Andreas Karl
ifk Junior Fellow Abroad

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2022 bis 30. June 2023

Fellow Abroad

01. October 2023 bis 30. June 2024

Beyond Synthesis and Transfer. Analyzing the Aesthetic Shift in Recent Composed Music from China


In the last fifteen years, China’s contemporary music has experienced aesthetic impulses and discourses that differ significantly from earlier developments. As a result of changes in the realities of life and education, composers born in the 1990s and thereafter have come to regard once-controversial questions of national style and the integration of traditional music as historical discourses and relics of a Western-dominated perspective. Today, music from China stands in a manifold reciprocal relationship to Western and Asian music. The aim of the dissertation is to grasp the conditions and symptoms of this change. At the center of the work is an analysis of the artistic practice of selected composers. Qualitative interviews and contemporary historical contextualization complement the findings of the analysis. The positions from which music from China is described are discussed.


Andreas Karl is a musicologist, dramaturge, librettist, and composer. His research focuses on contemporary music in Europe and China. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the mdw, researching recent music from China. He has been a lecturer at the mdw and the Central Conservatory in Beijing, teaching the history and aesthetics of contemporary music. Since 2008 he has been working under the pen name Cornelius Berkowitz as a composer and musician on the border between concert, installation, film, and dance. His interests include interlingual phenomena, translation errors, and musical mapping. He regularly collaborates with the duo hoelb/hoeb, including on film scores and concert installations. As a librettist, he works closely with the composers Yang Song and Ying Wang. Previously, he was assistant to the composer Beat Furrer and co-curator at the CD label KAIROS.


»Wider die Einbahnstraße. Identitäten im jüngsten chinesisch geprägten Komponieren«, in: Positionen 128.3/2021, S. 38–46; »Beat Furrer und das mögliche Andere«, in: Bernhard Günther, Angela Heide (Hg.), Wien Modern 2021, Wien 2021, S. 97–101; »Black Metal. Musikalisierung des Bösen. Klangstrukturen extremer Ideologie«, in: terz magazin 1.2/2013, online.

17 October 2022
  • Lecture
IFK & IFK@Zoom
Andreas Karl


Der sich ständig verschiebende Spagat zwischen kultureller Heterogenität, Individualismus und staatlicher Homogenisierung ist der Musik aus China bis in die kleinsten Zellen eingeschrieben. Schon allein deswegen ist diese Musik hochdynamisch. Dennoch gab es bis in die 2000er-Jahre einige unumstößliche Konstanten – doch auch sie werden nun in Frage gestellt.