Date of Award

December 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Gillian Rodger

Committee Members

Judith Kuhn


Anti-Communism, Avant-Garde Music, Cold War, Congress for Cultural Freedom, Dodecaphonic Music, Nicolas Nabokov


Between 1950 and 1967, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, an organization of anti-totalitarian intellectuals funded by the United States government, hosted conferences and festivals regarding the pursuit of intellectual freedom. In 1952 and 1954, the Congress for Cultural Freedom hosted two music events. While the first festival has been researched considerably, the 1954 conference has not been documented comparably. While unexplored, this conference has been the cause of much speculation on the political connotation of dodecaphonic and avant-garde techniques in postwar Europe. This project explores archival evidence related to the 1954 conference, with a focus on internal memoranda, correspondence, program lists, budgets, and invitation lists from the Congress for Cultural Freedom. This information is synthesized to provide logistical information regarding conference organization as well as the political ramifications of the conference.