© Jana Madzigon

Must the arts necessarily be political? And in what ways can artists support protest movements? These are just two of the questions that we address in this issue’s Special on the topic of protest. We shine a spotlight on the role played by music in the demonstrations currently taking place in Iran as well as on the compositional ramifications of 20th-century composer Hanns Eisler’s political commitments during the interwar period.

The present issue also introduces our University’s new Contemporary Arts Practice (CAP) master’s degree programme, set to go live in autumn 2023, as well as the turbulent history of a now-restituted Rosenberger fortepiano built in 1810.

Just how the mdw works to have a direct impact on society at large can be seen in community-focused endeavours such as a recent project at the youth detention centre in Gerasdorf in which a youth opera was staged together with inmates, while a further example is the onsite music-making workshop at MedUni Wien’s Comprehensive Center for Pediatrics in which mdw students regularly make music with three- to sixteen-year-old long-term patients.

A recent workshop at Film Academy Vienna provided insights into the work of “intimacy coordinators”, who assume mediatory roles on film sets and accompany the work of actors and directors particularly when developing scenes that portray sexuality and/or violence. And in a look at inter-institutional undertakings in the musical realm, Vienna Musikverein Director Stephan Pauly speaks about his institution’s long-running relationship with the mdw and whets our appetites for the concert to be given by the Webern Symphonie Orchester and conductor Daniel Harding in June.

Wishing you an interesting read, Ulrike Sych, Rector

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