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Musical Items


Ethelbert Nevin is engaged on a concert tour, embracing the larger cities of the United States.

Manuel Garcia, the celebrated singing-master, is still teaching in London at the age of ninety-four.

A quarrel in the Strauss family has resulted in the formation of another orchestra by Johann Strauss.

A new illustrated musical paper was recently launched in Paris, called the “Revue Internationale de Musique.”

Verdi is building a home for poor and aged musicians in Milan, with an annual contribution of $15,000 for its support.

The new bandmaster of the celebrated Marine Band of Washington is W. H. Santleman, formerly assistant to Sousa.

Berlin is to have a musical exhibition this summer, the object being to raise funds to erect a monument to Wagner.

It is stated that Dr. Hans Richter is to conduct the Wagnerian operas for the Jean de Reszke Company in St. Petersburg.

Frau Cosima Wagner has in her possession, according to a recent report, four unpublished, completed works of her husband.

It is said that Josef Hofmann receives $700 for a concert, and that he was paid $1000 by the Vanderbilts for playing at a recent soirée.

A large sum has been collected by the pupils of the late Waldemar Bargiel, to be used in the erection of a monument to his memory.

A society is to be formed in England for the investigation of early English part music and the publication of hitherto unknown pieces.

In a recent letter Verdi says that he finds it difficult to make any progress in composition; the death of his wife has greatly affected him.

A posthumous work by Spohr is to be given in Cassel. It is said that the work is carried out on the lines used by Wagner in his music dramas.

Dvorak has set music to a portion of Drake’s celebrated poem, “The American Flag.” It has been published in the form of a cantata.

The well-known firm of Chickering & Sons celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of their connection with the piano-making trade last month.

Verdi’s sacred composition performed at Paris during the past month included a “Stabat Mater,” a “Te Deum,” and some minor choral works.

A German exchange announces that Nikisch has been fined 12,000 florins for breach of contract as former conductor of the Budapest Royal Opera.

Anton Seidl left his widow in good circumstances, it is said. He owned some valuable real estate in the Catskills, and carried considerable life-insurance.

Franz Behr, whose name is almost a household word in musical families, a prolific composer of music of the easier grades, died a short time ago in Dresden.

The ensemble concerts of Ysaye, Marteau, Gerardy, and Lachaume are arousing considerable interest in the cities they visit. It is a quartet of musical giants.

A wealthy Russian has a theater in which the stage action is presented by marionettes worked by electricity. A phonograph reproduces the songs and accompaniments.

A Parisian musical journal announces that a European manufacturer will exhibit, at the Paris Exposition a pianoforte that can be heard at a distance of six miles.

Col. Mapleson, the veteran impressario, is interested in the tour which Sousa is to make with his band in Europe this year. He has charge of the arrangements for Paris.

Wm. L. Tomlins, for many years the director of the Apollo Club in Chicago, has resigned. He will devote his time to work with children, in which he has been so successful.

Rosenthal is to make a tour in this country next fall. It is to be hoped that his recovery from the illness which interfered with his work the past season in England will be permanent.

Max Bruch, the veteran composer, has just finished a new secular oratorio on the subject of Gustavus Adolphus, the King of Sweden and the great soldier-hero of Protestantism.

Ysaye is to make a tour of the world, it may be said. At the close of his American tour in California, in June, he will sail for Australia, thence to Japan, India, China, Africa, and Egypt.

It is announced that Pugno’s American tour has profited him to the extent of $30,000. He will return again next season, he says. He is delighted with America and the Americans.

Mme. Lamperti, widow of the famous Milan teacher, is to establish a school of vocal art in New York next season, based on the principles of her late husband’s system of instruction.

The University of Toronto has added Frederic Archer to the staff of teachers. He will conduct the examinations in the theory of music. The annual examination takes place this month.

The violin used by Henri Marteau was once owned by Maria Theresa of Austria. Leonard, the great French violinist, owned it later, and from him it was passed on to its present possessor. It is a Maggini, and is remarkable for a deep, viola-like tone.

A testimonial concert is to be given to Carl Zerrahn in Boston. Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” will be given by a chorus of 1500 voices from various societies which have sung under Mr. Zerrahn’s baton.

The Indianapolis May Musical Festival will include five concerts. Mr. Frank Van der Stucken is the director. Ysaye, Gadski, Emma Juch, and David Bispham are among the artists engaged.

The new opera by Sir Arthur Sullivan is said to be founded on a story of Flanders in the time of Philip Van Artevelde. There is plenty of room for dramatic treatment in a libretto on such a subject.

Alexander Siloti, the Russian pianist, who met with such marked success in the United States this season, sailed for Europe early last month. He was greatly pleased, and will return next year.

A grand jubilee concert in honor of the Emperor Francis Joseph will be held in Vienna in August. Leoncavallo will be in charge of the musical program and will compose a jubilee hymn for the occasion.

Miss Leonora Jackson, the American violin virtuoso, has written a letter to a New York paper urging the establishing of musical scholarships similar to those in vogue in some of the German conservatories, and offers to contribute to the fund.

Alvary, the Wagnerian tenor, so popular in this country some years ago, has just received an award of $6000 damages for an accident which he claimed was owing to the carelessness of the machinist of the Mannheim (Germany) Opera House.

The celebrated Kneisel Quartet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra will give a series of concerts in California this spring. The annual London engagement will be filled as usual. The quartet is considered the peer of any other similar organization.

A German inventor has patented and placed on the market a “troubadour” bicycle that is very fittingly named. It has a musical attachment which plays

popular airs when the machine is in motion. The days of the wandering minstrel may now be revived.

Mr. W. H. Cummings, principal of the Guildhall School of Music, has a musical library of nearly 5000 volumes, among them rare treasures, including autograph scores. Mr. Cummings is considered an authority on Händel, and his collection is rich in relics of the great master of oratorio.

Mobile, Ala., boasts of a historic church-organ. An expert who examined it lately says that it was built in Belgium about three hundred years ago. From there it was taken to England, was played on by Händel at the coronation of George II in 1727. Later it was sent to Charleston, S. C., and from there to Mobile.

The “Ladies’ Home Journal,” of Philadelphia, offers a prize of $25 for the best children’s song, with $15 each for the next best three. A competition has also been arranged for an original piano solo of the style known as piece de salon. The prize offered is $50. The competitions are open until July 1st.

The old Boston Music Hall is to be torn down, although it is said this will not occur for nearly two years. A movement has been urged to erect a well-appointed opera-house to be used as the home of permanent opera, as well as to afford a suitable place for orchestral concerts. The city should have a veritable ”temple of art.”

Calvé has been compelled by illness to give up singing for a time, and has retired to her chateau in France. A contemporary tells a pretty story of her. As a child she used to dream of living in this old castle. The money lavished on her by the American public has helped not a little the erstwhile peasant child to realize her dreams.

The next Worcester (Mass.) musical festival will be held in September. Mme. Gadski, Gertrude May Stein, Evan Williams, and Ffrangçon Davies have been engaged. Carl Zerrahn, the director for so many years, has retired, and his place has been filled by Mr. George W. Chadwick, director of the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston.

The old, time-worn slab over Clementi’s grave in the cloisters, Westminster Abbey, has been replaced by a new and larger one. The inscription on the old stone had become almost indecipherable, owing to the wear from the feet of the passers-by, many of whom never knew that they had walked over the resting place of the “father of pianoforte playing.”

Julius Schulhoff, whose compositions were very popular at one time, died in Berlin lately. Salon music of the best type was his forte, both as a pianist and as a composer. He wrote a number of very good teaching pieces. He was born at Prague in 1825; Tomaschek was one of his teachers. A considerable portion of his life was spent in teaching at Dresden.

Theodore Thomas and the members of the Chicago Orchestra had a narrow escape from death in a railroad wreck the past month. The special train in which they were traveling collided with another near Buffalo, N. Y. There was no loss of life, but a number of valuable instruments were ruined, among them Bruno Steindl’s “Carlo Bergonzi” ‘cello, valued at $4000.

The announcement has been made in New York that Mr. Walter Damrosch will give up conducting as a profession and devote himself to composition. He will still retain some interest in the opera company, it is stated. He expects to give his whole time to the preparation of some large works which he has had in mind for some time. So far, it has not been made known whether the works are orchestral or dramatic.

It is rumored that a company has been formed to secure, or build if necessary, a place of entertainment in New York City, in which they will give regular band concerts with celebrated soloists. It is proposed that in the first balcony there shall be a number of boxes in which one may partake of a supper while the music is going on, and that a portion of the orchestra section shall be converted into a “smoker.”

Asger Hamerik, who has been director of the Peabody Institute, Baltimore, Md., for the past twenty- seven years, has resigned and it is said will return to Denmark and take up musical work in his native country. He will be succeeded by Mr. Harold Randolph, the professor of piano in the institute. The new director is a graduate of the institution and a young man of promise. It is gratifying to see native-born musicians coming up to the front.

Mr. Robert A. Gally, of Brooklyn, N. Y., has invented an instrument called the “tonograph” which should be of great assistance to composers who do their work at an instrument. It consists of an attachment to a piano or organ that will register on paper the notes played by the performer, indicating at the same time dynamic and rhythmic marks. Alexander Guilmant made a trial of the instrument by an improvisation, and was highly pleased with the result.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians of England has offered two prizes of $125 each, one for the best sonata for violin and piano or violoncello and piano, the other for the best trio or quartet. The competition is open to all members of the society. It is said that a number of English musicians in this country are members of the society. The competition closes September 1st. Mr. Edward Chadfield, 19 Benners St., W., London, England, is the secretary of the Society.

The famous instrument-makers, Thibouville-Lamy & Co., have lately placed upon the market a new stringed instrument called the “Altermann violin-viola.” In size it is between the violin and viola. It has five strings, the four violin and the viola C. The bridge is so made that when the instrument is used as a violin the viola C can be slipped into a notch along the side of the bridge, thus being out of the way; if to be used as a viola, the violin E is disposed of similarly. It has been well received by the profession in Paris.

The Thirteenth Cincinnati Musical Festival will be given under the direction of Theodore Thomas, May 24th to 28th. There will be five evening and two afternoon concerts. The orchestral program will present works by Dvorak, Strauss, Smetana, Rimsky-Korsakoff, as well as Mozart, Beethoven, and Schumann. The soloists will include Miss MacIntyre and Ben Davies, of England, and David Bispham. Some of the choral numbers will be Berlioz’s “Damnation of Faust,” Bach’s “Eine Feste Burg,” and portions of Wagner’s “Flying Dutchman” and u Parsifal.”

The Bureau of Education of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition has made arrangements for a National Congress of Musicians from June 30th to July 5th. The executive committee contains representative Eastern as well as Western musicians. The chairman is Mr. Homer Moore, of Omaha, Neb., where the exposition is to be held. The program will consist of concerts and lectures, with a number of carefully selected essays. The Thomas Orchestra, under Arthur Mees, will assist. It is certainly an undertaking that is worthy the unstinted support of the members of the musical profession in the West. The exposition is planned to be in the fullest sense representative of the commercial achievements of the enterprising Western people, and the musician who visits Omaha this summer will have a doubly enjoyable time if he goes when the congress is in session.

The death of Anton Seidl has left a great gap in New York opera and orchestral circles. The combination of opera and concert work enabled Seidl to earn a fair income, but neither one alone could have supported him. The projected opera season and the possibility of the establishment of a permanent orchestra have led to much speculation as to a possible successor to Seidl. The mention of the names suggested affords some interesting reading: Emil Paur, Ysaye, Xaver Scharwenka, Hans Richter, Felix Mottl, Richard Strauss, Felix Weingartner, Max Bendix, Frank Van der Stucken, besides some lesser lights. One after another of these names has been brought forward and then dropped. Color is given to the report that Ysaye may take up the succession, by the fact that the latter signed a contract with Seidl’s former manager to organize an orchestra—many of them Seidl’s men—to fill the remaining concerts of the season. Ysaye is esteemed as a conductor in Europe.


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