PEOPLE

Duane Rosengard

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Bassist and historian on his hero

You might call him a great storyteller, but every story has constant references to objective reality

When I was a double bass student at the Cleveland Institute of Music I had many classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I had an interest in Renaissance painting and frescos so took several courses with art history professor Edward Olszewski.

He would go to Rome and spend entire summers carefully reading pages after pages of books in various archives, finding out who was responsible for the design and handiwork of Baroque sculptures thought to be by one artist that were in fact by someone else entirely. I found that terribly interesting. Later I used his approach and research techniques in my own work. I started finding documentation, even iconography, in the archives in Cremona that nobody had imagined still existed.

Olszewski has written some wonderful books: he can present facts, context, circumstances and cultural flavour in a smooth, compelling way. You might call him a great storyteller, but every story has constant references to objective reality, be it a person or the object that person has created or commissioned. I aspire towards his writing style, but my prose could never come close!

Bassist and historian Duane Rosengard gives a talk on the late 18th-century Cremonese makers at the AFVBM Biennial General Meeting in Chicago from 7—11 May

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