Elisabeth Reisinger – Principal Investigator (“Performers as Commissioners of New Music”)
I am currently affiliated with the Department of Musicology and Performance Studies (imi) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw), where I conduct a research project on performers as commissioners of new music in the twentieth century.
My research articulates a relational conception of music as a vibrant and dynamic sociocultural practice. I am further driven by an inherent interest in the relationships, networks, and agencies of musical actors, as well as the dynamics in the field of patronage. While in my diploma thesis I dealt with the institutional structures and economies in which musicians were embedded in the early nineteenth century, my dissertation was positioned in the field of patronage research and focused on Maximilian Franz of Habsburg-Lorraine, Elector of Cologne, as a musical actor and patron in the second half of the eighteenth century. In the course of this work, I specialized in dealing with primary sources, especially from the perspective of biographical research. In an additional research project on Franz Liszt, I further focused on one performer and broadened my research scope in the fields of performance and reception history. Thus, my research on musical actors and their sociocultural agencies spans a time period from the early eighteenth to the late nineteenth century, not only utilizing musicological methods but also applying methods from cultural and social history as well as sociology.
With the research presented on this website, I apply this general approach to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, highlighting the economic and creative involvement of performers in processes of musical creation and repertoire formation.
Johanna Stacher – Student Assistant (“Performers as Commissioners of New Music”)
I joined the research project “Performers as Commissioners of New Music in the Twentieth Century” at the Department of Musicology and Performance Studies at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw) in October 2022. I study at mdw’s Department of Voice and Voice Research, aiming to become a singer and voice teacher, as well as at the University of Vienna, where I’m doing a Master’s degree in musicology. In the course of supplementary studies in sociology, I developed an interest in interdisciplinary research. In this regard, I explored the sociocultural relevance of performers through the example of singer Lotte Lenya. By examining the public discourse on her recordings of songs from Die Dreigroschenoper and Aufbau und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny in the German and French speaking press, I proved that Lenya, as a performer of Kurt Weill’s music, had played a significant role in his (inter-)national success. What fascinates me most about this research project is that performers are brought into focus as being crucial to musical production. In the context of my music education project “Kammer van Beethoven” (2020-2022), I also engaged with the interactions of composers, commissioners, and performers. In these concerts, I took on the roles of moderator as well as singer, as connecting musicological perspectives with artistic practice is particularly important to me.