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June 1st - 23rd, 2020


The Musicology Colloquium is designed to prepare students to perform archival research at a high level, while also taking advantage of the numerous cultural opportunities the city has to offer. Designed primarily for advanced undergraduates and early-stage graduate students, participants will be trained in archival research, hear guest speakers from universities in Vienna, and take part in a research symposium to end the festival based on a research project completed during the festival under guidance of VSMF faculty and musicology faculty in Vienna. In addition, participants will visit numerous cultural locations in Vienna, and take two group weekend trips to Salzburg and Budapest.


The Research Symposium on the last Friday of the festival provides participant the opportunity to share research with the VSMF and academic community of Vienna.


The program of the 2019 VSMF Musicology Colloquium is available here.


Musicologists will have the pleasure of visiting historic locations fro research

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Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s “Kaiserhymne,” Beethoven’s lone concerto for violin, the bequests of Anton Bruckner and Alban Berg – the collection of original manuscripts in the Department of Music sets an international standard. The archive of the former Imperial court orchestra provides a unique insight in the musical life of baroque Vienna. A comprehensive collection of handwritten and printed music from the 16th to the 21st century documents the diversity of Vienna – a cosmopolitan city when it comes to music.

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An extensive collection of programmes and a concert database are at the heart of the historical archives, and nearly all objects and documents of the collection stand in direct relation to the Vienna Philharmonic. The stock covers: 7,000 programs, 6,500 letters (Berg, Bernstein, Brahms, Böhm, Bruckner, Dvorák, Hindemith, Mahler, Schönberg, R. Strauss, J. Strauss, et al.), autograph manuscripts (Brahms, Richard Strauss, Pfitzner, et al.), conductor scores, and first editions of scores and orchestra parts.

    Wiener Staatsoper

The digital archive of the Vienna State Opera documents the various histories of singers, operas, roles, and productions to have appeared on its stage since its opening in 1869. This rich resource provides one of the longest and most accessible performance histories of opera, which affords researchers the opportunity to explore the socially constructed creative history of this iconic opera house. Visiting and working in the onsite (analog) archive is a possibility as well.

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The archive at the Arnold Schönberg Center houses one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of materials on the life and work of one composer. Throughout the almost 60 years of his artistic life, the greater part of the documentation concerning Schönberg’s oeuvre remained in his possession; after his death, his heirs devoted themselves to keeping his estate intact/ in private hands. The available holdings provide a unique overview of Schönberg’s work, thought and life.

Program Information

Dates: 06/01/20 - 06/23/20

We at the Vienna Summer Music Festival are proud to announce that we will be offering the Musicology Colloquium in 2020. We will admit individuals with an interest in learning more about musicology with an emphasis on archival work and cultural analysis as well as those seeking to jump start or augment their experience in the field. These individuals will have the opportunity to access several archives, research centres, and museums to design, conduct, and present research using Vienna’s many resources. Students will work closely with faculty with a broad range of interests and expertise engaging music and musical life from the Renaissance to the present in sacred, art, and popular contexts. Faculty lectures and workshops, along with guest lectures by scholars based in Vienna seek to afford students exposure to a  wide variety of methodologies and help develop a professional network. Attending concerts and visiting museums immerse students in Viennese musical life, and weekend excursions to Salzburg and Budapest—two primary cultural outposts for Vienna—further augment students’ opportunities for experiential learning. All students will be able to present the findings of their research at the culminating event, the VSMF Musicology Research Symposium.

Tuition: €3500


Archival Research

Vienna’s many musical archives offer robust and manifold opportunities to acquire and create knowledge of its musical life. Students will gain exposure to the archival research process, including: understanding archive culture and practice, locating materials, designing research, transcription and translation of handwritten annotations, materials organization and documentation, and reporting on one’s findings orally and in writing.

Cultural Learning

Austria has long been home to vibrant cultural exchange and innovation, and Vienna enjoys today relishes its status as a preeminent musical center, with daily concerts of all types of music. Students will take part in this rich culture through attending performances of the internationally renown and locally cherished Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna State Opera, Salzburg Festival, and more. Visits to museums provide opportunities for developing and enriching understanding of Vienna’s cultural history, and the cultural and historical movements that gave birth to the city’s artistic prominence.

Methodologies and Lectures

Vienna Summer Music Festival Musicology faculty will present several lectures on research methodologies that apply both to specific content and to a variety of topics. These topics might include (among others): analysis of music and manuscripts before the advent of tonality, popular music, speculative music theory and philosophy, empirical techniques, opera studies, performance studies, and film studies. Additionally, guest lectures by faculty of the University of Vienna and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna will afford students opportunities to gain exposure to the wide array of methodologies currently employed in musicological research.


Applicants for the Musicology Colloquium should submit resume or CV along with 10 - 15 page writing sample (course paper or thesis).   Additionally, please submit a one to two page statement of a proposed research idea.  Please include these materials in a Google folder or DropBox and provide a downloadable link in the application.  



All applicants should receive an initial response in 3-5 business days.

An application fee of $35 is required for submission.




Scholarships are available, and will be awarded up to €1,500 to select applicants. For those applicants that are interested in applying for scholarship, a brief scholarship application essay of no more than 500 words answering the question, “What are your career goals, and how would a scholarship to the Vienna Summer Music Festival help you achieve those goals?”, and a list of references should be sent in addition to application materials. The subject line should contain the applicant’s first and last name, program of interest, and the text “Scholarship Essay.” Interested applicants will receive scholarship funds based upon their submitted audition materials and essay.


Scholarship Application Requirements:


1) 500 word Scholarship Essay answering, “What are your career goals, and how would a scholarship to the Vienna Summer Music Festival help you achieve those goals?”

2) A list of two to three references

All scholarship application materials should be emailed to

Musicology Colloquium Application Deadline:  April 15th, 2020


Dr. Nicholas Johnson

Dr. Nicholas Johnson is a specialist in the music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque.

(Click here to learn more)

Joshua Neumann.jpg

Dr. Joshua Neumann

Dr. Joshua Neumann is a specialist in Italian opera of the late 19th century, with emphases in performance studies and digital musicology.

(Click here to learn more)

2019 Musicology Colloquium Memories

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