Building an Avant-Garde:

The Warsaw Autumn Festival and New Polish Music

Dr. Lisa Jakelski, Assistant Professor of Musicology, Eastman School of Music

28 April 2015, 8:00 pm
Sloan Auditorium, Goergen Hall, UR River Campus
Skalny Center Lecture



This talk will explore the connections between music institutions and compositional style in postwar Poland. It will consider how socialist realism in Polish classical music was related to the political and institutional contexts of the first postwar decade. It will also trace shifts in Polish composers’ musical styles during the mid-1950s, a period of political upheaval and cultural thaw. During these years, Polish composers were aided not just by political factors, but also by the emergence of new institutions to support contemporary music. The Warsaw Autumn Festival was the most important of these. The festival’s early history illuminates a moment when artistic aspirations and administrative activities became creatively intertwined, as composers invested in exploring modernist techniques in their music simultaneously worked to shape an institution where such pieces would be valued.