"Singing like Germans: Black Musicians in the Land of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms"
Book introduction will be circulated a week before the event.
How have constructs of blackness and whiteness been created, maintained, or challenged via classical music? This book explores this question by looking at the history of black classical musicians in central Europe. The book describes black-white encounters throughout the region, including the Fisk Jubilee Singers in nineteenth-century Germany, the Jazz Age of the 1920s and '30s, and the "Black Venus" at the Bayreuth Festival of the postwar period. Kira Thurman provides an analysis of the tension between the supposedly transcendental power of classical music and the (trans)national conversations that have developed about who was permitted to perform it.
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