Goldberg Ensemble archive

Last Friday 12th October we enjoyed a launch event for the deposit of the Goldberg Ensemble archive.
Chris Robins, the Ensemble’s Project Manager, Professor Malcolm Layfield (Founder/Artistic Director of the Goldberg Ensemble, strings adviser to the University for approx. 30 years, and the Royal Northern College of Music’s Head of Strings) and Professor Michael Clarke (Composer and Music Lecturer at Huddersfield) joined former University Archivist Hilary Haigh, our music librarian Janet Waterhouse, Director of Computing & Library Services Sue White and myself to chat about the Ensemble’s tours, composition and performance, and “archiving” music.

L-R: Prof Michael Clarke, Chris Robins, Janet Waterhouse, Sarah Wickham, Prof Malcolm Layfield.
Photo by Hilary Haigh

The Goldberg Ensemble Collection includes scores and programmes from 8 annual ‘Celebration’ tours that the Ensemble presented between 2001 and 2008. The principal purpose of the tours were to contribute to the maintenance and development of the string ensemble tradition, by commissioning new works from British composers and by giving second and subsequent performances to existing British string works of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In total, 39 works were commissioned or written for the ‘Celebrations’, of which 19 were original scores.

The addition of this score collection to our other music collections (notably the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Archive and the British Music Collection) sets us on the path to becoming ‘THE’ national resource for contemporary music research.

The Heritage@Huddersfield project aims to revolutionise access to these important collections. Ways in which we could do this include full cataloguing, digitisation (where possible), performance and workshops of individual pieces, composition workshops….and other things.  Add your ideas in the comments!

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