Highest accolade for musicologist

Cluster researcher Dominik Höink awarded Hermann Abert Prize from the German Society for Music Research

Prof. Dr. Dominik Höink

Musicologist Dominik Höink has been awarded the 2019 Hermann Abert Prize for his outstanding research in the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster. According to the jury, he takes a novel look at the religious musical genre of the oratorio in his studies on the political functionalization of the oratorio in the 18th to 20th centuries. “He is concerned not with the traditional ‘masterpiece’ narrative or the alleged linearity of progress in the oratorio, but with the oratorio as a textual-musical-national genre in the system of denomination, secularization, memory and community”. The prize, worth 2,500 euros, is regarded as one of the highest honours for young musicologists aged 40 and under, and is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements in all fields of musicology. The award ceremony took place at the annual conference of the German Society for Music Research at the University of Paderborn.

For the past ten years, Dominik Höink has carried out his research in the Cluster of Excellence, where around 200 researchers from 20 disciplines in the humanities and social sciences work together on an interdisciplinary basis. For the jury, Höink is a scholar whose work has demonstrated “thematic diversity and originality, intellectual freshness as well as the ability to provide extremely valuable impetus not only for his own field but also for other disciplines”.

Höink’s award-winning work includes his postdoctoral thesis Oratorio and Nation, 1914-1945: Studies on the politicization of religious music in Germany, which examines the relationship that German nationalism had to the religious genre of the oratorio. Höink has also studied performances in German-speaking countries of the oratorios of Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759), and the interplay between religious music and the political and social context in the oratorios of Louis Spohr (1784-1859). He also created the online “Catalogue of German oratorios”, which provides an overview of the repertoire of German oratorios of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Born in 1981, Dominik Höink studied musicology, Catholic theology and psychology in Münster. From 2008 to 2018, he led the research project “Political-national material and spiritual-religious form: the oratorio from the 18th to the 20th century” at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, and has been a lecturer at the University since 2009. In 2011, he was accepted into the “Young College” of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Düsseldorf, and in 2014 was awarded the International Handel Research Prize. Höink has filled Andreas Jacob’s professorial chair at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen since the summer term of 2017 (vvm/sca).