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International Conference
Международный научный симпозиум »Композиторы в Гулаге в годы правления Сталина«
Internationales Symposium

University of Göttingen ❘ Гёттингенский Университет ❘ Universität Göttingen

16–19 June 2010 ❘ 16-го по 19-е июня 2010 г.❘ 16.–19. Juni 2010


Composers in the Gulag under Stalin


International Conference contributes to the understanding of Soviet music history.

Göttingen. The Department of Musicology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen is to host the first ever conference on “Composers in the Gulag”. From 16-19 June 2010 a total of 22 invited speakers from Russia, Estonia, Germany and the USA will present and discuss the state of research on this topic. The conference will take place at the conference centre attached to the University's centre of advanced study, the LichtenbergKolleg.

25 years after perestroika, there have been steady advances in research into the history of Soviet forced labour camps. From as early as the late 1990s, research in this area has no longer focused on statistical data alone, but has also addressed the complex reality of camp life, as demonstrated by various different aspects of it.
Nevertheless, research into musicians in general and composers in particular is still lacking, even though musicians and composers were no less likely to be detained in the camps than members of other occupational groups.

Since it is composers who create new music, imprisoned composers and their cultural achievements before, during and after imprisonment are subjects of particular interest to musicologists.
Previous studies on detained members of other occupational groups have shown what potential was lost to the arts and sciences through the imprisonment of so many people, and have indicated how the arts and sciences could have developed without that loss. Similar studies relating to musicians and composers are necessary both to broaden the scope of research into music in the Soviet Union, and as a contribution to the discussion of the Gulag and Soviet totalitarianism in general.
The conference “Composers in the Gulag” aims to begin redressing this imbalance.

The conference will open in the Green Hall at the Historical Observatory, with a concert featuring a work by the formerly imprisoned composer Matvei Pavlov-Azancheev and the world premiere of Kurt Hopstein's “My love with the number 632...”- Three songs from the Gulag- together with three variations on one theme by Vladislav Zolotaryov.

The opening presentation by Galina Ivanova on June 17 will place the conference's topic in the context of current research on the Gulag. The morning and afternoon sessions will deal with the conditions that shaped the creative process of detained composers in the Soviet Union before and after imprisonment, as well as the conditions during imprisonment.

The third session of the symposium will cover the following two days: on June 18 and June 19 the focus will be the individual fates of detained composers and musicians.

Concerts on June 17 and June 18 will bring as yet unfamiliar works of detained composers to life. On June 17 the renowned pianist Jascha Nemtsov will play compositions by Mieczysław Weinberg, Alexander Veprik, Alexander Mosolov and Vsevolod Zaderatsky. A further concert will introduce the exquisite repertoire of Russian jazz-beat-music – still something of an insider tip – to a wider audience: on the evening of June 18, Dmitri Dragilew and his band “The Swinging Partysans” will present compositions by Alexander Varlamov and Vadim Kozin. Works by Eddie Rosner, the legendary trumpeter, composer and bandleader whose influence was felt for decades after, are sure to be the highlight of the evening.

In addition to these musical offerings, participants in the conference can expect stimulating discussions that will serve both to consolidate current research and promote further work in this area.

      © Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen  

Letzte Änderung: 12.02.2010