Esotericism and the Composer: The Busoni-Sitsky Tradition
This paper explores an elite esoteric tradition of music composition, transmitted to succeeding generations by practicing musicians with an avid interest in the occult. Motivated by a conception of music as an agent of transcendence, this tradition has been most clearly articulated by Ferruccio Busoni as Junge Klassizität, or Young Classicality. The core ideas of Busoni’s Junge Klassizität have been passed from teacher to pupil in the manner of an esoteric school, and encrypted as symbols within original compositions. One inheritor of Busoni’s esoteric legacy was the Australian composer Larry Sitsky, a composition student of Busoni via Egon Petri. Building on existing research into the esoteric nature of Busoni’s Junge Klassizität, this study traces the passage of the esoteric tradition along the Busoni-Petri-Sitsky line. It outlines a new, living and evolving tradition born from Sitsky’s reinterpretation and revitalisation of Busoni’s model. Within the Busoni-Sitsky tradition the orientation of Junge Klassizität remains unchanged but has flowered into new exoteric manifestations.
Keywords: Music Composition, Musicology, Esoteric Philosophy, The Perennial Tradition, Occultism, Religion in Art, Preservation of Ancient Knowledge through Modern Music
Dr Judith Crispin
School of Creative Arts