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It is said that there is a movement on foot to have municipal opera in New York.
 
Mr. William H. Sherwood, the eminent American virtuoso, is now engaged on a tour of the Northwest and Canada.
 
The negro music festival recently held at Atlanta, Ga., proved a very great success.
 
This coming season the personnel of the Boston Symphony will exceed one hundred men for the first time in its history.
 
A London contemporary points out that in New York $100,000 is spent annually on open-air music and municipal concerts. In London the amount is under $60,000.
 
A school of music, to be known as the Bach School of Music, has been founded in Los Angeles by James Washington Pierce.
 
The normal course for pianists at the Cincinnati College of Music will be conducted as usual by Miss Mary Venable,
 
The season of opera in Chicago, under the direction of A. Dippel, commences on November 3 with a production of "Aida."
 
Mme. Marcella Sembrich will make another tour of the United States this season, and will again avail herself of the services of Frank La Forge as accompanist.
 
As an instance of the enormous growth of the talking machine industry in this country, it recently took a New York newspaper man three hours to go through the plant of the Victor Talking Machine Company.
 
Mr. Henry W. Savage is now incorporated. The capital stock is $500,000, paid in. In this corporation the Castle Square Opera Company and all Mr. Savage's theatrical interests, dramatic and musical, have been merged.
 
Francis MacMillen, the eminent American violinist, has returned from his successful season in Europe, and will tour the United States during the next few months.
 
The Metropolitan Opera Company, having disposed of Oscar Hammerstein. has now another fight before it. Victor Maurel, the French baritone, is now going to start in as an impresario.
 
Musical unions of New York have declared for an increase of pay on account of the present high cost of living. It is said that this will make a considerable difference to the big symphony orchestra.
 
Musicians are somewhat inclined to look on advertisement as "unprofessional," yet we noted in a contemporary magazine recently that 80 per cent. of last year's business failures were by non-advertising concerns.
 
Conditions have changed since the days when Haydn waved his baton. It is reported that the transportation charges for the five-day ocean voyage of Gustav Mahler and family were $2,000.
 
Operatic ventures are cropping up all over the world. The latest is from Montreal. Canada. Here the Montreal Musical Society is arranging to spend $200,000 on opera during an eight-weeks' session in Montreal, and another $100,000 on a similar venture in Quebec.
 
The first organ built in America is said to have been made by Edward Bromfield, who died in 1756 and was buried in the burying ground adjoining King's Chapel, in Boston.
 
Orwin A. Morse, formerly director of the School of Music at the John B. Stetson University, at DeLand, Fla.. has been appointed director of the Morningside Conservatory of Music, at Sioux City, Iowa.
 
.Seattle Symphony Orchestra Society, under the direction of H. K. Hadley, looks forward to a most prosperous season. Among the soloists engaged are Mme. Gadski, de Gogorza, Kochian and Josef Hofmann.
 
Mr. John W. Nichols, the well-known tenor, has been successful in securing an unusual number of engagements this season. The season promises to be a most excellent one for concert artists.
 
The Apollo Musical Club (300 voices), under the direction of Mr. Harrison M. Wild, of Chicago, will give the following works during the coming year: "The Messiah,"
 
Handel; "The New Life," Wolf-Ferrari; Magnificat in D, Bach; "The Dance of Death," Woyrsch.
 
The College of Music of Cincinnati has adopted a most desirable form of advertising their work and the results they have accomplished. It is in the shape of a little thirty- two-page booklet telling just what positions some of their most important graduates now occupy. It would be a fine plan for every teacher reader of The Etude to investigate this practical idea. The proof of the pudding is the eating.
 
Giuseppe Gaudonzi, who has been selected to create the tenor role in "Ysobel" at the New Theatre, New York, in November, has an interesting history. Although born in Bologna and a graduate of the University of Bologna, he did not take up voice study until he had practiced law for over three years in his native city. In Rome he met an American teacher of singing, Mrs. Watkins Griswold, who has taught him practically all of his roles, including that of the new tenor part in "Ysobel."
 
Miss Gertrude Rennyson is one of our American singers whose early promise in this country has been fulfilled in Europe. Miss Rennyson, who has recently been visiting America, has, during the last five years, been soloist at the Royal Theatres in Dresden, Vienna, Prague, Brussels and at Covent Garden. Last season she sang at Beyreuth. Miss Rennyson attracted much attention in America some years ago as the soprano soloist for the Savage English Grand Opera Company.
 
The New York Institute of Musical Art goes to its new and specially built building on Riverside Drive, opposite Grant's Tomb, this fall. This is doubtless one of the finest buildings of its kind in the world, on one of the most magnificent sites in existence. Among the new teachers at this excellent institution are Ernest Consolo, the distinguished Italian pianist, and Sig. Edoardo C. Celli, a pupil of Leschetizky, Sgambatti and Emil Sauer.
 
What is said to be the oldest piano in America is an instrument made by Johannes Christian Schreiber, of Amsterdam, Holland. It is reported that this instrument was once the property of Beethoven, and later of Balfe. It is now in Boston. The compass is four and one-half octaves. There is but one string to each note instead of three, as in the case of the modern pianos. The case is of solid mahogany inlaid, and the pedal is operated by hand. This piano has probably been in the country longer than any other instrument, but the oldest piano in the country is without question the Bartolemeo Cristofori instrument now in the musical collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City.
 
One of the best paid little orchestras in the world is that used by the Victor Talking Machine Company for accompanying prominent singers who are engaged in singing into a record. The members of this orchestra are all seated on stools and chairs of varying heights, disposed according to the acoustic effects their instruments have on the record. The singer uses a separate machine, and is somewhat faintly heard by listeners. A single mistake is enough to spoil a record—that is to say, even if a single violin came in just a little too soon in a manner scarcely noticeable except to the conductor, the whole business has to be begun all over again. The "best seller" is Caruso. His royalties for the coming year will amount, it is said, to $70,000.
 
Mr. William Loeb, Jr., Collector of the Port of New York, has aroused a storm of protest among violinists by his decree that all violins brought into the country by visiting artists, and sold here, must pay duty. Among those who would suffer are Miss Maud Powell and Fritz Kreisler. Nothing is more uncertain than the value of a violin, and, so far as artists are concerned, it is almost impossible to value them. Miss Powell, for instance, has a Guarnerius violin which was admitted into the county duty free, as one of the "implements of trade." She decided, however, that it did not suit her, so she sold it and bought another in California. According to Mr. Lock's dictum, she is now liable for duty. There seems to us to be something- wrong about this. She is still entitled to the "implements of her trade," and if she chooses to use a different one from that which she first brought into the country, we do not see how it concerns Uncle Sam. In her case, at least, there can have been no intention of defrauding the government. Sometimes the alert Mr. Loeb seems to be a little too strenuous.
 
The meeting of the Music Teachers' National Association in Boston, December 27- 30 next, promises to be most interesting. Among the speakers will he Dr. Max Frielarider, of the University of Berlin ; Mr. Phillip Goepp, of Philadelphia ; Mr. H. A. Milliken, of Michigan; Prof. Geo. C, Gow, of Vassar; Prof. W. S. Pratt, of Hartford, and Mr. Francis L. York, of Michigan. Professor Pratt's report will be of unusual interest, as it marks the beginning of an attempt to unify the practice of American musicians in regard to the use of musical terms and symbols. The establishing of this committee commits the association to the policy of endeavoring to lay down rules and give definitions for the guidance of musicians which will represent the thoughtful opinion of a large number of the best- informed musicians of America. Other concert and lecture features will be announced soon. The officers of the association are anxious that the representative musicians of the country come together at this meeting to become acquainted with each other, to hear the latest ideas in musical pedagogy and to talk over matters that are of importance to all those who are interested in the advancement of music. It is certain that such interchange of ideas will result in great benefit not only to the members themselves, but to the public.
 
Abroad.
Robert Grau has written a very desirable book on "The Business Man in the Amusement World."
 
Mischa. Elman, the celebrated violinist, has been exempted from military service by the Russian authorities.
 
It is rumored that Sir William S. Gilbert is coming over to America to supervise the production of some of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas.
 
There has been a Saint-Saëns operatic festival in Algiers, of all places in the world. The next thing, of course, will be a Richard Strauss operatic festival in the capital of Patagonia.
 
Mexican musicians and opera-goers have queer tastes. They have recently inaugurated their first opera season in Mexico City by giving a performance of "Aïda" which started at 11 o'clock at night.
 
Felix Weingartner is said to have remarked that modern music is like "an unhappy woman who, though innocent, has long been kept in prison."
 
The famous Rubinstein prizes for which a competition is held every five years were awarded recently to Emil Frey, Baden, for composition, and to Alfred Noehn, of Frankfurt, for piano playing.
 
Liza Lehmann, the composer of "In a Persian Garden," has just completed a work for women's voices called "In Sherwood Forest," which will be produced in New York by the St. Cecilia Club. She is said to be looking for a suitable opera libretto.
 
Le Grand Howland, the American composer, has received the gratifying information that his opera, "Sarrona," which was performed for the first time in New York last season, has been accepted for production in ten opera houses of Italy, Holland, Belgium and Sicily.
 
We have previously reported that Italy is annoyed at the fact of America being the first to produce Italian operas. She is now about to show her revenge by arranging for the premier of an American opera in Italy. It is said that efforts are being made to secure Converse's opera "Sacrifice" for production at Milan.
 
Musical people have just about had time to get used to the idea that Debussy is writing another "Tristan and Isolde," and now comes a rumor that Mascagni is about to write an opera based on practically the same theme as Tannhauser. It is a great comfort to think that these great geniuses are now going to show us the kind of music Wagner really ought to have written!
 
Erich Wolfgang Korngold, the thirteen- year-old composer who stirred Richard Strauss' "awe and apprehension," has now been heard by Paul Dukas, who was astounded at the boy's originality. Dukas is one of the most promising of the modern French composers. His opera, "Ariane et Barbe Bleu," is to be one of the novelties of the coming season at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.
 
The fact that Camille Saint-Saëns has made important discoveries in mathematics which have been recognized by the French Academies reminds us that Sir George Grove received his honorary Doctor's degree, not for his services to music, but for his brilliant work in connection with biblical researches in Palestine. Cesar Cui, the Russian composer, was a general in the Russian army and a professor of fortifications at one of the most important military schools.
 
Mr. August Spanuth, formerly prominent in New York musical affairs, and now editor of "Die Signale," the famous Berlin musical magazine, has made a valiant attack on the custom of making beginners pay for the privilege of appearing at concerts with artists of renown. He bases his plea not on the score of the possible unfairness to the ingenious beginner, who thus tries to purchase a corner of the cloak of celebrity worn by another, nor on the managers who are "out looking for suckers," to use a colloquial expression. He contends that this is entirely the affair of the beginner and the manager and the celebrity. He points out with excellent logic that it is the public who are duped. Why should they pay money to hear some one who is willing to pay to be heard? Why should they go to hear a great artist and have to listen to mediocrity between whiles? Why shouldn't the beginner be presented to the public as a beginner? In this case he might count at least on the sympathy of the audience, says Mr. Spanuth, without conniving in a custom the dishonesty of which to audiences is obvious.

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