Erwartung / Expectation: 1914 and a Hundred Years Later

The Centre for Contemporary Music at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Moscow together with "das weisse haus Wien" Cultural Collective, The Meyerhold Theater Centre, Fabrika Centre for Creative Industries present in April-May 2014 the cultural project "EXPECTATION / ERWARTUNG. 1914 and the century after".

The idea for the project: "Expectation" is one of the most successful works by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, which he wrote not long before the beginning of World War I in 1914. After 100 years, the creators of the project are bringing back this work and other masterpieces of that time as well as presenting 7 world premieres of multimedia compositions created specially for the "Expectation" project. "Expectation" will end with a series of performances by Austrian media artists in the framework of the Moscow "Museum Night" at the Fabrika Center for Creative Industries.

Since the beginning of World War I, often called the "forgotten war", a hundred years have passed. The horrors of World War II eclipsed the catastrophe of the First World War, yet as August 1914 recedes from the present day and as we sharply recall the departed 20th century, we become more and more certain of the colossal significance that the Sarajevo shootings, in that small part of the enormous Habsburg Empire, had for the fate of civilization. The "Expectation" project is dedicated to this theme, referring to the name of the well-known monoopera by Schoenberg, and has a symbolic meaning — in the flames of their mutual opposition, the last European empires died — the Russian and the Austro-Hungarian.

The festival program is ambitious, with concerts specially created for the project of works by Russian and Austrian composers as well as centuries-old compositions expressing the threatening atmosphere of expectation of the worldwide catastrophe ("Expectation"), and reflections by contemporaries ("History of a soldier") as well as modern expressions of the theme of the "forgotten war".

Aside from the early-20th-century vocal and instrumental compositions that will be performed by the Studio for New Music ensemble in the Rakhmaninov Hall of the conservatory, Russian and Austrian composers worked with media artists to create a few entirely new pieces specially for this cycle. These will take place at two leading Moscow cultural centers — the Vsevolod Meyerhold Theatrical Culture Center (two concerts with the premieres of projects created for the festival) and the Fabrika Center for Creative Industries (with four international multimedia projects dedicated to the festival's theme as part of Museum Night, under the direction of the "das weisse haus Wien" cultural association).

Direct Speech:

Vladimir Tarnopolsky, composer, founder and director of the Studio for New Music ensemble:
“The events of the First World War expressed themselves differently in the memories of European nations. In some countries (for example, in France) many family archives to this day cautiously preserve photographs and documents from that time, while in Russia the events of that war have wound up in the deep darkness of the October Revolution, one of the results of the war. In our project, “Expectation”, we want to research the feelings, presentiments, and “psycho grams” of composers of that time and put them in a present-day context. We turned to Russian and Austrian composers and multimedia artists with a proposal to write works on this theme. In the concert programs, audiences will also hear more significant vocal and orchestral compositions by Austrian and Russian composers of that time, which are connected with the theme of the First World War”.

Simon Mraz, Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Moscow, cultural attaché of the Austrian Embassy in the Russian Federation:
“Expectation” in our project should be understood to signify not only passivity. One hundred years have passed since the creation of the eponymous work of the great composer Schoenberg – one hundred years since the beginning of the great, catastrophic war. We do not want to limit ourselves to only one “Expectation”. Our goal is to create something new together with composers and artists. The partners in the project and, most importantly, its participants – composers and media artists – took Schoenberg's “Expectation” as a starting point, in order to remember the year 1914 from a somewhat “different” perspective. For us, this is firstly a reason to remember afresh creativity in all its forms; secondly we wish to become followers of the heritage of the early 20th century and the work of Arnold Schoenberg, and thirdly this project is a possibility to once more raise the question of “Expectation”, but in the year 2014.

Project participants:

William “Bilwa” Costa (media artist), USA
Paul Wenninger (video artist), Austria
Vladimir Gorlinsky (composer), Russia
Andrew Quinn (video artist), Australia / Italy
Kollektiv/Rauschen (media artists) Austria вв
Matthias Kranebitter (composer), Austria
Natalie Latham (video artist), Austria
Alexei Nadzharov (composer), Russia
Todor Pozharev (video artist), Serbia
Nikolai Popov (composer), Russia
Ulla Rauter (media artist), Austria
Alexandra Smolina (video artist), Russia
Fyodor Sofronov (composer), Russia
Benjamin Tomasi (media artist), Italy
Emmanuel Flores Elías (video artist), Mexico
Tamara Friebel (composer), Austria
Evgenia Shelkova (dance), Austria / Russia
Peter Jakober (composer), Austria


Vladimir Tarnopolsky (Moscow)
Alexandra Grausam (Vienna)
Simon Mraz (Moscow)
Special thanks to Ute Pinter, Austria.

Information about das weisse haus

das weisse haus is Kunstverein (art organization), exhibition space and non-profit-organization for the promotion and presentation of young art. das weisse haus offers young artists — besides the presentation of their artworks — comprehensive PR, a wide-ranging in-ternational network as well as various forms of mediation such as artist talks, lectures, video interviews, texts and a kid's program. das weisse haus opened in December 2007. It was founded by Alexandra Grausam und Elsy Lahner and has been directed as well as conceptually designed together until August 2011. Alexandra Grausam is solely responsible for the management of das weisse haus since then. In addition the team is continuously supported by assistants, interns as well as helping friends, members, sponsors and supporters. Since the opening the use of various premises has been the major strength and feature of das weisse haus. The consistent transformation of the locations and the associated characteristics of the exhibition program show the flexibility and openness of the Kunstverein with their con-temporary approach and commitment for new exhibition spaces. The possibility to experiment with the available space, to develop new concepts as well to create a symbiosis of art and space make das weisse haus unique. Which part and how much of the exhibition space is fi-nally used is co-decided with the artists, thus it allows them to adjust the room according to the specific works and to the different needs of the artists. Since the opening das weisse haus has been regularly organizing solo- and group exhibitions, since 2009 also project spaces and additional, to complement the program, events such as artists talks, guided tours and at times even a kid's program. Part of the additional events of das weisse haus are talks, film screenings as well as presentation of permanent installation or installations in public space.
In the selection of artists from Fine Arts, Photography, Video- and Media Art das weisse haus focuses on young national and international positions. Also international cooperations take an important role.

List of events

Concert 1

10 April 2014, Thursday
Rakhmaninov Hall of the Conservatory (Bolshaya Nikitskaya, 13)
Beginning at 7 pm, entrance free
Arnold SCHOENBERG Erwartung, monodrama to a libretto
by Marie Pappenheim, ор. 17 (1909/1999)
Arrangement for chamber orchestra F. Karaev
Galina USTVOLSKAYA Composition 1: Dona Nobis Pacem
for flute piccolo, tuba and piano (1970-1971)
Klaus LANG Rote Asche for two bass-clarinets,
violoncello and accordion (2009/2012)
Ekaterina Kichigina, soprano
Studio for New Music ensemble
Igor Dronov, conductor

Concert 2

23 April 2014, Wednesday
Rakhmaninov Hall of the Conservatory (Bolshaya Nikitskaya, 13)
Beginning at 7 pm, entrance free

Passacaglia ор.1(1923-1924)
transcription — Henri Pousseur
Alban BERG

5 Orchesterlieder for medium voice and chamber ensemble
on the texts of P.Altenberg, ор.4 (1912/1985)
transcription — Diderik Wagenaar
Igor STRAVINSKI Histoire du soldat , suite (1918)

Ash gloomy and
after the last battle for six musicians (2013)
Peter ABLINGER Voices and Piano for piano and tape (since 1998)
Ekaterina Kichigina, soprano
Natalia Cherkasova, piano
Studio for New Music ensemble
Igor Dronov, conductor

29 April 2014, Tuesday
The Meyerhold Theatre Centre (Novoslobodskaya, 23)
Beginning at 8 pm. Tickets available at theater box office

Erwartung. Multimedia Performance (3)

Music — Peter Jakober (Austria), video — Paul Wenninger (Austria)

something went wrong
Music — Alexei Nadjarov (Russia), video — Andrew Quinn (Australia/Italy)

Music and video — Vladimir Gorlinski (Russia)

Pierrot and his shadow
Music — Fedor Sofronov, graphics — Alexandra Smolina, video — Svetlana Karimova (Russia)

Studio for New Music ensemble Igor Dronov, conductor

21 May 2014, Wednesday
The Meyerhold Theatre Centre (Novoslobodskaya, 23)
Beginning at 8 pm. Tickets available at theater box office

Erwartung. Multimedia Performance (4)

There was never any war up here
Music — Tamara Friebel (Austria), video — Nathalie Latham (Austria), dance — Evguenia Chtchelkova (Austria)

State of Surfeit
Music — Matthias Kranebitter (Austria), video — Emmanuel Flores Elias (Mexico)

Music — Nikolay Popov (Russia), video — Todor Pozarev (Serbia)

Studio for New Music ensemble
Igor Dronov, conductor