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LIVE-Talk Musik & Konkurrenz | Music & Competition

Mondays 7-9pm, starting on the 25th October 2021

Prof. Dr. Susanne Heiter, Dorothea Hilzinger, Christoph Müller-Oberhäuser

source: Archiv Historische Bildpostkarten der Universität Osnabrück


Competition is a widespread phenomenon in the world of music. Nowadays, musicians regularly compete for prizes at contests, have to assert themselves against others in the fight for college places or jobs (e. g. in one of the more prestigious orchestras), and are forced to strive for attention and recognition in the public sphere (e. g. via new media). However, music-related competitions are not only part of our European present: they exist all over the world and their history can be traced back at least to antiquity. Following an increased interest of other disciplines in the topic of 'competition' and a cultural turn, musicology has also become increasingly aware of music-related competitions and competitive formats in recent years.

In the LIVE-Talk we would like to bring together the results of this current research. The spectrum ranges from historical to systematic musicology, from cultural anthropology to historical studies and sociology. Therefore, the subjects and questions dealt with are manifold: General reflections on the significance of competition in the musical field and contemporary society are juxtaposed with case studies on Jugend musiziert or the Eurovision Song Contest. In this context, not only the competitive relationship between musicians, publishers or instrument makers is considered, but also between larger collectives up to nations or states.With this thematic breadth, the diversity of music-related competitions is to be made clear. Three overarching questions will be addressed:

First, what characterizes competition in the artistic field and distinguishes it from competitions in other fields, such as sports or business? Secondly, what are the open or hidden criteria that are used to decide on artistic competitions in particular, where it is usually not possible to simply measure and compare the results? And third, how did it come about that institutionalised competitions (contests) occupy such a considerable space in musical life today, despite ongoing criticism and persistent doubts that this format can be used to determine the stars of tomorrow and the most creative minds?


More information and abstracts of the talks can be found here



Christoph Müller-Oberhäuser (UdK Berlin)

Konkurrenz in der Musik - Interdisziplinäre Forschungsperspektiven


Tobias Werron (Universität Bielefeld)

Musikwettbewerbe -  Eine soziologische Problemskizze


Christian Lehmann (LMU München)

Concertare - Musikalischer Wettstreit in anthropologischer Perspektive


Susanne Heiter (UdK Berlin)

Vom Prix de Rome zum Kranichsteiner Musikpreis: Chancegleichheit durch Kompositionswettbewerbe?


Suzanne Aspden (Oxford University)

Competition or Collaboration? Artistic Networks and Operatic Practice in Eighteeenth-Century Britain  


Christiane Tewinkel (Musikhochschule Lübeck)

Franz Liszt als "Stern", Theodor Leschetizky als "Magnet". Konstruktionen einer Konkurrenz.  


Signe Rotter-Broman (UdK Berlin)

Musik und Konkurrenz auf Weltausstellungen des 19. Jahrhunderts


Dorothea Hilzinger (UdK Berlin)

Geschichte(n) von Juryurteilen und Symphonien – Der Kompositionswettbewerb am Londoner Royal College of Music




Film-Screening Why Competitions? und Diskussion mit der Regisseurin Christine Jezior 


Ivan Raykoff (The New School, New York)

Competing Tastes and Values: Musical Preferences in the Eurovision Song Contest 


Robert Prey (University of Groningen)

Music, Metrics, and the Quantified Artist  


Lisa McCormick (University of Edinburgh)

Scandalous Choices:  Moral Disturbances in Classical Music Competitions 


Claudia Bullerjahn (JLU Gießen)

Extrinsische und intrinsische Motivation zur Teilnahme an und zum Üben für „Jugend musiziert“


Hartmut Rosa (Max-Weber-Kolleg, Universität Erfurt)

Resonanz oder Konkurrenz? Über die prinzipielle (Un)Vereinbarkeit von Musik und Wettbewerb




Abschlussdiskussion  mit Christina Fassbender, Susanne Fontaine und Dörte Schmidt, Moderation: Matthias Pasdzierny