During the last days I made a three-part keyboard arrangement of the final aria Drum schließ ich mich in deine Hände from Johann Sebastian Bach’s motet Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229. This aria is one of my all-time favourite chorale settings: It features cadences in no less than five different scale degrees and culminates in a marvellously ornated concluding melisma. The Baroque lyrics by Paul Thymich figure as a deeply touching embodiment of poetic devotion to the creator in the face of death—and this is why I chose to perform the music at my grandmother’s funeral earlier this week. Subsequently, I replenished the composition with a brief fughetta on the subject of the aria’s first line. Hope you won’t mind the sad occasion of its genesis and enjoy the piece anyway.
A challenging hybrid semester at Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf has begun. There is a sustainable hygiene concept which allows most of my classes in analysis, basic elements of composition, and aural skills to be held face-to-face. In addition, I offer an elementary music theory seminar which features a dual approach. Some 70 freshmen in the musicology minor at Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf will either attend classroom teaching in three groups of 15, or take part in an asynchronous online lecturing programme with a choice of Teams and Moodle coursework and an additional OER tutorial. This construction will enable everyone to earn the desired credits during this term. However, should the governmental measures of infection prevention be extended to universities once again, we might be obliged to move all classes online—I am confident that there will be appropriate solutions for all courses and exams.
After one year of deprivation of active vocal practice, I have finally found a new choir. Vokalsystem Berlin, a youthful and ambitious ensemble led by my dear colleague Johannes David Wolff, accepted me as a new member. What a delightful perspective to perform music by Maurice Duruflé, Anders Edenroth, Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, and Yannick Wittmann soon! Hope it will turn out to happen as intended.
Yesterday I was elected as a board member of Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie, the professional association of German-speaking music theory. My areas of responsibility are lobbying for the freelance academic teaching staff in music theory and ear training, as well as to support the international activities of the GMTH. If you want to address any of the aforementioned topics, please feel free to get in touch! I look forward to collaborating with my fellow board members, Florian Edler, Sigrun Heinzelmann, Thomas Wozonig, Julia Deppert-Lang, Hans Aerts, and Derek Remeš, during the next two years.
Excited to present a paper this weekend in the annual meeting of Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie, which was supposed to be held at Hochschule für Musik Detmold but was moved online due to the ongoing pandemic situation. In fact, out of four conferences I was going to attend this fall, the GMTH event is the only one that has not been postponed. I will talk about the adoption of Western concepts of musical form in Russia, in particular Sergei Taneyev‘s sonata theory (which was primarily taught according to Beethoven’s model) and its influence on his student Nikolai Medtner. Moreover, I will chair a session on digital music theory pedagogy and music recognition, which I am looking forward to.