Making New Music in Cold War Poland presents a social analysis of new music dissemination at the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, one of the most important venues for East-West cultural contact during the Cold War. In this incisive study, Lisa Jakelski examines the festival’s institutional organization, negotiations among its various actors, and its reception in Poland, while also considering the festival’s worldwide ramifications, particularly the ways that it contributed to the cross-border movement of ideas, objects, and people (including composers, performers, official festival guests, and tourists). This book explores social interactions within institutional frameworks and how these interactions shaped the practices, values, and concepts associated with new music.
Lisa Jakelski is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.
“Lisa Jakelski’s Making New Music in Cold War Poland offers a vibrant account of the postwar negotiations on what new music could and should mean, positioned on what Jakelski terms ‘the Cold War's cultural fault line,’ at a site of concrete, critical engagement between modernism and socialist realism. Jakelski’s narrative, though, does away with simplistic binaries, revealing the ways in which the everyday lives and interactions between composers, performers, administrators, and critics negotiated the space between the competing poles. In equal measure political and personal, this account expands both the geographical and the methodological territory of histories of new music in important, vital directions.”—Martin Iddon, author of New Music at Darmstadt: Nono, Stockhausen, Cage, and Boulez
“No mere institutional history here! Jakelski’s book crackles with insights into Cold War cultural politics, festival culture, and the practices and practitioners of new music in the long 1960s. Highly recommended for its grounding in extraordinary archival research and interviews, its conceptual verve, and its elegant prose.”—Joy H. Calico, author of Arnold Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw in Postwar Europe”
“Jakelski's engaging, impeccably researched study captures a heady environment of musical upheaval, innovation, and controversy whose ramifications are still being felt today. This will be a crucial resource for anyone interested in postwar music making, the arts during the Cold War, and music’s many social meanings.”—Peter J. Schmelz, author of Such Freedom if Only Musical: Unofficial Soviet Music during the Thaw
"This outstanding book is a must-read for anyone who seeks to understand twentieth-century art music. Through painstaking primary source research, Lisa Jakelski shows us how Polish composers worked with, through, against and alongside the power of the state to achieve their desired ends. At the same time, this nuanced, clear-eyed history demonstrates definitively that Polish artists were not cut off from the world, but deeply engaged in musical activity across and through the Iron Curtain. By revealing the national and international networks in which new music was made, Jakelski transforms our understanding of Europe’s Cold War musical life."—Danielle Fosler-Lussier, author of Music in America’s Cold War Diplomacy