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Jazz from Socialist Realism to Postmodernism

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Edited By Yvetta Kajanová, Gertrud Pickhan and Rüdiger Ritter

In the 20th century, jazz was an important artistic form. Depending on the particular European country, jazz music carried different social, political and aesthetic meanings. It brought challenges in the areas of racial issues, the politics of the Cold War between East and West, and in the exploration of boundaries of artistic freedom. In socialist Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Poland, the situation began to change after 1956 and then 1968, when the ideologists shifted from the aesthetics of socialist realism to postmodernism. In Western countries such as France and Italy, jazz transformed from a modern to a postmodern period. This volume deals with the impact of these changes on the career development of jazz musicians – even beyond 1989 – in terms of various phenomena such as emigration, child prodigies, multiculturalism, multi-genre approaches, or female jazz musicians.

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Peter Breiner – A Slovak Musician

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Abstract: Peter Breiner (1957) is a composer, performer, conductor and producer. He created his career in Canada and in the USA after 1992 and his personality developed due to his ability to adapt to the multicultural world. Peter Breiner combines the world of popular music, jazz and classical music. His personality was shaped in postmodernist period in socialist Slovakia.

Historical conditions

The personality of the Slovak musician Peter Breiner, today known all over the world for his diverse activities, was shaped in conditions which determined the development of musical culture, musical life and creative initiatives in Slovakia in the second half of the 20th century. These included internal as well as external conditions. Internally, they resulted from a range of generational and stylistic confrontations characterising the diverse compositional, technical, aesthetic and stylistic starting points and intentions of the Slovak composer community. External conditions were set by the socio-political reality, the mechanisms of which also affected the field of artistic culture. The entry, individual creative profiling and manner in which composers in Slovakia matured stemmed from the mutual tensions between these internal and external conditions.

As a young man, Breiner made a name for himself on the Slovak music scene in the 1970s and 1980s, when his activities were noticed and his first (in many ways surprising) compositions became known. This was a time when four active generations coexisted in the Slovak compositional environment.1 The oldest generation was represented by the composers of...

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