ROMANTICISM AND NATIONALISM IN MUSIC
International conference held in Corfu, 17–20. October 2003.
The conference entitled Romanticism and Nationalism in Music was hosted by the Music Department of the Ionian University and held in the very musical city of Greece, Corfu, from 17 to 20 October.
The conference’s committee had the following members: Assistant Professor Anastasia Siopsi (Conference Director), Professor and Head of the Music Department of Ionian University Charis Xanthoudakis, Assistant Professor Irmgard Lerch-Kalavrytinou, Associate Teacher Konstantinos Kakavelakis, Associate Teacher Panagiotis Vlaghopoulos, Associate Teacher Konstantinos Kardamis (Secretarial Support) and Georgia Zervou, in charge of Public Relations of Music Department of Ionian University (Conference Organizer).
The response from scholars in many countries around the world was great; also, the interest aroused by many other scholars in attending the conference and the concerts of music ensembles of the Ionian University was impressive. Such a response proved, if nothing else, the current interest in this topic by the international musicological community.
The papers assembled in this conference, with their mixture of social, political and aesthetic readings, were seeking to decode the complex and fluid relationships between Romanticism and Nationalism in music. Thus, using current research procedures, new approaches to many old questions had been adopted.
Many papers introduced an interdisciplinary approach that covered a wide range of subjects. Re-readings of such subjects expanded the boundaries beyond Europe and, also, beyond the historical limits of the nineteenth century.
The themes of the conference were various: papers were presented on nationalism and folklore, issues of “the Sacred and the Secular”, 19th-century Spain, Portugal, Britain, America, topics on national elements in German Romanticism, Romanticism and Nationalism in France, case studies on 19th-century Nationalism, aspects of Romanticism and nationalism in East Europe, Romanticism and Nationalism beyond 19th century, while there was a whole section devoted to 19th-century Greece.
There were important key-note speakers who offered fresh and thorough perspectives on aspects of the conference’s topic and initiated very stimulating and intellectually rewarding discussions: Prof. Konstantinos Floros (Munich, Germany) gave his speech on “Nationalism and Folklore in music: Views by Béla Bartók and Arnold Schoenberg”, Prof. Charis Xanthoudakis (Ionian University, Corfu, Greece) on “Herder and national ideologies in the 19th-century Greece”, Prof. Martin Zenck (University of Bamberg, Germany) on “Internationalism and national romanticism in the 19th and the 20th century”, Prof. Leon Plantinga (Yale University, U.S.A.) on “Early German romanticism and the problem of Beethoven”, Prof. Jim Samson (Royal Holloway, U.K.) on “Virtual opera in Weimar. Liszt and the poetics of programme music”, Prof. David Charlton (Royal Holloway, U.K.) on “The location of romanticism in French music” and Prof. Katherine Preston (Marywille & William College, U.S.A.) on “Romantic period in the United States: The development of an American musical identity”.
The conference, in total, turned to be an important academic event bringing new and, sometimes, innovative perspectives to such a complex musicological topic.
Conference delegates attended a number of performances, with a selection of music works related to the theme of the conference, by music ensembles of Ionian University. On Friday, 17 October, Assistant Professor Lambis Vasiliadis gave a piano recital with the works of P.I.Tschaikowsky (Grand Sonata, op.37), J. Brahms (Variationen über ein Thema von Paganini, op. 35) and F. Liszt (Ungarische Rhapsodie No XII). On Saturday, 18 October, The “Corfu University Chamber Orchestra”, with Charles Zachary Bornstein as a guest conductor, performed works of Gustav Mahler (Des Knaben Wunderhorn), Arnold Schoenberg (Vier Lieder, op. 2 – premiere), Hugo Wolf-Grisey (Vier Lieder, orchestrated in 1996 – Greek premiere), Alban Berg-Bornstein (Vier Lieder, op. 2 – premiere) and Alban Berg-Bornstein (Schliesse mir die Augen Beide – premiere). Finally, on Sunday 19 October, the “Piano Quartet” with Lambis Vasiliadis (piano), Associate Teacher Spiros Gikondis (violin), Lecturer Andreas Georgotas (viola) and Associate Teacher Yannis Toulis (cello), gave a concert with works of G. Mahler (Piano Quartet, incomplete), R. Schumann (Piano Quartet, Op.47) and F. Mendelssohn (Piano Quartet, Op. 3). All performances were warmly received, strengthening even more the success of the whole event.