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Creative UnionThe Professional Organization of Soviet Composers, 1939-1953$
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Kiril Tomoff

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780801444111

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801444111.001.0001

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Elite Hierarchies

Elite Hierarchies

Chapter:
(p.235) Chapter 9 Elite Hierarchies
Source:
Creative Union
Author(s):

Kiril Tomoff

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801444111.003.0010

This chapter assesses the extraordinary rewards that simultaneously reflected a composer's authority with elite audiences and, by conferring official prestige, molded that authority and shaped the audience's tastes. Honorary titles and Stalin Prizes made and marked the pinnacle of the Soviet cultural elite. Taken together, professional authority, prestige, official status, and unofficial recognition constituted composers' intellectual or creative authority, both individually and as an elite group in Stalinist society. Though diverse audiences granted the authority required to qualify for these extraordinary awards, the criteria by which they were granted were essentially determined by the professional elite, especially members of the Stalin Prize Committee. This committee formed a crucial interface between the Stalinist political leadership and the creative intelligentsia. Ultimately, the musical elite's agency to interpret musical value was used to translate creative authority into social hierarchies and material privilege.

Keywords:   honorary titles, Stalin Prizes, Soviet cultural elite, professional authority, creative authority, Stalinist society, professional elite, Stalin Prize Committee, musical elite, musical value

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