Wednesday, April 11, 2012

John Malveaux: 'Music and 1980 Olympics Boycott'

[John Malveaux]

John Malveaux of writes:

American composer Roy Harris was a member of our State Department's  first cultural exchange with the Soviet Union. In later years, the Soviet Olympic Committee asked Roy Harris to compose a symphony for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games. The symphony was to have an international broadcast during the opening of the Summer Olympic Games. 

At a later time, I met and commissioned Roy Harris to write a symphony for me. We later agreed that the intended 1980 Summer Olympic Symphony would be the work commissioned by me since he did not know what to write for me and he had some age problems. Unfortunately, Roy Harris died in 1979 before the work was completed. 

I later contracted with the United States Olympic Committee to stage a concert fundraiser, honoring Roy Harris, to benefit the United States Summer Olympic Team at Avery Fisher featuring Members of the New York Philharmonic as a goodwill gesture to the Soviet Olympic Committee. While in New York developing the project and the winter Games were in process at Lake Placid, the United States Olympic Committee's fundraiser telephoned me at the Waldorf Astoria to advise that the United States Olympic Committee could not complete the contract with me because the next day President Carter would announce a boycott of the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.


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