Thursday Seminar: "An Enormous Crowd of Everybody": Cold War Sociability and Modern Music at the American Academy in Rome


Thursday, March 17, 2022, 6:00pm to 7:30pm


I Tatti / Zoom
Laurance and Isabel sitting on the terrace of the AAR's Villa Aurelia

Speaker: Martin Brody (I Tatti / Wellesley College)

In this talk, I will report on my recent work in one of I Tatti’s special collections: the Laurance P. and Isabel S. Roberts Papers.  I will focus especially on the amazing diaries of Isabel Roberts, wife of (and collaborator with) the first post-war Director of the American Academy in Rome, Laurance Roberts.  Isabel’s diaries reveal an intimate view of the dramatis personae involved in promoting American soft power in 1950s Rome.   I will focus on the interlocking networks and interests of some of her key associates, from Nelson Rockefeller to Bernard Berenson, and will consider the impact of Cold War sociability, as practiced at the American Academy’s Villa Aurelia, on the development of a transatlantic alliance for modern music.

Martin Brody is Catherine Mills Davis Professor of Music (Emeritus) at Wellesley College. He served as the Andrew Heiskell Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome from 2007-10 and as Fromm Resident in Musical Composition at the Academy in 2001. He has received numerous awards for his musical compositions, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Academy-Institute Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and commissions from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fromm Foundation, and numerous ensembles. He has written extensively about post-war modernism in music and currently serves on the editorial board of Perspectives of New Music and as President of the Stefan Wolpe Society.

This event is open to the public on a by-reservation basis, please sign up by clicking on the link below. Guests attending in person must be in possession of a “Super Green Pass” (Green Pass Rafforzato). The use of face masks indoors is mandatory. 


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