<span class="vcard">Wendelin Bitzan</span>
Wendelin Bitzan

GMTH International Music Theory Lectures

The Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie has launched a new international lecture series, which I am glad to have helped organise. After my colleague Stephan Schönlau came up with this idea last year, and following some months of intensive planning in the GMTH working group for international affairs, this project is now finally going to happen. The opening lecture will be held by nobody less than Kofi Agawu, entitled »Rethinking (American) Music Theory, with African Aid«. It will take place on 25 April 2022, 7.30 pm CEST, followed by a Q&A and discussion. Anyone interested is invited to register through this form.

Improvements in Association Work

Preparing this year’s general assembly of Deutscher Tonkünstlerverband Berlin, which is going to take place at the end of March. In a very productive period during the last six months, we achieved a number of milestones in the course of modernising the leadership and administration of Berlin’s largest association for musicians and music pedagogues: we passed new statutes and rules of internal procedure, launched a cloud-based administrative software and membership portal, redesigned our public relations strategy, and initiated a number of new collaborations with other organisations. The current board members, including myself as vice president, will now run for another term in office. Despite some forces aiming to prevent us from continuing our work, we are confident to keep on advocating for the interests of our freelance members and their professional representation.

Ominous Alliance of Arts and Politics

Institutional cultural life in Russia is strongly affiliated with the government. A number of distinguished artists and pedagogues in leading positions—including the rectors of both the Moscow Conservatory, Aleksandr Sokolov, and the Gnesin Academy of Music, Aleksandr Ryzhinsky—have signed a statement in support of Putin’s war on Ukraine, as a TASS article reveals. Today, pianist Elizaveta Miller filed her resignation from the Moscow Conservatory’s faculty of keyboard instruments, protesting against the institution’s official position, and thus possibly anticipating her dismissal as a teacher. Not everybody will have the courage to do so. While I maintain my strong advocacy for keeping in touch with Russian artists and musicians on a personal, non-institutional level, it becomes clearer every day that we inevitably need to discontinue all collaboration with Russian state organisations. Boycott this regime and its allies! #standwithukraine #нетвойне

No Collaboration with Russian State Institutions

Contrary to my usual habit, I feel the need to make a political statement today. In light of the current developments in Eastern Europe, and for the time being, I cannot imagine and will refrain from any further cooperation with Russian state institutions—such as the Moscow Conservatory, Gnesin Academy of Music, State Institute for Art Studies, and Saint Petersburg State Conservatory. This explicitly applies to institutional collaboration and projects realised with governmental funds from the Russian state and Ministry of Culture. It does not apply to relationships with individuals regardless of their affiliation, which I absolutely intend to continue, as I feel that social cohesion and exchange on a personal level is necessary more than ever at the moment. To all my dear Russian colleagues: I hope for your understanding, while I express my heartfelt support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

Female Composers in Music Theory Classes

I compiled a playlist of music by female composers which I have used with great benefit as examples and exercises in my music theory classes. Most of the pieces turned out easy to integrate into the curriculum and suited my topics and purposes very well. Here is a list of fine compositions ranging from Maddalena Casulana to Sofiya Gubaidulina. Please let me know if you think something is missing or should be included for whatever reason.