Joe Zawinul was born in Vienna on 7 July 1932 and grew up not far from the mdw Campus in Vienna’s 3rd district. He eventually came to number among the 20th century’s most influential jazz musicians. And now, the big.mdw.band—the University’s big band at the Department of Popular Music—has taken what would have been Zawinul’s 90th birthday as an opportunity to engage with his music and life’s work in a three-semester concert trilogy.
Most people know the saying that dreams are often like soap bubbles and can easily burst. The music video A bubble is a nice friend to have, released in 2022, is about precisely such soap bubbles and how it’s extremely important to have dreams and also live them—even while being conscious of their fragility.
The mdw great talent award powered by Christian Zeller returned this year to once again put outstanding mdw talents onstage. At the final round on 12 May 2022, bassoonist Johanna Bilgeri won the 1st prize while violinist Paul Kropfitsch and mezzo-soprano Helene Feldbauer claimed 2nd prizes ex aequo.
It was a milestone in the development of the Department of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology—but also of the mdw—when the stage of the Joseph Haydn-Saal came alive with a celebration of musical diversity on 24 May.
On 29 September, just before the semester begins, a new concert format will be celebrating its début in the Wiener Konzerthaus’s Berio Hall. This evening will see an interactive, trans-genre concert experience featuring classical music and electronic soundscapes connect the analogue world with the digital realm for the very first time.
Looking beyond the Catholic realm, such as with interreligious projects like the musical setting of the Diary of Anne Frank by James Whitbourn, is a major concern of this enthusiastic church musician and organist. She’s looking to address diversity and provide motivation for new and exciting projects.
Community Outreach was one of the main ideas behind this dedicated conductor’s return to Asia after graduating from the mdw. He now works with formations including the Macao Youth Symphony Orchestra, offers various kinds of training, and designs educational programmes for the musical youth of his home country.
The ongoing cooperative activities involving the Fritz Kreisler Department of String Instruments, Harp and Guitar (FKI) and the Leonard Bernstein Department of Wind and Percussion Instruments (LBI) are now advancing to an entirely new level.
“Jump out of your concert seats, take off your jackets, and pick up your tickets at the box office!” I glance at the rickety kitchen chair beneath me, three pages of Zoom tiles before me, and strain to remember just where in the apartment I put the furniture with the red velvet cushions. In what kind of concert mentality have I landed, here? In one that’s been rethought.
Last year’s Beethoven Competition saw the 27-year-old German pianist Aris Alexander Blettenberg awarded the first prize. Blettenberg swayed the jury with his performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in C Major op. 15, prevailing over Dasol Kim and Philipp Scheucher at the final round on 21 October 2021 in the Vienna Musikverein’s Golden Hall.