The center for music of today (Zentrum für Gegenwartsmusik, ZfGM)

of the Leipziger Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy"

The center for music of today (Zentrum für Gegenwartsmusik, ZfGM) of the Leipziger Hochschule für Musik und Theater


The Centre for Present-Day Music (ZfGM) was founded in 2016 at the University of Music and Theatre »Felix Mendelssohn

Bartholdy«, on the initiative of the Vice-Chancellor’s office and the associated departments. The present is the connecting point between the past as a whole, including the music of classical modernity and the post-war avant-garde, and a future that is fundamentally open, and thus has yet to be shaped. This is considerably more than is associated with the concept of »New Music«, which has itself become historical. The centre focuses on the creativity of a living, active and inquisitive contemporaneity. For this, it draws on a multi-layered connection to time:

  • The centre maintains the study and performance of New Music as the major period of music since the start of the 20th century.
  • It initiates musical and compositional creativity in the present.
  • It fosters a cross-historical confrontation between earlier and new music.
  • It opens up horizons for the tasks and potentials of the future.

The Centre places particular emphasis on:

  • artistic independence and freedom
  • the most open discursive culture
  • a profound engagement with the tradition of European art music
  • the link to musicology and music theory
  • the connection to a contemporary philosophical and cultural studies discourse
  • innovation and research concerning the social relevance of present-day music
  • an interconnection with other musical and artistic faculties.

The Centre for Present-Day Music offers the possibility to engage with the following demands of the present day:

  • the availability of all art music since the Middle Ages as well as popular music, jazz and indigenous music traditions across the globe
  • a pluralism of different styles and aesthetics
  • the internationalization of composition and music-making through an increasingly globalized music world
  • the growing influence of computer-assisted composition, electroacoustic music, live electronics and other music technologies
  • the interdisciplinarity of music, theatre, performance, video and other media
  • the expansion in forms of public presentation the increasing significance of a lively discourse between aesthetics, philosophy, cultural theory, science and politics.

The centre’s activities are:

  • Tuition and research
  • Performances and work on artistic projects
  • Communication and outreach
  • Interconnection and partnerships