Wendelin Bitzan

Wendelin Bitzan

Sonata Theories of the East

Just finished a paper on historical theories of sonata form in Russia and the early Soviet Union. It is fascinating to examine how, after relying on translations and adaptations of Western European textbooks by Hugo Riemann, Ludwig Bussler, and Ebenezer Prout, the contributions of Russian scholars such as Anton Arensky, Sergei Taneyev, Georgi Catoire, and Boris Asafiev gradually paved the way for a more individual approach towards the traditional model, regarding sonata form as a paradigm of both composition and analysis. The article will, hopefully, soon be published in ZGMTH, the journal of the German Music Theory Association.

Back to the Roots

Held my first lecture on techno music today. It’s been a pleasure discussing a popular music topic with an audience of music theorists, and I very much enjoyed talking about the stuff I was totally crazy about as a teen, back in the 1990s—the intriguing productions of former rave music duo RMB. Their tracks used to provide inspiration for my own humble attempts to create electronic dance music, and continue to fascinate me to this day. Thank you also, Rolf Maier-Bode, for answering my questions on the role of movie soundclips in your music.

Job in Düsseldorf

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!

St Petersburg Conference

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.

At the Piano – Music and Poetry

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.