ARC Ensemble       Recovering Suppressed Music

The Royal Conservatory of Music
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What is Music
in Exile?

Music in Exile is a series of concerts, lectures and films that explore the works and the context of musicians who fled Germany during the 1930s, and those who stayed behind, resisted the regime and became “internal exiles.”

The Third Reich’s racial and cultural policies precipitated incalculable cultural loss and a seismic alteration to the destiny of Western music. With the rebuilding of Europe and the acceleration of America’s economic growth came not a substantive investigation into this forfeiture, but rather a celebration of the fortunate: those composers who, through force of will, powerful connections, political skill or sheer luck, had made good. Those who had been liquidated in the camps, the Shoah survivors whose creativity had been traumatized to mute silence, and the émigrés who had been unable to adapt or integrate were generally passed over, their works destroyed, unpublished or forgotten. After the war, the musical pendulum swung, not to a position of tolerance and inclusion, but to the exclusive embrace of qualities the Third Reich had held in contempt.

Thus the avant-garde claimed its “new music” as the only new music, and works rooted in the language and gestures of earlier times were dismissed, not just as old-fashioned, but as potentially reactionary, or even fascistic. Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) and the ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory) have joined a small but growing number of organizations intent on exploring and reclaiming music by these composers. To resuscitate this vast amount of music, to begin to judge its value and to integrate it into the repertoire is a daunting task that demands the attention of both academics and musicologists, as well as performances, recordings and critical discussion. The RCM is committed to devising projects that realize these ambitions.

Music in Exile in Israel - Schedule of Events

Music in Exile—Émigré composers of the 1930s (New York programme)

Music in Exile—Émigré composers of the 1930s (London programme)

>Programme highlights from the 2006 Season

>Concert Schedule