Dimensions of Current Compositional Practice: The Composers’ Perspective in Dialog with Musicologists

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
plus Jul, 1618 2024

One of the distinctive features of twentieth-century musical culture is the intense publishing activity of its composers. A significant part of this is the theoretical reflection that can be manifested in didactics, conferences, radio and television broadcasts, articles for newspapers and magazines as well as treatises. Such reflection reveals the horizon of starting questions from which composers conceived and created their works; it also refers to the general context of music theory and to the even more general context of the history of thought.

This event takes its cue from the Leçons de musique that Pierre Boulez held at the Collège de France over the years 1976-1995; in the various cycles of lectures, the composer addressed the fundamental nodes of twentieth- century compositional technique from a historical and retrospective perspective, presenting not only his own view of the historical process but also providing a series of valuable stimuli for musicological exegesis.
From this model, the historical approach may be derived first and foremost, as well as the investigation of compositional questions right from
their origins and the various answers they received over the decades. In contrast to the ex cathedra approach of Boulez’s lectures, the conference intends to adopt a dialogical approach at various levels. The concepts of form, instrument, sound and timbre will be discussed alternately by two composers who have been at the centre of international interest for decades thanks to their works, their teaching and publishing activities: Agostino Di Scipio and Marco Stroppa. In turn, they will establish a dialogue with Mark Delaere and Ulrich Mosch, internationally renowned musicologists with a wealth of music theory, as well as with a group of young composers and musicologists.
The event will conclude with a concert by the mdi ensemble performing works by the two composers.