Presentation by our colleague Boglárka Illyés at the Saint-Saëns Conference in Paris

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Boglárka Illyés, researcher at the Theatre History and Music Collection of the NSZL, head of the Music Collection, participated in the international conference Saint-Saëns, d’un siècle à l’autre, Héritage ‒ Réception ‒ Interprétation, held in Paris from 6 to 8 October 2021, on the occasion of the centenary of the French composer’s death. The scientific conference was organised in collaboration with the Institut de recherche en musicologie (IReMus), the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) and the Société Camille Saint-Saëns. The detailed programme is available here.

The aim of the conference was to renew the image of Saint-Saëns by encouraging academic research regarding his person, his work, his oeuvre and his intellectual heritage, thus enabling a comprehensive evaluation of his reception and the presentation of new research directions. Plenary presentations on the current state of research and future tasks were given by Marie-Gabrielle Soret, chief curator at the BnF's Music department" and Fabien Guilloux of IReMus, and by composer Thierry Escaich and Michael Stegemann, editor-in-chief of the Complete Edition of the Instrumental Works. The main themes of the 19 lectures were the classical and modern aspects of Saint-Saëns, his relationship with music of earlier periods, his reception at the time and after his death, and the afterlife of his oeuvre.

Our colleague’s lecture entitled ‘Camille Saint-Saëns et sa réception en Hongrie de 1876 à 1918’ [Camille Saint-Saëns and his reception in Hungary between 1876 and 1918], which presented milestones in the reception of Saint-Saëns in Hungary during his time, was delivered in the session ‘The figure and memory of Saint-Saëns’, chaired by Mathias Auclair, director of the Music Department, on 8 October at the François Mitterrand Library of the BnF. The lecture in French will be available on IReMus and on the BnF’s YouTube channel.

The three-day conference was concluded with a concert of Saint-Saëns’ songs and chamber music, and a guided tour of the BnF’s exhibition of his life’s work, ‘Saint-Saëns: un esprit libre’.