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Musicologist Philip Gossett To Donate Complete Music Collection To Julliard

Musicologist Philip Gossett, one of the world's foremost experts on opera, is donating his complete music collection of more than 2,000 items, primarily scores of works by Rossini, Verdi, and other Italian composers, to Juilliard. The collection represents his life-time of comprehensive study of Italian opera in the 19th century. Many of the materials were used to prepare his critical editions of the works of Rossini and Verdi. The donation will be known as The Philip Gossett Music Collection and will be part of the Peter Jay Sharp Special Collections in the Lila Wallace Acheson Library at Juilliard. Mr. Gossett's collection will be fully cataloged with selected items digitized for online access at a later date.

On donating his gift, Mr. Gossett said: "I am very pleased that my collection is going to Juilliard, which already has an outstanding collection of German music from this period. This will make it available to many scholars and performers who work in the libraries of New York City. I am especially content that in the future Juilliard will make some of this collection of Italian 19th century sources available in a digital format."

Mr. Gossett currently resides in Chicago, but he wanted his collection to be in New York City because of his connection to Juilliard, where he began his musical studies, and to the Metropolitan Opera, and he also wanted performers to have access to it.

Born in New York, he began taking piano lessons at age 5. When he was in high school, he attended Juilliard's Preparatory Division (now Juilliard's Pre-College Division) from 1955 until the fall of 1957. During that period, he also enjoyed spending Saturday afternoons at the Metropolitan Opera.

Juilliard's vice president for library and information resources, Jane Gottlieb, expressed her appreciation for this remarkable gift, saying: "We are deeply grateful to Philip Gossett for entrusting Juilliard with the care and preservation of his extraordinary collection, and look forward to sharing its treasures with performers and scholars."

Mr. Gossett attended Amherst College for undergraduate studies, studying physics, and then took a year off to take music courses at Columbia University and returned to Amherst to finish his undergraduate degree. He went on to Princeton University for graduate school to study musicology. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on the music of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi, and went to Paris on a Fulbright and studied Rossini's operas.

A music historian with special interests in 19th-century Italian opera, sketch studies, aesthetics, textual criticism, and performance practice, Mr. Gossett is the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Chicago. He is the author of two books on Donizetti and of Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera (2006, Chicago), which won the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society as the best book on music in 2007. He served as general editor of The Works of Giuseppe Verdi (The University of Chicago Press and Casa Ricordi of Milan) and of Works of Gioachino Rossini (Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel).

At Juilliard, Mr. Gossett coached singers when Juilliard Opera was preparing for its presentation of Rossini's Le Comte Ory in November 2007; he also wrote the program notes for the performances. In March 2004, he was a consultant for the Juilliard Choral Union's U.S. premiere of the 1864 edition of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle and as such, gave a preconcert lecture, and wrote the program notes. He gave three doctoral forums at Juilliard on different topics: "What Makes an Edition 'Critical' and Why Performers Should Care: Reflections on Rossini and Verdi" (March 16, 2004); "From Il Viaggio a Reims to Le Comte Ory: Rossini Invents Petite Opéra" (November 13, 2007); and "Falstaff and the Musical Fragment" (April 14, 2009).

Among the operas Mr. Gossett has edited or co-edited are Rossini's Tancredi, Ermione,Semiramide, and La Gazzetta. He also worked on a new edition of Verdi's La forza del Destino. In the U.S., he has consulted with the Metropolitan Opera on Semiramide (November 1990 production) and more recently worked closely with Juilliard alumna Renée Fleming during coachings and rehearsals when the Metropolitan Opera presented Armida in 2010. He also worked with the Houston Grand Opera (in 1979 for the first production of the critical edition ofTancredi, with its then newly discovered tragic ending, starring Marilyn Horne); and with the Santa Fe Opera in 2000 for Rossini's Ermione and in 2012 for the performances of the new critical edition of Rossini's original Maometto II of 1820. In an ongoing relationship with Chicago Opera Theater, Gossett has assisted in its productions of the reconstructed Il Viaggio a Reims in 2003,Mosè in Egitto in 2010, and Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco in fall 2013.

In 1988, the Italian government awarded Mr. Gossett its highest civilian honor, Cavaliere di Gran Croce. He also is the recipient of the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award, which carries a prize of $1.5 million.

About Juilliard's Library and Archives

The Lila Acheson Wallace Library at Juilliard is a comprehensive resource for the school's performance and research needs. The collection includes more than 83,000 music performance and study scores, including scholarly editions of composers' collected works and other historical editions; 26,000 books (both print and e-books) on music, dance, drama, and general academic subjects; 26,000 sound recordings (LPs, compact discs, reel-to-reel, cassette, and DAT tapes), and 2,900 videos. Juilliard's library is the proud home of the Juilliard Manuscript Collection - one of the world's greatest collections of autograph manuscripts, composer sketches, engraver proofs, and first editions. Complementing this extraordinary resource is the Peter Jay Sharp Special Collections, which includes numerous rare printed editions, manuscripts, manuscript facsimiles, and archival collections.

About The Juilliard School

Founded in 1905, The Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. Juilliard's mission is to provide the highest caliber of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers, and actors from around the world so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens. Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, Juilliard offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in dance, drama (acting and playwriting), and music (classical, jazz, historical performance, and vocal arts). Currently more than 800 artists from 44 states and 42 countries are enrolled at Juilliard, where they appear in more than 700 annual performances in the school's five theaters; at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully and David Geffen Halls and at Carnegie Hall; as well as other venues around New York City, the country, and the world. Beyond its New York campus, Juilliard is defining new directions in global performing arts education for a range of learners and enthusiasts through The Tianjin Juilliard School, K-12 educational curricula, and digital education products.

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