Federalism – Artists and Writers

Research into, information about, discussion of FEDERALISM is usually seen at the preserve of politicians, political scientists, economists, legal experts. However, ideas about federal solutions to ongoing problems – particularly in Europe – have also over the years attracted the attention of writers and artists, especially musicians. Amongst the publications of the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig are various articles about the possibilities for European integration. Some are included in a Pushkin Press publication: Stefan Zweig – Messages from a Lost World: Europe on the Brink. This includes a foreword by John Gray and an introduction by the translator Will Stone. There is also a French publication: Stefan Zweig – Appels aux Européens. Here the translator is Jacques le Rider who also offers an introduction.

At the very beginning of the Pushkin Press book there is a quotation from the pre-eminent cellist Pablo Casals. The latter is just one of many musicians who have envisioned a different world order. The violinist Bronislaw Huberman wrote Vaterland Europa, published 1932. In 1948 the British conductor Sir Adrian Boult attended the Congress of Europe at the Hague. Later in 1955, he conducted a concert at the Royal Albert Hall ‘in aid of The Federal Educational and Research Trust’. The works included a symphony by the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams who wrote in the programme:- “A long life has shown me that politically the world lacks a vision of its own unity and that it is often for the artist to try to show the way”. The long list of patrons for the concert included writers, politicians, philosophers and religious leaders.

Much of the above has been tended to be overlooked in recent times, but the trustees of the JMCT feel that if offers fertile ground for research, fresh information and discussion. We would like to hear from anybody interested in undertaking work in this field.

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