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Chancellor of Mozarteum University Salzburg Visits NTNU

Mozarteum University Salzburg’s Chancellor Prof. Elisabeth Gutjahr commenced her first ever visit to Taiwan with a series of meetings at National Taiwan Normal University. The exchanges between Chancellor Gutjahr and NTNU representatives from the Department of Fine Arts and College of Music led to further considerations of how Mozarteum University Salzburg and National Taiwan Normal University can collaborate in future artistic and musical endeavors.

Salzburg, the fourth-largest city in Austria, was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s home for the first 25 years of his short 35-year life. Once considered a poor and provincial town in contrast with larger imperial cities, Salzburg now claims an impressive reputation in the field of music and provided the setting for the classic film The Sound of Music. Mozart’s widow founded Mozarteum University Salzburg in 1841 and the world-renowned state university has become a world leader in art and performance education and research. “Culture is the brick and mortar of a city’s vitality,” Chancellor Gutjahr stated in her sharing of the relationship between Mozarteum University and Salzburg.

More than 2,000 highly talented students from 70 countries devote themselves to the arts at the Mozarteum University together with 550 teachers. The institution is also a part of the European Association of Conservatoires along with around 300 other member institutions spanning almost 60 countries, including participants in Hong Kong and Singapore. During Chancellor Gutjahr’s meeting with NTNU President Cheng-Chih Wu and Vice President for International Affairs Yi-De Liu, they discussed the possibility of NTNU’s College of Music becoming a part of this cultural and educational network. Founded in 1946, the College of Music at NTNU has the oldest music department as well as the first music graduate school (established in 1980) in Taiwan. Its Graduate Institute of Ethnomusicology is distinctive in the research of traditional, aboriginal, and Austronesian music. A graduate of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, NTNU College of Music Dean Chia-Hong Drapal Liao was especially pleased to welcome Chancellor Gutjahr. They conversed freely in German following a short violin performance by NTNU music students.

In addition, NTNU Art Museum Director Prof. Shih-Ming Pai provided Prof. Gutjahr with a guided tour of the NTNU Art Museum. The irregular shape of the Art Museum’s exterior reflects the diverse aesthetics of contemporary times. As a place for exploration and interdisciplinary exchange, the NTNU Art Museum hopes to play a central role in advancing the state of Taiwanese modern art as well as become an international artistic hub. On the museum’s fourth floor, visitors can periodically observe the active process of cultural relic restoration. On the first floor, upon entering the Stage of Light, a corridor with immersive technology, Chancellor Gutjahr provided various insights on how the space can be further used to juxtapose contrasting media and themes. Mozarteum University is actually the only art university in Austria to combine music, performing arts, and fine arts; it is currently creating a larger space, scheduled to open in 2025, similar in function to NTNU Art Museum’s Stage of Light. Prof. Pai and Chancellor Gutjahr both noted that experimental projects such as these could be areas of potential collaboration.

The visit by Mozarteum University Salzburg Chancellor Prof. Gutjahr to NTNU was filled with the sharing of ideas about music and art. NTNU representatives hope that the abundant possibilities for cooperation between the great talents and professional skills present at both institutions will be actively developed.