International Conference of Composers

The International Conference of Composers. Held 7-14 Aug 1960 at Stratford, Ont, under the direction of Louis Applebaum, and the co-sponsorship of the CLComp, the CBC, the Canada Council, the Stratford Festival, CAPAC, BMI Canada, BMI, ASCAP, the AF of M, and the International Music Council.

International Conference of Composers

The International Conference of Composers. Held 7-14 Aug 1960 at Stratford, Ont, under the direction of Louis Applebaum, and the co-sponsorship of the CLComp, the CBC, the Canada Council, the Stratford Festival, CAPAC, BMI Canada, BMI, ASCAP, the AF of M, and the International Music Council. It afforded composers and others closely associated with contemporary music an opportunity to exchange ideas, and presented Canadian points of view and Canadian music to an international group.

Composers from 20 countries participated, among them Henk Badings (Holland), Karl-Birger Blomdahl (Sweden), Klaus Egge (Norway), Iain Hamilton (Scotland), Roy Harris (USA), Vagn Holmboe (Denmark), Ernst Krenek (USA), Otto Luening (USA), Elizabeth Maconchy (England), Zygmunt Mycielski (Poland), Hermann Reutter (Germany), Gunther Schuller (USA), Josef Tal (Israel), and Edgard Varèse (USA). Canadian participants included Adaskin, Anhalt, Applebaum, Archer, Beckwith, Champagne, Charpentier, Dolin, Duchow, Eckhardt-Gramatté, Fleming, Freedman, Joachim, Kasemets, Kenins, Morawetz, Papineau-Couture, Peacock, Rathburn, Somers, Twa, and Weinzweig. Canadians whose works were performed at the five concerts were Anhalt, Freedman, Joachim, Papineau-Couture, Ridout and Weinzweig.

The tenor panels at the conference discussed composers' concerns: serialism, electronic music, form, composer-training, aesthetics, sociology, and composer-performer-audience relations. Papers were given by Luciano Berio (Italy), Henri Dutilleux (France), Luigi Nono (Italy), George Rochberg (USA), and Vladimir Ussachevsky (USA), and by the San Francisco critic Alfred Frankenstein. The book The Modern Composer and His World (Toronto 1961, reprinted 1978), edited by John Beckwith and Udo Kasemets, gives an account of the proceedings and excerpts from the discussions.


Further Reading

  • Duchow, Marvin. 'International Conference of Composers at Stratford,' CMJ, vol 5, Autumn 1960