BACH AT THE DAWN OF 2020 – Reception and Imaginaries in the Digital Era

Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria von Weber” – Dresden, 20 – 22 September 2019

Scientific committee: Prof. Dr. Michael Heinemann (Hochschulefür Musik, Dresden); Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen (University of Zurich); Dr. Michael Maul (Bach-Archiv, Leipzig, Bach Network); Maria Borghesi (Hochschule für Musik, Dresden)

Keynote speaker: Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ton Koopman (University of Leiden)

 CfP deadline: 31 May 2019


The attention dedicated to J. S. Bach seems to be continually growing all over the world. For decades, the web of Bach-scholars oversteps borders and oceans, offering more and more occasions to meet and discuss about issues related to the German Kantor. Topics related to the reception history of Bach have finally achieved an appropriate relevance in Bach editions published in Europe, the United States and the East. For example, in Bach und die Nachwelt, Michael Heinemann and Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen collected a series of snapshots describing the history of the composer’s reception from 1750 to 2000. However, apart from major initiatives organised for anniversaries (especially 1950, 1985, and 2000), an updated discussion on the current reception of Bach is still lacking.

The international conference Bach at the Dawn of 2020: Reception and Imaginaries in the Digital Eraaims at giving a multifaceted portrait of the interest for the composer and his music, by carefully considering the impact of digital media on the reception processes. For this purpose, the conference will integrate individual scientific papers, monothematic panel sessions, round-tables and public speaking, with a maximum of 15 presenters. 

Proposals from all disciplines are welcome, especially for subjects related to humanities (from the fields of musicology, literature, history, sociology, arts, and digital humanities), as well as reflections deriving from topical experiences related to Bach. The conference is intended for scholars at all stages of their careers. The purpose is to further develop a web of Bach’s scholars, performers, and promoters, and to build an updated image of Bach through diverse methodological and disciplinary perspectives. The conference language is English, to assure international communication among all participants coming from Germany and abroad.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Bach on the Web: new readings and tools
  • From materiality to immateriality: Bach texts and sounds
  • Bach and contemporary audiences
  • Multi-media Bach performances: a necessity?
  • Promoting Bach: local and global visions
  • Bach on the screen: cinema, tv, computer, tablet or smartphone
  • A massive inheritance: the role of the Bach reception history in the contemporary perception

A selection of papers and round-table conference reports will be published in a collective book entitled Bach 2020: Reception and Imaginaries in the Digital Eraand edited in English and in German by Michael Heinemann and Maria Borghesi.

Proposals should be submitted in one document to by 31 May 2019Please enclose with the abstract (max. 250 words) an indication of the preferred format (single paper, panel, participation in a round table), a list of key-words (max. 5), a short CV (max. 150 words) and personal details.Audio-visual equipment will be provided; musical instruments (piano and harpsichord) can be requested.


Time Planning

  • 31st May: call for papers deadline
  • 15stJune: acceptance notification
  • 30thJune: acceptance deadline
  • 15thJuly: program announcement

Contact: Prof. Michael Heinemann, – Maria Borghesi,