Musicians & Monuments: Tracing Composers’ Memorial Iconography Through the Ages

International Symposium
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Department for Musicology

IMS Study Group on Musical Iconography
Vienna, 15-17 April 2010


So far, musical iconographers have shown little interest in the study of composers’ monuments, except of those related to the worship of 19th-century heroes. Far more than derivatives of portrait iconography, composers’ monuments are related to fundamental issues of cultural studies such as memory and identity. Notwithstanding a special focus on 19th-century public monuments, the conference will not be restricted either to the genre in itself or to this epoch. Memorial iconography through the ages may be found in panegiric Greek vase paintings, medieval altar-panels, Renaissance coins as well as sepulchral monuments, portraits or even their accumulation in fictitious or real musicians’ galleries. Besides the particular study of iconographical and artistic aspects, forerunners and descendents, social, cultural, as well as political context, we particularly propose the following research topics:

• strategies of institutional, civic and national identity as mirrored in musicians’ monu­ments on the one side, the process of establishing a cultural canon on the other side;

• repercussions of composers’ memorial iconography in the decoration of 19th- and 20th-century concert halls, opera houses, conservatories, libraries, and museums;

• the interaction between monuments of ‘great’ composers, erected foremost in centers of cultural or political importance, and those of local heroes and exponents of popular music;

• aspects of gender, such as the relationship between (male) composers’ monuments to women, but also to singers and instrumentalists

We invite scholars from various disciplines (musicology, art history, history, cultural and theatrical studies) to contribute to this international conference. Please send abstracts (max. 300 words) for 20 minutes papers no later than 20 January 2009 to:

Mag. Dr. Björn R. Tammen

Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften

Kommission für Musikforschung

Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2

A-1010 Wien

T: +43-1-51581-3712

F: +43-1-51581-3700


Once proposals have been received, a selection will be done by the Steering Committee of the IMS Study Group on Musical Iconography. In early March 2009, speakers will be notified. At the same time, further organizational matters and practical details will be available on our website: