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News from the Members

WS Nuremberg - symposium "Richard Wagner and Ludwg van Beethoven on the 250th anniversary"
The great late Romantic Richard Wagner bows to Ludwig van Beethoven
Saturday, 10 October 2020, 11.00 am - 6.30 pm (with lunch break / buffet and coffee breaks)
Spiegelsaal,, Loew's Merkur Hotel, Pillenreuther Str. 1, 90459 Nuremberg

On 16.12.2020 Ludwig van Beethoven's birthday will be celebrated for the 250th time. No composer has influenced Wagner as much as Beethoven. The traces of Ludwig van Beethoven's work in Richard Wagner's oeuvre are not limited to music, however. As a young composer, Wagner imitated the Beethoven Symphony Orchestra, but in his most important essay "A Pilgrimage to Beethoven" he also linked Beethoven's work with his own ideas of a New Music Theatre. Beethoven's influence on the complete works of Wagner can hardly be overestimated when viewed in this light.

 As early as 1870, Richard Wagner asked on the occasion of Beethoven's 100th birthday:
"How do we now want to celebrate our Beethoven? With performances of his works? But, year after year, these are played in our concert halls; the sons and daughters of our ... bourgeoisie listen to them with great pleasure, and all the music newspapers report about how excellent all this is ... So how do we want to celebrate Beethoven" (from Richard Wagner: Beethoven, 1870).

In the spirit of Wagner - "Children, do something new! - we, the Richard Wagner Society of Nuremberg, understand this question as an invitation to celebrate the 250th birthday of the titan Ludwig van Beethoven with more than just performances of his works. We want to show the significance of Beethoven's universal work, which has influenced the entire musical world for over 200 years, in a worthy setting and to bring it to the attention of an interested audience in a symposium.

The music dramatist and writer's intensive and lifelong preoccupation with the great model has left many traces in music (beginning with the youth overtures), the Parisian novellas and the theoretical writings of Richard Wagner. Richard Wagner was a great admirer of Beethoven and his works. In his mid-twenties he wrote a novella entitled "Pilgrimage to Beethoven". In it, he described the fictional story of how, inflamed with Beethoven's enthusiasm, he made a pilgrimage to Vienna to meet the genius.

Wagner's opening quotation is at the end of a document from 1870, in which Wagner deals in detail with the oeuvre of Ludwig van Beethoven and its significance for German and European musical life.

The symposium includes lectures that deal with both Beethoven's oeuvre and Richard Wagner's special relationship with Beethoven. The musical supporting programme will be organised by scholarship holders of our Wagner Society. Works from the rich oeuvre of both composers are planned.

 We have been able to attract renowned musicologists, cultural scientists and professionals as speakers:

Prof. Dr. Dr. Dieter Borchmeyer (Munich), literary scholar, professor emeritus of the University of Heidelberg. Prof. Borchmeyer was President of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts from 2004 to 2013. Among other things, he is the editor of the magazine "Wagnerspektrum" and the book series "Wagner in der Diskussion". Borchmeyer's field of work is primarily German literature from the 18th to 20th century and music theatre with monographs on Goethe, Schiller, Mozart, Richard Wagner, Nietzsche and Thomas Mann.

Dr. Sabine Sonntag (Hannover), opera director, dramaturg and author. She teaches musicology, dramaturgy and opera history at the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover (HMTMH). In the winter semester 2013/14, she also worked for the first time as a Visiting Professor at the Berlin School of Psychoanalysis (International Psychoanalytic University Berlin, IPU). In her lecture, Dr. Sonntag will compare the vocal work and the approach of the two composers in dealing with the human voice and will work out commonalities.

Prof. em. Dr. Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen (Zurich) studied German language and literature and history at the Free University of Berlin (state examination 1980), teaching at the grammar school. Studied musicology at the FU Berlin (Dr. phil. 1992). 1989-1994 research assistant at the FU Berlin; 1998 habilitation. From 1999 to 2018 Full Professor of Musicology at the University of Zurich, emeritus status in 2018. Co-editor of the Archive for Musicology and of Schubert : Perspectives; 2001 to 2012 President of the International Bach Society Schaffhausen (IBG), 2001 to 2007 President of the General Music Society Zurich (AMG), since 2004 President of the RISM Switzerland Office.

Dr. Frank Piontek (Bayreuth), Dr. Frank Piontek, born 1964 in Berlin. Since 1988 in Bayreuth. Many essays and articles on music theatre, art and literature. Extensive blogs about Musil's Mann ohne Eigenschaften and Jean Paul's Die unsichsichtbare Loge (for the Bavarian State Library). Lectures and readings in Bayreuth, Leipzig, Salzburg, Paris, Berlin, Kassel, Bamberg, Verona, Venice, etc. Stage direction and dramaturgy internships: Semper Opera, Vienna State Opera, E.T.A.-Hoffmann-Theater Bamberg. Co-conception of the "Jean-Paul-Weg" in Upper Franconia and the Jean-Paul-Museum Bayreuth. Book: Plea for a magician. Richard Wagner 2006. regular contributor to deropernfreund.de.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Peter Gülke (Weimar), professor at the University of Basel, conductor and music writer. After working at the opera houses in Stendal, Potsdam, Stralsund, Dresden and Weimar, his last position was General Music Director in Wuppertal from 1985-1996. Numerous publications on the music of the German classical and romantic periods. In 1995 he was awarded the Sigmund Freud Prize of the Darmstadt Academy. For his life's work Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Peter Gülke was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, the "Nobel Prize of Music" in 2014.

(the above reflects the planning status March 2020 and is subject to change)

Registrations can now be made at
 0172 / 4 25 43 85 (Agnes Sires, Chairperson)

We can reserve hotel rooms for you at the conference hotel. The participation fee for our symposium is 20,00 Euro. You are also welcome to join our lunch buffet and coffee break. The cost for the lunch buffet (also vegetarian) is 20,00 Euro (incl. non-alcoholic drinks), for the coffee break (coffee, tea and cake) 6,00 Euro will be charged.

Further information can be obtained at the e-mail address given or by telephone.

We are looking forward to your participation and welcome you already now.

With warm musical greetings

 Agnes Simona Sires
 Richard Wagner Association Nuremberg e. V.