In 2011, the King Baudouin Foundation’s Heritage Fund acquired, on behalf of the Belgian Royal Library, an exceptional collection of 32 scores by the Belgian violinist and composer Henry Vieuxtemps (1820-1881). Among them were 22 handwritten scores, 12 of which were unpublished. In September 2012, the handwritten score of a totally unknown work by the musician, his only opera La fiancée de Messine, came to join this body of work, thanks to the intervention of the Abbé Manoël de la Serna Fund of the King Baudouin Foundation.
This unique ensemble of Vieuxtemps’ work provides for the Belgian Royal Library a number of opportunities, both scientific and in terms of accessibility for the general public. In addition to concerts, a virtual exhibition, Henry Vieuxtemps 1820-1881, was launched in October 2012 on the Library’s website. Five chapters, headed « Vie» (life) , « Œuvres » (works), « Violoniste » (violinist), « Compositeur » (composer) and « Voyages » (journeys) invite the viewer to discover this exceptional person through explanatory notes, illustrated by numerous documents (scores, letters, testimonies, drawings, portraits, sound extracts).