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“La veuve andalouse”: New Research from the Brook Center’s Foundation for Iberian Music

Antoni Pizà and Maria Luisa Martínez have prepared a facsimile edition of “La Veuve andalouse” by Gioachino Rossini (Kassel:  Reichenberger, 2022).  Last fall, on 21 November 2022, the Fundación Juan March of Madrid presented this song in this new edition in their prestigious concert series “Rossini en España.”

Pizà and Martínez were also interviewed on Spanish National Radio and Television, click here to hear and see the interview.

Also on 11 November 2022 Pizà and Martínez lectured on their edition at the Real Conservatorio de Música de Madrid.  See here photos of the event.

Research at the Foundation for Iberian Music

Work première (2018)

Publication (2022)

  • Queering Chopin, special issue of Itamar: Revista de investigación musical

    Volume (2021)

Claire Brook Award for 2021 bestowed on two publications

The Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York is delighted to bestow the Claire Brook Award on two outstanding publications from 2020:

Werner Telesko, Susana Zapke, Stefan Schmidl, Beethoven visuell: Der Komponist im Spiegel bildlicher Vorstellungswelten [Beethoven, visually: The composer in the mirror of visual worlds of imagination] (Wien: Hollitzer, 2020), 252 p. ISBN 978-3-99012-791-9

Publishing another book on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven requires courage. Werner Telesko, Susana Zapke, and Stefan Schmidl found this courage and produced a remarkable book focusing on the reception of Beethoven in visual culture.

The three thematic complexes concern Beethoven in nature on the one hand, in his concrete material environment on the other hand, and finally in connection with immaterial values ​​and sacred ideas. Within the framework of these three categories, the authors examined many media that have contributed to the formation of a visual and textual “exaggeration” so characteristic of the Beethoven phenomenon. Even if the image documents are the focus of the publication, it should always be clear that these are to be viewed in close historical and contextual relation to the literary and philosophical discourses on Beethoven. 

In his essay, Werner Telesko deals with the broad topic of Beethoven’s connections with the natural environment and, above all, takes up the question according to the different picture types from an art-historical perspective, whereby it becomes clear that the philosophical and literary debates of the respective time influence the picture production and are thus able to explain the metaphors of nature as Beethoven’s central interpretive category. Susana Zapke focuses on locating Beethoven in the interior as a creative space of the genius that can be read allegorically in a variety of ways, which in turn functions as a complement to the outside space and to nature in the sense of the culture-nature discourse of the Enlightenment. The interior becomes a field of interpretation for the psychological physiognomy of the artist and his work, revealing bourgeois-influenced thinking and pictorial traditions of the respective cultural-historical epoch. Finally, Stefan Schmidl deals with the localization of the composer in the immaterial space and points to some little-known projections of Beethoven in the spheres of the unreal, sacred and timeless, whereby virtuality as a means of representing visualizations always pushes the boundaries of hallucination, the dream and the visionary touched again. 

Michael Burden & Jennifer Thorp, eds., With a grace not to be captured: Representing the Georgian theatrical dancer, 1760-1830. Music and Visual Cultures 3 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020), 198 p. ​ISBN 978-2-503-58346-3.​

Dancers performing on the London stage between 1760 and 1830 relied on visual impact for their success, whether in serious, heroic, or semi-character roles for the larger theaters, or in circus acts for the illegitimate venues. Some of those dancers also saw portraiture as a chance to promote their respectability–or disguise their lack of it–and to recast their image in new and interesting ways. Dancers were widely travelled and had often worked in Europe before coming to London, in an international dimension reflected by both English and European artists–the likes of Gainsborough, Hogarth, Perronneau. Pesne, and Reynolds—who painted their portraits in oils and pastels. Further down the social scale, some of the dancers who performed daring circus acts and agile acrobatics saw their fame burgeon in the likenesses put out by such engravers and print-sellers as Bartolozzi and Sayers. Even those portraits which are no longer extant would have been important to the original sitter, and those portraits which have survived were clearly cherished. The chapters in the volume explore what it meant to the dancer concerned to have a portrait, either grand or modest, how it was exploited as self-advertisement either by the dancer or as a commercial initiative by the artist and the print trade, and how it helped to produce many more images of dancers than might be expected.

The volume includes the following contributions:

Shearer West, Portraiture and the Import of Dancers in Eighteenth-Century London
​James Harriman-Smith, Garrick’s Muse? Eva Maria Veigel and her Husband
Jennifer Thorp, Portraits of Jean-Georges Noverre
Judith Milhous, Dancers Acting in 1781: The Vestris, père et fils, Adelaide Simonet, and Giovanna Baccelli
Joanna Jarvis, Natural Beauty or ‘Paint-Painted’? Giovanna Baccelli by Thomas Gainsborough
Samantha Owens, ‘Grace, Beauty, and Surprising Agility’: Representations of Barbarina Campanini, 1742–48
Keith Cavers, Portraying Heroic Masculinity: James Harvey D’Egville on Stage
Joe Lockwood, Philip Astley and the Amphitheatre
Michael Burden, Tumbling Images: Carlo Antonio Delpini at Work

Read about The Claire Brook Award and Claire Brook 

Read about the award committee.


Responses in Music to Climate Change


International conference to be held via Zoom, 4-8 October 2021

Registration now open

Conference schedule

Full program

Selected bibliography, discography, and webography about music and climate change

The deleterious effects of anthropogenic climate change continue to shape music making in a post-industrial, global society. Indigenous communities—those typically least responsible for the carbon emissions that have contributed to global warming—face the elimination or depletion of natural resources necessary for their musical practices and traditions. Composers of art music, many compelled to bear witness to our current times and bring awareness to threatened ecosystems, draw sound material from endangered environmental sources. Popular music, too, continues to respond through concerts, songs that thematize the environment, and celebrity endorsements for protection measures. Across all forms of music making, discourses of preservation, sustainability, visibility, and action are pervasive.

This conference collects and shares research on music’s place within the Anthropocene from a wide range of perspectives. Originally scheduled for April 2020, the current reimagining of this event is itself an environmental response and testament to human perseverance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The arrival of COVID-19 presents an important context within which to confront climate change issues, and this context will be directly addressed here, in Responses in Music to Climate Change. 

We are excited to feature the following:

Photo by Steven Feld

A keynote address by ethnomusicologist Steven Feld

A pre-recorded presentation by composer John Luther Adams

Photo by Molly Sheridan
Photo by Gabriel Majou

A live interview with composer Christopher Tin


Adaptations: Confronting Climate Change Amid COVID-19

A roundtable discussion with scholars Aaron Allen (University of North Carolina at Greensboro), Mark Pedelty (University of Minnesota), Alexander Rehding (Harvard University), Jeff Todd Titon (Brown University), Denise von Glahn (Florida State University), and Holly Watkins (University of Rochester)


Sound Art, COVID, and the First Mediterranean Conference on Music and Science

With COVID raging on both sides of the Atlantic, scholars and musicians are finding ways to continue their activities.  ZOOM has become an indispensable tool for our work, whether in the classroom, the e-concert hall, or its use in professional conferences.


At the end of November 2020, organized by Fundació Assemblea de Ciutadans i Ciutadanes del Mediterrani (FACM), a group of scholars and artists in both music and the sciences gathered via Zoom to present their work under the aegis of the I Congrès Mediterrani Música I Ciència.

One of the highlights of the conference was the intervention of Ferrer-Molina with a sound installation titled CONCIERTO PARA TRENES DE METRO Y BANDA, which includes an intervention in the Alameda train station in Valencia (Spain) for fifty-two players within the “natural” environment of train sounds.

Ferrer-Molina has participated in many events at the Foundation for Iberian Music, including the 2017 Sound Art Festival with Miguel Álvarez-Fernández, Isaac Diego García and others.

Miguel Álvarez-Fernández

Álvarez-Fernández and Ferrer-Molina were also guests at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Composers Forum, to discuss their music.  As described by Antoni Pizà, the curator of the event, their creative work inhabits the margins between experimental music and sound art. It explores conceptual art, performance, experimental video, and other possibilities for developing the audience’s relationship with sound. They engage with these questions involving intersections through concert pieces, sound installations, sculptures, curatorial projects and many other manifestations.

Moving forward a different kind of musical experience, of special interest was the intervention of guitarist Mirza Redžepagić, which explored some similarities between Bosnian traditional music and flamenco.

The two-day event is on two different posts on YouTube corresponding to the first and second sessions.

Also, check out the web of the Fundació Assemblea de Ciutadans i Ciutadanes del Mediterrani (FACM).  About the conference they state:  “The Mediterranean Congress “Music and Science” aims to be an annual event that brings together different personalities of music and science in the Mediterranean area in order to share aspects that year after year have affected the interrelation between music and music. science.  In its first edition, on November 27 and 28, 2020, in online format, the central theme of the Mediterranean Congress “Music and Science” is the use of ICT in the Covid scenario, while the pandemic situation has forced the science and music, disciplines that require intense teamwork, to transfer a large part from its work to the internet.  Organized by the ACM Foundation in collaboration with Mostra Viva del Mediterrani and the ACM circle of Sarajevo.”

In the end, nowadays it all seems to be circling back to COVID and its consequences. | Sound Landscapes in the Iberian Peninsula | Sound Landscapes in the Iberian Peninsula

La Señorita Blanco

Curated by our colleague Daniel Valtueña, is a program of artistic residences accompanying the creative process of two artists:  Isabel Do Diego []  and  La Señorita Blanco [] during the next two academic courses. Please read the complete information here [].

Isabel Do Diego

On Thursday October 29 at 2:30 pm EST we’ll open the project with the round table Listening to the Iberian Landscape []which will be broadcast live through the KJCC [] Facebook page,as well as from the Youtube channel [].

Read full information here: 1029

A Night at the Movies with Conductor Ángel Gil-Ordoñez

Ángel Gil-Ordoñez, who is the conductor of one of the Foundation’s resident ensembles, can easily be characterized in Spanish as a todoterreno, a four-wheel drive who succeeds in traversing the most remote and distant zones of the orchestral landscape.  His collaborations with the Foundation have helped present in New York the music of Benet Casablancas, Xavier Montsalvatge, Carlos Surinach, Manuel de Falla, Robert Gerhard, Mauricio Sotelo, Óscar Esplá, Ernesto Halffter, and many more.

His latest project includes a survey of the Bernard Herrmann, composer of many soundtracks for Hitchcock, as well as other notable film directors.  You can hear Gi-Ordóñez’s performance and commentary here.  The recording includes Herrmann’s world premiere recording of Whitman a radio drama on the famous American poet (words by Norman Corwin) and Psycho:  A Narrative for String Orchestra mixing words and musical splashes of cinematic color and words.

He has tackled the film repertoire in concert and recording in many occasions including Redes, with music by Silvestre Revueltas and cinematography by Paul Strand, and The City with music by Aaron Copland.  His, so to speak, ecumenical tastes have also taken him to present Gamelan music and programs dedicated to the musical traditions of Armenia.  We are proud of his contribution through two decades to the programs of Foundation for Iberian Music and we hope to be able to continue working together for at least two decades more.

Mark your calendars: Two Talks by K. Meira Goldberg

K. Meira Goldberg

In line with the Foundation for Iberian Music’s developing Fandango Project, in concordance with the expanding Digital Humanities at the Graduate Center and beyond, Dr. K. Meira Goldberg, Scholar in Residence, will be an invited speaker at two upcoming online public online events focusing on transatlantic circulations of representations of race. On November 6 she will present “Tilting Across the Racial Divide: Jacinto Padilla ‘El Negro Meri’” at the symposium Race and Blackness in the Atlantic World, at the University of Texas, Austin. On December 11 she will participate in a  Public lecture/conversation on Race and Peninsular/Transatlantic Studies at El Taller@KJCC (NYU), a working group dedicated to Peninsular Studies that is organized from NYU but with active participation from faculty and students across the graduate Consortium and beyond to include area scholars and students.

The Global Reach of the Fandango in Music, Song and Dance – Editors: K. Meira Goldberg, Antoni Pizà

When Barcelona was “absolument moderne”:  The Schoenberg / Gerhard Correspondence Shows the Impact of Musical Modernism in Catalonia and Elsewhere

Schoenberg’s home in Barcelona

Like Paris and Berlin, interwar Barcelona (c.1920-1936) was a cauldron of international modernist creativity:  Schoenberg composed Moses und Aron, Webern conducted the Pau Casals Workers’ Orchestra, and Alban Berg premiered his Violin Concerto.  This powerful momentum shaped a generation of composers (Robert Gerhard, especially, but also Joaquim Homs, and, later on, Benet Casablancas, who was awarded the 2012 Foundation for Iberian Music’s Composer’s Commission, among others) and inspired the work of a generation of visual artists and literary minds (Antoni Tàpies, Joan Brossa, and J.E. Cirlot, among others). In Barcelona in the thirties, as Rimbaud asserted in a different context:  “Il faut être absolument moderne.”

In 2006, the Foundation for Iberian Music dedicated a series to “Schoenberg in Barcelona.”  The composer’s daughter, Nuria Schoenberg-Nono, unable to attend, send us a kind note that read:

As you can well imagine, Barcelona has a special significance for me. During my father’s stay there, he not only gave birth to the second act of his opera Moses und Aron, but my mother gave birth to their first child, a girl to whom my father wanted to give the most popular name in Barcelona: Nuria. I think the fact that he wanted that name for me shows how much he felt at home in that beautiful city. My father’s contract with the Akademie der Künste in Berlin allowed him a six-months’ composing leave, which he spent in warmer cities, since he suffered from asthma and could not endure the cold German winter. Invited by pupil and friend Roberto Gerhard to spend the winter months in Catalonia, my parents prolonged their sojourn until the beginning of June, when my father had to return to Berlin to take up his duties again as Professor of the masterclass in composition. He did not wish to return to Berlin and had asked friends to try and find a music patron who could assure him a salary so he could stay in Barcelona, but to no avail. And it was not only the warm weather which had attracted him, I am sure it was also the warm welcome he had received there by his old and new friends. In the ’80s my daughter and I were invited to attend the premiere of Moses und Aron in Barcelona. I will never forget the superb hospitality shown us and the great impression that the city and its people made on me. I am really sorry that I cannot be with you all to take part in your event. I hope to be able to collaborate with the Foundation in the near future.  I think I got carried away thinking about Barcelona. All the best, Nuria

 The history of the friendship between Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) and Robert Garhard (1896-1970) dates back to 1923, when the Catalan composer wrote to Schoenberg requesting the possibility of taking composition lessons with him.  In his request letter, he included the score of two recent works, Dos apunts (Two Sketches for Piano) and Set Haikus (Seven Haikus for chamber ensemble and voice).  After an interview, Schoenberg accepted him as a student; shortly after, Gerhard became his assistant.  While in Vienna, Gerhard met his future wife Leopoldina (“Poldi”) Feichtegger and became friends with Berg and Webern.  In 1925, Schoenberg took over Busoni’s class at the Preussische Akademie der Künste and Gerhard followed him there as his student and assistant until 1928. Also in 1925 and after an invitation by Gerhard, Schoenberg visited Barcelona to conduct his Pierrot Lunaire.

Autograph ms., Klawierstueke, op. 33b, composed in Barcelona

Because Berlin’s anti-Semitic atmosphere, during the period 1931-32, Schoenberg and his wife moved to Barcelona as the guests of the Gerhards.  There, enjoying its moderate winter weather, Schoenberg composed most of Moses und Aron.  That season, Gerhard arranged for Schoenberg and Webern to conduct the Casals Orchestra.  In 1936 the 16th ISCM festival was held in Barcelona and Gerhard, organized the premiere of Berg’s Violin Concerto.  As a tribute to Barcelona and to Gerhard’s hospitality, the Schoenbergs named their daughter Nuria (a typical Catalan name).  She was born in Barcelona in 1932 and married the Italian composer Luigi Nono.

A friend and collaborator of Miró, the architect Josep Lluís Sert, and Dalí, Gerhard’s music “displayed an increasingly radical exploratory outlook and until his death contributed energetically to the development of serial and electronic composition, and to timbral and textural innovation” (New Grove).  To be sure, Gerhard learned from Schoenberg “clarity and concision of form, intricate contrapuntal working, textural variety and a unified harmonic idiom” (New Grove).

Here are some useful, albeit random, dates to understand Schoenberg’s relationship with Barcelona:

1913        Casals performs Schoenberg’s arrangement of the Concerto for Cello by Georg Matthias Monn (1717-50)

1923        Robert Gerhard sends Two Sketches for piano to Schoenberg and becomes his student in Vienna and, later, Berlin

1925        Festival Arnold Schoenberg in Barcelona and other Catalan towns; Pierrot Lunaire, Kammersymphonie, a selection of songs and other compositions are performed

1931        Schoenberg arrives in Barcelona in October.  Settles in a modernista sunny house

1932        Writes Moses und Aron and Klavierstück Op. 33b.  Nuria Schoenberg (later Nono) is born in Barcelona and is baptized by musicologist and priest Higini Anglès.  Anton Webern conducts Verklärtenacht and Acht Lieder Op. 6, among other compositions

1933        Casals and Schoenberg plan future concerts in Barcelona, including an arrangement for cello and orchestra of the Monn keyboard concerto

1936        Alban Berg premieres his Violin Concerto in Barcelona; Erwartung is also performed

1956        Tàpies, Brossa, Cirlot and other members of Dau al Set place a plaque at the Schoenberg’s former residence in Barcelona

1985        The Gran Teatre del Liceu’s premières Moses und Aron

To complete the picture of that special moment in music history, just recently, professor Paloma Ortiz-de-Urbina Sobrino has just published an extremely valuable book.  Her work—actually several multilingual volumes—contains the complete correspondence between Schoenberg and his student Robert Gerhard (including that of their wives).  There are a total of eighty-two letters, postcards, telegrams, and other similar items.  Most of them are in German and some in English; but one item is in French and another in Catalan.  Professor Ortiz-de-Urbina has transcribed, edited, and translated all the items for one volume into English and for a second volume into Catalan all published by the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya.  There is also a different edition in German put out by Peter Lang.  (In total there are three books.)  

 Professor Ortiz-de-Urbina is a Gerhard specialist, a musicologist, and a polyglot who, without her absolute mastery of all these languages as well as her profound knowledge of the pertinent musicological literature, would not have been able to produce these singularly important volumes.  These letters are not only relevant for musicologists interested in Schoenberg and Gerhard’s studies, but also for the general, educated reader who wants to understand—and even enjoy learning about—that special moment when those two creative minds met and spoke frankly in the intimate mode of the missive, closer to the personal diary than to the theoretical treatise.  It is clear, additionally, that Schoenberg had a powerful impact on later Catalan artists such as idiosyncratic, multidisciplinary Joan Brosa, painter Antoni Tàpies, and the poet J.E Cirlot, who wrote apropos of Schoenberg’s stay in Barcelona these beautiful lines:

Two fragments by J.E. Cirlot


Era un hombre


Su triste matemática juntaba

Ceniza y pensamientos.

J.E. Cirlot, In memoriam


En tus doce sonidos se levanta

Un candelabro nuevo, zodiacal,

Vencido el candelabro planetario.


Permuta lo que ora, lo que canta,

Inspiración del centro cenital,

Música del sistema necesario.

J.E. Cirlot,  Homenaje a Schönberg  

And just to finish, the following valuable sources, Gerhard’s testimony and an early review, might help us understand Schoenberg’s experience in Barcelona as well as the early reception of his music:

 Robert Gerhard in a BBC radio interview

He [Schoenberg] loved his window….  He had his table right against the window. And he lifted his eyes up from the score Moses and Aron, which, as you know, he finished the second act in Barcelona in that room—this signed at the end “Barcelona, 10th of March, 1932.” When he lifted his eyes from the score, what he saw was that fantastic panorama. It was a smallish room. It had a small upright piano, a table perhaps, a sofa, and a few armchairs and that was all. And Mrs. Schoenberg and my wife sat at the back of the room chatting lustily, you know, with quite without the slightest regard for that man composing there on the window because Schoenberg insisted. He wanted them to talk loud. He hated to hear somebody whispering. I’m sure he listened with a kind of a… with a quarter of his ear, and when something came up that was gossipy, you know, he joined the ladies. He jumped up and joined the ladies and mixed in the conversation. When he had enough, he went back to his table, sat down, and was concentrated the next instant, deeply concentrated, completely oblivious, deaf to the latest conversation.

A 1925 Catalan concert review

No fue menor la expectación motivada por el anuncio de la sesión que en 29 de abril de 1929 se dedicó a Arnold Schönberg, compositor vienés, de procedimientos atonales ultramodernos, en abierta rebelión contra todo lo establecido, de una originalidad rayana en la extravagancia y cuya música (…) suena en los oídos de los no iniciados como una caótica confusión de ritmos y disonancias, provocando en todos los públicos, sin excluir el de Barcelona, apasionadas discusiones, no siempre mantenidas dentro de los límites de la corrección y el mutuo respeto.