Christiane Tewinkel

Botstiber Fellow
Period of Stay: 
January 2020 - June 2020
Barenboim-Said Akademie Berlin and Universität der Künste Berlin
Project Title: 
“You play exactly as if you came from America.” Transatlantic Relations in the Musical Life of Imperial Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire around 1900
Project Abstract: 

In Imperial Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire around 1900, negative comments on the “Americanization,” i.e. the commercialization of musical life were as frequent as remarks about specifically “American” ways of playing the piano. Indeed, anti-American bias was widespread when it came to debating issues that challenged the newly globalized music world, among them the question of how inwardness relates to virtuosity, how marketing strategies compete with the idea of music as an autonomous art, and how different cultural backgrounds need to be negotiated when it comes to experiencing music. I seek to understand what kinds of stereotypes American pianists met with, whether in masterclasses or on stage, and what impact internationally renowned teachers like Hungarian born Franz Liszt and Vienna based Theodor Leschetizky had on transatlantic relations in music. Documents testifying to the work of Leschetizky who taught hundreds of American piano students are the main focus of this portion of a larger research project on the question of transatlantic relations and anti-Americanism in musical life around 1900.