Brahms and the Fabric of Modernist Culture
Start date: Sep 21, 2011,
End date: Sep 20, 2014
"This large-scale project, to be carried out in the University of California, Irvine (outgoing phase) and University College Dublin (return phase) proposes to allow the expert researcher reach a level of professional maturity in the areas of research and teaching in the field of musicology, with a speciality in German music criticism and aesthetics of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the expert researcher aims to research and write a monograph in her field, to establish international collaborative relationships, to establish an international centre of excellence for music aesthetics–the first of its kind globally, and to secure a prominent lecturing post on her return to Europe.The research proposal, “Brahms and the Fabric of Modernist Culture” explores Modernism in relation to Brahms, and Brahms’s critics in relation to Modernism. It is an interdisciplinary project that focuses on the intersection between musicology, aesthetics, German studies, and philosophy. These Modernist critics, some of whom were born in the cultural atmosphere of the nineteenth century, and some of whose academic careers and writings were shaped by their twentieth-century critical, philosophical and academic milieu, include Hanslick, Nietzsche, Bloch, Schoenberg, and Adorno.This research will establish a model for uncovering how we shape perceptions of composers. It will explore the shaping of the subject that takes place while the composer is alive and for a period of approximately fifty years after their death. It will examine how the aesthetic persona is created, how linear chains of causal relationships are constructed in music criticism and music history, and assess the criteria by which a certain view of a composer obtains a dominant position. In its inter-disciplinary approach, this research, therefore, should provide a valuable model that can be applied to other composers."
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