Events at the University of Michigan

Political Science and Music at the University of Michigan
By Raymond Rolak

ANN ARBOR– Two special events will be presented on the campus of the University of Michigan as part of the Center of Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. On Tuesday, April 17, at 4 p.m., the former President of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, and former Czech Prime Minister, Petr Pithart, will be speaking at the Rackham Auditorium. There will also be a panel dialogue and both will be on the dais addressing: “The European Crisis: A View from Warsaw and Prague.”

The special guests because of their insight and wealth of experiences will offer their own unique perspectives on recent events in Europe. Highlighted will be the challenges that become associated with political changes and successes in emerging democracies. The program is part of the continuing education series of the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies.

On Wednesday, April 18, 12:00 p.m.-1:30 P.M., CREES and the Center for International Studies will have a noontime concert and enrichment presentation on “Jewish Music in the Time of the Holocaust.” The music of Czech-Jewish composer Pavel Haas will be showcased. Haas managed to compose songs while interred at the Terezín concentration camp. Presenters will include: Timothy Cheek, associate professor of voice, Caroline Helton, assistant professor of voice, Kathryn Goodson, piano and Allen Schrott, bass-baritone.

In an unassociated coincidence of music and politics, 120 years ago, Ignace Jan Paderewski made his first of six visits to the University of Michigan campus to perform one of his renowned piano concerts. The beloved Polish patriot did a benefit performance for women’s sports on February 18, 1892.

The former Prime Minister of Poland in 1919 always was open to discuss and lobby for a free Poland. He amassed a large fortune through his musical enterprises, most of which he donated to the service of Poland and the benefit of needy musicians and Jewish refugees.