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The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra has been on tour, and has visited Chicago and New York among other places.
Adolph M. Foerster's Suite for Orchestra, Opus 47, No. 2, has been played by four large orchestras this season.
Reed Miller, the well-known tenor, recently celebrated his ninth birthday. (sic?) He was born on the twenty-ninth of February, thirty-six years ago.
The students of Harvard University are organizing a band to coöperate with the Harvard regiment and assist in drills.
The twenty-eighth annual convention of the New York State Music Teachers' Association will take place at Syracuse University, June 20, 21, 22.
A revival of Goetz's opera by the New York Metropolitan based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew has failed to make a deep impression.
Our sympathies go out to Mr. Felix Borowski, composer of Adoration and many other beautiful pieces, who has sustained the loss of his wife, Mrs. Edith Frances Borowski. She was born in Scotland.
Le Massena's attractive children's opera Pandora has been given with great success as far west as South Bend, Washington. South Bend has a fine opera house, seating 1200 people and a perfect stage equipment.
The degree of Doctor of Music has been conferred upon Leopold Stokowski by the University of Pennsylvania in recognition of his services to music, notably in producing Mahler's colossal Eighth Symphony in Philadelphia.
Carl Lachmund, of New York, has recently found the manuscript of a Battle Hymn by Franz Liszt. In keeping with the spirit of the times he has forwarded the manuscript to the German Embassy with the suggestion that it be sent to the home government.
The celebrated violinist, Fritz Kreisler, has given a concert in Carnegie Hall, New York, in aid of musicians stranded in Vienna. Since he began his season on the Pacific coast he has given one hundred and twenty-five concerts to audiences which aggregate not less than 200,000 people in all.
Schumann-Heink evidently does not believe that a woman should sacrifice her maternal instincts on the altar of a "career." "Motherhood is the biggest thing a woman can undertake," she has declared. "When God found he couldn't attend to all the little details of this world he made mothers."
While the Star Spangled Banner is officially recognized by the Government as the national air, it has never been legally declared the national anthem. A bill has therefore been introduced by Congressman Murray Hulbert to make it by law the national anthem of the United States.
A sum approximating $10,000 was raised by a concert given at Carnegie Hall, New York, in aid of French musicians of the Paris Conservatoire rendered destitute by the war. Among the artists who took part were Paderewski, Lucien Muratore, Ernest Schelling, Sigismund Stojowski and the Flonzaley Quartet.
It is possible that a new opera company will be touring the West in the fall. The manager will be Charles A. Ellis of Boston, and the company will include Geraldine Farrar, Louise Homer, Emmy Destinn, Lucien Muratore and Clarence Whitehill. The season is to include October and November and will not clash with the New York Metropolitan season in the East, which is not in full swing until after that period.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (formerly known as the Theodore Thomas Orchestra) recently gave a performance of some works by Chicago composers, including a Symphonic Prelude by Rosseter G. Cole and a concertino (which is a little concerto) by John Alden Carpenter. The concertino was played by Percy Grainger and proved to be, as the composer described, "a light-hearted conversation between piano and orchestra."
At a dinner given by the Musicians' Club of New York, Fritz Kreisler declared that music will play a great part in healing the breach between the warring nations when the dove of peace at last finds a resting place. Pointing to Caruso, who was seated at a nearby table, this Austrian violinist who has seen service in the trenches said, "What greater emissary of peace could Italy send out into the world than that great artist Caruso? Who could accomplish more to efface the old hatreds, to make us forget the strife, the bloodshed, than he can with his glorious voice?"
While the music of the future is occupying the greatest amount of space in the musical newspapers at present, thanks to the Russian Ballet and other interesting enterprises, the music of the past is not quite dead—not even old-fashioned Italian opera. A performance of Bellini's Sonnambula has been revived by the Metropolitan, chiefly as a vehicle for the latest coloratura soprano, Maria Barrientos. Barrientos comes triumphantly from La Scala, Milan, where she has for some time been a great favorite, and is Spanish by birth.
An old operatic favorite has passed away in Tom Karl. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, 1846, and after study in London and Italy was successful for many years in Italian opera. He came to this country with the Parepa-Rosa English Opera Co. in the early seventies, afterward making a pronounced hit as Ralph Rackstraw in H. M. S. Pinafore. He then formed the well-known light opera organization known as the Bostonians, with MacDonald and Barnabee as his partners, and Jessie Bartlett Davis, Eugene Cowles, Alice Nielsen and others as his star singers. Mr. Karl has been teaching in Rochester for many years; he is said to have had a repertoire of 150 operas and operettas.
The famous Wagnerian tenor, Albert Niemann, recently celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday.
Carmen Sylva, dowager Queen of Rumania, who died the other day, was the author of three opera librettos.
A new operetta by Oscar Straus, of Chocolate Soldier fame, was recently produced in Vienna. It is called Love's Magic.
Members of the Prussian Court Opera companies will receive the same salaries as before the war, reductions being no longer necessary.
The new opera house begun by the French at Lille has been completed by the German invaders, who opened it amid scenes of great enthusiasm, with performances of Der Freischütz and The Barber of Seville.
By way of celebrating the fiftieth birthday of Sibelius, Oscar Fried conducted in Berlin a performance of that composer's fourth symphony (in A minor). This is the first performance of that work in Germany.
Enrique Granados, the Spanish composer, was one of those lost in the tragic sinking of the channel steamer Sussex, another victim of the German undersea warfare on English shipping. Granados was returning from America after the production of his Goyescas at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
England has lost one of her finest musicians in Sir George Martin, organist of St. Paul's Cathedral since 1888. He was born in 1884 at Lambourne, Berkshire, and succeeded Stainer at St. Paul's in 1888. He is the composer of much excellent church music including a Te Deum sung on the steps of St. Paul's on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, an event which earned him his knighthood.
A choral work by Saint-Saëns, entitled The Promised Land, written for the Gloucester (England), Festival of 1913, has been given a first hearing in France at a Sunday concert in Paris. The audience was large and enthusiastic, and the occasion was a fresh triumph for the veteran composer, who directed the work.
Gabriele d'Annunzio, the Italian poet and collaborator with Mascagni, is reported to have been injured in his right eye in an aeroplane accident. He is attached to the aerial corps of the Italian army. In some measure he is responsible for the Italian entry into the war, as his rousing speeches did much to make the war popular with the Italian masses.
A noted German composer and musical educator has passed away in the person of Ivan Knorr, director of the Hoch Conservatory of Frankfurt. At one time he taught in the conservatory of Tcharkov, Russia, but for the last thirty-three years has been at Frankfurt. His compositions include three operas. He was born in 1853, and was educated at the Leipzig Conservatory.
A German officer, Dr. Hoeftmann, who has lost a hand in the war, gave a demonstration of the art of playing the violin with one hand recently at Koenigsberg. Having lost his right hand, he has invented an ingenious clamp that he attaches to his wrist, by means of which the bow can be held and controlled to some extent. He demonstrated the possibility of playing cantabile, but any attempts at detached bowing are out of the question.
Martial law in Germany at the present time obliges the artist to secure permission from the police before he can give a concert. Willy Burmeister received the following amusing permit at a concert given this season at Mayence: "A permit for Public Entertainment. Herr Willy Burmeister is hereby permitted to give a recital on December 11, 1915, at the Frankfurter Hof from 8 to 11 on the violin, but without the drum, small or big. The prescribed stamp duty has been raised and applied. This permit is to be shown at the district police station before the commencement of the entertainment. Only a musical program in consonance with the seriousness of the times is to be performed."
Torquay, England, is a seaside resort which boasts a good orchestra supported by municipal funds amounting to $20,000 a year. Certain economists of the city have urged that the orchestra should be disbanded during the war. It is gratifying to learn, however, that the Town Council voted by a large majority to maintain it. In the course of the debate it was urged that the orchestra is one of the finest assets and advertisements that the town has, and the maintenance of it at full strength is more than ever necessary now that continental spas are closed to English people and increasing attention is being given to home resorts. All this clearly indicates that, despite Zeppelins and submarines, the English have not yet lost the common sense for which they are famous. A good orchestra is an asset to any city, in peace or war time.
In France the discussion is already beginning as to what kind of music will dominate the French people after the war. Debussy has broached the subject in the Intransigeant, and seems in a measure to cry "Peccavi!" At least he confesses that his countrymen have been "faithless to their tradition," and urges a return to French folksong for inspiration. He says that no purely French tradition has existed since Rameau, for since his death "French composers have stopped cultivating their gardens and welcomed instead the traveling merchants of the whole world." Paris has unquestionably been the mecca of foreign composers from Lulli to Meyerbeer. It is on this account that Debussy laments "we adopted writing processes that are most contrary to our spirit, excesses of language by no means compatible with our thought. We tolerated the overcharges of orchestra, the torture of forms, the uncouth luxury and the shrill colors, and we were very nearly signing some more suspect naturalizations when the cannon claimed the word."
At Home
The right of a critic to say what he pleases is called seriously into question by the decision of the New York Court of Appeals in the case of Alexander Woolcott, dramatic critic to the New York Times, against Messrs. Shubert. The Court holds that the theatrical producers have the right to deny entrance to their theaters to any critic whose criticisms displease them, even when the critic pays for his seat. It is unlikely that theatrical managers, or concert impresarios would be foolish enough to use this power of refusal of admission, but it is not pleasant to think of what would happen if critics were admitted to dramatic and musical entertainments on condition that they made only favorable comment. However, this is not likely. It is obvious that such coercive methods of dealing with critics—supposing any self-respecting critics could be found who would submit to it—would inevitably react unfavorably upon the managers and impresarios.
The progressive Mississippi Music Teachers' Association has issued a little booklet telling its aims; which are, "The Elevation of the Standard of Music Teaching in Mississippi," "The Cultivation of a Fraternal Feeling Among Teachers," "The Cultivation and improvement of musical taste throughout the State." "The Encouragement of Mississippi composers and Performers." The second convention is scheduled for May 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th at Meridan, Miss. The president is Miss Mary L. Holam, of 801 Twenty-eighth Ave., Meridan. The membership fee is $1.00 a year.
Paderewski's one and only appearance in New York with an orchestra was made with the New York Symphony Orchestra in a program intended as a musical tribute to Poland. On this occasion he played a composition by the Polish virtuoso Sigismond Stojowski. This work was performed by the composer a year ago, and consists of a "Prologue, Scherzo and Variations." Paderewski played it with fine abandon. He also played the Schumann concerto with good effect. The same occasion was made an opportunity for the presentation of Elgar's recent composition, Polonia, written to commemorate Poland's incredible sufferings during the present devastating war. In this work three Polish themes are employed and magnificently worked out. An interesting passage occurs in the middle part with the portrayal of "two patriotic souls linked in musical communion." This passage consists of a quotation from Chopin's G minor Nocturne combined with one from Paderewski's Polish Fantasy.
Otto H. Kahn, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Opera Company, announced last week that the contract with Giulio Gatti-Casazza, general manager and impresario, has been extended another four years—to the end of May, 1920, to be precise. Gatti-Casazza came from the management of La Scala, Milan, to succeed Heinrich Conried. He is the son of an Italian Senator who had followed the flag of Garibaldi. His training, which included a period of study at the universities of Bologna and Ferrara, had little of music in it, for he graduated from the Italian Royal Naval Engineering School at Leghorn, and is entitled to rank as an engineering officer in the Italian Navy. His work at the Metropolitan has been a model of efficiency. Conducting so international an opera house as the Metropolitan is a difficult business at best; doing it while a war is on demands the diplomacy of a Macchiavelli. Not only did the Metropolitan artists have to be extricated from the various combatant countries when the war commenced, but they have had to be maintained in a condition of innocuous neutrality ever since—no easy matter!
Grand Opera for the people has always been more or less of a dream in America notwithstanding the splendid efforts of Col. Savage and the Aborn brothers. The prices charged have been for the most part regular theatre prices, and toward the end of his career as an operatic producer Col. Savage raised his prices appreciably as he raised the character of his productions. In Europe we hear of twenty-five cent and even ten-cent opera. The Editor of The Etude once heard a very acceptable operatic performance in Germany of one of the Wagner works for an admission price of twelve and one-half cents. In America this is inconceivable, but there are those who have a feeling that some kind of musical moving-picture entertainment will be evolved which will be available for the people at slight cost. It is said that several European composers of note have contemplated the possibilities of the film as a medium for their dramatic musical ideas just as Gabriele d'Annunzio created his astonishing film drama. Several moving-picture plays have been given in America with interesting orchestral accompaniments, notably The Birth of The Nation. It is now reported that Helen Hunt Jackson's novel Ramona has been "filmed" and will be presented with an elaborate musical accompaniment.
The Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Chicago, Samuel B. Allison, has put a number of percussion instruments including cymbals, drums, castanets, tambourines and triangles, on the supply list for the public schools for use in those schools ordained for mentally defective and backward children. "You would be surprised." he declared to a Musical America correspondent, "to find how much brighter and more receptive children are after they have been listening to the rhythm of percussion instruments. It gives them a sense of rhythm and order, and awakens their mentality. They learn much more quickly after their music, and go on with their regular school work with unusual enthusiasm. We hope to give each defective child some sort of instrument and we expect the results to be very noticeable."
SINFONIA, the musical fraternity founded in Boston in 1898 and having chapters in various parts of the country, announces its fourth annual prize competition. One hundred dollars in gold and an engraved certificate of honor goes to the winner. The composition must be a male chorus or a mixed chorus with organ or pianoforte accompaniment or both, performance to take not less than five minutes. The composer must be a male and an American citizen who has received the major part of his musical education in America. Members of the society are not permitted to participate. Further particulars may be obtained from C. S. Quinn, 632 Adams Ave., Scranton. The judges are Edgar Stillman Kelley, Frederick Converse and Horace Whitehouse.
Carl Pohlig, formerly conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has been appointed conductor of the Stuttgart Court Opera.
The drastic action of the British government in withdrawing the annual grant made to the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, has been modified in the case of the Dublin institution owing largely to the influence, it is said, of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. While both the London institutions are amply endowed by private funds, the Royal Irish Academy, it seems, is quite considerably dependent upon the government grant, small though it is—$1,500 a year.
Berlin is consistently carrying out its wartime practice of reviving the older musical classics, a curious result of this being a "first performance in Berlin" of one of Haydn's lesser known symphonies. It is in D major and is entitled Lamentation. It was composed in 1772 but was not printed until a complete edition of Haydn's works was published. It has been performed by the Royal Orchestra under Richard Strauss, and proved to be a characteristic work of the "father of the symphony." Nikisch, with the Philharmonic Society, revived Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony, with good effect, as this work is also somewhat strange to Berlin audiences of these days.
A story from the London Times tells how a group of English soldiers, digging a trench under heavy gunfire, dug up a grand piano at a place where a few days previously a French chateau had been. Despite the rain of shells, nothing would do but that the piano should be tried out then and there. It was out of tune and a little weak as to volume, but what mattered? it was something different from the customary day's work. Regardless of snipers, they stood up and gave an impromptu concert amid the roar and rattle of murderous explosives. Not only that, but they carefully built the trench all round the piano so that the instrument would be available when needed and comparatively safe from further harm.
In addition to Stanford's opera, The Critic, two other operas have been produced in London within a very brief space of time. These are Liza Lehmann's Everyman and Dr. Ethel Smyth's work, The Boatswain's Mate, based on a W. W. Jacobs story. Liza Lehmann is known in America for her delightful setting of excerpts from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam; Miss Smyth is less known in this country; her music is not known at all, but her name is familiar to those who have followed the doings of the London suffragettes, for she has lanquished (sic) in gaol for the "cause", and is the composer of the English suffragettes' rallying song.
Vienna has had no lack of music during the past season despite the ravages of war. No less than three symphony orchestras have been giving their regular concert-series, and there have been innumerable lesser musical events in addition to the opera. The three orchestras are the Philharmonic under Felix Weinbartner (sic), the Konzertverein under Ferdinan (sic) Loewe, and the Tonkünstlerverein under Oscar Nedbal. Among the novelties given at the orchestral concerts was a performance by the Philharmonic of a work by the celebrated one-armed pianist and diplomat, Count Geza Zichy, entitled Rakoczy's Death, in which the well known Rakoczy March theme figures prominently. This theme has been employed both by Liszt and Berlioz.

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