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Jeremy Eichler
Unaffiliated independent scholar
War and Memory in Modern Classical Music

Preparation for publication of a book about music and the cultural memory of World War II and the Holocaust in the works and lives of composers Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) and Richard Strauss (1864-1949).

A new book on music and the cultural memory of the Second World War and the Holocaust. As the living memory of the Second World War and the Holocaust further recedes with each passing year, we are left to grapple with the inscriptions of these catastrophes in the culture of their times. At the center of this book are four composers -- Dmitri Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, Arnold Schoenberg and Richard Strauss -- whose intensely charged memorial works, written during and after the war, stand among the defining ethical and aesthetic statements of the twentieth century. By investigating these works, their creation and reception, and the broader idea of memorialization through music, I make the case for new ways of hearing history, and for reclaiming the power of sound as a unique carrier of meaning about the past.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Cultural History; European History; Music History and Criticism

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2018 – 8/31/2019