Dear colleagues and everybody involved in academic music education, I would like to share a first draft of my conception for teaching music theory on the basis of digital media, online platforms, and collaborative tools and documents. The strategies outlined here are the product of the past three years, reflecting the attempt to transfer methods and strategies from remote and hybrid teaching to in-person classes wherever convenient, and to develop an integrative model for the benefit of both students and teachers. Please feel free to comment and get in touch if you have any remarks, suggestions, or additions from your own experience.
I have been revisiting my paper from last year’s Scriabin @ 150 conference in Reading, hopefully to be published soon in a collective volume alongside other contributions from this event. The article discusses the relationship between the Muscovite composer-pianists Alexander Scriabin and Nikolai Medtner, who are often considered aesthetic antagonists and have rarely been researched in a mutual context. I explore biographical links and examine a couple of musical examples, revealing some latent influences and intercommunities between the two protagonists that merit a closer look. A preliminary version is now available online—please feel free to comment and share your thoughts!
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.
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!
I am deeply moved by Friede Merz‘s strong and courageous statement on abuse of power in German music universities and the jazz scene in particular. Her personal report is disturbing, alarming, and illuminating at the same time. It should be taken as a wake-up call by everybody involved in academic administration and professional music education. #musicmetoo