International Festival and Academy for New Composition and Audio-Art

13th – 17th December 2014

avantgarde tirol - new music on a high level


Boguslaw Schaeffer

Boguslaw Schaeffer
The importance of the "avantgarde tirol"

The closer we get to the millenium, the more precarious the state of New Music becomes. This alarming state of affairs foretells a bleak future. The number of composers representing New Music is gradually decreasing, and critics behave as if it had died. From time to time substitutes of New Music are misused as conveyors of the new. Publishers do not record New Music because all of a sudden it is no longer worth dealing with. Only pieces of music that are already known are being played and practised, and it is difficult to get really new scores and recordings. And musical education is getting sloppier as well. In short: people do no longer have a love of New Music.

As a teacher I admire the few young artists whose greatest passion is new composition, as was mine during the time immediately following the second world war, when we fanatically dedicated ourselves to New Music.

It touches me again and again to see that there are people who want to learn and experience something new, rather than indulging in the culinary-autonomic pleasures of life. This seems like a dream to me since music is usually dealt with so superficially. One has to get back to the beginning of the 20th century to find a time that was favourable to New Music. This was the time of young composers such as Schönberg, Webern and Berg. Then there were heated discussions for and against New Music, Vienna and Austria being the focus of the musical world.

Today, this is history. However, hopefully not for ever. Fortunately there are still people and places in our country who manage to make us forget, atleast for a time, the sad state of New Music. However, this is not about the lost primacy of our music in this "deaf and dumb" world, but about a few people to whom music is important, about young composers, who want to create New Music that has never existed before.

In this respect, I think we all owe a lot to this wonderful woman *) from Schwaz.

*) comment from the editorial department: the author refers to Marianne Penz-van Stappershoef, the initiator and organiser of the International Academy for New Composition

Boguslaw Schaeffer

is a composer, dramatist, and graphic designer.
He is professor for instrumental composition at the Music Academy in Krakau, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and since 1993 also at the International Academy for New Composition and Audio-Art in Tirol.
Since the year 2000 he is the artistic director of the composer's workshop of the avantgarde Academy.

April 1997
© Boguslaw Schaeffer
Published in the booklet of the first avantgarde-CD production (CD 001)

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