Today’s reading recommendation: The journal of the Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie (ZGMTH) has published an intriguing survey on the underrepresentation of female and non-binary faculty members at the music theory and composition departments of German music universities. The authors Irene Kletschke and Kirsten Reese highlight basic problems and causes of this misbalance and, most notably, give a list of recommended actions to improve the situation. In doing so, they would not simply postulate a women’s quota but make a series of suggestions how to tackle this issue on the structural level of academic administration. I hope that some deans, principals, and educational policymakers will take notice of these considerations.
Glad to announce that I will be supervising a new edition of Mily Balakirev‘s piano transcription of Mikhail Glinka‘s song Zhavoronok (The Skylark), to be published with G. Henle Verlag. The autograph and first edition, issued in Saint Petersburg in 1864, are considered lost, which means that I will have to rely on other prints from the late nineteenth century—such as a Gutheil edition with this beautiful art nouveau title page. Looking forward to working on this project!
An irregular and somewhat confusing semester at Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf has begun. The buildings are still closed—yet most of my department’s music theory classes are taking place, and I am teaching a number of online courses, switching between synchronous webcasting and tutorials on various e-learning platforms. Thanks to Jeannette Getrost of Studio Balu, I found a temporarily unused space where I can deliver my video conferences well-focused and without even leaving my neighbourhood, which is a great opportunity! Students are widely accepting the challenging conditions and show a remarkable level of flexibility. I am currently developing some freely accessible musical form and ear training tutorials for the ELMU platform, an open educational resource founded by Ulrich Kaiser which I invite you to check out.
A professional body of musicians should put all its efforts into the welfare of its members, and the more so as many colleagues are severely affected by the current pandemic situation. Yet the executives of DTKV Berlin prefer to pursue their personal in-fightings against disliked persons within the organisation. The attacks and accusations I have been subjected to during the past weeks have now reached a level that leaves me with no option but going public. There has been a libelling smear campaign initiated by Gabriel Iranyi, Anka Sommer, and Christiane Edinger, who tried to do damage to my professional career by denouncing me to my university administration. After that, Detlef Bensmann has announced to expel me from DTKV Berlin just yesterday, insinuating that my behaviour has been harmful to the association. I take this as an opportunity to summarise and rebut the allegations that were brought up against me. Here is my statement (in German only).
Dear Berlin-based musicians and artists!
There are a number of supporting measures for the aid of businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but the group of professional freelancers in culture are not sufficiently captured by these. Many of our colleagues who face existential loss of theirs incomes have already contacted local or federal cultural politicians individually. Yet I am afraid that these efforts will not be adequately appreciated and considered—that’s why I prepared a collective letter to increase the perceptibility of our concerns and matters. I will send it to Klaus Lederer, the Berlin Senator of Cultural Affairs, on April 24, 2020. You are welcome to support the inquiries and sign the letter. Please also spread and share the link!
Freelance artists are systemically relevant.