Westfield 40th Anniversary Celebration and Conference

Blending Past and Present:
Collections and Collectors

October 23–26, 2019
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Oberlin, Ohio 44074

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Schedule of Events

[posted as of October 17, 2019 – subject to updates]


Wednesday, October 23

Pre-Conference Open House [10:00 am – noon]

On your way to Oberlin, visit the Riemenschneider Bach Institute at Baldwin Wallace University, Conservatory of Music. They are offering an open house for Westfield Center conference attendees, featuring many of their rare holdings of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, and Schumann editions, and historical keyboard instruction treatises. Light refreshments served. See description and contact info at the bottom of this page.

11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Oberlin Conservatory of Music Lounge

noon – 12:45 pm
[meet at Registration desk]
View selected items from the Selch Collection
with James O’Leary, Frederick R. Selch Associate Professor
of Musicology

The Frederick R. Selch Collection of American Music History contains over 700 instruments and thousands of rare books, playbills, posters, letters, illustrations and other ephemera, and dozens of artworks. See descrption at the bottom of this page.

The FOLLOWING OPTIONS between 12:30 – 2:00 pm:

12:30 – 2:00 pm
Warner Concert Hall
Organ Masterclass with Christa Rakich
Kulas Recital Hall
Fortepiano Masterclass with David Breitman

12:30 – 2:00 pm
[sign-ups at Registration desk]
Visits to selected keyboard instruments

1:00 – 2:00 pm
Bibbins Hall
[basement, east side]
Visit Keyboard Technology Shop
with John Cavanaugh, Executive Director

2:15 – 3:00 pm
Kulas Recital Hall
Welcome and Keynote Address I
Welcome to Oberlin
David Breitman, Director, Oberlin Conservatory Historical Performance Program
The Hobbyist and the Expert: Collectors, Keyboards, and the Collecting Mania
Annette Richards

3:00 – 3:30 pm
Conservatory Lounge
Coffee Break and Registration

3:30 – 5:00 pm
Kulas Recital Hall
Paper Session: Keyboard Collections
Fanny Magaña Nieto and Jimena Palacios Uribe - Antonio Haghenbeck’s Harpsichord in Casa de la Bola, Mexico City
Elly Langford - Exhibiting and Problem Solving: Combination Keyboards as Expressions of Technological Innovation in Early Modern Europe
Kenneth Slowik - The History of the Smithsonian Keyboard Collection

5:15 – 6:15 pm
Fairchild Chapel
Concert - Habits of Teachers, Students, and Collectors
of 17th Century Keyboard Music

Erica Johnson, organ

6:30 pm
Dinner on your own.

8:00 pm
Kulas Recital and Warner Concert Halls
Concert - Oberlin Faculty
Jonathan Moyer, organ
Christa Rakich, clavichord
Mark Edwards, harpsichord
David Breitman, fortepiano

9:00 pm
Conservatory Lounge
Post-concert Reception

Thursday, October 24

8:00 – 9:00 am
Conservatory Lounge
Continental Breakfast
9:00 – 9:45 am
Stull Recital Hall
Lecture Recital:
Christina Fuhrmann and Dylan Sanzenbacher, harpsichord, piano
- A Well-Tempered Collection

10:00 – 10:45 am
Kulas Recital Hall
Lecture Recital:
Matthew Bengtson, harpsichord and piano
- Chromaticists and Alkan

11:00 – 11:30 am
Conservatory Lounge
Coffee Break and Welcome to
the Conservatory Library and Special Collections

Deborah Campana, Conservatory Librarian
Visit display of items from Special Collections

11:45 am – 12:45 pm
Lunch on your own.

1:00 – 2:45 pm
Allen Memorial Art Museum
Welcome and Concert
Colors, Sounds, Emotions: a Promenade through Paintings
at the Allen Memorial Art Museum

Welcome by Andria Derstine, John G. W. Cowles Director, who will describe the museum’s principles of collecting and then present works in two galleries chosen by the performer, Edoardo Bellotti. Recital by Mr. Bellotti on harpsichord, clavichord, and organ to follow.

2:45 – 3:15 pm
Conservatory Lounge
Coffee Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm
Stull Recital Hall
Panel Discussion:
Builder/Restorer/Technician and Performer/Player Roundtable
Anne Acker, chair
with Stephen Birkett, David Breitman, Robert Murphy,
John Phillips, and Allan Winkler

4:30 – 5:45 pm
Kulas Recital Hall
Lecture Recital:
Susan Youens, with Thomas Meglioranza and David Breitman performing Dichterliebe
- The Betty Oser Collection of Robert Schumann’s Songs at the University of Notre Dame

6:00 pm
Dinner on your own.
7:30 pm
Warner Concert Hall
Concert -
Works by Francisco Correa de Arauxo from the Facultad orgánica
Robert Bates, organ

9:00 pm
Kulas Recital Hall
Film Screening: Remembering Bill Dowd
The Smithsonian film in which makers and players closely connected to Dowd and his instruments offer their personal recollections of his impact. (70 minutes)

Friday, October 25

7:30 – 8:15 am
Conservatory Lounge
Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 11:00 am
Home of Catharina Meints, 170 Pyle Road
1.3 miles from campus, about a half-hour walk or 4 min. drive – parking for a maximum of 8 cars is available in the driveway. The south side of Morgan is also an option for parking.

8:30 – 9:00 am
Opportunity to view the viol collection.

9:00 – 10:00 am
Lecture Recital:
Cat Slowik, Zoe Weiss, and Loren Ludwig
- Three Perspectives on the Caldwell Collection of Viols
10:00 – 11:00 am
Coffee Break and Performance
By Cat Slowik, Zoe Weiss, Loren Ludwig, Catharina Meints, and Ruby Brallier

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch on your own.

12:30 – 2:00 pm
Stull Recital Hall
Harpsichord Masterclass with Edoardo Bellotti

12:45 – 1:45 pm
[by sign-ups]
Visits to selected keyboard instruments

2:00 – 3:45 pm
Stull Recital Hall
Presentations and Panel Discussion:
Collectors and Collections
Kenneth Slowik, chair
with Karen Flint, Tilman Skowroneck, and John Watson

4:00 – 5:45 pm
Stull Recital Hall
Paper Session: Keyboarding Collections
John McKean - Keyboard Pedagogy as Curated Collection: The Curious Case of Augsburg Wegweiser
Jacob Fuhrman - Curating a Repertoire of Congregational Song: Some Keyboard Accompaniments to the Genevan Psalter
Anne Laver - Alexandre Guilmant, William C. Carl and the Beginnings of an Early Music Movement in America

6:00 pm
Hotel at Oberlin
Conference Banquet and Program
[for presenters and registered members]

8:00 pm
Kulas Recital Hall
Andrew Willis, fortepiano

Saturday, October 26

7:45 – 9:00 am
Conservatory Lounge
Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00 am
Fairchild Chapel
Matthew Dirst, organ and harpsichord
Kathryn Montoya, recorder

10:15 am – noon
Stull Recital Hall
Keynote Address II and Panel Discussion
Historical Performance Now and Then
Thomas Forrest Kelly
Panel discussion: with David Breitman, Samuel Kuffuor-Afriyie, Catharina Meints, Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra, and Matthew Dirst, chair

Stull Recital Hall
Concluding comments by Matthew Dirst
Conference ends.

Post-Conference Open House

During the early afternoon, conference attendees are invited to visit the new Paul Fritts organ in Lorain, OH [see also below] about a 20 min drive from Oberlin. Brian Wentzel, director of music at First Lutheran Church, Lorain, will give a brief demonstration of the organ (installed in spring 2019) and offer an opportunity for open console. Members of his congregation have generously offered to provide lunch for Westfield members. See more below.

Pre-Conference -
The Riemenschneider Bach Institute (RBI) at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio is delighted to welcome the Westfield Center conference to the Northeast Ohio region. Located just forty minutes from Oberlin, we are within easy striking distance for conference attendees. The RBI is a renowned research center that includes over 30,000 items and offers broad research opportunities. In addition to the central collection of Bach-oriented manuscripts, books, archival materials, and scores, the RBI holds many additional rare items, including archives related to Alfred Riemenschneider and the Bach Festival, the Emmy Martin collection of first-edition scores, the opera-oriented Tom Villella collection of books, archival materials, and memorabilia, and the Jack Lee collection, which is concentrated in musical theater and popular song.

The RBI holds many items of interest to keyboard historians. Our collection of manuscript copies and rare first-editions of the Well-Tempered Clavier is one of the largest in the world, we have rare editions of keyboard works by not only Bach but also Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, the Schumanns, and others, we own several historical keyboard instruction treatises, and we have a rich archive of photographs, programs, correspondence, and notes related to Albert Riemenschneider as an organist. On Wednesday, October 23, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. we will offer an open house for Westfield Center conference attendees featuring many of these rare items. Light refreshments will be served. We are located in Room 160 of the Boesel Musical Arts Building, 49 Seminary St, Berea, OH 44017, approximately 10 mins. south of Cleveland Hopkins Airport and 24 miles from Oberlin. Throughout the conference, we will also be available for individual research appointments. Please contact us at bachinst@bw.edu

The Frederick R. Selch Collection
by James O'Leary, Associate Professor of Musicology

“Look what I found—an original, handwritten letter from Dragonetti, one of the most important instrument makers of the eighteenth century. I didn’t know we had it; it just fell out of a book,” chuckled curator Barbara Lambert in 2013. “This collection keeps on giving.”

And so it does. In 2011, Patricia Bakwin Selch left her late husband Frederick’s collection of instruments, art, music, and books to Oberlin College. All told it amounts to over 700 instruments, 9,000 rare books, thousands of playbills, posters, letters, illustrations, and other ephemera, and dozens of artworks. The range of objects is stunning. From a first-edition of Marin Mersenne’s 1636 Harmonie Universelle, which combined the study of instruments and acoustics with cosmology; to a first edition of William Billings’s eighteenth-century American hymns; to a very large sampling of rare eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American church basses, the collection provides unique insight into past musical lives for researchers and students. But even beyond the individual objects, the archive preserves Selch’s unique way of looking at the broader musical world. As a collector, he saw unexpected connections between objects that, at first, might seem completely unrelated. For example, he traveled to Mexico to collect local violins, strung with guitar strings, because their current shape may have been influenced by New England missionaries over a century ago, the latter of which he also had in his collection. Such objects represent a dazzling cultural and social network that spans vast distances in space and time.

The collection still inspires this level of insight today. The archive has become a hub for interdisciplinary studies in American culture at Oberlin. Each year, the Selch Center for the Study of American Culture brings internationally renowned scholars to campus to discuss their research. It also elects student fellows who are writing theses about American culture. In the classroom, in the archive, and even in between pages of a book, the Selch Collection continues to give to Oberlin and to its students.

Post-Conference -
With the arrival of Paul Fritts & Company’s Opus 42 in 2019, First Lutheran Church, Lorain, Ohio again has a world-class pipe organ. In 2014 an arson fire tragically destroyed John Brombaugh’s Opus 4, which was groundbreaking in its use of historic European building principles, including the pipe scaling, construction and voicing techniques, unequal temperament, flexible wind, and hammered metal pipework. The new Fritts organ continues this legacy while incorporating the developments of the last five decades, and is only the second American organ to be built entirely with sand-cast metal for the pipes. The new organ has 37 stops distributed over 2 manuals and pedal, suspended key action and a freestanding case. It is housed in the new church building, which has a generous three-second reverberation time and features bas-relief artwork fashioned from copper pipes salvaged from the Brombaugh organ.