Antonio Baldassarre (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts) discusses his research interests in advance of his visit to the Ransom Center.
Baldassarre is supported by the C. P. Snow Memorial Fund.
Tell us about your research, “Serving the Music: The Flonzaley Quartet.”
Adolfo Betti (1875–1950) was first violinist of The Flonzaley Quartet. He contributed significantly to the Quartet’s exceptional profile, leading to the general view that it was one of the most influential early-twentieth-century ensembles worldwide. Betti’s collection at the Harry Ransom Center offers a unique corpus of archival material relevant to research focusing on the history of the Flonzaley Quartet, its impact on the development of a modern string quartet performance style, and its influence on the shaping of cultural identity in the U.S.
What initially drew you to your this topic?
My interest in string quartet research in general.
Which collections at the Ransom Center are most relevant to your research?
The collection of Adolfo Betti, in particular the manuscript materials.
Are there specific questions you hope your research here will answer?
It can be assumed that the source material in the Adolfo Betti collection contains important information with regard to the history of the Flonzaley Quartet as a musical institution, its impact on the development of a modern string quartet performance style, and its influence on and contribution to the shaping of cultural identity and identifiability in the U.S.
Why is it important that you visit the Ransom Center to work on-site with original materials?
The Adolfo Betti collection at the Harry Ransom Center is currently not accessible online. The amount of material available is too large for it to be scanned and delivered via email. Moreover, especially concerning the large autograph archive, scanned copies would not deliver the depth of relevant, detailed information that is required to produce the rich analysis required in this research.