Founded in 1972, the Joachim Raff Gesellschaft (Joachim Raff Society) is very active in promoting the publication, performance and recording of Raff's works together with encouraging and facilitating research into his life and music. Based in Raff's birthplace of Lachen, Switzerland, the society has over 200 members and is managed by a board of actively-involved members. The society organises several concerts each year featuring Raff's orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental music, it has co-operated with publisher Breitkopf & Härtel in the republication of some of Raff's major compositions, contributed to the première recording of some of his works, organised musicological seminars focusing on Raff and, perhaps its most significant long-term project, established the Joachim-Raff-Archiv. Its members are currently planning a series of events throughout Switzerland to celebrate Raff's bicentenary in 2022.
Based in a building occupying the site of Raff's birthplace, housing many items of Raff memorabilia, the Society welcomes visitors - contact it for details.
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The Joachim-Raff-Archiv (Joachim Raff Archive) has been created by the Joachim Raff Society to foster interest in Raff's life and music. The combined archive, exhibition space and research facility, is home to the numerous treasures that Res Marty - the long-time president of the Joachim Raff Society - has collected in over 45 years. It includes over 70 original letters with references to Raff (40 from Raff himself), as well as several autograph album sheets and documents and a manuscript in Raff's own hand. The collection also includes dozens of first and early prints, some by composers close to Raff. Numerous historical engravings from places and people related to Raff and an extensive documentation library complete the collection. The aim of the attractively designed, constantly updated exhibition is to give visitors an insight into Raff's life and work, as well as to make the treasures from the archive accessible. A major part of the Archive project is collating in one place letters and publications concerning Raff held by other institutions. Copies or scans of letters, books, periodicals and other publications relating to Raff from many libraries and archives have already been gathered, and the search continues. Sources from 33 libraries and archives are currently represented, as well as numerous others from private collections. They are printed out in the archive and can be viewed. In cooperation with the Bavarian State Library in Munich, a systematic evaluation of Raff's papers (almost 2000 letters to and from Raff) that his daughter Helene bequeathed to that library. The estates of his widow Doris and Helene, which are also in the Bavarian State Library, are of great importance for understanding Raff's life and and his legacy. Much of the archive can be accessed online, including a portal cataloguing Raff's correspondence which has been established and now has almost 3000 entries. Summaries of the contents of these letters are being created, as has a directory of people connected with Raff, which currently comprises 1,400 entries. The archive continues to grow and is an essential resource for anyone interested in any aspect of research into Raff's life and work.
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