The Culture-Making Role of Musical Patronage. Contexts – Meanings – Perspectives

Wrocław Musicological Conference

22-24 May 2019, Poland

Institute of Musicology, University of Wrocław

Call for papers

The Institute of Musicology at the University of Wrocław invites you to participate in the Wrocław Musicological Conference, the topic of which will be musical patronage in its broad sense: The Culture-Making Role of Musical Patronage. Contexts – Meanings – Perspectives. The conference will be held on May 22–24, 2019 in Wrocław. We invite both young and experienced researchers (not only musicologists) from various academic centres in Poland and abroad. We would also like to emphasize that the organizers do not request any registration fee from participants.

The proposed subject area has its own research tradition, which is reflected in the extensive musical historiography. Nevertheless, the need for the research continuation, reflection, discussion and setting new perspectives in historical research as well as in contemporary forms of functioning and organizing musical life is still emphasized. Art has always been supported by founders and sponsors, which was not without influence on stylistic aspects of composing and performing and as a result it contributed to changes in musical culture. During this conference, we also would like to take into account various approaches presented in the discussions about the so-called „new musicology” and its results.

The aim of the conference is to draw attention to the reasons and ways of supporting the artists in different historical periods, to the context of social relations between artists and their patrons together with mutual expectations resulting from the established cooperation and to discuss contemporary problems of musical life, e.g. the functioning of artists, cultural institutions and musical education, using music resources or participation of new media in supporting artists. The outlined subject area implies the following questions and research problems:

  • how has the status of a musician been changing along with the transformation of the form of patronage in the historical perspective?
  • how has music become a political tool used by the rulers – art patrons?
  • how was traditional music supported in the history and how is it nowadays?
  • issues connected with the activity of publishing houses, ordering musical compositions, printing rights, radio or TV broadcasting.
  • issues of the methodology of musicological research referring to the terminology functioning in music historiography terminology, such as: ‘musical patronage’, ‘musical auspices’, ‘founder’, ‘sponsor’, ‘political patronage’, ‘cultural patronage’, ‘patron–client’, ‘prestigious consumption’, etc.
  • what form of support for artists do we need nowadays?
  • what is the role of cultural institutions, media, music festivals and schools in the development of contemporary patronage?

These and many other questions arise in the context of the proposed subject matter of the conference. The organizers do not exclude the possibility of accepting submissions on topics that have not been mentioned here explicitly. The basic issue of presented papers shall be the music culture of the areas located within the past (historical, changing throughout different ages) and present boundaries of Poland or those remaining in direct political relations with Poland (such as real or personal union). Since the subject area is wide and many aspects of musical patronage refer to various historical periods, we propose to present them in three problem panels.

  1. Music foundations and patrons of music (patronage from the institutional perspective: music courts, churches, monasteries, convents, synagogues, Orthodox churches, schools and other places where the art of making music was supported as well as animators of musical life).
  2. Musical education and the role of new media (the use of collections from the tradition of oral culture, the role of music festivals and concerts, reception of collected music material, ways and perspectives for the further use of the resources).
  3. Contemporary forms of musical patronage (people managing cultural, science and educational institutions).

Our special guest will be Professor Reinhard Strohm (Oxford University), who will give an inaugural lecture during the conference: Frederick II of Prussia and Italian opera

There will be also an opportunity to take part in accompanying events such as music concerts and sightseeing in Wrocław, taking into account the musical context.

The deadline for submitting papers proposals is February 15, 2019. The official conference languages will be Polish, English and German. The time limit for a presentation is 20 minutes. Please submit your paper proposal (including a topic, an abstract – up to 300 words, affiliation and a short biography of the author – English version is obligatory) at the following e-mail address: wkm@uwr.edu.pl. There will be a possibility to publish the articles in a post-conference book as it was from the other events.

Please visit the conference website www.wkm.uni.wroc.pl, where all detailed information on the event will be posted.


Scientific Board of the Conference:

  • Prof. Dr. Maciej Gołąb
  • Prof. Dr. Bożena Muszkalska
  • Prof. Dr. Remigiusz Pośpiech
  • Prof. Dr. Zbigniew J. Przerembski
  • Dr. Agnieszka Drożdżewska
  • Dr. Grzegorz Joachimiak
  • Dr. Ziemowit Socha
  • Dr. Sławomir Wieczorek

Organizing Committee:

  • Prof. Dr. Remigiusz Pośpiech
  • Dr. Grzegorz Joachimiak
  • Agnieszka Grudzień, MA – doctoral candidate in the Institute of Musicology at the University of Wrocław
  • Aleksandra Wróblewska, MA – doctoral candidate in the Institute of Musicology at the University of Wrocław