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Fragments from a Women’s Diary: Telling Our Immigrant Stories in Song

Immigration, war, and displacement are central human themes, as old as recorded history but still as unique and fragile as each of our single lives. This interactive workshop delves into the power of these experiences, first in six women composers and then exploring our own stories.

These six women, two of them still alive, vividly instilled in their music the power of their experiences. They took as inspiration not only the great tragedies and triumphs of the human experience, but also found ways to celebrate the simplicity of everyday activities. We will discover, in her music, how Ruth Schönthal spent ten years as refugee fleeing the Nazis (from Hamburg to Sweden, the USSR to Japan, Mexico finally to New York) before finding stable asylum. Others would not be so fortunate. Vítězslava Kaprálová died at the age of 25 attempting to escape the gestapo as she waited her visa to attend classes in safety at Juilliard.

In their stories, Katelyn sees her own reflected. As an American descending from a long line of Czech immigrants, she maintains her own delicate balance of cultivating tradition and forging her own path.

In the second half of this workshop, aspects of our own stories will be explored. How are we working with the past? What is your story and how do you want to tell it? How are we maintaining this delicate balance between our duty of remembrance and our gift to live in the present, making way for the future?

Cost: Free with suggested freewill donation.

For full Hody schedule visit ncsml.org/hody

Sponsored by: Sharon Curtis of Winter Garden, FL and GreatAmerica Financial Services

About Dr. Katelyn Bouska:
With interpretations described as “full of life, flexibility, gripping rhythms and a richness of dynamic shadings” (Milan Bátor, Český rozhlas) and a skill at engaging audiences in the musical dialogue, Dr. Katelyn Bouska is a frequent solo and collaborative musician. Her unique programming combining rarely-heard Czech and American music with music being written specifically for her by rising composers has found an audience throughout the United States and on the international concert stage.

Katelyn is currently based in Philadelphia where she serves on the Music Studies Faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music. Her commitment for informed and personal musical expression extends beyond her piano studio into seminars on performance practice, continuo and period repertoire, and bringing to light music covered by the passage of time.


July 16, 2022
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
1400 Inspiration Pl SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 United States
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