James Conlon Gives Keynote Address at the Colburn School's 'MUSIC, CENSORSHIP AND MEANING IN NAZY GERMANY' Today
Sel Kardan, President and CEO of the Colburn School announced today that James Conlon, artistic adviser to the Colburn School's Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices, will deliver the keynote address at the two-day, public symposium "Music, Censorship and Meaning in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union: Echoes and Consequences," today, August 9, 2014, at the Colburn School. The event is open to interested students, musicians, teachers and members of the public at no cost. Advance online registration is required. To register, visit www.colburnschool.edu/zieringconlonsymposium.
Mr. Conlon will speak at 5 pm on "The Oblique Censor: Contemporary Challenges in Programming Lesser-Known Works." Mr. Kardan continued, "We are pleased that Mr. Conlon will speak at the symposium and know he will bring important insights to this unprecedented forum. The Colburn School is grateful to both Mr. Conlon and Marilyn Ziering for making this weekend of discussions by distinguished scholars possible."
Mr. Conlon said, "It is important to me to introduce audiences around the world to composers whose works and musical activity were suppressed or censored during the years of the Nazi regime, and I look forward to sharing my experiences in programming these works. I have performed these composers for more than twenty years and, thanks to Marilyn Ziering's support of the Recovered Voices composers at LA Opera, I have been able to bring a significant number of these works to Los Angeles audiences."
Mr. Conlon continued, "From its inception, the Colburn School's Recovered Voices initiative has included plans for academic symposia. Understanding the historical, cultural and political events that surrounded and overwhelmed many great composers in the first half of the twentieth century is a critical component of the Recovered Voices effort." I am grateful to the many scholars and musicians coming to the Colburn School for this event, as well as to Sel Kardan and everyone at the Colburn School for their support and assistance."
This is the first international symposium created under the auspices of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative. Organized by the initiative's director, Robert Elias, and New York University professor Michael Beckerman, the symposium will explore the relationship between censorship and musical activity in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union at that time. Invited scholars and performers will examine how a censoring environment affects the choices composers and performers make, the way those works are received at the time of their premieres and the way we perform and interpret them today. They will question how we know if "secret" codes and messages are present in the source material for particular pieces of music, and whether those codes exist merely in the eye and ear of the investigator. Also under discussion will be the cost of censorship, the possible benefits and how to describe them; and how certain composers in the Soviet Union responded to Nazi atrocities.
The symposium will include contributions by (in alphabetical order) Professor Michael Beckerman, New York University; Michael Haas, independent scholar, record producer and author of Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis; Christopher Hailey, independent scholar, author and director of The Franz Schreker Foundation; Professor Patricia Hall, University of Michigan Dr. Lily Hirsch, independent scholar and author; Professor Derek Katz, University of California at Santa Barbara; Professor James Loeffler, University of Virginia; Professor Barbara Milewski, Swarthmore College; Professor Kenneth Reinhard, University of California at Los Angeles; Alex Ross, author and music critic of The New Yorker; Edna Stern, pianist and teacher, Royal College of Music, London; and Dr. Bret Werb, music curator, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Also participating in a special Saturday evening event will be author-translator Bill Porter (Red Pine) and renowned actor Fred Melamed.
The conference will feature a performance of Mikhail Gnesin's 1943 trio "In Memory of Our Murdered Children" by the Saguaro Trio (all of whom are Colburn Conservatory alumni), with discussion before and after, and a recital by pianist Edna Stern, featuring works by Beethoven, Karel Reiner and Gideon Klein. A special Saturday evening event is scheduled in a program titled "I Heard the Wild Geese: A Recital, Reading and Mini-Symposium on Translating Chinese into Czech and English, and Translating Music into Words,"featuring author and translator Bill Porter (Red Pine); actor Fred Melamed; and Professor Michael Beckerman, which will feature "Four Songs on Chinese Poetry," written in Terezín, by composer Pavel Haas. Vocalist Daniel Armstrong and pianist Mitsuko Morikawa, both of LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, will perform.
There is no cost to attend the symposium; however, reservations for each day are required (the Saturday evening event is included with a Saturday reservation). The link to the registration page is www.colburnschool.edu/zieringconlonsymposium.
All symposium events will take place in Thayer Hall on the campus of the Colburn School. Nametags will be available at the door and will be required for entry. Further details, including presentation abstracts, schedule changes, parking information, hotel and food services, will be sent to those holding reservations.