Category: Seminars & Workshops

Seminars & Workshops

Symposium: Exile, Modernism, and Hollywood at the Exilarte Center | June 11 & 12, 2022

The Exilarte Center of the mdw will host and organize a symposium on the subject of Exile, Modernism and Hollywood on June 11 & 12, 2022 at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna/Austria.


This symposium seeks to find the seeds to musical Modernism in the cinema of the 1930s and 1940s and evaluate its ultimate influence in film and absolute music. Hollywood became home for a vast diaspora of composers with the advent of sound cinema in the late 1920s. With the rise of Nazism and Bolshevism in Europe, the diaspora widened considerably, primarily by Austro-German exiles. Composers Hanns Eisler and Karol Rathaus had already rejected the late-Romanticism of Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, while other composers such as Ernst Toch, Hans Salter and Franz Waxman (Wachsmann) had taken the Romanticism template and modified it towards contemporary sound design.  

A common experience that greatly shaped the careers of these composers was exile, which scholars have long recognized as a dialectic. It can lead to shattering experiences regarding identity, yet it can also open up new opportunities for expression and communication. In exploring connections between exile composers, Modernism, and Hollywood from the 1930s through the 1940s, this symposium examines what is surely one of the greatest cultural transfers in modern history, when European-trained composers who engaged with modernist ideas often struggled between the desire to achieve success in Hollywood while still being true to their art. Modernism in this symposium consists of a plurality of styles that Hollywood attracted, including but not limited to dodecaphony and atonality. 

With the goal of examining the influence of Hollywood more broadly, we also welcome proposals about exile composers who benefited from the Hollywood film industry in other ways but did not necessarily write for film. This group would include such figures as Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, and Ernst Krenek, such as through commissions of works, teaching men and women in Hollywood, and developing social networks with members of the entertainment industry.

Date of symposium: June 11 & 12, 2022

For the program, please click here.

Language: English

Location: Franz Liszt Hall of the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Lothringerstraße 18, 1030 Vienna

Organized by: Exilarte Center of the mdw

Organizing committee: Gerold Gruber, Michael Haas, Kenneth Marcus, Christian Glanz, Julia Heimerdinger

Masterclass with Ulrike Anton at the Verfemte Musik Festival in Schwerin, Germany | October 7 – 10, 2021

IntInternationale Masterclasses, Symposium and Concert

From October 7 – 10,  2021 the Exilarte Cetner is again invited to the Verfemte Musik Festival in Schwerin/Germany

Flutist and musicologist Dr. Ulrike Anton will hold masterclasses for flute and wind chamber music from October 7 – 10, 2021.  Registration is open until September 19, 2021.

Online-Registration Masterclass

Exile Music Workshop with Prof. Dr. Gerold Gruber und Dr. Ulrike Anton I August 19 & 20, 2021

The Exilarte Center is invited to the International Summer Academy of the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, held in the Rax and Semmering region, Austria

In this two-part workshop, Gerold Gruber and Ulrike Anton introduce the participants of the International Summer Academy to the subject of exile music and will work with individual soloists and ensembles on this particular repertoire.

August 19 & 20, 2021
Literatursalon Schloss Wartholz
Hauptstraße 113
A-2651 Reichenau an der Rax, Austria

For further information about the workshop please click here.

Expelled, persecuted, banned – European music and the consequences of National Socialism, current seminar at the mdw

The Association of Jewish Regufees | Sarah Lawrence College Archives

© The Association of Jewish Regufees | Sarah Lawrence College Archives

A seminar of the Exilarte Center offered for all fields of study as optional subject ( Spring and Fall semester)

Lecturers: a.o. Univ.-Prof. DDr. h.c. Gerold Gruber, Dr. Ulrike Anton, Dr. Michael Haas


  • show the plurality of music that was prevented and destroyed by the Nazi seizure of power
  • describe the interaction between culture and politics
  • rediscover the repertoire lost by the National Socialists
  • analysis to concentration camp – emigration – exile – post-war period


  • Students should be given a comprehensive knowledge of the complexity of music creation
  • Dealing with mostly forgotten composers and their works
  • Analysis of musical trends and different styles
  • Effects of politics, religion and the social environment on cultural creation
  • Students should discover new repertoire for themselves


  • Getting to know unknown repertoire
  • Awareness of cultural responsibility
  • Influence of migration on the exile countries
  • Analysis from today’s point of view
  • Scientific and artistic interpretation in accordance
  • Analysis of different styles
  • Adaptation to the respective field of study