Mozarteum University Salzburg to Host International Symposium Marking ISCM’s Centenary

May 7, 2021 / Frank J. Oteri

From 20-22 April 2022, the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria, in cooperation with the Royal Musical Association and the Austrian section of the Internationale Gesellschaft für Neue Musik (the International Society for New Music – ISCM), will host a three-day international conference focused on the centenary of the ISCM. The conference seeks to examine the genesis and early years of this network, as well as cast a glace across its long, complex history as a European and global phenomenon. It welcomes studies on specific facets of the ISCM, an institution that has been a catalyst for first performances, world premieres and international dialogue among composers from over one hundred nations.

According to the Mozarteum’s press release:

“The Mozartstadt clearly witnessed a boom in all areas of cultural and financial life following the First World War, but arguably no more so in the realm of music when, in August 1922, the Salzburg Festival began (in its modern format) and an international cohort of contemporary composers – such as Béla Bartók, Arthur Bliss, Paul Hindemith, Arthur Honegger, Zoltán Kodály, Darius Milhaud, Ethyl Smyth and Anton Webern – gathered in Café Bazar to establish the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). While both institutions were momentarily intertwined in ways that have yet to be fully understood, the ISCM left an indelible imprint on the musical life of the city. Today, the ISCM remains the most important society globally for the promotion of contemporary music. In 2022, it celebrates its hundredth anniversary. … The aims, agents, and aesthetic diversity of the society, particularly during the politically turbulent early decades, continue to remain fertile grounds for new research. Indeed, the ethical questions implicit in internationalism, the artistic response to world crises, and the tensions and synergies generated by the inherent plurality of the ISCM, suggest its relevance to musical life is as tangible today as it was a century ago.”

Papers dealing with all aspects of the ISCM’s rich history are welcome, but the programme committee especially welcomes themes dealing with:

• The contexts, figures and aims of the ISCM’s establishment
• The ISCM’s contribution to musical internationalism of the interwar and postwar years
• The ISCM meetings in Salzburg (1922, 1923, 1924, 1952) and throughout Austria (e.g., Vienna and Graz)
• Salzburg as a setting for New Music, e.g. Mozarteum (both the Stiftung and Conservatory), Salzburg Festival, International Summer Academy, Zeitfluss Festival, etc.
• Questions of gender, canonicity, and marginalisation in the ISCM’s history

Please submit an Abstract of no more than 250 words by 1 August 2021 to [email protected]

The conference languages are English and German.

Publication of a collected volume of essays is planned.

This conference is part of the exhibition “Treffpunkt International: Salzburg and 100 Years of the International Society for Contemporary Music”.

Additional conferences on the ISCM, to convene in Vienna and UK, are planned for 2023. Separate calls will be issued at a later date.

Please visit for further details.

Frank J. Oteri


Frank J. Oteri

New York City-based composer and music journalist Frank J. Oteri is an Assistant Professor of Musicology at the College of Performing Arts at The New School as well as Vice President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). In his own musical compositions, which have been described as “distinctive” in The Grove Dictionary of American Music, Oteri combines emotional directness with an obsession for formal processes. His most recent work, Already Yesterday or Still Tomorrow, received its world premiere performance by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Delta David Gier in January 2021. MACHUNAS, a performance oratorio created with visual artist Lucio Pozzi and inspired by the life of Fluxus-founder George Maciunas, premiered in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2005. Oteri received the 2007 Victor Herbert Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and the 2018 Composers Now Visionary Award.