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Fulbright Scholar Franziska Brunner

Fulbright Year: 2016-2017
Country: Austria
Proposal Type: Research Grant
Field of Study: Musicology Proposal
Title: "Schoenberg’s Voices"
UGA Degree Program: PhD in Musicology
Hometown: Saland, Switzerland

Franziska Brunner will spend her year in a familiar location.

After two brief reconnaissance trips to Vienna, Franziska is now traveling to Austria for a third, much longer, time. She will be researching and lecturing on the vocal music of Arnold Schoenberg, a 20th century composer who, among other things, specialized in a vocal technique known as Sprechstimme (or speech-voice).

In Vienna, Franziska will work with Dr. Markus Grassl at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien (or “the MdW” for short) and plans to spend the majority of her of time at the Arnold Schoenberg Center, the international hub for Schoenberg study.

“The archivists (at the Schoenberg Center) have already been an incredible support network, and I look forward immensely to working with them over such an extended period of time,” says Franziska, who is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology. “Since the Schoenberg Center is dedicated exclusively to Arnold Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School, the print and digital resources, as well as the specialized staff, are invaluable.”

As part of her research, Franziska challenges the oversimplified idea of Sprechstimme as single, stereotypically unpleasant sound. By creating a “voice playground” made up of props and technology, Franziska will help the public experiment with the potential of their natural voices.

“Playing with their own voices will allow participants to grow more comfortable with unfamiliar vocal sounds and will hopefully guide them to a broader appreciation of the coloristic variety in modern vocal music,” Franziska says.

During her stay in Vienna, she has also been invited to present a paper at the 2016 International Schoenberg Symposium in Vienna.

“I look forward to exchanging ideas with Schoenberg researchers from around the world,” Franziska says.

Franziska, who teaches at UGA in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, will take full advantage of the cultural offerings awaiting her in Austria and intends to bring them back to the classroom. As a concert clarinetist with performance degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and UGA, the major cultural attractions in the city are arts-related for Franziska.

“I plan to see as many dance, musical, and theatrical productions as possible to gain a richer context for Viennese culture,” she says. “The carnival (Fasching) season early next year will be interesting to witness firsthand. I also look forward to exploring the Vienna woods, the enormous gardens, and as a historian, the beautiful cemeteries. Without a doubt, this will be one of the biggest learning adventures of my life.”

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