The Musée Hector Berlioz and the Hector Berlioz Website
Our Common Project
The Hector Berlioz Website was founded on 18 July 1997. It comprised at first only a single page, but has since expanded considerably in many directions, as a glance at the Site History will show. For some time we had been considering the long-term future of our website. We had already developed a fully functional CD version of the entire site, constantly updated, and complete with multiple search engines, with the intention of depositing copies of it with suitable libraries, museums, educational and research institutions.
Over a period of years we have developed increasingly close relations with the Hector Berlioz Museum, and it was therefore a natural step for us to decide in 2008 to bequeath to it our entire Berlioz collection, the largest part of our estate, and the Hector Berlioz Website itself. In September of that year we discussed the planned bequest informally with the curators of the Hector Berlioz Museum and representatives of the Conseil Général de l’Isère, under whose jurisdiction the Museum is placed, and then submitted it formally to M. André Vallini, President of the Conseil Général de l’Isère. To our great delight the proposal was warmly received from the start and then formally accepted early in 2009. At a reception given by the Conseil Général de l’Isère in Grenoble on 11th December 2009, the 206th anniversary of Berlioz’s birth, we announced the bequest and its acceptance was confirmed. On this occasion we donated to the Berlioz Museum two autograph letters of Berlioz dated respectively June 1832 and May 1853. The Conseil Général de l’Isère issued a press release on the day and the event was reported the following day in the Isère-based newspapers Le Dauphiné Libéré and Sillon 38 – Le journal du monde rural, and in another regional paper L’Essor a few days later. Le Dauphiné Libéré published another article on the same subject in September 2011.
As we said at the reception in Grenoble, there could be no better home for our Berlioz collection, no better custodian of our internet site, nor a better recipient of the largest part of our estate, than the Museum which does so much to preserve and promote the memory of the great French composer, and which is located in the family home and in the town in which he was born.
The reception in Grenoble on 11 December 2009
From left to right: M. Antoine Troncy, Assistant de Conservation at the Musée Hector Berlioz, Madame Chantal Spillemaecker, Conservateur of the Musée Hector Berlioz, Monir Tayeb, M. Claude Bertrand, vice-président (culture et patrimoine) of the Conseil Général de l’Isère and Michel Austin (photo © Conseil Général de l’Isère).
Further steps have since followed. We contributed to the Museum’s exhibitions on “Berlioz et la Russie” (2010), “Fantin-Latour interprète de Berlioz” (2011) and “Berlioz et l’Italie” (2012); the inauguration of the latter exhibition was reported in Le Dauphiné Libéré on 3 July 2012.
During July and August 2011 the Berlioz website was transferred to the servers of the Conseil Général de l’Isère where it will now remain. We are very grateful to the Conseil Général for accepting our request to host the site. As far as the long-term future of the website is concerned, this guarantees its continued presence on the internet beyond our lifetime, though visitors to the site may rest assured that we intend to continue to develop and improve it for many years to come.
In 2012 the Conseil Général de l’Isère awarded us the honorary citizenship of the Department of Isère, a distinction which was formally conferred on us at a ceremony at La Côte-Saint-André on 28 August and reported in Le Dauphiné Libéré on 4 September and in L’Essor on 7 September. We would like to express our gratitude to the Conseil Général for this distinction and the most friendly reception we received on this occasion.
On 11 December 2014 we published on our website, at the invitation of the Hector Berlioz Museum, 244 letters and documents of the family of the composer that are kept at the Museum (in French, with introduction in English).
The ceremony in La Côte-Saint-André on 28 August 2012
From left to right on the front row, M. André Vallini, president of the Conseil Général de l’Isère and senator of the Department of Isère, Madame Chantal Spillemaecker, Conservateur of the Musée Hector Berlioz, Monir Tayeb, Michel Austin, and M. Richard Samuel, préfet of the Department of Isère (photo © Conseil Général de l’Isère).
Honorary medals of the Department of Isère
Michel Austin and Monir Tayeb
This page was created on 11 December 2012, replacing earlier versions of the same page of 1 January 2010 and 11 December 2011. Updated on 11 December 2014.
See also on this site:
Il n’y a pas
de meilleur gardien, Le Dauphiné Libéré, 11 December 2009
Faire quelque chose pour Berlioz Sillon 38 – Le journal du monde rural, 12 December 2009
Berlioz passionnément, Le Dauphiné Libéré, 18 September 2011
La Côte-Saint-André: Le voyage musical italien du musée, Le Dauphiné Libéré, 3 July 2012
Musée Berlioz Médaille du Département: Deux donateurs distingués, Le Dauphiné Libéré, 4 September 2012
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