Whose Cultural Legacy?: Polish Composers and Music History 1930–1945

10am-4 pm, Friday 22 April 2016

Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square WC1B 3RA.

Keynote speaker: Dr Katarzyna Naliwajek-Mazurek, Instytut Muzykologii Warsaw.

The International Centre for Suppressed Music and the Department of Music, Royal Holloway University of London, invite proposals for 20 min papers for presentation at a one-day symposium to be held at Bedford Square, on the practical and historiographical challenges facing scholars and performers interested in the rehabilitation of mid-twentieth-century European music history, focusing on Polish composers who have not fallen comfortably into current notions of national and cultural identities.

The shifting borders of Poland have left many musicians, who unlike writers could not be classified culturally by their native language, unclaimed by any of the countries formerly, or presently part or Poland. Would musicians and composers from Danzig or Breslau be considered Polish, Kashubian,  or German? Would those from Teschen be considered Czech, Polish or Austrian? Would musicians from Lviv/Lwów or Tarnopol/Ternopol be Austrian, Polish, Ukrainian or Russian? Many of these countries effectively classified Jews as an ethnic sub-division, often depriving them of any national identity. Today, national cultural institutions such as orchestras, schools and broadcasters play central roles in whether the works of a composer are revived and profiled. To be culturally unclaimed is to remain unperformed, and lack of performance can only lead to lack of understanding and vice-versa.  This symposium seeks to focus attention on these issues and thereby help scholarly efforts to solve them.

Call for papers

Abstracts on topics related to this theme should be no more than 250 words and should be e-mailed by 7 March 2016 to Professor Peter Tregear peter.tregear@rhul.ac.uk and include a title, author(s), affiliation(s), email address for contact.

The Programme Committee consists of Professor Erik Levi, Professor Stephen Downes, and Professor Peter Tregear.  The programme will be finalized by 21 March 2016.

The Organisers acknowledge the kind support of the Research Strategy Fund of Royal Holloway University of London.