KORNGOLD CENTRE in BRNO - a Major Artistic Project for the Czech Republic and the World.

The International Korngold Society and Foundation, founded 1983 and based in the UK, is devoted to the promotion and preservation of the music and legacy of the Moravian composer ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (born 1897, died 1957).

In 2003, the Society, led by its President BRENDAN G CARROLL and its co-founder Dr Konrad Hopkins, decided to donate its entire archive of materials relating to the composer, together with a significant financial contribution over the coming years,  to the city of BRNO, where the composer was born on May 29 1897, in order to found the world's FIRST Korngold Study Centre and Museum.

BRNO was chosen, not only because of its close connections with the origin of Korngold and his family, but also because it has mounted festivals and events in recent years to honour his memory, including the placing of a plaque on the house where he was born (which still stands on Koliste Street), and which took place in May 2002.

The donation of the rare and extremely valuable materials - which includes letters, scores, articles, reviews, magazines, recordings, films, posters, programmes, books, photographs and literally thousands of other ephemeral items - is to be the focal point of a permanent exhibition in the city which will be of particular benefit to young Czech music students, who will be able to use it. The Centre will be housed in the newly restored HOUSE of the LORDS of KUNSTAT in Dominikanska Nam, Number 9, and is open Mondays-to Fridays 9-00am-5-00pm.  Facilities include state-of-the-art equipment for listening to recordings and viewing films together with computer terminals for research and there is even a Steinway grand piano for score perusal by musicians and students 'on site'.

An initial significant donation of materials has been made with more to come in the next few years. A dedicated website will open in 2005.

The Korngold Foundation also wishes to develop close ties with the academic community in BRNO in order to foster interest in KORNGOLD and his music, to enrich existing degree courses and to award a special KORNGOLD SCHOLARSHIP every 3 years for Research and a KORNGOLD PRIZE for Composition and/or Performance Studies to young students. Money will be provided for these projects.

Brendan Carroll, the world's leading authority on Korngold and author of the definitive biography of the composer, has offered to teach a special course in Brno to facilitate these awards and foster Korngold Study among young Czech musicians and music students.

The Ministry of Culture in Prague through Mr Zdenek Novak, has recognised this unique initiative that will be of tremendous benefit to Czech young musicians and to the City of Brno in particular. It has already awarded a grant of 2.5 million CZK [approx. 55,000 or $100,000]  to the project, which is being managed under the auspices of the Moravian Museum. 

In addition, it is recognised that the opening of such a unique and special cultural attraction in BRNO will undoubtedly attract greater visitor numbers to the city from music lovers and especially devoted admirers of the composer Korngold from all over the world.

Future projects will include the translation into Czech of Mr Carroll's book on Korngold (entitled THE LAST PRODIGY), the development of a special web portal for the Korngold centre, the erection of a full size statue of Korngold in the city centre and regular musical events, particularly in 2007 when the 50th anniversary of Korngold's death will be marked. In that year, the Czech Postal Authority will issue a commemorative stamp.  Korngold has already had special commemorative postage stamps in Austria (1997) and the USA (2002). This will be his third such honour, which may be unique.

The opening ceremony at 4.30pm on December 6, attended by VIP guests not only from the Czech Republic but also from Germany, America, England and Austria, as well as the Mayor of Brno, included a special concert featuring prominent Czech artists including Frantisek Novotny, Regina Renzova, Igor Adresev and Vladimir Holly in excerpts from Korngold's lieder, opera and chamber works.

Brendan Carroll commented:-

I am so thrilled that Korngold has finally 'come home' to the city of Brno, a city he always loved and to which he was extremely grateful. It was the place where his roots were and from where so many important figures in his life came - Maria Jeritza, Leo Slezak and Hans Mueller to name but a few. As the Vienna State Opera presents his greatest success - DIE TOTE STADT - once more, in totally sold out performances - how appropriate that close by, here in Brno, the first Korngold Centre has opened. I urge all those who love the man and his music to come here and see not only where it all began, but to use this centre and share his legacy.

The Korngold Foundation has already begun to collaborate on cultural projects in the Czech Republic by funding a major new CZECH CD recording of Korngold's Violin Sonata featuring Frantisek Novotny and Sergei Milstein, released this year on the CLARTON label in Prague. This was the Korngold Foundation's first project in the Czech Republic, which it was delighted to sponsor.

The Korngold Centre Brno welcomes visitors from all over the world and it is hoped that this unique resource will become a focal point for admirers and students of this great composer. The Centre is a charitable trust and welcomes support for its activities. To this end, a dedicated bank accunt for donations will open in Spring 2005.

The inaugural exhibition is currently on display in the Marble Hall of Bishops Courtyard, Zelny trh, Brno, open daily. It will transfer to the Korngold Centre at Ground Floor, House of the Lords of Kunstat, Dominikanska Nam 9, Brno in April 2005, in an expanded format, as a permanent attraction.

More information:

Viktor Pantucek (Curator - Korngold Centre, BRNO)

Tel: 00420 - 603 1836933

and email to:-