I wrote a few lines on the questionable tendency in classical music journalism to refer to performers as ›geniuses‹ and to conductors as ›maestri‹. Not that anybody asked for my opinion, and I guess that some of you don’t care at all—but that’s exactly why I felt the need to express my uneasiness with that matter. Out now in VAN Magazin. Your thoughts are appreciated.
Dear Viennese people, I have the pleasure to announce the public defence of my PhD thesis, a musicological study of the piano sonatas of Russian composer Nikolai Karlovich Medtner. Attendance will require your early bird virtues—but in case you are willing to take up this challenge, I’d be delighted if you joined me next Friday, 5 April, 9 am, in the Rectorate Meeting Room of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. The presentation will see me giving a 20-minute talk, followed by a 40-minute disputation, both held in German language.
The latest issue of Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (#1 / 2019) features an article and interview by Anna Schürmer on the relationship of social media and contemporary music, with noteworthy statements by Moritz Eggert, Johannes Kreidler, Irene Kurka, and Martin Tchiba, and also including a few thoughts on digital communication and publication from my humble perspective. Thanks for providing the platform!
Excited to share with you the latest results of my comparatively rare (but however passionate) activity as a performer. Here are two documents of my involvement with Nikolai Medtner‘s piano and chamber music, taken from a concert in November 2018 at Villa Oppenheim Berlin, which formed part of the first-ever festival in Germany exclusively dedicated to that composer. Both pieces belong, in my opinion, to the foremost achievements of Medtner’s musical expression: The Sonata-Vocalise, Op. 41 No. 1, an outstanding example of his treatment of the textless voice, holds a unique position in genre history, whereas the Sonata-Elegy, Op. 11 No. 2, pioneers in terms of formal architecture and thus stands out from most other single-movement piano sonatas of the early twentieth century. Since these are live recordings with only a few minor edits and digital improvements, the outcome is far from being technically perfect. Nonetheless I feel lucky to underpin my research on Medtner with a thorough interpretive approach to his music, and I am particularly grateful to soprano Anna Hofmann who, through her beautiful performance, made this concert one of my dearest memories on stage. Hope you will enjoy this as much as I did.