The IAML Board meets in Munich

The IAML Board had its annual midterm meeting in Munich on 9-10 February. The meeting took place in the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek), the workplace of Vice President Jürgen Diet, who prepared two very nice days for us. In addition to perfect conditions for the meeting, he gave us a guided tour of the library with a special focus on the Music Department and the DigitiZation Center. Moreover, Jürgen and his wife Violetta kindly invited us to a splendid dinner with a Bavarian touch and several musical intermezzi at their house on the last evening.

The previous midterm Board meeting was supposed to take place in Düsseldorf, but had to be changed to an online meeting at the very last moment, due to the pandemic. This time it was striking what a difference it makes to have discussions face to face. There was so much energy in the room! I found it very inspiring.

The meeting started with a welcoming speech by Dorothea Sommer, Deputy Director of the Bavarian State Library. She gave us an introduction to the outstanding library and its impressive holdings. We were also warmly welcomed by the Director of the Music Department, Reiner Nägele. I took the opportunity to express my gratitude for the Library’s strong involvement with RISM over the years.

I have had the privilege of visiting the Bavarian State Library once before, in 2017. In my report you will find more information about the Library and my impressions from the study visit. There is, of course, plenty of interesting information on the Library’s website as well.

The agenda was as always very dense, but thanks to our efficient Secretary General Anders Cato, who had prepared the meeting meticulously, we managed to finish within the stipulated time. I would like to thank all the Sections and Committees that submitted reports for the meeting. I extend my special thanks to the Editor of Fontes, Jim Cassaro, and his devoted team for producing our well-respected journal, to Joseph Haffner for his great efforts to compile the much appreciated Recent Publications in Music, and to the excellent and responsive Web Team, with Jennifer Ward as the Web Editor. By the way, have you noticed the Calendar of Events on the start page of our website? It is a novelty that I think could be very useful, so please help our Web Editor with tips. I would especially appreciate if the annual meetings of IAML’s national branches were included in the calendar.

The planning for the Congress in Cambridge is coming along nicely. The Programme Officer, Rupert Ridgewell, and the Forum of Sections are now busy preparing an interesting and varied professional programme. In addition, the social programme looks amazing. The opening event will take place at Trinity College with a guided tour of the Wren Library - home to Winnie the Pooh and other celebrities. I bet we will be served "a smackerel of something" during the evening! The Farewell Dinner will be held in the iconic dining hall of King’s College. Apart from all the nice things to see and do in Cambridge, a Wednesday afternoon tour to Ely with its famous Cathedral will be arranged. A post-congress trip to beautiful Aldeburgh with the Red House, former home of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, will also be offered. The IAML UK & Ireland Branch is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and promises some birthday surprises during the congress week.

I take this opportunity to remind you of the possibility to apply for financial support from The Liesbeth Hoedemaeker-Cohen Fund & The H. Robert Cohen / RIPM Fund for IAML Congress Travel. The deadline for applications is 1 April and the announcements of the winners will be made 23 April. Both Funds are used to help support travel costs, which includes transportation, accommodation, meals etc. Members from music libraries, archives, and documentation centers are welcome to apply. Priority is given to individual members who are attending their first or second congress. You are also most welcome to contact me with any questions.

The Board spent a lot of time on examining the discussions that took place during the online meeting “IAML Members Meet the Board” last October. As you may remember, the meeting focused on membership issues and future congresses. So much has changed in the world after Covid-19 that we need to analyse the effects for IAML in depth. The discussions gave much food for thought and a subgroup of the Board will continue to look into this. Thank you very much to all who contributed with ideas and points of view.

The Board also discussed the upcoming elections for President and four Vice Presidents of the IAML Board. Each nomination should be sent to the Secretary General, Anders Cato together with the consent of the nominee and a brief curriculum vitae. The deadline is 29 March 2023. The elections will take place electronically from 15 May to 14 June 2023. According to the Rules of Procedure, "the names of the candidates, together with their biographical information, shall be made available electronically as soon as possible after their nominations are received". Information about the candidates standing for election so far can be found here.

I would like to stress that IAML’s nomination procedure is completely democratic and transparent. Anybody is welcome to nominate a colleague. Therefore the responsibility for what the final slate will look like lies with the members. My sincere hope is that we will have diverse representation on the Board, with members from different regions, types of institution, etc.

I imagine that there must be several questions about the expected commitments for Board members concerning the workload, the number of meetings, expenses, etc. Please feel free to contact our Secretary General.

When I look through the agenda and my notes from the Board meeting I see that the word “membership” appears no less than 36 times! Membership issues are central to any organization. It is essential for us to stay relevant for the members and attract young professionals. These matters will be the focus for the upcoming workshop with IAML’s National Representatives led by Lisa Collins, who is an expert in this area. The workshop will take place on Tuesday 9 May at 16:00 UTC. The meeting will also be attended by the Board members and the members of the Membership Committee. More information will follow.

Sorry for this lengthy report, which is nevertheless far from exhaustive. It is a meant as an update on some of the many things that are going on within our Association. We will keep in touch!



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