Music, Monarchs, and Mad Dictators - Spring 2019
(Music, Monarchs, and Mad Dictators - Spring 2019)

This course will deal with the difficult but fascinating subject of how musicians and musical institutions survive under politically repressive regimes. Russia provides an excellent point of departure: after 1917, the year of the Bolshevik Revolution, the centuries-old oppression of the tsars was gradually replaced by the new oppression of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party and its leaders – most notoriously, Joseph Stalin. But elsewhere in Europe, too, monarchs’ demands that artists conform to certain standards gave way to even worse offenses, and particularly to the dictates of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party in Germany and Benito Mussolini and his Fascist Party in Italy. How was musical creativity and how were individual musicians, conservatories, orchestras, and opera ensembles affected by these situations? These issues will be the subject of this class.