Caruso has been engaged for the Metropolitan opera for another five years.
Mme. Liza Lehmann, the gifted English pianist-composer, will visit America this season.
The growth of musical education in America may be gauged by the fact that New York School Board now owns 1,400 pianos.
Gertrude Peppercorn, the English pianist, will visit this country for the third time next fall.
One-third of the “star” singers engaged for the Metropolitan next season are Americans, twenty-one in number.
The guarantee for Baltimore opera now reaches $70,000, towards the amount required by the Metropolitan Company.
The death has occurred of Prof. Edwin Bruce Story, who for thirty years has been connected with the music department of Smith College.
Mr. Herve D. Wilkins gave a recital at the inauguration of the new organ at the Methodist Episcopal Church of Dundee, N. Y.
Mr. Reginald de Koven believes that America has entered upon a renaissance of high-class light opera.
A successful concert was given at the fourteenth annual convention of the Missouri State Music Teachers’ Association, at which Mr. Kroeger was the piano soloist.
Mr. Horatio Connell, an American baritone who is well known in London, has arranged for an extended tour through the States, Canada and Mexico, commencing next January.
A French theater is to be built in Montreal, in which the best French plays will be introduced, as well as an annual production of four or five weeks of opera, performed by picked artists.
A young prodigy has evidently been discovered in Beatrice Evelyn Wilson, of Portland, Oregon, who has been exciting lively attention by her playing, and shows promise of a great future.
Pol Plancon, the noted French basso, who had decided to retire, has been induced to change his mind, and will appear next season at the Metropolitan, New York.
The Hotel Knickerbocker is to have a theater on the tenth floor for the use of its guests, which includes many of the operatic stars such as Caruso, Tetrazzini, and Scotti.
Beecham’s orchestra, which has proved itself an important factor in the English musical world, will be heard in this country next Spring. This will be the first crossing of a first-class English orchestra to America.
George Meader, a young tenor from Minneapolis, has secured a three years’ engagement in opera at Leipsic. He has been acting as soloist in the American church in Berlin for some time, and will be much missed.
It has now been promised that the Boston Opera House shall be ready for business on November 8, 1909. under the direction of Mr. Henry Russell. Men are working night and day to get it finished.
New England Conservatory has received $500 from Paderewski. The sum will be used for a scholarship. Another scholarship of $5,000 will go into effect next fall. It will be known as the Carl Baermann scholarship, and the interest will be awarded to some pupil studying piano.
Oscar Hammerstein, who ought to know, says that there is not much money to be made in producing grand opera. The public, he says, continually demand that past successes shall be improved upon. He hopes that in the future unnecessary expenses which arise out of present commercial crudities will be eliminated, but even if this is so, declares that the outlook so far as great financial profit is concerned is none too promising.
Oscar Hammerstein has announced his plan to build an opera house in Chicago, at a cost of $2,000,000. This will not only provide Chicago with opera of its own, but will also serve as a base from which the great operatic singers will tour the cities of the West, including Denver and Los Angeles.
It has been proposed that the French idea of open-air opera be adopted in New York. Mr. C. H. Meltzer, who is responsible for the suggestion, thinks that free opera in Central Park would be a godsend to the Italian, German, French, Polish, Hungarian and Bohemian element of the city, to whom music is as the breath of life. There is much in this idea. The craving for emotional excitement peculiar to these races would surely find a better outlet than is to be found in the saloons and similar places to which they are driven for lack of anything better to do.
Dr. A. Madeley Richardson, formerly organist and choirmaster of Southwark Cathedral, London, has been appointed in succession to Miles Farrow as organist and choirmaster at Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore. Dr. Richardson is a graduate of Oxford, and is one of the most broadly cultured musicians in England. He has composed some excellent church music and part songs, and is at present superintendent of music at Battersea Polytechnic and Clapham High School in Southwest London.
A monument has been erected in Hartford, Conn., dedicated to the memory of Henry Clay, whose death occurred there in 1884. He was the composer and author of “Marching Thro’ Georgia” and many other songs popular during the Civil War. Perhaps he was not a great poet or a great composer, but he had something to say at a time when people who could encourage were badly needed. He was a songster of the people, for the people. Let us keep his memory green.
Oscar Hammerstein is to fulfill his promise to provide Brooklyn with an opera house on the lines of those in Manhattan and Philadelphia. The land has been purchased at a cost of $95,000, $45,000 of which was in cash, and the remainder on a six months’ mortgage. It is said that $1,000,000 will be expended on the building.
The following “Paderewski” prizes are offered for the best compositions by American composers, to be submitted on or before September 1, 1909.
1. One thousand dollars for a symphony or symphonic poem for full orchestra.
2. Five hundred dollars for a concert piece for chorus and orchestra, with or without solo voice parts, or for an overture for full orchestra.
3. Five hundred dollars for a piece of chamber music for any combination of instruments.
The judges appointed by the trustees are: Messrs. G. W. Chadwick, Horatio Parker and Franz Van der Stucken.
All communications in reference to the competition should be addressed to John A. Loud, Secretary, 6 Newberry street, Boston, Mass.
Reginald De Koven. who has delighted audiences for so long with his excellent light operas, is to have an opportunity of composing a grand opera. The immortal “Trilby” is to be the theme, and the bock will be adapted from Du Maurier’s novel rather than from the already existing play, and will afford excellent opportunity for operatic treatment. The work is to be produced at the Manhattan, and is part of Hamerstein’s plans for popularizing opera by native composers. The work will rely for its interest upon melody, combined with scenic and choral effects and big ensembles. Mr. De Koven has little faith in the methods of such men as Strauss and Debussy, and believes that such operas as Salome, or Pelleas and Melisande, will not maintain their present interest.
Mr. Walter Henry Hall, the distinguished choir director, upon leaving the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (New York City), where he has served for four years with such success that some of the most renowned organists of the country praised his work in extreme terms. Mr. Hall has accepted a position as teacher of choral conducting and boy choir training in connection with the university extension work conducted by Columbia University, New York.
Mrs. Clara Gottschalk-Peterson informs us that she is the sister of Louis M. Gottschalk, the famous pianist and composer of “The Last Hope.” and not the half- sister, as stated in a recent issue of The Etude. We hasten to apologise both to her and to our readers for the mistake. Those readers who have seen this lady’s excellent compositions which have been printed in The Etude will be interested in this.
Paderewski has been made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in Paris.
A pianist in Germany is creating a sensation by giving recitals in the dark.
The treatment Caruso underwent for his voice has been eminently successful.
It is said that a statue is to be erected to the memory of Richard Wagner in Munich.
A monument has been erected at Weimar cemetery in memory of Edward Lassen, who succeeded Liszt as Kapelmeister to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar.
Emanuel Iacoletti. a brother-in-law of Caruso, is studying at Milan, in order to adopt an operatic career.
Marcella Sembrich achieved an enormous success in Berlin, where she has been making farewell appearances.
It is reported that Herr Burrian, the well- known tenor, has received a legacy of $20,000 from an admirer—an elderly lady.
Massenet is at work on an opera on the subject of Don Quixote. This brilliant French composer has already written over forty operas.
Nordica received a fee of $2,500 for singing at Dorchester House. London, at a party given by Whitelaw Reid, the American ambassador. The party was given in honor of the King and Queen, who were present.
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford has been amusing London audiences with his “Ode to Discord.” It is in four bursts. Burst one opens with the “Teatrayology.” The goddess of discord strikes the keynote of the composition by singing “Hence Loathed Melody!” In the fourth and last burst Sir Charles has made use of an ingenious adaptation of “We Wont Go Home till Morning.”
An opera, “Tess,” founded on Thomas Hardy’s novel, was recently produced at Covent Garden, London. The music was by Baron d’Erlanger, an English financier, who combines music and banking as a profession. It is said that the first two acts are rather weak, but that the third act is by far the finest part of the work.
A Suite Fantastique. for piano and orchestra, by Ernest Schelling, is among the novelties for the Queen’s Hall Promenade concerts in London. The list also includes “Salome’s Dance,’ by Henry Hadley; “Concerto in E Minor,” for violoncello and orchestra, by Victor Herbert, and “Symphonic Sketches,” by G. W. Chadwick. The concerts will be conducted, of course, by Henry J. Wood, who has done so much for orchestral music in England.
In a recent interview, Kreisler, the eminent violinist, had some observations to make that were worth while. “In reviewing the influences that made me,” he said, “I really can see only three great outstanding factors: (1) my work, (2) my wife’s love and help, and (3) my robust health. My work branches into musical and general studies, and I am inclined to lay more stress on the ultimate beneficial influence of my general studies. My work in the sphere of music subdivides itself into purely violinistic and general music studies, and here again. I attach more importance to my general musical training that to purely violinistic, as probably the more powerful factor in making me.”
Etude Magazine. September, 1909