TONSPUR for a public space
Sound works at quartier21/MQ in Vienna
A project by Georg Weckwerth and Peter Szely

A programme of sound works and live-performances by
international artists in the Vienna MuseumsQuartier. These artists'
multi-channelled compositions go well beyond the standard
stereophonic experience, creating captivating acoustic
architectures and sound spaces.

William Engelen [NL]*
Meine Klavierlehrerein Fräulein Grosch, 2009
8-channel composition
Length 76 min.
*22nd TONSPUR-Artist-in-Residence at quartier21/MQ

MuseumsQuartier Wien
TONSPUR_passage [between MQ court 7 and 8]
Daily 10am to 8pm
Opening: Su 29.11.09, 5pm
Opening words:
Georg Weckwerth [artistic director TONSPUR]
Julia H. Schröder [musicologist] – read

is a collection of stories and anecdotes from current and former pupils of the piano. Fräulein Grosch is the name of the teacher in the first story I recorded. Most of the stories come from Vienna. They are very different portraits of varying length, humorous, deeply caring, sad, traumatic or frustrated. These very personal memories are accompanied by ‘field recordings’ from piano lessons that I recorded in Viennese music schools and private apartments
William Engelen, November 2009

William Engelen, born in Weert, Netherlands in 1964, lives and works in Berlin and Rotterdam.

Anybody who has been following the TONSPUR_passage in quartier21/MQ attentively will have noticed a jump in numbers between TONSPUR 29, by Christina Kubisch, and the current TONSPUR 32, by William Engelen. The reason for this is that since July 09, TONSPUR has also been running a second venue: in Berlin! It was here, on Schlossplatz in Berlin/Mitte, that the works number 30, by Via Lewandowsky, and 31, by Suk-Jun Kim [until 30.01.10], were completed. We would be delighted if you came to visit our new venue when you are next in Berlin. The precise location as well as programme details of TONSPUR IN BERLIN are available on our newly designed website at
There is a neat connection between TONSPUR 31 in Berlin and TONSPUR 32 in Vienna in terms of content, both the Korean Suk-Jun Kim and the Berlin-basesd Dutchman William Engelen spoke with large numbers of people to find material for their respective works. As a guest of the DAAD Berlin artists programme, Kim asked his friends and acquaintances to hum a song from their childhood. These recordings form the basis for 'In Tune, Out of Tune', which reverberates across the now empty Schlossplatz, the Palast der Republik having been cleared away, lending the location an extremely appealing intimacy.
William Engelen (*1964 in Weert/NL) used his time in Vienna as quartier21 Artist in Residence to collect people's stories of their piano lessons. (Not) incidentally, he also completed a new composition for solo viola, 'Verstrijken in Wien'. The premier, played by the soloist Dimitrios Polisoidis [Klangforum Wien] as part of the Vienna Art Week 2009, was a deeply fascinating event to open the new run of TONSPUR für einen öffentlichen raum with. For its part, 'My Piano Teacher Fräulein Grosch' provides a worthy close to year 6 of TONSPUR. It is an exceptional work by a truly groundbreaking artists who takes very personal memories to bring the public at large the intimacy of learning the piano, as well as the light-hearted and the dark sides of a frequently mythicised (Viennese) music tradition.
Georg Weckwerth, November 2009