250 years of activity is a milestone to celebrate. Since 1770, Schott has been a point of reference for music students, musicians, and music lovers, with its innovative and up-to-date catalog. What is their secret, and what are they preparing to celebrate? We interviewed Laura Rossi - representative of the company for Italy, Spain and Portugal - to find out more.
Schott is a truly historical company, as you are celebrating your 250th anniversary this year. What is the secret of your longevity?
Schott was founded in Mainz in 1770 and has always been a point of reference for music, and these 250 years have seen Schott grow internationally, with offices all around the world, and incorporating many music publishers, including in recent times Chantarelle and Zimmermann.
The peculiarity of our company has always been that it is family run by great people, who have always tried to make it unique, open to new challenges, innovative, and constantly supported by contemporary authors who, starting from Beethoven, of whom Schott own the original Ninth Symphony, has always been an asset and a pride for the company. We can mention Hindemith, Wagner and his life inextricably linked to Schott, Ligeti, Kapustin, and then Penderecki, who recently passed away, an artist who also received the Cremona Musica Award for composition in 2015. We were also one of the first music publishers to invest in social media and digital communication.
How are you celebrating this milestone?
Clearly we started to organize the celebration some time ago, with events, concerts, meetings… but because of the Covid-19, everything was canceled. For the moment we have reported the history of Schott on our website, with much information, then we will see how the situation develops. We invite you to visit our website and read our interesting history and enjoy our scores in free download, a unique opportunity. https://en.schott-music.com/schott250/
Our colleagues of Schott also made a very amusing celebration video, an original way to communicate what we can offer to the world of music and musicians.
What are the novelties of your catalog?
The main novelties are for sure about the collections to celebrate the 250th anniversary, “Joy of Music”, but there are also many novelties about the world of strings, looking forward to Cremona Mondomusica. We invite you to check our catalog: https://en.schott-music.com/catalogues/
What are the peculiarities of the Italian market, compared with the others where Schott is present?
The Italian markets depend a lot on music teaching, as in Spain, but unfortunately, in recent times, there is not enough market for those who are into music and buy scores for the pleasure to play something new. The world is changing, and young people have different passions, but people are forgetting the privilege of “playing to stay together” and are forgetting that music brings joy. In the Nordic countries playing music is suggested to old people because of its benefits.
Music schools and schools in general are an important target for you, did their closure force you to change something?
As I said, in Italy the sale of scores is basically linked to schools, both public and private, and the pandemic created problems to the whole supply chain, from publishers to shops. Unfortunately we had no time to do much, since the emergency was not foreseeable. We believe that those who are still studying and playing will appreciate the free offer of scores of our website.
What do you think about music teaching in Italy?
Thanks to the Ministry of education a lot is being done for music teaching, a fundamental subject for the development of a person, since primary school. Music teaching is improving a lot. Unfortunately we cannot say the same for the sale of scores. With the internet, illegal downloading becames a serious problem, and every law in a globalized world is useless. The education to the use of original scores should be taught, to respect and save jobs.
What is the importance of Cremona Musica in your activity, and what are you expecting from the upcoming edition?
First of all, having the opportunity to take part in such an important event is a true surprise, after what happened. We will strive to guarantee the best of our offer for students, teachers and music lovers, and we hope to see many of you at Cremona Musica 2020. I also want to congratulate the new president Roberto Biloni, who has a difficult task ahead. Thanks to the team behind the exhibition, a great team that is always giving its best.