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Musical Items

It is announced that Paderewski has arranged a tour that will include Australia. He will use an American piano.

The orchestra of the court theater in Vienna is to be depressed below the stage level, according to the Bayreuth theater plan.

In July a series of concerts was given in the Crystal Palace; in one a chorus of 5000 children assisted; the adult chorus numbered 4000 members.

A New York correspondent says that the first performance of “Parsifal” is to occur December 21st. There will be ten performances in all in that city during the coming season.

A project is on foot for the erection of a building in Salzburg, to serve as a home for the Mozart Museum, the Salzburg Music School, and a great music hall for Mozart festivals.

The appropriation for music at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 is $450,000. Mr. E. R. Kroeger, the well- known pianist and composer, of St. Louis, is in charge of the programs.

The committee in charge of the proposed National Festival of British Music, to be held in London next year, ask for a guarantee fund of $25,000, of which $15,000 has been subscribed.

It is stated that Victor Herbert is writing a new opera in which Fritzi Scheff is to be the star. Another project of Mr. Herbert’s is the revival of Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” music.

A short time ago several articles that once belonged to Liszt were disposed of at public auction in Budapest. Among them were two small pianos and an Erard grand which Liszt used in concerts.

A new material for piano-keys is reported by an English piano-trade paper, of vegetable origin, but not inflammable like celluloidin; it will retain its pure white color for a long time. It is hard like ivory.

Charpentier, whose opera “Louise” won so great success in Paris, is at work on another, the subject of which is found in modern social conditions. Must opera confine itself to romantic and classic subjects?

David Bispham is to sing at several of the fall music festivals. His engagement for recitals and orchestral concerts are said to be so numerous that he will not sing in opera this season to the extent he has hitherto appeared.

Jacques Thibaud, the French violinist, who is to concertize in the United States this coming season, is about twenty-four years old. He studied in the Paris Conservatoire. Later he was a member of the celebrated Colonne Orchestra in Paris.

There is a rumor that the Pittsburgh Orchestra will carry a smaller number of men on the pay-roll next season, about sixty-five members in all, the idea being to reduce the amount of the annual deficit that the guarantors are called upon to make up.

A musico-pedagogic congress will be held in Berlin, September 30th to October 5th. Xaver Scharwenka will preside at the meetings of the section for music-teachers. The list of professional musicians identified with this movement includes the names of many prominent artists and teachers, conservatory as well as private.

The London Musical News deplores the fact that there is so large a proportion of foreign instrumentalists in London orchestras. It says further that the demand in restaurants and private houses is for foreign orchestras, and that, while Englishmen play in such orchestras, they are not allowed to indicate their nationality.

A European letter is authority for the statement that Richard Strauss received $1250 for his latest group of songs, accepted by a publisher. His fame as a composer is being extended by his songs. The coming season we are promised that Frau Strauss will sing, in recitals, some of her husband’s songs, presumably accompanied, on some occasions, by the composer.

The Massachusetts Daughters of the Revolution have issued a postal card the design of which shows an old-fashioned choir singing a verse set to music by William Billings. The proceeds from the sale of this card will be devoted to a fund for the erection of a tablet to the early composers of New England, which memorial is to be placed in the Boston Public Library.

The opera singers of Italy have formed a union to insist upon the rate of payment. According to a European contemporary, the minimum rate for tenors who take principal characters in first class opera-houses is less than five dollars a performance, and in less important houses only about half that amount. It seems incredible that these figures can be true. No wonder that singers want to get in touch with the American dollar.

Vienna has a number of buildings interesting to the music-lover: The house in which Mozart wrote a great part of the “Magic Flute,” another in which he wrote the “Marriage of Figaro,” and still another in which he died; several houses in which Beethoven lived; Haydn’s residence, containing a number of interesting relics; Schubert’s lodgings; Brahm’s (sic) house. Vienna played a great part in the lives of a number of musicians.

Felix Mottl, who is announced as one of the conductors for the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, this season, is one of the great conductors of Europe. He is forty-seven years old, and since 1881 has been director of the opera at Carlsruhe, Germany, also conducting at Bayreuth. He was with Wagner for several years, and assistant to Liszt at Weimer during the early period of the Wagner propaganda. It is expected that he will supervise and direct the production of “Parsifal.”

During the summer a concert was given in Copenhagen in which a great novelty was introduced, no less than the playing of several old horns, about three thousand years old, archeologists say. The instruments belong to the Museum of Antiquities in Copenhagen, and were found in Denmark. There are twenty-three different pieces, of which nineteen can be used. The tone was very satisfactory, and affords a proof of considerable development of musical hearing among the people of antiquity who made these instruments.

The guarantors and managers of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra have succeeded in making an arrangement whereby Mr. Fritz Scheel, conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, will direct a series of concerts in the former city during August and September, the idea being to make the enterprise a permanent one. During his stay in San Francisco several years ago Mr. Scheel won great success by his work, and the music-lovers of that city have been untiring in their efforts to have his assistance in their musical work ever since. Mr. Scheel will be back to Philadelphia in time to prepare for the orchestral season in that city this fall.

Madame Cosima Wagner bitterly opposes Conried’s determination to give her husband’s opera “Parsifal” in New York. In a recent interview she said: “If ‘Parsifal’ is presented on the stage in New York it will be the desecration of a sacred work for the sake of money and an insult to the memory of its creator. I can only hope that artists will refuse to sing it and that American society will not approve the sacrilege.” Frau Wagner and her friends fail to appreciate the desire of thousands of American music-lovers who have a right to hear the work of the Bayreuth master without being obliged to go to Bayreuth for that purpose. Art cannot afford to recognize a perpetual monopoly.

A resolution was introduced at the last meeting of the Music Teachers’ National Association by Carl W. Grimm, of Cincinnati, requesting the chair to appoint a committee of five members to devise ways and means for the foundation and maintenance of a National Home for Aged Musicians. The money for the home is to be gained by yearly subscriptions and endowments. Interest for it is to be aroused among professional musicians and all connected with the music business. This home should be a grand institution with all modern improvements, possess a library, music-hall, organ, etc. It should be situated on lovely grounds, near a great music-center, where the inmates of the home could go to hear great operas and concerts.

The piano department of the School of Music at the Chautauqua (N. Y.) Assembly has had a very successful season. Mr. William H. Sherwood, the distinguished American pianist, who is in charge of the department, reports the largest attendance in the fifteen years of the history of the school. The opportunities for a far-reaching work that Chautauqua offers are unsurpassed.

Correction.—The names of the officers of the Southern Music Teachers’ Association, as announced in The Etude for August, are incorrect. The officers for 1903-1904 are: President, Mr. J.’ W. Jeudwine, 1611 Riggs Pl., Washington, D. C.; Vice-President, Mrs. Ina Martin, Yazoo City, Miss.; Treasurer, F. Nelson, Knoxville, Tenn.; Secretary, August Geiger, Gainesville, Ga.

A festival to celebrate the Centenary of Berlioz was held at Grenoble, France, August 14-17. Ernest Reyer was honorary president of the festival. The concerts were under the direction of Felix Weingartner, Léon Jehin, and Georges Marty. A feature of the festival was the presence of a large number of rural organizations to take part in the contests for prizes. On the 15th a statue of the composer was formally unveiled.

 

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