eesti teaduste
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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2020): 0.5


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Triinu Ojamaa


During World War II, tens of thousands of people of different social back­grounds fled to the West from Estonia. There were approximately two hundred musicians among them, half of whom received asylum in Sweden. Some opera singers, conductors, and composers had built a successful career already before the war and were also known to a certain extent in the Nordic countries. While in Sweden, the musicians tried to get involved in the cultural life of the host society. They believed that this would ensure them an income, yet they felt an inner need to continue their careers as musicians and to preserve their professional identity. The aim of this article is to highlight the circumstances that either supported or hindered the integration of these highly-skilled refugees. The research is based on the manuscript memoirs of Juhan Aavik (1884–1982), an Estonian conductor and composer, who, before fleeing, occupied the leading position in Estonian music life.



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