Exile can take on many forms. In rare cases it might be chosen and voluntary. However, most exiled individuals have been driven away, banished, politically persecuted, or stripped of their citizenship—with no choice but to leave the places they called home.
A study day held on 2 June brought an urgent theme to the mdw. This single-day event, entitled Afghan Music in Exile. Views on the Current Situation, was initiated by Marko Kölbl (of the Department of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology) and Peter Lell (a PhD candidate in the structured doctoral programme Music Matters) and devoted entirely to the music of Afghanistan.
In 2016, the association exil.arte was integrated into the mdw as the Exilarte Center for Banned Music. Exilarte is a place for the reception, preservation, and presentation of as well as research on those composers, performers, musicologists, and theatre artists who were branded as “degenerate” by the National Socialists and/or persecuted due to the racist Nuremberg Laws.
The impetus for the project “Reverse Ethnomusicology: Migrant Musicians as Researchers” was the observation-based hypothesis that migrant musicians, during the process of settling in, act similarly to how ethnographers do: in order to orient themselves within their new surroundings, these musicians must learn to understand local music-related practices, institutions, networks, audiences, and performance contexts.
On 26 January 2024, the Joseph Hellmesberger Department of String Instruments, Guitar and Harp in Music Education will be joining forces with the Exilarte Center for a concert in memory of eight female composers whose works were proscribed and who were driven into exile by the National Socialist regime due to their Jewish origins.
An exhibition entitled Klingende Zeitgeschichte in Objekten. Die mdw* im Austrofaschismus, Nationalsozialismus und Postnazismus [Resonating Contemporary History in Objects. The mdw* in Austro-Fascism, National Socialism, and Post-Nazism], conceived to mark this year’s 85th anniversary of Austria’s annexation by National Socialist Germany, is currently being presented to the public. On view at the University Library through January 2024, it employs a multimedia presentation of historical objects that serve to highlight the institution’s 1933–1955 history in myriad ways.
Music education is far more than “just” music class at school; it’s much rather a realm of complex interplay between art, pedagogy, and scientific and scholarly pursuits. This is borne out by the diverse opportunities for related study at the mdw, the numerous areas in which graduates and faculty are active, and a wide variety of educational and research projects.
Norbert Polek has been majoring in Keyboard Instruments for Popular Music in the mdw’s Music Education (ME) programme for a year now. The decision to make his hobby of music into a career wasn’t an easy one.
The mdw’s music education offerings encompass numerous different degree programmes. In the following, teaching faculty members and students from the mdw’s Music Education (ME) and Music Education for Voice and Instruments (IGP) programmes discuss how music educators for regular schools and music schools are trained as well as the importance of artistic training in this context.
The Erasmus+ project ALIISA (“All In – International Inclusive Society in Arts”) ran from September 2020 to August 2023 and involved the mdw along with Finnish, Lithuanian, and German (arts) universities, universities of applied sciences, and music and dance schools.