IGEB Conference Report 2010  / Austria

by Robert Grechesky, Indianapolis, USA

The IGEB (International Society for the Promotion and Investigation of Wind Music) held it’s nineteenth international conference in Oberschützen, Austria from July 22-27, 2010. 

In conjunction with the Graz University of Music and Performing Arts, the conference celebrated the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Oberschützen Institute of the Pannonian Research Center by returning “home” to this beautiful town in the Burgenland district of Austria for its biennial conference of wind scholars from around the world.

President Bernhard Habla and his staff put together an extraordinary conference, combining the presentation of research papers, social outings and excursions, musical entertainment, traditional Austrian foods and beverages, fellowship and cultural exchange into a fabulous week of gemütlichkeit that is unique to IGEB.

Some highlights of the conference included the presentation of the 2010 Fritz Thelen Award, given for the outstanding dissertation on the wind band in the last biennium, to Dr. Patrick Hennessey, Director of Bands at Hawai’i Pacific University in Honolulu, for his dissertation on Henry Berger, the Prussian bandmaster who became known as the “Father of Hawaiian Music.”  Present at the ceremony were IGEB Past President, Dr. Wolfgang Suppan, who along with Fritz Thelen, co-founded the IGEB, and two former winners, Dr. Joseph Manfredo of Illinois State University and Dr. Scott Cohen of Ferris State University.

Every day of the week offered unique and wonderful experiences.  At the opening welcome reception and buffet dinner hosted by the Mayor of Oberschützen we were treated to a concert of traditional Austrian marches by the town band of Oberschützen-Bad Tatzmannsdorf; during the Thelen award ceremony we heard a splendid performance by the Trio Lotz, playing Classical era music on period replica bassett horns; later in the week we took a very interesting excursion to the birthplace of Franz Liszt in Raiding, and a tour through Castle Esterházy where Joseph Haydn lived and worked. Afterward, while dining at a vineyard restaurant we were serenaded by a terrific saxophone quartet; another excursion found us in an open air “living” museum in Geresdorf in the south of the Burgenland where we saw over 40 transplanted homes, barns and other structures from the 18th and 19th centuries; this was followed by yet another sumptuous feast of native Austrian fare and local wines and beers; and on the conference’s final evening, amid – yes, you guessed it! – a smörgåsbord of Austrian strudels, soups, and pastries (and more local wine!),   we heard three fine ensembles from the Institute, a fabulous woodwind quartet, a small brass band that had almost as much fun performing for us as we had listening to them, and a horn quartet playing period replica natural hunting horns.

The general theme of the conference was “Wind Music Research and Musicology.” President Habla organized the research presentation settings into various areas of inquiry including Wind Music Research and Musicology, Harmoniemusik, Instrumentation, Composers, Sound Aesthetic, Military Music, Instruments, Librarianship and Research, Historical Recordings, Countries, and Wind Bands/Orchestras. Organizing the talks in this way helped the attendees to focus attention on specific topics and also helped to spur discussion in a more cogent fashion.

American presenters included: (in alphabetical order)

Katherine Bucher, Chicago, IL. Rapsodias Portuguesas: Bandas Filarmonicas and the Cultivation of Portuguese Identity

Dianna Eiland, Alexandria, VA. An Early History of the Bands of the University of Kansas: 1878 to 1934

Robert Grechesky, Indianapolis, IN. The Wind Band Music of Kurt Weill

Patrick Hennessey, Honolulu, Hawai’I. Henry Berger: From Prussian Army Musician to “Father of Hawaiian Music,” The Life and Legacy of Hawai’i’s Bandmaster

Janet Heukeshoven, Winona, MN. Recent Harmoiemusik Research at Melk, Eisenstadt, and Brno

Arthur Himmelberger, Newburgh, NY. The Robert Hoe Legacy, “Heritage of the March,” is Our Treasure

Joe Manfredo, Mahomet, IL. Holidays and Epiphanies: The Music of Ron Nelson

James Massol, Orlando, FL. Harmoniemusik as a Musical Topic: A Semiotic Approach to Wind-Band Writing in Eighteenth-Century Manuscripts

Jon Mitchell, Boston, MA, Percy Fletcher and the Worshipful Company of Musicians

Denise Odello, Morris, MN. Categorizing Culture: The Wind Band and Musicology 

Other scholars came from Austria, Germany, Israel, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Canada, Slovenia, Italy, and Luxembourg. Presenters and their topics were: 

Christian Ahrens, Bochum, Germany. Oberster Richter der deutschen Trompeter und Pauker: der Sächsische Kurfürst oder die Dresdner Trompeter-Kameradschaft? ? [Highest judge of the German trumpeters and kettledrum players: The Elector of Saxony or the ‘Dresden Trumpet Companionship’?]

Elisabeth Anzenberger, Kirchstetten, Austria. Die Militärkapellmeister des k.u.k. Infanterie-Regiments Nr. 20  [Military Band conductors of the Imperial and Royal Infantry Regiment nr. 20]

Friedrich Anzenberger, Kirchstetten, Austria. Militärmatriken als wichtige Quelle für die Militärkapellenforschung in Österreich-Ungarn Ungarn [Military parish registers as an important source for the military band director research in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire] 

Klaus Aringer, Graz, Austria. Die Blasinstrumente in Augustin Sundelin’s “Instrumentirungs” – Schriften von 1828  [The wind instruments as described in Augustin Sindelin’s papers on instrumentation (1828) ]

Josef Focht, Munich, Germany. Semantice Wind. Wie man Blasmusik in musikwissenschaftlichen bibliothekarischen Angeboten heute auffindet und was man daraus machen kann  [Semantic Wind: How is wind music being presented in the library systems and what do we conclude about this. ]

Anatoliy Gabrov, Sofia, Bulgaria. Establishment of the Military Band of Karlovo

Andre Granjo, Coimba, Portugal. The Wind Band Movement in Portugal

Berhnard Habla, Oberschützen, Austria. Blasmusikforschung seit der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts [Wind music research since the second half of the 20th century in Austria and Germany]

Joseph Hartmann, Gan Ner, Israel. “Landscapes,” The Israeli Composer Nachman Yariv and His Ouevre for Bands

Manfred Heidler, Bonn Germany. Die Deutsche Militärmusik heute: Der Militärmusikdienst der Bundeswehr zwischen Tradition, Transformation und Krisenmanagement Krisenmanagement [German military music today: the German military music organization oscillating between tradition, transformation and crisis management]

Marton Ilyes, Balatonfüred, Hungary. Luigi Cherubini: Les Deux Journées, Eine Harmoniemusik-bearbeitung aus der Festetics-Sammlung Sammlung [Luigi Cherubini: Les Deux Journées”, a Harmoniemusik arrangement to be found in the Festetics Collection]

Maciej Jochymczyk, Krakow, Poland. Early Examples of the Use of Trumpets in Polish Music: Origin and Style

Gunther Joppig, Munich, Germany. Das Kontrabass Saxophon: Vorstellung, Vergleich und Ausblick  [The contrabass saxophone: presentation, comparison and prospective views]

Keith Kinder, Hamilton, Ontario. Are They or Aren’t They By Haydn? Six Feldpartitas (Divertimenti) Hob II: 41-46

Robbin Knapp, Ebensee, Austria. Using Internet Music Databases for Research and Putting Together Concerts

Kari Laitinen, Helsinki, Finland. Finnish Contemporary Band Music – A Brief Outline

Daniel Leskovic, Ljublijana und Domen Prezelj, Idrija, Slovenia. Bohan Adami und Vinko Struck: Zwei Musikkönige Musikkönige  [Bohan Adami and Vinko Struck: two Slovenian ‘Kings of Music’.]

Jörg Murschinski, Welzheim, Germany. Einige Anmerkungen zum Kapitel, Transcribing from Band or Wind Ensemble to Orchestra in Samuel Adler’s “The Study of Orchestration.” [Some remarks on ‘Transcribing from the wind band or wind ensemble score to an orchestral score, as analysed in Samuel Adler’s “The Study of Orchestration”]

Ann-Marie Nilsson, Uppsala, Sweden. Harmonie-Musik for the Swedish Duke Fredrik Adolf (1750-1803) and His Brothers (Paper with Ake Edenstrand)

Francis Pieters, Kortrijk, Belgium. When the Wind Band and the Symphony Orchestra Join Hands

Rui Magno da Silva Pinto, Lisbon, Portugal. Virtuosity for Wind Instruments In Nineteenth Century Lisbon

John C. Reid, Calgary, Alberta. Canadian Band Music, an Historical Overview of the Genre, with an Emphasis on Works Created by Canadian Composers for the Idiom

Damien Sagrillo, Hellange, Luxembourg. Ida Gotkovsky

Wolfgang Suppan, Pürgg, Austria. Anmerkungen zur Klarinetten-Forschung, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung von Mozarts KV Anh. 159-161  161 [Remarks on Mozart’s Clarinet Duos KV 159=162]

Rytis Urniezius, Siauliai, Lithuania. Wind Bands in Lithuania at the Crossroad of Two Traditions

Eva Vicarová, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Gustav Mahler and Military Music

Karl H. Vigl, Meran, Italy. Anmerkungen zur “Tiroler Schule” – Versuch einer Ausweitung der Spurendeutung   [Notes on the “Tirolean School”; an essay on the enlargement of the interpretation of the marks]

Simone Waigel, Munich, Germany. About a Beautiful Clarinet Sound – Philosophical Announcements on Historical Developments in the 18th Century

The spirit of music-making, idea sharing, and fellowship forged by the mutual respect and friendly inquiry of participants from all over the world made for an unbeatable combination, and produced memories that will live forever in the hearts and minds of all those who took part. Sincere thanks to Bernhard Habla, Doris Schweinzer, and all the people who helped to organize such a magnificent conference.

IGEB is a wonderful organization, filling a niche in the Wind Band Studies field that is uniquely its own. Over its 35+ year existence, it has developed its identity and mission in ways that separate it from other wind band organizations, and yet complements them perfectly. The opportunity to broaden our knowledge of our profession by learning from, and sharing with, other scholars from all over the world is an opportunity afforded by membership in IGEB, and is what makes it such a valuable organization.

The International Society for the Investigation and Promotion of Wind Music (Internationale Gesellschaft zur Erforschung und Förderung der Blasmusik) (IGEB) was founded in 1974 at the first scientific congress for the exploration of wind music at the Conservatory for Music and the Performing Arts (presently the University for Music and the Performing Arts) in Graz, Austria. As early as 1966 a small circle of wind-music researchers, performers and amateurs had met in Sindelfingen near Stuttgart to establish a "Committee for the Investigation of Wind Music," the result being IGEB. 

The aim of the society is the exploration of all aspects of wind music by means of international congresses at which musicologists, conductors, and interested musicians can exchange ideas and knowledge. A series of publications including Alta Musica,  a newsletter, and a website provide for the dissemination of research on a wide variety of topics dealing with wind music.  At present, roughly 400 members from over 30 countries belong to IGEB.