October 23–26, 2019
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The Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music are pleased to present Blending Past and Present: Collections and Collectors to be convened at Oberlin on Wednesday, October 23rd through Saturday the 26th. This conference, marking Westfield’s 40th anniversary, will provide an opportunity for Westfield members and friends to reflect on the Center’s rich history, to celebrate its accomplishments, and to help shape its future.
In addition to recitals by distinguished performers, papers and panel discussions will explore the broad theme of keyboards, collections, and collectors. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music holds a number of significant collections including keyboard instruments (organs, clavichords, harpsichords, and fortepianos), The Frederick R. Selch Collection, and the Conservatory Library Special Collections which include a large number of historically significant printed treatises from the 16th through the 19th centuries. In addition, Oberlin College is home to the Allen Memorial Art Museum, recognized today as one of the leading college and university art museums in the United States.
Areas we hope to address are:
• How have collections of keyboard instruments and music been acquired, defined, categorized, and (re)presented?
• What are the effects of bringing together objects from disparate times and places?
• How do collections reflect and construct historical, aesthetic, and organological narratives?
• And what are the functions of such collections, insofar as they navigate the conflicting demands of conservation and accessibility?
In addressing these questions, the conference will incorporate perspectives from performers, scholars, collectors, and instrument builders and restorers, enabling attendees to learn about keyboard music, culture, and instruments from multiple angles.
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