24-26 April 2012, Liceo Conservatori, Barcelona
The Second International Roberto Gerhard Conference took place in the impressive new premises of the Liceo Conservatori, Barcelona, on 24th-26th April 2012. There were 21 delegates, made extremely welcome by our hosts.
The papers covered a number of aspects of Gerhard’s music, several covering new ground in Gerhard scholarship. Particularly exciting were discoveries concerning Gerhard’s period of study with Schoenberg and in the field of Gerhard’s electronic composition, where the much-needed process of digitising and investigative research is taking place at last.
Extramural activities were a visit to Valls, as guests of the Institut d’Estudis Vallencs, where we able to inspect Gerhard’s early manuscripts and other memorabilia and also privileged to meet Gerhard’s nephew, Ferran and mariona Agustí, the daughter of Conxita Badía Agustí, Gerhard’s friend and colleague.
There were four other memorable events: a visit to the very beautiful Biblioteca de Catalunya, where we met Margarida Ullate, to whom we owe so much for having catalogued the Gerhard papers held by the Cambridge University Library; attendance at the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate Schoenberg’s stay in Barcelona, at the invitation of the Juntament of Barcelona and two superb concerts, the first by a superb young quartet, the Gerhard Quartet, who played Haydn, Gerhard and Montsalvatge, and the second in the fine new concert hall of the Liceo Conservatori, for a final concert given by students and staff of the Conservatori which included the World First Performance of Gerhard’s piece, Claustrophilia, for eight harps and radios.
The final session was devoted to an open forum, lead by three eminent musicians: Rosa Montalt (Director of the department of Music at the Biblioteca de Catalunya), Josep María Mestres Quadreny (composer) and Xavier Güell (conductor).