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Paper Session 3 (Saturday 1500)

Ralph Whyte

Richard Strauss at the Intersection of Idealism and Commercialisation in America In April 1904 as part of his American tour, Richard Strauss gave two concerts in a New York department store. Strauss’s American critics were quick to point to the incident as a sign of the composer’s base commercial motives. Considering the fact that public musical life interacted with commercial forces and little could be done to oppose the interaction, I ask why Strauss’s department store concerts were a locus for journalistic opprobrium, looking to the American music criticism’s idealist paradigms during the period and Strauss’s previous reception in the country. In conclusion, I discuss the messy but not always contradictory relationship between the strands of idealism and commercialism and contend the reason Strauss provoked particular ire was his unwillingness to maintain an image of detachment from commercial arrangements. This adds to a growing body of literature on the reception of European music in America while also paying attention to a broader social history. Ralph began his education in the state sector in Scotland, while receiving double bass, piano and composition lessons at the junior school of the RSAMD. Ralph undertook an academic music degree at King’s College London, writing a dissertation on film music and eroticism in 1950s Hollywood. Following this, Ralph stayed at King’s to pursue a master’s degree in historical musicology with a dissertation on the extent to which Hanns Eisler’s film music realised his modernist ideals. In 2012, Ralph received a Dean’s Fellowship for a PhD in historical musicology at Columbia university in New York.

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Profile for Calum Scott

Sound Thought 2014 Programme  

Programme for Sound Thought 2014 including full schedule of paper sessions, concerts and installations plus abstracts and biographies for ea...

Sound Thought 2014 Programme  

Programme for Sound Thought 2014 including full schedule of paper sessions, concerts and installations plus abstracts and biographies for ea...

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