U.S. Musicians & Soviet Music

Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Time: 7 p.m.
Phone: (517) 884-0901
Presented by Dr. Kevin Bartig, College of Music. Cosponsored by Music in American Life. This presentation explores the activities of the American-Soviet Music Society and the Music Committee of the National Council on Soviet-American Friendship, two private, New-York-based groups that championed U.S.-Soviet musical exchange during and immediately following the Second World War. Scholars have given these groups scant attention, often dismissing them as diplomatically expedient byproducts of the U.S.-Soviet wartime alliance. Bartig shows, however, that these groups coalesced around cultural ties forged well before the war. Underlying these ties were conceptions of musical nationalism and universalism that linked the developments of Soviet and American art music, enhancing similarities and shared goals. These short-lived groups thus reveal much about the way American musicians viewed Soviet music before the advent of the Cold War, a time when difference and competition became the watchwords of an era. n