Wenzel Birck – Digital Edition of the works of the Viennese court organist

The main goal of the project is to document and edit the musical oeuvre of the Viennese court organist and composer Wenzel Birck (1718–1763), important representative of the transitional period between the Baroque and the Classical periods. His chamber music in particular demonstrates the great compositional talent of the musician, who is rather unknown outside of Austria. Birck had theoretical lessons with Matteo Palotta (1680–1758) and practical lessons in organ playing with Johann Joseph Fux (c. 1660–1741). From 1739 he succeeded Georg Reutter the Elder (1656–1738) as imperial court organist with composition duties. In this function he instructed the sons of Maria Theresa in music and composition. Furthermore he was responsible for the musical education and training of the later emperors Joseph II and Leopold II as well as of Archduke Karl Joseph, who died at an early age.

As a native digital edition under a Creative Commons license, the complete edition (81 works in total) breaks new ground. High-resolution scans of as many sources as possible should be made available online in order to enable the scientific community to compare the edition (based on standards of the Music Encoding Initiative) with the originals. In addition to the online presentation, performance material for musicians according to the practical needs can be generated and downloaded.

Project Duration:

1 September 2017 ­– 20 December 2023



Robert Klugseder


Partner Institutions:

University of Vienna

Music Encoding Initiative