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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines censorship in the Soviet Union during the Cold War by focusing on the experience of composer Alfred Schnittke (1934–1998). More specifically, it looks at Schnittke’s evolving interactions with Soviet political and aesthetic strictures, as well as the representation and interpretation of those interactions abroad, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. The chapter explores the increasingly complex, globalized musical economy in which late Soviet censorship played a key role. It also discusses the “harsh censorship” that Schnittke had to endure and how it gave him prominence, and ultimately prestige, with the help of various agents such as Gidon Kremer and the Kronos Quartet, the Soviet copyright agency VAAP (All-Union Agency for the Protection of Authors’ Rights), and the BIS record label. Finally, it highlights the actors (performers, producers, impresarios, critics, and listeners) who affect the way music is shaped and received, bought and sold.

Keywords: censorship, Soviet Union, Cold War, Alfred Schnittke, musical economy, producers, listeners, Gidon Kremer, Kronos Quartet, VAAP

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