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12 February 2024 - 12 February 2024

1:00PM - 2:00PM

Cosin's Hall, Seminar Room, Palace Green

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IAS Fellows' Seminar by Professor Kevin Bartig (Michigan State University)

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Cosin's Hall


This seminar approaches musical culture in the Soviet Union during its consequential first decade through the lens of a utopian experiment: a Moscow-based symphony orchestra whose members dispensed with a conductor and conceived of themselves as equals. Known as the “First Symphonic Ensemble,” the group was greeted by both domestic and international observers as a remarkable but ultimately curious demonstration that art music could be transformed according to Revolutionary ideals of social egalitarianism. But the realities of the ensemble’s day-to-day work were far more ideologically complex and central to an emerging mainstream in Soviet art music. In reconstructing the ensemble’s activities, Professor Kevin Bartig uses these realities to explore key themes in early Soviet music such as the persistence of pre-Revolutionary repertoires and aesthetic agendas, the role played by audiences and critics in setting the stage for later developments such as Socialist Realism, and the distance between criticism and practice. 

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues or students interested in attending in person should register. Registration form here.