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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 18, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 18
Inaugural 'Peabody Explores...' the Second Viennese School

Second Viennese School composers Schoenberg, Klemperer, Scherchen, Webern and Erwin Stein in 1924.

School's new annual initiative will focus on programming, academics

By Kirstin Lavin
Peabody Institute

The Peabody Institute this month will launch a new initiative focusing artistic programming and academic curriculum on one specific aspect of the musical experience. In this inaugural year, Peabody Explores... will examine the music of the Second Viennese School. Programming includes concerts, musicology colloquia, pre-concert lectures with distinguished scholars and special exhibitions, as well as academic course work for students.

"Peabody Explores... is an attempt to examine specific musical works and ideas from the many different viewpoints represented in the Peabody community, from theory to musicology to performance, and to foster a collaborative spirit throughout the school," said Michael Kannen, the Sidney Friedberg Chair in Chamber Music. "It is an endeavor created, first and foremost, for the students of Peabody, in the hope that it will illuminate and inspire, and also that it will help to show how all of their various avenues of study lead to the same place — to the education of the whole musician."

In musical terms, the Second Viennese School refers to Arnold Schoenberg and those who studied under him in early-20th-century Vienna, principally Alban Berg and Anton Webern. Their deeply expressive and passionate music took the Romantic language of the 19th century and, with the advent of atonalism and great formal innovation, thrust art music into the 20th century. The Second Viennese School opened the doors to experimentation with sound and electronic media that is still going on today. While the music of the Second Viennese School may seem modern to some concertgoers, these vital works have in fact passed into the mainstream of music history.

Among the works being presented are Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra, op. 67, Jan. 29; Webern's Sechs Stucke, op. 6, Feb. 11; Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No. 2, op. 38, Feb. 22; Berg's Chamber Concerto for Violin, Piano and 13 Wind Instruments (complete), preceded by a lecture by Raymond Coffer on "Soap Opera and Genius in the Second Viennese School," Feb. 26; Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire, preceded by a lecture by Richard Hoffman, pupil and secretary-amanuensis of Schoenberg from 1947 to 1951, March 29. On March 30, there will be a Musicology Colloquium with Joseph Auner, professor of music history and theory at SUNY Stonybrook, titled Schoenberg's Row Tables: Temporality and the Idea.

Memorabilia collected by Phyllis Bryn-Julson, chair of the Voice Department, over her four-decades-long career of performing cutting-edge vocal music by 20th-century composers, including Second Viennese works, will be on view in the Arthur Friedheim Music Library from mid-March through April.

For more information and for tickets to any of the performances, go to or call the Peabody Box Office at 410-659-8100, ext. 2.


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