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The University of Southampton
MusicPart of Humanities

Postdoctoral Grant Awarded by the Swedish Research Council

Published: 10 January 2009

he Swedish Research Council has awarded a postdoctoral research grant to Dr Tilman Skowroneck for his work on Viennese piano culture, to be held at Southampton.

The fellowship is for two years, and will allow Dr Skowronek to work together with Southampton's head of keyboard studies, Professor David Owen Norris, a specialist on early pianos. Dr Skowronek's project, 'Stability and change in Early Romantic Viennese piano culture' investigates the rapid development of Viennese pianos during the Early Romantic period, focusing especially on innovation in piano making and playing in Viennese musical culture. He will study how conservatism and progressive thinking both appear in the goals and products of Viennese piano makers, and how customers’ use influenced the makers and thus helped to shape the development of Viennese pianos. The sources include letters, technical descriptions, early histories of the piano, and surviving pianos.

Dr Skowroneck studied harpsichord with Bob van Asperen, Anneke Uittenbosch, Ton Koopman and Gustav Leonhardt in The Hague and Amsterdam. After establishing himself as a freelance harpsichordist in Germany and Holland, he joined the Swedish baroque group Corona Artis in 1991, and since 1996, he has been involved in early-piano activities at the University of Gothenburg and at the Gothenburg organ centre GOArt. In 2007, he finished his dissertation, 'Beethoven the Pianist: biographical, organological and performance-practical aspects of his years as a public performer.'

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