Mission Statement

The name of the Artistic Research Center of mdw refers in its abbreviation to the meaning of “arc” as a bridge, connecting art and research/science, and therefore as an extension of the open space, in which art and research can mutually inspire each other and profit from each other. It leads to the production of new knowledge and serves as an independent contribution towards the development and opening up of the arts.  It assumes a diversity of forms of knowledge and understanding.

Knowledge about certain specific research questions is generated within the arts, the corresponding artistic research gets contextualised and the resulting gain of knowledge is documented and communicated adequately. Depending on the contents of a project various aspects play an important role here, in various specific weights: The development of artistic practices and their critical and systematic reflection, inter- / transdisziplinarity, collaborativity, plurimediality, diversity of knowledge forms and a consciousness for social relevance.

Responsibilities of ARC

  • providing courses and organisation for the artistic doctorate program
  • contributing to the contents of artistic and artistic-research-related master programs and diploma studies
  • support for artistic research in third party projects and own research projects, meta artistic research, aggregation of knowledge and expertise in artistic research
  • establishing a platform for networking and publication


Johannes Kretz – Head Artistic Research Center

composer, electronics performer, artistic researcher

Born 1968 in Vienna.

Studies (composition, pedagogy) at the music academy Vienna with F. Burt and M. Jarrell and mathematics at the University Vienna • 1992/93: studies at IRCAM, Paris with Marco Stroppa and Brian Ferneyhough

1994-2003 Assistant/Professor for computer music at the International Bartok Seminar in Szombathely (H) • 1996-2001 Teacher for music theory and composition at the conservatory of Vienna since 1997: teacher for for computer music at the university for music and performing arts Vienna (mdw), since 2001 also music theory, since 2004 also composition, since 2009: habilitation in composition, associate professor • Since 2008: Head of ZiMT (“center for innovative music technology”) of mdw, since 2013 dean/head of department of the Institute for composition and electro-acoustics of mdw • 2018-2021: project leader of “creative (mis)understandings, a 3-year artistic research project funded by FWF-PEEK.

Founding member of NewTonEnsmble Vienna, of the European Bridges Ensemble, the international composers group PRISMA, and of ikultur.com. Co-curator of aNOther festival Vienna together with Wei-Ya Lin und Mahdieh Bayat.

Scholarships and Awards: e.g. Austrian Federal Grant 1997, Stiftung Delz (CH, 2001), Theodor Körner Prize 2004

Commissions of work & performances at/with National Theater Hall, Taipei, Wien modern festival, Festival Ars Electronica, Konzerthaus Wien, Eclat festival Stuttgart, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble On Line, Vienna Flautists, quartett22, Internationale Lemgoer Orgeltage, Haller Bachtage, Triton Trombone Quartett, Wiener Kammerchor

Performances in Austria, Germany, Poland, France, Czechia, Hungary, Turkey, Latvia, Lithuania, Argentinia, Mexico, Canada, USA, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Uzbekistan, Iran, India


Personal website: www.johanneskretz.org

Thomas Grill – Vice head Artistic Research Center

… works as a composer and performer of electroacoustic music, as a media artist, technologist and researcher of sound.
His artistic work encompasses most varied fields of audible and trans-media art, focusing on loudspeaker-based music, electroacoustic improvisation, as well as installations and interventions.

His education includes studies of technical physics in Linz, of computer music and electronic media, as well as the individual master study of interactive electronic instruments in Vienna. He earned a doctorate in composition and music theory at the University for Music and Performing Arts, Graz. Post-Doc research followed at the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI) in the domain of machine listening and learning.

Grill has been awarded with a Honorary Mention of the Prix Ars Electronica, with the Theodor-Körner prize, the Award of Excellence of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the Outstanding Artist Award for Interdisciplinarity (Bonus prize) of the Austrian Federal Chancellery and various work stipends.

At mdw, he heads the University course for electroacoustic and experimental music (ELAK) and the multi-year artistic research project „Rotting Sounds“. He chairs the study commission of the artistic doctorate program.

Personal website: http://grrrr.org

Wei-Ya Lin - Artistic Researcher

Wei-Ya Lin, an ethnomusicologist and a violist, is co-leading together with Johannes Kretz the PEEK-project in artistic research creative (mis)understandings (2018-2021) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW). At the same time she is research fellow and adjunct lecturer at MDW and University Vienna.


She is initiator and curator of aNOther festival Vienna since 2010; she is leading the interdisciplinary and intercultural summer camp iKultLab since 2014; since 2013 she been involved in planning and developing projects based on scholarly research results, which are implemented by artistic inventions and activist and socio-political approaches.


In 2006 she completed her M.A. in viola performance with distinction, in 2007 the postgraduate curriculum in chamber music, and she studied composition from 2005 to 2007 at the MDW. In 2015 she received her PhD in Ethnomusicology from the same university for the thesis Music in the Life of the Tao (Taiwanese indigenous ethnic group): Tradition and Innovation, graduation with distinction.


Research Interests: Artistic Research, Applied Ethnomusicology, Music of Indigenous Peoples, Auditory Knowledge, Music and Migration, Bi-Musicality.


e-mail: lin@mdw.ac.at

Tasos Zembylas

1997 doctorate in philosophy, 2003 habilitation in cultural institution studies. Since 1999 first assistant, then professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

Main areas of work and research: Epistemology of artistic practice; theories of cultural sector; cultural policy.

Numerous publications on, among other things, “artistic creative processes” and “artistic knowledge”, such as

  • Wissen, Können und literarisches Schreiben. Eine Epistemologie der künstlerischen Praxis, (together with C. Dürr) Vienna, 2009
  • „Auf den Spuren von Tacit Knowing im künstlerischen Schaffensprozess“. Sociologia Internationalis,12, No.1-2, 2012, pp. 87-113
  • Artistic Practices. Social Interactions and Cultural Dynamics, (ed.), London, 2014
  • Composing Processes and Artistic Agency: Tacit Knowledge in Composing, (together with M. Niederauer), London, 2018
  • „Plurale Wissensformen in diversen Kunstwelten“, in: R. Hermkes et al. (eds.): Implizites Wissen, Bielefeld, 2020, pp. 65-85
  • „Es ist schwer zu wissen, was das Wahrnehmen alles macht“, in: C. Schürkmann & N. T. Zahner (eds.): Wahrnehmen als soziale Praxis. Wiesbaden, 2021, pp. 43-65



email: zembylas@mdw.ac.at

Georg Nussbaumer – Lecturer

Born 1964 in Linz, Austria. Lives and works in Vienna.

Georg Nussbaumer is a composer, installation artist and creator of theatre and performance projects. His work includes multilayered operatic works, where installations and machines serve both as scenery and sound sources, operated by performers and musicians who follow precise scores — i.e. the 16-hour Wagner-periphrasis ‚Ringlandschaft mit Bierstrom‘.

Music, its history and impact and not least its generation is — interlaced with mythical matter — starting point of his interrogations on perception and being. Beside exuberant spatio acoustic works he also creates puristic installations like a sounding relief of the Alps made from tuning forks.

Realized by professional performers as well as by amateurs and craftspeople his pieces are commissioned and shown at renowned festivals and theatres internationally, often exploring and reinterpreting special sites like swimming halls, bunkers or — with his ‚Invisible Siegfrieds‘ — the entire Sunset Boulevard.

large scale projects, commissioned and produced by

2020 Elisenschauer mit Ludwigslawine, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna 2019 Nobodaddy is Perfect, radialsystem Berlin
2019 Wetterorgel, Schwetzinger Festspiele
2018 Atlas der gesamten Musik und aller angrenzenden Gebiete, Wien Modern

2018 Der Opernwürfel – Musiktheater | BAM! – Berliner Festival für Aktuelles Musiktheater 
 2018 Zukunftsschrei(b)maschine, Beethovenfest Bonn
2018 Die Sprache des Himmels, Cathedral Linz, Höhenrausch 2018

2016 Eine Winterreise, Wien Modern – Konzerthaus Vienna 2016 Jeder Hase ein Künstler, Alte Kindl Brauerei, Berlin
2016 Der Basler Trichter, Theater Basel – Festival Klangbasel 2016 Flügelengel, Offenes Kulturhaus Linz, Austria [1992-2012]
 2015 Tehran Avalange, Teatr-e Shahr, Teheran, Iran


2015 Tristan und Apnoe, rainy days Luxembourg
2015 Ringlandschaft mit Bierstrom, KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, Hannover [2011] |

operadhoy, Madrid 2014 | sophiensaele, Berlin | Donaueschinger Musiktage 2013
 2014 Ein weststeirischer Wasserfall, Steirischer Herbst, Austria [2006], Cividale, Italy 2015 2013 Ein Lohengringelände, pèlerinages — Kunstfest Weimar, Germany
2010 Invisible Siegfrieds Marching Sunset Boulevard, Ring Festival Los Angeles
2010 Salon Q, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Germany [2003]
2009 Lawine, Wald und Stubenmusi, Kunst aus der Zeit — Bregenzer Festspiele, Austria
2009 Barkarola, Festival of Dialogue of Four Cultures, Łódź, Poland
2009 OrganOpolis, soundscape Vilnius, Lithuania
2007 Die schönsten Gipfel der Alpen, Berliner Festspiele – Maerzmusik
2006 Tristan: Schwimmen und Schweigen, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Germany [2007]
2002 orpheusarchipel, Oper Bielefeld, Germany

1 [years of other commissions by the same festival] 1


performances, participations

Gropiusbau Berlin | Schaubühne Berlin | Beethovenhalle Bonn | tanzquartier wien | Konzerthaus Berlin | Austrian Cultural Forum NY | Cooper Union NY | 18th street arts complex, Santa Monica | Museum Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin | Théatre Kléber-Méleau, Lausanne | II Bienal Música Hoje, Curitiba, Brasil | Tonspur_Passage Museumsquartier Vienna | Call&Response, London | Akademie der Künste, Berlin | Happy Days, Oslo | Schaubühne Berlin | Kunsthaus Bregenz | radialsystem Berlin | Opera Dagen Rotterdam |

collaborations with

Since 2010 intense collaboration with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Berlin. Works performed by Ensemble Zwischentöne Berlin, Klangform Wien, Ensemble Wien 2001, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, ensemble platypus, mam – manufaktur für aktuelle musik, black page orchestra vienna, opera lab berlin, Sarah Maria Sun, Robin Hayward, Cédric Pescia, Nurit Stark, Christina Ascher and with groups of amateurs like amateur-choirs, brass-bands, synchronized swimmers, free divers, a biker club and with comedy author Tom Patchett.

lectures | workshops | teaching

Mills College, Oakland 2002 | California Institute of the Arts 2004 | Stanford University 2002 | TU Berlin 2004 | University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna 2008: KLAVIER/AKTION/ INSTALLATION | 5th International Ritual-Performance Seminar, Teheran 2015 | impuls academy Graz 2015: composition beyond music | since 2018: lecturer for Gesamt.Kunst.Werken at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna


Achtundachtzig Klaviere—OÖ Kulturquartier, Linz, Austria 2012
Artists: Hermann Nitsch, Chiharu Shiota, Peter Ablinger, Erwin Stache, Sam Ashley a.o.

residencies | awards

2004 Artist in Residence Villa Aurora, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles 2002 Artist in Residence Djerassi Residency Artists Program, California 2002 Studio Artist, OK – Offenes Kulturhaus Linz

2015 Jalal Sattari Award, Teheran, Iran
2013 & 2009 state scholarship composition, Austria 2010 Landeskulturpreis, Upper Austria
2001 & 2007 „Anton Bruckner Grant“, Upper Austria 2005 „Publicity Grant“ SKE-fonds, Austria


Personal Website

Theresia Dlouhy-Staber – Office

The Austrian soprano received her education at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

In addition to her concert activities as a soloist (with musical partners such as Ictus, Phace, Ensemble Mikado,…) and in ensembles (Company of Music – of which she is also the organizer, Balthasar Neumann Choir), another focus is on opera.

Among others, she could be heard and seen as the princess at the world premiere of Wolfgang Mitterer’s Das tapfere Schneiderlein, in Anæsthesia together with Franui and Nico and the Navigators, as chambermaid in the world premiere of the opera Die Gänsemagd (Iris ter Shiphorst), the moon princess in Wolfgang Mitterer’s comic opera Baron Münchhausen (at Musica Strasbourg and Kampnagel Hamburg) in three short operas of the production Gates/Gäste! (Karusell – Mirela Ivicevic, Axi – Jaime Wolfson, Inventur – Fernando Riederer) as part of the World Music Days, as Imogen in Bernhard Ganders’ sitcom opera Das Leben am Rande der Milchstrasse, and as Ida in Michael Sturminger’s staging of Die Fledermaus (Elbphilharmonie).


At the artistic research center she is responsible for office work.


e-mail: dlouhy-staber@mdw.ac.at