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Musical Items

The governmental subvention of the Prague Conservatory is $8000 a year.

An opera has been written by an Italian composer in which Lord Byron is the central figure.

Johannes Weidenbach, one of the oldest teachers in the Leipzig Conservatory, died last summer.

Mozart’s opera, “Don Juan,” had its six hundredth performance at the Berlin Royal Opera this summer.

The University of Minnesota has established a chair of music and appointed Emil Oberhoffer to the position as director.

Lucantoni, a popular composer of songs in the older Italian style, and a friend of Rossini and Verdi, died lately in Paris, aged 82 years.

Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the Russian pianist, will be the principal soloist at the Worcester, Mass., Music Festival, beginning September 29th.

Over 250 associations, from various countries, numbering 9500 executants, were expected to assist in the Geneva, Switzerland, musical competition, held in August.

The building of the Leipzig Thomasschule, so intimately associated, in music history, with the name of J. S. Bach, is to be torn down to make room for a municipal building.

The forty-ninth annual meeting of the Illinois State Teachers’ Association, music section, will be held at Springfield, December 29th to 31st. Mr. William D. Armstrong is president.

Several, interesting compositions hitherto unknown, by Liszt, were found among the effects of a lately deceased Hungarian nobleman. Among them were several rhapsodies.

There is a movement on foot in Scotland to establish a National School of Music. The promoters will seek aid from the town and county councils of Edinburgh, as well as the government.

It may not be generally known that Mr. Edward Macdowell wrote many of the texts he has used for song-setting. These with others that he has written will be printed in a volume for limited circulation.

In recognition of his international reputation as a composer Mr. Edward Macdowell was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Music by the University of Pennsylvania at the commencement exercises in June.

The city of Leipzig has bought the Klinger monument to Beethoven. The price paid is said to be $62,500, of which the city treasury contributes the greater part, the remainder having been covered by private subscription.

The Prussian government has forbidden the performance of Paderewski’s opera “Manru” on Prussian territory, because the composer sent $12,500 to the Polish committee of Posen, which opposes the Germanization of the Poles.

It is reported that the once famous singer, Materna, who has lived for several years at Grätz, Austria, has met with financial trouble, and has been compelled to sacrifice her property. It is further said that she will teach singing in Vienna this season.

At the closing exercises of the Vienna Conservatory in July, Emil Sauer’s department for advanced pupils, called the Meisterschule, presented six pupils. The demonstration made by these pupils is said to add much to Sauer’s renown as a teacher.

The German government has purchased the library and collection of instruments of the recently deceased antiquarian, Snoeck, of Ghent. It forms the most complete array of musical instruments of all ages. When shipped to Berlin it filled five cars.

The public libraries in the larger American cities are beginning to add orchestral scores and other music to their collections. The price for such works is much lower than formerly, especially since the cheap German editions have been placed on the market.

In the late Concours at the Paris Conservatoire Chopin’s Third Ballade and Mendelssohn’s Caprice in B-minor were selected for performance by the competing male pupils, and Chopin’s Sonata in B-flat minor and Scarlatti’s Sonata for clavier for the women.

Heinrich Hofmann, the composer, died in Berlin, last July. He was born in that city in 1842. His best-known work was the opera, “Aennchen von Tharau.” A choral work, “The Beautiful Melusine,” has been sung in this country by choral societies. He wrote many piano pieces.

A New York paper says that it is possible that Mr. E. H. Lemare, the English organist who succeeded Frederic Archer as organist at Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh, may not return to this country this fall. This will mean a fine position open to organists. We feel justified in hoping that an American may be selected.

According to a German investigator, in Russia the largest proportion of men’s voices are deep bass; in Italy, tenor; in Germany, baritone. Asiatics sing mostly with nasal quality or a noticeable tremolo. Among a tribe of Hottentots only tenor voices were found. An observer among the Chinese says that he never heard them sing a true chest-tone.

Professor Joachim announces that two prizes will be awarded in Berlin, in October, based on the Mendelssohn fund for music-students. One is for composition, the other for playing, each valued at $375. Applicants must have had at least half a year’s instruction in some state-supported institution in Germany. There is no restriction as to nationality, sex, age, or religion.

The publishing house of Novello, Ewer & Co., London, have issued a catalogue of all orchestral works published in all countries since Lully & Rameau, 1651, to the present day. The book includes 5012 orchestral works written by 1337 composers, classified thus: Overtures, 1272; symphonies, 588; morceaux de concert, 1542; marches, 467; music for string instruments, 709; miscellaneous selections, 434. Germany leads with 2324 numbers. American writers are represented with 41 numbers.

According to a census bulletin recently issued, there is a capital of $47,751,582 invested in 621 establishments (reporting in 1900) for the manufacture of musical instruments in the United States. The value of the product was returned at $44,514,463. The average number of wage-earners was 23,765, with wages of $12,801,767. Upright pianos represented about 97 per cent, of the total. New York, Chicago, Boston, Cambridge (Mass.), and Cincinnati led in the order named in the value of the product.

A New York scientist has in his drawing-room a chandelier which embodies the principle of the so- called musical flame: When gas is burned in a cylindrical chimney, the vapor being emitted from the jet at a certain angle, a musical sound is produced, the pitch being dependent upon the length and width of the chimney. There are thirty lamps in the chandelier, making four octaves. The music produced is not so loud or vibrant as that from wood or brass instruments, but is fuller and more sonorous than a whistle or a flute.

The Paris Figaro has opened a competition for composers, restricting the class of works accepted to the simpler form of melody for voice, with piano accompaniment, and characteristic piece (Morceau de genre) for piano solo. We give a summary of the conditions:

All composers are entitled to compete, French or foreign, who have not had a work produced on a lyric stage. The composition will close October 1st. The text of the songs must be in the French language. A prize of $100 is offered in each class for the best work, and two second prizes of $20 each in each class. The judges will be: Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré, and Louis Diemer. Manuscripts should be addressed to M. René Lara, care of The Figaro, Paris.

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