Arnold Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw (1947) seemed designed to irritate every exposed nerve in postwar Europe. A twelve-tone piece in three languages about the Holocaust, it was written for an American audience by a Jewish émigré composer whose oeuvre had been the Nazis’ prime exemplar of entartete (degenerate) music. An examination of European responses to A Survivor will be followed by a screening and discussion of a performance of the piece.
About the Speaker: Joy H. Calico is Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of The Max Kade Center for European and German Studies at Vanderbilt University. The focus of her research is on Cold-War cultural politics and on opera. She is the author of Arnold Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw” in Postwar Europe (California, 2014) and Brecht at the Opera (California, 2008), as well as numerous articles and book chapters, most recently in The Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century (Oxford, 2012) and Eisler-Studien 5 (Breitkopf & Härtel, 2013).