On 16 and 17 November, the Department of Popular music (ipop) celebrated 15 years of existence as part of the mdw’s bicentennial celebrations. With initial steps toward inclusion of popular music having begun as early as the 1970s, the mdw’s conversion into a university in 2002 presented the opportunity to found a department that would represent the diversity of pop music’s many genres both artistically and in terms of scholarship and teacher training.

15 Jahre ipop
ipop students as Contemporary Urban Beats Ensemble, Vienna Konzerthaus, June 2017 ©Marcell Nimführ

Since then, ipop has grown to include around 50 instructors. And the two-day celebration marking its first 15 years was commensurately broad: It began with presentations of the department’s scholarly output (including the research project Performing Diversity and student theses) and related performances. These included a revival of the Clash Concerty—which realised the idea of transferring musical works from various stylistic fields to radically atypical contexts and performance rituals. The evening programme in the Joseph Haydn-Saal then ranged from big band music to various jazz and pop projects as well as funk and soul formations featuring both staff members and students.

The second day of this celebration began with a panel discussion on Women Instrumentalists in Popular Music (as part of the genderand diversity-related Pannonica Project) and a roundtable discussion focused on the creation of a new artistic degree in popular music performance. The subsequent evening programme featured performances by first-rate ensembles that included department alumni, with large formations (choir, big band, all-star band) providing the crowning conclusion.


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