What is the course about?
A surprising number of composers who are already familiar to us - Bartók, Schoenberg and Korngold, for instance – had to relocate in the early twentieth century due to the political pressure of rising Nazism. These three went to America, but many other came to the UK and their impact on our musical culture for the rest of the century was profound. We will focus primarily on those who found themselves in Britain, such as Berthold and Caren Goldschmidt, Hans Gál, Hans Keller, Egon Wellesz, Rudolph Bing, the Busch brothers, Dea Gombrich and others. We will also discuss several figures who ended up in the US, including Korngold, Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya.
What will we cover?
- The political which led to departures through the 1930s and 1940s, including changing situations in German and Viennese musical institutions
- The British and American policies on receiving émigrés and the treatment of war refugees
- Biographies of particular musicians and studies of some of their compositions
- The impact of émigré musicians on musical life in the UK and USA through the rest of the twentieth century.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- List some of the most significant musical figures to have emigrated to the UK and USA in the 1930s
- Trace the variety of musical markets which émigré composers affected, from classical concert music to jazz, movie music and music theatre
- Outline the impact of émigré composers on key British musical institutions such as the BBC, the Edinburgh Festival and Glyndebourne.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No prior knowledge of the subject is required. You do not need to read music to take this course (although we will look at music notation for time-to-time). You will be asked to do some reading in class and between sessions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts, powerpoint slides or writing on a whiteboard
Guided listening and watching of audio and audio-visual examples
Class discussion and debate
Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and once enrolled further online resources will be recommended.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a notebook and pen.
You may wish to buy some of the music or books recommended in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
To find out more about music history classes and to read our year-long selection of courses, please see the blog post Music history: your guide to the 2019/20 programme which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.