Fortunato Santini (1778 - 1861), theologian, composer and collector of music
Fortunato Santini was born on 5 January 1778 in Rome where he grew up in an orphanage. He studied counterpoint with G. Jannaconi and later took organ lessons by G. Giudi. From 1798 to 1801 he studied theology and philosophy and he was ordained priest in 1801.
At this time he started copying or scoring works of composers of the so called "Römische Schule" for acquiring their style of composition. This copies formed the basis of his music collection which grew up continuously in the course of time. In 1820 Santini published a catalogue* with the works available in his collection so far (about 1000 items) which made it popular throughout Europe. And so it came to a dialogue with leading music collectors, musicologists and musicians, such as K. Proske, R. G. Kiesewetter, C. von Winterfeld, C. F. Zelter and F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy. For copying the works Santini studied the original sources in the different libraries and archives of Roman churches and monasteries, and he got financial support by cardinal Carlo Odescalchi in whose palace he lived at that time and on whose proposal he was appointed as honory member of the Congregatione ed Accademia di S. Cecilia in 1835. Santini also was a honory member of the Berlin Sing-Akademie (1837) and the Mozarteum in Salzburg (1845) and corresponding member of the Paris Comité historique des arts et monuments du Ministére de l'instruction publique français (1840).
When cardinal Odescalchi became member of the Jesuits in 1838, Santini moved with his library to a building near the German National Church where he gave musical soirées at which he performed pieces from his collection. He aimed for a revival of the old sacred music and so he translated works of Bach, Handel and Graun in order to make them easier to understand.
In the 1830th and 1840th Santini's financial changed for the worse and so he toyed with the idea of selling his library. He obtained offers from major libraries in Berlin, Paris, Brussels and St Petersburg but he could not decide to sell the collection. Finally, in 1855, Santini sold it to the diocese Münster for an annual rent of 465 Scudi. The collection remained in Rome until his death on 14 September 1861 and was transfered to Münster in 1862 where it is stored in the Diözesanbibliothek today.

* F. Santini: Catalogo della musica esistente presso Fortunato Santini in Roma. Nel Palazzo de' Principi Odescalchi incontro la Chies de' SS.XII. Apostoli, Rom 1820
Joseph Killing, Kirchenmusikalische Schätze der Bibliothek des Abbate Fortunato Santini, Düsseldorf 1910
Karl Gustav Fellerer, Die musikalischen Schätze der Santinischen Sammlung. Führer durch die Ausstellung der Universitätsbibliothek Münster anlässlich des III. Westfälischen Musikfestes in Münster i. Westf. vom 15. bis 17. Juni 1929, Münster 1929
Karl Gustav Fellerer, "Bachs Johannes-Passion in der lateinischen Fassung Fortunato Santinis", in: Festschrift Max Schneider, hrsg. von Walther Vetter, Leipzig 1955, S. 139-145
Rudolf Ewerhart, Artikel "Santini", in: Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Band 11, Kassel, Basel, London, New York 1963, Sp. 1381-1383
Hans Joachim Marx, "The Santini Collection", in: Handel Collections and their History, Oxford 1993, S. 184-197
Klaus Kindler, "Die Musiksammlung Fortunato Santinis in der Diözesanbibliothek zu Münster", in: Mitteilungsblatt der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Katholisch-Theologischer Bibliotheken 45, Trier 1998
Andrea Ammendola, Artikel "Fortunato Santini", in: Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Personenteil 14, Kassel 2005, Sp. 942-944