Peter Schmelz is an associate professor of musicology at Arizona State University. In his Academy project, Schmelz studies the roles of non-state networks in cultural exchanges of music across the...
Anna-Maria Kellen Lecture
Listening through the Iron Curtain: Musical Exchange between Russia, Ukraine, and West Germany during the Cold War
Despite ideological rifts, music exchange between West Germany and the USSR flourished along unofficial and semi-official networks during the Cold War. In this lecture, musicologist Peter Schmelz examines various circuits, comprised primarily of non-state actors, through which Soviet music first reached audiences in West Germany—specifically Ukrainian and Russian music by such composers as Valentin Silvestrov, Alfred Schnittke, and Edison Denisov. Calling upon oral, cultural, and material histories, Schmelz presents a broader perspective on the transfer of Soviet music through the Iron Curtain, offering a study of “diplomacy from below,” an intimate history of the Cold War.
Photo: Maciej Korsan