The International Museum and Library of Music in Bologna hosts a vast collection of books, paintings and musical instruments – including an 1844 Pleyel grand piano, once the property of the great Pesaro-born composer Gioachino Rossini, author of the world-famous “The Barber of Seville” and “William Tell”.
Rossini – who is said to have once made a sort of musical bet: “Give me a laundry list and I will set it to music” – was strongly attached to the city of Bologna. Indeed inside the museum there is a whole room dedicated to him, which showcases the autographed scores of “The Barber” and “Stabat Mater”, as well as some special personal belongings, such as his hairpiece and his robe.
Opened in 2004, the International Museum and Library of Music is split between two locations. At Palazzo Sanguinetti, in the city center, you will see mostly musical instruments on display: harpsichords, spinets, oboes, English horns, flutes, vertical and grand pianos made anytime between the 17th and 20th centuries.
The library instead is located inside the convent of San Giacomo Maggiore, which is also home to the G.B. Martini music conservatory. It safeguards extraordinary and rare incunables, manuscripts, librettos, autographs and letters dating back to the 1500s to the 1700s.
A museum that is a musical bet with the rest of the world.