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What is the Gustav Leonhardt Pedagogy Archive?
A digital collection of primary-source material concerning Gustav Leonhardt’s teaching, visible to the general public through a free-access online portal. Personal reminiscences, scanned documents, audio or video recordings and photographs contributed by Leonhardt’s students will constitute their common heritage, and form new perspectives on a uniquely inspiring musician whose teaching career spanned more than forty years.
What is so important about Leonhardt’s teaching?
In the 1940s, when ''early music'' interested only a few isolated performers and historians, Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2012) began to explore the harpsichord and its repertory, the mechanics and sound inherent in early harpsichord and organ construction, and contemporary canons of performance practice. These allowed him to develop a practical basis for bringing the forgotten keyboard music he located and hand-copied in libraries back to life. His reputation as an electrifying performer lives on through his many recordings; but these are only a partial and imperfect reflection of his musicianship and aesthetic principles.
The aspect of his legacy that will have the greatest impact is his teaching. Over four decades, he accepted some 150 harpsichord students through the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and gave countless masterclasses and summer courses around the world. Many of Leonhardt’s students have subsequently become influential performers and teachers in their own right.
Gustav Leonhardt lecturing on how to interpret the Allemande from BWV 812 in Malmö, 1984
(photo courtesy of Ketil Haugsand)
Who will be able to view contributions to the archive?
Everyone will be able to view the material in the archive, free of charge, via a website.
Who will be able to contribute material to the archive?
We will start by contacting students whose names are on an extensive list compiled in 2012, but we hope that knowledge of the archive project will bring others to light. Contributions, exclusively in digital form, will be welcomed from those who studied with Gustav Leonhardt at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam or other institutions; who received private lessons; or who attended masterclasses or summer courses. While most studied harpsichord, those who studied other instruments or chamber music may also contribute. Materials may be submitted in English, Dutch, German, French, Italian and Spanish. After registering, the contributors will draft, upload and edit their content in cooperation with the Editorial Board. The website will be navigable in all of the above-mentioned languages.
When will the archive be launched?
The goal is to collect all contributions by 30 June 2019, and to publish the material by the end of 2019.
How will the money be used?
Your contributions, raised through GoFundMe, will be spent on IT development and web hosting. The developers will create a bespoke online database to hold the content, and will also build the free public access website. The projected budget also covers web hosting and technical support for at least two years. We are confident that, by that time, the archive will be transferred to a university, conservatory, library or museum where it can be hosted in perpetuity.
No money will be paid to the members of the archive’s Editorial Board, who are all former Leonhardt students working on a voluntary basis.
Some students have already written or spoken in online videos about their lessons. Will those materials go into the archive as well?
Yes, if the authors give their permission.
Can you accept payment by bank transfer or PayPal?
Yes. Please email us at [email redacted] for details. Contributions made by bank transfer or PayPal will also be listed on this page, and included in the grand total of funds raised.
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