Vanderbilt University professor Joy Calico will discuss “A Survivor from Warsaw,” a work for narrator, men’s chorus, and orchestra, written by the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg as a tribute to the Holocaust victims. Calico’s lecture will be held Tuesday, April 22 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Carleton College Music Hall Room 103. This event is free and open to the public.
Written in 1947, “A Survivor from Warsaw” was composed for narrator, men's chorus, and orchestra by Austrian Schoenberg, a Jewish composer whose oeuvre had been one of the Nazis’ prime exemplars of entartete (degenerate) music. Schoenberg later immigrated to the United States and became an American citizen. Both admired and reviled as a pioneer of dodecaphony, he wrote this twelve-tone piece about the Holocaust in three languages for an American audience.
Calico is the director of Max Kade Center for European and German Studies at Vanderbilt University and Associate Professor of Musicology at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. She is also the acclaimed author of the book Arnold Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw in Postwar Europe (University of California Press, 2014). In the book, Calico examines the cultural history of postwar Europe through the lens of the performance and reception of Arnold Schoenberg's “A Survivor from Warsaw” as it circulated through Europe during the early Cold War in a kind of symbolic musical remigration. Her innovative, transnational analysis reveals common themes in anxieties about musical modernism, Holocaust memory and culpability, the coexistence of Jews and former Nazis, anti-Semitism, dislocation, and the presence of occupying forces on both sides of the Cold War divide.
Calico’s appearance is co-sponsored by the Carleton College Department of Music, the Department of European Studies and the Humanities Center. For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4341.