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It is said that certain high Society people are trying to persuade Congress to appropriate the sum of $5000 for a presidential box at the opera.
 
Gustav Mahler is now engaged in writing his first opera entitled Theseus, to which he has also written the text.
 
Miss Harriette Brower, well known to Etude readers through her contributions to this journal, has been meeting with great success in lecture recitals of works of Robert Schumann.
 
Mr. E. B. Perry recently gave a recital at the Knox Conservatory of Music, at Galesburg, Ill., at which he played his Melusine Suite.
 
The first concert of the season of the Boston Cecilia Society was devoted to the memory of the late B. J. Lang, who was the founder, and for many years, the conductor of the society.
 
It is rumored that next season the Metropolitan Company will not give so many performances in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, while Baltimore and Pittsburg will be eliminated from their plans.
 
The Choral Art Society, of Augusta, recently gave a very interesting concert of selected works, especially suitable for a small chorus of trained singers.
 
A Christmas cantata called The Manger Throne, by Charles F. Mauney, was given an effective rendering at the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church in Brooklyn, under the able leadership of Mr. Clarence Eddy, the eminent organist.
 
The Oratorio Chorus of Worcester, Ohio, recently gave a highly commendable performance of Haydn’s Creation under the direction of Mr. J. Lawrence Erb.
 
The success of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s concert in Columbus was sufficient to inspire Columbus to arrange for an allied Symphony Orchestra Association to be called the “Columbia-Cincinnati Orchestra Association.
 
Mr. and Mrs. William John Hall, of St. Louis, assisted by Mr. Ernest Kroeger, of the same city, recently gave “An Hour With American Women Composers.” Twenty-seven composers were represented upon the program.
 
The Indianapolis orchestra is in hot water with the ministers of Indianapolis on account of having given a Sunday concert. Why not have Sunday concerts? There must be many who feel that a symphony well played is as valuable as a sermon.
 
The Messiah has been performed in most of the large cities during the holiday season. No one has ever written anything yet which is quite so appropriate to the Christmas season, for Bach’s Christmas music does not seem to lend itself to general performance. Is there a Handel Musical Trust Co.?
 
Mr. Clarence Eddy recently played the Bossi organ concerto accompanied by the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra at the Auditorium in Chicago. Mr. Eddy is one of the few virtuoso organists whose services are in constant demand for events of this kind.
 
It is said that in the course of a few years Chicago will be “the musical clearing house” for the West. Max Rabinoff, a musical manager, declares that hitherto Chicago has had little opportunity to hear any but those musicians whose reputations are firmly established. He is said to have done much to alter this, and will do more. If this is the case, we wish him all success.
 
The Philharmonic Society, of New York, the oldest permanent orchestra in America, is to visit Philadelphia and give a concert under the direction of Gustav Mahler. This will be the first concert the Philharmonic Society has given in Philadelphia in the course of its sixty-seven years of existence. It will be remembered that Gustav Mahler is also conductor at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
 
Liza Lehmann, the well-known English composer, who is now visiting the United States, declares that Europe in general, and England in particular, are lamentably ignorant of the compositions of American writers. Germany, she declares, has been more fortunate in this respect. She is enthusiastic, however, on the many excellent American artists who are heard in England and on the continent.
 
The award of the three 1909 Paderewski prizes for musical compositions have been announced in Boston.
 
First prize, $1,000, to Paul Allen, of Boston, for a symphony in D major.
 
Second prize, $500, to David Stanley Smith, of New Haven, Conn., for a cantata,
 
Third prize, $500, to Rubin Goldmark, of New York, for a quartet in A major for piano and strings.
 
In November two new chapters of the Guild of American Organists were formed Canada. The warden, Warren R. Hedden, general secretary, S. Lewis Elmer, and general treasurer, Frank Wright, visited Toronto and Montreal for the purpose of instituting the new chapters called, respectively, Ontario and Quebec, as they include the Province. This marks, as you see, the extension of the Guild into Canada. Examinations will be held there as well as in the United States. Among those prominent in the movement in Canada are Dr. J. Humfrey Auger (Dean Ontario Club), Percival J. Illsley (Dean Quebec Chapter), Dr. Edward Fisher, Dr. A. S. Vogt (Director of the Mendelssohn Choir), Dr. Torrington, William Reed, Dr. Edward Broome, T. J. Palmer, H. A. Wheeldon, Wm. R. Spence and many others. The membership of the Guild now numbers between 700 and 800; it is growing wonderfully in influence.
 
Carl Zerrahn, who was for forty years leader of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, died recently at the home of his son in Milton, Mass. He came to this country in 1848, when twenty-two years of age, and his ability and enthusiasm have done much to increase the interest of Americans in music. Mr. Zerrahn, in addition to his work with the Handel and Hayn (sic) Society, was conductor of the Worcester Festival. Readers of The Etude will be glad of this opportunity to extend to those he has left behind their sincere sympathies and cordial appreciation of the work Mr. Zerrahn achieved in his lifetime.
 
Mr. N. J. Corey has published a lament in a Detroit newspaper regarding the lack of musical interest in that city. “There are practically no choral or orchestral organizations of any real value,” he says, “and wild horses will not drag the citizens of Detroit to concerts, even when the performers are of world-wide reputation.” This is indeed strange in a city boasting of 400,000 inhabitants. In spite of vast strides, the ways of the American musical educator are hard. We should be more inclined to despair were it not for the fact that an intimate knowledge of Mr. Corey’s work assures us that a stalwart fight is being maintained in Detroit for musical advancement.
 
Mr. Finck, who is perhaps better qualified to speak than any man in America, says that American music critics—in New York at least—need more sleep. He declares that the symphony orchestras are bent on giving us long-winded tone-poems and dreary symphonies of inordinate length instead of giving us the music of the best masters. He further says that the great daily papers expect too much of their music critics—who are compelled to rush from one concert to another without having any opportunity to listen to any of them with real attention. Often the critic is obliged to rush away from a concert without hearing more than one or two numbers. Few critics are more just and fair-minded than Mr. Finck, and none more sincerely anxious for the welfare of music and musicians. Let us hope his words will lead to some reforms.
 
There are forty-seven aged musicians now residing in the “Home for the Care of Aged Musicians” in Milan, which was founded by Verdi. Thirteen of the residents are women. The provisions of Verdi’s will which maintain the home are most liberal. So far as we know there are only two homes of this kind in existence—the one we have already mentioned and the “Home for Retired Music Teachers” at South Third Street, Philadelphia. The residents at the latter home are fewer in number, the object being to make it a comfortable and select place of residence for refined women who, by their years of service to the cause of musical education, have entitled themselves to just such protection and care as this home provides. Every comfort, convenience and need has been arranged for, and there is no need for worry or care for any teacher who avails herself of the excellent provisions made for them. A circular will bring fuller information regarding this commendable haven for reserving elderly teachers.
 
Abroad.
Richard Strauss Salome has been forbidden a production by the London dramatic censor.
 
Ignace J. Paderewski was fifty years old on the 6th of last November.
 
Cesar Cui, the Russian composer, has just celebrated his fiftieth anniversary of his career as an artist.
 
Enrico Bossi’s lyric drama, Der Wanderer, has recently been produced in Dresden with marked success.
 
The first performance of Siegfried Wagner’s new opera, Banadietrich, took place in Karlsruhe in January.
 
George Schumann’s F minor symphony has just been given its first production by the New Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Landon Ronald, in London.
 
Leoncavallo’s new opera, in three acts, Maia, was produced at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome, on January 10. Mascagni has arranged to conduct the first performance, and is said to be very enthusiastic about the work.
 
Mr. A. J. Goodrich, the well-known American theorist, now resident in London, recently gave a demonstration in rapid memorizing which attracted very favorable attention in the London press.
 
A young American pianist, named Wynnie Pyle, has recently scored a remarkable success in Berlin with her performance of the Grieg piano concerto at one of the popular concerts of the Philharmonic.
 
During 1910 Mme. Melba will inaugurate a tour, starting in August, which will last for four months. There will be from fifty to sixty concerts, starting either in Montreal or Halifax. Mme. Melba has been spending the winter season in Australia.
 
Puccini’s La Bohème has just received its first performance in the Cologne Opera House. This work has been extremely popular in America for many years, and has been given hundreds of times in different parts of the country. America is certainly not so far behind.
 
A new dramatic cantata of pretentious length and large musical and orchestral demands, written by Max Meyer-Olbersleben, director of the Royal Conservatory at Würzburg, has been produced with great success in Europe. The work resembles the sacred oratorio, but the subject is non-sacred, and the treatment is modern in the extreme. The title is “Feuerdank.”
 
Francis MacMillen, the young American violinist who has been achieving many successes in Europe, has added to his laurels by his appearance in Rome. He was formerly a pupil of Mr. Robert Braine, whose soundness and common sense allied to great musical ability have made him familiar to readers of our Violin Department.
 
An Indian paper says that Japan, not content with assimilating occidental civilization, is now beginning to give heed to music as practiced in Europe and America as well. An academy of music has been established in Tokyo for many years, at which there are about 500 students and about forty teachers, foreign and native. It is said that the influence of the academy has been considerable.
 
Dr. John Warriner, F.T.C.L., in a recent issue of “Music,” estimates, that there are 17,600 students of music in London, and that there are 4,200 teachers. He then bewails the fact that in spite of this enormous amount of musical educational energy so little of real value has been accomplished in the world of “professional” musical endeavor. We are more disturbed to know how the London teachers worry along with approximately four and one-fifth pupils each! He tells us that at Peckham Rye lessons are offered at the rate of three for a shilling. Moreover, in some cases a glass of milk and a bun were offered as a bonus with which to catch pupils. Such prices as these could of course only exist in a slum section, and Dr. Warriner says, further, that these rates suggest pocket-money workers.
 
The death of Ebenezer Prout, which occurred recently in London, removes from English musical circles one of its most distinguished ornaments. His career is one of especial interest to many of our readers, as it shows what enthusiasm, courage and persistence can do in the way of securing a musical education. He was born at Oundle, Northamptonshire. March 1, 1835. He was the son of a country congregational minister, and his knowledge of music was limited to a knowledge of the Messiah, and to such music as might be expected to be known in the country districts of England at that time. In 1848 the family came to London, and three years later Prout graduated as Bachelor of Arts at London University and became a schoolmaster. It was not for some years that he took up the study of music. He had no knowledge save a few piano lessons received in childhood. What he knew he learnt by himself. He did this so well that he succeeded Sir Arthur Sullivan as Professor of Music at the Royal Academy. Later he went to the Guildhall School of Music, and in 1804 became Professor of Music at Dublin University. He received the degree of Doctor of Music from Trinity College, Dublin, and also from Edinburgh University. As a theorist Prout will long be remembered. His books on harmony, counterpoint. fugue and instrumentation are about as thorough as any musical technical works in the English language, and no student of the higher branches of music can afford to neglect them. Among his pupils were   Edward German, Eugene d’Albert,
 
Tobias Matthay, Frederic Cliffe and many others. He was an able music critic, and the first editor of “The Musical Record.” Truly a remarkable career for a man who at the age of twenty-four could not have told the meaning of “consecutive fifths.”

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