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Image for Networking the Russian Diaspora : Russian Musicians and Musical Activities in Interwar Shanghai

Networking the Russian Diaspora : Russian Musicians and Musical Activities in Interwar Shanghai

By: Mikkonen, Simo Winzenburg, John Yang, Hon-Lun Helan Lau, Frederick(Series edited by)

Part of the Music and Performing Arts of Asia and the Pacific series
082487966X / 9780824879662
Published 30/05/2020
United States
152 x 229 mm 320 pages, 28 black & white illustrations
Professional & Vocational  Learn More

Networking the Russian Diaspora is a fascinating and timely study of interwar Shanghai.

Aside from the vacated Orthodox Church in the former French Concession where most Russian emigres resided, Shanghai today displays few signs of the bustling settlement of those years.

Russian musicians established the first opera company in China, as well as choirs, bands and ensembles to play for their own and other communities.

Russian musicians were the core of Shanghai's lauded Municipal Orchestra, and taught at China's first conservatory.

Two Russian emigre composers in particular -- Alexander Tcherepnin and Aaron Avshalomov - experimented with incorporating Chinese elements into their compositions as harbingers of intercultural music that has become a well-recognized trend in composition since the late twentieth century.

The Russian musical scene in Shanghai was the embodiment of musical cosmopolitanism, anticipating the hybrid nature of twentieth-first century music arising from cultural contacts through migration, globalization, and technological advancement.

Networking the Russian Diaspora is a pioneering study of the Russian community, especially its musical activities and influence in Shanghai.

While the focus of the book is on music, it also gives insight into the social dynamics between Russians and other Europeans on the one hand, and with the Chinese on the other.

The volume co-authored by Chinese music specialists makes a significant contribution to studies of diaspora, cultural identity, and migration through focusing on a little studied area of Sino-Russian cultural relations and Russian influence in modern China.

The discoveries stretch the boundaries of music studies by addressing the relational aspects of Western music - how it has articulated national and cultural identities but also served to connect people of different origins and cultural backgrounds.


AVA Theory of music & musicology, AVC Music reviews & criticism, HBJD European history, HBJF Asian history, JFFN Migration, immigration & emigration

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RRP £70.95
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