Wendelin Bitzan

Wendelin Bitzan

Scam Alert: Dubious Music Competitions

There are two online music competitions, Caneres and Amadeus Composition Award, with closing dates due by the end of the month. Both appear to be operated with a questionable business model—it is stated that application is free of charges while participation fees actually apply, and prizes and juries are not announced transparently. Both contests are promoted from Vienna by one and the same person, Anastasia Stefany (or: Stefanovich), who widely advertises them via social media using pretentious phrases such as »largest classical music competition in the world«, »path to musical greatness«, »celebrating the maestros of composition«, and the likes.

When I commented on the advertisements in a Facebook group, referring to the hidden fees and criticising the improper announcement of the juries (Caneres boasts an oversized board, including false information such as non-existing professoral positions, while Amadeus does not announce a jury at all), the promoter reacted in a highly unprofessional way. She attacked me personally in the group thread, posted derogatory comments to some totally unrelated posts on my profile, and threatened to file a legal complaint against me. To avoid further escalation, I emailed her and offered that I would not further comment on her businesses, provided that she revoked all of her offensive communication, but she would not respond. This behaviour, in combination with the clearly fraudulent practice of both competitions, leads me to the assumption that Caneres and the Amadeus Award are no serious opportunities for performers and composers. I recommend not to apply for either of them, or to withdraw your application before paying any fees.


Representation of Musicians’ Interest in Saxonia

I wrote a comprehensive portrait of Berufsverband Musik TKV Sachsen, the professional body of musicians and music educators in the German state of Saxonia, for the Kulturmanagement Network magazine. The nine board members, Stephanie Dathe, Christoph Geibel, Nikolai Kähler, Felicitas Ressel, Anne-Kathrin Ludwig, Christiane Vogel, Sophia Schulz, Victoria Flock, and Christian Scheibler, are doing a great job in cultural administration, political lobbyism, and advocacy of freelancers. See pp. 78–85 of the current issue, which also contains a number of other noteworthy contributions, dealing with multiple aspects and challenges of the cultural sector in East Germany. Please have a look!

» Read the whole issue

A Little Research on DSCH Passacaglias

My examination of Dmitri Shostakovich‘s passacaglias of the 1940s, a conference paper from two years ago, has now been published in Vol. 13 of Shostakovich Studies, edited by Bernd Feuchtner. Included are discussions of the passacaglia movements from the Eighth Symphony, Op. 65, Second Piano Trio, Op. 67, Third String Quartet, Op. 73, and First Violin Concerto, Op. 77. See this link for more information on the volume.

Vokalsystem Anniversary Concert

Happy to perform with Vokalsystem Berlin, Johannes David Wolff and Lidia Kalendareva again this weekend! In two concerts celebrating the decennial of the choir, we will present a versatile programme with music by Johannes Brahms, Max Reger, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Ēriks Ešenvalds, as well as a new work by Yannick Wittmann, Lidia’s own Vocalise, and the impressive cycle The Passing of the Year by Jonathan Dove. If you are around, please join us at Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche in Berlin-Kreuzberg!

» Friday, 14 July 2023, 8 pm
» Saturday, 15 July 2023, 6 pm
» Tickets available at €12 / €8