Gustav Mahler Centenary Conference

‘Mahler: Contemporary of the Past?’

Department of Music and Sound Recording, University of Surrey, Guildford, July 7-9, 2011

This conference takes the opportunity in Mahler’s centenary year to advance the scholarly understanding of his work through fresh investigation and re-investigation of cultural, historical, analytical and performance issues relating to the composer.

Particular emphasis is placed on ideas of nostalgia and historicism in Mahler’s output, and alongside these are themed sessions that address countervailing notions of modernity, as well as aesthetic theory, structuring processes, the intermedial, and Mahler’s performance and compositional legacy. The conference includes a composer roundtable discussion featuring David Matthews, Anthony Payne, and Edward Gregson.

Accompanying the conference are five concerts (including performances by Uri Caine, and the Endymion Ensemble, and a recital using Mahler’s 1836 Graf piano at Hatchlands, Clandon), an art exhibition, a sound installation, and video material relating to Mahler’s composing locations and a recent film by Beate Thalberg (ORF, Vienna).

Registration at:

Programme details

Thursday 7 July

(All presentations take place in Lecture Theatre M)

0830-0900 Registration (Lecture Theatre M foyer)

0900-0915 Welcome: Professor Phil Powrie, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and
Humanities; Jeremy Barham, conference convenor

Paper session 1. Culture and Interpretation (i): Nostalgia, Myth and the Fourth Symphony

0915 Suzanne Wilkins, ‘Megalomania, Marginalisation and Martyrdom: The
Mahler Myth and its Consequences for his Fourth Symphony’

0945 Benjamin K. Davies, ‘Nostalgia, Denial and Virtual Reality in Mahler’s
Fourth Symphony, First Movement’

1015 Caroline Kita, ‘Mahler’s “Heavenly Life”: Nostalgia or Critical
Commentary?’

1045-1100 Coffee (Lecture Theatre M foyer)

Paper session 2. Analytical Approaches

1100 Seth Monahan, ‘Grappling with Sonata Form in “Part One” of Mahler’s
Third Symphony’

1130 Anna Stoll-Knecht, ‘Mahler’s Seventh Symphony and Die
Meistersinger

1200 Mathieu Schneider, ‘“Pedester ist der Musikstoff, sublim der Vortrag” –
Mahler’s Scherzos as Impulses for the Evolution of Musical Language’

1230-1345 Lunch and visit to art exhibition ‘A Celebration of Mahler’ (Caroline Tate),
and sound installation ‘spirit redux’ (Matthew Sansom), Lewis Elton Gallery

1400 Keynote address: Julian Johnson

1500-1515 Afternoon tea/coffee

Paper session 3. Performance (i)

1515 Matthew Mugmon, ‘Advising Koussevitzky: Copland, Mahler, and the BSO Canon’

1545 Eric Shanes, ‘Doing Exactly What it Says on the Tin: Sound and Meaning in the
Eighth Symphony’

1630 Depart for Hatchlands

1700-1900 Early evening meal at Queen’s Head pub, Clandon

1930 Tour of Hatchlands collection of historic keyboard instruments

2030 Evening concert: Maureen Galea and Michelle Castelletti (Mahler songs and
19th-century Bohemian piano music, using Mahler’s 1836 Graf piano)

Friday 8 July

Paper session 4. Histories (i): Musical Invocations

0900 Molly Breckling, ‘Mining the Past for New Expressions: Song Form as Narrative
Device In Mahler’s Ballads from Des Knaben Wunderhorn

0930 Lóránt Péteri, ‘Idyllic Masks of Death: References to Orphée aux
Enfers
in “Das himmlische Leben”’

1000 Alessandro Cecchi, ‘Mahler, Contemporary of Bruckner: Bruckner’s Ninth and
Mahler’s First Symphony’

1030-1045 Coffee

Paper session 5. Culture and Interpretation (ii): Aesthetic Theory

1045 Stephen Downes, ‘Allegory and Symbol in the Music of Mahler’

1115 Mark Nixon, ‘Deceptive Perfect Cadences: The V-VI-I Cadential Progression and
the Earliness of Mahler’s Late Romanticism’

1145 Federico Celestini, ‘Gustav Mahler and the Aesthetics of De-Identification’

1215-1315 Lunch and visit to exhibition and sound installation

1315-1400 Lunchtime concert: Tetra Guitar Quartet, music by Mahler, Stephen Goss
and Kurt Weill (Studio 1, PATS)

Paper session 6. Performance (ii): Re-creation and Reception

1415 Roberto Scoccimarro, ‘The Reconstruction of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony: Yoel
Gamzou’s Performance Edition’

1445 Daniil Petrov, ‘Pique Dame by Peter Tchaikovsky at the Vienna Court
Opera. On the History of the Production Under the Direction of Gustav Mahler’

1515 Inna Barsova, ‘From the Elites to the Masses: the Fate of the Adagietto from
Mahler’s Fifth Symphony’

1545-1600 Afternoon tea/coffee

1600-1730 Composer discussion forum: Tom Armstrong, Stephen Goss, Edward
Gregson, Emily Howard, David Matthews, and Anthony Payne

1745-1945 Barbecue by the lake (dinner in Oak Suite if weather is bad)

2000 Evening concert: Uri Caine (Studio 1, PATS)

Saturday 9 July

Paper session 7. The Eighth Symphony

0900 Stephen E. Hefling, ‘Justine Mahler’s Faust Notebook’

0930 Peter Revers, ‘Gustav Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and Max Reinhardt’s Concept
of “Massenregie”’

1000 Vera Micznik, ‘Mahler’s Eighth and Das Lied: an Exploration of their
Discursive Similarities’

1030-1045 Coffee

Paper session 8. Culture and Interpretation (iii): Love, Death and Modernity

1045 Morten Solvik, ‘“What Love Tells Me.” Art and Eros in Mahler’s World’

1115 Maria Christofi, ‘Thanatos in Mahler’s music: Lost in Translation’

1145 Zoltan Roman, ‘Decadent Transitions: Mahler, Modernism, and the fin de siècle’

1215-1315 Lunch and visit to exhibition and sound installation

1315-1400 Lunchtime concert: Emilie Capulet, piano works in the Viennese tradition
(Studio 1, PATS)

Paper session 9. Culture and Interpretation (iv): Mahler and the Visual

1415 Bogumila Mika, ‘Mahler and the Art of “Secession style” as Seen in Symphony 4’

1445 Yulia Kreinin, ‘Mahler’s and Klee’s “Forms in Motion”: Dynamic Processes in
Music and Visual Art’

1515 Eftychia Papanikolaou, ‘Ken Russell’s Mahler as Reception History’

1545 James Buhler, ‘Mahler and the Myth of the Total Symphony’

1615-1630 Afternoon tea/coffee

Paper session 10. Histories (ii): Deflecting Time

1630 Timothy Freeze, ‘The Topicality of Nostalgia: Multiplicity of Reference in the
Posthorn Solos of Mahler’s Third’

1700 Thomas Peattie, ‘Songs of the Departed’

1730 Jeremy Barham, ‘Delusional History’

1815-1945 Dinner at Lakeside Restaurant

2000 Evening concert: Endymion Ensemble, works by Mahler, Korngold, Shostakovich
and Schnittke (Studio 1, PATS)

An exhibition of Mahler-inspired paintings by Caroline Tate, ‘A Celebration of Mahler’, will be held on campus in the Lewis Elton Gallery during the conference, and this will be accompanied by a specially commissioned sound installation by Matthew Sansom, ‘spirit redux’, a multichannel generative composition derived from moments of stasis in Mahler’s symphonies.

The conference is generously supported by the British Academy, the Institute of Advanced Studies (University of Surrey), the Royal Musical Association, the Institute of Musical Research (University of London), the Music & Letters Trust, and the Austrian Cultural Forum (London).

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