Kennesaw State presents “Degenerate Music”

Lecture and recital will focus on music banned during the Nazi era

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Laurence Sherr

KENNESAW, Ga. (October 31, 2012)

Seventy-four years after the infamous Kristallnacht attacks against Jews in Germany and Austria, the Kennesaw State School of Music will honor that night with a special presentation titled “Degenerate Music: Banned Composers in the Nazi Era.” The presentation will be on Monday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall (Room 109), and it will feature a lecture by Laurence Sherr, KSU professor of music and composer-in-residence, followed by a recital by Jocelyn Adelman, violinist from the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and Amanda Halstead, pianist from the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C.


Both the lecture and recital will focus on music suppressed by the Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s. Sherr will present a lecture on degenerate art and music of Nazi Germany, focusing on the Nazi policies and practices between 1933 and 1945 that banned composers, conductors, musicians and musical genres such as jazz. “In addition to banning certain types of music and musicians,” Sherr explains, “the Nazis also rewrote and changed musical history. We hope this lecture will raise awareness of the phenomenon of music that has been suppressed throughout history.”


The concert by Adelman and Halstead will follow the lecture and feature works by Ernst Krenek, Darius Milhaud and Alexander Zemlinsky. These European composers immigrated to the United States during the Nazi era. Sherr describes the performance as a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with performers whose specialty is Holocaust music, and the musicians will also have the chance to visit Sherr’s Music and the Holocaust course.


In addition to the School of Music, the presentation is co-sponsored by the KSU Museum of History and Holocaust Education and is also a featured event of the Anti-Defamation League’s series “Celebrating Defiance,” a schedule of programs highlighting inspiring acts of defiance and survival in the face of the horrors of the Holocaust. “This was a great opportunity to work with several different entities to make our outreach and public engagement more effective,” Sherr says. “We hope to increase our audience’s understanding and awareness of these issues while also cultivating a greater tolerance toward groups that have historically been suppressed.”


“Degenerate Music” will be held Monday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall (Room 109). The program is free and open to the public.


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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.

The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts departments.


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The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University supports, defends and promotes academic freedom in artistic expression, as outlined by the American Association of University Professors, and diversity of all kinds as outlined by the university's Human Relations Position Statement.

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