Bad boy is new head of German composers’ association

Bad boy is new head of German composers’ association


norman lebrecht

November 03, 2020

The composer Moritz Eggert, best known as the blogger Bad Boy of Music, has been elected president of the German Composers’ Association (DKV). He replaces Enjott Schneider, who retired sick, and he may have to tone it down a bit on the blog.

Or he’ll get seriously fugued over.


  • John Borstlap says:

    How does Mr Eggert spend his free time? By trying to add some ‘hip’ to the German modernist mindset – the sort of ‘fun’ which had already been entirely exhausted in the sixties of the last century in the countries which had not to recover from Nachkriegschuldbewältigungsdruck:

    One can only feel a profound Mitleid with the nation that struggles with a heritage so split into extremes – Beethoven on one side and Hitler on the other.

    • Goodguy says:

      Haha Moritz Eggert! He’s pseudo-famous for having been attacked by Guy Deutscher a while back: Guy Deutscher thought it would boost his argument, by pushing a little Reductio ad Hitlerum on to Moritz: pathetic and immature.

      But in reality these words apply to Moritz as well: pathetic and immature. Modernist lunacy, all the way; under a veil of “good guy”.

  • Melisande says:

    Democracy includes the ideology of free speech, regardless of former history.

    • John Borstlap says:

      People are as free to utter nonsense as to reject it, so that it is left to the individual’s free intelligence to make a judgment. Freedom of speech does not mean that this freedom supports the nonsense.

    • Le Křenek du jour says:

      “Democracy includes the ideology of free speech, regardless of former history”

      No, it doesn’t.

      Much to my chagrin as an advocate of unfettered free speech, democracies have often been restrictive and sometimes repressive.

      The classic exhibit is classical Athens, arguably the poster child of raucous, boisterous, direct democracy. As Jacob Burckhardt summed it up, the Athenians put Socrates to death ultimately because he annoyed them, utterly and constantly.
      If you cannot stand a Socrates, your claim to free speech is forfeited.

      On the other hand, Frederic II’s Prussia, an absolutist monarchy if there ever was one, granted a measure of free speech uncommon in much of Europe. Not just to Voltaire, not just to Kant, but to a range of authors now forgotten; forgotten also because they didn’t get to become martyrs for freedom. Old Fritz was sufficiently self-assured to tolerate a healthy measure of dissent. « Il y a des juges à Berlin. » This anecdote is characteristic: the “Rechtsstaat”, governance by the rule of law, preceded democracy in the German-speaking countries by centuries. It may look straitlaced by today’s standards, but it provided some surprising safeguards of expression. Few realise that, when Germany turned totalitarian, it turned against its own history and tradition.

      • John Borstlap says:


        Although the suggestion that Mr Eggert would be a Socrates seems a bit over-enthusiastic.

        Fritz could be secure because with a wink he could send anybody to the gallows. But do we need a dictatorship imposing entirely free speech of insult to protect civil society?

  • Hilary says:

    Good brain on the evidence of this QandA feature.
    And ( more importantly, though not disconnected from the above ) a good composer on the strength of Hämmerklavier.

  • Moritz’s commentaries are well within the limits of the German new music mainstream. “Bad Boy” is more a catchy moniker than an actual practice. No one is going to bother him.

  • Garech de Brun says:

    I have never heard of this fellow at all.

    German composers dominated up to the end of the 19th century, the centre of gravity then splintered for a number of reasons, break up of the Hapsburg Empire, new emerging nation states with self determination, two devastating world wars, they no longer have the creative genius of a Bach, Biber, Beethoven etc. All they can do is make odd noises resembling a faulty bilge pump running on an empty diesel tank.

    If the Covid lockdown etc is preventing performances, could they not use the time productively to compose something to improve our morale or at the very least cheer us all up.

  • Kiss my Arts says:

    The new music of the 21st century will not come from Germany, they have had they heyday and are now all worn out and so are their audiences!

    • John Borstlap says:

      I don’t believe that at all. The only reason that atonal modernism or nihilistic quasi-hip is still dominant in Germany, is for neurotic reasons. There is enough musical talent there, as is shown in German performance practice, with its wealth of opera houses and symphony orchestras of high quality. But because it is a museum culture, it escapes the requirement of having to be modern, which is impossible for ‘new music’.

      But younger generations will have a fresh look. And then, their leading modernist Wolfgang Rihm has turned, in his later days, towards a much more musical language:

      A truly beautiful and expressive work, full of melancholy, and nostalgia to ‘the good old times’. In comparison, Mr Eggerts cuts a quite poor figure.