University of Vienna, 19 - 20 May 2023

Ukraine is a country rich in musical traditions yet its role in music history has attracted limited attention beyond its borders. The recent Russian invasion and its ideological frame have highlighted the need for a reappraisal of Ukraine’s cultures and a critical approach to its historiography. Our conference seeks to take stock and advance the state of research by examining a wide range of questions central to the study and treatment of Ukraine in music historiography.

How do we assess Ukraine’s place in music history? How can we situate it in broader European and global contexts? What is the role and meaning of a national music history in a context of changing borders, of shifting and hybrid identities? What part do questions of ethnicity, language, and religious denomination play in attempts to portray the music culture of a historically multicultural society? And what is the place of the diaspora in the music history of Ukraine?

Which musical canons have been formed over time, what purposes have they served, and how stable have they been? Given the lingering legacies of imperialism, how can we decolonize the discussion of repertoires previously subsumed into imperial narratives? And how can we do so without slipping into methodological nationalism?

This conference welcomes contributions to these and other matters related to any period, genre or institution of music history (including dance and theater) relating to Ukraine, whether in the form of broad historiographical discussions or as detailed case studies. In addition to examinations of musical traditions within Ukraine and the diaspora we are also interested in the musical representations of Ukraine and the reception of musical Ukraine in other cultural traditions.

Our keynote speakers will be: Liubov Morozova (Artistic Director, Kyiv Symphony Orchestra) and Jann Pasler (Professor of Music, University of California, San Diego). The conference is co-hosted by the Faculty of Musicology and the Institute for East European History of the University of Vienna, and is convened by Leah Batstone (University of Vienna), Dietmar Friesenegger (University of Leipzig) and Rutger Helmers (University of Amsterdam).

The deadline for proposals is January 10th. For additional information and details regarding submissions, please refer to the conference website:

Please address any questions or comments regarding the call to: