Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (EFE).- The University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) has created a portal with the documentary collection bequeathed by the musicologist Lothar Siemens (1941-2017), a unique private collection in the country of more than of 9,000 volumes of printed and handwritten musical documentation from between the 16th and 21st centuries in Spain and Portugal.
The vice-rector for Culture, Sport and Social Activation of the ULPGC, José Miguel Álamo; the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands, Juan Márquez; and the director of the University Library, María del Carmen Martín, have presented at a press conference this new musicology portal (https://biblioteca.ulpgc.es/lothar_siemens), which currently offers nearly 500 volumes, including manuscripts, scores, writings and audiovisual material.
It is a “valuable” portal due to the documentary collection that integrates it and which contains the only incunabula book available to the University library (“Incipit liber processionum secundum ordine(m) fratru(m) predeicatorum”, from 1494). , and other rare or unique texts such as works by Mateus de Aranda from the 16th century, music treatises by Pedro Siruelo and Francisco Salinas, Martín has indicated.
In addition, it brings together exceptional liturgical prints such as a 17th-century Peruvian document or the “Arte de tañer fantasia”, by Fray Tomás de Santa María.
And among the manuscripts are a symphony by Ruperto Chapí, several 18th-century Italian operas, collections of organ works, and liturgical pieces of Aquitanian and primitive Gregorian notation.
The portal is also a recognition of the figure of Lothar Siemens, “a man of multiple qualities” and a passionate about “music and culture”, concerned about the dissemination of knowledge, stressed Martín.
Siemens, one of the promoters of the creation of the ULPGC, donated his music library while he was alive in 2005 and continued to contribute funds until his death, indicated the librarian, who stressed its “high quality”, and proof of this is which was widely visited at home and, subsequently, has been consulted at the University by scholars from Spain, Portugal, Germany and America.
The cataloging of the collection was carried out between the end of 2005 and May 2008, and close to 90 percent of the titles are documents that the ULPGC library did not have.
Martín explained that the portal offers different accesses depending on the profile of the interested party and that it also includes an innovative computer system to listen to musical compositions through the automatic interpretation of digitized scores through the MusicXML format.
For the selection of the works, experts and friends of Lothar Siemens have consulted, such as the musicologist Rosario Álvarez, the music critic Guillermo García-Alcalde and the philologist, professor and writer Maximiano Trapero, who have also participated in the portal.
This initiative of the ULPGC has been possible thanks to an agreement signed two years ago with the Government of the Canary Islands, which has contributed 22,110 euros to make this page a reality, indicated Martín, who recalled that the legacy of Lothar Siemens is preserved in a room created for this purpose and that bears his name.
Márquez has emphasized the figure of Lothar Siemens as one of the “most important figures in musical research” and his archive, which together with that of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria cathedral, which has also been digitized, constitute one of the essential musicology collections for researchers.
Funds that allow us to understand that the Las Palmas Philharmonic Society is the oldest in Spain, that the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra was established in 1845 and that there has been an opera festival in the city for more than 50 years, Márquez stressed. EFE