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MSt student Hermán Luis Chávez has been awarded the 2024 Colin Franklin Prize for Book Collecting for their essay on the composer Atiliano Auza León (b.1928) and 20th C. Bolivian Art Music. In the essay, Hermán shares the experience of discovering a piano score by Atiliano Auza León tucked beneath a pile of sheet music, and how this led to a desire to perform, research and collect little-known compositions by Atiliano Auza León. 

“Performance brought me to research, which brings me back to performance once again, as I see my collection as a budding personal library of Bolivian musical culture that will allow me to cultivate a synergy of textual and notated materials to facilitate historically-informed performance research." 

The Colin Franklin Prize is awarded every year to an undergraduate or postgraduate student of the University of Oxford or the University of Brookes for a collection of books or other printed materials.

The funder of the prize, Anthony Davis, commented of the submissions in 2024: “It is always an overawing and moving experience to judge the entrants for the student collecting prize.  Once again, we had a wide range of exceptional entrants showing the breadth of collecting among a new generation of bibliophiles.  Hermán’s thoughtful essay showed exceptional insights into the collecting process and the qualities of determination, perseverance and scholarship which mark a true collector.  I am delighted that they have won the prize and look forward to hearing what book they have chosen for Bodley.”

Keeper Special Collections, Chris Fletcher, and one of the judges of the prize, said of Hermán’s essay: “This was a marvellously written essay which balances the emotional and intellectual motivations behind the quest to bring a little-known Bolivian composer into the light.”

Hermán Luis Chávez
Hermán Luis Chávez 

You can read more about Hermán's work here.

Hermán will present their collection and perform a composition by Atiliano Auza León at the Scholar’s Coffee Morning on Friday 31 May in the Visiting Scholars Centre, Weston Library. For more information, please email