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Musical Items

Musical lectures are a part of the course of study at most of the German universities.

The ten performances of “Parsifal” will yield the management of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, a handsome profit.

Mr. Frangcon Davis, the well-known English baritone, is now a professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

The demand for miniature orchestra scores may be accepted as an indication of a growing interest in orchestral music of the higher class.

The composer Piérne has been acting as director of the Colonne Concerts in Paris during the regular conductor’s absence in New York City.

The managers of the Sunday evening concerts at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, have dropped symphonies from the programs.

A bill is to be offered in the present Congress granting third-class rates of postage (two ounces for 1 cent) to music manuscript, among other things.

The Western Graphic, published at Los Angeles, Cal., issued a “Music Edition” for the week of January 2d, which contained an admirable account of the musical work and musicians of that progressive city.

The second concert of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Prof. H. W. Parker was attended by an audience of 3000. Harold Bauer was the soloist.

A mandolin, guitar, and banjo concert, under the direction of the American Guild of Banjoists, Mandolinists, and Guitarists, was given in Carnegie Hall, New York City, January 29th.

Mons. Edouard Colonne, the eminent conductor of Paris, who recently conducted several concerts for the New York Philharmonic Society, will give some concerts in London, taking with him his orchestra.

A European music trades paper says there are two hundred and sixty-one factories for the manufacture of church organs in Germany. The greater number are small establishments producing for use only in Germany.

It is reported that the Khedive of Egypt, who is a zealous Wagnerite, has planned that his personal orchestra of 100 musicians shall make a concert tour in Europe, visiting, among other cities, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, and Vienna.

Two composers, resident in the United States, received honorable mention for their works entered in the Sonzogno competition for the best one-act opera. They are Mr. J. Lewis Browne, of Atlanta, Ga., and Sig. O. Ferrata, of Beaver, Pa.

A meeting of the Eastern division of the National Federation of Women’s Musical Clubs will be held in Philadelphia, in April. The Treble Clef Club will entertain the delegates. The meeting of the Western section will be held in St. Louis in June.

At Whitsuntide, in Amsterdam, a four days’ Beethoven festival will be given under the direction of Felix Weingartner with the assistance of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The program includes the nine symphonies, the violin concerto, and piano concerto No. 4.

In a letter to a New York paper Victor Herbert intimates that he expects to maintain a permanent orchestral organization in New York City. His contract with the Pittsburg Orchestra expires in March. Mr. Herbert sent in a letter of resignation some time ago.

A unique concert was recently given in Prague when about 70 of the violin pupils of Prof. Ottokar Sevcik, men and women, played compositions by Vivaldi, Hellmesberger, Paganini, Spohr, and Sering, for three and four violins, with piano and organ accompaniments.

The receipts for the present season of the concerts of the New York Philharmonic Society have been so much larger than in past years that the managers have decided to engage a number of “star” conductors for the next season rather than to have one conductor for the entire season.

Mr. Frank Van Der Stucken has been asked to write the official march for the St. Louis Exposition. In a “Folksong Style” competition for a prize offered by Die Woche, a musical journal of Berlin, Mr. Van Der Stucken’s song was one of 30 out of 8859 that were selected for publication in an album.

A few musicians living at the present time link us with the great names of the past. A notable instance is Mr. Edward Silas, organist and composer, of London, who knew Berlioz well and was intimately connected with him when the latter came to London in 1852 to direct the concerts of the newly organized Philharmonic Society. Mr. Silas is seventy-six years old, and is still in active work, being professor of composition at the Guildhall School of Music.

According to Breitkopf & Haertel’s report of the German opera season from September, 1902, to August, 1903, “Carmen” was given 293, “Lohengrin” 284, “Tannhäuser” 283, “Freischütz” 234, “Il Trovatore” 225, “Cavalleria Rusticana” 225, “Mignon” 210, “Martha” 173, Gounod’s “Faust” 173, “Fidelio” 167 times.

The Beethoven Museum in Bonn has lately been enriched by the addition of some valuable manuscripts, musical and literary. The former include the first sketches with many alterations of the Sonata, Op. 111, Beethoven’s last piano sonata, the score of the Trio, Op. 116, in a handwriting not Beethoven’s, but with many additions and alterations by the master. The literary manuscripts include many letters in regard to the composer’s works and his relations to his relatives and friends.

In the “School of Higher Social Studies,” in Paris, arrangements have been made for a comprehensive course of lectures on the history of music from the troubadours to the present day with the assistance of prominent French musicians and critics. Among the lectures is one by Vincent d’Indy on “How to Make a Sonata,” by Malherbe on “Berlioz,” Tiersot on the “Folk Song.” The lectures will be illustrated by musical examples given by a double vocal quartet and a string quartet.

The Higher Consistory of the Hessian Evangelical Church has proposed the following in respect to an increase in church organists’ salaries: From April 1, every organist shall receive for his work at one service per Sunday a minimum yearly salary of $37.50; for two services, $50.00. Additional services are to be paid for on the basis of the rate for one service per Sunday. It must be kept in mind that in German villages the schoolmaster is usually the organist as well.

The Musical Unions in the large cities, made up of professional orchestral players, are making great efforts to unionize all organizations. The latest threat is that composers—this would apply to those residing in the United States—must become members of the Union, or the latter will refuse to play their compositions. The report comes from Boston that Mr. Higginson, backer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will disband the organization rather than to recognize the local Musical Union.

The annual conference of the Incorporated Society of Musicians of England was held at Glasgow, December 28, 1903, to January 2, 1904. Frederic H. Cowen gave a paper on “The Mannerisms of Composers,” Prof. Niecks on “The Importance of General Culture in the Training of Music Teachers,” Dr. D. F. Wilson on “Scottish Folk Music,’ and Mr. Algernon Rose on “Some Native African Musical Instruments.” The society was formed twenty-one years ago and now numbers over 2000 members, of whom 729 hold positions as organists.

A new publication of interest to musicians is the Universal Hand-book of Music Literature,” which is to be under the editorial direction of Dr. Riemann. The design of the work is to include the names of the published compositions of Europe and the United States, including works of the previous centuries. It will appear in twenty-fire large volumes and will be published in Vienna. The publisher’s address is Vienna, 8 Bezirk, Neudeggergasse No. 20. Composers whose names begin with A should send a list of their published works at an early date.

Mme. Antoinette Sterling, the famous American ballad singer, died in London. January 10th. She was born in Sterlingville, N. Y., in 1850, and was a descendant of the Bradford family of Massachusetts. She studied in Europe and made her début at one of the Covent Garden promenade concerts in 1873. She sang in oratorio, but the public soon convinced her that ballad singing was her forte, and she gradually devoted the major part of her musical work to that style of singing. “The Lost Chord,” “The Better Land,” “Darby and Joan” were some of the songs which she sang, to the great pleasure of her audiences. Although an American by birth, the greater part of her life was spent in England. During her short stay in the United States she filled a position in Henry Ward Beecher’s church. When Bach’s “Passion” music was first sung in Boston she was among the soloists. She was also one of the first to introduce German lieder to American audiences.

President Hazard, of Wellesley College, announced at Christmas the gift of a new music building from the Billings estate to be known as Billings Hall. The college has already a four-story brick building of forty rooms devoted to the uses of the Music Department, but the new building will give the department opportunities of doing work which it has long desired to undertake, but for which it had no facilities. Billings Hall will be a separate building from the present Music Hall, to which it will be joined by a passageway. It will be 114 feet long by 45 broad, beautifully situated overlooking Lake Waban. There will be a small hall seating 420 people, with a three-manual concert organ, a grand piano, and ample stage, convenient ante-rooms, etc. There will be two class rooms for theory classes, a fine library and reading room 42 feet by 25 feet, with open fireplaces and pleasant furnishings; also offices, for the professor of music. It is believed that Wellesley College, by September, 1904, will have a more complete plant devoted to the study of music from the academic point of view than any other institution in the country.

From an article on governmental aid to musical institutions, published in the London Musical Opinion, we learn that the court theaters in Vienna were erected on state land out of state funds; the Opera House cost $2,500,000 to build. When the balance of receipts and expenditures is on the wrong side a grant is made from the Emperor’s civil list. The Royal Hungarian Opera at Budapest is given an annual grant of $125,000, the Emperor also making a personal subscription; a subvention is also made to the principal music schools. The Court and National Theater at Munich belong to the state, with a grant of $62,500 yearly, with a payment of the deficit if one should occur. Municipalities in Bavaria grant subsidies to theaters or place the building gratis at the disposal of the manager. The Monnaie Opera House in Brussels receives $28,000 yearly from the city; some of the musical societies and concert series, such as the Ysaye concerts, are assisted by the government. The state grants to Paris institutions are very liberal. The Opera receives $160,000, the Opéra Comique, $60,000; the Théâtre Française, $48,000: the Odéon, $20,000. The Chevillard and Lamoureux concerts also receive aid. In the larger towns popular concerts receive grants of $500 to $1000. The Royal Opera House in Berlin receives $270,000 from the crown; other grants are Wiesbaden, $100,000; Stuttgart, $75,000; Carlsruhe. $75,000;  Darmstadt, $62,500; Dresden, $60,000, with payment of deficit; Frankfort, $50,000. The Czar is credited with contributing $1,500,000 to the imperial theaters at St. Petersburg and Moscow. Conservatories and musical societies receive governmental and municipal aid.

 

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