in the Koetshuis of Hôtel d’Hane-Steenhuyse, located next to the Orpheus Institute. This eighteenth-century building was made available by the City of Ghent and will preserve Koopman’s books in optimal conditions. A multifunctional space has also been created for publicly accessible lectures, seminars, workshops and concerts.

Resounding Libraries Research Group – March 26, 2020

The research group Resounding Libraries, led by Baroque specialist Dr. Bruno Forment, is using the scores and books to set up innovative artistic practices and to develop new methods within the ‘digital humanities’. In this context, Orpheus Institute will open up the collection digitally to make it available to researchers worldwide.