Jazz in the Eastern Bloc

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A Playing Field for Nonconformists and Propaganda Strategists
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Introduction
More than just music: During the Cold War, jazz suddenly found itself between all fronts – at the same time, it served as a propaganda weapon, a symbol of freedom and a musical bridge between East and West.

The National Opera in Central and Eastern Europe

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Introduction
Today it is the passion of a select few music lovers – but in the 19th century, opera was a major social event, an expression of national consciousness, or even the musical declaration of national independence. But how did this happen? What role does the national opera play in Eastern Europe? And what makes an opera a national opera?

Gdansk’s “Soundscape” and Music Culture between 1800 and 1945

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Background article
Can soundscapes of the past be reconstructed? What did cities actually sound like in centuries gone by? And do we associate certain sounds and soundscapes with the history of particular cities? This text introduces some possibilities of soundscape research, using the city of Gdansk as an example.
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Portrait photo of singer Mia Jacob

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The Sounds of Bukovina

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Twelve musical contributions give insight into the music history of a landscape on the northeastern edge of the Carpathians.

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Picture gallery

Emil Orlik

A Multi-talented Artist
Emil Orlik (1870–1932) was one of the most famous and versatile Czech artists of the turn of the century. He was known primarily as a graphic artist and draftsman whose artistic work ranged between realism and art nouveau. His extensive oeuvre includes drawings of famous contemporary musicians and composers – whom Orlik also liked to show practicing their art.
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Biography

Artist and Art Figure

Life Concepts and Reception of the Musician and Writer Monika Hunnius
Monika Hunnius is generally known as a Baltic German author. She, however, saw herself as a musician – and was part of a network of musicians that extended all over Europe, to which Julius Stockhausen, Johannes Brahms, and Clara Schumann belonged as well.
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Biography

A celebrated conductor from Liegnitz

Benjamin Bilse (1816–1902)
He is considered the ancestor of the Berlin Philharmonic: Benjamin Bilse, born in Liegnitz, Silesia, was one of the most famous conductors of the 2nd half of the 19th century.
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Object story

A Steinway for Eugen d'Albert?

In the “Eichendorff Hall” of Haus Schlesien in Königswinter there is a Steinway grand piano made of lemon wood. It a noteworthy museum object not only because the famous Steinway & Sons lettering is emblazoned on it, but also, and above all, because it was owned by Gerhart Hauptmann, the 1912 Nobel Prize winner for literature.
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Biography

Wife Gone, Money of Course Too

Richard Wagner on his Way to Riga
An important stop for the young Richard Wagner is Riga at the end of the 1830s. However, there are no artistic reasons that lead the upcoming composer to the northeast of Europe.