Tag Archives: Antoinette Vischer

Performers as Commissioners – New Research Project

The last quarter of 2021 held something special for me: the start of my new research project “Performers as Commissioners of New Music in the Twentieth Century: Preconditions, Self-Conceptions, Impacts.” It is funded by an Elise Richter Grant (with a volume of € 379,095.37) from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and runs from October 2021 to September 2025 at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna. As a follow up to my work on Benny Goodman, this study includes further artists, who essentially shaped their instruments’ repertoires and aesthetics by hiring composers to write for them (see below), and takes the questions investigated within the Goodman-pilot onto a broader level.

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Chimes on the Rhine

The bells of the Basel Minster greeted me each morning when I arrived at the doors of the Paul Sacher Foundation. A short ringing inside the building signaled the lunch break for everyone. The Minster’s bell at 1 p.m. told me to come back. Eventually, the little chime at 4:45 p.m. would mark the end of the day in the archive. And from time to time, through the open window in the reading room, I would hear another bell ringing down at the river, meaning that someone was just calling the ferry. This is how my days were structured as I followed the traces of Antoinette Vischer (1909-1973), harpsichordist and patron of music at the crossroads of old and new.

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