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World of Music

Two American Operas, “The Legend of the Piper,” by Eleanor Everest Freer, and “The Music Robber” (its first act), had their premiere in Chicago on June 14th, both of which won commendation from the audience and press. Mrs. Freer had a fascinating libretto in the dramatic version of the old story of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” by Josephine Preston Peabody, which has won much praise on both sides of the Atlantic; and her score is said to “stand very near the top when we take into account the list of operas by American composers.”

A Festival of Old Operas has been enjoyed in Germany during the last season. In the Municipal opera of Münster (Westphalia) alone were revived during 1924-1925: “Orfeo,” by Monteverde; “Julius Cæsar,” “Agrippina” and “Herakles,” by Handel; “Alkestis,” by Gluck; “Titus,” by Mozart; “Fidelio,” in its original form, by Beethoven, and “Dido and Aeneas,” by Purcell; and along with these were ballets by Couperin, from Beethoven’s “Prometheus” and from Gluck’s “Don Juan.”

Dean Peter Christian Lutkin, after a long, valuable and honorable service has resigned as head of the School of Music of Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois.

Gregori Tokorewski, a young pianist of seventeen years, born in America of Russian parents, has been awarded the Three Hundred Dollars’ Scholarship offered by the Matinee Musical Club of Philadelphia.

Thurlow Lieurance, the widely-known American composer and authority on Indian Music, bad the honorary degree of Doctor of Music conferred upon him on June 11th by the Cincinnati College of Music, of which he is a graduate.

The American Orchestral Society, sponsored by leading citizens of New York for the purpose of furnishing routine training and experience for young orchestral players, has moved its offices to Steinway Hall, 109 West 57th Street, where full information may be had regarding the work.

A New “Symphony in C Minor,” by Edwin Hall Pierce, well known as composer and writer, had its initial performance at a concert at Auburn, New York, on the evening of May 11th.

A Grand Carillon, the largest and most complete in the world, is being cast for the Park Avenue Baptist Church of New York, by one of the great Croydon foundries of England. It will have eight more bells than the famous carillon of Malines and its largest will exceed by one and three-quarters tons the weight of the chief of the world-famous Belgian carillon.

Louis Falk, organist and composer, a charter member of the famous Apollo Musical Club, for forty-eight years an instructor of organ in the Chicago Musical College, and honored as one of the city’s most distinguished musical citizens, died at the home of his daughter in Chicago, on May 26th.

W. E. Campbell, eighty-seven years old, formerly a popular basso of New York and soloist of Grace Church of Brooklyn, recently sang at the convention of the California Music Teachers’ Association at San Francisco.

The National Association of Organists will convene at the Wade Park Manor Hotel, at Cleveland, Ohio, August 3d-7th.

The Haslemere Festival of Chamber Music of the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries will be held at Haslemere Hall, Liverpool, England, from August 24th to September 5th. A rare treat is offered to lovers of this beautiful type of art which is having a new vogue.

A Gregorian Church Service, printed in Paris in 1509, and probably one of the oldest examples of music printing extant, is to be seen in the Garcia Library of the University of Texas, Austin.

Henry Hadley, composer and Associate Conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Tufts College, on June 15th.  

Paderewski was recently surprised by the arrival of eighteen Swiss officials in elaborate uniforms, at his villa overlooking Lake Geneva. After addresses of gratitude for what the great artist had done for Switzerland, and especially for the charity concerts he had given, the delegation in all their dignified splendor bestowed upon him Honorary Swiss Citizenship together with the freedom of the cities of Vevey and Morges. Since this event the musico-statesman has been decorated by King George of England with the Order of the Grand Cross of the British Empire for his services to art and his benefit concerts for the ex-service men’s fund.

The Operatic Fellowship of the Caruso American Memorial Association has been awarded to Miss Mildred Seeba, a dramatic soprano who hails from Jacksonville, Florida. This Fellowship amounts to $1200 and free transportation to and from Italy, for a year of study in that home of opera.

Bruno Walter is announced as the Musical Director of a seven months’ season, beginning in August, at the Deutschen Opernhaus of Berlin.

A “Mozart Festival” is announced for Baden-Baden, from August 15th to September 9th, with Josef Stransky conducting. “The Magic Flute,” “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Don Giovanni,” “The Abduction from the Seraglio” and “Cosi Fan Tutti” are already announced for performances. Have America’s major opera companies outgrown the chaste art of “the musician’s composer?”

Aaron Copland, the young New York composer, has been awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship of $2,500 a year for foreign study. Mr. Copland’s Symphony for Orchestra and Organ was recently performed by the New York Symphony Orchestra under Walter Damrosch and by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitsky.

The Philadelphia Civic Opera Company, under the presidency of Mrs. Henry M. Tracy, and with Alexander Smallens as conductor announces the following repertoire for its coming season: “Aida,” “Tannhauser” (in English), “Jewels of the Madonna,” “Faust” (in English), “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “I Pagliacci,” “La Navarraise” and “Gianni Schicchi” (in English), “Carmen,” “Rigoletto,” “Samson and Delila,” and “La Tosca.”

Mrs. Edgar Stillman Kelley was elected president of the National Federation of Music Clubs, at the closing session of the recent Biennial Convention at Portland Oregon, succeeding Mrs. John F. Lyons, of Fort Worth, Texas, who had held the position for two terms.

The Spring- Music Festival of the Philadelphia Music League was held in the Franklin Field Stadium of the University of Pennsylvania on the evening of June 3d. The Festival Chorus of fifteen hundred voices, under Henry Gordon Thunder, the Civic Junior Band and Orchestra of about one hundred and twenty members each, under Albert N. Hoxie, all the leading choral organizations of the city under their respective conductors, an elaborate symbolic ballet by the combined forces of six leading schools of dancing. Act III of “Aida,” by the Philadelphia Civic Opera Company, and a band of about one thousand players under Lieutenant-Commander John Philip Sousa; presented the elaborate and prodigious program to an audience of more than thirty thousand people. The realisation of this colossal enterprise was made possible through the coöperation of practically the entire musical fraternity of Philadelphia. Dr. H. J. Tily, President of the Philadelphia Music League; George E. Nitzsche Manager of the Festival; and Albert N. Hoxie, Conductor of the Junior Civic Orchestra and Band, were especially active. The Music League and its widely varying activities in Philadelphia’s Musical Life are the result of the initiative, energy and self-sacrifice of Mrs. Frederick W. Abbott, its Director, who unselfishly and unsparingly gave of her strength and time for the success of this the largest and most spectacular event in the musical annals of Philadelphia.

The Memory of Sir Frederick Bridge has been honored with a tablet in Westminster Abbey where he was so long organist and choirmaster. Also a scholarship, to be known as the “Bridge Memorial,” is being established to assist ex-choristers of the Abbey toward their further education.

A Popular Symphony Concert was given on June 5th, in the Grand Court of the Wanamaker Store, of Philadelphia, with Eric Delamarter, Ben Bernie, Hugo Reisenfeld and Gene Rodemich conducting an orchestra of eighty-five men from the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. The purpose of the program was to exhibit Phases of American Rhythm in Music.

A “Community Singing” Wave is rolling over Great Britain. Monster “sings” are being held everywhere; and recently from Albert Hall was broadcasted the biggest chorus ever put on the air.

The Halifax Choral Society, of England, is one of the oldest of its kind in that country, having an unbroken record of one hundred and seven years.

The Turkish Government has authorized the organization of a National Musical Society, the membership open to all Turkish subjects who are amateur musicians. Its concerts will be devoted to Oriental music.

Serge Prokofieff, Russian pianist and composer, whose “Love of Three Oranges” was some years ago quite popular in the repertory of the Chicago Opera Company, has announced his intention to visit America for about three months, beginning January 1, 1926.

Frank Patterson’s “The Echo,” an opera in one act, had its world premiere at the Biennial Convention of the National Federation of Music Clubs, at Portland Oregon. June 9th, with Marie Rappold, Marjorie Dodge, Forrest Lamont and Lawrence Tibbett interpreting leading rô1es and Walter Henry Roth well conducting. The press found almost nothing but commendatory things to mention; and “The Great American Opera” may come with almost any dawning. At the close of the performance Mr. Patterson was presented the David Bispham Memorial Medal of the American Opera Society of Chicago for his achievement in writing a successful musical work for the stage. Edgar Stillman Kelley’s symphonic poem, “The Pit and the Pendulum.” founded on Poe’s thrilling short story of the Inquisition, also created a most favorable impression on the same program.

Hugo Kaun’s “Mutter Erde,” an oratorio, had its American premiere at Milwaukee on June 13th, with a chorus of six hundred voices, a large part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a quartet of capable soloists, under the direction of William Boeppler. Mr. Kaun, a native of Berlin, was from 1887 to 1902 a conductor and teacher in Milwaukee; and the performance was rather in the nature of a testimonial to his former residence there.

The Oldest Known Musical Manuscript has been deciphered by Curt Sachs, music historian of Berlin University. It is of Babylonian origin in cuneiform characters on clay tablets, and was discovered in Assur, Asia. It is believed to date back to the Second Century B. C. There is an accompaniment for a harp of sixteen strings with double-stops indicated, the other parts being worked out in fugue-like formation with subject and answer.

The Cape Town Symphony Orchestra should make some others of these organizations who may think the South African metropolis to be on the fringe of the universe, to prick their ears. It is run by the Municipality, receives an annual grant of £7,500; and in return never does less than six concerts and four rehearsals a week.

Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier” has been filmed in Germany, with music for the production arranged by the composer making use of the principal themes of the opera.

Mme. Emma Albani was on May 25th, decorated by King George V with the title of Dame of the Order of the British Empire. The announcement came on the eve of the testimonial concert arranged by Dame Melba, at Covent Garden, for her sister artist who at seventy-two is, because of unfortunate investments, in not prosperous circumstances. A native of Canada, she spent her youth in Albany, New York, became in time second only to Patti in grand opera, and later the greatest of oratorio sopranos. She was the favorite singer of Queen Victoria who sometimes on her afternoon drives stopped informally for tea with the diva.

“The Triumph of Freedom and Peace,” an American Fantasy, the book and music by Louis Arthur Russell, had its premiere recently by the Newark (New Jersey) Oratorio Society and Newark Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of the composer. Its success warrants the hope that it may become a standard choral work.

The Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society of London, has been presented to Frederick Delius, the composer. This honor has been reserved for only musicians of the greatest achievements—Brahms, Casals, Gounod, Joachim, Kreisler, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Paderewski, Patti and Rubinstein being among those receiving it.

“Dr. Faust,” a posthumous opera of Ferruccio Busoni had its premiere at the Staatsoper of Dresden on May 21st. Busoni had been working on the score for almost ten years; and at his death it was completed excepting a final monologue of “Faust,” which was provided by his pupil, Philipp Jarnach.

Respighi’s “Belfagor,” following its première at La Scala of Milan, has been performed with great success at the Stadt Theater of Hamburg, winning the general admiration of the German critics for its theatrical construction and wealth of fresh inspiration.

The American Guild of Banjoists, Mandolinists, Guitarists and performers on kindred instruments, held its twenty-fourth annual convention at Toledo, Ohio, May 24th-27th.

Hamilton Harty, director of the Manchester Society and of the famous Hallé Orchestra of that city, has been honored with knighthood. Our greetings, Sir Hamilton Harty!

A £1,000 Per Year “Musical Job” is going begging in London. Mr. Jack Hylton, of the Piccadilly Hotels, has been unable to find a man with the required qualifications: “A thorough knowledge of music, including modern instrumentation, a vivid imagination, the ability to arrange music in a manner suitable for gramophone recording and, above all, a sense of rhythm.”

The Opera Comique company will revive Rameau’s “Indes Galantes” (not heard since the eighteenth century) ; Spanish music will be represented by Manuel de Falla’s “Tricorne Suite;” the National Latvian Choir will give programs of Baltic Folksongs; the Geneva Symphonic Society will present Gluck’s “Iphigenie en Aulide” and “Iphigenie en Tauride;” and the English Players will give “A Midsummer Night’s Dream;” all these in the theater attached to the Exposition of Decorative Arts being held in Paris this summer. Also the origin and development of French music will be illustrated in programs by the four leading Paris orchestras and by fifteen chamber concerts.

The Liverpool Repertory Opera is giving monthly performances at prices ranging upward from threepenny seats.

Otto Lohse, distinguished conductor and composer, died at Baden-Baden recently in his sixty-seventh year. His wife was the once famous dramatic soprano, Katharina Klafsky; and in 1896 they came to America as members of the Damrosch Opera Company.

Brahms’ Complete Works are to be published in a new edition of twenty-four volumes, by Breithaupt and Hartël with the collaboration of the editors of Simrock, Peters, and the Society of the Friends of Music of Vienna.

“The Devil in the Campanile,” a new opera by Lualdi, with the plot founded on one of Poe’s tales, has had its initial performance at La Scala of Milan, with equivocal success.

General Sir Francis Thomas, at one time the leading flutist of England, a leading spirit in the musical societies of Rochester, and one of the oldest officers of the Royal Marines, has been receiving felicitations on his ninety-third birthday.

The Mexican Ministry of Education, according to El Democrata, is about to offer combat to what it describes as “savage music imported from the United States under the name of Jazz.” Its prepared circular calls the jazz songs “degrading melodies corresponding to the tastes of savage tribes.”

The National Association of Harpists recently held its fifth annual convention in Detroit. Its concert in Orchestra Hall netted $1,963.35, which was added to the Scholarship Fund of the organization. Scholarships are now in effect in Indianapolis, Detroit and Providence. Carlos Salzedo, of New York, is president of the association.

The Cincinnati American Opera Foundation, with Mrs. George Dent Crabbe as chairman, has been incorporated for the purpose of developing American Opera by giving performances of worthy native musical works for the stage.

A One Thousand Dollars Prize is offered by The Ojai Valley Musical Festival of Chamber Music for a String Quartet for two violins, viola and violoncello, Particulars from Frank J. Frost, Ojai P. O., Ojai Valley, California, U. S. A.

At the Seventeenth North Shore Festival of Evanston, Illinois, the great feature was a gala performance of Haydn’s “Creation” by a chorus of more than one thousand voices, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with Florence Macbeth, Arthur Kraft and Elliott Shaw as soloists, and Peter C. Lutkin as conductor. The $1,000 prize for an orchestral work was awarded to Herman Hans Wetzler for his “Legend of St. Francis.”

Ella May Smith, who has done so much to advance the cause of music in Ohio, was recently elected Honorary President of the Ohio Music Teachers’ Association.

The Royal Philharmonic Society of London finished its one hundred and thirteenth season with a concert devoted to British music by contemporary composers, including Vaughan Williams’ “Pastoral Symphony.”

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