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Biennial Meetings & Symposia

Since 2001 the Mozart Society of America has organized biennial conferences that attract an international group of scholars and performers as participants and attendees. These conferences explore various themes in Mozart studies through papers, panel discussions, library- or museum-sponsored exhibitions, and performances.

Our Next Meeting

MSA Session at Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center:

Mozart the Maverick

Sunday, 29 July 2018, 3:00–4:30 p.m.

“…I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame – I mean, until people have heard the work as a whole. I simply follow my own feelings.”

In this statement in a letter to his father, written on 8 August 1781, Mozart evinces a strong independent streak with regard to musical style, an attitude in conformity with his recent rejection of continued service, under humiliating conditions, to the Salzburg court of Prince-Archbishop Colloredo. But Mozart could only go his own way to a limited degree: of necessity (given the prevailing musical language), he relied to a large degree on formal and stylistic conventions even in the best of his works, and he enjoyed various forms of patronage throughout his Viennese decade, even while mostly remaining a free-lance composer.

This year's panel at the Mostly Mozart Festival addresses the theme “Mozart the Maverick” – whether as an innovative composer who broke with (or at least stretched) musical traditions, or in terms of his (largely) independent professional path. The panel will include three papers and there will be time at the end for questions from the audience.

See Abstracts

Call for Papers:

“The Threshold Narrative in Recent Art Historiography” [Mozart Society of America session]
50th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Denver, Colorado - March 21-23, 2019
Session chair: Edmund Goehring (University of Western Ontario)

Music-historical inquiry over the past two generations has redrawn the stylistic boundaries of the era of Haydn and Mozart. The continuous Classic/Romantic tradition that was a commonplace fifty years ago has been replaced with a much stronger sense of discontinuity. It is not just that, in the ongoing evaluation of our musical past, the new model fits the evidence better. Rather, an entire way of making and thinking about music (and the other arts?) since Renaissance humanism is said to have ended at around 1800. There, radically new concepts or practices appeared: of disinterested viewing, of creative genius, of artistic autonomy, of the work-concept. Facilitating this reconception is a distinctive kind of historical vision. As Reinhard Strohm and others have noted, rhetorically, it draws on the language of myth and its demystification; historiographically, it installs the architecture of the threshold narrative, by which a later era, in this case, Romanticism, occludes an earlier one, in this case, Classicism. This panel looks to reŽxamine the threshold narrative. Do such narratives appear in other fields? What does the approach say about the present-day subject who does the demythologizing? What alternative visions are available? Submissions from across disciplines are welcome.

Deadline for submission, to Edmund Goehring (, is 15 September 2018. Notification of acceptance will be given by 30 September 2018.

Past Conferences

Sessions at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

Panel Sessions at Mostly Mozart Festival

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