The World of Music
A. J. Goodrich, musical theorist, died in Paris, April 25th. Born in Ohio, 1848, he was a self-taught musician, except for a few lessons from his father. He taught music and theory at several of the western conservatories and later privately at Chicago, where he also wrote upon musical subjects. His mature work was accomplished at New York, London and Paris. His published books on musical theory, musical analysis, etc., are of great value and originality.
The French tax on pianos is being vigorously fought by the musicians of Paris. The syndicate of composers is to take forceful political action against the unwelcome imposition. This body has nominated Henri Rabaud, Vincent d'Indy, Paul Braud, Philipp Charpentier and Florent Schmitt to represent them in whatever course may be taken in the matter. There is already serious consideration of the repeal of the tax by those in power.
Joseph H. Gittings, pianist, teacher and impressario, died May 18th, Pittsburgh, Pa., aged seventy-two. He was a public spirited man, and spared no pains, nor money, nor effort, to bring the best music to his city. The value of his teaching was well known, and hosts of pupils passed through his hands. He was organist at the Third Presbyterian Church, and for twenty years directed the music department of the Pennsylvania College for Women. He had a genius for friendliness and a kindly urge to share all the good that came to him.
Hortense Schneider, opera singer, who attained repute as the first singer of the title role of Offenbach's light opera,LaBelle Helene, in the sixties, died in Paris.
Mischa Elman, the famous violinist, is retiring from active concertizing for a number of years. He will give himself over to composition.
Le Monde Musical, whose work for the reorganizing and the reconstruction of the Rheims School of Music has been so tireless, has received for its fund to that end, from Mr. Harkness Flagler, president of the New York Symphony, the entire proceeds of the last concert, given previous to the departure of the orchestra to France. The sum exceeds 30,000 francs.
The New York Symphony, now on its European tour, has been received with the greatest enthusiasm in Paris, where its second concert has recently been given, under the direction of Dr. Walter Damrosch. The war work of the distinguished conductor in France is well known and highly valued, and this in itself would ensure for him and for the orchestra a warm and friendly welcome, but in addition, the French critics cannot say enough in praise of the artistry of the organization and of its leader. Dr. Damrosch has received the Order of the Crown of Italy, with the rank of Knight.
Raymond Roze, son of Marie Roze, died on March 30th. He was well known in London as a conductor of opera, and his own opera, Joan of Arc, and the music to Julius Cæsar had very successful performances, especially the latter, which had the honor of being given "by command." Mr. Roze organized and conducted the British Symphony Orchestra, composed of "demobbed" men who had served in the late war. He also conducted orchestral concerts in France and Belgium.
Paderewski has refused a $l,000,000 concert engagement in America, it is said.
Eugene Ysaye has been re-engaged for two years as the conductor of the Cincinnati Orchestra.
Boston has a new Philharmonic Choir, which has just given its second concert, with much success.
Music Festivals are reported from all over the country: Syracuse, N. Y., had the most brilliant festival in all its history. A super-excellent chorus of three hundred, under the direction of Howard Lyman, head of the choral music department of Syracuse University, was heard in three numbers. Chicago Symphony Orchestra did beautiful work under the baton of its conductor, Frederick Stock, at all the concerts. The soloists were Titta Ruffo, Leonora Sparkes, Rosa Raisa, Sue Harvard, Edward Johnson, Louis Baker Phillips (pianist), and Enrico Tramonti (harpist). Richmond, Va., held its twenty-seventh festival under the auspices of the Wednesday Club. The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hageman, played at all the concerts, which were attended by audiences of 3,000 each evening. The soloists were Anna Fitziu, Giovanni Martinelli and Titta Ruffo. Ithaca, N. Y., held a notable festival at Cornell College. The Chicago Symphony, under the direction of Frederick Stock, was the assisting orchestra. An admirable chorus did artistic work conducted by Hollis Dann. The vocal soloists were Reinald Werrenrath, Louise Homer, Edward Johnson, Paul Althouse, Grace Bonner Williams, Ruth Blackman-Rodgers, Robert Steel, Thomas Chalmers, Charles T. Tittman and Enrico Tramonti (harpist). Louisville, Ky., had a three-day festival, assisted by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Emil Oberhoffer and the following soloists: Harriet McConnell, Rafaelo Diaz, Lucile Lawrence, Oliver Denton (pianist). The final concert was given by the Russian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Modest Altschuler and Henry Hadley, who directed his own works in the second half of the performance. Springfield, Mass., held its eighteenth annual festival, five concerts and five public rehearsals, an innovation which might well be followed in other localities. The assisting orchestra was the Chicago Symphony, conducted by Frederick Stock. A fine chorus, trained and directed by John J. Bishop, was heard in an interesting program. The soloists were Ruth Ray (violiniste), Sophie Braslau, Titta Ruffo, Dicie Howell, Robert Quait, Fred Patton, Irene Williams, Norman Jollif and John Hand. The sixth annual festival of Emporia, Kan., was very successful, and continued four days. The first was a fine presentation of the opera of Henry Hadley, The Fire Prince, full costumed and scened, with a chorus and cast of sixty people, directed by Dean Hirschler of the School of Music. The assisting soloists were Frieda Hempel, Pietro Yon (organist). The soloists for the chorus were Mrs. W. W. Parker, Ethel Rowland, E. J. Lewis and Rice Brown. The third event in the festival was a novel one, an outdoor performance of The Pageant of Life, under the direction of Ula Wishard, of the physical training faculty of the college.
Galli-Curci made her only British Columbian appearance in the latter part of May in Vancouver. The spring musical events here and in Victoria have been engrossing and notable. Percy Grainger, Godowsky, Josef Martin, Florence Otis, Florence Austin (violiniste), Winnifred Lugrin-Fahey and others of eminence appeared in recital and concert. A feature of the season was the performance of The Pirates of Penzance, which ran for ten nights and two matinees at the Princess Theater in Vancouver, produced by the Princess players. The entire proceeds of this theater, under the management of Reginald Hincks, were turned over to a war fund from the beginning of the recent war.
The New Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Arthur Bodanzky, spent nine hours rehearsing works by new American authors.
Homer Newton Bartlett, organist and composer, died on April 2d, at Hoboken, N. J. He was born in Ulster County, New York State, in 1845. He was educated entirely in America, having been the pupil of S. B. Mills, Braun, Jacobson and others. Mr. Bartlett was the composer of many artistic and well-known songs, as well as compositions in the larger form, cantatas, sextets, and opera in three acts, La Valiere, and an oratorio, Samuel. Mr. Bartlett was the initial founder of the American Guild of Organists.
John Anderson, one of the best-known musicians in Canada and the United States, is dead at Toronto at the age of seventy. He was at one time cornet soloist with the royal Grenadiers and the "Queen's Own" Bands of Toronto, Nevin's Band of Chicago, Ill., and the 65th Regiment Band of Buffalo, N. Y. Some years ago he organized and conducted Anderson's Concert Band which toured in the States and the provinces with brilliant success. He was associated with the late Dr. Torrington in the production of oratorio and symphony concerts.
Carl R. Stasny, pianist and musical theorist, died on April 21, 1920. He was born at Mainz-am-Rhein in 1865. Previous to 1891 he toured Europe as concert pianist. Afterward he came to America as professor of piano instruction at the New England Conservatory. He was one of four pianists chosen to play at the World's Fair concerts with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra. He also played with the Boston Symphony and the Kneisel Quartet in concerts and recitals throughout the country. At the time of his death he was the director of his own conservatory of music in the city of Boston, Mass.
Negro music drew an audience of 5,000 to the civic auditorium in Charlotte, N. C., the active participants being the Coleridge-Taylor Oratorio Chorus and the Orchestra of Biddle University, under the baton of Thomas A. Long. The program included Hiawatha's Wedding, Coleridge-Taylor; Listen to the Lambs, Nathaniel Dett, and Deep River, as arranged by Harry Burleigh.
William C. Bridgman, one of Dr. Walter Damroseh's assistant conductors in the New York Oratorio Society, has been invited to assume the directorship of the chorus of the Chautauqua Institute. This office includes the training of all choirs connected with the Chautauqua Institution, the direction of the New York Symphony Orchestra at the Sunday services and at all public appearances of the choir. Mr. Bridgman is the choirmaster of St. James Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, N. Y. He will succeed the late Alfred Hallam in this work as director.
Melbourne, Australia, staged a great Beethoven Festival from May 10th to 15th. It was held at the town hall, and included seven concerts, orchestral and choral. It was conducted by Henri Verbrugghen, director of the New South Wales State Orchestra. A fine program of Beethoven's works was presented with notable soloists and a large chorus.
The Music Teachers' National Association has elected officers for the season of 1920-21 as follows: President, Peter Lutkin, Northwestern University, Evanston. Ill. ; Vice President,J. Lawrence Erb, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.; Secretary, R. G. McCutcheon, dePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.; Treasurer, Waldo S. Pratt, Hartford. Conn.; Editor, Karl W. Gherkens, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.
Dr. Irvin J. Morgan, formerly active in musical affairs in Philadelphia, gold medalist at the St. Louis Exposition, has been appointed official organist to the city of Portland, Ore. This city has, under his direction, recently celebrated the centennial year of Oregon as a State.
Coleridge Taylor's Hiawatha's Wedding Feast has been given in the form of opera at the Capitol Theatre, New York, under the direction of Nathanael Finston and William G. Stewart, with an immense chorus and orchestra. This theatre seats nearly 6000 people "the largest theatre in the world." It maintains a symphony orchestra of 90 musicians. It is one of the most gorgeously beautiful theatres in existence.
The Virginia Educational Conference has urged and won the appointment of a State Supervisor of Music for rural schools.
The largest theatre orchestra in the world, in conjunction with one of the largest choruses, is to be an outstanding feature of the Capitol Theatre inNew York City, as an accompaniment to their presentation of motion pictures.
The Army Symphony Band of the Eastern Department of the U. S. Army is giving very successful concerts at the de Witt Clinton Auditorium.
Mlle. Guiomar Novaes, the young Brazilian pianiste, is one of a family of seventeen children.
A Joseph Pulitzer scholarship in music was provided for under the will of the late multi-millionaire. The scholarship is open to students of either sex, and the terms for qualification to the scholarship are unusually stringent. Application should be made to the Secretary of Columbia University for further information. Entries close February 1, 1920.
Rehearsals of American music were given before judges in a contest covering nine hours in all by the New Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Paul Eisler, assistant conductor. There were symphonies, poems, oriental suites and every form of orchestral music known to the present time. Arthur Bodansky announces that these rehearsals of American music will be a regular feature of the end of the season.
Cubism in music is an outcropping of the recent musical season in Paris. A musical sect, known as the Dadaists, whose aim is the outré in sound, is arousing Paris to a frenzy of distaste, not without threats of violence toward the perpetrators.
Arthur Martel, a Boston organist, has just signed a ten years' contract with a movie syndicate for ten thousand dollars per annum—the highest salary ever paid to a movie organist.
Memphis, Tenn., is to have a Choral Society on the strength of twelve highly successful concerts which drew out audiences of 15,000 people and in which four hundred musicians participated. The city is said to be looking for the right man to conduct the chorus—a capable, gifted, magnetic musician. The salary is fixed at from four to five thousand per annum. Inquiries should be addressed to Miss V. Farrington, care the Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.
Sergei Rachmaninoff, the celebrated Russian composer, and his wife, have recently become life members of the Society for the Publication of American Music.
John McCormack, the Irish tenor, has formally adopted his wife's nephew, whose parents were killed by a German torpedo at sea.
Programs in honor of fallen American soldiers were played in Paris by Marcel Depre, organist of Notre Dame; Charles M. Widor, organist of St. Sulpice, and Eugene Gigout, organist of St. Augustine.
English piano manufacturers recently stopped a strike in its very inception by getting together and shutting down their works, with a laconic announcement posted on the closed doors to the effect that in view of the giving of more wages there would be no profit in the manufacture of pianos and it was useless to continue. The laborers at once called off the strike and went to work.
A feature of some of the large symphony orchestras this season is to be the inclusion of picked choruses for the rendition of special compositions which demand chorus music.
A ten year ban upon German artists appearing in this country and England is urged by Percy Scholes, editor of The Music Student, in Everyman. This ban would except any real genius newly appearing in that country, but would draw the line closely against those German artists who have fought against the ideals of the Allies in the late world war, artists who appeared on the concert stage and made money out of those countries they were preparing to fight.
The concert tour of a Japanese company has been held up by the Japanese authorities on the ground that, being a mixed company, consisting of both men and women, it would create unfavorable remark on the part of the public.
A newspaper from Manila (the Philippines) received in this office, contains a musical column conducted by Mr. E. Cook, in which the excellency of the old Italian system of vocal development is extolled, as well as a discussion as to the best exponents of Italy's golden age of singing. In another part of the paper is a report of musical entertainments in and about Manila. From this sort of thing to the symphony orchestra is only a step, and one may infer the swift progress of what we call "civilization" in the erstwhile savage islands.
Springfield (Mo.) Spring Music Festival included as its special feature the singing of Mme. Galli-Curci. The second day included a contest by members of the high schools. The festival was given under the auspices of the Southwest Missouri State Teachers' College.
Bangor, Maine, is fighting the Blue Laws invoked by the W. C. T. U. against the Sunday concerts of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.