Dorothea Baumann (1946-2022)

Dorothea Baumann (1946-2022) was well known to members of the Royal Musical Association through her research, which ranged from music of the Middle Ages and the Trecento to room acoustics and music perception, and especially as Secretary General of the International Musicological Society for 25 years (1994-2019). In the latter role she worked with five IMS Presidents including, from the UK, Stanley Sadie and David Fallows. She also served for five quinquennial congresses: London (1997), Leuven (2002), Zürich (2007), Rome (2012), and Tokyo (2017). Dorothea was also active within two of the IMS’s ‘Four Rs’, serving as a long-term advisory member of the Commission Mixte of RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales) and of the Council of Association of RIdIM (Association Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale). She was made an honorary member of the IMS in 2019 and played a vital role in the foundation of a study group dedicated to the history of the IMS. 

As members of the Directorium of the International Musicological Society, Julian Rushton and Laura Tunbridge both recall Dorothea’s warm welcome to the group, and her energy and enthusiasm for musicology and its institutions (her doctoral supervisor Kurt von Fischer characterised Dorothea as “the good soul of the Zurich Musicological Institute and of Swiss musicology”). 

Julian Rushton writes:

When I was asked to contribute to Dorothea’s Festschrift, I was of course delighted to do so, but, I confess, surprised that someone so full of energy should already be in line for such a tribute. Though my musicological interests were not close to hers (I did my best by treating spaces as a musical interval), she was most gracious when we celebrated the publication at a gathering in Zürich. It was always a pleasure to see her at meetings of the IMS directors and enjoy her command of the business in hand. She kindly invited me back for an additional meeting after I had retired, again in Zürich. A group was convened one morning to complete the review of the statutes; my job was only to advise on the English-language wording, not the content (I was rewarded by another excellent lunch with colleagues and spared the afternoon meeting). I knew then of course that she was retiring, but would have wished her many more years for a serene Abenddämmerung.

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