Simo Muir's paper at the 'Music History and Cosmopolitanism' conference in Helsinki, 2016
|Date||3rd June 2016|
Simon Pergament-Parmet (1897–1969) was a Finnish composer and conductor who received his education in St. Petersburg, worked in Berlin and Helsinki in the 1920‒30s, was in exile in the US during the Second World War, returning to Finland in the late 1940s. Pergament-Parmet is best known in Finland for his analysis of Sibelius’s symphonies.
Pergament-Parmet’s career in Finland appears to have been affected by antisemitism. Though there were no anti-Jewish laws in independent Finland there was nevertheless institutional antisemitism, and during the 1930s and the war-time, when Finland was de facto allied with the Third Reich, a considerable constituency of the intellectual elite was pro-Nazi-Germany. The paper focuses on Pergament-Parmet’s ideas and adherence towards cosmopolitanism, and analyses his attitudes towards Finnish as well as Jewish nationalism.
The paper also explores and attempts to assess how antisemitism in the musical circles shaped and damaged his career in Finland during his lifetime. The sources used for the paper include Pergament-Parmet’s memoires, articles, interviews and correspondence.
Image: Fragment of a letter by Simon Parmet to his brother Moses Pergament.