Innovators in Exile
In 1922, a group of musicians organized a festival in Salzburg to showcase modern music. Seen by some scholars as an attempt to subvert the conservative image of a newly-founded Austria being promoted by the Salzburg Festival, the festival returned in 1923 as the International Society for Contemporary Music, which still exists today.
However, even by 1923, the festival had already earned the ire of anti-modernists, with one reporter calling the participants “musical Bolsheviks.” The majority of those composers would later be exiled – either as Jews or because Nazi ideology linked modernism with Jewishness and communism. Most of these composers, in the midst of or on the precipice of vibrant careers, are now virtually unknown.
Join us in honoring the centennial of the ISCM with three evenings of music from these exiled composers, including Rudolf Reti, Paul Pisk, Karl Weigl, Hugo Kauder, Wilhelm Grosz, Egon Lustgarten, Paul Hindemith, and Egon Wellesz. On April 20th, at the Center for Jewish History, we will kick off the series with chamber works and talks by Michael Haas (exil.arte) and Alexis Rodda (soprano, program coordinator of Elysium Between Two Continents, and independent musicologist).
We also invite you to register for two evenings of music for smaller ensembles and soloists planned for April 21 at Mark A. Scroca Hall at Opera America (330 Seventh Avenue) and on April 24, 2023 at the Austrian Cultural Forum (11 East 52nd Street).