Centre for Grieg Research
Music and Politics

Norwegian Musical Life 1940–1945: New Findings and Perspectives

This seminar at Litteraturhuset Oslo sheds new light on the musical life in Norway 1940–1945 with talks by Bjarte Bruland, Ingrid Loe Dalaker, Michael Custodis, and Arnulf Mattes.

Lunde i Beethoven-Haus
Beethoven-Haus, Bonn

Main content

The politicization of culture in Europe had left its mark also on the Norwegian art and music scene between 1930 and 1960. Particularly in Germany, ancient ideas of ​​the 'Nordic' retrieved a central position, but this time as part of a political campaign driven by nationalist and anti-democratic forces. From a geographic and aesthetic category turned the Nordic to the foremost ideological weapon in Germany and the occupied territories during World War 2. The radical 'depoliticisation' of art in Norway since 1945 can be seen as a direct response to this.

Norwegian and German scholars will provide new insight into various topic within this far from explored historical area, based on new sources and findings from archives in Norway and Germany: The Jewish persecution's consequences for cultural life in Norway, the new cultural elite's power structures established during the German occupation, and the Norwegian artists' and cultural officials' diverging strategies of adapting to dramatically changing political conditions.


Bjarte Bruland (Trondheim): Persecution of Jews and the Consequences for the Arts in Norway - PAUSE - Ingrid Loe Dalaker (Oslo): Dominance and Legitimacy. Klaus Egge and the Norwegian Composer’s League - Arnulf Mattes (Bergen): Pre-occupational Musical Monumentalism and German Propaganda – PAUSE - Michael Custodis (Münster): Master or Puppets? The Cultural Politics in Occupied Norway under Georg Wilhelm Müller, Gulbrand Lunde and Rolf Fuglesang – DISKUSSION

In cooperation with Goethe-Institut Norwegen, Grieg Research Center (UiB) and Institut für Musikwissenschaft Universität Münster.

More about the seminar (in Norwegian) in ballade.no: http://www.ballade.no/sak/norsk-musikkliv-1930-45-nye-funn-og-ny-forskning/