Emigration, Integration and Creative Productivity: Alfred Schnittke in Hamburg, 1990-1998

International Conference, 27-29 November, Hamburg, Germany

In association with the Alfred Schnittke Akademie International, Hamburg

Call for Papers

The late music of Alfred Schnittke provides one of the clearest recent examples of the significance that emigration and cultural reorientation can have on the creative process. Schnittke identified closely with both Eastern and Western cultures, but felt a greater sense of freedom in the West than in the Soviet Union: “Psychologically, as soon as I enter the West, I feel like I’m in a different world, where I can shed the gigantic burden that I experience every moment over here.” From this perspective, his migration to Hamburg in 1990, where he lived until his death in 1998, can be regarded as a form of artistic deliverance, instigating a period of enormous productivity, despite the severe illness that Schnittke suffered throughout these last years.

An international conference on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Alfred Schnittke’s birth will address these issues. It will take place from 27 to 29 November 2014 in Hamburg, organised by Amrei Flechsig M.A. (University of Music, Theatre and Media Hannover) and Dr. Christian Storch (Georg August University Göttingen). The conference will focus both on Schnittke’s personal environment in Hamburg and on his creative activity while living in the city. We also aim to reassess the concept of a ‘late style’; Schnittke’s Hamburg years are often characterised primarily in terms of his working in spite of severe illness, but we hope that the music written in these years can also be assessed in terms of the sheer scale of his productivity and his increased contact with the musical culture of Western Europe.

We kindly invite abstracts (ca 250 words) for papers of 20-25 minutes duration. Topics may include:

A. Compositional identity and the question of a ‘late style’
– Schnittke’s works of the Hamburg period considered from analytical and stylistic perspectives
– The history, origin and performance of specific compositions (1990-1998)
– The effects of illness on Schnittke’s work

B. Schnittke’s integration in Hamburg:
– Schnittke’s  composition professorship at the University of Music Hamburg, his relationship with students and colleagues
– The exposure of Schnittke’s music in Hamburg’s concert life
– Schnittke’s relationship with his Hamburg publisher, Sikorski

C. The environment in Hamburg:
– the phenomenon of a ‘Russian community’ in Hamburg
– comparisons with colleagues who have emigrated, such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Victor Suslin and others
– the musical life of Hamburg 1990-1998

Conference languages are German and English.

Please send your abstract, including a short biographical note about yourself, as a Word document to christian.storch(at)phil.uni-goettingen.de and amreiflechsig(at)web.de no later than 30 June 2013.

More information at: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/de/434602.html

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