So much so that the Austrian government is paying for two of the country's most renowned music scholars to speak at this year's annual Geiringer Lectures to be held Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24 at the UCSB Music Department's Karl Geiringer Hall.
Professor Otto Biba, director of Austria's Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde music academy in Vienna, and Dr. Ingrid Fuchs, a member of the Commission for Music Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, will speak about two of Geiringer's favorite topics: the music of composers Haydn and Brahms. Geiringer wrote definitive biographies of Brahms and Haydn, as well as of Bach and the Bach family.
Biba and Fuchs will speak at Saturday's session, which begins at 1 p.m.Biba's talk is entitled, "The Aged Haydn in his World." Fuchs' remarks are entitled, "Brahms in the Eyes of his Contemporaries."
The lectures will open at 4 p.m. Friday with a presentation by Walter Frisch, a professor of music at Columbia University and a specialist in 19th and 20th century Austro-German music. Frisch will deliver a lecture entitled "In Search of Brahms' First Symphony."
Geiringer was already an important world figure in musicology when he fled Austria to escape the Nazis in 1938. He continued his career in Britain, then in the United States, serving as a professor of music at Boston University for 21 years before coming west.
He was a professor of music at UCSB from 1962-1972 and chief architect of the Music Department's graduate program in musicology. Following his retirement, he continued to teach an annual spring seminar class that brought world-renowned music scholars to campus up until his death in 1989.
To perpetuate those spring classes and her husband's memory, Bernice Geiringer in 1994 established the Geiringer Lecture Series which has continued to bring top names in music scholarship to the UCSB campus. In February, Mrs. Geiringer endowed the series in perpetuity, making a large and generous contribution that also established a Bernice and Karl Geiringer graduate fellowship in music.
A piano concert by gifted Russian teen-ager Vassily Primakov will culminate this year's events. Primakov, a 19-year-old student of New York's Juilliard School, returns to Santa Barbara for the first time since 1997, when he was enthusiastically received by Concerto Night listeners at the Music Academy of the West's Summer Festival. Primakov will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 24 in Lotte Lehman Concert Hall.
Primakov tickets cost $15 general admission and $8 student admission. The lectures are free.