Attending the State High School of Music in Wernigerode, Reiko Fueting
went on to study composition and piano at the Conservatory in Dresden, Germany, then pursue a Master's at Rice University in Houston, Texas, attend Manhattan School of Music for his doctoral degree, and travel to South Korea to study at Seoul National University.
He has received numerous prizes, awards, scholarships, and grants in both Europe and the United States, with his publications include compositions, arrangements, and analytical articles. Aside from being a composer, Reiko has also performed at venues and festivals in Belgium, Croatia, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Austria, Latvia, Russia, Czech Republic, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Colombia, and the United States, and appeared as a lecturer at universities and conservatories in China (Chungchun, Beijing, Shenyang), Colombia (Bogotá, Medellîn), Germany (Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Rostock), Russia (Moscow), and the United States (Baltimore, Hempstead, New York, Princeton).
Starting this fall, Reiko's music will be exclusively published by Edition Gravis in Berlin, Germany. One of his next compositional projects is an opera on the life of Mechthild von Magdeburg, which will be premiered in Magdeburg in 2022. Reiko is now the Department Chair of Composition, Theory, and Skills at the Manhattan School of Music.
Manhattan School of Music has seen a lot of change from the time that Reiko has known it. Although the main focus is still on European classical music of the 18th and 19th centuries, there have been new additions such as a department specializing in contemporary music performance, a doctorate in jazz, Baroque classes, a department for musical theater, among others. The school has also seen a drastic increase in the amount of international students — according to the professor, about 50% of the student body consists of students coming from other countries.
"We attract students that work in a conventional way, writing concert music for traditionally trained performers, but we also attract students that are interested in exploring alternative ways of performance in terms of how instruments are being played, how technology is being incorporated, and [people who are] questioning the very sense of what music means," Reiko shares.
Being a renowned conservatory, MSM places a huge emphasis on potential when accessing applicants. Academics are taken seriously, but much focus is geared towards musical practice. "We do give an exam when students apply, so we at least want to communicate what we expect somebody to know, but I also understand that people have different access to resources and education," the professor says. Someone who is curious, original, and critical makes a great applicant, because, while things like basic knowledge and experience are what one can always acquire over time, originality, curiosity, and thinking outside of the box are the things that some people have more than others.