Series: Music Symposium

1967– (part of steirischer herbst 1967–2005)

The Music Symposium is a good example of the broadly diversified orientation of the discursive program of steirischer herbst and of the festival’s long-term collaboration with various institutions in Graz. This series’ focus on musicologists was unique. While steirischer herbst provided an important context for the Music Symposium, the lectures and discussions simultaneously complemented the concerts of musikprotokoll in an ideal way. The symposium accompanied steirischer herbst from 1967 to 2005.

The Music Symposium, a contribution of the Academy of Music and Performing Arts, was based on a concept developed by the philosopher and musicologist Harald Kaufmann. The symposium was intended to bring the work of the Institut für Wertungsforschung (Institute for Evaluation Research) to a broader audience. The institute had been founded by Kaufmann in 1967, and he served as its director. After Kaufmann’s untimely death in 1970, the musicologist Otto Kolleritsch—the brother of Alfred Kolleritsch, who was the president of the Forum Stadtpark for many years—became the director of the institute and was thus also responsible for organizing the series. Under Kolleritsch, the collaboration between the institute and steirischer herbst became stronger, and the Music Symposium sometimes followed the festival theme. In 1988, for example, it focused on the fate of modernism in the sociopolitical context of the twentieth century.

A publication in the series Studien zur Wertungsforschung (Studies on Evaluation Research) was released each year in conjunction with the Music Symposium. With an audience that extended beyond Austria, it helped establish music aesthetics as a branch of scholarly research. In 2002, over thirty years after Kolleritsch became director, Andreas Dorschel took over the direction of the institute and of the symposium. Although the Music Symposium no longer took place within the framework of steirischer herbst after 2005, it continued to be an event of the Institut für Wertungsforschung—today the Institut für Musikästhetik (Institute for Music Aesthetics).

Further Reading

“Harald Kaufmann,” University of Music and Performing Arts Graz,, accessed 1 August, 2021.

Filed under “Music Symposium”