Farewell after 16 years
by Helmut Loos and Christoph Siems
Professor Dr Patrick Dinslage was there from the beginning when the registered association Edvard Grieg Memorial and Meeting Place Leipzig was founded on 24 October 1998. This established an important contact with the Edvard Grieg Research Centre, founded in 1995 at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster and established in Berlin at the University of the Arts by Patrick Dinslage as its new director in 2005. Its reopening under the new institutional roof was celebrated with a ceremony on 27 January 2006. As Vice President of the Berlin University of the Arts and Dean of the Faculty of Music, Patrick Dinslage had made this possible.
For many years, his research has focused on the music of Northern Europe, especially the music of Edvard Grieg. In 1998, he was invited by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences to spend six months in Oslo. During this time he worked in an international research group on the topic of "Edvard Grieg in National and International Culture". This was followed in 2000 by another stay as a visiting researcher at the Musicology Department of the University of Oslo. Since 2004 he has been Vice-President and from 2007 to 2012 President of the International Edvard Grieg Society. The Edvard Grieg Research Centre has since been in close contact with the Centre for Grieg Research at the University of Bergen, the Musicology Institute at the University of Oslo and Norway's Academy of Music in Oslo. The two professors Arvid Vollsnes and Harald Herresthal were the contacts on the Norwegian side. There were also collaborations with the Institute of Northern Europe at the Humboldt University in Berlin, specifically with the Henrik Steffens Professorship funded by Norway, with the Musicology Institute at the University of Copenhagen (Prof. Dr. Heinrich W. Schwab), with the Department of Musicology at the University of Lund/Sweden and with the Sibelius Academy/Helsinki (Prof. Dr. Fabian Dahlström and Prof. Dr. Ilkka Oramo).
Patrick Dinslage has rendered outstanding services to the Grieg Meeting Place in Leipzig. When it came to furnishing the new premises at Talstraße 10 in 2006, he and Heide Görtz arranged for a historic Duysen grand piano from Edvard Grieg's time. The series "A Concertante Lesson", which the two of them organised together for several years as a concert with a lecture, is famous. Patrick Dinslage also put his excellent contact with the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin at the service of our association and engaged the conductor Jon Bara Johansen and his Residence Orchestra Berlin for the concert on 29 June 2013 in the Peterskirche Leipzig with the symphonies of Johan Svendsen (No.1) and Edvard Grieg. He also invited the Oslo Brigade Music to Leipzig for the summer festival at the Begegnungsstätte in 2019. As a special highlight, Patrick Dinslage arranged the purchase of the Grieg portrait by Eilif Pettersen, so that in addition to the furnishing of the music salon, we can now proudly present a first real museum piece in our house.
But the greatest deed must still be mentioned: In 2015, Patrick Dinslage offered the Grieg Encounter Centre to transfer the Edvard Grieg Research Centre to Leipzig. Not only does it have a rich history, it also possesses an extensive specialist library on Edvard Grieg, which forms an ideal basis for any further scholarly engagement with our composer. In February 2016, the Edvard Grieg Research Centre moved from the Berlin University of the Arts to the University of Leipzig. This makes our meeting place, with its connection to the Institute of Musicology at the University of Leipzig, one of the rare research institutes in the world to dedicate its work specifically to the life and work of Edvard Grieg. Hopeful beginnings of staffing have already taken place; with seminars on Edvard Grieg at the University of Leipzig, Patrick Dinslage was able to inspire students for our composer. In accordance with our statutes, Patrick Dinslage had been a member of the board of the Grieg Meeting Centre since 2005 - the director of the research centre is a board member by virtue of his office - and he officially stood for election at the 2017 general meeting and has since been a permanent member of the association's management. During these years, he once again strengthened the academic focus of our association: in 2016 and 2020, the German Edvard Grieg Congresses Nos. 7 & 8 took place in Leipzig, with the topics: "Edvard Grieg, his environment, his succession" and "Edvard Grieg and his Scandinavian colleagues in their relations to Leipzig". Reports of the two congresses were published in 2018 and 2021. 2018 also saw the publication of Patrick Dinslage's new standard work by Laaber-Verlag: Edvard Grieg und seine Zeit, the rich yield of a lifelong preoccupation with Edvard Grieg.
The great services that Patrick Dinslage has rendered to the Grieg Meeting Centre in Leipzig can only be outlined in a few words. His lively commitment, especially on the board of the association, has always promoted the entire work. Now he is leaving the board at his own request, which we all regret very much. We are comforted by Patrick Dinslage's assurance that he will continue to be involved in the work and will be available for further activities. We thank him most sincerely for the extraordinarily successful promotion of the Grieg Meeting Centre over the years and hope for further cooperation in the times to come. Such a man cannot be missed!
Patrick Dinslage's departure from Leipzig is also associated with a change at the top of the Edvard Grieg Research Centre. After 16 successful years, two German Edvard Grieg Congresses and the important move of the research institution to Grieg's "German home", the former president of the International Edvard Grieg Society is also stepping down as director of the Edvard Grieg Research Centre. Just last year, Patrick Dinslage had organised the 8th edition of the German Edvard Grieg Congress together with our Society President Helmut Loos and the acting head of the Institute for Musicology at the University of Leipzig, Stefan Keym. Now Helmut Loos is taking over the reins at the Research Centre on 1 October.
As big as the gap is that Patrick Dinslage tears with his departure, we are also grateful that this does not entail any existential consequences for the institution. Stefan Keym has assured us of his continued hospitality. Accordingly, the Research Centre will remain in the Institute's rooms at Neumarkt 9-19. There are no major changes in personnel either. Museum staff member Christoph Siems continues to devote himself to looking after the library, which focuses on northern European music history, and welcomes researchers, students and interested visitors. With his doctorate on the composers Fartein Valen (Norway) and Rued Langgaard (Denmark), which will begin in spring 2021, he also fills this position in the best possible way.
In the future, we want to continue the work started by Patrick Dinslage. On the one hand, science should remain an important part of our association's work. It is our link to the University of Leipzig. The Edvard Grieg Research Centre is also an elementary building block for the international networking of the Grieg Meeting Place. It maintains close relations with all the renowned universities in Scandinavia as well as with music heritage sites such as the Grieg Museum in Troldhaugen. In addition, our concert activities should also continue to benefit from current research. With appealing programme booklets, discussion concert formats and challenging lecture topics, it makes a significant contribution to our daily outreach work.
The Edvard Grieg Research Centre opens its doors to interested visitors at any time. Just drop by during our opening hours, always on Mondays 15.00-17.00 or make an appointment with our staff. Simply write an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.