Call for Papers


International Conference: Joseph Joachim at 185

Boston, Massachusetts, June 16-18, 2016

Conference Website:

CFP Deadline: December 15, 2015; notification to presenters by February 15, 2016

Keynote speaker: Prof. Dr. Christiane Wiesenfeldt, Director of the Institute for Musicology Weimar-Jena

Concert Performers and Program:

James Buswell, violin, Carol Ou, violoncello, Victor Rosenbaum, piano, and Mana Tokuno, piano.

Works by Joachim and others in his circle


  • Daytime paper sessions Thursday, Friday, Saturday, at the Goethe Institut Boston, 170 Beacon Street, Boston MA 02116
  • Friday evening concert at First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough Street
  • Saturday dinner, venue TBD.

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oseph Joachim is widely acknowledged to have been one of the most important musicians of the long 19th century. He is known as a child prodigy, internationally celebrated violin virtuoso, quartet player, composer of a short but distinguished catalog of works, Zukunftsmusiker, conductor, founding director of the Berlin Hochschule, surrogate and advocate for his early-departed mentors Mendelssohn and Schumann, and collaborator in the careers and creative works of others, most notably his great friend Brahms. Joachim’s life and artistry touched, and was touched by, virtually every major European musical figure of his time. His circle of friends was wide, and included not only musicians, but many celebrated writers, artists, and politicians. As a formidable intellectual and commanding moral presence, Joachim helped bring about a fundamentally new understanding of the performing artist and the musical heritage of Europe.

Yet, despite his prominence, Joachim remains something of an enigma, with much about his life and legacy waiting to be explored. Until recently, the final German edition of Andreas Moser’s authorized biography, Joseph Joachim: Ein Lebensbild (1908), was still the standard reference. The 2007 centenary of Joachim’s death brought a welcome new focus on this important artist, an international conference in his birth village of Kittsee (formerly Hungary, now Austria), and a growing body of new scholarship about his life and work. Beatrix Borchard’s dual biography, Stimme und Geige: Amalie und Joseph Joachim. Biographie und Interpretationsgeschichte (2005), offered important new information and an original perspective on that influential couple. More recent research has posed new questions about Joachim’s multi-faceted career and legacy and has begun to probe the façade of his carefully-crafted image.

Our conference aims to further these new and promising developments by providing a forum in which scholars can share perspectives and contemplate directions for future research. To that end, the program organizers welcome proposals for panels, individual papers of up to 30 minutes followed by brief discussion, and lecture-recitals of up to an hour in length. (No poster sessions, please.) We welcome presentations of unpublished research on any topic relating to Joseph Joachim and his world.

Particular areas of interest fall into three broad categories:

Joachim the violinist

  • his career, instruments, repertory, impact
  • recordings, editions, issues of performance practice

Joachim the composer, arranger, and editor

  • relationship of Joachim’s music to that of earlier and later composers
  • source studies and analytical studies
  • perspectives on issues of aesthetics, ideology, and cultural milieu that informed Joachim’s work

Biographical issues

  • Joachim and the Neudeutsche Schule
  • Joachim’s British Career
  • Joachim’s work with the Hochschule in Berlin, and his legacy as a teacher
  • interactions and collaborations with contemporary composers, performers, artists, politicians, and authors
  • issues of nationality, ethnicity, religion, and other questions of identity

Proposals should include name and affiliation (if relevant) of presenter, email address, title of paper, abstract of no more than 350 words, short bio for the program booklet (150 words or fewer), and specifics of audio-visual equipment (or piano) needed. For panels, an abstract of the panel as a whole should be submitted in addition to abstracts for individual papers.

The conference language is English.

Conference Organizers:

Robert Whitehouse Eshbach, Associate Professor of Music, University of New Hampshire

Valerie Woodring Goertzen, Associate Professor of Music History, Loyola University New Orleans

Contact for inquiries and proposal submissions:


Robert Eshbach or

Valerie Goertzen

Please use the subject line “Joachim Conference.”


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