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Introduction

Exhibitions based on the music collections of Cambridge University Library are permanently accessible to during the library's opening times.
Library readers who are members of the University are welcome to bring up to two visitors at a time to see exhibitions. Members of the public who do not hold Library readers' tickets may be able to make an appointment with the Music Department to gain access to the exhibition area. For further information contact the Music Department.
The display cases can be found just outside and behind the entrance of the Anderson Room, on South Front 1 and  Corridor, and on the South Wing 1 Corridor.

Information on current and past exhibitions is available on MusiCB3, our blog about the Music Collections at the University Library Music Department and the Pendlebury Library of Music.

Find out more about other exhibitions at the University Library on the exhibitions page.

 

 


 

Previous exhibitions:

 

4 February 2015 - 1 June 2015
Pack up your troubles: 1915 a year in music
From iconic songs to pacifist pleas. The music of 1915 both reflected the period and commented on it. For further information see the MusiCB3 blog
Curated by: Susi Woodhouse

6 October 2014 - 2 February 2015
The Performing Right Society at 100
A centenary celebration of the Performing Right celebration. For further information see the MusiCB3 blog
Curated by: Margaret Jones

 

26 April - 12 September 2014
Shakespeare 450
A birthday celebration featuring musical settings of Shakespearean works, and music inspired by the Bard. For further information see the MusiCB3 blog
Curated by: Margaret Jones

 

31 January - 25 April 2014
Curators of Music: Thurston Dart (1921-1971), Stanley Sadie (1930-2005)
This exhibition celebrates the incomparable contrubtion to the understanding of music and its performance which these two men made in their respective areas: Dart, central to the early music revival of the 1950s and 60s and Sadie at the hub of Grove, the greatest music encyclopedia in the world.
Curated by: Susi Woodhouse

 

20 September 2013 to 20 January 2014
Benjamin Britten (1913 -1976) - Cambridge University Library connections
This exhibition explores the inter-connections concerning Benjamin Britten between the many music archives housed in the University Library which shed light not only on Britten as a composer, but also on how his work was received and the close connections with Cambridge he developed.
Read the curators' blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Margaret Jones and Susi Woodhouse

 

14 May 2013 to 13 September 2013
The most helpful people on earth : Celebrating 60 years of the UK and Ireland Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries 
The UK and Ireland Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this year. This exhibition looks at the group of distinguished music librarians who founded the Branch back in 1953 and presents a snapshot of its wide-ranging activities supporting music librarians and other library staff, including training courses, resource-mapping programmes and online directories of performance materials. 
Read the curators' blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Anna Pensaert and Susi Woodhouse

 

4 February 2013 to 10 May 2013
In Search of the Erhu
The erhu epitomises Chinese music, but its origins are obscure. This exhibition uses rare texts from the Library's rich holdings of Chinese and Manchu books to reveal hitherto unknown aspects of the history of theerhu, and includes an antique instrument which can be heard playing on the curator's blog post. 
Read the curator's blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Colin Huehns (Lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music)

 


23 Oct 2012 to 23 Jan 2013
Inspired by Dickens : Celebrating Charles Dickens' bicentenary (1812-1870).
This exhibition looks at musical works that have been inspired by Dickens' novels. It includes copies of music published within Dickens' lifetime such as the All the year round galop, and a copy of a manuscript of incidental music for a radio play based on The Chimes. There are also later musicals including an unusual take on Oliver Twist.... 
Read the curator's blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Margaret Jones

 


29 Jun 2012 to 12 Oct 2012
Light fantastic: music and the Crystal Palace
Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851, played an important role in British musical life right up until 1936. This exhibition presents a selection from the riches of the UL's collections highlighting the great Handel Triennial Festivals, the immensely popular Saturday concerts and music inspired by the Palace itself.
Read the curator's blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Susi Woodhouse

 


17 Jan 2012 to 16 Jun 2012
Music collectors 
To continue on the theme of the “Shelf lives” exhibition, the music department is displaying items from two further music collectors: treatises and scores relating to the thorough-bass from the F.T. Arnold bequest and music scores from the F.A. Booth collection.
Read the curator's blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Anna Pensaert

 


14 Oct 2011 to 13 Jan 2012
Liszt's Visits to England
Liszt was born two hundred years ago on 22 October 1811 in Raiding, Hungary. Throughout his life he travelled extensively and came on three occasions to England: as a child, as a young virtuoso and in the last year of his life, 1886. The display cases contain contemporary scores of works he played and some accounts and reviews of these visits. 
Read the curator's blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Clive Simmonds


22 June 2011 to 14 Oct 2011

Staging Life : for Gian Carlo Menotti
Celebrating what would have been Gian Carlo Menotti's centenary, this exhibition focuses specifically on his stage works. Works like The Telephone, or L'Amour à trois (1947) and Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951) - the first television opera - captured the post-war US-american Zeitgeist. The display cases will feature also glimpses at the stage settings of these works.
Read the curator's blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Clemens Gresser


14 March 2011 to 15 June 2011
Music for a Royal Wedding
This exhibition includes an arrangement of the music used for the marriage of Margaret Tudor to James IV of Scotland along with music that has become popular in wider society following fashions set by the royals. There's also a puzzling item with connections to Wagner's Bridal March. 
Read the curator's blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Margaret Jones


4 October 2010 to 11 March 2011
THOMAS ARNE 1710-1778:
a celebration for Arne's tricentenary
The display cases show a selection of Arne's music, a Victorian satire on Rule Britannia, an illustration of a riot that took place during his most popular opera, Artaxerxes, and a review of a revival of the same opera.
[Image to the right is title page of By dimpl'd brook and fountain and is item no. 69 in volume MR290.a.75.103]
Read the curator's blog post for this exhibition
Curated by: Margaret Jones


11 May to 2 October 2010
A night to remember:
An exhibition featuring programmes from the University Library collections
The University Library has a large number of programmes (primarily concert programmes) in its collections. Some have arrived here under the Copyright Act, many are donations. A recent project has meant that many of the programmes have now been catalogued. For further details see: http://www.concertprogrammes.org.uk/
Curated by: Margaret Jones

January to May 2010
Nijinsky and the Ballets Russes
Nijinsky died in Paris in 1950 – he was 60 years of age, and had dazzled audiences across Europe as a young man. The premier male dancer of his age, and an innovative choreographer whose work would influence Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham, his career was cut tragically short by schizophrenia when he was still in his 20s. Three ballets in particular have become synonymous with his name – Petrushka, L'après-midi d'un faune, and The rite of spring.
Curated by: Margaret Jones

 

September to December 2009
Joseph Haydn 1732-1809: A selection from the Marion Scott Haydn Collection to mark the bicentenary of Haydn's death
Curated by Margaret Jones

 

April to September 2009
“In quires and places where they sing” (the A.H. Mann collection of anthem word books)
Curated by Richard Andrewes

Burns' 'Auld Lang Syne'
January to April 2009
“Auld Lang Syne” (250th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns)
Curated by Margaret Jones