Projects

Academy Second Modernism - global visibility of womxn composers

With respect to the 150th anniversary of Arnold Schönberg, the Wiener Festwochen are leading an effort with new impetus for the visibility of womxn composers worldwide: the foundation of the Academy Second Modernism. Klangforum Wien accompanies this process as part of the jury and will present the selected works in two concerts.
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With the aim of globalizing modernism and rendering it more feminist, the Academy Second Modernism was founded as part of the Wiener Festwochen 2024. For even after over a century of Modernism, the proportion of works by womxn composers performed by orchestras worldwide today is still only 7.7%. In revolutionary spirit, the Wiener Festwochen is transferring the historical notion of 'modernism' into the present and has established the Academy Second Modernism as a platform for womxn composers, promoting and demanding their visibility. It aims to promote self-commitment on the part of theatres, opera houses, festivals, concert houses and ensembles to significantly increase the proportion of works by womxn composers in their programmes.

Over a period of five years starting in 2024, ten womxn composers will be invited to the Wiener Festwochen every year to develop strategies for visibility together with local and international initiators and to present their own compositions. It is no coincidence that the first edition falls in the same year as the 150th anniversary of Arnold Schönberg. Although the great innovator had numerous female master students in his composition classes, they were hardly acknowledged in the musical life at the time. The 50 selected womxn composers of the Academy Second Modernism therefore also represent those 50 forgotten and unheard-of female composition students of Schönberg, who (in contrast to famous colleagues such as John Cage, Alban Berg or Anton Webern) have mostly fallen into oblivion.

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Klangforum Wien is part of the jury for selecting the composers* and will perform their works for the first time on 8 & 9 June 2024 under the motto "No Excuses Anymore". Numerous new names will find their way onto the ensemble's music stands.

In addition, a public discourse event will shed light on the question: ”How might we imagine a musical theatre and concert practice that takes in the present – global, versatile and for everyone?”

We will bring together women composers and cultural institutions as ambassadors of Second Modernism across the world. Together, we want to alter structures of inequality in the world of music. We want to establish the same access, the same rights and resources for women, but also focus on decolonial perspectives on contemporary music.
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Jana Beckmann, project initiator and dramaturge

Womxn composers 2024: Du Yun (composer, performer, activist from Shanghai/China), Bushra El-Turk (British-Lebanese composer for concert, theater, film and live art performances), Shasha Chen (composer, multimedia artist and performer from China), Dilay Doğanay (composer from Izmir/Turkey), Mirela Ivičević (composer from Split/Croatia and co-founder of the Black Page Orchestra), Marina Lukashevich (composer and sound engineer from Belarus), Monthati Masebe (composer, researcher and pioneer of non-binary representation from South Africa), Brigitta Muntendorf (German-Austrian composer at the interface of analogue-digital forms of expression), Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis (Philippine composer), Aida Shirazi (Iranian composer and performer of (electro-) acoustic music)

→ Portraits of the composers on festwochen.at

Du Yun, (c) Zhen Qin
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Bushra El-Turk, (c) Ben McDonnell
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Shasha Chen, (c) Mark Ballyk
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Dilay Doğanay, (c) Pin Chen Lu
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Mirela Ivičević, (c) Rui Camilo/EvS Foundation
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Marina Lukashevich, (c) Yury Lytko
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Monthati Masebe, (c) Rudzani Makwarela
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Brigitta Muntendorf, (c) Frederike Wetzels
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Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis, (c) Marie Luise Calvero
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Aida Shirazi, (c) Aida Shirazi
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The jury: Barbora Horáková Joly (music theatre director), Sofia Jernberg (singer and composer), Sophie Schafleitner (violinist and dramaturge of Klangforum Wien), meLê yamomo (researcher, composer and theater maker), Jana Beckmann (curator and dramaturge of the Wiener Festwochen).

The Academy Second Modernism is a project of the Wiener Festwochen in cooperation with the Arnold Schönberg Center, ORF Radiokulturhaus and Ö1, under the patronage of Nuria Schoenberg-Nono.

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