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The Conservatoire of Antwerp and the early music movement

Since its foundation in 1867, the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp has developed an early music practice which importance reached far beyond Antwerp. This research aims to study the role of the Antwerp Conservatoire in the revival of historical music in the period from 1867 to 1967.

Reconstruction and creation are central to this project. The historical scores and instruments from the collections of the conservatoire and Museum Vleeshuis serve as material witnesses of the past concerning early music and give rise to two different artistic realizations: the reconstruction of concerts of historical music, as they were organized by the conservatoire between 1867 and 1967. And the creation of new music for historical instruments, by students of composition under the direction of Wim Henderickx.

The artistic elaboration of the project is substantiated music historically. The impact of the conservatoire as an educational institution, library, instrument museum and concert organizer with regard to the old music movement will be studied. In addition to the historical score collection, the institution's archive and the extensive collection of historical program brochures from the conservatoire are consulted. The collection of instruments and documents of the Museum Vleeshuis, Museum Plantin-Moretus and the City Archives also provide important information. Interviews are conducted with witnesses of the early music movement in the years 1950-1960.