Department of Music

Music and Terror in Stalinist Russia
Portland, OR, January 2003


ROMP! (Reediana Omnibus Musica Philosopha), Reed College's annual
symposium on music and the liberal arts, will turn its attention on
January 20-22 (schedule follows) to the relationship between the murderous
Stalinist political regime and its leading artists who served that regime
while creating works of great beauty, complexity, and emotional
expressiveness. ROMP!, sponsored by the Roth Family Foundation, will
explore this topic through film, concerts, panels, and discussions. To
complement ROMP!, Chamber Music Northwest, in conjunction with the Chamber
Music Society of Lincoln Center, will present a three-concert series,
"Masterpieces of the Russian Underground." The ROMP! symposium discussions
and film screening are free and open to the public; for information for
these events, call 503/788-6651 or visit Concert
pricing and ticket information is available from Chamber Music Northwest
at 503/294-6400 or


Speakers from the fields of musicology, art history, and film studies will
explore the lives and works of composers Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitry
Shostakovich, pianist Sviatoslav Richter (the subject of a documentary to
be screened January 22), photographer Aleksandr Rodchenko, and film
directors Sergei Eisenstein and Grigory Aleksandrov.


The three-concert series includes works by 14 Soviet and Russian
composers, under the curatorship of distinguished pianist Vladimir
Feltsman, with performers David Shifrin on clarinet, Ani Kavafian and Oleh
Krysa on violins, Paul Neubauer on viola, and Gary Hoffman on cello. The
concert series begins with Shostakovich's immortal E Minor Piano Trio; the
second night includes Soviet works in which Western methods were carefully
adapted to a world that was quick to condemn experimental musical
languages as decadent; and the third night includes works by composers who
began their careers as Soviet composers but are now leading voices in
contemporary music worldwide.



8 p.m., Kaul Auditorium
Chamber Music Northwest presents "Russian Expressionism: Shostakovich to
Schnittke," which will also include compositions by Ustvolskaya and

PANEL  ­  "The Composer in the Soviet State"
4:30 p.m., psychology auditorium, free
Malcolm Brown, professor emeritus of music, Indiana University, will speak
on "Prokofiev's 'Sacrifice to the Bitch Goddess'"; music scholar Laurel
Fay will discuss "Shostakovich and the Struggle for the Soul of Soviet
Music." Respondent: David Schiff, R. P. Wollenberg Professor of Music,
Reed College.

8 p.m., Kaul Auditorium
Chamber Music Northwest presents "Songs of Experience and Innocence:
Serialism and Post-Modern Style," including compositions by Volkonsky,
Denisov, Karetnikov, Silvestrov, and Kissine.

Film: 12:30 p.m., psychology auditorium, free
Discussion: 3 p.m., psychology auditorium, free
Screening of Bruno Monsaingeon's 1998 documentary "Richter: The Enigma"
followed by a roundtable discussion on the film led by James A. van Dyke,
assistant professor of art history and humanities, Reed College. Panelists
include Vladimir Feltsman, curator of the "Masterpieces of the Russian
Underground" concert series.

PANEL  ­  "Artistic Avant-Garde and the Totalitarian Project"
4:30 p.m., psychology auditorium, free
Erika Wolf, assistant professor of art history, University of Rochester,
will speak on "Modernism's Willing Executioner: Aleksandr Rodchenko at the
White Sea Canal"; Anne Nesbet, assistant professor of Slavic languages and
literatures and film, University of California­Berkeley, will discuss
"'The Skeleton Dance': Animation, Terror and the Musical Film of the
Soviet 1930s." Respondent: Lena Lencek, professor of Russian and
humanities, Reed College.

8 p.m., Kaul Auditorium
Chamber Music Northwest presents "'Mirror in the Mirror': Search for Unity
and Order," including compositions by Zohrabian, Karayev, Gubaidulina,
Kancheli, and Pärt.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the
liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual
standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed
ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States
and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college
(31 since 1915).

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