HGNM Conference: New Perspectives on New Music

Harvard Music Department & Goethe Institut Boston

About this event

The Harvard Group for New Music in collaboration with Goethe Institute Boston invites musicologist/journalist Michael Rebhahn, philosopher Harry Lehmann and composers Johannes Kreidler and Hannes Seidl for a mini-conference on new perspectives for new music (see below for more info).

On the 14th of April (8pm, Goethe Institute), the Calithumpian Consort will play compositions by Kreidler and Seidl for piano & percussion with electronics and/or video (in collaboration with HUSEAC and with the generous support of the Deutsches Generalkonsulat Boston).


Saturday, 13 April 2013
at Harvard Music Department, Room 6

  • 11:00 – 12:00: brunch, Taft Lounge
  • 12:00 – 14:00: lecture I + 30 min Q&A: Michael Rebhahn
  • 14:00 – 14:30: break (snack/coffee), Taft Lounge
  • 14:30 – 16:30: lecture II + 30 min Q&A: Hannes Seidl
  • 16:30 – 17:00: snack/coffee, Taft Lounge

Sunday, 14 April 2013
at Goethe-Institut Boston, 170 Beacon Street

  • 13:00 – 13:30: snack/coffee
  • 13:30 – 15:30: lecture III + Q&A: Harry Lehmann
  • 15:30 – 16:00: break (snack/coffee)
  • 16:00 – 18:00: lecture IV + Q&A: Johannes Kreidler
  • 18:00 – 20:00: break
  • 20:00: CONCERT by Calithumpian Consort & HUSEAC @ Goethe-Institut Boston (reception to follow concert)
    ADMISSION: 10$ / 5$ (students/seniors)

Monday, 15th April 2013
at Harvard Music Department: HGNM Colloquium, Davison Room

  • 12:00 – 14:00: curated wrap-up discussion (Rebhahn, Seidl, Lehmann, Kreidler) (light lunch served)

This past summer, German musicologist, philosopher and journalist Michael Rebhahn presented his text “I Hereby Resign from New Music” at the legendary Darmstadt Summer Courses in Germany. This text cites a newly revitalized defection within the so-called ‘New-Music’ community, taking aim at the scene’s self-imposed isolation amid the broader spectrum of arts and culture, and articulating the views of a growing number of young composers who now actively reject this label as a means of carving out new conceptual and creative ground. Alluding to a statement distributed by artist Joseph Beuys on multiple postcards which read ‘I HEREBY RESIGN FROM ART,’ Rebhahn charges that New Music at its core has largely failed to contend with what have long emerged as fundamental artistic debates. Prevailing praise of ‘good craftsmanship’ as an unchecked quality has amongst others, he states, bred a kind of “self-referential sonic fetishism,” a mode of reception that does not acknowledge the artistic act of composing as far more complex within broader cultural existence.

Taking this text as a launching pad, the Harvard Group for New Music organizes in collaboration with the Goethe Institute Boston a mini-conference which will not only present a theoretical and philosophical framework of a new terrain in New Music, but will also present a live program of new musical works stemming from related trajectories.

Thus, Michael Rebhahn will elaborate on some ideas presented in that text in dialog with two young German composers, Johannes Kreidler and Hannes Seidl (both leading new trends among an emerging community that is actively engaged with these questions), and with music/art philosopher Harry Lehmann, another current thinker examining this terrain.

Related Files