An American Composer in Prague

In 1970, a young American composer named Martin Bresnick traveled to Prague to present a short film. He had written its score. As a member of the Students for a Democratic Society and a musician, Bresnick was no stranger to the relationship between politics and music, especially directed towards protest of the Vietnam War. Behind the Iron Curtain, he experienced this relationship again – in a city that had shorty before suffered a harsh reprisal for attempts at liberalization.

“Prague 1970: Music in Spring”
By MARTIN BRESNICK
May 25, 2011 The New York Times

GERARD LEROUX/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The above picture is from 1969, and highlights a tragic, and far too common form of protest:  “people of what was then Czechoslovakia paid tribute to Jan Palach, a student who had set himself on fire to protest Soviet occupation.” (thanks nytimes)

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