American Musicians and Soviet Music
(Conferences / Seminars / Lectures)
Presented by Kevin Bartig, College of Music
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 US-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 US-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, extolling 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.
Cosponsored by Music in American Life