In the 2019 QS World University Rankings, the mdw has joined America’s Juilliard School in a tie for first place in the “Performing Arts” category. We’re elated at having become the first Austrian university to score first place in a worldwide university ranking, and my thanks go out to all members of the university community whose tireless dedication and professionalism have made this great honour possible!

Ulrike Sych
Ulrike Sych ©Inge Prader, 2017

Teams and their collective efforts are also a major aspect of our focus on the phenomenon of the orchestra in this issue’s Special section: read here about orchestral playing as a career, about the important work done by youth orchestras, and about how the mdw aims to provide its instrumental students with the best possible preparation for making music in such a large and complex ensemble. In this context, we also extend our warmest congratulations to the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna as they celebrate 50 years of existence.

Elsewhere in this issue, you can read about how students of the Department of Cultural Management and Gender Studies (IKM) are putting together an entire festival in cooperation with the mdw’s Career Center, as well as about how Steve Sidwell is reinterpreting and rearranging Beatles songs together with students. And the Max Reinhardt Seminar, for its part, provides insights into students’ audition training as part of their film-related coursework.

The Department of Musicology and Performance Studies has numerous research projects to introduce, and we point out here how research projects with third-party funding provide value to the research landscape in general and early-career researchers in particular.

A further focus in this issue pertains to the societal relevance of art and music along with the topic of music as labour, which will be the central motifs of the summer academy isa and the interdisciplinary research conference isaScience. We can thus look forward to fascinating artistic and scholarly contributions in the summer of 2019.

I wish you an enriching read!

Unterschrift Sych

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