This is to commemorate Linda Shaver-Gleason who passed away last week, aged 36. A public musicologist, as she used to refer to herself, Linda appeared as a scholar of Mendelssohn’s reception history, as a highly valued author writing for diverse outlets, and not least as an influential blogger who reached out via her own website Not Another Music History Cliché. Her eloquence, commitment, and courage will be missed. May she rest in peace and her legacy continue.
I find it deplorable that executives of the largest professional body of musicians in Germany, Deutscher Tonkünstlerverband, present themselves with misleading or plainly wrong information regarding their actual occupation. Here are three examples:
(1) Saxophonist Detlef Bensmann, current chairman of DTKV Berlin, claims to be a professor on his Instagram account. In fact, he holds no such position at any public institution.
(2) Flutist Adelheid Krause-Pichler, current vice president of DTKV Germany, refers to herself as a composer on her website. In fact, she does not appear in public with her own compositions, provided there are any.
(3) Composer Gabriel Iranyi, former board member of DTKV Berlin, claims to be a musicologist in several places. In fact, he has never published or lectured substantially in this discipline.
It’s not that I attach particular importance to jubilees and anniversaries, and the upcoming BTHVN 2020 celebrations will leave me largely indifferent. However, I suppose I am unlikely to let this day pass unnoticed: Nikolai Karlovich Medtner was born 140 years ago. Happy birthday, mate, your music is an infinite source of inspiration to me, and will continue to give me moments of passion, joy, and utter beatitude. It is my sincere hope that you would have condoned the following arrangement which I prepared in 2018, and am now re-posting here as a posthumous present—I borrowed the catchiest tunes from your C major Sonata, Op. 11 No. 3, added an English translation of the Goethe lyrics which you chose as a motto for that work, and compiled these ingredients into a little jazz ballad named Atonement. I’ll be more than content if this trifle serves no other purpose than provide a humble delight for the fellow admirers of your art.
(1) I eat too much and sleep too less.
(2) I should really do some sports rather than watching it on the internet.
(3) I love my job, and I am fine to commute for a certain period of my life, but in doing so I fly way too often. This is a moral dilemma. I would definitely prefer to take the train if only this was a reliable option at a reasonable price with the probability of arriving in time—but alas, it is not. Deutsche Bahn tickets from Berlin to Düsseldorf cost €70 on average (sales offers are very rare in the early morning hours when I would need to go). Travel time is about 5 hours from door to door, but since 2 out of 3 train connections passing through the Ruhr area are significantly delayed, this is hardly a recommendable choice, given that I need to start working at noon to manage my teaching load. My employer wouldn’t reimburse any travel expenses, so I have to choose the cheapest option over traveling sustainably, despite my dislike of airports and planes. Eurowings air fare is €29 or €39 for the same route, which takes me less than 3.5 hours (as long as Tegel Airport is still in service, I should add). Needless to say, I have not been late a single time since I became a weekly flyer almost two years ago.
This does not primarily show that I am a carefree opportunist (which some people might claim). Instead, this example suggests that the neo-liberal German transport policy is so badly snafu that it cannot help but continuously produce wrong stimuli for travelers, acting in favour of the motor industry (the glorious ›backbone‹ of our economy) while not giving a shit about the desolate state of the most embarrassing railway company of all times. Even though I don’t have the slightest idea how this situation could improve in the future, your opinions and ideas are, as always, warmly appreciated.