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Making New Music in Cold War PolandThe Warsaw Autumn Festival, 1956-1968$
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Lisa Jakelski

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520292543

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520292543.001.0001

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The Sounds of Revolution?

The Sounds of Revolution?

(p.11) 1 The Sounds of Revolution?
Making New Music in Cold War Poland

Lisa Jakelski

University of California Press

This chapter makes a case study of the Warsaw Autumn’s founding and first season. It argues that the 1956 concerts, which coincided with the political upheaval of the Polish October Revolution, offered a first answer to the question of what it would mean for a music festival in socialist Poland to be “contemporary” as well as “international” during the Thaw. As they crafted the 1956 Warsaw Autumn, festival participants were constructing an institutional paradigm that still depended on interwar patterns of cultural contact and Stalinist-era practices of state investment in the arts, but also transformed the art world in which elite Polish composers worked. The moves the Warsaw Autumn’s first participants made not only reflected what was possible in mid-1950s Poland: these actions also created a framework for the future.

Keywords:   Thaw, state investment in the arts, music festival, Polish October, international, Polish composers, art world

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