Event Calendar

East Meets West Festival

Join Dr. Danielle Fosler-Lussier at Urban Arts space for her Subject Matter lecture titled "Whose East, Whose West?  Borrowings Across the East-West Divide."

Whose East, Whose West?  Borrowings Across the East-West 

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s East Meets West Festival features works by three composers, all of whom seemed “Eastern” to someone else. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was one of the first generation of Russian composers who tried to make a Russian national style. To most Europeans, the Russians seemed very far out of the Western mainstream, but Rimsky-Korsakov placed Russia in the West by contrasting Russia with places even more “eastern” in works like Sheherazade.  Béla Bartók, a Hungarian, had a similar problem: in The Miraculous Mandarin he presents a Chinese person as the strange “eastern” other in a brutal modern landscape. By contrast, Zhou Tian is a living Chinese composer—further “east” from a Euro-American perspective. Yet the European tradition of orchestral music is avidly cultivated in East Asia; it is one of Zhou Tian’s musical mother tongues. Zhou’s music is cinematic, full of high drama. It also includes parts for a Chinese opera singer and traditional Chinese instruments, again directly setting East and West into contrast with each other. All of these composers show us that East and West are matters of perspective, and that composers have combined them to define their own places.

Dr. Danielle Fosler-Lussier 
Professor of musicology at The Ohio State University School of Music

internationally acclaimed musicologist and OSU Professor of Music who held the Society of Fellows in Liberal Arts Fellowship at Princeton University, will provide the lecture for “East meets West.”  Her research on music in Cold War politics in Eastern and Western Europe was supported by National Endowment for the Humanities, Eisenhower Foundation, and AMS-50 fellowships.  Her two recent books, both by University of California Press, are Music Divided, focusing on Béla Bartók’s legacy, and Music in America’s Cold War Diplomacy.