Political Context of Music in Post-WWII Poland

PACB to Host Musicologist from Rochester

Eastman/Skalny Scholar to Discuss Political Context of Music in Post-WWII Poland

     The Polish Arts Club of Buffalo will host Dr. Lisa Jakelski, Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Eastman School of Music, at its monthly meeting on Wed., May 20. The title of Dr. Jakelski’s talk will be “Building an Avant-Garde: The Warsaw Autumn Festival and New Polish Music”.

     This talk will explore the connections between music institutions and compositional style in postwar Poland. It will consider how socialist realism in Polish classical music was related to the political and institutional contexts of the first postwar decade. It will also trace shifts in Polish composers’ musical styles during the mid-1950s, a period of political upheaval and cultural thaw. During these years, Polish composers were aided not just by political factors, but also by the emergence of new institutions to support contemporary music. The Warsaw Autumn Festival was the most important of these. The festival’s early history illuminates a moment when artistic aspirations and administrative activities became creatively intertwined, as composers invested in exploring modernist techniques simultaneously worked to shape an institution where such pieces would be valued.

      Lisa Jakelski’s primary areas of research are post-1945 Polish music and Cold War cultural politics. She has presented papers at conferences in North America and Europe, and she received a summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2013. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Musicology and Twentieth-Century Music, and a new article is forthcoming in East European Politics and Societies​. She is currently writing a book on cultural mobility and transnationalism at the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music.​

    The Polish Arts Club program will be held at the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Rd., Amherst, and will begin at 7 pm. The public is welcome. Non-members will be asked to make a $5 donation. A social hour giving those in the audience a chance to talk to Dr. Jakelski will follow the program.

     The Polish Arts Club of Buffalo presents monthly programs and each year it holds not only a Wigilia but also a Biesiada honoring an individual or group that has made a significant contribution to the community.  In addition, each year, it awards a scholarship to a student of Polish ancestry studying the visual or performing arts at an accredited college or university.   

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Rd., Amherst: 7PM