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News Archive

Red Strains: Music and Communism outside the Communist Bloc after 1945
Posted: 29 December 2010

Red Strains: Music and Communism
A conference entitled Red Strains: Music and Communism outside the Communist Bloc after 1945 will be held from Thursday 13 January 2011 to Saturday 15 January 2011 at the British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1 5AH, UK.

The convenor will be Dr. Robert Adlington of the University of Nottingham.

The impact of Communist ideology upon musical production behind the Iron Curtain is widely recognised. However, far less attention has been given to the extensive communist involvement of musicians outside the Communist Bloc.

Among the various topics discussed are papers on Alan Bush by scholars currently working on aspects of Bush's work.

Dr. Joanna Bullivant, who recently completed her doctoral thesis on music and politics in 1930s Britain, focusing on Alan Bush, at Christ Church, Oxford, has now won a prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Nottingham and is writing a book on Alan Bush. She calls her paper: Communist Anti-Colonialism: Empire and Nationalism in Alan Bush's The Sugar Reapers.

Julie Waters has written several papers on Alan Bush and is now completing a PhD at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in which she focuses on Alan Bush's first three symphonies, exploring the relationship between his Marxism, aesthetic theories and musical language. She calls her paper, Alan Bush's Byron Symphony and anti-imperialism in 1950s Britain.

Jean-Philippe Heberlé of the Université Paul Verlaine, Metz presents a paper called Alan Bush's lifelong commitment to Marxism through Wat Tyler (1950) and Men of Blackmoor (1956).

The full conference fee is £70 but there is a reduced fee of £35 for students, the retired and the unwaged which will include registration, tea, coffee and lunch throughout the duration of the event and admission to the concert by Apartment House.

The conference will include a performance of Communist-inspired music (including works by Wolff, Cardew and Alan Bush) by Apartment House.

Registration is required for this conference. If you wish to attend please complete the registration form on the British Academy's website.

Further information together with the conference programme is available on the conference website: