The Lobkowicz Music Archive

The Music Archive contains more than four thousand musical artifacts, including both manuscripts and printed editions. These were assembled over a three-hundred-year period by principal members of the family, who were great patrons, enthusiastic collectors, and often talented performers and composers. The archive is particularly rich in music of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including works by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Cartellieri, the Wranitzky brothers and many other composers. The earliest section of the archive includes precious Baroque tablatures and French instrumental and vocal pieces from the 17th century. Today The Lobkowicz Library in Nelahozeves Castle houses the musical materials, with the exception of a collection of liturgical works known as The Loreto Music Archive, which is preserved within the Lobkowicz Family Archives.

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The music archive, begun around 1700 by Ferdinand August, 3rd Prince Lobkowicz (1655–1715), contains a rare collection of late 17th- and early 18th-century tablatures for lutes, mandolins, and guitars, as well as collections of instrumental and vocal music by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Louis Lully, and Pascal Collasse. The collection of music for plucked instruments, which contains the world’s largest private collection of French Baroque lute music, includes lute and guitar works by remarkable composers such as Ennemond and Denis Gaultier, Jacques de St. Luc, Charles Mouton, Jacques de Gallot, and others.

Philipp Hyacinth, 4th Prince (1680–1734) and his second wife, Princess Anna Wilhelmina of Althann, were distinguished lutenists who also composed for their favorite instrument. The exceptional talent of the Princess has been well documented; she and her husband received training from the finest contemporary lute players, including Sylvius Leopold Weiss and Andreas Bohr. Lutes that once belonged to the princely pair are preserved in the The Lobkowicz Collections.

Ferdinand Philipp (1724–1784), their son and the 6th Prince, played the violin, harpsichord, and glass harmonica, and maintained contact with the celebrated opera composer Christoph Willibald Gluck, whose family had for generations been employed in Lobkowicz service.

The member of the Lobkowicz family with the greatest impact on the history of European music was undoubtedly the 7th Prince, Franz Joseph Maximilian (1772–1816). A talented singer, violinist, and cellist, Franz Joseph Maximilian was one of Beethoven’s foremost patrons. Beethoven dedicated the 3rd (Eroica), 5th, and 6th (Pastoral) symphonies to the Prince, as well as other works. An annual stipend provided by three of his noble patrons – Prince Lobkowicz, Archduke Rudolph and Prince Ferdinand Kinsky – allowed Beethoven the freedom to compose even through the economic hardships of Austria's wars with Napoleon. The annuity was continued by the 8th Prince, Ferdinand Joseph (1797–1868), eldest son of Franz Joseph Maximilian, until the composer’s death.

Along with the rest of the library, the music collection was confiscated by the Nazis in the 1940s. Between 1951 and 1998, it was held by the Music Department of the National Museum (later the Museum of Czech Music). In 1992 the archive was restituted to the family, and in 1998 joined the Library in its permanent space at Nelahozeves Castle.

Selected Bibliography:

Blažek, Vlastimil. “Bohemica v lobkovském zámeckém archivu v Roudnici nad Labem.“ Prague: Knihovna hudební výchovy, Jednota hudebních stavů, 1936.

De Barbieri, Laura, with Jaroslava Kašparová, Alena Richterová and Jana Fojtíková. “Nelahozeves [Mühlhausen a.d. Moldau] 1–1a.” Handbuch deutscher historischer Buchbestände in Europa. Hildesheim, Zürich: Olms-Weidmann, 1998. 102–119. [Section 1a contains information specific to the music archive by Fojtíková, 116–119.]

Fojtíková, Jana and Tomislav Volek. “Die Beethoveniana der Lobkowitz-Musiksammlung und ihre Kopisten.” Beethoven und Böhmen. Beiträge zu Biographie und Wirkungsgeschichte Beethovens. Ed. Sieghard Brandenburg and Martella Gutiérrez-Denhoff. Bonn: Beethoven-Haus, 1988. 219–258.

Libin, Kathryn L. "Adventures in Room X: Cataloguing the Lobkowicz Library Music Collection." Topics in Eighteenth-Century Music II. SECM in Austin 2016. Selected Papers from the Seventh Biennial Conference of the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music. Ed. Janet K. Page. Ann Arbor: Steglein Publishing, 2019. 58–74.

–––. Mozartiana in the Roudnice Lobkowicz Library. In Newsletter of the Mozart Society of America, August 2006, str. 1–7.

–––, with Petr Slouka. The Lobkowicz Collections Music Series – Highlights. London: Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers, 2019.

Ludwig van Beethoven im Herzen Europas, ed. Oldřich Pulkert a Hans-Werner Küthen, České lupkové závody, Prag 2000.

Macek, Jaroslav. “Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz. Musikfreund und Kunstmäzen.” Beethoven und Böhmen. Beiträge zu Biographie und Wirkungsgeschichte Beethovens. Ed. Sieghard Brandenburg and Martella Gutiérrez-Denhoff. Bonn: Beethoven-Haus, 1988. 147–201.

Mojžíšová, Olga. "Josef František Maxmilián Lobkovic." Starší divadlo v českých zemích do konce 19. století. Prague: Divadelní ústav, Academia, 2007.

–––. "Joseph Franz Maximilian Fürst von Lobkowicz." Theater in Böhmen, Mähren und Schlesien. Von den Anfängen bis zum Ausgang des 18. Jahrhunderts. Theatergeschichte Österreichs. Vol. X. Ed. Alena Jakubcová and Matthias J. Pernerstorfer. Vienna: Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2013. 391–394.

Nettl, Paul. "Musicalia der fürstlich Lobkowitzschen Bibliothek in Raudnitz." Mitteilungen des Vereines für Geschichte der Deutschen in Böhmen 53 (1920): 88–100.

–––. "Über ein handschriftliches Sammelwerk von Gesängen italienischer Frühmonodie. Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft 2 (1919–1920): 83–93.

Pulkert, Oldřich. Domus Lauretana Pragensis - Catalogus collectionis operum artis musicae. Catalogus artis musicae in Bohemia et Moravia cultae. Prague: Národní knihovna ČR–Editio Supraphon, 1973.

Slouka, Petr. "Lobkowiczký hudební archiv." Český hudební slovník osob a institucí. Ed. Petr Macek. Online URL:

Tašnerová Kadeřábková, Helena. Rukopisný sborník italské monodie z Lobkowiczké knihovny. Ph.D. dissertation, Prague: Filozofické fakultě Univerzity Karlovy, Ústav hudební vědy, 2011. 41–45.

Tichota, Jiří. "Francouzská loutnová hudba v Čechách." Miscellanea musicologica 25–26 (Prague, 1973): 7–77.

Volek, Tomislav and Jaroslav Macek. "Beethoven und Fürst Lobkowitz." Beethoven und Böhmen. Beiträge zu Biographie und Wirkungsgeschichte Beethovens. Ed. Sieghard Brandenburg and Martella Gutiérrez-Denhoff. Bonn: Beethoven-Haus, 1988. 203–17.

–––. Mozart, die Italienische Oper des 18. Jahrhunderts und die musikalische Leben im Königreich Böhmen. Mit der Don-Juan-Studie von Vladimír Helfert. Ed. Milada Jonášová and Matthias J. Pernerstorfer. 2 vols. Vienna: Hollitzer, 2016. [See Vol. II for reprints of three articles from Beethoven und Böhmen, 1988: 861–902, 903–916, 917–949.]