Imperial and National Dynamics in Postwar Music Competitions
This chapter analyzes Soviet orientations toward international music competitions that flourished into a widespread system by 1958. Soviet violinists, pianists, and cellists were famously successful in these competitions, sometimes displaying stunning dominance by sweeping almost all the top spots. Considering how the Soviets thought about their rules, their juries, their contestants, and their likely outcomes, the chapter asserts that Soviet assumptions of superiority led them to call for “objective” judging—which they understood should mean Soviet success. They carefully chose their competitions throughout the 1940s and 1950s while building systems of education, preparation, and reward that made international music competitions an integral part of the domestic Soviet music education and concertizing systems.
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