1950 Brussels

Jun 23, 1950 – Jun 30, 1950

Festival info

Start: Jun 23, 1950

End: Jun 30, 1950

Locations: Brussels

Hosting member(s)


Supported and presented in collaboration with the Institut Natíonal Belge de Radiodiffusion (INR)

From a contemporaneous review

“It can be said at once that there was no overwhelming experience to be had at the twenty-fourth Festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music, held at Brussels, on June 23-30, but that, equally, each of the six concerts (four orchestral-choral, two chamber music) produced something worth hearing. … The general standard was, in fact, probably the highest of the post-war I.S.C.M. Festivals, though as usual there were one or two works played whose selection by the International Jury seems hard to explain, and one work (by René Leibowitz) which was plain silly. But, after all, what would an I.S.C.M. Festival be like without a good grumble? We were grateful to M. Leibowitz for providing that on the present occasion, with the consequence that his work was the main topic of the not very reverent post-concert café conversations which form an indispensable part of any Festival, at least abroad. Since the war the I.S.C.M. seems not to be producing the thoroughly dark horse, and this is not surprising, for in most countries, largely through radio, younger composers today have a far greater chance generally of getting performances than hitherto. If the primary function of the I.S.C.M., that of ferreting out new composers, has therefore lost some of its point, it would not be right to suggest that the Society now has no function. The success of these annual Festivals, taking the musical and social sides together, is undoubted, never more so than at Brussels: and the Society’s provision of an international platform is, more than ever in these deplorably curtained days, an asset to be valued by the younger composer.”

— Alan Frank, “The I. S. C. M. Festival at Brussels,”
The Musical Times, Vol. 91, No. 1290 (August 1950), p. 318. 

Programme information