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The Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna decided to give Avior Byron the Avenir Foundation Research Grant for a one month research trip in Vienna in order to work on two books that he is writing.  

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Avior Byron

My name is Avior Byron and I am a musicologist, blogger and composer. I write books, articles and a blog about music, performance, research, and theory. Read more at my about page

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The Schoenberg Archive in Vienna

There is something quite amazing about the Schoenberg archive in the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna. The people there are so helpful. They give you the impression that there sole aim is to provide you all the information that you are seeking for. This is not the case with most archives. Some archives want to preserve documents but do not really care whether or not you will find what you need there. A few archives are even hostile to researchers. The Schoenberg archive in Vienna is not only friendly, they go out of their way to provide you all that you need and even things that you never thought to ask for. Schoenberg’s children who moved the archive from USA to Vienna say in an interview that I conducted with them that they are happy from the move and how the whole project looks today.

One of the great things about the archive is the fact that one can find so much information on their website . You can find there letters, scans of original manuscripts and letters, concert programs, and much more valuable information. You can even hear a web radio and listen to historical recordings. If you ever go through Vienna make sure that you visit the archive where you can see Schoenberg’s working room, find a big library and usually also see a changing exhibition on Schoenberg. The Schoenberg Center also orginizes exihibitions around the world as well as educational programs for childrens. It grants scholarships for scholars and orginizes concerts (this is not supposed to be a comprehensive list of the ASC activities). In any case it is quite clear that this organization is well managed and probably also well funded. 

One of the reasons that I discovered new things in my PhD and my recent research on Schoenberg is due to the help I received and still receiving from the Schoenberg Center. If you are looking for a subject to research on, whether it is a PhD, MA or an article, you can be sure that if you do it on Schoenberg, you will have lots of resources in your disposal. There is still much material in the archive that was not explored. This gives a scholar a chance to discover new things and contribute. When people contact me concerning the articles that I published on the Schoenberg recordings that I discovered, I refer them to the archive in order to obtain copies of these recordings (I am thinking here about the test pressings of Schoenberg conducting Pierrot lunaire and the broadcast done with him conducting the same piece). I am looking forward to working with the archivists of the Schoenberg center now that I am working on my book for Oxford University Press.


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