04 November 2016
Bethlehem University Becomes Home to the Musical Collection of Conductor Dietfried Bernet as Part of a Large Gift of a Musical Library
On Friday, November 4th, Bethlehem University received ten boxes of gifts from the international music community. The boxes contained a vast musical library among which included material from the musical library of the late Austrian conductor Dietfried Bernet. The gifts were received as a result of the efforts of Mrs. Petra Klose who is a friend of Sister Patricia Crockford, Music Instructor at Bethlehem University. Mrs. Klose collected this generous gift from all corners of the world where different artists and music institutions donated music scores, CDs, and instruments to enrich the Bethlehem University musical library.
Among the visitors who brought the gifts were Mrs. Klose, Ms. Marion Mayer-Hohdahl, journalist at the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, and actress Johanna Bernet Lonsky, the wife of the late Dietfried Bernet whose material was a large part of the gift. The guests were welcomed by Brother Peter Bray, FSC, EdD, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University, and Dr. Michael Sansur, Executive Vice President. Following a lunch prepared by students of the Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism, the guests watched a video about Bethlehem University. Brother Peter Bray thanked the guests for their visit and substantial gift. He stated that this gift will give hope to the students. He expressed his gratitude, explaining that, “in people’s lives, there needs to be an experience of beauty—beautiful campus, beautiful library, beautiful ambiance, even beautiful music.”
Mrs. Bernet shed light on the comparison her husband used to make between the situation in Vienna in the 1940s and the current situation in Palestine. He lived through the occupation in Vienna just like the students at Bethlehem University are living through the current occupation in Palestine. She believes that he would have been happy to know that his material has found a new home at Bethlehem University. It will be like a memorial for him. Brother Peter Bray and Dr. Sansur once again expressed their gratitude for the gift and assured her that the collection will be safe and appreciated not just by the Bethlehem University community, but by all of Palestine as well.
The visit was documented by Ms. Mayer-Hohdahl and is going to be broadcast by Austrian and German televisions in January.