Music Since 1900 Conference in Birmingham

From June 17 until June 20, 2022, I had the pleasure of attending the Twelfth International Conference on Music Since 1900 at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce my project “Performers as Commissioners of New Music” with a poster.

The conference papers represented research on musical genres, cultures, and practices in the 20th and 21st centuries in great diversity. Numerous concerts and performances were also integrated into the program and enabled a direct connection between theory and practice.

I was particularly intrigued, for instance, by a presentation by hornist Isaac Shieh, who presented his PhD project at the Royal College of Music: based on Jacques-François Gallay’s Douze Caprices op. 32, no. 1 (1835), he would commission 12 new compositions for his instrument, the hand horn. In doing so, he wants to generate a new repertoire that frees this type of horn from historical connotations and explores all its possibilities as an instrument of the 21st century. This, of course, relates directly to my historical research on the earlier twentieth century, such as to Antoinette Vischer, who also commissioned works to emancipate her instrument, in this case the harpsichord, from its ties to the past and establish it as a contemporary instrument.

The diverse presentations and the exchange with colleagues helped me to better understand my own work in different contexts, to perceive connections between past and present, and to advance my research with fresh ideas.

The conference summer season continues in August with two papers at the 21st Quinquennial IMS Congress in Athens, Greece – stay tuned!

Cite this article as: Elisabeth Reisinger, "Music Since 1900 Conference in Birmingham," in Performers as Patrons of New Music, 01/07/2022,

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