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Indexing and cataloging of Hans Werner Henze's library

University of Paderborn/Hochschule für Musik Detmold (DE)

Hans Werner Henze (1926-2012), winner of the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 1990, is considered one of the most important contemporary German opera composers. After his death in 2012, work on his complete oeuvre was only just beginning. Henze's private library from his estate in La Leprara near Marino south of Rome, where he spent fifty years of his life and wrote his most important works, was donated to the library of the Musicology Department of the University of Paderborn/Hochschule für Musik Detmold as a special collection after the estate was sold. In addition to Henze's home state of North Rhine-Westphalia and his birthplace Gütersloh, Detmold is also a suitable location because of the Henze research project already based there, which has set itself the task of producing a digital edition of letters by the composer and his correspondents.

Henze used his private library in La Leprara for his daily composing. The donation includes 10,140 volumes (sheet music, fiction, reference books, literature), some with dedications and other annotations, as well as 3,795 CDs, DVDs and records. Henze's private library is of great interest to many disciplines as a cultural heritage on the one hand and the basis of academic work on the other, in order to understand not only Henze's work itself, but also the entire philosophical and political exchange of the avant-garde of the post-war period and the political discourse around 1968. It is relevant to be able to study possible entries by Henze as well as dedications, and it is equally important to know what he read in his private library, which books he knew and used at all. In the first phase of the project (also funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation), a large part of the library has already been inventoried. Now the indexing and cataloging of Henze's private library, funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, is being completed.

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