A music colony is to be held at Ruskin, Fla., during January and February under the direction of Ray G. Edwards.
Mrs. J. Irving Wood of New York has accepted the position of head of the piano department at the Kingston Conservatory of Music, Kingston, N. Y.
One of the greatest musical influences in greater New York is the Brooklyn Institute, thanks mainly to the efforts of Professor Franklin W. Hooper. His recent death will prove a great loss to music.
The Oratorio Society of New York announces that three choral concerts will be given during the coming season, under the direction of Louis Koemmenich. The works to be given are The Dream of Gerontius, by Edward Elgar, The Messiah, and Enrico Bossi’s Joan of Arc. The last-named is a novelty in this country.
The Boston Music School Settlement is inaugurating a series of concerts at popular prices to be given on Sunday afternoons at which a number of the leading artists of the day will take part including Maud Powell, Arrigo Serato, Tina Lerner and Gerville-Reache. The prices range from fifteen to seventy-five cents.
The St. Paul Symphony Orchestra is now disbanded. This is not due to the war, but to lack of support. The present guarantors have supported the orchestra for eight years. and they are willing to continue to the amount of $40,000, but $60,000 are needed and there are no additional guarantors coming forward. The news is said to have caused something like consternation among music lovers in St. Paul.
Mme. Lillian Nordica’s will has been made public. She is estimated to have left between one and a half and two millions. The sum of $30,000 is bequeathed to E. Romayne Simmons, who has been her accompanist for sixteen years, and was with her when she died in Java. Her husband, George W. Young, gets nothing, as the will declares that he received $400,000 during Nordica’s lifetime. This has been disputed by Mr. Young’s lawyer.
How to brighten Brighton! The municipality of Brighton, England, recently voted the sum of $125,000 to build a new concert hall and to re-model the terrace for outdoor concerts. As Brighton is dangerously near to the continent, we doubt if the new building will be raised while there is menace from wandering Zeppelins. We cannot imagine anything more likely to take one’s mind off the music at an open air concert than the possibility of a bomb dropping on one’s head!
While doubt and difficulty beclouds the program of the operatic forces dependent mainly on foreign artists, the “opera in English” forces are planning a vigorous campaign. The Century Opera Company announces that it will make an early start. Most of its principal singers are either here or on the way. The Dippel Opera Comique Company has announced also that it will begin its season as outlined late in October.
The papers are full of the difficulties American and other musicians have experienced in getting over from Europe. Leopold Stokowski, conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is a British subject, and was in Munich when the war broke out. He had the greatest difficulty in getting out of Germany, but both he and his wife, Olga Samaroff, the well known pianist, have arrived in Philadelphia. Many members of the orchestra have been detained abroad for military service. Josef Stransky, conductor of the New York Philharmonic, has not been heard from. After the opera, the symphony orchestras seem to have been hardest hit.
The Seventh Annual Convention of the National Association of Organists was held this August at Ocean Grove and Asbury Park, N. J. Among the officers appointed for the coming year are President, Arthur Scott Brook; secretary, Walter N. Walters; treasurer, George Henry Day; chairman of the executive committee, Frederick Schlieder. Among the principal speakers and soloists were Henry Harding, Roscoe Huff, William D. Armstrong, Arthur Scott Brook, Frederick Schlieder, C. B. Hawley, Mrs. Bruce S. Keator and Miss Ethel Crane. “Philadelphia Day” proved to be very popular, the speakers being Mr. J. Henry Francis, who spoke on “A true Missionary Adjunct;” Dr. John McE. Ward, President of the American Organ Players’ Club, who spoke on Organists’ Clubs as a Factor in the National Association: and Mr. James Francis Cooke, Editor of The Etude, who spoke on The Material Welfare of organists of our Country. The soloist for the Philadelphia day was Mr. Henry S. Fry. Mr. Cooke’s address will be published in the November Etude.
A School of Music with Mr. Frederick A. Franklin as director has been opened in Fredericksburg, Va. Mr. Franklin, who is well known as a composer, has been Music Director at Fredericksburg College for the past thirteen years.
A prize contest has been inaugurated by the Illinois Music Teachers’ Association in which the sum of $500 is offered for the best orchestral composition in large form—Symphony, Fantasie, or Suite—by an American composer, native-born or naturalized. The winning work is to be performed at the Panama Exhibition. Further particulars may be obtained from Mr. Glenn Dillard Gunn, Fine Arts Bldg., Chicago, or from Mr. E. R. Lederman, Centralia, Ill.
The Treasury Department at Washington has issued instructions to internal revenue collectors telling them how to collect taxes on the incomes of non-resident aliens derived from trades or professions in the United States. This will hit some of the foreign musicians who come here to make money and later return to their homes abroad. They will now have to pay the tax the same as American citizens.
The “war situation” in musical America seems to be just this : Opera badly disorganized, except as regards the “opera in English” forces, such as the Century Opera Co.; Symphonic concerts somewhat hampered by the withdrawal of the regular men, but able mostly to employ substitutes; Concert field disorganized to some extent, but not so much so that the concert managers cannot cope with it. Against this, the teaching season promises to be normal, if indeed it is not unusually good. The war has interrupted business in America in many quarters, but this will be offset, according to economic authorities, by the development of new business brought about by war conditions. This should keep the number of people engaged in music study about normal. On the other hand, many students who contemplated going abroad this winter will find out that they can get all the musical training they need right at home and this will unquestionably give many American teachers a busier season than they might otherwise get.
The fifth annual festival of the MacDowell Memorial Association at Peterboro has again demonstrated its usefulness in encouraging American composers. The principal novelties produced were Deems Taylor’s cantata The Highwayman for baritone solo, female chorus and orchestra; Edward Ballantine’s Prelude to Delectable Forest; Henry Gilbert’s Riders to the Sea. In addition were works by William H. Humiston, Edward Burlinghame Hill and others. The soloists included Arthur Hackett, Reinald Werrenrath, Olive Kline and Josephine Knight, Marguerite Dunlap, and others. The Boston Festival Orchestra was engaged and was conducted by Eusebius Godfrey Hood. W. H. Humiston, Henry F. Gilbert and Chalmers Clifton. Mr. and Mrs. Rossetter G. Cole delighted everybody with a reading of Longfellow’s King Robert of Sicily, in which Mr. Cole read the famous poem while his gifted wife played the music he has composed for it. Limitations of space forbid us to give more than the barest idea of the Festival, but the importance of the work that is being done cannot be over-estimated. No more adequate “Memorial” to MacDowell could possibly be raised than to associate his name with a movement which is undoubtedly destined to have a marked influence on American musical development.
Some conception of what the American season is going to be like is at last becoming possible now that the effects of the war are beginning to make themselves felt. At the present, the most obvious effect is to be the curtailing and disruption of the opera plans for the year. The Chicago-Philadelphia Opera has flatly announced that there will be no season held in those cities owing to the fact that most of the leading singers are marooned abroad. The Metropolitan season seems assured, only there will in all probability be a curtailing of the German season. If the war involves Italy, as seems probable at the time of writing, Gatti-Cassazza, the Metropolitan Director, who is a naval engineer, will unquestionably be called out for service; Caruso, Amato, Scotti, Toscanini and Polacco are also liable to be called upon. Among the Germans and Austrians who may be involved are Rudolf Berger, Otto Goritz, Carl Braun, Richard Hagemann and Hans Morgenstern. Others not connected with the opera are Carl Burrian, Heinrich Hensel and Leo Slezak. Of the French artists Dinh Gilly, Léon Rothier, Paolo Ananian, Karl Jörn and Adamo Didur may have to go to the front. Other notable French and Russian artists who may be needed for the war are Muratore, Marcoux, Dalmorés and Chaliapine. The Boston Opera Company announces that there will be no opera season in Boston unless the war comes to an early close.
Saint-Saens has dedicated his book of memoirs to his dog. She hated music and always howled when the piano was played in her hearing.
Fritz Kreisler, who is a captain in the Austrian Army, has joined his regiment which is said to be stationed at Graz, on the Servian border. His wife is undertaking the duties of a Red Cross nurse.
Mr. Charles Widor has been appointed Perpetual Secretary of the French Académie des Beaux Arts. By this appointment there is a vacancy in the musical section of the Académie in connection with which the name of Claude Debussy has been mentioned.
During the 1913-14 season, 418 concerts have been given at Munich, a decrease of twelve as compared with the previous season. At Berlin there have been 1,262 concerts, at Vienna 603, at Hamburg 351, at Dresden 309, at Leipsic 295, and at Frankfurt 212.
Jean Sibelius has written the music to a pantomime to be known as Scaramouche. Hitherto Sibelius has expressed himself in works of a sombre though beautiful character; it will be interesting to hear him in lighter vein.
The New York Evening Post reports that “the astonishing number of one hundred and twenty performances of Parsifal were given at the Berlin Royal Opera House and the suburban Charlottenburg theatre from the first of January to the close of the opera season. In Vienna Wagner’s last music-drama was also heard in two theatres, the total number of performances being 62.”
Leopold Godowski, the famous pianist, is an officer in the Austrian army. He is said to have been stranded in Belgium and the story goes that he telegraphed to Ysaye for a small loan, but the great Belgian violinist was obliged to reply that he himself is penniless. Arthur Nikisch is also said to be stranded in Belgium without funds.
A genuine “song-bird” has been discovered in New York. The new rival of Mary Garden, Geraldine Farrar, Melba and Tetrazzini, is no less than a canary which imitates all other birds and also sings in imitation of its young owner, Master Paul, when he plays on his violin. The canary is billed as “The Mystic Bird” and is appearing at the Palace Theater.
Moussorgski’s opera Boris Godounov has attracted so much attention that it is natural a way should be found for the production of other works by this strange genius. His Fair of Sorotshink has recently been produced in Moscow, thirty-three years after the composer’s death. Like Boris Godounov. the work has been retouched by composers with a better technical equipment in the art of musical composition than the original composer. Liadov completed the orchestration for this work as Rimsky-Korsakov did for the better known one. The opera was very favorably received.
It is no wonder, says a writer in the New York Evening Post, that Wagner’s heirs fought so hard to secure a change in the copyright laws of Germany, for their royalties last year on the performances of his operas amounted to 375,946 marks, equivalent to $90,227. It is probable that within a few years that sum would have been increased to $100,000 a year, for the royalties grew steadily, being in 1913 four times what they were in the year of Wagner’s death. These figures of course represent only the royalties on the operas published on a royalty basis. Wagner sold some of his earlier works outright. There was also a profit on the sale of scores and from the Bayreuth festivals which cannot have been under $25,000, and may have been $50,000.
A “Performing Right Society” has been formed in England for the purpose of collecting fees for the public performance of composers’ works. This does not include church or charity performances, but is designed to gain the composer his share of the profits enjoyed by the exploiters of his brains in restaurants, theaters, and moving picture halls, and all such places where music is employed for profit. It is pointed out that many an artist builds up his entire reputation, or at least a considerable part of it, on his skill in rendering some work that is not suitable for performance by the general public. In such cases, the performer of course makes use of a “professional copy,” the publisher makes little or nothing, while the artist not only gets a reputation, but a fortune as well.
The late George II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, who died recently at the age of 88, was a keen musical enthusiast and accomplished much for the art in Germany. He took the greatest interest in the famous Meiningen company of actors. A story is told by the actor Ludwig Barnay, which illustrates at once the Duke’s great interest, and his human kindness. The performance of Hamlet, in which Barnay played the star role, had been frequently interrupted by His Royal Highness, who criticised with great out-spokenness whatever displeased him. When the players’ scene was reached, and Barnay was reciting the actor’s part, with “Aeneas’ to Dido,” he spoke the lines haltingly. “M. Barnay,” interposed the Duke, “why did you deliver those lines so badly?” “Because Hamlet is not an actor, sire, but only an amateur.” “But Polonius praises his acting.” “Ah, your Highness,” answered Barnay, “but then Polonius was a courtier, and courtiers find everything that princes do marvellous.” The Duke laughed heartily and interrupted no more that day.
One of Schumann’s daughters has presented to the Museum at Zwickau, devoted to souvenirs of her father, six volumes of newspaper articles collected by the composer, and spread over the years 1834 to 1851.
Two hundred and forty-nine towns have complied with the request made in June of last year to collect the local tunes in German towns from the records of their old town-bands, and to send them to the Royal Library in Berlin.
A new concert hall was opened a short time ago in the city of Hanover. The large hall will accommodate an audience of over 3,500, besides a choir of six hundred and an orchestra of one hundred and twenty. A smaller hall for chamber music will seat six hundred. The total cost has been nearly $1,000,000.
The Paris Opéra is closed, many of its officials having been called for military service. The Opera Comique has announced that it will open, but whether it will actually do so doubtless depends on circumstances. It is proposed to use it as a hospital with a bed in each loge.
At a sale of manuscripts and various curiosities in Germany, a number of interesting autographs of Liszt, including the ballad of Loreley, sold for $500. On the other hand, a Wagner autograph of the Death of Isolde went for $100, a low price, explained by the poor state of the manuscript and the lack of publicity. The end of a cigar, the last smoked by Liszt, went for twelve cents!
The musical situation in Europe is terrible to contemplate, as war automatically cuts of the subsidies which alone enable many operas and conservatories to thrive. France, Germany, Russia, Belgium, Austria-Hungary are thus virtually cut off from any music but the harsh blare of the bugles of war. Music in Italy will continue to some extent, and possibly the south of France may maintain some musical efforts. England seems to be planning to go ahead as usual so far as circumstances permit.
The death of Pol Plan on will be greatly deplored by all who heard this great artist sing in the great days when the de Reszkes, Nordica, Calvé, Eames and Melba were to be heard at the Metropolitan, New York. Plançon was born at Fumay, France, 1854, and died in Paris this August He first came into notice at the Paris Grand Opera in 1883, when he appeared as Mephistopheles in Faust. Success in London followed, and then the eminent basso came to New York. He retired from his profession in 1906, having amassed sufficient fortune to live in comfort.
Sir Edward Elgar is among those who have offered their services as special policemen in England. Many of the regular police are reservists and have been called for service, hence the formation of a body of police from among the general public. There will probably be enough of the regular police retained to do the routine police work, and it is unlikely that Sir Edward will be employed to run in the “drunk and disorderly.” Nevertheless, as the London Musical News points Out, he is sufficiently familiar with the uses of the staff.
A new company has been founded in Milan by Signor Renzo Sonzogno, the well- known Italian editor and publisher of music, for the purpose of popularizing good music in connection with moving pictures. It is said that many eminent musicians are interested in the venture including Leoncavallo, Bossi, Franchetti and Mascagni. Renzo Sonzogno believes that good music used in this way can be the means of educating the public to a higher standard of musical appreciation. He also thinks that there is a bright future for composers who can write operettas which will lend themselves to film production.
The death of Sir Francis Campbell, an American by birth, in his eighty-second year, is much regretted in England. Sir Francis was born in Tennessee and lost his eyesight when only four years of age. Though refused a musical education he persuaded a schoolfellow to give him piano lessons. After his first marriage he became music director of a girls’ school in the South, but the outbreak of the Civil War put an end to this, and for a while he was in dire straits. He next went to Boston as head of the musical department of the Perkins Institute. A tour of all the blind institutions in Europe followed, and a meeting with Dr. Armitage, founder of the National Institute for the Blind, resulted in the foundation of the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind in England. In this he was so successful that in 1909 he received the honor of knighthood from King Edward VII, besides receiving academic degrees from various famous bodies of learning. It is good to know that the good work Sir Francis Campbell inaugurated is being carried on by his son. Lady Campbell, his second wife, survives him.