The third digital semester at Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf has started last week, and teaching online already feels somewhat familiar. I tried to further improve my methodology and will now regularly use collaborative platforms for real-time music analysis and score-writing assignments. Jamboard and Noteflight promise to be convenient tools to enhance the classroom experience. Maybe these will also increase the students’ disposition to take part in peer assessment and self-evaluation routines. Blended learning and teaching aural skills will hopefully benefit from the use of Shared Piano, an on-screen keyboard that allows up to ten persons to play simultaneously. I am still unsure, though, about the best way to move music theory exams online without having to rely on scans or photographs of paper worksheets.
I am particularly looking forward to a music analysis seminar that I am offering to instrumentalists and students in the musicology minor. We will be exploring the repertoire of the Russian Silver Age, ranging from Scriabin, Rachmaninov, and Medtner to Myaskovsky, the early Stravinsky and Prokofiev, as well as lesser-known figures such as the Gnesin siblings, Aleksandrov, and Roslavets. Let me know in case you are interested in attending as a guest auditor.
It’s been a pleasure to talk to aspiring musicology students and young scholars about the conditions, possibilities, and potential problems in doing a PhD. I’d like to thank the DVSM association of undergraduate musicologists for having me as a guest speaker in their online panel, and for initiating a fruitful exchange of thoughts. Do not hesitate to get in touch if there are further questions!
My current book project is taking shape! The anthology Nikolai Medtner: Music, Aesthetics, and Contexts, edited by Christoph Flamm and myself, is approaching its final appearance. Last revisions are in progress, the engraving of the musical examples is completed, and I am looking forward to the publication later this year at Olms Verlag, Hildesheim. The volume will include contributions by Benjamin Bertin, Benjamin Brinner, Lesley Day, Patrick Domico, Alexander Karpeyev, Kelvin Lee, Kateryna Pidporinova, Nicolò Rizzi, Tatyana Shevchenko, Nathan Uhl, and both of the editors.
Some of you may remember the festschrift for Siegfried Mauser‘s 65th birthday, the publication of which conicided with the dedicatee’s criminal conviction finally becoming effective in late 2019. At present, Mauser is still on the loose and keeps evading the prison sentence with the help of his attorneys and supporters. In the meantime, the pianist Shoko Kuroe has recorded two of the musical contributions to the volume, Wolfgang Rihm‘s piano piece Solitudo and Aribert Reimann‘s Albumblatt für Sigi. In her remarkable comments on these miniatures, which can be found below the videos, Shoko Kuroe discusses the music in the psychological context of victim-perpetrator relationship associated with the dedicatee. This is noteworthy both for the performances and their superordinate perspective, and that’s why I am sharing these videos—along with my own review of the festschrift which appeared one year ago.