IAML Leipzig Congress Diary #6: Joan O'Connor

The sixth congress diary sharing an aspect of the 2018 IAML Congress in Leipzig is by Joan O'Connor (U.S.) It was originally published in Ms. O'Connor's blog, and has been republished here with permission. To read more on Ms. O'Connor's preparation and debriefing activities pre- and post- IAML Congress, see the links below as well.


Leipzig conference

Got to Leipzig about 4PM and was surprised to discover that my hotel SchlafGut was only about a block away from the train station. One problem was the inconvenience of not having WiFi in the rooms. We had to go to another floor where the breakfast room was open 24 hours a day. Everything else was fine.

There was a IAML reception Sunday night but it looked like it was far away on the map and I hadn’t received my registration stuff yet so I skipped it. Back at the Bahnhof I had a wonderful seafood dinner at Nordsee restaurant. Back to my room and TV (listen to spoken German).

I like Leipzig because everything seems compact and easy to find. Lots of interesting things to see on the way wherever you are going.


9-10:30 Opening Session welcomes from our hosts. 

10:30-11 Tea and coffee

Morning coffee breaks included these wonderful baskets of fruit—bananas, plums, peaches, grapes, strawberries, apples on tiny tables (4-6 people could stand around them). Coffee, water, and biscuits were also offered. Some exhibitors were on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building. Sessions were held in this building as well as the university around the corner and the public library, 4 blocks away.

11-12:30 Crossing national Borders (Europe 19th-20th Centuries) (Norway, Ralph Vaughan Williams & Germany, Polish-French relationships)

12:30-14 Lunch (exhibits were open)

14-15:30 Online delivery of music resources — speakers from Rio, Hong Kong, and Hannover talked about imslp (International Music Score Library Project), SESC (Serviço Social do Comércio) portal, Musica Brasilis, open archives, digital national libraries, Kalliope Music Box (free online radio stations)

15:30-16 Tea and coffee 

16-17:30 Music printing and publishing history (speakers from London, Lisbon, and Seoul on the Bodleian Library, Modinhas (Portuguese art song), fado, other publications

20-22 Reception at German National Library

Monday evening–-I skipped this, too far away and I was tired


9-10:30 What’s new in German Public Libraries — speakers from Würzburg, Dresden and Berlin on instagram accounts, die Neue Zentralbibliothek in Dresden, and musical apps. 

10:30-11 Tea and coffee

11-12:30 Archival integrity and digitization: Schott Portal Project

Lunch at mensa—a mango couscous dish which filled me up for a whole day.

14-15:30 Performance ephemera — speakers from Dresden, Bayreuth, and London on theatre program archives fimt (Forschungsinstitut für Musiktheater) and subscription concert programs  **NB a program is not a playbill

15:30-16 Tea and coffee

16-17:30 IAML General Assembly [Part] I

20-22 Evening concert was amarcord, men’s vocal quintet (former Thomasschule students)  The first song depicted a very drunk bass singing and the other men responding. It was well done as were all their selections. Instead of flowers or bouquets each soloist was given one sunflower.


I did some research at the Public Library in the morning and read some books at the University library in the late afternoon: 

9-10:30 planned to go to Music Publishing and Publishers’ Archives

10:30-11 Tea and coffee

11-12:30 Archives and approaches to writing music history — speakers from Munich, Paris, and Athens on the Schott Briefarchiv (letter archive), 18thcentury church music of Saint Vincent de Soignies (Belgium), and modern Greek musical history)

12:30-14 Lunch

Afternoon excursions included:

19-20 Concert: Masterpieces of the Synagogue / Hebrew and Yiddish Songs

21-24 RILM Reception--I skipped the concert and reception that night.


9-10:30 Visualization and Access to Music Collections — speakers from Munich, Stellenbosch, and Leipzig on their music collections and databases

also at 9-10:30 Bibliographic research on music sources — German Music Publishers’ WikiPage Project and history of the Peters Music Library

10:30-11 Tea and coffee

11-12:30 Current research projects (music fragments from Stuttgart and the story about a missing Wagner baton; the speaker from Parma could not come)

12:30-14 Lunch

I had to get some money and pay hotel. They would not accept credit cards. I decided to try some Thai food. Ordered #7 which I could have sworn was supposed to be chicken but somehow my #7 was beef and so huge I couldn’t eat it all. No dinner needed tonight!

14-15:30 Preserving the musical past — speakers from Novi Sad, Riga, and St. Petersburg

also Poster session (American Music Collections at Columbia University, Post-Pentecost antiphons from Prague, unknown details from a Tchaikovsky opera, Incipit Search from Mainz, and Kloster Musik Sammlungen from Stift Melk)

15:30-16 Tea and coffee

16-17:30 “Can I listen to that online?” — speakers from Yale, Alexander Street, and Indiana Univ.

also at 16-17:30 RILM — queries and titles

20-22 Concert at University Church St. Pauli: Catholic Church Music from the Dresden Court 

The performances were excellent. There were some fast passages where the horns had a little trouble playing all their notes on the original instruments. It was noticeable.


I realized that this is the last day in Leipzig and I haven’t even heard the organs at the Nikolaikirche or the Thomaskirche. There was a concert Wed. late afternoon but we were not back from Rötha yet and there is one at 6PM this Friday but I need to continue on to Berlin so I arrive while it is still light out.

9-10:30 Role of Library in Documenting Suppressed Music and Exiled Musicians — speakers from Vienna, Warsaw, and Kaunas on ninateka.pl (Polish film, performances, concerts), polmic.pl (Polish Music Information Centre), Polish composer Roman Palester and Polish Radio, post-Schoenbergian music, and Lithuanian music

10:30-11 Tea and coffee

11-12:30 RISM MusCat template, availability, use of unicode, scripture references and incipits for Moravian Music Foundation

12:30-14 Lunch

Lunch time chat with the man who provided IT & audio support for the presentations in the main hall. He lives and works in Dresden. We compared impressions of Leipzig and Dresden, politics, life, wurst and ice cream.

14-15 Digital access and preservation — Incipit Search ; Gluck catalog uses 3 bars or 10 non-repeated notes, marc XML & RDF; 78 or 90 rpm



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