Music from the Suitcase – Yevgeny Kutik
When Yevgeny Kutik was five years old, he and his family emigrated from the deteriorating Soviet Union to the United States. They had to leave most of their possessions behind and fit everything else into just two suitcases. Yevgeny’s mother, a violin teacher, insisted on filling one of the suitcases with sheet music from the family’s collection.
Years later, Yevgeny began to explore the music from the suitcase and was enthralled with the pieces he discovered, many of them banned by the Nazi State Music Bureau for being degenerate. “They began to organize themselves into a distinct array of moods and themes…Russian folklore, fantasy, and poetry. It reminds me of what we went through and how far we have come,” Kutik says. Composer Richard Strauss headed the bureau for two years and tried to ensure that banned music by composers such as Mahler and Mendelssohn survived the Nazi reign.
Music From the Suitcase unifies Strauss’ own luscious scores with prominent works by four composers whose music was banned: Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, and Mahler. The various ways in which these five composers antagonized the Nazis through their artistry are exemplified in their respective pieces, highlighting the resilience and enduring power of art to fight tyranny and oppression.
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Image Credit (top): Yevgeny Kutik. Photo by Rachel Tines.
- 2:00PM -
- Saturday, December 21, 2019
- 2:00PM -
- Sunday, December 22, 2019