Music@Menlo’s first Re-Encounter selected by Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, is “A Royal Tradition”, led by William Lobkowicz, the present-day heir and trustee of the Lobkowicz family’s trove of musical manuscripts in Nelahozeves Castle, just north of Prague. The lecture was originally given as part of Music@Menlo’s Around Dvořák festival in 2014.
William Lobkowicz’ lineage dates to the Holy Roman Empire. His ancestor Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian commissioned major works by Beethoven and Haydn, including Beethoven’s Third, Fifth and Sixth symphonies.
A dramatic story chronicled his family’ sponsorship of art and culture, followed by the confiscation, by the Nazis and later by communists, of everything the family owned – castles, agricultural property, paintings, music manuscripts, books and much more. The Lobkowicz family was stripped of its heritage.
But when Vaclav Haval was elected president of the Czech Republic, he made restitution of all confiscated property. It took more than a decade for the Lobkowicz family to prove ownership and to collect its property – 10 castles, 65,000 books, 35,000 boxes of archives, and 5,000 musical scores. To help defray the costs of these endeavors, Lobkowicz established the Lobkowicz Foundation, secured many loans and entered into several partnerships. The Foundation’s mission is to make culture relevant to the 21st century, and to preserve the legacy of centuries of European culture and scholarship.
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