“Wave Goodbye” – Conservatoire Library Stories Part 1

The Birmingham Conservatoire Library closes its doors for the last time on Friday 9th June 2017.

Robert Allan, Music Librarian between 1992 and 2008, remembers the grand opening of the refurbished library in 2006.

“The Conservatoire Library has been in the present location since 1994, but it was only in 2006 that it became possible to transform it by adding an extra floor, giving extra seating, shelving, staff space, and enhanced listening facilities. For this to happen the library had to close completely over that summer vacation, and barely re-opened in time for the autumn term. It was then discovered that quite a number of crates of music books had gone missing, which only turned up some weeks later, to the relief of the library staff! By the following spring it was time to have an official opening of the refurbished library.

DSC_0073_JPG

Jeffrey Skidmore unveils the new plaque

Jeffrey Skidmore, founder and music director of Ex Cathedra, was invited to unveil a plaque to this effect at lunchtime on the 19th April 2007. (The same shiny plaque still stands adjacent to the library entrance/exit.)  Many notable musicians and staff were invited to attend the opening, with food and drink provided, and there were speeches by the Director of Library Services at the time, Judith Andrews, and by Jeffrey himself (emphasising the importance of music libraries). Funding had been made available to commission an original fanfare for this occasion. I consulted Joe Cutler, Head of Composition, and he suggested BMus student Samuel Bordoli to write it. He agreed to compose the fanfare for three trumpets, and soon let me hear at least an approximation of it via computer.

DSC_0049_JPG

Music students perform a special fanfare

The performance on the day was, of course, by three Conservatoire students, and I felt that the piece, performed on the new upper level to the guests below, was highly effective. It is gratifying to add that Samuel Bordoli was not only singled out to be introduced to Pierre Boulez on his visit to the Conservatoire, but he has gone on to become one of the most successful composers of his generation, for example with a piece performed at a concert in Windsor Castle celebrating H.M. The Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016.

Who would have thought, though, that the Conservatoire Library would continue as a separate entity for a mere ten years beyond that occasion?  Even so, I myself will continue to make regular use of these extensive music resources in their new location.”

DSCF0099_JPG

Robert Allan, Music Librarian 1992-2008

Subscribe using the link on the right to receive regular news and stories from Library and Learning Resources.

^Laura

Big changes for Conservatoire Library users

As you might know, the Birmingham Conservatoire is moving to its new building in Summer 2017, and the current Conservatoire Library will be closing its doors and moving into the Curzon Library.

This means a number of changes – we will be remodelling certain areas within Curzon Library over the next few months to create some dedicated music resource rooms, and there will be a certain amount of disruption at both sites as we prepare. There will also be a change to loan counts and loan periods, as music stock will be much easier to self-issue with the Curzon Library system. This is particularly good news for those who borrow large sets of chamber music! Music will no longer be issued for an entire term, as all ‘normal loan’ items will be 4 weeks regardless of item type.

The key information is outlined below.On the move

Conservatoire Changes

If you have any questions, please visit us at the Help Desk, or drop us a line using our Library Help site.

^Laura

Collection Spotlight: Trial of Digital Concert Hall

A collection spotlight

We’ve currently got trial access to Digital Concert Hallstreaming audio and video from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

To access this website, you will need to register on-campus first by clicking the above link, and completing the registration form when prompted. After this initial registration you will be able to stream content from home.

Farewell to the Adrian Boult Hall

We’re used to borrowing orchestral sets from all around the country for concerts held at the Birmingham Conservatoire (and lending ours out too) but June represented the end of an era as the Adrian Boult Hall took its final bow. Stephanie at the Conservatoire Library marked the occasion with the following note sent to lending libraries after the final performance:

Thank you

We thought you might be interested to learn what your loan to us helped us to achieve.

The (150 in total) Verdi Requiem scores were used as part of a triumphant farewell to Birmingham Conservatoire’s beloved Adrian Boult Concert Hall in the last ever concert to take place there on Sunday 26th June 2016.

The ‘Requiem for a Concert Hall’ was a sell-out concert which very nearly didn’t take place due to a last minute need to change conductor. Thankfully Barry Wordsworth stepped in and did a brilliant job which meant the concert could go ahead as planned.

The concert was recorded live and aired on Tuesday 28th June on BBC Radio 3.

ABHABH2

Just some of the copies used as part of the concert.

Thanks once again for making it happen!

As the Conservatoire Library moves into its last academic year based in Paradise Place, we hope to bring you some interesting facts and stories about the history of the music library on this blog – we’ve already been raiding some old IAML publications to see how our collection has changed over time…  watch this space!

^Laura and Stephanie

Walter Bergmann notebooks

Gallery

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Last week the Conservatoire Library received a donation of rare materials, in the form of notebooks dating from 1939, belonging to Dr Walter Bergmann. The donation was made by Alma Spriggs, whose late husband was a friend of Dr Bergmann. … Continue reading