The purpose of the discussion, which served as keynote at a conference convened under the title “Music and Power,” is to complicate what is often a simplified and overly dichotomized view of that relationship. Two figures, Dmitry Kabalevsky and Tikhon Khrennikov, are singled out for commentary as musicians who wielded political power or conspicuously benefited from it under the Soviet regime. The titular serendipities were occasions through which the author was made unexpectedly aware of the ambiguities and nuances that attended the interactions of music and musicians with the Soviet state.

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