The Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York is delighted to bestow the second Claire Brook Award on LORENZO BIANCONI for his book I Ritratti del Museo della musica di Bologna da padre Martini al Liceo musicale (Firenze: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 2018). Under Bianconi’s leadership, the book was written by MARIA CRISTINA CASALI PEDRIELLI, GIOVANNA DEGLI ESPOSTI, ANGELO MAZZA, NICOLA USULA, and ALFREDO VITOLO.

In his convent of San Francesco in Bologna around 1770, Giambattista Martini (1706-1784) started collecting portraits of musicians, both past and contemporary. Among the many wonderful pieces that this distinguished Franciscan music theorist, scholar, and historian collected from all over Italy and Europe are Gainsborough’s portrait of Johann Christian Bach, Corrado Giaquinto’s Farinelli, a portrait of the 21-year-old Mozart, Giuseppe Tivoli’s Bellini, as well as Zarlino, Caldara, Porpora, and Gluck, among many others. With the establishment of the Liceo musicale in 1804, the city of Bologna assumed ownership of the collection, and over the course of the following two centuries the collection continued to grow, today including 312 portraits housed at the Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica in Bologna. Many of the composers represented in the collection are not household names today; those that are famous are often represented by portraits that are not particularly well known. Each portrait is introduced in a rich context constructed on the basis of solid research, and each is provided with an extensive bibliography and its restoration history. The book can provide many hours of reading pleasure, learning about composers we do not know, and looking at portraits we have not seen before.

In its strong tradition of creating beautiful books, the publisher Leo S. Olschki from Firenze has produced a superb publication that will remain an important reference work for years to come. The committee of the Claire Brook Award has concluded that this work occupies an unrivaled position among scholarly book-length publications in the field of music iconography issued in 2018.

Lorenzo BIANCONI will be invited to present a public lecture on the topic of the awarded book at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. The lecture will take place as soon as the pandemic situation allows.

Lorenzo BIANCONI has been an important scholar in Italian music academia for decades. He was teaching at the Università di Bologna from 1977 through last year, when he was elected professor emeritus; since 1983 he was full professor at the Dipartimento di Musica e Spettacolo. He has published a number of ground-breaking studies on music of the seventeenth-century, opera, Rossini, and the history of libretto. Anglo-American scholars know these works from their English editions, many published by the Chicago University Press. He is general editor of the collected works of Francesco Cavalli (with Ellen Rosand, Bärenreiter), and a consultant for the collected works of Rossino and Bellini. In 1994 he founded Il saggiatore musicale, the central musicological periodical published in Italy. He is recipient of the Dent medal of the Royal Musical Association (1983); corresponding member of the American Musicological Society (1995); honorary member of the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna (2001); corresponding member of the Accademia delle Scienze di Torino (2006); and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2015).

Read about The Claire Brook Award and Claire Brook 

Read about the award committee.