The players of the Pittsburg Orchestra have presented their conductor, Emil Paur, with a silver wreath.
Owing to severe rheumatism in his right arm, Paderewski has been obliged to bring his concert tour to an end. He has returned to Europe.
Mayor Reyburn, of Philadelphia, has offered to aid the Philadelphia Orchestra by an appropriation of $15,000 for concerts.
Verdi’s opera, “Falstaff,” was revived at the Metropolitan recently. It has not been heard in New York for fourteen years.
Caruso has been secured for the Atlanta Festival, at a cost of $10,000. Madame Jomelli, and the Dresden Orchestra have also been engaged.
A successful organ recital was recently given by Herve D. Wilkins, at the Presbyterian Church, Plattsburg, N. Y.
The centenary of the death of Josef Haydn was celebrated at Riverside, Cal., by the performance of Haydn’s “Creation,” under the direction of B. R. Schryock.
Mr. William D. Armstrong’s overture for orchestra, “From the Old World,” is to be played by the Theodore Thomas Orchestra at the Alton, Ill., Festival.
Giuseppe Pinsuti, the impresario, has announced that New York will have a permanent opera in the old Academy of Music, at which he will conduct a nine months’ season.
It is reported that the Cincinnati Orchestra is to be re-established, and will be in operation next year. The guarantee of $50,000 has already been very nearly raised.
The directors of the Metropolitan Opera Company have renewed their contract with Andreas Dippel, who will continue to be administrative director, at a salary of $25,000 a year.
The great success of a harp concert recently given in Syracuse, N. Y,, in which ten performers were engaged, has decided the city authorities to make it an annual affair.
Dr. Wullner, “the singer who cannot sing,” who has delighted musicians with his excellent interpretations of the German lieder, has achieved a notable success in Milwaukee.
Mrs. Luella Clark Emery gave an organ recital at the Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church, Chicago, in which the program was. devoted to the works of Mendelssohn.
A Choral Society at Spokane, Wash., has recently been organized with 250 charter members. It is planned to have a chorus of 1,000 voices to sing at the National Irrigation Congress in Spokane.
The Niagara Choral Society, of Niagara Falls, Ont., was organized March 9th, with fifty voices. Dr. Wooler, of Buffalo, has been appointed conductor.
The Lehigh Valley Symphony Orchestra has met with considerable success. It supplies the symphony music of three Pennsylvania towns, Easton, South Bethlehem and Allentown. The programs are excellently chosen.
Ovid Musin, the famous violin virtuoso, has decided to locate permanently in New York City and give up his residence in Liège, Belgium, where he was the successor of De Bèriot, Leonard and Vieuxtemps, as teacher of the Violin Department.
At the last concert of the season of the Boston Symphony in New York, the suite by Ernest Schelling obtained a hearing. Mr. Schelling received four recalls from a highly-interested audience. The composer is to be congratulated on producing a work of great beauty, modern in spirit, and free from the exaggeration which mars so much latter-day music.
The trustees of the Paderewski Fund for American Composers have announced the prizes for 1909. They include $1,000 for a symphonic piece, $500 for a concert piece for chorus and orchestra, and $500 for a string quartet, or a similar work for like combinations of other instruments.
Mr. E. R. Kroeger has been giving his usual Lenten Pianoforte Recital with great success at the Musical Art Hall. Chicago. During the seventeen years of these recitals. Mr. Kroeger has played by memory 525 pieces by 81 composers. These have been representative of all types of pianoforte composition, and include the various forms, ranging from a prelude of three lines to a sonata of fifty pages. Twenty-three of the composers are “American,” i. e., either those born in this country or those born in Europe who have resided here.
The soloists at the Atlanta Festival for this year are Caruso, Mme. Fremstad, Jomelli, Langendorff, Petschnikoff, Germaine Schnitzer, Albert Spaulding, the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and other artists. The net proceeds of the festival will be devoted to the purchase of a new pipe organ to be placed in the new city auditorium, which has a seating capacity of 7,500, or twice that of Carnegie Hall, New York. The Etude congratulates the musical people of Atlanta upon their splendid and practical achievements.
Campanini, the conductor of the Hammerstein Manhattan Opera House, said in resigning his post as conductor: “Ah, yes; America has indeed a great future before her in opera—and musically in every way. I predict a very great one—and with good reason. I have watched the musical interest grow here—steadily—steadily, but surely. America has made wonderful progress in the musical field within the last few years. It is really astonishing! To-day she is as deeply interested in music as any of the other music-loving nations of the world. And, with time and application she will lead them.”
Frederick Maxson, the well-known Philadelphia organist, celebrated the Mendelssohn Centennial with a special service at the First Baptist Church of that city. The program included the “Hymn of Praise.”
Benjamin J. Lang, one of the most able and celebrated of contemporary American musicians and educators, died at his home in Boston, on April 4th, after a short illness, with pneumonia. He was born in Salem, Mass., December 28, 1827, and his talent became evident at a very early age. In Europe he studied with Liszt and Alfred Jaell. He appeared as a soloist in the leading European cities with great success. As a pianist, conductor and educator his rank was of the very highest. Yale University conferred the degree of Doctor of Music upon him, while Harvard honored him with the degree of Master of Arts. His daughter, Margaret Ruthern Lang, has achieved fame as a composer. Mr. Lang was a frequent and valued contributor to The Etude, and his last contribution was published in this magazine last month.
William Castle, a distinguished tenor and teacher in the Chicago Musical College, died recently in Chicago.
Charles C. Mellor, musician, scientist and business man, died an April 2d, in Pittsburg, at the age of seventy-three. Mr. Mellor was an able, genial and lovable man. He had much to do with the musical advancement of the City of Pittsburg. He was a close friend of Andrew Carnegie and of Theodore Presser, the publisher of this journal. Those who knew him speak in unlimited terms of his kindliness, public spirit, high ideals and generosity. A leading local paper says, “Pittsburg has produced many men more wealthy than Mr. Mellor, and some more famous, but it had none more free to give service to every good cause.”
Pepito Arriola, the Spanish eleven-year-old prodigy, has found a rival in his own sister, aged three, who made her début as a pianist in Berlin recently, under the name of Pilar Osario.
Who says new flutes for old? Sir Frederick Bridge was lecturing on the instruments of olden times at Gresham College. Holding up what looked like an old school ruler, he said: “This is a Nay—the flute of the Egyptians. It is probably 6,000 years old.” An instrumentalist who accompanied Sir Frederick played on the flute, and there floated across the silent lectureroom a faint, sweet, eerie sound. The notes gradually resolved themselves into a melody—“Annie Laurie.” “Soft and delicate,” was Sir Frederick’s comment on the performance; but he added with a smile: “The tune you have heard was not played upon the banks of the Nile 6,000 years ago.”
Isaac Van Vleck Flagler, the well-known American organist, composer and compiler of collections of religious and organ music that have been used in thousands of churches, died at his home in Auburn in his seventy-first year on the 16th of March, as a result of injuries received from a fall. Mr. Flagler was born in Albany and received his early education in that city. In his younger days he was a compositor and reporter on a Schenectady newspaper. His pronounced talent for music led him to go to London, where he studied organ under H. W. A. Beale. Later he came under the instruction of Eduard Baptiste, in Paris, and thereafter under the tuition of the famous German master Gustav Merkel, in Dresden. Forty years ago he settled in Auburn, N. Y. He held positions as professor of organ in the Syracuse University, Cornell University, and in the Utica Conservatory of Music. He was for many years organist at the Summer Assembly in Chatauqua. N. Y. Prof. Flagler was a valued contributor to The Etude, and his death is a distinct loss to the cause of music in America.
A play entitled “Beethoven,” by a young French author, has met with great success at the Odeon Theatre, Paris.
Miss Ethel Parks, a young American coloratura singer, has met with great success at the Teatro Massino, in Palermo, Sicily.
Frederick Lamond, the celebrated pianist, has been appointed to teach at the “Mesiterkursus Piano School,” in Sonderhausen, Frankfort.
The Russian pianist, Lhevinne, has had a highly successful tour through Mexico.
James L. Molloy, the composer of “Darby and Joan,” the “Kerry Dance,” and other once-popular ballads, died recently.
It has been reported that an opera house on the scale of the Paris Grand Opera is to be built in St. Petersburg.
To commemorate the hundredth anniversary of Mendelssohn’s birth, a cross of white marble has been erected over his tomb in Berlin.
A new opera, by Edgar Tinel, entitled “Katharina,” has been produced in Brussels.
Mr. George Henschel has recently made a very successful reappearance as a singer in London.
Nicolai von Wilm, the well-known composer, has just celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday in Wiesbaden.
Emma Hoffman, a young American singer, recently made a successful début as Hermione, in a performance of Goldmark’s opera, “Wintermarchen,” at Turin, Italy.
Frederick Erlanger’s opera, “Tess,” founded on Thomas Hardy’s book, “Tess of the D’Urbevilles,” will be produced at Covent Garden Opera, London, next season.
The celebrated Russian tenor, Leonid Sobinoff, who has been received with such favor in France and Italy, has also succeeded in creating a furore in Berlin.
Coleridge-Taylor, the Anglo-African composer, is hard at work on an opera to be entitled “Thelma.” It is not connected with Marie Corelli’s novel of that name.
Frank La Forge, who has been acting as accompanist to Mme. Sembrich, has achieved a notable success in Berlin, where his skill in this direction has been much appreciated.
M. Andre Messager, conductor of the Paris Opera House, has been having trouble with the management. It is expected that he will be conductor for Hammerstein next year.
The Russian Douma is discussing the advisability of dissolving the ballet of the St. Petersburg Opera, and devoting the sum of money at present going to the support of the ballet to increasing the country’s naval strength.
The Beethoven-House Society, Bonn, has decided upon holding another great chamber music festival in May, and has voted a sum of 5,000 marks (about $1,250) towards the preliminary expenses.
It is said that among the aristocratic ladies of Rome, the old fashioned lute is coming into fashion again. It was an
instrument much in vogue at the time of the Italian Renaissance, and has a wonderfully sweet, though not powerful, quality of tone.
South America is giving a wonderful amount of support to grand opera, and most of the great star singers heard in New York are engaged for opera in the Southern continent. There are three large opera houses in Buenos Ayres alone.
The management of the New York Metropolitan Opera Company announce that they will give three performances of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” in London, with the same cast that took part in its production in New York this winter.
A sundial has been erected on the ground where stood the house in London in which Mendelssohn wrote the “Spring Song.” The house has been demolished, but the grounds form a delightful part of Ruskin Park, Denmark Hill.
A new opera on Sienkiewicz “Quo Vadis” has recently been produced in Nice. The composer is a Frenchman named Nougues. The reception at its first performance met with generous applause.
Sergei Kussewitzky, the famous Russian double-bass (bass viol) virtuoso, has recently been meeting with great success in Berlin where the critics speak very highly of his own concerto for his instrument.
Among the representatives sent to the Haydn Centenary in Vienna are Vincent d’Indy, Frederick Niecks, Sir Hubert Parry, Dr. Hugo Riemann, Sir Charles Stanford, Sir Alexander Makenzie, Dr. W. H. Cummings. America will be represented by O. G. Sonneck.
Professor William Schwendemann, the professor of violin at the Wurzburg Royal conservatory, died on the 13th of February last. Prof. Schwendemann was a pupil of Massart, and had himself taught many well- known violinists.
Mme. Lillian Blauvelt, the American soprano, has just signed a contract to appear in opera in Russia. It is reported that she will receive $25,000 for thirty appearances.
A national conservatory of music has just been established in Constantinople, Turkey, under the patronage of Prince Siadendin, a son of Sultan Murad. The prince has not only lent his name to the scheme, but he has given the institution a large sum of money and guaranteed its future.
“Alt-Heidleberg” (Old Heidleberg), Meyer-Forster’s delightful play of German University life, has recently been “operatized” by Ubaldo Pacchierotti. It was first produced at the Vienna “Folksoper,” last February. The critics did not take very kindly to the work.
In view of the fact that the copyright on all of Wagner’s works will shortly have run out, 19,000 subscribers have been found in Berlin who will find the money to build a Wagner Theatre in that city capable of seating 2500 persons. It is intended to give performances of the Bayreuth master’s operas at popular prices.
Leon Rains, who has been not too kindly treated by the critics, is a basso of somewhat unusual individuality. He is of American birth, and spent most of his life in this country until he went to Dresden. He was the first American to obtain a leading singing position at the Royal Opera. He has returned to Dresden in order to resume his duties.
It is stated in a London paper that “The Messiah” will not be performed at the next Birmingham (England) Festival, but will give place to “Judas Maccabæus.” “The Messiah” has been given at these festivals for over half a century. It is being questioned whether oratorio still holds its place in the British heart; but a reference to English choral society concerts will show that there is plenty of oratorio given.
The death is recorded of Mr. E. Silas. He was born in Amsterdam, 1817, trained in Paris, and later went to England. He was regarded as a coming force by musicians of his day. His compositions were full of graceful fancy, but he never came to anything. His later years were mainly spent in the British Museum, London, where he was a familiar figure in the reading room. He always appeared very busy with piles of books around him, but there was never any outcome of his learning. Such figures are not uncommon, and many grey-haired human derelicts foregather in this wonderful storehouse of knowledge, and end their days in peaceful—and often quite useless—research.
Leopold Godowsky’s appointment as director of the “Meisterschule” for piano playing at the Royal Imperial Academy for Music and Kindred Arts has attracted great attention in Europe. He is to receive 18,000 marks for 200 hours instruction. This is at a rate of about $20 per hour. Godowsky came to America in 1884, and again 1894 when he remained here for some time teaching in Philadelphia and Chicago. American pupils then had an opportunity of studying with him at a far less rate than the Austrian government is now paying him. There are countless fine teachers in this country now, but Americans do not realize the wealth that is at our very doors. They look to Europe for many things that they can secure at home at far less expense.