As a composer, Christopher Kirsch explains the benefits of being an intern surrounded by Germany’s rich tradition of classical music
This is my first blog for Berklee. My name is Christopher Kirsch, I am 25 and currently interning at Sony Music Classical. While writing this, I am sitting at the desk in my apartment with a view onto the streets of Berlin. Originally, I applied at Sony in New York. It soon turned out that Berlin would be a great place for me, not only because I am German and was looking forward to spend some time over there, but also due to the interesting perspectives available at one of the world’s most creative locations.
This city, which survived the fascistic regime of the Nazis and the totalitarian system of Communism, was once the cultural center of the world. It was then completely bombed and divided during the Cold War and has undertaken a fascinating development during the past 20 years. It has become a hotspot for artists and creative professionals from all over the world. The fall of the Berlin Wall has not only liberated people from suppressive outside forces, but also fired their imaginations. Berlin is in great demand for new ideas and experiments and this can be a good thing for musicians like us.
Sony Classical Music is a sub-label of Sony Music Entertainment. Berlin is the world-wide headquarters of this department, not least because Germany is one of the most important classical markets in the world. The dynamic and vibrant atmosphere experienced in the city is also reflected in the company’s structure: the department reminds me more of a start-up than an established, worldwide business. This results in a very relaxed and young workforce – overall there are about 15 employees between 25 and 50. Besides a very friendly and laid-back feel, the work gets done efficiently and in a focused manner.
My favorite department (and I’ve been given an insight into several departments) is Artists and Repertoire, also known as A&R. Why? Well, here I can do research on upcoming artists or get more information about a certain music period. For an upcoming Franz Liszt recording, I had to find out about Liszt’s time spent in Paris. Over the weekend, I read a newly released Franz Liszt biography. One of my tasks for next week will be to write a three page synopsis about this stunning composer and pianist. From time to time, we also have to buy scores or search for the arranger of a specific song. In other words, the A&R department can be very diversified. I hope to get more work from them…
Christopher Kirsch is a Music Business major who has also studied both composition and film scoring. As a composer, Christopher works in many different kind of fields ranging from contemporary film music through to classical concert music. At the age of 19, his show Viva Favela! premiered, a one act musical, for which he not only wrote the music, but also the book and the libretto. The Don Quixote Suite has become a popular guitar piece that is regularly performed in Germany and the US. His latest composition Insomnium, a concert piece for string quartet and piano, was completed in December 2010.
Read more about Christopher on his website, www.christopherkirsch.com.
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