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Musical Items

The post of Master of Music to the King, in England, carries with it a salary of $1500 a year.

A new violin-star is Jaroslav Kocian, a young Bohemian, and pupil of Sevcick, now celebrated as the teacher of Kubelik. He has played with success in London.

An opera called “Claudio Monteverde” was recently performed in Strassburg. It is fitting that the hero of an opera should be one so prominently connected with its history.

 The government appropriation for the opera this year, in Paris, has been set for $240,000 in the budget recently issued; a new concert-hall for the Conservatoire has been recommended.

Mr. George W. Chadwick has resigned his position as conductor of the Worcester, Mass., Festival. Mr. Franz Kneisel will take charge of the orchestral work, and Mr. Wallace Goodrich, of the chorus.

A Berlin correspondent of The Musical Courier says that an autobiography of Richard Wagner in the master’s handwriting is in the possession of his son, Siegfried, who made a promise not to publish it until thirty years after his death.

Arthur Hartmann, a young Hungarian violinist, well known in this country as a child prodigy, has been giving concerts with great success in Copenhagen, Christiania, Berlin, Leipzig, and Vienna. He is destined to become one of the world’s great violinists.

A Choral Art Society has been organized in Boston. The programs will consist, for the most part, of compositions of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, to be sung a capella; some of the Bach cantatas also will be given. Mr. Wallace Goodrich is director.

According to a German publication, during the German opera-season of 1900-1901 “Lohengrin” was played 294 times; “Tannhäuser,” 273; “Die  Meistersinger,” 171; “Die Walküre,” 131; “Carmen,” 277; “Faust,” by Gounod, 199; “Magic Flute,” 185; “Hänsel and Gretel,” 153; “Barber of Seville,” 139; “Aïda,” 116.

The seventeenth annual conference of the Incorporated Society of Musicians of England was held early last month in London. Among the papers read were “Our Vocation,” by Mr. W. H. Cummings; “The Educational Value of Musical Examinations,” by Mr. H. A. Harding; “The Training of Music-Teachers,” by Mr. F. G. Shinn.

Signor Sonzogno, whose prize of $10,000, offered for the best opera by an Italian composer, was won by Mascagni, with “Cavalleria Rusticana,” has now offered a similar prize for the best one-act opera in any language. He offers to produce the successful work at his own expense in Milan, on the occasion of the international exhibition in 1904.

At a sale of old musical instruments, in London, in December, the following prices were paid: For a violoncello by Grancini, $150; a violin-bow by François Tourte, $90; a viola by Guadagnini, 1785, $300; a violin by Carlo Bergonzi, $1000; a violin by Stradivarius, 1692, $1000. Some valuable old harpsichords, spinets, lutes, etc., were included in the collections offered for sale.

A writer on chess in an English paper contrasts a chess-player with a musician: “A typical chessplayer is a deep thinker, and the possessor of a steady, well-balanced mind, while the musician is a light-hearted, happy-go-lucky kind of individual.” This writer needs to make the acquaintance of certain English and American musicians who are also expert chess-players.

An American in Europe, commenting on the musical opportunities and the municipal support of musical institutions, calls attention to what is done in small cities. He instances the city of Teplitz, in Bohemia, with some 30,000 inhabitants. It has a symphony orchestra which gives six concerts each season, the soloists for the year including Carreño, Fritz Kreisler, and Ysaye.

The second of the People’s Symphony Concerts, in New York City, was given January 17th, in Cooper Union Hall. The first was well attended, and the manager of the enterprise planned to continue their attempt to bring the best musical works before the people at a price within the reach of all. The prices of admission ranged from 10 to 50 cents for single concerts, and from 25 cents to $1.50 for the series of five concerts.

A volume of reminiscences of Leschetizky, written by his sister-in-law, the Countess Potocka, has been published abroad. It treats of the great teacher’s private life, of his long career, full of dramatic and romantic interest, of his relations with public men, artists, composers, among them Liszt, Wagner, Rubinstein, and Strauss. It also gives his views on progress, art, religion, and other points of interest in the thought of a many-sided man.

Messrs. H. E. Krehbiel, Henry T. Finck, and Louis C. Elson were among the lecturers at the exhibition of musical instruments arranged for by Chickering & Sons in Chickering Hall, Boston, last month. Among the instruments shown were a collection of pipe-instruments, from the ancient Pan pipes to a pipe-organ, a number of rare and valuable violins, all kinds of stringed, wind, and percussion instruments, among which may be mentioned a set of brass instruments used by the first brass band organized in the United States.

An exhibition of the literature of music has been opened to the public in the Lenox Library, New York City. It presents in systematic sequence the evolution of music by showing publications relating to the music of the ancients, medieval writers, and subsequent centuries; it includes standard reference books, bibliography, history, and biography, works on the opera, autograph letters of Beethoven, Berlioz, Haydn, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Verdi, Wagner, and others, and music manuscripts of which one of Mozart’s symphonies is one of the most notable.

An organization has been effected in St. Louis, by Mrs. Albert L. Hughey and Miss Marion Ralston called the St. Louis Union Musical Club, whose object is to provide for the musical education of talented young persons who are without means to pursue their studies. The expenses are borne by members of the club, the fee being $3.00 a year. So far the effort has been very successful. Applications to the number of several hundred have been already received, but only the most talented and needy are accepted. The best musicians in the city of St. Louis have been selected as instructors. Shall this club have imitators in all of the American cities?

The New England Conservatory offers a prize of $600 for the best original work for chorus and orchestra. The competition is open to all composers born in the United States or resident in this country for five years. The conditions governing the competition are that the work shall be for chorus of mixed voices, solos, and orchestra, English text, sacred or secular, limited to four solo parts, the time of performance to be from thirty to sixty minutes. A one-act opera will be acceptable. A pianoforte and full orchestral score must be submitted. The judges will be: Mr. George W. Chadwick, Director of the Conservatory, Mr. Horatio W. Parker, and Mr. Frank Van der Stucken.

A new venture of interest to American composers and musicians is the Wa-Wan Press, recently established at Newton Center Massachusetts, for the periodical publication of contemporary American compositions. The organization will undertake the publication of the best work possible for composers to produce. No work will be brought out except such as are based upon purely artistic considerations, in which the composer shall have expressed himself. The publications will contain prefatory analyses and short studies. The aim is to render available hitherto unpublished compositions of the highest order. These works will be issued quarterly. The subscription price is eight dollars per year. Mr. Arthur Farwell is the editor-in-chief.

The Pennsylvania State Music-Teachers’ Association, Mr. Edward A. Berg, president, met at Reading, Pa., December 26th and 27th. The attendance was small outside of members from the eastern part of the State. The program was largely educational in aim. Dr. Henry G. Hanchett, of New York City, gave a lecture recital on the “Classic and Romantic Schools”; Dr. H. A. Clarke, Philadelphia; Mr. William Benbow, Reading; Mr. Enoch Pearson, Mr. F. S. Law, and Mr. James Warrington, of Philadelphia, read papers on subjects connected with the teaching and study of instrumental and vocal music. Round Tables were in charge of Dr. Hanchett, Mr. Franklin Cresson, and Mr. H. S. Kirkland. The session closed with a concert by Mr. Maurits Leefson, pianist; Miss Jennie Foell, soprano; Mr. Harry Gurney, tenor; Mr. Frederic Harrison, baritone; Mr. Carl Doell, violinist; and Mr. Preston Ware Orem, pianist. The next place of meeting has not yet been selected.

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