This week I will start working as a lecturer in music theory at the Institute of Musicology of Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. I will be in charge of the artistic subjects included in Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf‘s musicology minor programme, such as basic elements of composition, musical form, keyboard practice, and a preparatory course in music theory. I will continue to live in Berlin for the time being, while commuting to Düsseldorf for two days a week. Thrilled about this new challenge in teaching!
Preparing a paper for the conference »The Cultural Space of Russia: Genesis and Transformations«, a section of which is dedicated to the music of Nikolai Medtner, taking place the following weekend at the St Petersburg State Institute of Culture and the Arts. My contribution will be concerned with hybrid work titles and permeability of musical genre in Medtner. Organisation and public notice of the event is unsatisfactory, to say the least—but nonetheless I look forward to the trip and to seeing St Petersburg again.
In my ongoing endeavour to explore and demonstrate the common origin of all artistic inspiration, an interdisciplinary concert project has arisen. This Saturday, 24 March, I will team up with my fabulous colleague Klas Yngborn for a private soiree in Berlin-Zehlendorf, starting at 7 pm. In a hybrid performance combining aspects of a lyric reading and piano recital, Klas will recite some of the most beautiful examples of Expressionist poetry, while I’ll be contributing a number of intriguing early-20th-century piano pieces. Please see the Facebook event page for further details.
Berlin’s municipal music schools do something they didn’t do in quite a while: They are hiring permanent employees. Until recently, their quota of freelance teachers was at 93%, which is now being reduced to 80%. However, this will not change the fact that freelancers are in charge of most of Berlin’s music education. Apart from an awkward controversy between the Berlin Senate and musicians’ unions on how many FTEs this means, some more questions remain. Should the new positions be publicly advertised or only serve to the benefit of a school’s freelance staff? Is it acceptable if schools do not require applicants to hold a demonstration lesson? And finally: Why are permanent positions considered more important than a general discourse on quality management and sustainability of music education?