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FAMOUS MUSICIANS 

OF A 

WANDERING RACE 






Famous Musicians 

of a 




BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 
OF OUTSTANDING FIGURES 
OF JEWISH ORIGIN IN 
THE MUSICAL WORLD 

By 

GDAL SALESKI 




VITA HRKVK8 



NEW YORK 

BLOCK PUBLISHING COMPANY 

, 1927 

; i 



COPYRIGHT 1927 
BY GDAL SALESKI 

All rights reserved 



Hetoronue 



Printed in tue United States 

THE BARNES PRINTING Co., INC,, 

NRW YORK CJTY 



TO THE MEMORY OF 
MY FATHER. 

JOSEF SALESKI 



PREFACE 

The author wishes to make clear at the very beginning that the 
words Jew" and "Jewish" are not used in their religious or na 
tional sense. The method of approach is purely a racial one. He 
has isolated all these musicians into this one volume for the simple 
reason that all of them have in their veins that fire to which the 
Jewish prophets gave utterance in the time of Jerusalem's glory. 

He realizes that a number of those included in this volume, 
though reputed to be of Jewish origin, are now of a different faith, 
He is not concerned with their religion, past or present, but solely 
with their racial roots, as in the case of the Damrosch family. 
Dr. Leopold Damrosch, father of Walter J. and Frank H., was born 
of Jewish parents but later was baptized in the Christian faith* 

^ Although attempts at recording the rich contribution of cer 
tain members of the Jewish race to the world's arts and culture 
have been made before, no book concerning itself exclusively with 
musicians of Jewish origin has, to the author's knowledge, ever 
been written. And yet it would seem that a race which has given 
to the world so many outstanding musicians, including practically 
every great pianist of the nineteenth century and of the present 
one, with the exception of such figures as Liszt, Paderewski, and 
a;few others, certainly deserves a book to itself. The reader's con 
viction will strengthen itself on that subject when he glances 
through these pages and sees the imposing array of violinists 
conductors, composers, etc. The author takes courage from the 
tact that similar books which have been and still continue to be 
published have found their readers, and as a rule have had to be 
published in many editions. He consequently feels that in compil 
ing this volume he is filling a definite want. 

In any case, this book will, in part at least, be a distinct contri 
bution to the critico-biographical literature of music, inasmuch as 
certain names and facts will here appear between covers for the 
first time. These facts and anecdotes have been carefully collected 
during the author's travels as soloist and as member of several 
large orchestral organizations of the world, either by direct con 
tact with the personality described, or as first-hand information 
from members of the family, associating artists, etc, 

For the biographies of musicians now dead, the author used as 
a basis the newest and most reliable sources. 

In this book the author lays no claims to being exhaustive. For 
the purpose of this volume, he has concerned himself only with out- 



viii Preface 

standing musicians. It is a pity that a more comprehensive vol 
ume, including a great many other names that could be classified 
under this heading, could not, for practical reasons, bo made. 

The circumstances leading up to the writing of this book are in 
themselves not devoid of interest. The author began his musical 
career in Russia and Western Europe, where he was a fellow-stu 
dent with most of these Jewish young men whose art has since 
taken the world by storm, at a time when in the Bohemian and 
intellectual Russian- Jewish circles there blossomed forth a new 
and powerful racial consciousness. That consciousness led to the 
establishment of certain aims, the principal one of which was that 
the composer-musician of Jewish origin could achieve much greater 
results in his work if he were to identify himself more closely with 
the genius of his race. The author has carried on the work of his 
companions by collecting the necessary data for the compilation of 
this volume. Such a lexicon cannot but serve as a guide and inspira 
tion to the numerous young Jewish musicians of our day, and to 
those yet to come. 

Nearly three-quarters of a century has passed since the poet 
and composer Richard Wagner wrote his brochure /wffl/Vwt in 
Music. This volume was undoubtedly prompted by his jealousy 
of the popular successes of Meyerbeer, Halevy and others*. Facts 
have since disproved all his accusations, and by the irony of fate, 
some of his staunchest champions then and since have been Jews. 
For example, it was Taussig who raised the three hundred thousand 
thalers for the erection of Bayreuth Temple, and Leopold Dam- 
rosch has battled in Wagner's cause in America against appar 
ently insurmountable odds. Wagner in his brochure wanted to 
prove that the Jewish composers have impregnated muaie with 
their Judaic spirit (sic), and that their compositions atand on a 
lower plane than those of the pure-blooded Aryans, the same 
Aryan (rather Nordic) myth that has since come to the front in 
America. 

There is only one grain of truth in Wagner's accusation* Jew 
ish musicians have undoubtedly contributed their mite to the 
world's music. Musicians of Jewish origin express themaelvea 
just as harmoniously and melodiously as the great majority of their 
Aryan brothers. 

Without attempting to give the Jews priority in creative musk, 
such works as Mendelssohn's "Elijah" can well stand alongside of 
Handel's and Bach's best. But when we come to the field of inter 
pretative music, one is forced to recognize that it is the Jewish 
musicians who excel both in numbers and in quality. 

This volume has been undertaken in face of the fact that the 
contribution of the Jews to the progress of music haa been mini 
mized. At the same time the author is fully aware that in the 



Preface ix 

realm of music there are no artificial racial and religious divisions. 
in this realm there reigns only talent and genius, and here there 
exists no monopoly by individual races or nationalities, as some 
would have us believe. 

It is the author's sincere wish that this book be graciously ac 
cepted not alone by the Jewish reader, but by his Christian brother 
as well, since, as we have already said, it is not merely a specialized 
volume, but brings forward much that is new and of general inter 
est and value* 

The author sincerely hopes that omissions and uncertainties 
which have inevitably occurred here will be rectified in a future 
edition. 

In conclusion, the author wishes to express his deep indebted 
ness to the main sources wherefrom he drew his material, Includ 
ing the managers of the younger generation of artists, who have 
furnished him with valuable data; to the relatives, parents and 
tnends of the artists from whom the author has obtained many 
personal anecdotes; to the artists themselves, with whom he 
lias had many interesting and memorable interviews; to Mr 
Maurice Alterman and Miss Celia Krieger, who have given so much 
of their time and energy to translating, copying and preparing this 
volume and In particular to his dear friends, Emanuel Goldman, 
Hymie Rosa, Barney Anderson and Louis Meyer, for their aid in 
publishing this book. 




New York City. September, 1927, 



CONTENTS 



COMPOSERS PAGB 

AOHRON, JOSEPH 1 

BKNDIX, VICTOR K MANUEL 2 

BINDER, ABRAHAM WOLF 10 

HIBKT, GEORGE , . , , 3 

BLOCK, KRNKHT 5 

OH, MAX * . . , . 9 

fc . , 10 

('ABTRLNUOVO-TEDKHCO, MARIO... 00 

COPLAND, AARON 11 

OOWKN, SIR FREDERICK H.. , * . , , 12 

DAVID, FERDINAND 17 

IHJKAS, PAUL , 1 14 

ENGEL, JULIUS 15 

FALL, LEO 10 

FBINBERG, SAMUEL , * , . . 18 

FRANCHETTI, BARON ALBERTO,.. 21 

FRIML, RUDOLPH ..*.., 20 

GEDALGE, ANDRE . . , . 23 

GERNSHEIM, FREDERICK ...,,. 24 

GERSHWIN, GBORGB , . , , 25 

GNI&B8IN, MICHAEL FABIONOVITCH 26 

GOLDPADEN, ABRAHAM 27 

GOLDMARK, KARL . , . . 20 

GOLDMARK, RUBIN ......*.,... 2B 

Louis ....,.,,*..* 22 

, JACQUES KLLI ** * Bl 

HILLER, FERDINAND ,..',,...... 2S 

JACOBI, FRI^BRICK ..,..*..*,*. 16 

JADASSOHN, SOLOMON 18 

KALMAN, EMEEICH 32 

KORNOOLD, ERICH WOLFGANG.,. BS 

KRIIYN, ALEXANDER ABRAMOVITCH 86 

LEIWANDOWBKI, Louis 60 

MAHLIE, GUSTAV 38 

MENDELSSOHN, ARNOLD , 48 

MUN0&LSS0HN-BARTH0L0Y, FELIX 45 

, GlACOMO ,.......,. 53 

D, DARIUS ............. 49 

Mosus MICHAIL 68 

MOSCHIL1S, IONAT2 ..,,,*...** 66 

MOSSSKOWSKY, MORITZ 4S 

OCHS, Simmiro 67 



PAGE 

POLPOWSKI, JEAN PAUL 68 

RAVEL, MAXJRICE 59 

ROGERS, BERNARD 65 

ROM BERG, SlGMUNP 63 

ROSOVSKY, SOLOMON 62 

RUBINSTEIN, ANTON 66 

"RUSSIAN-JEWISH" SCHOOL OF 

COMPOSERS, THE YOUNG 97 

SAINT-SAENS, GAMILLE '. . 70 

SAMINSKY, LAZARK , . 74 

SCHAEFER, JACOB 77 

SCHONBERG, ARNOLD 78 

STEINBERG, MAXIMILIAN ..,... 85 

STRAUSS, OSCAR 84 

SULZEJR, SOLOMON 86 

TANBMAN, ALEXANDER 88 

VON ZEMLINSKY, ALEXANDER . . 95 

WEIL, KURT 92 

WEINBERG, JAKOB 98 

WEINER, LEO 87 

WBLLEBZ, EGON 91 

WUPRIK, ALEXANDER 92 

ZHITOMIRSKY, ALEXANDER 94 

ZUGCA, MANNA 96 

CONDUCTORS 

ALTSCHULER, MODEST * 101 

BLECH, LEO , 102 

BODANZKY, ARTUR 108 

COLONNE, E00UARD JUDAS 106 

COOPER, EMIL .,,....,,.. 105 

DAMROSCH, FRANK HEINO 110 

DAMROSCH, LEOPOLD 107 

DAMROSCH, WALTER JOHANNES.* Ill 

DEBSOPF, FELIX OTTO.. 101 

DOBROWEN, ISSAI f 117 

FINSTON, NATHANIEL 120 

FlTELBERG, GREGORY , . , 119 

FRIED, OSCAR * 118 

GOLDMAN, EDWIN FRANKO 122 

GOLSCHMANN, VLADIMIR . t . t 123 



Xll 



Contents 



PAGE 

GOODMAN, ALFRED 121 

HASSELMANS, Louis 124 

HELLER, HERMAN 461 

HERTZ, ALFRED 460 

HOLLAENDER, ALEXIS 125 

JACCHIA, AGIDE 1 25 

KLEMPERER, OTTO 127 

KOLAR, VICTOR 126 

KOUSSKVITXKY, SERGE 1*U 

LEVY, HERMANN 130 

Low, LEO 135 

MBNDOXA, DAVID . ,. 136 

MONTEUX, PIERRE 137 

PASOWSKY, AARON 141) 

POLACCO, GIORGIO 138 

RAPEE, ERNO 143 

REINER, FRITZ 141 

RlESENFELI), HUGO . , 140 

RONALD, SIR LANDON 144 

ROTH WELL, WALTER HENRY 147 

SCHINDLER, KURT 150 

SHAVITCH, VLADIMIR 153 

SHTEIMAN, MISCHA 163 

SHTEINBERG, LJOV , 156 

SMALLENS, ALEXANDER .... 151 

SOKOLOFF, NIKOLAI 157 

STERN, JULIUS 155 

STOPAK, JOSEPH . . 166 

STRANSKY, JOSEPH 152 

TALBOT, IRVIN < . , , 160 

TAUBE, MICHAEL 159 

VOLPE, ARNOLD 463 

WAGH ALTER, IGNAX 166 

WALTER, BRUNO 1 62 

WEINER, LAZAR 161 

ZILBERTS, SAVEL 165 

ZURO, JOSIAH 164 

VIOLINISTS 

AUER, LEOPOLD ,...,...,.*.,, 169 

BACHMANN, ALBERTO ABRAHAM, 173 

BENDIX, MAX . . . . , 176 

BLINDER, NAUM , , 174 

BLOCK, ALEXANDER 173 

BRODSKY, ADOLPH 175 

BROWN, EDDY 177 

BTJRGIN, RICHARD 178 

DUSHKIN, SAMUEL , , . 170 

EPLW, Louis 187 



PAGE 

ELM AN, MIKCHA 180 

EUNST, HEINRICH WILIIKLM IH6 

FLESOH, CAUL 189 

FRADKIN, FREDERIC liU 

FRANKO, NAHAN 1B8 

FRANKO, SAM 188 

GARDNER, SAMUEI Ii)i5 

(CORDON, JACQUEH 104 

GKRGOROVITHOH, ("HARLEH 103 

(JRU'N, JAKOB 105 

GU83CKOFF, MlSHKL 106 

HARM ATI, SANMW 203 

HAKTMANN, ARTHUR , .,,. 106 

HAUSER, MIHCA * . 204 

HHIFBTTJ, JAHCHA 108 

HOCHBTON, DAVID 107 

IlOLLABNnER, GUttTAV * . . . 205 

HUBERMAN, BRONISI^AW 206 

JACOBSKN, SASCHA , . , , , 208 

JOACHIM, JOHK 209 

KOCHANBKI, PAUL 211 

KRKIHLBR, FRIT/ * 21 ft 

KROLL, WILLIAM 210 

LAUB, FKRDINAND 217 

LOTTO, IBIDORK , 216 

LUKOBHUTft, LEA * 238 

MANNKS, DAVID ..,,,.. 221 

MENUHIN, YBHUIH ,,,...., .210, 456 

MlHOHAKOFF, MlHCHA .......... 222 

MOLDAVAN, NICOLAS , , . 223 

MORINI, KRIKA . , ,,,,....., 224 

MOBBBL, MAX 25f> 

NACHK, TIVAIKJR * ,,,,,,, 227 

PARTOH, BTKPHAN ... 2S2 

PBTBOHNIKOFF, ALEXANDER .... 220 

PlABTRO-BOIUBHOFF, JOHBF ...,, 288 
FlABTRO, MlBHEL 2*10 

PILFER, MAXIMILIAN .,,,,,,* 2B4 
PonAKm, MYRON ..,....,..,, 2S5 

POLK, RUDOLPH ,,,.,,. 2S7 

PREHB, MICHAEL . , , 2S6 

RAPFOLDI, EDOUARD 288 

REMENYI, EDOUARD ,,...,. 242 

RoBJB f ARNOLD , * ...,.,. 244 

ROSBM, MAX ,,,,... .,... 2B9 

RUBINBTEIN, EHNA 240 

RAMBTiNr, LEON * * 247 

SASLAVSKY, ALEXANDER ,....,,. 247 

SCHKOLWK, ILYA ^,*,. 246 



Contents 



Xlll 



PACE 

SCHKOLNIK, JENNY 255 

iScHMULLER, ALEXANDER 248 

SEIDEL, TOSCHA , 251 

SINGER, EDUARD 254 

SPIVAKQWSKX, TOSSY 238 

STASSEVITCH, PAUL 245 

SZIGETI, JOSEPH 249 

TAS, HELEN TESCHNER 256 

WEISBORD, MISCHA 257 

WIENIAWSKI, HENRY 258 

&EITLIN, LJEF . , , , , 265 

2UMBALIST, EFREM 260 

ZIMMERMAN, Louis 264 

ZUCCARWI, OSCAR . . . 259 

'CELLISTS 

BBLOUSSOFF, EVSEI , , 269 

DAVIDOPF, CARL , , , 270 

FBUERMANN, EMANUEL 271 

GARBOUSOVA, RAYA 273 

GBRARDY, JEAN 274 

GRUNFELD, HBINRICH . . 275 

HAMBOURG, BORIS 276 

JACOBS, EDUARD 272 

LOEVIINSOHN, MARIX . , , . . 276 

MALKIN, JOSEPH 277 

MOSSBL, ISAAC 278 

PEN HA, MICHAEL 278 

PlATIGORSKY, GREGOK , 279 

PoppfcK, DAVID 281 

PRESS, JOSEPH 280 

SAKOM, JACOB . , , , 288 

STUTBCHEWSKY, JOACHIM 2B2 

VAN LIER, JACQUES * , . . . 283 

WELLERSON, MILA .,...,... 284 

PIANISTS 

ACHRON, ISIDOR , , 289 

ADLER, CJUARENCE ,.,.,. 289 

ASHMAN, GREGORY , 290 

BAUEE, HAROLD ...., 291 

BAY, EMANUEL , 290 

BtOOMHEtD-ZEISLER, FANNY . . . 294 

BOROWBKY, ALEXANDER ,.,*.* 295 

BUBONI, FERRUCCXO BENVENUTO . 299 

CHERKASSKY, SHURA B02 

CHOT2INOFF, SAMUEL 304 

DROUCKER, SANDRA 305 



PAGE 

EPSTEIN, RICHARD 305 

FISCHHOFF, ROBERT 309 

FRIEDHBIM, ARTHUR 306 

FRIEDMAN, IGNAZ 307 

GABRILOWITSCH, OSSIP 310 

GALSTON, GOTTFRIED 313 

GODOWSKY, LEOPOLD 314 

GOLDENWEISER, ALEXANDER 314 

GOLDSMIDT, OTTO 321 

GRADOVA, GITTA 319 

GR\JNFELD, ALFRED 321 

GUNXBURG, MARK 323 

HAMBOURG, MARK 323 

HBRZ, HBINRICH (HENRI) 322 

HESS, MYRA 324 

HILSBERG, IGNACE 326 

-HOROWITZ, VLADIMIR 325 

ISSEKLIS, JULIUS 327 

JONAS, ALBERTO 328 

JOSEFFY, RAFAEI 330 

KAUFMAN, HARRY 331 

KREUTZER, LEONID 332 

LAMBERT, ALEXANDER 333 

LANDOWSKA, WANDA 335 

LERNER, TINA 336 

LEVITOKI, MISCHA 338 

LEVY, HBNXQT 342 

LHBVINNE, JOSEF 343 

LIEBLING, GEORGE 347 

MEEO, YOLANDA 349 

MIROVITCH, ALFRED 356 

MOISEIVITSCH, BENNO ., 351 

MliNZ, MlECZYSLAW 354 

ORNSTBIN, LEO 357 

PACHMANN, VLADIMIR DE 367 

POUI&HNQFF, LEFF 373 

RABINOWITSCH, MAX * 374 

EBISENBBRG, NAOIA 380 

ROSENTHAL, MAURYCX (MORIT2) 375 

RUBINSTEIN, ARTHUR 381 

RUBINSTEIN, BERYL 377 

RUBINSTEIN, NICHOLAI 378 

SAMUEL, HAROLD 382 

SAPERTON (SAPERSTEIN), DAVID. 381 

SAUBR, EMIL 384 

SCHNABBL, ARTHUR 385 

SCHNITZER, GERMAINE 386 

SCHOR, DAVID 384 

SKLAREVSKI, ALEXANDER ....... 388 



XIV 



Contents 



PAGE 

SOKOLSKY-FREZD, SARA 391 

SZRETER, KAROL 387 

TAUSIG, KARI 389 

WENGEROVA, ISABELLA 390 

WIENIAWSKI, JOSEPH 297 

SINGERS 

BLOCK, MAX 395 

BRASLAU, SOPHIE 395 

BALM ORES, CHARLES 397 

DALOSSY, ELLEN 401 

DEMUTH, LEOPOLD 400 

GABOR, ARNOLD 405 

GLUCK, ALMA 404 

GUILFORD, NANETTE 402 

HENSCHEL, ISIDOR GEORG (Sin 

GEORGE) 406 

JADLOWKER, HERMANN 407 

KALISCH, PAUL , 408 

KIPNIS, ALEXANDER ...... 409 

KREMER, ISA 411 

KURZ, SELMA ... 401 

LASALLE, JEAN Louis 418 

LASHANSKA, HULPA 412 

LEHMANN, LILLI , . . 414 

LUCCA, PAULINE 413 



PACE 

MEITSCHIK, ANNA 417 

PASTA, GIUDITTA NEGRI 41^ 

RAISA, ROSA , 423 

RAPPOLD, MARIK . 42t> 

RENAUD, MAURICE 420 

RIMINI, GXACOMO 422 

SABNGKR, OSCAR 428 

SAMOILOFF, LAKAR S 430 

SOHUMANN-HEINK, ERNESTINE. . 431 
SCHWARX, JOSEPH . , 429 

SlBIRIAKOFF, JjJOW 42B 

SLOBODSKAYA, ODA 427 

SONTHEIM, HKINRICH 43(5 

STRAKOSCH, MAtnmiK 437 

TARTAKOFF, JOACHIM 438 

WEIL, HERMANN 441 

WOLFE, JAMES 439 

OTHER INSTRUMENTALISTS 

THE CHERNIAVHKY TRIO 447 

BELLISON, SIMEON 445 

GUSIKOFF, MIKHAIL JOSEPH,*,. 449 

A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 

GDAL SAJLESKI 451 



COMPOSERS 



\^\.Ma. A 3. fcuw. 

s 
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o 



JOSEPH ACHRON 




JOSEPH ACHRON, who is considered one of the moat significant com 
posers in 1he fiolci of Jewish music, was born on May 1, 1886, in 
the small town of Losdseje (Government of Suvalki), Russia. His 

father was a Jewish merchant in that 
community. 

Even at the age of two, little Joseph 
showed a remarkable aptitude for music, 
His father presented him with a violin of 
his own making and taught him the rudi 
ments of music. When he was five, his 
family moved to Warsaw, where he began 
taking regular violin lessons, first with 
his father, and later under Mikhalovitach. 
He was not yet seven when he composed 
his first violin piece. A year later he 
appeared at a benefit concert given by 
Counts PuuMvilov and Tyssskxewiez. A 
concert tour through Russia was the im 
mediate result of this first appearance. 

He continued studying the violin, under Professor Lotto from 
1894-90. In 1011, Achron, together with Koaowsky, Gniessin, 
Tomars Krcin, and ML Milner, founded the Society for Hebrew 
Folk Music in Petrograd, From 1913 to 1916, Achrou was at the 
head of the master classes in violin and chamber music at the 
Boyal Conservatory in Kharkov. His career as teacher and com 
poser was interrupted for one and one-half years when he was 
drafted into the Russian Army* He reached the peak of his career 
as composer in 1918 when his sonata for violin and piano appeared. 
Igor Gliebov, the famous Russian critic, said of Achron: 
"Ho is a lyric composer. He builds vibrating forms and passionate 
pictures of dramatic intensity. He awakens the young musician's 
interest by his individualistic attainments in polyphonic music, 
which he unites with an effective and expressive idiom. His music 
is emotionally dynamic, a quality that is lacking in most of the other 
lyric composers, 1 have seldom met with such mastery as that 
shown In his second violin sonata/' 

It Is also of interest to note what was said of him by two other 
known critics, Sabaneyeff of Moscow and Karatygin of Petrograd, 
in which two cities his second violin sonata and other works were 
performed in November, 1922, arousing great interest. 

Karatygin says ; "As violinist and composer of aerious cham 
ber music, Spohr was a great exception (excluding, of course, 

l 



2 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Corelli and Tartini). The other exception is Achron. Achron the 
violinist is a worthy rival of Achron the composer." 

Sabaneyeff says : "I consider Achron a mature and significant 
musician in his masterful artistry. He follows simultaneously two 
paths. He works on Jewish folk lore, enriching the Jewish reper 
toire with brilliant and individualistic compositions, and he writes 
significant music that has nothing of the Jewish tonality. In his 
latter period the two paths meet." 

The famous historian E. Braudo says of him: "As a^ creator 
and interpreter Achron occupies a special place in our musical life. 
His art is deep and concentrated." 

During 1922-1924 Achron lived in Berlin, making occasional 
trips to Egypt, Palestine and other countries. He moved to New 
York, where he is now living, in January, 1925. 

Achron's opuses of independent works number up to sixty at 
this time, but he also made a similar number of arrangements of 
Jewish themes. Of particular interest is his incidental music, 
written for orchestra and chorus, to the dramatic works of Maeter 
linck, Perez, Roche, and others. These were performed by the 
Moscow Kamerny Theatre. Of great importance^ are also his 
works for orchestra, choruses, string quartet, two sonatas, four 
suites, and smaller pieces for violin and orchestra (or piano), 
'cello compositions, and songs. 

In December, 1925, his works were performed in New York by 
the Stringwood ensemble and the Stony-Point Ensemble, at special 
concerts. 

Achron's works are published by the Universal, Juwal Verlag 
(Berlin, Palestine), Belaieff, Schirmer, Fischer, Russian Musical 
Edition, Zimmerman and Jurgenson. 

VICTOR EMANUEL BENDIX 

ONE OF the most important Danish composers, pianists and teachers 
of the past twenty-five years is Victor Emanuel Bendix, who was 
born on May 17, 1851, in Denmark. He was a pupil at the Royal 
Conservatory of Copenhagen, and studied under Niels and W. Gade. 

Bendix belongs to the school of Neo-Romantics. He has written 
four symphonies, a concerto for piano and orchestra, a piano trio, 
and a series of songs and romanzas of great individuality. Some 
of his works have attained a place in the international repertory. 

He was conductor of the People's Concerts, the Philharmonic 
Concerts (1879-91), and the Danish Concert Society, from 1907 
to 1910. 

This illustrious musician, who died on January 5, 1926, was 
lamented as one of Scandinavia's most loved conductors, par 
ticularly of choral works. 



Composers 




GEORGE BIZET 

IN THE new French School, Bizet occupies a unique place. He was 
an innovator, inasmuch as his problem was to paint character by 
means of musical sounds and to bring about effects through tense 

dramatic situations. The famous com 
poser of "Carmen" and "Jamilet" was 
born on October 25, 1838, in Paris, This 
unusual child could read notes at the age 
of four. He studied at the Paris Con 
servatory, under the guidance of Mar- 
montellet, Halevy and Zimmerman, When 
the latter could not, for some reason, give 
the boy his lesson, his place was taken by 
his famous son-in-law, Charles Gounod. 
In 1857 Bizet received the Prix de 
Rome, but even previous to this he re 
ceived the first prize at the competition 
arranged by Jaques Offenbach for his 
operetta, "Le Docteur Miracle/' After 
this Bizet undertook a journey through Italy for the purpose of 
studying. Upon his return he succeeded in staging his "Pearl 
Fishers" at the Theatre Lyrique, where it was indifferently re 
ceived. This did not discourage the composer. After a short in 
terval there appeared his incidental music to Daudet's drama, 
"L'ArloHienne." In 1825 he appeared with his famous "Carmen/' 
which, at the beginning unsuccessful in France, was very cordially 
received in other countries. 

Bizet's music has retained to this clay its beauty, originality and 
freshness. Every note sounds brilliant and alluring. The pathetie 
scenes have not lost any of their effectiveness, and the lively parts 
still sparkle with good humor and wit Not appreciated, even mis 
understood at first, "Carmen" brought painful disillusion to its 
composer. Its unique value was not recognized to the fullest and 
most enthusiastic extent till later. Today it is not only one of the 
most brilliant among the operatic jewels of France, but one of the 
most popular operas of the world's operatic repertoire. 

Bizet succumbed to a fatal illness three months after the pre 
miere of his "Carmen/' The assumption that he died in conse 
quence of the "failure" of "Carmen" is incorrect. The unfortunate 
composer had been in ill-health for a long time; he was the victim 
of severe throat trouble, and his heart was subject to weak spells. 
He died when he was only thirty-six. 

To Halevy, who was, by the way, his real teacher, Bizet was 
passionately attached. He even finished Halevy's three-act Biblical 
opera, **N0ah." On July 3, 1860, Bizet married Genevieve Halevy, 



4 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

the beautiful daughter of his teacher. To glimp.se the true nobility 
of Bizet's soul, we quote an excerpt from his letter to Halevy, writ 
ten during the Franco-Pruaaian war : 

"Our poor philosophy and dream of the eternal world of the 
brotherhood of man, and the society of men! . * . Instead of all 
this tears, blood, and numberless crimes ... I well remember 
that I am a Frenchman, but I cannot forget that I am al<> & 
Man. 

In 1867 he expressed his views on criticism and the significance 
of music, thus: "We have all kinds of music: music of the past, 
present and future. For me there exists only two kinds of music- 
good and bad. Do not we find genius in all lands and times? The 
true and the beautiful never dies ! 

"The poet, painter and musician put all the wealth of their 
spirits, all that is in their souls, into the work they are doing. 
And what do we do? Instead of being delighted and ennobled, we 
inquire . . . about his passport; we gather information about his 
manners, connections and his artistic past. Thia is not criticism, 
this is police methods. The artist has no name, no nationality; 
he possesses inspiration, or he possesses it not; he is a genius, or 
he is not From a great artist we cannot demand those qualities 
which he does not possess, but we must appreciate that he hast" 

It is worthy of note that the ballet music for the last act of 
"Carmen^' was after his death borrowed from his "L'Arlesienne." 
In the original score there was no ballet music in the place where 
it is now customary to play it in the last act 

Most of the attacks of his early critics were mainly directed 
against his "unlimited admiration and imitation of Wagner/ 1 Poor 
Bizet! If he could have known that Nietesche, the great philoso 
pher who became Wagner's bitterest adversary after having been 
one of his most devoted friends and admirers, pointed later to 
"Carmen" as a model of clearness and dramatic naturalness, along 
side of Wagner's "complicated and sophisticated core"t Other 
crities accused Bizet of using Spanish popular melodies for his 
opera. It is true that he made use of a Cuban melody for his 
Habanera" and of a popular Spanish tune for the "Seguidllla," 
which probably Sarasate, the great violin virtuoso and Bizet'8 
classmate and friend, had called to his attention. 

A year or so previous to this writing, Nemirovitch-Dantschenko, 
a director of the Moscow Art Theatre Music Studio, presented 
* if]?. 8 V score in a somewha t revised version, under the name 
of Carmencita and the Soldier." This gifted director has worked 
miracles m the new staging of this popular work. The music in 
this version by Dantschenko has not been tampered with; the only 
revisions made were in the libretto, such as the substitution of the 
Toreador by the Matador Lucas and the entire elimination of the 



Composers 



character Micaela, while Instead of the fortune-telling by cards, a 
candle is used. The libretto written by Meilhac and Halevy on 
Heritage's story was revised for the Moscow Art Music Studios by 
Constantin Lipskeroff. 

^ Bizet's memory is perpetuated by monuments, and he is now 
hailed as one of the greatest musical geniuses France has ever pro 
duced. His "Carmen" was a "trionfo," but poor Bizet only tasted 
of the "lamento" ! 



ERNEST BLOGH 

ERNEST BLOCK is one of the master musicians of our time. No less 
an authority and critic than Remain Holland said about his "Sym 
phony in sharp minor" that it is one of the most important works 

of the modern school. 

Born in Geneva on July 24, 1870, of 
Jewish parents, he studied from 1894 
to 1896 under Jacques Dalcroze. From 
1896 to 1899 he was a pupil of Ysaye and 
Rassl in Brussels, and from 1899 to 1900 
he studied under Ivan Knor in Frankfort, 
Returning to Geneva in 1904, he lectured 
in that city from 1911 to 1915 at the Con 
servatoire. From 1916 he was teacher 
of composition at the Mannes School in 
New York. 

He conducted his orchestral works 
in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago^ New 
York, St. Paul, Minneapolis, St. Louis, 
San Francisco, and Switzerland, and was everywhere recognized 
as one of the greatest composers of our day. One of the greatest 
prizes in the United States, the so-called "Coolidge Prize" (Berk 
shire), was awarded him in 1919. 

Hin "Suite for Viola and Piano" was performed in Pittsfield, 
Massachusetts, by Luis Bailly and Harold Bauer. It was also played 
in Boston by the Flonzaley Quartet on March 11, 1920, and then 
performed in a viola and orchestra arrangement by the New York 
Symphony Orchestra on November 5, 1920. 

In regard to the views of the composer on Jews as creators in 
music, we take recourse to his own words, pronounced in 1917 : 

"Nationalism is not essential in music, but I think that racial 
consciousness is* The two things are not the same, and I think that 
is where many composers get confused about the real issue. A man 
not have tQ label a composition 'American 1 or 'Germaif or 




6 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Italian/ but he has to be American, German or Italian, or even 
Jewish, at the bottom of his heart if he expects to produce any real 
music. I, for instance, am a Jew, and I aspire to write Jewish 
music, not for the sake of self-advertisement, but because I am sure 
that this is the only way in which I can produce music of vitality 
and significance if I can do such a thing at all! 

"I believe those pages of my own in which I am at my best are 
those in which I am most unmistakably racial, but the racial quality 
is not only in folk-themes ; it is in myself ! If not folk-themes, you 
might ask, "then what would be the sign of Jewish music?" Well, 
- 1 admit that scientific analysis of what constitutes the racial ele 
ment in music is difficult. But it would be unscientific to deny the 
existence of such elements. Racial feeling is certainly a quality of 
all great music, which must be an essential expression of the people 
as well as the individual. Does anyone think he is only himself? 
Far from it. He is thousands of his ancestors. If he writes as he 
feels, no matter how exceptional his point of view, his expression 
will be basically that of his forefathers. I think the principal 
reason that Jewish composers have never as yet attained the first 
rank in music composition is that, consciously or unconsciously 
through fear or lack of self-knowledge, they fail to proclaim them 
selves in their art/' And it is true. The Jew have never enjoyed 
a specific system of musical training, such as exists in nearly all 
countries of the world. The Jews of each country have been sub 
jected to the influences of that country and all they have in common 
is the music of the Synagogue. A Jewish student's training in a 
conservatory of Berlin, Paris or in the music-schools of London or 
America, would be moulded much more by the influences of Ger 
many, France or England than by those of his race. 

Ernest Bloch's opera "Macbeth" was the most discussed 
premiere of the season, at its reception in Paris in 1910. The 
critical camps were divided. Lalo, however, was very enthusiastic, 
and what gave Bloch most pleasure was the fact that Romain 
Holland was so much interested in the score that he made a long 
journey to see Bloch in Geneva and encourage him to continue his 
career. Encouragement, at that time, the composer sadly needed. 
He had built much on the possible success of his opera, for a life 
full of hardship had almost persuaded him that it would be wiser 
to attempt making a living at other things than music, and com 
pose for the joy of it, provided there were any time left over. It 
is a great composer who can keep from falling into the net of his 
own success and never rise again. 

Bloch is really a prolific composer. His chief works are as fol 
lows: Symphonic poem, "Vivre- Aimer" (1900) ; Symphony in C 
sharp minor (1901-02) ; Lyric drama, "Macbeth" (1904) ; Or 
chestral poem "Hiver-Printemps" (1904) ; "Poemes d'Automne," 
for voice and orchestra (1906) ; "Concerto Grosso," for string or- 



Composers 



ehewtra with piano obligato (1924-25) ; Symphony "Israel" (1913- 
16) ; Hebraic Rhapsody "Schelomo" (1916), produced for the first 
time in New York on May 3, 1917, by Hans Kindler, 'cellist; 
"Orientale" for full orchestra and the opera "Jezebel" (1917) ; two 
"Psalmes" for soprano and orchestra, and one "Psalrne" for 
baritone. 

Of particular interest are some of his "Pictures of Chassidic 
Life" for piano, and the "Baal Schem" for violin. The latter was 
performed by B. Huberman in New York on March 21, 1924. 
Since then it has been included in the repertory of nearly all great 
violinists. 

Leigh Henry, the famous English critic, wrote of Bloch in the 
London Musical Standard on August 8, 1925, as follows: 

"Today, in musics however, one witnesses a recrudescence of He 
brew impulse, in varying degrees Hebraic in expression. It is the 
typical Hebraic asceticism, the brooding philosophy and visionari- 
ness of the Book of Genesis, of the sterner prophets which, in spite 
of overlaying German philosophic influences, determines the bent 
of his inspiration and expression. Similarly Hebraic is the sys 
tematic, almost ritualistic, constructive attitude to new formulae, 
the immutable logic and the acrid humor of Milhaud. 

"If one accepts the classic definitions of opposed Hebraic and 
Hellenic thought, then Bloch is unquestionably the most Hebraic 
composer in the world. If similes loaned from one art to another 
are ever justifiable, then Bloch is par excellence the Isaiah of mod 
ern music. His fierce intensity, his harsh asceticism, his almost 
dogmatic exposition of stark modern form, his relentless, almost 
surgical cutting away of all emotional or sentimental emanations 
which might obscure the main hard imagery of a seer-like vision ; 
these mark the typical Semitic intellectualism which, in its extreme 
limits of religious fervor, philosophic thought, and systematic or- 
jrattiz;ation, invariably carries with it something near the fanatical. 
Bloch's is essentially the tragic muse of Hebrew spiritual expres 
sion, the war between an intensity of spirit and physique which 
has laid the foundations of the age-long conception of the attain 
ment of beatitude through pain. Even the lyricism of Bloch is that 
of a beauty sensed through poignancy , not naive joy." 

His symphony "Israel" was criticised in the New York Times, 
October 30, 1926, by Olin Downes, who said: 

"Very few composers are writing music that has vitality, sin 
cerity and significance* One of these very few is Ernest Bloch. 
Yesterday afternoon in Carnegie Hall the Philharmonic Society, 
repeating the program of the evening previous, played his 'Israel' 
Symphony- the first performance of this work which has been 
given in America since it was produced as a novelty by Artur 
Bodanzky in 1917, 



8 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

"The symphony is great music. How it compares with other 
compositions of Bloch is another matter, not to be determined after 
a single hearing, and without preparatory .study of the score. It 
date of composition coincides roughly with tho.se of the works of 
Bloch's early maturity, such as the Toemen Juives/ and the mag 
nificent settings of three of the Psalms for solo voice and orchestra. 
The Bloch of the Psalms, especially, is heard in the music played 
yesterday. The proportions and details of the symphony, of which 
but one movement exists, are not easy to grasp at once; the work 
may be found to be episodic and a little less concise, a little, less cer 
tain in its development, than other of Bloch's compositions. But 
that is of secondary importance today. The first thing in that the 
music is superbly conceived, that it quivers with life, that its per 
vading grandeur and sweep are like cleansing wind when it is com 
pared with most of the anemic or neurotic brain-stuff of today* 

"The Israel 1 symphony was conceived in two parts the first 
part lamentation, supplication, frenzy, prophecy, and vision of the 
promised land. The second was to be the triumph of Israel, but 
the composer has stated, for reasons of his own, that this part will 
never be written. Be it so! What is left is a magnificent body 
of music that rebukes by its energy, its protest, its vision, the gen 
eral affectation and insincerity of this period in art. The orches 
tration is at times heavy but always effective never thick or 
superfluous. The theme stated at the opening, and subjected to 
masterly transformations, is lonely and grand. There are thoughts 
of Hebraic ritual, there are heard 'ancestral voices prophesying 
war/ Here and there is a detail not wholly Bloch accidentally, 
as it were, reminiscent of another composer. It is only an indica 
tion of a musical individuality slowly forming itself, gaining a 
mighty physiognomy of which the lines take some time to form 
and harden and clear. But this is a great and thrilling piece of 
music, and Mr. Mengelberg did admirably in bringing it again to 
the attention of the public and interpreting it with all possible care 
and devotion to his task. The symphony won enthusiastic ap 
plause," 

In 1917 he settled in New York as teacher at the David Mannes 
School of Music, and in 1920 he was called to Cleveland, Ohio, as 
the head of the newly organized Cleveland Institute of Music, in 
which capacity he continued to serve until the spring of 1925- 

Ernest Bloch, who is recognised not only as one of the greatest 
living composers, but also as a great educator and teacher, accepted 
in 1925 the invitation of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music 
to become its director* The securing of Mr. Bloch for San 
Francisco was most fortunate. His qualities, no less than his 
eminence, impressed those responsible for the project as particu 
larly what was required. 



Composers 



9 




MAX BRUGH 

MAX BRUOH was a gifted and versatile composer whose major 
works possess the quality of nobility with strictness of mood and 
style. His was a mature creative gift, and in his striving for the 

strong, the earnest and the great, he 

gave utterance to a soul that was equally 
noble, earnest and poised. His work re 
minds us of Mozartian and Mendelssohn- 
ian beauties. He never sacrifices artistic 
beauty for the sake of effect. As a com 
poser of choral music, Bruch, together 
with Brahms, belong among the greatest 
musicians of their times. 

Bruch was born on January 6, 1838, 
in Koln, and at an early age revealed 
creative musical talent. At eleven, he 
tried his power in major composition, 
and when only fourteen his first sym 
phony was performed in his home town, 
His teachers in theory and composition were Ferdinand Hiller and 
Carl Ehemedke; and in piano, Ferdinand Breining. 

In 1852 Bruch was awarded the Mozart prize in Frankfort for 
his string quartet. In 1865 he was appointed director of the Leip 
zig Music Institute, and two years later was appointed conductor 
in Somterhausen. In 1878 he was the leader of the Stern Choral 
Society in Berlin; in 1880, conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic 
Society, He became conductor of the Breslau Orchestra in 1883, 
after a tour through the United States. In 1892 Bruch was ap 
pointed professor at the Berlin Music High School 

Following are a few of his best known works: His wonderful 
**Song of the Bell," "Odysey," "Arming/* for mixed chorus, solo 
and orchestra; "Frithjoff/' "Salamis," and the "March of the Nor 
mans/* for male chorus ; two operas, "Hermion" and "Lorelei," the 
latter the more successful. 

One of his most popular works is his "Kol-Nidrei/' originally 
written as solo for 'cello and orchestra. In this melody the com 
poser expressed his Hebraic musical inheritance. This is no doubt 
why this song, built around a traditional synagogue lament, is the 
most loved and moat widely performed of his compositions. 
Bruch also composed three symphonies, 
If we judge him along the broad lines of his life and work, he 
can be considered the successor of Kheinecke and Mendelssohn, 
He died on October 2, 1920, in Berlin-Friedenau, 



10 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




IGNATZ BRULL 

BRULI/S fatherland is Austria, where he was born on November 7, 
1847, in the city of Prosnitz, Moravia. His parents moved to 
Vienna two years after the boy was born. In that city he took 

lessons from Julius Epstein in piano, and 
from Fuffinacce, and later from Otto 
Dessoff, in composition. 

In 1861 Epstein produced the concerto 
of his youthful pupil, and this concerto 
was received with great enthusiasm. 
Soon Brull reached perfection in piano 
playing, and appeared as virtuoso in a 
long concert tour. His name became 
popular, thanks to his "Serenade for Or 
chestra," which was first performed in 
Stuttgart in 1864. 

The wholesome influence which 
Schumann and Mendelssohn exercised 
over Brull can easily be noticed in his 
chamber-music. 

In 1864 his first opera, "The Beggar of Samarcand," saw its 
premiere. His second opera, "The Golden Cross/' met with uni 
versal approval, and was played all over the world. (The libretto 
for this opera was written by the Jewish poet, I. G. Mosenthal.) 
Later he wrote the following operas : "Peace/' "Bianca," "Queen 
Mariette," "The Stone Heart/' and the comic-opera, "The Hussar," 
which had a successful run in Berlin. 

His "Golden Cross" is rich in heartfelt and natural melodies. 
At its first presentation at the Royal Opera House in Berlin it like 
wise found favor in the eyes of Wilhelm I, who said to the young 
composer: "You Viennese are a happy people; melodies are born 
in you overnight, and no one can sing so happily as you do." 
Brull died in Venice on September 17, 1907. 

ABRAHAM WOLF BINDER 

ABRAHAM WOLF BINDER was born on January 5, 1895, New York 
City. The son of a cantor, he early became acquainted with tra 
ditional melodies and modes. At the age of seven, he was already 
writing musical settings for the synagogue liturgy. He received 
his musical education at the Music School Settlement under Angela 
Diller and Elizabeth Quaile. He later continued his piano studies 
with Albert Ross Parsons, and counterpoint and composition at 
Columbia University, under Daniel Gregory Mason and Cornelius 



Composers 11 



Rylmer. In 1918, he was awarded the Mosenthal Fellowship in 
Music at the University, and was later awarded the degree of 
Bachelor of Music by the New York College of Music, where Pro 
fessor Rybner had gone to teach. 

Since 1919, Binder has been director of music of the 92nd Street 
Young Men's Hebrew Association, in New York City, where he 
directs a music school a symphony orchestra, and a choral society. 
In 1923, Binder became instructor in synagogue and folk music 
at the Jewish Institute of Religion. In 1924 he became choir 
master of the Free Synagogue, at Carnegie Hall, New York City. 

Binder went on a research tour to Palestine in 1925, bringing 
back a collection of melodies sung by the Palestinean choluteim, 
us well as many Yeminite, Arabic, and liturgical melodies. This 
trip yielded not only a published collection of new Palestinean 
songs, but also a symphonic suite for a large orchestra, entitled 
"Holy Land Impressions," 



AARON COPLAND 

AARON COPLAND, considered one of the most talented young Am 
erican composers, was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1902. He 
began to study music in his thirteenth year. His teachers in Am- 
^ erica were Victor Wittgenstein and Clarence Adler (Piano) , Rubin 
>Goldmark (harmony and composition). Then he went to Paris in 
1921 to study composition and piano with Naclia Boulanger and 
returned to New York in the Summer of 1924. 

The list of his compositions includes a Symphony for Organ 
Orchestra (1924), performed in Boston by the Boston Sym- 
fs phony Orchestra, February 20, 1925 (Nadia Boulanger, organist) ; 
* I Ballet, in one act (1922-24) ; Four Motets for mixed chorus a cap- 
f^'twlla (1921) ; "As It Fell Upon a Day," song for voice, flute, and 
v) clarinet (1923), performed at a concert of the S. M. I., Paris, Feb 
ruary 6, 1924; Rondina on the name of Gabriel Faur6, for string 
quartet (1922) ; "The Cat and the Mouse" (1919) ; Passacaglia for 
pianoforte. The Passacaglia, played at a lecture recital of the 
League of Composers, in New York, November 16, 1924, was played 
in Boston by Denoe Leedy, November 10, 1925. Mr. Copland's 
latest compositions are Two Choruses for Women's Voices (1925). 
His Suite, "Music for the Theatre," was performed on November 
28, 1925, in New York (League of Composers). 

The Suite is scored for small orchestra; flute (interchangeable 
with piccolo), oboe (interchangeable with English horn), clarinet 
(interchangeable with clarinet piccolo), bassoon, two trumpets, 
trombone, two first and two second violins, two violas, two violon 
cellos, double bass, pianoforte, xylophone, glockenspiel, wood 
block, snare drum, bass drum and cymbals, 



12 



Famous 



of a Wandering Rare. 




SIR FREDERICK II. COWEN 

SIR FREDERICK H. COWEN was bom on the Island of Jamaica, on 
January 29, 1852. When he was four yeans old, his parents moved 
back to London, where his father obtained the position of head 

cashier of the Italian opera. 

His first teacher was Henry Ilussel, 
also a Jew, the author of the very popu 
lar English song "Cheer, Boys, Cheer." 
At the age of six, the little musician 
wrote a wait'/, dedicating it to his teach 
er. But it was from the teaching of 
Julius Benedict that the young composer 
profited most. Cowen also studied theory 
and the violin with John llitss. 

At the age of eight Cowen wrote his 
first SOUKS, and at that time began ap 
pearing on the public platfornh- nnw* 
even with Joachim. In 1865 his parents 
took the boy to LeiprJg, where he at 
tended the conservatory, studying under Moscheles, Uheinecke ami 
Hauptman. 

In 1867 young Cowen went to Berlin, where he studied at tlu* 
Stern Conservatory under Frederick Kiel In that city he became 
an intimate of Mendelssohn's family, and it was there* that- he 
played at the court of the crown princess, the future Kmpmss and 
wife of Frederick III. That same year his first symphony WIIH 
performed In London* 

Cowen became popular in England because of his melodious 
romanzas, of which he has written several hundred. Notwith 
standing his wide creative activities, he finds time for practical 
things. He is as celebrated for his conducting us for his compos 
ing. " From 1888 to 1892 he was conductor of the Old Philharmonic, 
and some years later again accepted the same position. At the 
same time he conducted In Liverpool, Bradford, Glasgow and 
Edinburgh, 

Cowen's compositions bear witness to his outstanding talent. 
He wrote several symphonies, of which the "Scandinavian 1 * is a 
veritable treasure house of melody and deep emotion. It waa per 
formed In every civilised country. Ho also wrote an operetta, 
"Garibaldi," and the following operas: "The Oowairts" "The UOHC 
Maiden/' "The Egyptian Maid," performed in 187(5 In Birming 
ham; the oratorios, "The Flood/' M 8t UrBula/ 1 "Tho Sleeping 
Beauty," "Ruth," "The Waterlily," "The Transformation," and an 
"Ode to the Passions," 



Composers 13 



Later there appeared the overture "Niagara"; a suite for or 
chestra; "Language of the Flowers"; various chamber composi 
tions and some fifty smaller works. 

In 1913 he published a book, My Art and Friends. 

Sir Frederick is an interesting personality. He has an English 
restraint of manner, yet much enthusiasm and a marked gift of 
fluency of speech, directly and simply expressed. Although one of 
the busiest conductors living, he finds time for much creative effort. 
In 1903 he wrote his famous Coronation Ode, and performed it by 
royal command at Buckingham Palace. Musically, Cowen can be 
said to be self-made, A deep thinker, he states his ideas frankly. 
His face is that of a literary man rather than a musician. "I 
belong to no school, I admire them all for the good that is in them. 
If I were asked, perhaps, who comes first with me, I should say 
Mozart." Thus Cowen expressed his views on school and music. 

Cowen conducted the Handel Festivals at Crystal Palace during 
1903, 1906 and 1909, and the Cardiff Festivals in, 1902, 1904, 1907 
and 1910. 

In November, 1900, he received the honorary degree of Doctor 
of Music from the University of Cambridge, and in July, 1910, the 
same honor from the University of Edinburgh. 



SOLOMON JADASSOHN 

To THE number of composers akin in spirit to Mendelssohn, we 
must add the name of Jadassohn, who gained fame by his teaching 
of theory and composition as well as instrumentation at the Leipzig 
and Vienna conservatories. Though his manner of composing 
bears marks of the influence of his predecessor, Mendelssohn, a 
large number of his works show novelty and originality of ideas 
and superb instrumentation. In writing canons, he achieved an 
excellence and mastery of form which few others have approached. 
His text books, Harmony, Counterpoint, Canons and Fugues, 
Free Form, Instrumentation and a Commentary to Bach's 
Fugues, prove him a pedagogue of outstanding ability. 

Jadassohn was born on August 8, 1881, in Breslau. He studied 
first in Leipzig and later in Weimar, under Liszt, returning to 
Leipzig, where he took up composition with Hauptmann. From 
1852 he lived in Leipzig, where in 1867-68 he conducted the Psalter 
Choral Society, and in 1868-69 the Wuterpe Choral Society. He 
received the title of Honorary Professor of the Leipzig University, 

This noble musician died in Leipzig on February 1, 1902, 



14 Famous Muxicianx of a Wandcniiff 




PAUL DUKAS 

PAUL DUKAS, one of the most brilliant and popular of modern 
French composers, does not belong to any clique. Always discon 
tented with what he lias written, he only consents to give it to the 

public when he realises that he is incapa 
ble of making it more perfect* This 
honesty has made Dukas one of the 
finest, figures in contemporary musical 
circles, lie has never sought official hon 
ors or popularity, and lives a solitary life 
surrounded by a small circle of affection 
ate friends, avoiding salons, coteries and 
concert halls. 

He was born in Paris on October 11, 
1865. During the fourteenth year of his 
life he began to take a serious interest in 
music. He began to composes and had 
the courage to study solfeggio by him 
self. After finishing his general educa 
tion, he entered the Paris Conservatoire, where his chief teachers 
were Dubois and Guiraud. In 1888 he was awarded a Second Prix 
do Rome for his cantata "Vellcdu." In the following year he was 
unsuccessful at the annual competition, and abandoned his studies 
to fulfill his military service. At the same time he studied deeply 
and passionately the works of the master musicians of all epochs, 
and by his personal efforts succeeded in forming an esthetic doc 
trine of his own, waiting to become perfectly sure of himself before 
composing. 

While yet a student at the Conservatoire, Dukas composed two 
overtures, "Le Roi Lear 1 ' (188ft) and "(Joutsc cle Berliehingen 1 * 
(188;}). A third overture, "Polyeudx*" (1891), based on the trag 
edy by Corneille, was Dukas 1 first work to receive public perform 
ance. It was given by Lamouroux on January !i!l t 1H9LL IHikan 
orchestrated the first three acts of thin work, and also took part in 
the rehearsals and staging of the opera during the season of 1895* 
Recognition of Dukan as a composer of rank dates from tin* 
year 1897. His "Symphony in G-Major," composed during IHOfi- 
96, was performed at an opera-concert on January ;{, 189(5, and 
in May the Scherzo, "L'Apprenti Soreier," the work by which he in 
most known, wan conducted by its composer at a concert of tin* 
Soeiete Nationale. 

By 1892 he wrote the text of an opera, "Horn et Rimenhild/' 
and had even sketched the munic. In 1899 he had begun another 



Composers 15 



opera, "I/Arbro do Science." Both works were abandoned in favor 
of Maeterlinck's "Ariane et Barbe-Bleue," the first performance 
of which was given at the Opera Comique on May 10, 1907. 

Dukas won an enviable position as a critic through his erudi 
tion, his keen perceptions and his analytical insight. He also con 
tributes to many reviews, among them the "Revue Hebdomadaire" 
and the "Gazette des Beaux Arts/* 

In 1909 he was appointed conductor of the orchestra class at 
the Paris Conservatoire, but three years later he resigned this post 
in favor of Vincent dimly. 

Paul Dukas has achieved independent solutions of the fusion of 
classical structure and freedom of expression. By reason of his 
classic sympathies, he is allied to the school of Frank, although he 
never followed its precepts blindly. In the works based upon classic 
forms, Dukas has remained steadily faithful to tradition. In his 
dramatic works he never loses control of structural continuity, but 
he also succeeds in infusing into his music a due regard for color 
and delineation of character. 

Vivid description of character and scene distinguishes his opera 
"Ariane et Barbe-Bleue." His faculty in disposing orchestral and 
choral forces with such ordered symmetry is masterly. This opera 
is not only the most commanding work by its composer, but it 
ranks with "Peleas et Melisande," "Le Pays," "L'Heure Espag- 
nole" and "Penelope," among the leading works for the stage by 
the modern French composers. 

Unlike Debussy, Dukas gives pre-eminence to the musical 
idea in his dramatic labors. His melodic ideas are of rare and 
plastic beauty, and he develops his ideas according to a method of 
variation peculiar to himself* A great artist among contemporary 
musicians, Dukas is also a creative genius without a peer among 
living composers. 



JULIUS ENGEL 

JULIUS ENGEL, famous Russian lexicographer and composer, was 
born in Berdiansk, Government of Tavr, Russia, in 1868. He was 
educated in the Gymnasium of his native city, and in 1890 was 
graduated from the law school of the University of Kharkov, At 
the age of seventeen, while still a student here, he took up the piano. 
In 1892 he was graduated from the Kharkov Music Academy, spe 
cializing in theory, which he studied under A. Urican, and in 1893, 
on the advice of Peter Chaikovsky, he entered the Moscow Conser 
vatory, from which institution he was graduated in 1897. There 



16 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

his teachers In theory and compositions were 8. K. Tnnyoev and 
M. Ipolitoff-Ivanoff. 

EngeFs career as music critic began when hi* wan .still a student 
at the Moscow Conservatory, and stop by top ho won note aa a 
cultured and educated music critic. Upon being graduated from 
the Conservatory, Engel, on the recommendation of N. Kiutchkm, 
was invited to take the post of music editor of the A/wow Jittx- 
skiya Vedomosti. At the same time he edited the Russian section 
of Riemann's Music Lexicon, He also undertook the translation 
into Russian of Riemamfs books. 

Engel occupied a place of great importance in Russia's musical 
life. His general culture and great industry won for him hosts 
of friends and admirers among Russia's music lovers. 

Following is a list of KngePs published compositions: "lio- 
manzas," "Jewish Folk Songs" (collected and harmonized by him), 
"Hindu Songs/* "Children's Songs/ 1 "Hebrew Songs/ 1 and the 
incidental music to "The Dybbuk/ 1 played in Europe and the United 
States by the Moscow Habimah players. 

He also edited a Russian music lexicon in 1914, and has written 
numerous articles on opera, symphony, concerts, -etc, 

Engel died on February 11, 1927, in Tel Aviv, Palestine, 



FREDERICK JACOB! 

FREDERICK JACOBI, American commoner, WEB born in San Fran 
cisco, California, on May 4, 1891* He wan educated in New York* 
where he attended the Ethical Culture School, of which he LH now 
a patron. Another American composer, Kubin Goldmark, wa& his 
principal teacher in piano and composition, but he* ulno tttudied 
under Rafael Joseffy, Paolo Gallico and Ernest IJloch. Borne years 
later Jacobi attended the Hochsehule fttr Mtmik in Berlin, study 
ing under Paul Juon, 

On his return to New York, Jacobi was engaged aa assistant 
conductor at the Metropolitan Opera House to Alfred Hertss and 
Artur Bodanzky. 

Jacobi has written compositions for orchestra, string-quartets, 
violin, piano and chorus, as well as many songs, His larger or 
chestral works include 'The Pied Piper/* a symphonic legend, per 
formed by the San Francisco Symphony, conducted by Alfred 
Hertz, and by the Minneapolis Symphony, under Emil Obcrhoffer; 
a symphonic prelude, "The Eve of St. Agnes/' after Keats 1 poem, 
performed by the National Symphony, conducted by Artur 
Bodanzky. 

His latest work, a string quartet mainly based on American 



17 



Indian themes, received its initial performance at u concert of the 
Chamber Music Society of San Francisco on October 28, 1925. 
According 1o one San Francisco daily, "Frederick Jacob i gave his 
fellow-fitixens a thrill when his 'Assyrian Symphony' was given its 
premiere by 1he San Francisco Symphony, under Alfred HertK on 
November H, 1925." 

Jacobi is one of the founders of the American Music Guild and 
a member of the Bohemians and the MacDowoll Club. In 1917 lie 
married Irene Seluvar/, a very talented pianist. 



FERDINAND DAVID 

DAVID, who is considered the father of modern violin playing, was 
an excellent player and pedagogue, as well as a composer of genius. 
He had the perfection of a real virtuoso on his instrument. His 

playing was always remarkable for its 
taste and his tone was noble and beauti 
ful Together with Luclwig Spohv and 
Molique, David occupies a place of honor 
as n violin virtuoso. 

While conducting the concerts of the 
Leipzig Gewandhaus, David succeeded in 
achieving 1 brilliant results. 

As a pupil of Spohr and close friend 
of Mendelssohn, David had the road 
opened to him. His own pupils, includ 
ing Wilhelmi, 55ula> Ileekmann "and 
Sehradie.k, occupied leading places in the 
great, orchestras. 

His works for the violin; concertos, 
variations, etudes, caprices, etc., are excellent, and will long hold 
their own on the concert repertories. He also wrote several .sym 
phonies, quartets, works for the clarinet, viola and 'cello, and a 
comic opera, "Huns Warhl" (1852). 

David was born on June 11), 1810, in Hamburg, lie was one of 
the world's "Wuwlerkiwlor," as he began appearing in public when 
only ten years old. From 182:? to 1826 he studied under Ludwlg 
Spohr. After that, David made a concert tour with his sister. In 
18*515 he went to Leipzig, on the heels of his friend Mendelssohn, 
whom David helped in solving certain artistic and musical 
problems, lie was particularly helpful to Mendelssohn when the 
hitter founded the Leipzig Conservatory in 184:1 Among the first 
teachers on I he statf of the now famous conservatory were David, 
St'humamu Hauptman, and many others oC distinction, 
David died on July 11), 187,1, in Kloslors. 




18 Famous Musicians of a \V<tn<1eri)i(f R<icc 




SAMUKL FKINBKIU; 

SAMUEL FEINBBRG, eminent, Russian composer, was born in 189(1 
He has astonished every one with the suddenness of the revelation 

of his great talent. His career as a composer started in 1915, when 

he produced his first two sonatas, proving 
himself an accomplished and masterly 
composer, Strictly speaking, he never 
studied composition, but experimented 
with the expression of his own ideas, 
First lie Indulged in improvisation; then, 
about 1911 ho began more* serious work 
in definite composition, working quite in 
dependently and almost without help. In 
his first attempts at composition he 
abandoned the piano, of which ho already 
had a mastery, and his first works 
worthy of attention were written for vio 
lin, voice* string quartet, and then for 
full orchestra. 

This struggle for expression was a painful one t and likely to 
have had tragic consequence. In 1915 he finally chose the piano 
for the ultimate means of conveying his musical thoughts, Hince 
making this decision, he has become an outstanding 1 figure amontf 
modern Russian composers for the piano. 

In the early Fdnherg we see much more the real Foinberg than 
we do the real Scriabin in Seriabin's early work* inllueneed an tin* 
latter was by Chopin. The strangenenH of Peinherg's apprentice 
ship was the real cause, for his first appearance, not as a hegittner* 
but as an accomplished and fully developed art int. The ideas of 
his compositions are consistent with the present, eliaturblng and 
stormy times. One thought, one tension, one purpose passing 
through all of his work are the true cause of its unity, and add 
unusual interest to the methods for its creation, 

Feinberg is not a composer only; he in also a remarkable and 
thoroughly original pianist, playing his instrument with unusual 
refinement and skill Like Chopin and Serlabin, he in a real poet 
of the piano, and has created a new world of piano music, The 
pianist and composer are one and indivisible. One must consider 
him fundamentally as a poet, Feinberg is witty and good-humoral, 
wen joking occasionally at the piano. The new Russian school 
has in him a passionate propagandist of its piano muaie, 

The compositions that stand out most prominently are WB sewn 
piano sonatas. The first is luminous and bold, with a paatoral 



Composers 



19 



beginning and a bright finish, reminding one of sunrise. The sec 
ond is primarily lyrical These two sonatas occupy the same place 
in his work that the first two sonatas of Beethoven and Scriabin 
do in these composers. They are as remarkable, as finished, as 
deep and as youthful. 

^ We find nowhere in his work the purely musical "Ammut." 
His works possess a rich and original color, expressive harmonies, 
but no harmony and no color for the sake of harmony and color 
alone. Because of this his harmonizations are always clear in their 
relationship to the tonality, his melodies too expressive to be just 
"pretty." 



LEO FALL 

LEO PALL, known as the Prince of Operettas, was born in Olmutz, 
Moravia, on February 2, 1873. He was the son of the conductor 
of the Army Music Band, Fall showed musical talent at an early 

age, but did not seriously commence stud 
ies until he entered the Vienna Con 
servatory, where he studied under 
Robert Puchs and others. There he 
showed extraordinary talent in com 
position. He also became a very capable 
conductor upon being graduated from the 
Conservatory, and for many years was 
first conductor at the theatres in Berlin, 
Hamburg, Cologne, and other cities. In 
1904 he returned to Vienna, and became 
one of the most successful operetta com 
posers. That same year he married the 
(laughter of Jadassohn. 

The melodies of Fall's operattas are 
fresh and tantalizing, and are marked by a rhythmic structure al 
together peculiar to himself, and his Viennese temperament. His 
Hound training and pleasing invention places him on a level with 
another famous Jewish operetta composer, Oscar Strauss, 

Fall is a prolific composer. The list of his operas and oper 
ettas is too long to give In full A partial list follows : 

The two operas, "Frau Denie" (1902) ; "Irrlicht" (190.5) ; Many 
highly successful operettas: "The Merry Peasant" (1907) ; "The 
Dollar Princess" (1907); "The Girl in the Taxi" (1908); "The 
Doll Girl" (1910) ; "Der Liebe Augustin" (1911) ; "The Eternal 
Waltz" (1912) ; "The Night Express" (1913) ; "The Student Duch 
ess" (1918) ; "Young England" (1914) ; "Der Kunstliche Mensch" 
(1915) ; and "The Golden Bird" (1920), 




20 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




RUDOLPH FRIML 

RUDOLPH FRIML was born in Prague, on December 7, 1881. His 
parents were very poor. His father, who worked in a bakery, en 
couraged the boy's musical ambitions. 

One night the owner of the bakery 
happened to come to old Friml's house, 
and heard the little boy playing. The 
child had not had a single lesson. But 
the baker, who was interested in music, 
thought Rudolph should be encouraged. 
He advanced the necessary money to send 
him to the Prague Conservatory. 

Friml had as schoolmate Anton 
Dvorak, composer of the "New World 
Symphony/' a struggling young boy like 
himself, and Jan Kubelik. These three 
worked together for six or seven years, 
studying, composing, playing, earning a 
little money now and then by semi-ama 
teur appearances. Finally some local manager happened to hear 
them and started Friml and Kubelik on a concert tour, which was 
subsequently repeated for five successive seasons (1901-06). They 
trouped through the little towns of Central Europe, half the time 
without enough to eat. Finally they got to Berlin and made a 
success. London followed, and it was the London engagement 
that was responsible for Friml's coming to America. Daniel Froh- 
man, famous theatrical producer of New York, happened to attend 
their concert and signed them up for a tour of American cities. 

The rest has since become common knowledge in New York. 
In rapid succession Friml produced "Katinka" (1915), "You're in 
Love," "The Blue Kitten," "Tumble Inn" and others. His latest 
triumph is the "Vagabond King" (1926), which played at the Ca 
sino Theatre, in New York City, for several months. The music of 
the piece is exciting, with a quality which seems to belong some 
how to the romantic and reckless period of the setting. The Vaga 
bond's song, throbbing and drumming recurrently through the 
whole performance, has in it the defiant exuberance of desperate 
and outlawed folk of a time when outlawry retained some rags 
and tatters of the dignity which belonged to it when outlawry was 
a state of nature. It has that exuberance, no doubt, because the 
heart of it comes from some wild Roumanian gypsy folk tune. 

Friml also wrote pieces for the violin, 'cello, and a number of 
excellent songs. 



21 




BARON ALBBRTO FRANCHETTI 

AMONG contemporary Italian composers who attract the attention 
of (lie whole world by their melodiousness and originality, is Fran- 
ehettu who possesses, aside from a brilliant talent, many mil 
lions in money, a very rare phenomenon, 
indeed, among musicians! 

Baron Alberto Franchetti was born on 
September 18, I860 in Turin. He be 
longs to a very prominent and wealthy 
family, being the son of Baron Raymondo 
Franchetti and his wife, Baroness Louisa 
Rothschild. Alberto had to struggle 
against has father's wishes in order to 
follow his musical inclinations. 

He st tidied at first under Nicolo Coconi 
and Fortunato Magi at Padua and Ven 
ice, then under Draeseke at Dresden and 
llhineberger at Munich. He wrote live 
operas ''Asraol" (in four acts), pro 
duced in 1888 at Brescia and later at the famous La Scala and else 
where with great success. His "Oristoforo Colombo" (in four 
acts) was produced at Genoa in 1892; his "Fiori d'Alpe" (in three 
acts) was produced in Milan at the La Scala in 1894; "Signer di 
PoiuvoaiiKuae" (in three acts) was produced at the La Scala in 
1897, as well as his "Giamanio," produced in 1902. 

In his opera "Asraol" (of which the subject is taken from a 
Flemish legend of the fourteenth century and an episode of Moore's 
"Lows of the Angels"), the composer was attracted undoubtedly 
by the deep religious mood of the subject. This opera is filled 
with (lying angels, singing apostles, trumpeting archangels ^ and 
holy ascetics. The music boars witness to the great talent of the 
composer the daring of his melodies, and refinement of taste. Al 
though he imitates Wagner a groat deal, he nevertheless shows 
much of his own individuality of ideas and mood 

His opera "Colombo" is also worthy of attention. In it the com 
poser rebelled against Meyerbeer's "L'Afrieaine," which was 
hitherto accepted by nearly all contemporary composers as an ex 
ample of grand opera composition. r 1 

Some critics have called Franchetti the Meyerbeer ot modern 
Italy and there are certain points of resemblance between the two, 
besides the accidents of circumstance. Franchetti stands entirely 
apart from the hysterical school of young Italy. He also wrote a 
-Symphony in K minor for Orchestra/ 1 "La Figlia de Juno, (La 



22 



Famous Musician** of a Wnntcriuff 



Scaia, Milan, 1915), "Giaiu'o" (San Carlo, Naples, 19LTJK and his 
famous operetta "I Gove a Ponipei" (Rome, 1920), which ho wrote 
in collaboration with Giordano. 



LOUIS GRUKNBKRG 

Louis GKITENBERG, composer and pianist, wan horn in Russia in 
1883. He was brought to America when ho was two yearn old, 
and received his general education in the public schools in Now 

York, After Home preliminary piano 

work with Adele Mar#ulies in Now York, 
he went abroad itnd studied at the master 
school in the Vienna Conservatory. Later 
he studied piano and composition with 
Hnsoni. He made* his debut with the Ber 
lin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by 
Husoni iti 1910, and subsequently ap 
peared in recital tours through Russia, 
Germany, Norway, Sweden and other 
countries. He also was guest conductor 
in the Stadt-theatre in Kiel, Uorlltx, 
Bergen, awl other cities. He afterward 
returned to America with BUHOIU and 
composed an opera, 'The Bride of tin* 
Gods/" for which Ihuscmi wrote the libretto, in H)i21 he was 
awarded the Flakier pme of $1,000 for his symphonic work, "The 
Hill of Dreams,** which was played by the New York Symphony. 
Among 1 his compositions are sonatas for violin and piano, n 
number of songs, piano works, a symphony* piano concerto, cham 
ber music works, etc* He is one of the founders of the-* American 
League of Composer** and also a director of the International C'oni- 
posers' Guild. His ultra-modern composition "Daniel Jassss" for 
tenor and seven instruments, which was produced by the League 
of Composers in New York on February, 1025, wan also chosen as 
one of three American compositions which was performed at the 
International Festival in Venice in the Summer of 




Composers 23 



ANDRE GEDALGE 

WKLL~BRKI> children, it is said, reflect honor upon their parents, 
and well-trained musicians reflect glory upon their master. The 
teacher of practically all the representatives of the modern French 
school, including Ravel, Florent Schmitt, Honnegger, Darius Mil- 
hand, and many, many others, Gedalge himself was not, apparent 
ly, intended by nature to be a creator ; he was a great teacher. 

Gedalge started upon a musical career comparatively late in 
life. Born in Paris on December 27, 1856, he entered the Conser 
vatoire in 1884, and at that famous incubator of great musicians 
studied composition and harmony with Guiraud, Gedalge was 
considered the greatest contrapuntal master of his generation. 

lie has written two symphonies, an orchestral suite, a quartet 
and opera-eomique. 

He died in April of 1927. 



FERDINAND HILLER 

LIKE many composers of the nineteenth century, Hiller was under 
the influence of his contemporary and friend, Mendelssohn. We 
can see in the works of these two composers a striking similarity. 

Hiller was born on October 24, 1811, 
in Frankfort-am-Main,' and studied first 
under A, Smith and later under Humml 
in Weimar. In 1829 we see Hiller in 
Paris, where he met Cherubini, Meyer 
beer, Berlioz;, Liszt, Heine and Chopin. 
The latter often said that Killer's piano 
playing as well as his compositions for 
the piano were very similar to his own 
in spirit and technique. 

In 1843-44 Hiller conducted the Ge- 
wandhaus concerts in Leipzig, substitut 
ing for his friend Mendelssohn. In. 1847 
he was conductor in Dusseldorff and in 
1850-84 he was conductor in K51n, In 
1877 he was knighted by the King of Wurttemburg. 

Among his best works are his two big oratorios, "The Rape 
of Jerusalem" and "Saul," and several 'symphonies, of which 
^Spring Will Come" is the best known. Also some orchestral 
overture^ a concerto for piano, opus 69 in F sharp minor, and 
quintets for mixed voices. 

He died on May 11, 1885, in Koln. 




24 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




FREDERICK GERNSHEIM 

FREDERICK GERNSHEIM was born on July 17, 1839, in Worms. He 
studied theory under the composer Louis Libbet, and violin under 
Rosenheim and Hauff, in Frankfort-am-Main. 

At the age of eleven he appeared as 
pianist at a public concert in Frankfort- 
am-Main, where he played his own 
overture, which was well receive^. f>opn 
after, his mother took him to ttie Leip 
zig Conservatory. His teacher and ad 
visers there were Mauritz Hauptman, 
Julius Eietz, llichter and Moscheles. 

In 1855 we see him in Paris, where 
he remained for six years and gained 
renown as pianist and one of the best 
interpreters of Chopin. After that he 
went to Saarbrucken, where he remained 
for three years as conductor, pianist, and 
composer, and afterwards accepted the 
post of professor at the Koln conservatory in piano, counterpoint, 
and fugue, also as conductor of choral societies. In 1874 he went 
to Rotterdam, where he organized symphonic concerts over a 
period of sixteen years, and where he also taught. In 1890 Gern- 
sheim was at the head of the Stern Choral Society in Berlin, and 
also art advisor at the Stern Conservatory. 

In. the field of both vocal and instrumental music Gernsheim 
left much of importance. The following are among his best efforts : 
Three symphonies for large orchestra; a violin concerto; a 'cello 
concerto; a string quartet; "Garden Song," for male chorus; 
"Agrippian," for alto, chorus and orchestra; "Divertimento," for 
flute and strings; a number of major and minor works for solo, 
chorus and orchestra; a hymn, for male chorus and orchestra; an 
album of songs, opus 57; second concerto fox piano; the fourth 
symphony; second and third sonata for the violin; "Morn's Lul 
laby/' for chorus and orchestra; second string quartet in E minor; 
"Ode in C," for baritone. 

In Gernsheim's compositions we are impressed by the direct 
individual utterance of the composer. They nearly all possess 
vivid imagination, melodic wealth .and strictness of rhythm. In 
his earlier compositions Gernsheim followed in the steps of Bee 
thoven and Schumann, but in his latter works, we see more and 
more clearly the composer's creative power. 
He died on September 11, 1916, in Berlin. 



25 




GEORGE GERSHWIN 

(<KOR<;K (5KKSHW1N was horn in Brooklyn (New York), on Sept- 
t ember 20, 1898, and received his education in the public schools 
there. II was not until his thirteenth year that he started to play 

the piano, but after four months' lessons 
he played so well that friends of his 
father advised sending the young pianist 
to Europe to study. The advice was not 
followed, however, and different teachers 
in turn were employed. Gershwin then 
studied harmony under Charles Ham- 
bif'/.er, with whom he also continued his 
piano study until the hitter's death. 
Later lie continued his harmonic studies 
under Kdouard Kilyeni and Rubin Gold- 
mark. At the age of sixteen he began 
work as a u song plugger," for J. II. 
Rerniek, music publisher, sometimes 
playing all day for vaudeville acts and 
until two and three o'clock in the morning in cafes* 

On November l t 192**, Gershwin made his first appearance as 
a serious performer on the stage of Aeolian Hall, in New York, as 
accompanist for Eva (luuthior, in a group of his own songs, and on 
February 12, U)2l, his "Rhapsody in Blue" was played for the first 
time by its composer and Paul Whiteman's orchestra. 

In the Spring of 1925, Gershwin, whose original talent was im 
mediately recognized by Walter Damrosch, director of the New 
York Symphony Orchestra* wan commissioned by the Society to 
compost* a concerto for piano and orchestra; and it is probably a 
circumntance without parallel in America that before a single note 
of tin* work was written he had signed contracts for six perform 
ances of it with tlu New York Symphony Orchestra in New York, 
Brooklyn, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia, 

This concerto in Gershwin's third essay in the field of serious 
music, the others being the already famous "Rhapsody in Blue/' 
opus 2, and a one-net negro opera, opus 1, entitled " 135th Street." 
The latter was written about four yours ago and was performed by 
Paul Whlteman in January, 192(5. Meanwhile, the composer pro 
duced the scores of two musical plays, the operetta "Song of the 
Flume," and the musical comedy, "Tip-Toes." The concerto is the 
find work Gershwin has scored for symphonic orchestra. In form, 
the concerto follows, in a rather elastic sense, the classical models. 
The first movement, for instance, (we quote the composer) "is in 



26 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

sonata-form, but the second, in a kind of extended three-part 
song-form; and the finale is, in principle at least, a Rondo." In 
other words, in utilizing the traditional moulds, Gershwin has sub 
jected them to such alterations as modern music in general, and 
*his own highly personal idiom in particular demand. 

MICHAEL FABIONOVITCH 

MICHAEL FABIONOVITCH GNIESSIN, eminent young Russian com 
poser, was born in 1883. After studying music at the St. Peters 
burg Conservatory, he settled at Rostov-on-the-Don. Then he lived 

for some time at Berlin, and is at pres 
ent living in Moscow. His earliest works, 
especially the "Orchestral Tone Poem 
from Shelley/' which bears as epigraph 
five lines from "Prometheus Unbound," 
displayed his sense of style and the 
strong romantic turn of his imagination. 
He composed a "Sonata-Ballade" for 
'cello and piano, which is one of his most 
characteristic works; "Hymne a la 
Peste" ; music to the "Phonikerinnen des 
Europides"; songs, symphonic poem, 
"Wrubel" for voice and orchestra, etc. 

Gniessin was a student of Rimsky- 
Korsakoff and Liadoff, at the St. Peters 
burg Conservatory. 

In the works of Gniessin there is a novel pathos, and a pas 
sionate fervor, throughout individualistic, which finds its expres 
sion in complex chromatic harmonies. Gniessin began his career 
as a "modernist" composer, belonging to the school which arose on 
the debris of the distinguished "Mighty Group," and which lacked 
at the time any signs of a nationalistic physiognomy. Not a thor 
ough modernist, however, Gniessin remained for a time at the 
cross-roads of two directions; then there came into his creative- 
ness a break, after which he wholeheartedly took the road leading 
to thoroughgoing Jewish nationalism. 

In the beginning of 1917, the year of the Russian revolution, 
we see a blossoming forth of the Jewish prophetic pathos in this 
composer. He enters definitely on this path in his songs, whose an 
cestry we can trace to kabalism and talmudic wisdom. Even more 
iconoclastic does he become in his opera, "The Youth of Abraham," 
which is intended to serve, to all appearances, as an example to 
forthcoming Jewish "grand" opera. His second opera, "The Mac- 
cabeans," was written in the same spirit as the first. 




Composers 27 




ABRAHAM GOLDFADEN 

CHRONOLOGICALLY, Goldfaden occupies the first place among Jew 
ish national composers. An excellent connoisseur of Jewish folk 
lore, he jealously protected it against the attempt of Sulzer and 

Lewanclowski to "westernize" it. Weakly 
versed in the art of music, he neverthe 
less possessed a real artistic instinct, and 
realized that his operas would be of value 
only if the national element in them were 
foremost. With his excellent musical 
memory he found it easy to fit the mem 
orized music to texts written by himself. 
Goldfaden had a composer's talent. Un 
acquainted with theory, his melodies are 
nevertheless beautiful both in structure 
and mood. They are somewhat monot 
onous because of their exclusively dia 
tonic character, and absence of modula 
tions, but on the whole they are quite 
beautiful and have since become quasi-folk-lore. 

Abraham Goldfaden, poet and father of the Jewish theatre, was 
born in 1B40, in Starokonstantinov, Russia. His father, a watch 
maker and "Masktel," educated his son in the spirit of the new 
times. In 1857 Goldfaden entered the Zhitomir Rabbinical Sem 
inary. A year before graduation he published a collection of. an 
cient Hebrew poems, Zizim Uperaehmi, published in 1865. Two 
volumes followed in modern Yiddish, Dos Yidele (1868), and 
Die Yidene (1869, and won great popularity. Many of Gold- 
f aden'rt songs have become Jewish national property, and are being 
sung all over the "pale*" During a period of ten years following 
bin graduation, Goldfaden taught in the government schools in 
Simphoropol and in Odessa. In 1875 he founded in Lemberg a 
humorous Jewish weekly publication, Yisrolik, which was unfor 
tunately short-lived. In 1876 he edited Caernovici's Die Bukowiner 
litradititichw Volksblatt, with the same unhappy results. The 
same year he went to Yassi, whei^e he founded the first Jewish 
theatre, Goldfaden was not only the producer, decorator, and di 
rector of his company; he wrote dramas, with couplets and songs, 
and composed music to them. When the Jewish theatre was pro 
hibited in Russia, Goldfaden moved with his company to Warsaw, 
renamed it "German," and went on playing in a peculiar jar 
gon somewhat reminiscent of German, but of atrocious pomposity 
of speech, since known as "Deitschmerisch." After an extensive 



28 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

trip over Western Europe, Goldfaden came to New York in 1887, 
and there founded the Jewish organ, Yiddische Illustrirte Zeit- 
ung. He then went to Paris and returned in 1903 to New York, 
where he played an important part in the cultural life of its Jews, 
being the founder of the first Jewish theatre there. 

Goldfaden died in New York in 1908. Two years later the 
Vienna Academie Union ("Jiidische Kultur") announced the estab 
lishment of a fund for the "Goldfaden Prize/' for the best dra 
matic works in Yiddish. 



RUBIN GOLDMARK 

RUBIN GOLDMARK is triply famous: first, for his extraordinary 
musicianship, his pedagogic activities and creative work; second 
ly, for being a nephew of the famous Karl Goldmark ; and thirdly, 

for his wise and eloquent lectures and 
aphorisms, which he reads principally at 
the New York Bohemian Club. 

Rubin Goldmark was born in New 
York City on August 15, 1872. He re 
ceived his education in the City College 
and later went to Vienna and attended 
the lectures given by the philosophical 
faculty at the University there. He be 
gan his music studies at the Vienna Con 
servatory, where his teachers were Livo- 
' nius and Door in piano, and Fuchs in 
composition. On his return to New York y 
Goldmark continued his piano studies 
with. Joseffy, and composition with 
Dvorak. From 1891 to 1893 he was professor of piano and theory 
at the National Conservatory of Music in New York. From 1895 
to 1901 he lived in Colorado, where he was director of the Colorado 
Conservatory of Music. 

In 1902 Goldmark returned to New York, where he has since 
devoted his time to teaching, composing and giving lectures. He 
has given over 500 lectures and recitals in the United States and 
Canada. In 1910 he received the Paderewski prize for chamber 
music. His compositions include "Theme and Variations" for or 
chestra, which was played under the conductorship of Anton Seidl; 
the overture "Hiawatha/' played by the Boston Symphony Orches 
tra; the Symphonic Poem "Samson/ 7 performed by the Boston 
Symphony and later by the New York Philharmonic in 1917; a 
trio in D minor, performed by the Tollefsen Trio, a piano trio, 
piano quartet, violin sonata, songs and numerous other works for 
piano, violin, orchestra, etc. 




29 



With Joseit'y as co-worker, he was one of the founders of the 
famous New York "Bohemians" dub, of which he was president 
for (ho first three years of its existence, after which he was elected 
permanent honorary vice-president. 

(Joldnmrk is on the staff of teachers of the famous Julliard 
Foundation, His pupils in composition and theory include: Wil- 
lecke, Jhitfo Kortehak, Miseha Elman f Ethel Leginska, Frederick 
Jueobi, Aaron Copland, Victor Wittgenstein and George 
(Jershwin. 

On the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the Foundation 
of the Bohemians' (Huh (Dec. 2(5, 1921), the membership organized 
a special banquet in his honor. 

He* is now at the height of his careen* as teacher and composer. 
The partial deafness which has set in does not, fortunately, hinder 
him in his activities. 

Aside from the compositions enumerated above, the following 
have since become popular in America and abroad: "Requiem" for 
orchestra, inspired by Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address, first 
performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra on January ;50, 1919, 
and since played under Stransky, Mengelberg, Stock, Rudolph 
(5atr/, and many others; a "Negro Rhapsody" for orchestra, first 
performed by the New York Philharmonic on December 19, 1922, 
and since played by the New York Symphony Orchestra under 
Walter Damrosch, the State Symphony, and other orchestras. 

KARL GOLDMARK 

TilK "Queen of Sheba" (1875) made Goldmark's name as a com 
poser, but it was performed after the composer worked and waited 
for yeans and suffered insults and humiliationnot the least of 

which was the appeal addressed to Ed 
ward Hunslick, the noted music critic. 
The words with which Goldmark opened 
the letter to Hanslick reflected his state 
of mind: "I have had the great misfor 
tune to compose an opera. The extent of 
this misfortune, however, can only be 
appreciated when you realize that I In 
tend to have it produced. You alone can 
help me to that end, more than all the 
others." But Mr. Hanslick did not lift 
a finger to help the poor composer, either 
as a music critic or in his capacity as 
artistic advisor to the Minister of Educa 
tion. On the contrary, long before the 
opera was produced, when the Grand March from it was played 




30 Famo'ux Musicians of a Wanderhu/ Race 

at a concert and enthusiastically applauded by Liszt, who 
present, Hanslick wrote that this part of the opera was the only 
part of the work fit to he heard. 

Mahler had long wished to give the opera the brilliant, produc 
tion which it deserved, but could not get the money from the Im 
perial Treasurer. At last he succeeded in staging it in Vienna in 
1875. Since then it has been triumphant on the operatic stages 
in the world. 

Although Goldmark was under the influence of Wagner's the 
ories, he nevertheless shows much originality and individuality. 
He is particularity successful in his emphasis on dramatic nit na 
tion, and his brilliant orchestration, Goldmark was much attracted 
by biblical material, and he brought to it all the passion of his 
Viennese temperament and all his love for the history of the Jew 
ish nation. A romanticist, he shows a love for the fantasy and the 
poesy of the Orient, 

In his beautiful opera, "Cricket on the Hearth/* he remained 
true to the emotional fairy-tale character of the libretto, A beau 
tiful opera is also his, "Prisoners of War/* 

Goldmark showed great genius in his concert music, especially 
in his master symphony, "Bauern Hoehaeit," and the second sym 
phony in B flat major. In his overtures, "In Spring/* **Penthesi 
lea" and "Sappho" he reached great heights. These works are 
also immensely popular, Also of extraordinary interest are his 
violin concerto, piano concerto, piano quintet, quartet and quintet 
for strings, and Psalm 113 for chorus. 

His concert overture "Sakuntela" (1865) is a #em among 
works written for the orchestra; it is a poetical Illustration of the* 
Hindu drama, "Calidasf." 

Goldmark was born on May 18, 1830, in DoHxthel, Hungary. 
In 1844 he went to Vienna, where he studied the violin under Leo 
pold Janse. From 1860 to 1857 he occupied the post of violinist in 
various Austrian orchestras. For Ignatx Brllll, Goldmark had a 
great attachment as they were both frank and hcmeat nature*, and 
felt neither of the diseases that often consume musician* envy and 
jealousy. 

Goldmark died in Vienna on January 2, 1915, 

In his hook, My Long Life in Mmic, Leopold Auer aays the 
following of his acquaintance with Goldmark: 

"It was during one of my visits to Vienna that I met Goldmark 
one evening at a house of a music loving friend. He was most 
unassuming in his ways. He was a little chap with a large head 
crowned with long and abundant locks, then in vogue among young 
musicians, owing, I believe, to the example set by Liszt and Paga- 
nini. He was a remarkable musician and a great personality, Hii 
violin concerto can be considered a gem in the literature for that 
instrument." 



Cow power 



31 




JAGQURS FROMMENTHAL ELLI 
IIALEVY 

AN UNCOMMON influence was exerted by Halevy not only on the 
French but on all musically cultured men ot % the world. As a master 
of French grand opera he has hardly a rival. The creator of "The 

Jewess/' "The Queen of Cyrus" and other 
operas, he occupies a foremost place 
among French composers of the nine 
teenth century, although he, like Burnett 
and Benedict* was of German origin. 

His father, Elli Halevy, was born in 
Purth, Bavaria, and won a name for him 
self as a talented poet, who wrote in He 
brew, His two famous sons, one the 
composer, and the other Leon Halevy, the 
writer, took care their father's name 
should continue to live in the world of 
art. 

Halevy, as well as Meyerbeer, took 
little or no care that the contents of his 
work should reveal his ancestry. In his famous opera "The 
Jewess** ho makes use of many ancient Hebrew melodies, and we 
owe to him the immortalisation of the tragic fate of his nation in 
music. In "The Jewess" we hear the passionate strains of relig 
ious emotions, the century-old pains of the Jews, melodiously sung. 
The jrtympulhetit' character and the noble heart of the composer 
gained for him general love and respect. The love and admiration 
of his colleagues, Ober and Thomas, and his pupils, Gounod, Mas- 
senet f ami Jules Cohtm t tell enough of this great musician and man. 
Halevy WILH born on May 23, 1799, in Paris, where he studied 
at the Conservatoire* under Oassot, Collibere, Berton, and Cheru- 
hmL In 1819 he received a government stipendium and the Prix 
de Rome for his cantata "Hermione." Halevy left for Rome to 
study, returning to Paris in 1822, where he devoted himself en 
tirely to creative activity* 

Among his first operas are "The Bohemians/* ^Pygmalion" and 
the comic opera 4 *y Artisan," also "Quid et Ginera," "Carl VI," 
and the "Queen's Musketeers/' He also wrote many cantatas, 
choral works romances and sonatas for four hands. 

The circumstances of his life were favorable to the full devel 
opment of his genius, a fact that is true of every few other com 
posers* In 1827 he was appointed professor at the Paris Conser 
vatoire, and two years later he received the position of conductor 
at the Paris Grand Opera, In 1840 Duke Holiansky appointed him 



32 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

his private conductor, and four years later the Beaux Arts elected 
him vice-president. Halevy was also considered a great ora 
tor, and was chief speaker at the Beaux Arts. 

He died on March 17, 1862, in Nice. His remains were removed 
to Paris, and his funeral bore the character of a national mourning 
day. Among the distinguished people who followed the bier 
through the streets of Paris were Count Morney, brother of the 
Emperor, Prince Napoleon, and Princess Mathilda. He left an 
unfinished opera, "Noe," which was completed by his son-in-law, 
Bizet. The opera, like "Samson and Delilah," had its premiere 
outside of France, having first been performed under Felix Mottl, 
at the Grand Ducal Theatre of Karlsruhe in 1885, where, accord 
ing to a report which appeared in the Paris "Figaro," it was a 
success. Among his most famous pupils are Gounod, Bizet, Mas 
senet, Victor Masset, Del Devez and Duvernoy. 



EMERIGH KALMAN 

WHAT lover of operetta is unacquainted with the famous "Herbst- 
manover" or "Czardasf iirstin" ? The author of these operettas is 
Emerich Kalman, the beloved Hungarian composer, who was born 

in Siofok, Hungary, on October 24, 1882. 
On a plane with Oscar Strauss, Franz 
Lehar, and Leo Fall, Kalman occupied 
one of the outstanding places among 
operetta writers of the day. Even more 
than that of his colleagues, Kalman's 
music reflects the color of his fatherland, 
that celebrated land of wine, dance, 
Chardasch and Paprika ! 

Kalman studied composition at the 
Royal High School in Budapest under 
Hans Koessler. Aside from the operettas 
mentioned, he also wrote the following 
charming works that have already cir 
cled the globe : 

"Der Kleine Konig"; "Faschingsf ee" ; "Hollandweibchen" ; 
"Die Bajadere"; and his latest work, "Countess Maritza." 
He is now living in Vienna. 




Composers 



33 




BRIG! I WOLFGANG KORNGOLD 

WHITING about Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Maurice Halpersohn, the 
New York critic, said: "When Nature takes a holiday, which does 
not occur too often, she takes pleasure in creating a genius. And 

so it happens that a few chosen ones can' 
enjoy as a gift of Nature what other mor 
tals can attain only by hardest studies, 
and then only if they have the necessary 
talent and ambition. We are accustomed 
to speak then of 'miracles.' One of these 
happy mortals on whose brain genius was 
stamped by kind Nature is young Erich 
Wolfgang Korngold, the Viennese com 
poser, who has showed since earliest 
youth a musical genius which can be com 
pared only with Mozart's," 

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was born 
in Brunn on May 29, 1897. He is the son 
of the noted music critic, Dr, Julius 
Korngold, who was also born at Brunn, in 1860, and studied In 
Vienna, lie is the music reviewer of the Ne/ue Freie Presse, where 
ho succeeded the famous Dr. Ecluard Hanslick (known as Richard 
Wagner's mortal enemy). At the age of six, Erich received his 
first piano and harmony Issons under Emil Lamm, a distant 
relative of the pupil When only seven, Erich began composing 
small piano pieces and dances. It was characteristic of the boy to 
carry with him wherever he went a music note-book, on whose 
pages he put down everything that came into his head. Later he 
took lessons from Zemlinsky and Gradener, to whom he owes his 
splendid and solid music foundation. 

Korngold's first work of consequence, written at the age of 
eleven, is the ingenious pantomime "Der Sehneemann," performed 
at the View mi Opera House in 1908. This work shows the child's 
genius, for its bold harmonies are conceived on vigorous melodic 
lines. It was given its first performance with Zemlinsky's instru 
mentation. To this period also belong his piano trio, opus 1, and 
a few piano pieces without opus numbers, including his "Don 
Quixote." Korngold showed his mastery of orchestration at the 
age of thirteen, in the "Schauapiel Overture," opus 4, and his "Sin- 
fonietta," masterpieces of their kind. His other works, the second 
piano sonata, opuw 2; "Marchenbilder" for piano opus S; violin so 
nata opus 6; string sextet, opus 10; string quartet, opus 16; and 
piano quintet, opus 15, are written as though by the hand of a 



34 Famous Mmiciaus of a Wctnderinfj Race 

thorough master. The following of his works also are often heard 
on concert programs: "Sursum Oorda," a symphonic overture for 
orchestra; "Einfache Leider," opus 9; and "Lieder des AlwhitnLs/* 
opus 14. 

His operas, "Der Ring des Polyenitcsi," opus 7, and "Violanta/' 
opus 8, had great success when presented at the Metropolitan Opera 
House in New York, yet these were eclipsed by his opera on a 
legendary theme, "Die Tote Stadt" (from Rodenhaeh's u Bruges la 
Morte"). The two first-mentioned operas are not only musically 
brilliant, but dramatically so masterfully constructed that they 
prove Korngold'a great genius in dramatic composition, We can 
even say that in them Korngold has become the father of a new 
form of music drama. Undoubtedly* Korngold's future Hticceases 
will prove to have been foreshadowed in these operas, and it IB to 
be hoped that he continues along his own tracks, 

"Violanta" was first performed on April 10, 1916, in Vienna, 
under Reichwein, with Jeritssa, Kurfc, Pic-caver, Miller and Weide- 
mann. With this opera Korngold achieved a brilliant Hueeesa* 
gaining the interest of the greatest music authorities, including 
Arthur Nikisch, Humperdink, and Weingartnor for thin prodigy. 
Karl Goldmark said: "His knowledge and pristine wealth of musi 
cal ideas are positively beyond understanding, Korngold h a won 
der!" Professor Kretschmar said once to the elder Korngold; 
"Among all the early maturing geniuses, your son is to be consid 
ered an extraordinary phenomenon, I only know of one comparison 
and that is young Handel" 

The "Dead City" had its premiere on January 10 f 1921, in 
Vienna, with Jeritza in the leading role. She created the name part 
at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in November, 1921. 
(This opera was incidentally the first German opera to be produced 
in America since this country entered the war.) 

The text, by Paul Schott, one of the younger members of the 
well-known music publishing firm of B, Schott's Sdhne in Mainz, 
Germany, is based on a famous romance by the great Belgian au 
thor, Georges Rodenbach* It is Bruges, the "Dead City," which is 
the center of interest in Rodenbach's romance and drama and a 
good deal of the atmosphere was retained in the libretto, Roden* 
bach's widow related to the Viennese playwright, Siegfried Tre- 
bitsch, an old friend of her late husband, the drama "Le Mirage/* 
written after the romance "Bruges la Morte*" Trebltach trans 
lated it into German and the drama produced at the Leasing 
Theatre in Berlin made a deep impression- When young Korngold 
asked Trebitsch for an effective opera libretto, he recommended 
Rodenbach's drama. Erich read it in one night and was BO im 
pressed by the fantastic story that he decided to set it to music* 
The same night he worked out an opera scenario, which, however, 



Composers 35 



was radically changed when Paul Schott, his collaborator, had the 
happy idea that the entire fantastic action should be changed from 
reality into a vision. 9 

Korngold's opera pi*esents difficult problems to the singers and 
the stage management. The vision must impress us as such, and 
no realistic or even theatrical tone must interfere with the action 
of the dream. The score of it is alive with flaming harmonies. 
When Richard Strauss heard this opera he said : "The first feeling 
one experiences is simple fear that such a precocious genius should 
follow the course of normal development to enable him to carry out 
hitf wishes. This assurance of style, this mastery of form, this 
individuality of expression, these harmonies, are really astound 
ing! ..." 

Enemies of Erich's father charged him with using his influence 
in favor of an artificially created "child prodigy." They went so far 
as to charge that the boy had been given the name "Wolfgang" 
only after his musical talent developed, In order to establish the 
analogy with the immortal Mozart Little Erich Wolfgang and his 
father were made the objects of such bitter professional and per 
sonal attacks that the father often contemplated giving up his posi 
tion as critic, so that talent would not stand in the way of genius. 

Young Erich was in no way arrogant, but seemed to be, on the 
contrary, a lovable boy. Felix Weingartner, the great conductor, 
one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the boy's gifts, charac 
terized him as "jolly, often exuberant, clever, but in no way pre 
cocious; affectionate and grateful, but never submissive; of frank 
and sure judgment and with a goodly portion of humor." His 
whole crime was his genius, and the fact that he had an influential 
father and that this father had innumerable adversaries. What 
critic has not? 

The opinion of the musical observers who watched young 
Korngold's development with anxious admiration is best expressed 
in the following words of Felix Weingartner: "Erich Korngold 
is an individuality. In vain I searched his compositions, even his 
earliest, for blunders. Nowhere did I find a point disclosing an 
inexperienced hand. His compositions never betray the composer's 
youth. No one would suspect that a little boy was the author. 
Erich's music is of a refinement which could almost frighten musi 
cal experts, but we must not forget that even a genius is a child of 
his time. He gives me an impression as though Nature had the 
caprice to sum up everything the art of music had produced in the 
last decades in order to give the sum total to a child in his cradle, 
who now plays with it." 

Weingartner found an opportunity to judge the boy's mastery 
in handling orchestral problems when he asked him to rearrange 
for orchestra three of Korngold's songs, which were originally 



Famou* 



of' a Wandering Race 



written to piano accompaniment, so that; the conductor's wife, the 
late Lucille Marcel- Weingartnor, could sing them at a concert, 
When Erich brought him the orchestral part a few days* later, 
Weingartnor remarked that lie wished the accompaniment some 
what, less massive. The hoy sat- down to work- Twenty minutes 
later he gave the conductor the corrected manuscript* which Wein- 
gartnor, before wlio.se very eyes this miracle hud taken place, found 
faultless. 

Among Korngold's smaller pieces are songs, and the incidental 
music to "Much Ado About Nothing/' opus 11, written in capric 
ious chamber-nuiHic style, admirably illustrating Shakespeare's gay 
comedy. His latest work is an opera written for Mme Maria 
Jeritsca "called "The Miracle of Uclian." The libretto is by Kalt- 
necker, who died some time ago of starvation. The author had 
heard Korngold's "Violanta" and was so impressed with the score 
that he immediately set to work to provide the composer with a 
suitable vehicle for his talent. 

He often conducts his operas and concerts himself, with great 
ability. In 1919 he accepted a position as conductor at the Opera 
House in Hamburg; his skill, temperament and artistic taste were 
generally admired there. This position he resigned to devote him 
self entirely to composition. 



ALEXANDER ABRAMOVITGH KREYN 

ONK OB" the most gifted representatives of the young modern Kua- 
suan-Jewish School in Alexander Ahramovitch Kre.yn, who wan born 
in Nisshny Novgorod, llusaia, on October 20, 188!i, Kreyn became 

actively interested in composition after 
graduating from the Moscow (Conserva 
tory 'cello class, his instructor there be 
ing Von-Gltm. He later studied composi 
tion privately under Professors B. I* 
Yavorski and L. B Nikolayev* Shortly 
afterwards ho gave to the world a suc 
cession of musical compositions whieti 
rank among the beat that modern RuHsiii 
has produced 

Kreyn was one of the most independ 
ent among the modernists. His music is 
basically vocal The vocal color of his 
work is not only expressed in the melodic 
line but runs throughout the har 
monic structure. Marvcloualy enough, in all the complexity of hii 




Composers 37 



musical genius hia music is always free from chance. Although 
Kreyn did not quite reach perfection in the pianistic writing, his 
pieces for that instrument are always rich and strikingly effective, 

In his early youth, he was for a certain time an avowed disciple 
of Scriabin, Ravel, and Debussy, and his work showed their influ 
ence. Acquaintance with Hebrew folk-music and traditional melo 
dies completely altered his artistic creed. He found here some 
thing that made a basic emotional appeal to him and it profoundly 
affected his latter works. As has been the case with most of the 
modern Hebrew composers who have given up the attempt to imi 
tate the Nordic and the Latin, Kreyn's work developed individual 
ity and power. In the latter works of all this school, and particu 
larly in Kreyn, one feels the breadth of Biblical pathos, and a 
peculiar Hebrew lyricism which combines religious contemplation 
with characteristic racial melancholy. 

Kreyn attracted the attention of the Russian musical world by 
his symphonic work "Salome/' which he called a "Poem of Pas 
sion," and which was performed at the Moscow Symphony Con 
certs. It is a forceful and deeply emotional work with a strong 
Hebrew strain in it. In this poem Kreyn successfully illustrates 
the suffering of the heroine, rejected by the prophet. The music 
of "Salome" has a certain fascination because of the brilliant color 
ing and the rhythmic contrasts in the different themes. 

His first compositions were free from nationalistic traits. He 
became a conspicuous figure among Russian modernists before he 
revealed himself as a Jewish national composer. His first attempt 
in the Jewish national spirit, written to order, was "Jewish 
Sketches," for string quartet and clarinet. After that he began 
other works in 'the same style. In "Salome," although there is not 
apparent a definite nationalistic approach, the composer feels his 
basis of a Europeanized tonality. His "Kadish," opus 33, is an 
excellent cantata for tenor solo, chorus and orchestra to the text 
of A. OrBchanin. A piano sonata, in spite of its apparent European 
form, retains all the significance of a nationalistic production, as 
do his excellent series of songs to words of Jewish and Russian 
poets, Balmont, Byalik, Ef ros, and others. 

Kreyn has also written Five Jewish Songs to the words of 
Abraham Ef ros, opus 31 ; music to the L. Perez drama "Na Pokay- 
annoy Tsepi," which was performed by the State Theatre in Russia, 
and a series of other compositions : 

Five Preludes, for piano,, opus 3; Lyric Poem, for violin and 
piano, opus 4 ; Poem-Quartet, for two violins, alto and cello, opus 
9; Poem in F major for 'cello and orchestra,, opus 10; Elegy, a trio 
for violin, 'cello and piano, opus 16; Symphony No. 1, for large or 
chestra, opus 35 ; music to the drama "Sabatay Zvi," for orchestra, 
opus 87; and many smaller works, 

Kreyn is not a religious thinker, but a religious enthusiast, 



MHMCWUH of a Wainlerhift 



a sort of "Ohassid." However we may appraise his work, we must 

always consider him, aside from his specific Jewish significance, a 
figure of Importance in the music of the world. 



GUSTAV MAULER 

GUSTAV MAHLKR is acknowledged as one of the world's greatest 
composers and conductors that over lived. He was horn on July 7, 
I860, in Kalisch, Bohemia. A few months after his birth, the 

family removed to l#lau. Here, at tlw 
age of six, lit* received his first music 
lessons. In 1875 ho came to the Vienna 
Conservatory, where ho studied piano 
under T. Epstein, harmony under K. 
Fuchs, and composition under T. Krowtu 
Having won tlio conservatory prize in 
1878, ho attended the philosophy and 
musical history classes at the university 
for two yours. His works of that 'period 
(quintet for strings and piano, a violin 
sonata, and the opera U 10rnst von Schwa- 
bon") were destroyed lator on by the 1 
composer. At that time he came in close* 
contact with Anton Bruckner* who.se les 
sons influenced his style, mure perhaps, than any other eom 
poser. Bruckner was particularly delighted when Mahler made* 
an excellent piano arrangement of his third symphony. 

In the Summer of 1880 Mahler accepted his first engagement 
as conductor at Hall, and finished his first work, **Das Klagende 
Lied/' for solo, chorus and orchestra. The orchestra score was 
rewritten after 1900. The poem of thin cantata wan written by 
Mahler himself in 1878, This excellent work shows already a fully 
developed style and technique. It marks the beginning of Inn first 
period, influenced by romantic poems, especially by the "J/iwtor 
Aus Den Knaben Wuwlerhorn," 

Angclo Neuman was the mart who "discovered" Mahler, in 
Prague. As a ward of Anton Swell, Gustav Mahler was the first 
to conduct the Niehelungen 'Ring at the Prague Gorman Theatre. 
At the same time ho manifested such talent in the interpretation 
of Mozart that even then Brahms often said of him: I4 lf you want 
to hear Mossart, go to Prague And hear M'aliler play him/ 1 

During the Winter seaon of 3881, Mahler conducted at Jxjl* 
bach; in 1882-3 he conducted at the Olmutss Theatre, then was 




Composers 39 



chorus master of the Italian season in Vienna, During the same 
year he composed his first volume of songs. In the Summer he 
went to Bayreuth to hear "Parsifal" and spent the season of 1883-4 
at the Cassel Opera, His "Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen" and 
his First Symphony he composed in December, 1883. In 1885 he 
was second conductor at the Deutsches Theatre in Prague, and in 
the Summer of 1886 he went to Leipzig, where he actively assisted 
Arthur Nikisch at the Leipzig Opera, and where he became known 
through his arrangement and completion of Weber's opera-frag 
ment "The Three Pintos" (first performed in Leipzig, 1888). He 
spent 1888-91 in the capital of Hungary as director of the Buda 
pest Opera, and succeeded in increasing the importance of opera 
in that country. He was first conductor at the Hamburg Opera 
House ( 1891 ) , retaining the post for six years. His famous Second 
Symphony in C minor was finished in 1894 and had its world pre 
miere in 1895. 

Mahler began his Second Symphony while at Leipzig in 
the late eighties and finished it, according to the com 
poser's biographer, Paul Stefan, at Steinbach, on the Al- 
tersee in June, 1894. On March 4, 1895, Richard Strauss con 
ducted the three instrumental movements at a Berlin Philharmonic 
concert. On December 13 of the same year, Mahler himself con 
ducted the entire symphony in Berlin. The first performance of 
the symphony in America was given by the Symphony Society of 
New York on December 8, 1908, under the composer's direction. 
I, myself, participated in the performance of this symphony a 
number of times, and also heard the Philharmonic play it in New 
York under Mengelberg on November 27, 1925. This massive work 
left an indelible impression on me; it is a master work among 
master works. 

Mahler has given us a clue to the significance of this symphony, 
not only in the words that are allotted to the chorus and solo voices 
in the symphony, but by his exegetical comments. 

"When I conceive a great musical picture," he wrote, "I always 
arrive at the point where I must employ the 'word' as the bearer 
of my musical idea. . . . My experience with the last movement 
of my Second Symphony is such that I literally ransacked the litera 
ture of the word up to the Bible to find the redeeming 'word.' 

"Deeply significant of the nature of artistic creation is the man 
ner in which I received the prompting to it I had had for a long 
time the thought of using the chorus in the last movement, and 
only the fear that this might be considered an imitation of Bee 
thoven made me hesitate. About that time Bulow^ died, and I 
attended his funeral in Hamburg. The mood in which I sat and 
thought of the dead man was exactly in the spirit of the work that I 
was carrying about in my mind* Then the chorus intoned Klop- 



40 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

-? ' " " ' ~"~ 

stock's chorale 'Resurrection/ This struck me like a flash of light 
ning, and everything was revealed clearly and plainly to my soul. 
The creative artist was waiting for this flash. What I then experi 
enced I had to create in tones. And yet, if I had not had this work 
already in me, how could I have had this experience?" 

The symphony has been called, with good reason, apparently, 
the "Resurrection" Symphony, but this title was displeasing to 
Ernst Otto Nodnagel, who wrote at length about Mahler's works 
in his Jenseits von Wagner and Liszt (1902). Herr Nodnagel 
preferred to see in the first Allegro "the funeral music of a great 
man," with hints at episodes in his life; in the idyllic second move 
ment he perceived "a reference to an episode of sunny happiness" ; 
in the "demoniacal Scherzo," "a portrayal of the doubt and despair 
of a racked soul"; and in the fourth, "comfort"; while the fifth 
brings "the longed-for deliverance, not as a 'resurrection/ a con 
fession or religious belief, but in the sense of our modern biological 
views." Or, as it has been phrased by another writer, a "Hymn 
of praise on the return of the soul clarified and perfected." Herr 
Nodnagel explains the bird's thrillings in the last movement, which 
have puzzled many commentators, as being a "symbol of the last 
expiring vestige of life on the earth." 

"This is a symphony of destiny. Mahler's subsequent explana 
tion implies (in the first movement) the death of a hero who has 
fallen in the Promethean struggle for his ideal, for the knowledge 
of life and death. Abysmal depths are stirred. A long-drawn-out 
funeral march rises sharp and trenchant from the restless declama 
tory basses, with a consuming lament in the wood-winds. Then the 
abrupt change from minor to major so characteristic of Mahler, 
in horns and strings, very softly, a first promise of consolation. 
But, quick as lightning, the convulsion of the beginning returns/' 

The second movement is an andante-intermezzo in A-flat in 
retrospective mood. The strings begin a dance tune, a horn leads 
to the key of B, changing E flat enharmonically to D sharp. Lively, 
gay, youthful triplets over an unmoving bass. 

The third movement, a scherzo in form, is St. Anthony of 
Padua's sermon to the fishes (from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn"). 
The fourth movement, "Primal Light," is also from this famous 
old German folk poetry. The fifth movement, "The Great Sum 
mons," a wild, frantic, terrifying scherzo, represents Death and 
Judgment at hand. "Death and Judgment are at hand. But the 
storm of the orchestra is interrupted by reassurances. Distant 
horns spread the terror of the Last Day. Like a subdued March, 
the chorale of the first movement is recalled a reference to the 
coming endless procession. . . . The cry for mercy and grace 
sounds, terribly in our ears. Fear and hope struggle in all hearts. 
The Great Summons is heard; the trumpets of the Apocalypse 



Composers 41 



sound the call In the awful silence we seem to hear a far, far 
distant nightingale, like the last quivering echo of earthly life. 
The chorus of the saints and the heavenly hosts begins almost in- 
audibly: "Thou shalt arise, arise from the dead!" The splendor 
of God appears. ... It is no judgment; there are no sinners, no 
righteous. . . . There is no punishment and no reward. An irre 
sistible sentiment of love penetrates us with blest knowledge and 
vital glow. The chorus with soprano solo, begins a capella, with 
indescribable effect (the first two themes are taken from a hymn, 
"The Resurrection," by Friedrich Gottlob Klopstock). With the 
peal of organ and bells amid the jubilation of the orchestra, this 
"Resurrection Symphony" ends. 

In 1896 Mahler finished his Third Symphony. Its first complete 
performance took place in 1902. From 1897 he was director of the 
Vienna Opera, and here began his great transformation of the rep 
ertoire with new mises en scene of the operas of Mozart, Gluck, 
Wagner and other classics. This period was the heyday of that 
opera house. The first performance of his Fourth Symphony, a 
tremendous and overpowering work, composed in 1899-90, was 
given in Munich in 1902. Whereas the second, third and fourth 
symphonies have solo or choruses in the last movement, the sym 
phonies of the second period (except the eighth symphony) are 
entirely instrumental. His Fifth Symphony, Mahler finished in 
1902 (performed for the first time at Cologne in 1904), In 1904 
he married Alma Maria Schindler. That same year he also began 
his Sixth Symphony (first in Essen), and his Seventh, which he 
completed in 1906 (first performed in Prague, 1908). This is his 
maturest effort, and is one of the most significant works in the 
modern symphonic repertory. It is written in two parts (with 
solis and double chorus). The first part is, "Hymn, Veni, Creator 
Spiritus" (with double fugue) ; the second part the last scenes of 
Part II of "Faust" in the form of an Adagio, Scherzo and Finale. 
It had its first performance in Munich, September 12, 1908. This 
tremendous work demands a colossal ensemble and is named the 
"Symphony of the Thousand/' 

After a period of ten years' work, Mahler left his post as direc 
tor of the Vienna Opera, and in 1907 came to New York, where he 
conducted the operas of Mozart and Wagner and many symphonic 
concerts. It was during the Summer of 1908 that he finished his 
orchestral poem, "Das Lied von der Erde," which had its first per 
formance in Munich in 1911 under Bruno Walter. This work, 
after a Chinese poem, is written for alto and tenor voices with 
orchestra. It was during his stay in America that he composed 
his Ninth Symphony, which had its premiere in Vienna in 1912, 
also under Bruno Walter, 



42 Famous MiwieiaHx of a Wandering Race 



In this symphony, the first and fourth movements arc Adagio, 
and are in religious mood, the second movement in rustic mode, 
while the third is burlesque. During one of the rehearsals with the 
New York Symphony, the author was told hy Otto Klentperer that 
the third movement was written during Mahler's stay in New York, 
and reflects the futility of the haste, noise and hustle of the great 
American metropolis. It is as though Mahler asked the world for 
a solution of the eternal enigma: "Whither do men go? Is it 
worth all the trouble?" In the fourth movement Mahler answers 
this question; "Yes, in death will you find it, in rest eternal and 
in oblivion* . . ." 

In 1909-10 Mahler began sketches for his Tenth Symphony, but, 
alas! he did not finish it a fate he shared in common with Bee* 
thovcn and Bruckner, whose lives ended after their Ninth Sym 
phonies were written* 

This great genius died on May 18, 191 I f in Vienna* without 
having heard his Ninth Symphony, It was not performed in public 
till nearly a year after his death, His last concert in America look 
place on February 21, 191 1, after which he returned to Vienna, 

While Hermann Lovi saw in Wagner's labors the full realisa 
tion of the ideal Music-Drama, Gustav Mahler was considered a 
conductor par excellence of these dramas, He met all great musical 
compositions of this day with the greatest honesty and attention, 

Mahler's fame increased rapidly after his death, He in the hmt 
in the line of Viennese classical composers. He completed the 
romantic symphonic form handed on to him by Schubert and 
Bruckner. 

Together with Hans von Bulow, Mahler should he considered 
one of the greatest and most powerful personalities among con 
ductors, A friend of the author's, who played under Mahler*** 
leadership, once said that no conductor has ever exercised such 
magnetic influence over his orchestras. Ha wan also one of the 
most loved of men, by his friends as well an by the members of 
his orchestras, and by all people with whom he* came in contact* 
Bright and genial he was kind to all, always responding to any 
request for his aid or service. 

His unfinished Tenth Symphony wan first performed on June 6, 
1925, in Prague, under Zemlinsky, 

Another great living Jewish composer, Ernest Bloeh, remarked 
regarding the influence of racial inheritance on a composer's work r 
"I think the principal reason that Jewish composers have never as 
yet attained the ftrat rank in musical composition is that consciously 
or unconsciously, through fear or lack of self-knowledge, they 
failed to proclaim themselves in their art I think the great short 
coming of Mahler as a composer was that he failed to realize this, 
So he built with idioms that were outworn and inadequate to the 
things he wished to say and the manner in which he would have 



Composers 43 



said them. If, in his restless searching for the "word" he could have 
linked himself to the genius of his race, what might he not have 
accomplished? As it is, we listen to Mahler's great symphonies, 
that tower so high, and aspire so much higher, and realize with 
sorrow that for all their spirituality their musical spirit Is too con 
ventional, too certain to crumble with the passage of time/' 



MORITZ MOSZKOWSKY 

ONE of the most talented composers of our time is Moritz Mosz- 
kowsky, son of a Polish Jew* His musical gift expressed itself in 
creation, although he also ranked high as a pianist and a violinist. 

He is considered to have been one of the 
greatest Polish composers for the piano, 
his Spanish dances and German 
choruses being especially delightful. Few 
pianistic programs fail to include his 
name. The Polish spirit of his work has 
some kinship with the genius of Chopin, 
though the influence of Wagner and Liszt 
is frequently patent. 

Born on August 23, 1854, In Breslau, 
Moszkowsky showed his talent and incli 
nation for music at an early age. When 
he was eleven years old, his parents un 
dertook to give him a serious musical ed 
ucation. His first quartet for piano and 
strings was composed two years later. The next year his parents 
moved to Berlin, and there he entered the Stern Conservatory 
where he studied piano under Eduard Frank, and composition un 
der Prederich Kiel. After two years he entered the Conservatory 
of Kullak, and there studied composition with Wuhertz and piano 
with Kullak. 

He was eighteen when he gave his first concert overture for 
orchestra. A year later he appeared as pianist in a program of his 
own works, and was enthusiastically received. In 1876, he wrote 
the symphonic poem, "Jean d'Arc," which made his name famous 
at home and abroad. 

Among his most important works are the following : 
Two orchestrated suites. ; a violin concerto ; the opera "Boabdil" ; 
incidental music to "Don Juan" and "Faust"; numerous pieces for 
piano (two and four hands) ; pieces for 'cello, songs, compositions 
for two pianos, etc. 

Moszkowsky received many honors and prizes, including an 




44 Famous Musicians of ct Wandering Race 

honorary membership of the London Philharmonic Society, and 
membership in the Queen's Academy of Arts. 

During his latter years he lived in Purus where he wan a lender 
in musical circles, being considered one of (he most talented artists 
and pedagogues. 

In December, 1919, it was reported that Mosy.kowsky, who hud 
been in uncomfortable circumstances, was ill and in want. He had 
lost practically all his fortune in the war, and had been compelled 
to undergo several difficult and expensive operations on his throat, 
which kept him in hospitals for long periods of time. His illness 
had left him in such a weakened condition that he was unable to 
do any more composing or teaching. His editions of standard 
works which he had made during the war, remained unpublished 
due to the shortage of materials. An appeal for funds was madth 
and in a few days over $1,000 was subscribed In December, 
1921, a remarkable concert was given in Carnegie Hall, New York, 
for the benefit of Mosxkowsky, Fifteen prominent pianists gave 
their services, including Josef Lhevinne, Ignaz Friedman, Wilholm 
Bachaus, Leo Qrnstein, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Percy Grainier, Ern 
est Schelling, Ernest Hutchison, Germaine Sehnitsser, Klly Ney 
Harold Bauer, Alfredo Casella, Sigismund Stojowaky, Alexander 
Lambert and Walter Damroach, A reproducing piano as well as 
programs autographed by all the players were auctioned off at 
high prices. 

At this concert $15,000 was realized, which together with the 
Presser Fund, and a fund collected by Mtmcal Amvrim, brought 
the total amount to $20,000, which was sent immediately to 
Moszkowsky. 

The life of Moritz Moazkowaky was, for the most part, quiet 
and uneventful His student days were free from the poverty that 
has been the lot of so many musicians, and hi$ SUCCOSB an a pro 
fessional pianist was immediate. In the field of componition he 
seems to have been absolved from the necessity of gradual devel 
opment, so that his early works are as ripe and finished aa hia latent. 

Though of Polish descent, he cannot be reckoned an a Polish 
composer. His works are German or French in style and in the 
spirit of Mendelssohn and Schumann, though marked by the ele 
gance of style that characterises the land of his adoption. Curi 
ously enough, two well-known writers on musical subjects referred 
to Moszkowsky respectively as "a salon composer of the Romantic 
School" and as "classicist among aalon composers/' His piano 
pieces for four hands are unrivalled in excellence, 

Personally he was a gentle, cheerful man, with a keen sense of 
humor, who was excellent company. Once, writing to a friend, he 
said: "In addition to my extensive musical acquirements, I can 
play billiards, chess, dominoes and violin, and can ride, imitate 
canary birds and relate jokes in the Saxon dialect/' He further- 



Composers 45 



more added that he was "a very tidy, amiable man," which mot 
summed up as well as any description could, not only the man but 
his musical compositions as well. 

Moritz Mosxkowsky died in Paris on March 2, 1925, surrounded 

by friends and admirers, 

FELIX MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY 

THE Mendelssohn family traces its origin from a poor Jewish 
schoolmaster of Dresden named Mendel. On the sixth of September, 
1729, the wife of this man gave birth to a son who was called Moses, 

In later life he was known in Dresden as 
Moses, the Son of Mendel (Moses Men 
delssohn), This Moses later became one 
of Germany's greatest philosophers, and 
it was he who was immortalized in Les- 
sing's famous drama "Nathan the 
Wise/' 

In 1768 Moses married a girl of his 
own faith named Fromme Guggenheim, 
daughter of a humble merchant. They 
had three sons, Joseph, Abraham and 
Nathan, and three daughters, Dorothy, 
Henrietta and Recha. The second son, 
Abraham, and his wife, Leah Solomon, 
a lady of considerable property and ac 
complishments, whom he married on December 26, 1804, were the 
parents of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, 

Leah's older brother had long been a Christian. In accordance 
with German custom he had to assume on his admission into the 
Lutheran community the surname of Bartholdy in addition to his 
own. By his advice, Abraham decided to have his children bap 
tized in accordance with the Lutheran formula, and educated as 
Protestant Christians. , He seems to have adopted this course in 
the full conviction that he was doing the right thing for his chil 
dren, though he had not at first the courage to take the same step 
himself. However, after a period of irresolution, he also presented 
himself and his wife for baptism at Frankfort. She took the Chris 
tian names of Felicia Paulina, and the whole family assumed the 
double name,, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. 

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was born in Hamburg on Feb 
ruary 8, 1809. When the boy was four years old his parents moved 
to Berlin, His teachers in piano and composition were Louis Ber- 
ger and Celter (a friend of Goethe) ; his violin teacher was Ken 
ning, The famous philologist, Paul Heyse, was the family's tutor. 




46 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

The culture, taste and hospitality of the Mendelssohns made their 
home an artistic centre of Berlin. 

At the age of nine Felix gave his first public concert, and at 
ten entered the Berlin Sing-Akademie. Two years later Zelter 
introduced the boy to Goethe, who showed much interest in the 
boy's genius. By that time no one any longer doubted Felix's tal 
ents, excepting perhaps his careful father. The latter did not 
allow his son to devote himself to his passionately loved music, 
when the great Paris musical powers, with Cherubim at the h<md, 
unconditionally recognized his talent Even then it was only on 
condition that the boy continue his general education, lie was 
graduated from High School and for two years attended the lec 
tures at the Berlin University. 

At the age of sixteen, he wrote his famous Octet, and at the age 
of seventeen his overture to Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's 
Dream." This latter composition occupies to this day a unique 
place in the world's music literature. It indicates a genius already 
mature. In this work the orchestra achieves great expressiveness 
and exceptional brightness of color. 

The characteristic spirit of Mendelssohn's work, its fairy-tale 
character, its limpid beauty, was the greatest triumph of the Ro 
mantic School. Early in 1829 Mendelssohn did music a great 
service by performing in Berlin Bach's "Saint Matthew's Passion," 
a work that had remained in oblivion for seventy years. Soon 
afterwards he went to London, where he was introduced by Mosch- 
eles to the Philharmonic Society and started preparations for the 
presentation of his "Midsummer Night's Dream/' The premiere 
took place on May 18, 1829. Its success was colossal KB second 
presentation on July 13 of the same year was a triumph for the 
composer. 

Marchesi, the famous singer, in her memoirs says: "London 
worshipped Mendelssohn and his 'songs without words/ his 'Wai- 
purgis Night' music, his 'Elijah' and 'St, Paul,' and his 'Midsum 
mer Night's Dream.' When Judah spoke through the lips of Men 
delssohn, he spoke with a heavenly voice, that still enchants the 
world by its sweetness and expressiveness." 

One year later in 1830, Mendelssohn went to Italy via Munich, 
After a visit to Naples he returned home, where he played at court 
his Piano Concerto in B minor, and where he was commissioned to 
write an opera for the city of Munich. 

After his brilliant presentation at Dusseldorff of Handel's 
"Israel in Egypt," Mendelssohn was offered the post of conductor 
at that theater, which he accepted and held for three years. In 
the Spring of 1835 he conducted the Musical Festival at Koln, and 
then left for Leipzig, where he was invited to conduct the Gewand- 
haus concerts. Thanks to his genius and his charming personality. 



Composers 



47 




Mendelssohn soon became the center of Leipzig's musical life. In 
1843 he founded, under the protection of the King of Saxony, the 

Leipzig conservatory, which was des- t i 

tined to become famous in the annals of 
music. 

On March 28, 1837, he married Ce 
cilia Jorneau, the daughter of a Ham 
burg minister, a charming and kindly 
woman. In this marriage Mendelssohn 
found his life's happiness. 

An invitation from the Prussian 
King, Friederich the Fourth, to come to 
Berlin was not accepted, and even his 
appointment to the post of General Music 
Director did not entice him, for he did 
not like this city, where he felt his music 
had not been properly received. At a 
farewell audience, the king remarked that he could not force Men 
delssohn to remain in Berlin, but that he was much hurt by his 
refusal to stay. Not only Prussia, but Switzerland, England and 
other countries invited the composer to come and lead music fes 
tivals. 

Mendelssohn was an innovator in the most diverse branches 
of his art. As a composer, virtuoso and man, he won for himself 
the love and admiration of the whole world. Unfortunately, he, 
like Weber, Schubert, Mozart and Bizet, died in the heyday of his 
creative life. This genius, who occupies so unique a place in the 
world's esteem, owes his greatness not only to the heavens' grace, 
but to having sprung from a family distinguished for its spiritual 
aristocracy. 

This immortal composer has again proved by his numerous 
works how greatly the Jewish race is gifted with musical genius. 

His works to this day rank high in almost all the diverse 
branches of music. He wrote many concert overtures^ sympho 
nies, concertos for piano and violin, and chamber music; duets, 
trios, quartets, octets ; salon pieces for piano, among which are his 
famous "Songs Without Words"; works for the organ and for male 
voices, and the unfinished opera "Lorelei"; the oratorios "St. Paul" 
and "Elijah"; motets, cantatas, hymns, etc. 

Mendelssohn' was the creator of the Concert Overture in its 
present-day, independent and finished orchestral form, of which 
his "Hebrides," "Melusina" and similar works are examples. 

The death of his dearly beloved sister, Fanny, who was a kin 
dred spirit, on May 18, 1847, was an insupportable calamity in the 
life of the young musician. Whoever has heard his Quartet in F 
minor, written during the Summer of 1847, will understand how 



48 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

deeply he suffered from that time till his death. He began to avoid 
society more and more, and became more and more enervated and 
irritable. His lively walk turned into a slovenly gait. On Octo 
ber 28 1847, Mendelssohn suffered a stroke, and on November 4 
of the same year, he died. Three days later he was buried. His 
teachers, Moscheles, David, Hauptman and Gade, were the pall 
bearers. 

The compositions Mendelssohn left are too numerous to find a 
detailed listing in so limited a volume as this. To form a concep 
tion of how great Mendelssohn's genius really was, it is enough to 
remember that his oratorio "Elijah" ranks with the giant Han 
del's best, and is being performed to this day more often than any 
other composition of its kind. 



ARNOLD MENDELSSOHN 

THE MENDELIAN theory of hereditary influences finds ample sup 
port in the life and work of Arnold Mendelssohn (son of a cousin 
of the famous Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, and member of the 
rich German family of Mendelssohn). 

Born in Ratibor, Germany, on December 26, 1855, Arnold was 
educated first for the bar, but eventually turned to music, and 
became organist and music teacher at Bonn University during 
1880-83, His first musical studies were pursued under Haupt, with 
whom he studied the organ, and continued under Grell, Wilsing, 
Kiel, Taubert and Loeschhorn. In 1885 he became teacher at the 
Cologne Conservatory, and in 1890 church choir-master in Darm 
stadt, where in 1899 he received the degree of Grand Ducal Pro 
fessor. 

In 1917 the University of Heidelberg bestowed on the composer 
an honorary Ph.D. Degree. In 1919 he was elected a member of 
the Berlin Academy of Art. Among his works are three operas, 
three sacred concertos, and many choral works and cantatas. 

He wrote also a symphony in E flat major, opus 85; a violin 
concerto, piano sonatas, opus 21 and 66; String Quartets, opus 
67 and 83 ; a very well known 'cello sonata, opus 70 ; a violin sonata, 
opus 71 ; a trio for two violins and piano ; and a "Modern Suite," 
for piano, opus 77. 

Arnold Mendelssohn's works are distinguished by delicate feel 
ing and perfection of form, which mark him a composer of late 
romantic tendencies. 



Composers 49 




DARIUS MILHAUD 

DARIUS MILHAUD is another outstanding figure in the much-spoken- 
of Parisian "Groupe des Six." He is one of the fiery and brilliant 
apostles of today's revolutionary musical work. The influence 

exercised on him by the aesthetic theories 
of the poet, Jean Cocteau, should not de 
ceive us as to the real nature of his in 
spiration, for in spite of his modernistic 
exterior, he is in fact a follower of the 
romantic tradition. His music often 
expresses a serious and religious feeling, 
which is likewise found in another, more 
famous modernist, Honegger, but which 
is entirely foreign to the preoccu 
pations of the other members of the 
group. 

Darius Milhaud was born in Aix-en- 
Provence on September 4, 1892. Al 
though of a Jewish Provencal family, he 
received his musical education in the capital, at the Paris Con 
servatoire, where he studied from 1910 to 1919. There his teacher 
in composition and fugue was Gedalge, and in the other branches 
of music Widor, D'Indy, and Leroux. 

Milhaud is one of the most interesting and gifted musicians 
of the young French modern school. His extraordinary creative 
energy manifested itself at an early age. He could not, of course, 
escape the influence of Debussy, Stravinsky, Schonberg and Bela 
Bartok. His "P'olytonal" works have caused many a storm among 
the conservatives. 

Although he is still in his middle thirties, Milhaud's work al 
ready includes several lyrical dramas and symphonic works, ^five 
quartets, pieces for violin and for piano, songs and compositions 
for wind instruments. We must mention especially, his "Eum- 
enido," "Prote," and the "Poemes Juives." Some of Milhaud's work 
shows signs conflict and indecision, while others preserve those 
qualities of vigor and spontaneity, which, after all, give the real 
value to his best compositions. 

Early in 1923, Milhaud visited the United States, on which occa 
sion the City Symphony Orchestra under Dirk Foch of New York 
performed two of his works, a "Symphonic Poem for Orchestra" 
(conducted by the composer) , and a "Ballade for piano and orches 
tra," in which the composer played the piano solo. 
1 As leading 'cellist of that orchestra, the author of this book 



50 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

has had the opportunity to play and study Milhaud's works, which 
are among the most interesting music we have heard from this 
composer. It is music completely of the present age, or the more 
superficial side of it; music of intensely nervous quality, ironic, and 
of a driving energy music that arrests the attention, and yet is 
barren of results. It is all nerves and mechanism, but no heart. 
The writing is extraordinarily accurate, and the effect is brilliant 
if nothing more. 

On March 1, 1926, the International Referendum Orchestra 
gave a performance of Milhaud's Sixth Symphony at Chickering 
Hall, New York. This work, which is still in manuscript, is scored 
for vocal mixed quartet, oboe and 'cello. It is the last of a set of 
symphonies utilizing voices and various combinations of instru 
ments. It was written by Milhaud after his recent visit to the 
United States, and in its three movements are reflected his impres 
sions of the American scene. The voices are treated contrapun- 
tally. His "Hebrew Folk Songs" were also performed then. 



LOUIS LEWANDOWSKI 

Louis LEWANDOWSKI represents a phenomenon in the field of 
synagogical singing. In 1871 he published his famous Kol Rinnoh 
Utfilloh, a collection of solos, part-choruses for small synagogues, 

and recitations for cantors. In these 
works Lewandowski achieved brilliant 
results by retaining the ancient motives, 
and ennobling them through his splendid 
harmonization, whereas previous to his 
day these chants, passing from mouth to 
mouth, were subjected to many corrup 
tions. Encouraged by the success of these 
works, he published four years later a 
large volume of Sabbath chants for four 
voices, named Todah Wesimroh. To 
this period belong also his arrangements 
of synagogal chants for the Nuremberg 
and Stettin congregations, and a num 
ber of liturgical psalms with German 
text. 

Lewandowski was born on April 3, 1821, in Wreschen. He 
studied in Berlin, first under A. Marx and later under Runhen- 
hagen and Grell. He was the first Jew who had the good fortune 
to be a pupil at the Berlin Academy of Arts. For a round half- 
century he directed a synagogue choir until the day of his dearth 
on December 27, 1890. 




Composers 



51 




JACQUES OFFENBACH 

THE historico-cultural significance of music never appeared so 
clearly as in the comic operas and operettas of Jacques Offenbach, 
favorite composer of the French Revolution and musical illustrator 

of the demoralization and degeneration 
of that period. 

Son of a Jewish cantor in Koln, Offen 
bach for many years bore the honest 
name of Jacob, until he found it neces 
sary to change it in Paris to Jacques. 
His father, Judah Offenbach (his full 
name was Judah Eberst) , had a beautiful 
voice, and was the Chazan (cantor) of 
the orthodox synagogue. He who had 
published in 1839 a Jewish prayer book, 
never dreamed that his son would stray 
so far from the righteous path of his 
forefathers and would not only forsake 
___ their religion, but would also compose 
melodies which were open mockeries and burlesques of traditional 
synagogical chants. 

Whoever wished to become acquainted with French morals of 
the time of Napoleon III would necessarily have to take into ac 
count Offenbachiana, as this musical buffoonery, brimming over 
with melodious jollity and super-refined caricature, is the very ex 
pression of the society of Paris in the mid-nineteenth century. 

Jacques Offenbach was born June 21, 1819, and received his 
musical education in Paris. His fine 'cello playing at the local con 
servatory attracted attention, but his first attempts to appear as 
'cellist virtuoso were unsuccessful. He did, however, secure a post 
as 'cellist in the orchestra of the Queen's Opera. But this could 
not satisfy him for long. In 1847 he secured for the first time the 
position of conductor at the Theatre Francaise. His cherished 
dream was to compose for the theatre, and his first success on the 
stage was his "Chanson de Fortunio." 

In 1872 he became entrepeneur of his own troupe. He under 
took .a tour of the United States, but was unsuccessful and had 
to return to Paris. 

Offenbach, representative of the Bouffe Parisienne, created by 
his works a whole school of music. Many composers of operettas 
owe a great debt to "Beautiful Helen'' and "Orpheus in Hades," 
but none of them so far have succeeded in approaching him. Had 
Offenbach been a poet he would have been a parodist. As it was, 



52 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

he created that form of music which we call "Burlesque Opera" or 
"Opera-Comique." Not unjustly did Kossini refer to him as the 
"Mozart of Paris." 

As a man Offenbach was kind and genial. He exhibited at 
times the weakness of a child as well as a childish naivete and good 
ness. He was witty, talkative, jolly and happy-go-lucky, using his 
powers of sarcasm only when irritated. Of Wagner, for example, 
who visited him, he spoke angrily, assuring everyone that Wagner 
would have been the greatest composer, if he had no predecessors 
in Mozart, Gluck, Weber, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, and that 
his melodies would have astounded by their originality if there 
had not existed previously Harrold, Halevy, Auber and Bouldien. 
Wagner's genius would then have stood beyond the pale of com 
parison had he not as contemporaries Rossini and Meyerbeer. 

Offenbach had only one weakness, and that was vanity. No 
praise or compliments for his work ever appeared to him exag 
gerated. 

Someone once asked him: "Were you born in Bonn?" "No," 
he answered, "Beethoven was born there, but I was born in Koln." 

Although Offenbach wrote 102 works for the stage, all of them 
possessing that seductive grace which belongs to the best examples 
of French comic operas, Offenbach's fame and universal popularity 
were created mainly by his "Orpheus in Hades/' "Beautiful Helen," 
"Paris Life," "Genevieve," "Blue Beard," and his "Tales of Hoff 
man," which was his last work. To the "Tales" he gave the best 
and deepest that was in him. This work shows traces of the talent 
which Offenbach had, prior to his Parisian demoralization, when 
his light-hearted muse still retained some modesty and virginity. 
His popular success was due in part to his librettists, Milliac, Hal 
evy, Blum, Cremier and others. 

A long and painful malady put an end to Offenbach's life on 
his sixty-first year, October 5, 1880. The funeral of the king of 
light opera was unusually impressive. All of Paris was to be seen 
following the bier; aside from singers, actors, musicians, scien 
tists and litterati, there was also many soldiers and statesmen 

even the President of the Republique, and the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs sending representatives. 



Composers 



53 




GIAGOMO MEYERBEER 

"THERE is Meyerbeer, the creator of cyclopean melodies!", Liszt 
once exclaimed. His bold operatic pictures undoubtedly stimulated 
Wagner for the great work he was to do. Although Wagner pro 
claimed that he had no use for Jews, yet 
he frequently accepted aid from Meyer 
beer, the son of a rich Jewish banker. 
The Wagnerians cannot, on general prin 
ciples, forgive Meyerbeer for the fact 
that notwithstanding systematic hound 
ing by Wagner and his henchmen, the 
genius of Meyerbeer won for him a last 
ing place in the operatic repertoires, not 
only of Germany and France, but of the 
whole civilized world. His operas "Le 
Prophete," "Les Huguenots/' "L'Afri- 
caine," "Robert le Diable," "Dinorah," 
and others, will forever remain the de 
light of the world's lovers of grand opera. 
It was against Meyerbeer that Wagner's pamphlet, "Judaism 
in Music/' was mainly directed. It is true that Meyerbeer was 
born a Jew and remained one, not finding it necessary, as did many 
other famous composers, to wash off in baptism the "shame" of 
his ancestry. Wagner's attack is a monstrous absurdity; it was 
Meyerbeer, above all, who knew how to make use of all that was 
beautiful in music, no matter where he found it. Wagner's accu 
sation that Meyerbeer drew from the works of others, could well 
be directed against a good many composers, including Wagner 
himself. In his "Rienzi" and other operas, did he not make good 
use of the efforts of his predecessors? As to "The Huguenots," 
there is a famous bon-mot of Heine's, that in that opera the Cath 
olics are killing the Protestants to musical strains written by a Jew. 
With the exception of Mozart and Weber, there is not a German 
composer whose influence has so powerfully affected the Spanish, 
Italian, French and other theatres as did that of Meyerbeer, the 
great musical cosmopolitan. His melodies became the common 
heritage of all peoples. 

Meyerbee^ whose 'real name was Jacob Liebman Beer, was born 
on September 5, 1791, in a covered wagon on the way to Frankf ort- 
am-Oder, where the Beers were traveling to the fair. He later 
changed his name when his grandfather promised to leave him his 
fortune on condition that he pref ex "Meyer" to his patrouym. He 
was the son of a rich banker, Jacob Herz Beer, and his wife Amalia. 
His first teachers were Mendelssohn and Zelter. Later he studied 




54 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

with Weber, Abbt, Vogler and others. At the age of seven, he 
played splendidly on the piano ; and to all appearances, should have 
been a great pianist, but his creative genius developed early and 

eclipsed his virtuosity. By the age of 
twelve, he had already written several 
songs, and by twenty, he wrote the can 
tata, "God and Nature," first presented 
on May 8, 1811, with much success, in 
the Berlin Singing Academy. Within 
the next year came his first dramatic 
work, "The Daughter of Ephaia," and 
the operetta, "The Fisherman and the 
Milkmaid." 

His first operatic triumph was "Ali- 
melech," performed in Stuttgart. Weber 
himself spoke highly of this work. In 
Vienna, where the young composer went 
in October, 1814, to stage "Alimelech," 
he met Beethoven. Meyerbeer reached his heights when he wrote 
his opera, "The Crusaders in Egypt," presented for the first time 
in 1825 in Venice. This opera made the rounds of Europe and was 
even played in Rio de Janeiro, being everywhere a popular success. 
In Paris Meyerbeer found his ideal librettist, Eugene Scribe, 
who had almost exclusively the gift of creating romantic, histori 
cal and demonical librettos. It was he who wrote the libretto of 
"Robert le Diable," whose premiere took place in the Paris Grand 
Opera, and whose triumphal march over the operatic boards of 
the world continues to this day. 

After completing this opera, Meyerbeer rested for five years, 
writing only smaller pieces. In February, 1836, the long-awaited 
"Les Huguenots" was given in Paris. It is hard to imagine what 
a deep impression this opera made at its premiere. In this opera 
are united poetry, drama, and painting. Heine wrote on that 
occasion in the Augsburg newspaper the following lines : "Meyer 
beer is undoubtedly the greatest of the living masters of counter 
point He is the greatest painter in music." "The Huguenots" 
was received with similar enthusiasm in Germany. 

The Berlin Academy elected Meyerbeer a member, and King 
Frederich Wilhelm IV appointed him general music director of 
Prussia. The composer, however, generously refused to accept 
the 3000 marks annual salary, turning it over to the orchestra. 

December 7, 1844, saw the opening of the new building of the 
Berlin Opera. The occasion was celebrated by a presentation of 
Meyerbeer's pompous work "A Camp in Schleswig," which was 
metamorphosed into the opera "The North Star." The principal 



Composers 55 



role of this opera, that of Vielki, was written for the "Swedish 
Nightingale" Jenny Lind. When in 1840, Meyerbeer went to 
Vienna, Jenny Lind and he repeated their triumph. 

Some of the letters written from that city to a friend are quite 
humorous : "My stay in Vienna was somewhat in the nature of 
being in golden fetters. It is as though I am condemned to sit.' 
I sit at the piano, at the score; in the morning I sit at the table, 
in the evening I sit in the lodge, and during the day I have to sit 
for twenty-four lithographers, three dozen etchers, sixteen carvers 
in wood, ten acquarellists, and four miniaturists. . . . Too much 
incense of immortality for one time. This in itself is enough to 
break down any man, be he of the stoutest health. . . ." 

During the same year Meyerbeer gave the world one of the 
gems of genius "Struensee," which he dedicated to the memory 
of his brother, Michael Beer. A year later, on April 16, 1849, 
his third great opera, "Le Prophete," was given in the Paris Grand 
Opera House. Neither the revolution, nor even the plague of 
cholera could lessen the tremendous success of this work. This 
time, as always, Meyerbeer's triumph was followed by interest on 
the part of the Napoleon governments. The President of the Re 
public appointed him Chevalier of Honor, and the lena Uni 
versity awarded him the honorable title of Doctor of Music. 

Meyerbeer was very superstitious. Vanity was strange to his 
frank and modest nature, but in one instance he showed a sur 
prising weakness : when on certain occasions he had to wear the 
uniform of a member of the Academy of Arts, he wore his sabre 
with as much swagger and pomp as if in it were sheathed the very 
genius of music. 

He had one other weakness on the score of his ability as ac 
companist. He used to say : "I do not know whether I am a good 
composer, but I do know that I am a great accompanist." Never 
theless, not one singer who played with him was inclined to dis 
agree with him. 

On April 4, 1859, his opera "Dinorah" was presented, but 
"L'Af ricaine" had to wait until 1865, almost a year after his death, 
when it was performed in Paris. This grand swan song assures 
Meyerbeer of immortality, even if no other work of his should 
remain. . 

Death's shadow descended over the great composer and genial 
soul on May 2, 1864. He died in Paris in the house which is now 
known as the "Hotel Meyerbeer" on the Champs Elysees. His 
remains were afterwards taken to Berlin for entombment in the 
family vault. 



56 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



IGNATZ MOSGHELES 

IGNATZ MOSCHELES has the distinction not only of composing fine 
scores which are still in modern repertoires, but of having been 
the first Jew to make himself acceptable in the artistic and critical 

circles of London. That Mendelssohn 
founded the Leipzig conservatory is 
known to everyone, but a great deal of 
the honor is due to Moscheles. 

Moscheles was practically unequalled 
in his day for his piano technique. For 
many years he gave concerts all over the 
Continent, and was enthusiastically re 
ceived, not only because of the brilliance 
of his playing but because of its artistic 
and deeply-felt interpretation of the 
great classical works. All the great mu 
sicians and critics of the day spoke with 
enthusiasm of Moscheles' playing of Hay 
dn, Mozart and Beethoven. Beethoven 
himself often mentioned him as one of the greatest of his inter 
preters. Robert Schumann, who heard him for the first time in 1819 
in Karlsbad, was deeply impressed and undoubtedly influenced by 
him. Here is what he wrote to his older colleague, Moscheles, on 
November 20, 1851, when the latter dedicated his sonata for piano 
and 'cello to him: "Could I dream thirty years ago, when in Karls 
bad and being entirely unknown to you (I have preserved as a 
treasure an announcement of that concert) , that I would some day 
deserve such flattering attention on the part of a famous virtuoso, 
dedicating to me such a work of genius. Accept my heartfelt 
gratitude." 

As to Moscheles' activities and abilities as teacher, the fact that 
he was the teacher and musical guide of Mendelssohn speaks vol 
umes. Of exceptional value were his activities as instructor at the 
conservatory, where he had large classes, many of his graduates 
later becoming famous musicians. His friends and colleagues sin 
cerely admired him, and as a composer, Moscheles created for him 
self an honorable place in music. His G minor sonata for piano 
and 'cello, as well as his piano concerto "Au Pathetique" belong 
among the best classic works. But it was as a man even more than 
as an artist that Moscheles was most admired by all who knew him. 
His editions and arrangements of the great German classics for the 
English speaking countries have proved a valuable contribution. 
Moscheles was born in Prague on May 30, 1794. There he be- 




Composers 57 



gan his musical studies, under the guidance of Friedrich Dionistus 
Weber, and later studied in Vienna under Albrechtsberger and 
Salieri. Moscheles kept up an intimate friendship with dementi 
and Beethoven. In 1849 Moscheles arranged for the piano under 
Beethoven's guidance, a fragment from the latter's opera "Fidelio." 
In 1825 Moscheles came to London, young and ardent, with con 
certos and sonatas of such quality under his arm, that the world 
turned to examine them, and the composers too. Soon after his 
arrival in that city, we find him succeeding Sir Henry Bishop as 
conductor of the London Philharmonic Society. 

Moscheles is also known as a writer of great ability and excel 
lent style. In 1841 he translated into English and published Shind- 
ler's biography of Beethoven. 

He died on March 10, 1870, in Leipzig. 



SIEGFRIED OCRS 

SIEGFRIED OCHS, one of the most gifted composers and choral con 
ductors of our time, was born on April 19, 1859, in Frankfort-am- 
Main. Upon graduation from High School he began teaching chem 
istry, first in the Politechnique at Darm 
stadt, and later at Heidelberg University. 
But his passionate love for music was 
little satisfied by his playing the tympani 
in the local orchestra. 

At the age of twenty-three, he entered 
the Berlin Royal High School of music, 
where he studied under Ernest Rudorg, 
Schulz, Kiel and Urban. Ochs was found 
er and conductor of the Philharmonic 
Choral Society in Berlin, which he 
brought into quite extraordinary promi 
nence. Unfortunately, he had to dissolve 
it in the Summer of 1920 owing to un 
favorable conditions. He is now conduct 
ing the choral class of the Berlin High School of Music. Of special 
interest are his efforts to introduce British and American music in 
Berlin. 

Ochs's first compositions include a set of variations and paro 
dies on the theme, "Kommt ein Vogel Geflogen." He became noted 
for his fine songs, duets, piano pieces for four hands, canons, and 
also for his text and music "In the Name of the Law/' which was 
produced in Hamburg in 1888 with considerable success. 





58 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

' 

AN EXCEPTIONAL composer is Moses Michail Milner, the young 
Russian who is being compared, for the vividness and melo 
diousness and realism of his style, with Modest Moussorgsky. 

Contrary to Kreyn and Gniessin, he did 
not have to start in search of forgotten 
paths of his people. A son of his people 
who never lost contact with them, he is 
brimful of Jewish folk-music and folk 
lore. He has an intense feeling, which 
shows in the originality, the tender lyric 
ism, the scenes full of humor, and the 
powerful and expressive choruses of his 
works. Aside from a considerable num 
ber of small pieces, which have already 
won great popularity, he has written the 
opera "Ashmodai," and "The Heavens 
Are Aflame" the first purely Jewish 
work in operatic form. 
During the past few years Milner wrote among other things : 
"Symphonic Suite/ 7 and "Symphony on Hebrew themes" for or 
chestra, as well as many songs. 

Milner has undoubtedly been influenced by Moussorgsky, for he 
has an undeniable kinship with him. 



JEAN PAUL POLDOWSKI 

LADY JEAN PAUL, youngest daughter of Henry Wieniaski, the cele 
brated violinist, has assumed this misleading nom-de-plume in her 
brilliant career as composer. Born in Brussels, her musical edu 
cation, from the age of seven till twelve, began in the "Cours" of 
Miss Ellis. Continuing at the Conservatoire, she won the first 
prize in preparation and solfeggio. At this institution she studied 
the piano under Professor Stork, and composition under Gevaert. 
Coming to England, she continued composition under Percy Pitt, 
and piano under Professor Michael Hambourg. After her mar 
riage to Sir Aubrey Dean Paul, she went to Paris to study under 
Andre Gedalge, but was tragically interrupted by the death of her 
first child. When she returned to Paris, she resumed her music 
under Vincent dlndy at the Schola Cantorum. 

The earliest compositions of Poldowski were piano pieces writ 
ten at the age of five -followed within four years by an "Oriental 
Suite/' the manuscript of which is lost. 



Composers 59 



Poldowski is one of the unusual artists whose aesthetic evolution 
has sensitively followed the natural tendencies of her sex, rather 
than being influenced by the desire to emulate the masculine which 
so often renders feminine art abortive. Hence, her originality of 
conception and expression, her naturally modern taste in form, 
thematic material and particularly harmonic substance, reveal 
an innate inclination for freedom, but are never merely icono 
clastic. In a musical sense, almost a daughter of Debussy, she 
shares this composer's fastidious delicacy of taste. Always in her 
music she makes the aristocratic gesture. 

The key to Poldowski's music is her intense humanity, none the 
less profound because it does not find it necessary to express itself 
in heavy pretentiousness. Her humanity carries her to the heights 
as well as to the depths of comprehending expression. 

Among the works of Poldowski are "Pat Malone's Wakes/' for 
piano and orchestra, "Caledonian Market Suite" for piano, many 
songs, a violin and piano Sonata, "Suite Miniature de Chansons 
a Danser," for eight woodwind instruments, performed, with "Pat 
Malone's Wake," on various occasions, under Sir Henry Wood at 
Queen's Hall, together with three clarinet pieces, a symphonic 
drama, "Silence," a light opera, "Laughter," three songs with 
string quartet accompaniment all as yet unpublished. 

MAURICE RAVEL 

To MAURICE RAVEL belongs priority among the composers of the 
French Modern School. Chabrier, Faure, and Satie exercised a 
greater influence in the formation of his genius than did Debussy. 

Ravel was born on March 7, 1875, in 
Ciboure, France, near the Spanish bor 
der, and was educated in Paris. In child 
hood he showed an extraordinary and 
peculiar sense of rhythm, as well as gen 
eral musical ability. At the Conserva 
toire he studied piano under the famous 
De Beriot, and under Pessard he studied 
harmony. His earlier works are the 
"Habanera" (1895) and the "Rhapsodie 
Espagnole." But his thirst for more 
advanced musical knowledge and partic 
ularly counterpoint necessitated further 
study, and he devoted himself to this 
study under Gedalge and Gabriel Faure. 
He resembles the latter in his ability to 
maintain a respect for classical formulae while adopting extreme 
harmony and rhythm. 




60 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

In the year 1901 Ravel won the second Prix de Rome for a can 
tata, "Myrrha," which he had treated in operetta style (a piece of 
irony which his judges failed to appreciate). In 1904 a quartet 
in F definitely brought Ravel to public notice. It is masterly in its 
combination of classical form with purely modern harmony; its 
emotion is delicate, and one melodic theme arises out of another 
without the slightest sense of mechanical effort. In the same year 
Ravel gained another success with his three melodies for voice and 
orchestra, "Scheherazade," a miracle of musical impressionism. 
The "Rhapsodie Espagnole" revealed his gift for local colour; he 
put the entire science of orchestration at the service of an inspi 
ration sometimes gay, sometimes homesick. His dainty "Haba 
nera" was later included in the "Rhapsodie Espagnole." "Ma 
Mere 1'Oye" (1908) is a collection of musical interpretations of 
fairy tales written first as pianoforte duets, and remodeled in 1919 
for the Theatre des Arts. In this piquant fairy tale Maurice Ravel 
brings out with extraordinary brilliance the legendary and never- 
never character of the stories, which he took from Mother Goose. 
The orchestration is as delicate and diaphanous as Brussels lace. 
In the "Histoires Naturelles" (1907) he introduced a new humor 
ous style in which irony and lyrical feeling alternate and combine 
in the most unexpected fashion. 

A still more perfect work of Ravel's, one which may be con 
sidered a chef d'oeuvre, is the famous choreographic ballet, "Daph- 
nis et Chloe," produced on March 8, 1921, by Diaghilef s Russian 
Ballet, directed by Fokine. The vigour of its rhythm, its beautiful 
melodies and the expressiveness of its harmonies gained over even 
the most prejudiced listeners. 

His "Heure Espagnole" achieved a triumph in 1921 at the Mon- 
naie Theatre in Brussels, and in 1922 at the Opera in Paris. This 
opera has since entered the repertoires of the great operatic organ 
izations of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera House of 
New York, where its brilliant premiere in 1925 was a memorable 
event It is a work vibrant with life and emotion, tenderness and 
understanding of its theme. 

In his "La Valse" (1922) and "Tombeau de Couperin" he 
proved his great mastery of the gentle art of instrumentation. He 
has a special affection for the woodwinds whose piquancy and" deli 
cacy no one knows so well how to utilize. In none of his works can 
Ravel be accused of striving for cheap effects, either in theme or in 
instrumentation. For transparency of tone, perfect balance, play 
fulness and delicious color-blendings, he has no equal. The list of 
his independent works and arrangements is too lengthy to be in 
cluded wholly in this volume. His outstanding works are : 

"Menuet Antique," 1895; "Pavane pour une Infante defunte " 
1899; "Jeux d'Eaux," 1901; "Miroirs," 1905; "Sonatina " 1905- 



Composers 61 



"Gaspard de la Nuit," 1908; "Minuet on the name of Haydn/' 
1909; "Valse Nobles et Sentimentales," 1911; "Ma Mere 1'Oye," 
Suite for violin and piano, 1908; "Tzigane," (first performance, 
London, April 27, 1924) ; "Scheherzade," 1903; "Histoires Na- 
turelles," 1906; "Sur 1'Herbe," 1907; "Vocalise en forme d'Ha- 
banera," 1907; Five Greek Folk Songs, 1907; Three poems, for 
pianoforte, string quartet, two flutes and two clarinets, 1913 ; 
"String quartet," 1902-3; "Sonata for 'cello and violin," 1922; 
"Introduction and Allegro" for harp, strings, flute and clarinet, 
1906; "Rhapsodie Espagnole," 1907; "La Valse," 1922; "Daphnis 
et Chloe," a ballet, 1906, first performed in Paris in 1912 ; "1'Heure 
Espagnole," a musical comedy, 1907. 

His newest opera, "L'Enfant et les Sortileges," was performed 
on February 26, 1926, at the Opera Comique in Paris. 

In his search for new and delicate tone combinations Maurice 
Ravel in his new opera added to the conventional instruments a 
whip, a rattle, a xylophone, a slide flute, a curious piano with four 
stops called a "Lutheal," and a nutmeg grater. Full of daring inno 
vations in harmony and instrumentation, Ravel's score, notwith 
standing protests of the music critics, is held by many persons to 
add to his reputation as one of France's foremost composers. The 
book by Mme. Colette, whose animal stories have gained for her 
the title of the French Kipling, is worthy of the music. Fanciful 
and whimsical, the work is enjoying a popular success. Among 
the novelties are two fox-trots, danced by the Teapot and the Chi 
nese Teacup, with the regulation stopped trumpets and eccentric 
drum beats. They never fail to arouse enthusiasm. It is the first 
time the orchestra of the Opera Comique has played fox-trots. 

It was at the request of Sergei Koussevitzky that Ravel scored 
the "Tableaux d'une Exposition" of Moussorgsky for the orches 
tra, as this work was originally written for the piano, and it may 
be added that it is due entirely to the great genius of the orches 
tration of Ravel that this work has taken on a new lease of life. 

Keen interest is aroused by the visit which Ravel will make 
to the United States in 1928, to expound his own music. His first 
American appearance will be with the Boston Symphony on Janu 
ary 10, following which he will come to New York to give the 
American premiere of his new sonata for violin and piano. The 
organization Pro-Musica, is primarily responsible for his visit to 
this country. 




62 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



SOLOMON ROSOVSKY 

SOLOMON ROSOVSKY, the talented composer and director of the 
Jewish Conservatory at Tel Aviv, Palestine, the only existing Jew 
ish institution of its kind, belongs to that brave handful of ideal 
ists who worked valiantly, in spite of 
handicaps, for the advancement of Jew 
ish folk-music. 

Rosovsky was born in Riga in 1878, 
and is the son of Baruch Leib Rosovsky, 
a well-known cantor of Riga's principal 
synagogue. After being graduated from 
the town's high school, he studied law 
at the University of Kiev. Here he had 
only a battered old piano to practice on, 
and the dreamy-eyed boy found not a 
single soul interested in his aspirations. 
His musical education really began after 
his graduation from the university, when 
he decided to let his law go by the board. 
Entering the St. Petersburg Conservatory, he studied composition 
with Liadoff, instrumentation with Rimsky-Korsakoff, and free 
composition with Vitol and Glazounoff, After finishing his studies 
in this institution, he accepted an invitation in 1911 to become 
musical editor of the St. Petersburg Djen. He served in that ca 
pacity for six years. 

Toward the end of 1907, Rosovsky, together with several other 
idealistic friends, organized the renowned Society for Jewish Folk 
Music. These men, Nesvijesky (Abilea) the pianist, and Tomars 
the tenor, are responsible with Rosovsky for the vitality of this 
organization. Its object was the renaissance of Jewish folk music, 
and it suffered untold hardships during its early days because of 
the persistent persecution at the hands of the Russian Government, 
supported by time-serving journalists. Rosovsky was one of the 
most active fighters in its cause. Besides giving concerts in differ 
ent cities of Russia, he used his musical editorship of Djen as a 
means to fight the enemies of the movement. He also wrote in 
Noviy Woschod and Rasswet. 

In 1918 he was invited to be musical producer of the Jewish 
Kammer Theatre, in St. Petersburg, for which theatre he also wrote 
music for different plays, among them "The Sinner/' by Ash; 
"Amnein," "Tomar," and "Uriel Acosta." 

In 1919 he returned to Riga, his birthplace, and opened a Jew 
ish Conservatory on a large scale. It was the first time such a 



Composers 63 



school, devoted to Jewish culture, was founded in Russia. He also 
organized branches of his society, whose progress the Revolution 
temporarily arrested. 

Rosovsky is a very prolific composer. He has written both 
chamber, vocal and instrumental music. Some of his important 
works are two quintets for wood-winds; a "nigun on a sof" for 
orchestra; "Kaddish," "Kol Nidrei," and "Hatikvah" arranged for a 
capella ; a piano suite in three movements ; a trio for piano, violin 
and 'cello ; "Fantastic Dance," written on chassidic themes. The 
latter composition was later arranged for symphonic orchestration 
and successfully played by various orchestras. 

The synagogue element is very strong in his work a heritage 
of his father, who for forty-eight years was cantor of Riga's most 
notable synagogue. But Rosovsky, imbued with the teachings of 
his professors, gained from them a strong appreciation of folk-lore. 
He is at present working on an opera, and is active as pedagogue 
and composer. The musical renaissance in Palestine owes most 
to him. 



SIGMUND ROMBERG 

THE MUSIC of Sigmuncl Romberg exercises a spell that few can 
resist. He is the creator of innumerable melodies that have been 
sung, played and reproduced on phonographs and piano in homes, 
ball rooms, concert halls, and theatres. His most popular melody 
is perhaps "Auf Wiedersehen," originally sung in "The Blue Para 
dise/' which has netted him over $15,000 in royalties. Other 
song hits, which have brought him both profit and popularity, in 
clude "Sweetheart/' "My Senorita," "Dream Waltz/ 7 "Song of 
Love/' "Mother," "Omar Khayyam," and "Oh, Those Days." 

At the present time, the name of Romberg is identified with 
"The Student Prince/' one of the outstanding successes of the 
atrical year of 1925-26. For this musical version of "Alt Heidel 
berg/' Romberg has supplied the complete score of twenty-three 
musical numbers. It is his masterpiece. Entirely free from the 
barbaric influence of jazz and from the lurid wail of the saxophone, 
this musical play revives pleasant memories of his two former suc 
cesses, "Maytime" and "Blossom Time." 

During the same season Romberg was represented in five other 
musical productions "Marjorie/' "Artists and Models/' "The 
Dream Girl," "The Passing Show," "Annie Dear," and "Louis 
XIV." 

Sigmund Romberg never had to suffer financial hardships. 
Born about thirty-nine years ago, of Jewish parents, near Szeged, 



64 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Hungary, his education was most liberal, including technical and 
academic training. 

For three years he studied harmony and counterpoint privately 
under Victor Heuberger, a noted teacher of Vienna. 

Although he studied engineering with the intention of becoming 
a bridge builder, he soon discovered that his forte was music. As 
an ardent amateur, he assiduously practiced musical composition 
before coming to America. The melodies of Strauss and Lehar 
enchanted him and gave him his first inspiration.. 

About thirteen years ago he reached New York with a letter 
of introduction from Franz Lehar to J. J. Shubert, the Broadway 
producer. 

For a time the future composer was a pianist in the Cafe Boule 
vard on Second Avenue near Tenth Street, where Eric von Stro- 
heim, now a famous movie-director, worked as cashier. That was 
about twelve years ago. His opportunity came when Shubert com 
missioned him to write the music for a Winter Garden production 
"The Whirl of the World," presented in 1914. Romberg did a good 
job, and attracted the favorable attention of the music critics. 
Since then he has steadily progressed to his present position. 

Like most Hungarians, Romberg is sentimental by nature. Two 
summers ago he visited his parents, residing in Crotia. But first 
he took a flying trip to Belgrade, where he assembled a thirty-six 
piece orchestra. Returning to his parents, he invited both to attend 
a concert given solely for themselves. After distributing the scores 
of his best musical compositions, Romberg mounted the platform 
and conducted a performance of all his works, himself acting as 
conductor. Whenever his aged parents applauded, he bowed his 
acknowledgments as if in the presence of a vast audience. "That 
was the greatest thrill of my life," he said. 

Not all of us can appreciate the music of Wagner or Beethoven, 
for which a taste must be cultivated. But there is a kind of music 
to which we universally respond. Such is the music evolved by the 
masters of light opera. And in this field Sigmund Romberg is 
America's foremost representative. 



Composers 65 



BERNARD ROGERS 

BERNARD ROGERS, who belongs to the clique of young American 
modernists, was born in New York, on February 4, 1893, and re 
ceived his general education in the grade and high schools of New 
York and New Rochelle. He began the study of piano privately at 
the age of twelve. He left school when fifteen, and for a brief 
period studied architecture at Columbia University in the eve 
nings. About this time; Rogers began the study of theory -with 
Hans Van den Berg, with whom he remained for two years. He 
became a member of the staff of Musical America, in December, 
1913. In 1916 he began the study of harmony and composition 
under Ernest Bloch and Rubin Goldmark. The same year he went 
to Amsterdam and spent a brief period in study there. Return 
ing to New York, he resumed his lessons with Bloch for two more 
years. In November, 1919, his "Dirge" was played by the New 
York Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall, New York, and the following 
Spring the same work won the Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship. Mr. 
Rogers went to Paris during the Summer of 1920, and again visited 
Europe the following year. Returning to America, he studied com 
position with Percy Goetschius at the Institute of Musical Art in 
New York, and later went to the Cleveland Institute of Music for 
further study with Bloch. He returned to New York in March, 
1923, and resumed his work on the staff of Musical America. His 
"Prelude" to "The Faithful," Masefield's tragedy, was played at 
the Metropolitan Opera House by the State Symphony under Josef 
Stransky on February 3, 1924. His compositions include a number 
of songs, works for chamber music ensemble, an aria, "Buona 
Notte," for tenor voice and orchestra ; a dramatic scene, "Aladdin," 
for tenor, bass solo and orchestra. On April 29, 1927, Bernard 
Roger's new symphony, "Adonais," had its first performance in 
Rochester, N. Y., at the Eastman Theatre's sixth American com 
posers' concert, being played before an enthusiastic audience. 

"Adonais" was composed in 1925-26 in Kent, Scotland. It is 
based on poems of Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound" and "Adonais." 
The symphony is in two parts, the first in strict sonata form and of 
large dimensions, and the second quieter in character and with 
much scoring for strings woodwinds and harps. 



66 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



ANTON RUBINSTEIN 

AMONG THE greatest composers and pianists of all time belongs 
Anton Rubinstein. In him the artist poignantly fulfilled the man. 
As a pianist, he was rivaled only by Liszt, and after Liszt's death, 

by nobody." His head, with its brow of a 
thinker and a poet's melancholy eyes, 
was compared to Beethoven's. For many 
years Rubinstein was dictator in the 
realm of piano playing. He was consid 
ered the greatest interpreter, not only 
of his own works, but of the great classic 
masters as well. In 1841, when Liszt 
heard the playing of the twelve-year-old 
boy, he shouted with great enthusiasm: 
"This is the genius who is going to be my 
heir at the piano !" 

Rubinstein was born in the village of 
Vikhvatinetz, on November 28, 1830. His 
mother, an accomplished pianist, gave 
him his first lessons. The first public concert of the "Wunderkind" 
took place when he was ten. 

At that time there was only one city in Europe where world- 
fame could be gained, and that city was Paris. There Rubinstein 
created a sensation. It was also in that magic city that he met 
Liszt and Chopin. From that time on young Rubinstein's studies 
were guided by Liszt. It was by his advice that Rubinstein, to 
gether with his teacher, Villoing, went to Germany, giving concerts 
en route, in England, Holland, Germany, and the Scandinavian 
countries. In 1845 we see Rubinstein in Berlin, studying theory 
under Den, and composition under Marks, by the advice of Men 
delssohn and Meyerbeer, who were Madame Rubenstein's close 
friends. 

When Rubinstein's father died in 1846, the boy with his mother, 
brother and sister, returned to Moscow. From that time on Anton 
had to look for himself, through a long period of dire want, bitter 
struggle and unremitting work. 

Rubinstein's star shone bright when in 1848 he returned to St. 
Petersburg for here he found a patron in the person of Princess 
Elena Pavlovna. Thanks to her advice and aid, and to his own 
energetic activities, the Russian Music Society was founded by him 
in 1859, with himself at its head. He succeeded in attracting there 
as teachers such famous men as Leschetizk, Wieniawsky, Zaramba, 
Henrietta, Niessen-Solomon and others. Among his first pupils of 




Composers 67 



the school were Tschaikowsky, Annette Essipova, Vera Timanova 
and others. 

In 1862 a long-cherished dream of the composer came true: the 
first Russian Conservatory was founded in St. Petersburg, of which 
he was the first director, retaining this post until 1867. The found 
ing of the Music Society and the Conservatory would alone have 
assured Anton Rubinstein immortality in his own country, for 
whose music no one either before or after him has done so much. 
But Rubinstein was not content with a virtuoso's and director's 
laurels. He wanted to compose. His native vanity painted in his 
imagination great dreams. He wrote numberless compositions in 
imitation of Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn and even of Beethoven. But 
he was most active in the field of dramatic music, enriching the 
operatic repertoire with a succession of operas, including "Dmitry 
Donskoy," in three acts, and three one-act operas, "Khadjhi 
Abrek," "The Siberian Hunters," and "Tomka the Fool/' His 
greatest triumph he achieved in "Demon," "Feramors," "The Mac- 
cabeans," and "Nero." 

Rubinstein the composer has the same characteristics as Rubin 
stein the virtuoso. He strives for what he considers the highest 
expression in music, and troubles little about purely aural effects. 
This does not prevent his work from possessing moments of tender 
lyricism and poetic grace. 

Traces of his Jewish origin are seen in his "Maccabeans," given 
at the Berlin Royal Opera House in Berlin on April 15, 1878. In 
this opera the biblical spirit reigns supreme, especially towards the 
end. He endeavored to give it throughout an oriental character, 
and with this in view, he, like Meyerbeer and Halevy, drew upon 
the old Synagogal chants and melodies. His appreciation of the 
genius of his race is shown in his admiration for and interest in 
such subjects as were written about by Jewish poets, such as 
Julius Rodenberg, Rudolph Levenstein and Hermann Mosenthal. 

Rubinstein also wrote the biblical opera, "Moses," in eight 
scenes, after Mosenthal's text; also "Hagar in the Desert," and the 
oratorios "The Tower of Babel," "Paradise Lost," and "Sulamith." 
In all these works is seen the composer's deep religious nature. 

Rubinstein was as great a conductor as he was a pianist and 
composer. He was born to reign supreme over the orchestra as 
over the keyboards. He was a great favorite of the Czars Nicholas 
I, Alexander II, and Alexander III, from whom he received many 
civil honors. 

His mother's maiden name was Levenstein. She was born in 
Prussian Silesia. Anton's grandfather, Ruvim Rubinstein, rented 
the lands in Berdichev from. Count RadziwiL He was honored by 
his co-religionists, and had the reputation of a pious Jew and. 
learned Talmudist. For some reason, however, he decided to con- 



68 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

vert himself and his whole family to Christianity. He received at 
the christening the surname Roman, and Anton's future father 
was christened Gregory. He was the owner of a pen and pencil 
factory which did not prosper. 

Rubinstein's own point of view on the subject of nationality 
and racial affiliation is shown in a letter to a friend, which we quote 
in part: "In life a republican and radical, I am in art a conserva 
tive and despot; for the Jews I am a Christian, for the Christians 
a Jew; for the Russians a German, for the Germans a Russian; for 
the classicist a futurist, for the futurists a retrograde. From this 
I conclude that I am neither fish nor meat a sorrowful individual, 
indeed!" 

Rubinstein had among his friends in Berlin, Auerbach, Joachim 
and Henrich Herlich. 

During his lifetime he received innumerable honors, among 
which were the Order of the Grand Cross of St. Stanislaus, which 
was awarded him after he was made an "Actual Consular of State" 
with the title of "Excellency." The whole musical world was deeply 
moved by the news of this honor, and inundated him with letters 
and telegrams of felicitation, for he was the first musician (and a 
Jew at that) to receive such distinction from Russian monarchs. 
Rubinstein 'himself was so deeply moved by these signal honors 
conferred upon him that he thought them incompatible with the 
exercise of his profession as a musician, that is, of playing before 
the public for money. Nor was the St. Petersburg University slow 
in recognizing his services and accomplishments, for it awarded 
him the honorary degree of Doctor of Music. Stipendiums for needy 
and deserving students were founded by this Conservatory in his 
honor. Friends ordered marble busts of him. 

Rubinstein himself was anything but rich. He lived on the pen 
sion of 3,000 roubles which the Czar's government had allotted him 
in recognition of his services to the art of music in Russia, and for 
the innumerable concerts he had given for the benefit of Russian 
charitable societies. He was exceedingly generous with his money, 
giving it away freely for the upkeep of needy musicians, and for 
other charitable purposes. It was due to his aid that the monument 
to Glinka was erected in Smolensk, his native town. The remark 
able American tour (1872-73) netted him $40,000 for 215 concerts, 
and so popular did he become there that he was afterwards offered 
$125,000 for only 50 concerts, but could not overcome his dread of 
the voyage. 

Leopold Auer, the famous violin teacher, in his book, My Long 
Life in Music, says of Rubinstein, who was his intimate friend 
and companion on concert tours: "The grandeur of style with 
which Rubinstein played, the beauty of tone, his softness of touch 
are indescribable. Whosoever of my readers was so fortunate as 



Composers 69 



to have heard Anton Rubinstein will understand the astonishment 
and enthusiasm I felt. Very simple of manner, without affectation 
of importance, he was charming in his relations with all artists, 
and, indeed, with all whom he regarded as devoted to the true cause 
of music. 

"Rubinstein died suddenly during the night in his villa at Peter- 
hof, of aneurism, on November 20, 1894. It is pleasant to think, 
however, that Rubinstein felt well on the last day of his life a 
small measure of consolation for his irreparable loss. There had 
been company to dinner, a game of whist afterward, and everyone, 
guests and host, had parted at eleven o'clock in the very best of 
spirits ; by twelve Rubinstein had ceased to exist. 

"His body was brought to St. Petersburg the following day on a 
catafalque, escorted by the professors and students of the conserva 
tory, to one of the big churches, where it was exposed in state for 
twenty-four hours, the casket guarded night and day by professors 
of the conservatory in deep mourning. Vassily Saf onoff, then quite 
a young professor, had come from Moscow as a member of the 
deputation sent by that conservatory, and he and Leopold Auer 
were a part of the guard of honor at the catafalque on this occasion. 
On the day of the burial the Nevsky Prospekt was barred to traffic, 
and thousands followed the flower-laden coach as it advanced slowly 
and solemnly to the Monastery graveyard, where Anton Rubinstein 
now lies in peace, not far from Tschaikowsky and Borodine." 

Anton Rubinstein's most beautiful and enduring monument is 
of his own making, for the composer's generosity survived him. 
In his will he set aside a fund of 25,000 gold roubles for the award 
of the Rubinstein piano and composition prize. Competitions for 
young pianists and composers, according to this will, were to be 
held every five years, beginning 1890, in Paris, St. Petersburg, 
Vienna and Berlin. The prize, now known as the "Rubinstein 
Prize/' is 5,000 francs. 

Rubinstein was a tyrant where his plans were concerned. By 
his energy he succeeded in forcing the government to establish an 
opera house in the capital of each government, and a conservatory 
and music school in every large city. In these schools composition 
and theory are compulsory subjects, according to Rubinstein's 
orders, and no one can receive a music diploma without at least 
four years of elementary education in a gymnasium. This plan 
has been copied by the world's leading musical institutions, includ 
ing the famous Damrosch Conservatory in New York. 

Among Rubinstein's famous pupils is Josef Hofmann, who came 
to him at St. Petersburg from Leipzig. 

It was due largely to Rubinstein's efforts that Russia holds a 
place among musically enlightened countries of the world, inferior 
to none, and superior to most. 



70 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



GAMILLE SAINT-SAENS 

CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS embodies one of the many aspects of the 
French temperament that in which the mind and intelligence 
supplant sentiment and even emotion, as in the case of a Voltaire 

or a Rameau. That is, of course, as long 
as Saint-Saens remained the patriotic 
Frenchman a patriot who could attack 
Wagner for no better reason than that he 
was German. But as soon as the same 
Saint-Saens dug down to the roots of his 
own being and for once forgot that he 
was above all a Frenchman, he succeeded 
in composing his one immortal work, a 
work written on a biblical theme, in 
which he freely employed the Hebrew 
scale. In his "Samson et Delila," not 
only one of the master's best operas (per 
haps even the very best) , but one of the 
finest dramatic works produced by any 
French composer during the last fifty years, Saint-Saens com 
pelled the admiration of musicians as well as of the general public, 
perhaps for the very reason that when he wrote it he did not at 
tempt to please either, but was content to follow ancestral inspira 
tion without "arriere pensees" of any sort. 

The author is reminded in this connection of the significant 
words of one of our greatest living modern composers, Ernest 
Bloch, who said that he considers those of his own works which are 
most essentially Jewish to be the best. Bloch is far from admitting 
that to be Jewish one must make use of Jewish folk-themes. He 
merely points out that each man is the product, the sum total of all 
his ancestry. 

Who will deny that the deepest fount of inspiration lies in inher 
ited racial characteristics and not in these ephemeral ones acquired, 
perhaps, in the course of one or two generations? Such men as 
Mahler and Saint-Saens, two composers of the greatest natural 
gifts, practically squandered their natural inheritance by trying to 
express themselves in idioms long outworn by their Aryan brethren. 
It is perhaps for this very reason that of all the works that Saint- 
Saens has ever written (and he has been one of the most prolific 
composers of our time; a man who delighted above all in the fluency 
of his pen), only this one biblical work, the one in which he ap 
peared as most unmistakably Hebrew, is bound to endure, whereas 




Composers 71 



the great bulk of his work has already toppled over under the as 
sault of the mighty group of the rising modernists. 

Music is in debt to the memory of his mother, who was of Jew 
ish origin, and of her aunt, Mme Masson, for the wise and unre 
mitting care which they devoted to the delicate infancy of the com 
poser and for the extreme care with which they helped, but 
avoided forcing, the flowering of his genius. 

The fragile baby, born at No. 3, rue du Jardinet, Paris, on the 
9th of October, 1835, certainly embarked upon his long life under 
a severe handicap. Saint-Saens' father, with the scourge of con 
sumption already well advanced in his system at the time of his 
son's birth, died a couple of months later, on December 31, just a 
year after his marriage. 

* His genius showed itself early in the boy's life. At the age of 
three, he was already showing that there was one thing for which 
he was designed by his Creator above everything else. His talents 
were nurtured carefully, private tutors were engaged, and when the 
boy was old enough he entered the Conservatoire, where he studied 
piano under Stamitz, theory with Maleden, organ with Benoist, and 
composition with Halevy and Heber. For a time he was also a 
private pupil of the great Gounod. 

When he was but seventeen years old, he was named organist 
at the Church of St. Marie, and in 1858 was appointed to a similar 
post at the Madeleine, in succession to Lef ebure Wely. From 1858 
on, Saint-Saens was pianist, organist, and touring conductor. At 
the age of sixteen, he composed a symphony. 

There probably never existed another composer who was 
more prolific than Saint-Saens. A perfect master of his craft, he 
has contributed to every branch of his art. An eclectic in the high 
est sense of the word, he has attempted every style and form, dis 
seminating his works right and left with reckless prodigality. 

The opinion of one artist concerning another is always interest 
ing. The following words of Hans von Bulow, written in 1858, 
will convey an idea of the esteem in which the great German pianist 
held his French colleague: ''There does not exist a monument of 
art of whatsoever country, school, or epoch, that Saint-Saens has 
not thoroughly studied." 

Saint-Saens put his theory into practice with considerable suc 
cess in the four Symphonic poems entitled : 

"Le Eouet d'Omphale"; "Danse Macabre"; "Phaeton"; and 
"La Jeunese d'Hercule." 

Fundamentally different one from the other, each of these com 
positions comes into the category of descriptive music, and is in 
tended to illustrate a special subject. In the "Rouet d'Omphale," 
the composer employed the well-known classic tale of Hercules at 



72 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

the feet of Omphale as a pretext for illustrating the triumph of 
tenderness over strength. 

No words can express the art with which the composer has 
developed his themes, or give an idea of the delicacy of his instru 
mentation, which, gossamer-like, seems to float in an atmosphere 
of melody. Perhaps the most characteristic of the four symphonic 
poems is the well-known "Danse Macabre." This work was sug 
gested by a poem of Henry Cazalis, the first verse of which runs 
thus: 

"Zig et zig et zag, 

la mort en cadence 
Frappant une tombe 

avec son talon 
La mort a minuit joue 

Un air de danse 
Zig et zig et zag 

sur son violon." 

The hour of midnight is heard to strike, and Death is supposed 
to perform a weird and ghastly dance, which grows wilder and 
wilder, until the cock crows; the excitement gradually subsides, 
and quiet reigns once more. 

The method in which Saint-Saens has succeeded in musically 
depicting the above story Is intensely original and masterly. 

A curious detail to be noted is the introduction, in a kind of 
burlesque manner of the "Dies Irae," transposed into the Major 
and converted into a waltz, to which the skeletons are supposed to 
dance. Strikingly original and ingenious is the effect of the solo- 
violin with its string tuned to E flat producing a diminished fifth 
on the open strings A and E flat, which being reiterated several 
times, conveys a peculiar sensation of weirdness. 

Of his piano concertos, the second and fourth are the best 
known. It is curious to note that although principally known as a 
composer of opera, because of the great success of "Samson et 
Delila," Saint-Saens did not make his debut in this field until he 
had reached the age of thirty-seven, and then, only with a one-act 
opera-comique, entitled "La Princesse Jeune," which was produced 
in 1872. 

The long, active, and productive life of Saint-Saens came to an 
end while on a visit to Algiers on December 16, 1922. Thus this 
man, who was born of a consumptive father, lived to be eighty- 
seven years of age, a period filled, it is true, with toil and occasional 
failures, but never with the heart-breaking privations which seem 
to be the accustomed lot of great artists. Work after work was 
brought out from his prolific pen to meet with the expected success. 

The influences that created his style were complex. From his 
earliest youth he was an insatiable reader ; he had heard everything 



Composers 73 



and could draw inspiration from a Berlioz or from a Liszt. He 
came tinder all the influences that acted so potently on the men of 
his generation, and yet was able to retain his own personality. His 
style, precise, nervous and clear-cut, is absolutely characteristic 
and also essentially French ; it recalls that of the eighteenth century 
French writers, particularly of Voltaire; nothing is superfluous, 
everything has its place. Order and clarity reign. Yet this com 
poser, although classic by temperament and choice, is no pedant; 
he is often cold and empty of sentiment, but he is never heavy or 
pretentious. In this respect he differs entirely from Brahms, with 
whom he is often compared. 

When young,, he had an extraordinary gift of freshness and 
spontaneity, as is seen in his trio in F, opus 18. As he advanced 
in age his style gained in purity but lost in feeling; his last com 
positions are of a most chilling correctness. Moreover, Saint- 
Saens was always inclined to write with excessive facility. For 
this reason, of his enormous works, there survive today only a few 
gems of the first water his symphonic poems, the Third Sym 
phony, and "Samson et Delila." 

For the greater part of his life Saint-Saens showed a most 
subtle and intelligent appreciation of the compositions of others, 
never hesitating to throw down the gauntlet in defense of Liszt, 
Berlioz and Wagner. Toward the end of his life, however, he 
allowed himself to be dominated by his patriotic sentiments. 
Debussy fought against the influence of Wagner because he consid 
ered it detrimental to French art, but Saint-Saens attacked Wag 
ner merely because he was a German. The violent polemics, which 
he directed against Wagner did him much more harm in the eyes 
of the general public than did the bitterness with which he attacked 
young artists suspected of modern tendencies in music. These 
foibles, excusable if only on account of his age, must not be allowed 
to blind one to the fact that here was a great man who in his youth 
possessed a lucid and enthusiastic intelligence, a musician who, like 
his master Liszt, was always ready to sacrifice himself for fellow- 
musicians whom he admired. 

It would be impossible to give in these brief pages a review of 
the numerous works that Saint-Saens poured forth in a continuous 
stream. 

We have already spoken of some of his most important works. 
These included also his 'cello concertos and his violin concertos, 
which remain unrivaled in the repertoire of those instruments for 
the brilliance and elegance of their conception and construction. 
He has written chamber works, songs, choruses, church music, ora 
torios, "De Noel," opus 12 ; "Le Deluge," opus 45 ; "Psalm 150," etc. 

In spite of the popularity of many of his compositions, "Samson 
et Delila" stands to this day as the real monument to this great 



74 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

man and musician, a monument that will undoubtedly survive most 
of his other work, because in the author's opinion, it was in this 
great work that both the musician and the Jew realized themselves 
most poignantly. 

Saint-Saens died in Algiers, December 16, 1922. 



LAZARE SAMINSKY 

AMONG THE young Russian-Jewish composers, perhaps the most 
widely known is Lazare Saminsky, not alone because of his many 
musical compositions, but because of the universality of his culture 

and the breadth of his development. 
Saminsky is one of the ablest critics in 
the realm of special music. There is per 
haps no other man, except Julius Engel, 
who has a deeper insight into Jewish 
music than he. Saminsky is a welcome 
contributor to practically every musical 
magazine of note, in the United States, 
Europe, and Asia. Of an age with most 
of the outstanding modern musicians, 
Saminsky, due to his wide travels, inti 
mate with most of them, and his charac 
ter sketches as well as criticisms have a 
vividness and sparkle that no second 
hand knowledge can supply. 
Saminsky has contributed to Musical America, Musical Courier, 
Musical Quarterly, Chesterian, and Musical Standard of London, 
La Revue Musical, La Monde, Journal of the League of Compos 
ers; and the Russian magazines, Sovremyenik and Musika of 
Moscow. 

Lazare Saminsky was born in Valle Gozulove, near Odessa, 
on December 27, 1883. He was graduated from the St. Petersburg 
University, specializing in mathematics, in 1906, when he entered 
Rimsky-KorsakofF s composition classes at the Conservatory. Later 
he continued his studies under Liadow and Tcherephine. In 1910 
Saminsky conducted an overture of his own at the Petrograd Con 
servatory, and the same year also conducted HandePs oratorio 
"Jeptha," and Glinka's "Russian and Ludmilla." Later, at Moscow, 
he directed his own symphony "Vigilas" at one of Koussevit- 
zky's concerts. In February, 1917, he conducted his "Symphonie 
des Grandes Rivieres" at one of Siloti's concerts at the Imperial 
Opera House in St. Petersburg. 

During the following year he became director of the People's 




Composers 75 



Conservatory of Music in Tiflis, conducted historical concerts there, 
and traveled in the Caucasus, Syria, Turkey, Palestine and Egypt, 
doing research work in oriental music. In 1920 he gave a concert 
of his own works in London, conducted a ballet season at the Duke 
of York's Theatre, and gave lectures on Russian, Hebrew and ori 
ental music in London and Oxford. Saminsky came to America at 
the end of 1920, and in December of that year he conducted his 
"Vigilae" with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. His "Four 
Sacred Songs" for chorus and orchestra were performed at a con 
cert of the Society of the Friends of Music in New York, February 
5, 1922, under the composer's direction; and on March 3, the 
Boston Symphony Orchestra performed two excerpts from an early 
version of the music of his ballet, "The Lament of Rachel." He 
gave a concert of his works in Paris in the Summer of 1924. 

In addition to the works mentioned above, Saminsky has com 
posed an opera, "Julian the Apostate"; two symphonies, an opera- 
ballet, "The Vision of Ariel"; music for Yevreynov's play, "The 
Merry Death" (given at the Duke of York's Theatre in London in 
1920) ; besides this, choruses, violin and piano music. 

Saminsky has also written several scientific works, mainly 
on the philosophy of mathematics, some of them published. 

On March 18, 1923, the Philharmonic Society of New York, 
under the composer's direction, performed his "Symphony of the 
Summits," being the second part of a symphonic trilogy, the two 
others of which are "Symphonie des Grandes Rivieres" and 
"Symphonie des Mers." It was performed by the Concertgebouw 
Orchestra in Amsterdam, under Mengelberg, on November 16, 1922, 
for the first time anywhere. This music of river, mountain and 
seas is said by the composer to embody a unified poetic conception. 
The music is neither descriptive nor illustrative, but an expression 
of moods and of emotional responses to a pantheistic view of 
nature. 

The first symphony ("Of the Great Rivers"), writes Saminsky, 
"was composed in October-December, 1914, in Tiflis, capital of 
Transcaucasia where I then lived high up on the hills near the city 
with the wonderful panorama of the snow chain of Caucasian 
mountains spread out before me especially gorgeous at sunset." 

Saminsky's "Symphonie des Mers" was given its premiere in 
Paris in June, 1925, by the Colonne Orchestra. In February, 1925, 
the League of Composers in New York, of which Saminsky is one 
of the directors, presented his one-act opera "Gagliarda of a Merry 
Plague." Saminsky himself conducted an ensemble of seventeen 
instruments, a chorus, which both sang and spoke, and two soloists 
a baritone and soprano. 

But Saminsky has principally devoted himself to the study of 
Jewish folk-music, and was one of the first members of the Jewish 



76 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Folk Music Society and for many years President of the Art Com 
mittee, which consisted of all the Jewish composers in Russia. 
Saminsky traveled through Turkey, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, and 
France, and used this journey for studying and collecting religious 
melodies of the Yemenite Jews, the Turkish Sephardim, and of 
other ancient communities. He lectured in Jerusalem and Jaffa on 
Jewish folk-music, and since his stay in England has lectured at 
King's College, University College (under the auspices of the Mac- 
cabeans), and also at Oxford and Liverpool. 

Saminsky's two ballets are "The Lament of Kachel" and "The 
Vision of Ariel" (an opera-ballet), already spoken of. The 
latter work has a narrative of his own taken from the Middle Ages, 
against a background from the book of Esther. "The Lament of 
Rachel" was first performed in its final version on June 16 and 
22, 1923, in Paris, by the Colonne Orchestra at the Salle Gaveau, 
under Saminsky's direction. 

In September, 1924, Saminsky became music director of the 
Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue, New York, one of the greatest 
congregations of the world, where he often conducts special He 
brew Music Programs, in which he includes works of such Jewish 
modernists as Ernest Bloch, Achron and others. He is also one 
of the founders and active members of the famous society for 
Hebrew Music in St. Petersburg, and was several times a member of 
the jury of the Section of American International Society for con 
temporary music. He is also the founder of the group "Music and 
the Bible," an honorary member of the Royal Academy in Florence, 
Italy an honor given him for his services rendered in the cause 
of modern music. 

Saminsky has conducted in practically all the great music centers 
on both hemispheres and has found enough time for numerous inde 
pendent compositions, some of which we have already mentioned. 
Aside from the incidental music to YevreynofFs play, he has also 
written as early as 1910, an opera, "The Emperor Julian," tone 
cycles "Songs of My Youth" ; three Hebrew Song Cycles ; a He 
brew Rhapsody, for violin and piano ; "Rachelina," and interesting 
arrangements of an air of the Saloniki Jews, settings of Jewish 
folk songs; he is now preparing albums of the songs for the Far 
Eastern and Gregorian Jews. 

Of particular interest are his songs, full of life, movement and 
color, of crystalline lyric quality, at once decorative and emotional. 

Saminsky cannot be considered an exclusively Jewish national 
composer, although the influence of Jewish folk-lore begins to ap 
pear in much of his work, including his modernistic symphonies. 
Saminsky's work and research will greatly influence his Jewish 
contemporaries. He has been requested to furnish material col 
lected from the Gregorian Jews for use in works of specific Hebrew 



Composers 77 



character. We may still expect a great deal from this young and 
gifted composer. After Kurt Schindler's resignation as music 
director of Temple Emanuel, in 1925, Saminsky became his suc 
cessor. 



JACOB SGHAEFER 

IN His youth a carpenter and cabinet maker, Jacob Schaefer rose 
to be what some "laborites" like to consider the representative 
of the new "proletarian music" in the United States. Born in the 
picturesque Ukrainian town of Kremenetz, province of Wolhyn, on 
October 13, 1888, of poor parents, little Jacob sang in the choir of 
the "Big Synagogue" on Saturdays and the chief holidays, and on 
week days served his apprenticeship in the cabinet-maker's shop. 

In 1911 Schaefer eloped to Chicago with the daughter of a rich 
and aristocratic family. For a time he pursued his trade. Due to 
the insistence of his wife, who died shortly after their arrival in 
America, Schaefer began studying piano and composition, first 
under Epstein, then with Adolph Brune, Felix Borof sky and finally 
with Adolph Weidig of Chicago. The same year he organized and 
became conductor of the "Freiheit Gesangs Verein," a choral body 
composed entirely of shop-workers, which grew and prospered 
under his leadership and ultimately became the parent of a number 
of similar organizations in most of the principal towns in the 
United States. 

Continuing his studies, Schaefer wrote a number of songs for 
mixed chorus, which have since become the standard numbers on 
all "Freiheit Gesangs Verein" concerts, and exceedingly popular 
with Jewish workers throughout the land. 

Schaef er's most important works are his cantata for string or 
chestra, soprano and baritone solo, and mixed chorus, "The Two 
Brothers," to the text by Perez, and his "Messiah Ben Joseph," 
originally written as an opera and later revised as an oratorio for 
full orchestra, soprano solo, full chorus and children's chorus. 
"The Two Brothers" was performed first in Chicago, and later in 
Mecca Temple, New York, twice in succession, in the Winter of 
1926, under Lazar Weiner. The second work was performed dur 
ing the same period, the composer himself conducting. 

His latest work, "The Twelve" (on the text of Alexander Bloch) , 
for tenor, baritone solo, chorus and orchestra, was produced at the 
Madison Square Garden, New York, on April 2, 1927, by the "Frei 
heit" Gesangverein and New York Symphony Orchestra under the 
composer's baton. 



78 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




ARNOLD SCHONBERG 

A REVOLUTIONARY among revolutionaries, the most radical of all 
the twentieth century modernists, is Arnold Schonberg. Schonberg 
has been called a "musical anarchist," using the word in its orig 
inal meaning, "anarchos," without a 
head. Perhaps he is a super-human 
and the world does not know it. He is an 
autodidact. His mission is to free har 
mony from all rules. His knowledge 
must be enormous, for his scores are as 
logical as a highly wrought mosaic. 
Schonberg may be called the Max Stirner 
of music. Now let us see what the music 
of the new man is like. Certainly he is 
the hardest musical nut to crack of his 
generation, and the shell is very bitter in 
the mouth. 

It must be borne in mind when judg 
ing his later works, that he is not by any 
means a composer incapable of writing music on traditional lines. 
Up till 1909 his work showed the strong tie that bound him to Wag- 
nerian methods of expression. The time is not yet when we can 
arrive at a considered judgment of him as a composer. There can 
be no doubt as to the power of his personality or the powerful in 
fluence of his music, his aesthetics and his teachings on contempor 
ary art. 

Arnold Schonberg was born on September 13, 1874, in Vienna. 
He began, when quite young, to compose chamber music. At that 
time he studied the violin and 'cello. Later, when he began to study 
under his famous brother-in-law, Zemlinsky, Schonberg sprang 
suddenly into the limelight. 

At the age of nineteen he made a wonderful piano arrangement 
of Zemlinsky's opera "Sarema," and wrote his string quartet in D 
minor, which was performed, with some alterations, in the follow 
ing season (1898-9) by the Fitzner Quartet. This work is at pres 
ent believed lost. Another string sextet "Verklarte Nacht," opus 
4, was composed in September, 1899. His gigantic Symphonia 
Chorus, "Gurrelieder," was written in 1900. It is a ballad cycle 
for five solos and three male choruses, for four voices, mixed 
chorus for eight voices, and full orchestra. This most extensive 
composition from Schonberg's pen is a powerful echo of the "Tris 
tan" harmony. It is, in comparison^ with the tormenting and self- 
judging post-Wagnerism which persisted up to the end of the last 



Composers 79 



century, a gigantic work, but still the work of a decadent Wagner- 
ite. In spite of this, it is a work pointing to the future, a work 
rich in invention, of which some motives are second only to the 
eternal motifs in "Tristan and Isolde." 

The "Gurrelieder" spread among the largest musical circles, 
was first to give irrefutable proof of Schonberg's great ability; but 
it is too much of the past and too little of the real Schonberg. 

The first Vienna performance of this cycle was directed by 
Franz Schrecker, then conductor of the Philharmonic chorus. 

Composition was interrupted in 1900 by the necessity of scoring 
operettas for a living. In 1901 Schonberg married Matilda Zem- 
linsky, sister of the well-known Alexander Zemlinsky (who was the 
only teacher Schonberg ever had) , and removed to Berlin, where he 
accepted a conductorship at the cabaret "Uberbrettl," a literary 
variety-theatre. After composing his symphonic poem, "Pelleas 
and Melisande," he returned to Vienna in 1903 and there began his 
career as teacher of theory and composition. His name was then 
known to a select circle of young musicians, and it was at that time 
that he formed a close friendship with Rose and Gustav Mahler, 
who were enthusiastic over his work and personality. 

Those who have believed in Arnold Schonberg from the begin 
ning are few in number ; they are oppressed people who have had 
to suffer infinitely in mind and, almost without exception, mate 
rially also. Certainly not saints, they were but martyrs for a 
serious artistic idea, yearning souls who were in danger of being 
chilled by the littleness of their own selves and who were 
endeavoring to seek the warming sun of a greater one. It was 
owing to the disciple-like, fanatical activity of those few that 
Schonberg's early Vienna works were performed at last, albeit amid 
irritating scenes of cruelty and wide opposition, proving that no 
serious musician in the whole world dared to pass by the artistic 
apparition of Schonberg. 

These people, through a misunderstanding or something which 
was cautiously groping its way out, carried away by their enthusi 
asm, regarded work which was still in the experimental stage as 
a complete fulfilment of their theories. The gradual development 
of the qualities which were characteristically Schonberg seemed to 
them to apply to all modern music. They are only now realizing 
that these qualities are an integral part of Schonberg and do 
not always apply to his colleagues. 

In the years 1904 and 1905 Schonberg was occupied with a 
new string quartet in D, opus 7. At this time the first perform 
ance of "Pelleas and Melisande" was given by the Society of 
Creative Musicians in Vienna, Schonberg himself conducting. 
From 1905 till 1907 he wrote eight songs, opus 6, two ballads, 



80 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

opus 12, his Kammersinfonie in E, opus 9, which won the Mahler 
prize in composition, and the second string quartet, with voice, 
which had its first performance on December 1908 by the 
famous Rose Quartet in Vienna. What Schonberg wrote from 
that time on leaves tradition more and more behind and finally 
gives up altogether every relationship with it. The tradition and 
Schonberg creations, after the F minor Quartet, have in common 
only the physical phenomenon of tone. Traditional harmony, 
counterpoint, and form appear no longer in Schonberg's works 
after the year 1907. 

His innovations, justified in his theory of harmony, are Will 
and not Chance, Whether this Will has the power to create a 
new musical world, whether Schonberg will some time be as 
famous as Orlandus Lassus or Joseph Haydn will be decided in 
the future, which will have gained the perspective which is 
necessary for every just artistic judgment. 

The transition from the classical to the new period starts with 
his "Lieder," opus 15, written in 1907. The years 1907-10 were 
astoundingly productive, not only in music, for Schonberg inspired 
by the new movement in painting, began himself to paint. A 
collection of portraits and "Visions" dating from this period was 
exhibited in Vienna in 1910. 

And now Schonberg embarks on the exploration of the uncer 
tain seas of atonality. The new musical style is fully expressed 
in the Three Piano Pieces, opus 11, the Five Orchestral Pieces, 
opus 16, the monodrama "Erwartung," opus 17, and a modern 
Form of solo cantata for the stage. The "Five Orchestral Pieces," 
composed in 1909 were performed for the first time on September 
3, 1912, at a Queen's Hall Promenade concert in London, under the 
direction of Sir Henry Wood. In January, 1914, they were again 
produced at Queen's Hall, this time under the composer's direction. 
The program notes for this performance stated that the "Five 
Pieces" seek to express "all that dwells in us subconsciously like a 
dream; which is a great fluctuant power, and is built upon none 
of the lines that are familiar to us; which has rhythm, as the 
blood has its pulsating rhythm, as all life in us has its rhythm; 
which has a tonality, but only as the sea or the storm has its 
tonality ; which has harmonies, though we cannot grasp or analyze 
them, nor can we trace its themes .... All its technical craft is 
submerged, made one and indivisible with the content of the 
work/' 

Schonberg, without doubt, knows his Freud thoroughly, and like 
many others was profoundly impressed by the revolutionary 
psychological theories of this countryman of his. Thus psychoan 
alysis brought forth its inevitable fruit in the realm of music as 
it did in drama and fiction. 



Composers 81 



The score of the "Five Orchestral Pieces" calls for two piccolos, 
three oboes, English horn, four clarinets, bass clarinet, contra 
bass clarinet, three bassoons, contra-bassoon, six horns, three 
trumpets, four trombones, tuba, kettle drum, bass drum, cymbals, 
triangle, gong, xylophone, harp, celesta, and strings. As might have 
been expected, this work was jeered and hissed, and only a few 
chosen critics assumed a more or less tolerant attitude towards 
the work. The well-known English critic, Ernest Newman, was 
of the opinion that Schonberg' s music was "not that of a genius, 
but of a brain that has lost every vestige of the musical faculty 
it once had except the power to put notes together, without the 
smallest concern for whether they mean anything or not." 

On November 29, 1925, this anarchistic piece was performed 
by the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch in Mecca 
Temple, New York, where it met the same fate as in London. 

In the Autumn of 1911 Schonberg again moved to Berlin, 
where he lectured on composition and began his "Pierrot Lunaire," 
opus 21, a cycle of 21 tiny poems recited in music, scored for 
declamation with string orchestra, flute and clarinet. This work, 
which was first performed by Albertini Zehme in Berlin in the 
autumn of 1912, made Schonberg famous. It is the most con 
spicuous of the late German specimens of modernism, which was 
profoundly admired in the country of its creation, and unmerci 
fully attacked elsewhere. 

On the occasion of the London performance, the London 
Times said that "Schonberg's .world is described as one of name 
less horrors and terrible imaginings, of perverse and poisonous 
beauty and bitter-sweet fragrance, of searing and withering 
mockery, and malicious selfish humour which goes beyond that of 
his poet." 

During the season of 1912-13, Schonberg undertook a tour 
with a "Pierrot Lunaire" party, and conducted his own works in 
Amsterdam, St. Petersburg and Prague, everywhere evoking 
intense opposition on one hand and great enthusiasm on the other. 
"Pierrot Lunaire," said one periodical, "is a riddle not to be 
solved in a day, a year, or a decade. There is no need at this 
writing to go again into the details of this strangely morbid mood 
painting this quivering, but heartless dalliance with the phan 
tasms of a lunambulist; a thing sickly, greenly pallid, sometimes 
partaking of vertigo; at other moments suggesting the patholog 
ical rather than the beautiful, and hovering close to madness; a 
work fascinating in a hypersensitive way, and yet as monotonous 
as the dripping of water of which it resembles. This uncanny 
mastery of it is not to be denied, yet it is a mastery that would 
seem to lead music to an impasse, to put Schonberg and his 



82 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

followers in a cul-de-sac rather than to open any new dominions 
for the tonal art/' 

It was in the year 1913 that Schonberg finished a dramatic 
work, for which he wrote his own book, "Die Gltickliche Hand." 
This work was not performed until twelve years later, on October 
14, 1925 in Vienna. Dr. Stiedry, the present energetic director 
of the Volksoper, undertook the difficult task of producing "The 
Fortunate Hand," after the financial difficulties in the way had 
been overcome by the efforts of Dr. Bach, a distinguished writer 
on music and a close friend of Schonberg's. This opera, which 
had been considered impossible to perform, necessitated innum 
erable rehearsals, but in the course of the Vienna Music Festival, 
Dr. Stiedry spared no pains in preparing it. 

The text of this work, which was also written by the composer, 
must be regarded as symbolic. "The Fortunate Hand 77 is owned 
by the "Man," as he is called on the program, who, however, 
does not know how to use it. When the curtain rises the "Man 77 
is seen lying with his face to the ground, a fabulous animal seated 
on his back and holding him in its claws. A dark velvet curtain 
shuts off the background, and in this there are twelve loopholes 
through which as many faces, bathed in a greenish light, look 
forth and chant words of commiseration for the "Man, 77 acting 
the part of the chorus in the ancient Greek tragedy. When the 
"Man 7 ' rises he is seen to be clad in rags. Schonberg's stage 
directions are so minute indeed, they occupy the greater part 
of the libretto that he prescribes a hole in the "Man's 77 
stockings. The "Man 77 is an idealist who clings to a dream which 
cannot be fulfilled and who ever and again yields to temptation. 

The second picture shows us the "Man 77 as the "Woman 77 
appears in him and holding out a goblet of which he drinks 
greedily. He is filled with love for her, but now the "Dandy" 
appears and draws the woman away with him. After a few 
minutes she returns and kneels down before him while the "Man" 
rises from the ground and stands grandly erect. In the third 
picture we see a rocky landscape and blacksmiths at work. The 
"Man" takes up a hammer and cleaves the anvil with a mighty 
blow. This probably symbolizes the idea that through happy love 
the "Man" has gained mighty strength. One cannot help being 
reminded of Siegfried. In the fourth picture the "Man" and the 
"Woman" are seen together. She hurls a rock at him, which 
resembles the fabled animal of the first picture. This again drives 
its claws into the "Man" who is lying prostrate on the ground 
once more, while the greenish faces in the loopholes of the curtain 
chant the words : "Hadst thou to endure ever again what so often 
has been thy sad fate? Canst thou not renounce earthly lust and 



Composers 83 



pleasures? Seekest then again to grasp that which eludes thee 
ever ? But what is ever in thee and around thee is wherever thou 
art. Dost not see and feel, seest and f eelest only the smart of thy 
body, and dost torture thyself in vain?" 

Of course, this is all symbolic of woman drawing down man, 
or perhaps contrast between dream and reality, between prosaic 
thinking and genius. The music speaks more clearly than the 
poem, and there is little new to be noticed in the now often 
preached asceticism. 

Small motifs spring up and disappear. Schonberg again proves 
himself the master of tone-painting that he is. This singing is 
declamatory in the extreme, and often new meaning and depth of 
feeling are lent to simple words. The "Man" was interpreted by 
Herr Jerger with his wonted skill in character portrayal. The 
"Woman" and the "Dandy" are mute characters. The scenic 
mounting was in the hands of a member of the Staatsoper, Stage 
Manager Turnauer. The work had a divided reception. Many of 
the audience maintained an attitude of reserve, but there was 
plenty of applause and the poet-composer had finally to appear to 
bow his thanks. 

In 1915 Schonberg began a Grand Oratorio, "Jakobslieder." 
In 1918 he founded the Society for private musical performances, 
known as the "Schonberg verein" in Vienna. Afterwards he 
lectured on composition in Amsterdam (1920-21) and then, 
returning to Modling, near Vienna, he began again to teach, to 
compose and to take pupils in composition. It must be mentioned 
here that as early as 1903 Schonberg was teaching at the Stern 
Conservatory, and ten years later he became professor at the 
Konigliche Akademie fur Musik. In 1922 he published a new 
and revised edition of his Manual of Harmony. In 1923 he 
composed a cycle of piano pieces, a quintet and a septet for various 
instruments. These works seem to be the beginning of a new 
phase of his evolution. 

Whatever Schonberg's aims may be, one thing he cannot be 
accused of, and that is ignorance of his art. Nothing is more 
difficult than to classify the unfinished work of one who is still 
vigorously working. 

Lazare Saminsky, composer and authority on the subject of 
Jews in music, says of Schonberg: 

"Arnold Schonberg, with all his radicalism, is a typical repre 
sentative of Western, that is, Continental Jewry, hysterical and 
neurotic, assimilating and accentuating ideas and feelings adapted 
from its neighbors. Schonberg plays in music the very Hebrew 
role which was played by Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer and Rubinstein, 
and I am sorry to say that this role does not at all consist in 



84 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

bringing an original note into European music. It tends only 
toward accentuating, sharpening or giving an overtaxed expres 
sion to the tendencies of the composer's contemporaries. The set 
and stubborn classicism of Mendelssohn is as much a product of a 
typically Hebrew over-emphasis of the point of artistic creed as 
the biting extremities outbursts and experiments of a Schonberg." 

On March 13, 1926, the League of Composers in New York 
gave a performance of Schonberg's quintet for wind instruments 
at Town Hall, the opinions on which were again divided as in the 
case of his other works. 

Arnold Schonberg's life has been up to this hour a life of great 
artistic surprises to himself and to those whose belief in him is 
firm. It has been a life of puzzles to those who look at his music, 
his poetry and his paintings from a distance. It is also a life of 
problems, partly solved, partly unsolved, a life of questions asked 
with an answer now and then, although some may never find 
an answer. 

It is also the life of an uncommonly strong fighting spirit who, 
convinced of the power of his mission, is counting defeats among 
the necessary preparations for a final victory. 



OSCAR STRAUSS 

ALTHOUGH NOT a relative of the famous Johann or Richard, 
Oscar Strauss nevertheless has won a high place in lighter music, 
and is now one of the most widely known of operetta composers. 
He is radically different from Lehar and Fall; he is rather to be 
considered a successor to Jacques Offenbach, for like him, he 
makes light of the classical music-tragedies in an inimitable 
satirical way. 

Like some of his colleagues in the operetta field, Oscar 
Strauss began as composer of serious music, and to this period 
belong some of his best works, including Overture to Grill- 
parzer's "Der" Traum eines Leben," for orchestra; "Serenade," 
for string orchestra, violin sonata in A minor, opus 33 ; the opera 
"Colombine," performed in Berlin in 1904; "Die Lustige Niebel- 
ungen," a parody performed in Berlin in 1905; "Hugdietrichs 
Brautfahrt," performed in Vienna in 1906; "Ein Waltzertraum," 
(undoubtedly his best work) performed in 1907; "Der Tapfere 
Soldat," (his famous "Chocolate Soldier") first performed in 
Vienna in 1908; "Rund um die Liebe," performed in 1914. But 
Oscar Strauss soon turned to lighter compositions and here found 
a wide field for his talents. 



Composers 85 



Oscar Strauss was born in Vienna on April 6, 1870, and 
studied under Gradener and Max Bruch. During 1895-1900 he 
was conductor in many provincial theatres. In 1900 he became 
chief conductor in the cabaret "Uberbrettl," founded by E. von 
Wolzogen, whose members included the famous poets, Franz 
Wedekind and 0. J. Bierbaum, for whose stage pieces Strauss 
wrote many musical numbers. 

In his later period Strauss began to make free use of modern 
dance rhythms ("Shimmy" and fox-trot), and there he has 
achieved artistic and pleasing results. 

Aside from the compositions listed above, the following comic 
operas 'belong to his "serious" period: "Der Schwarze Man" 
performed in 1903; "Die Galante Markgrafin," performed in 
1919. And to his more modern group belong "Liebeszauber," 
performed in Berlin in 1916; "The Last Waltz," performed in 
Vienna in 1920; "Nixchen," performed in Berlin in 1921, and 
many others. He has also written the ballet "Die Prinzessin von 
Tragant." 

Oscar Strauss's operettas sparkle with life and humor, and 
his melodic inventions are of the "catchiest" and most lyrical, 
pleasing alike to the connoisseur and layman. Few operettas of 
modern times have won such universal popularity as the incom 
parable "Chocolate Soldier" and "A Waltz Dream." 



MAXIMILIAN STEINBERG 

THIS WELL-KNOWN composer and theoretician, among whose pupils 
was the author of this book, was born on July 7, 1883, in Russia. 
In spite of the fact that he showed precocious talent in music, his 
parents chose for him the career of a scientist. On being graduated 
from the Petrograd Gymnasium in 1901, Steinberg entered the 
University of the same city where he completed the course in 
1906. 

But his natural inclination and love for music compelled him 
to take up its study seriously. He entered the Petrograd Con 
servatory, studying under Rimsky-Korsakoff and Glazounov. He 
was graduated from this institution in 1908. Immediately after 
wards, he was offered the post of Professor at his alma mater, an 
honor very rarely bestowed on any one, and this youth (then not 
quite twenty-five years old) suddenly found himself in a profes 
sor's chair. Not only did fortune smile on the musician, but on 
the man as well, for he won the hand of the daughter of his 
teacher, Korsakoff . On the occasion of his marriage, Igor Stravin- 



86 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

sky, his fellow-pupil, wrote and dedicated to the couple the 
brilliant and famous symphonic work, "Fireworks." 

Steinberg's early work as composer shows the influence of 
Glazounov, even more strongly than that of Korsakoff, and a 
great technical ability, combined with a not unoriginal but essen 
tially classical temperament. His was also the honor of editing 
the posthumous works of his father-in-law. He also completed 
Korsakoff' s famous Handbook on Orchestration. 

Steinberg has utilized practically all forms in his writings. He 
has written songs, chamber music, symphonies, etc. 

This interesting personality is still teaching at the same 
conservatory where he began. 



SOLOMON SULZER 

SOLOMON SULZER,, composer and chief cantor of the Jewish con 
gregation of Vienna, as well as teacher at the conservatory there, 
is considered the most famous cantor of the nineteenth century. 

He was born on March 30, 1804 in 
Voralberg. This great reformer of 
synagogue music is also significant as 
a composer. Thanks to the two volumes 
of religious chants, Shir Zion, pub 
lished by him in 1845-66 and accepted 
by all synagogues, he won fame as a 
great innovator of excellent taste and 
genius. 

Sulzer was also the possessor of a 
soft and soulful voice, which exercised 
an unspeakable charm over his listen 
ers. He had a vivid creative imagina 
tion, which recalls the Hebrew prophets, 
and like them bore the pathos and tradi 
tions of his people on the wings of his mournful melodies and 
expressive voice. He saw in flaming images the things he sang. 
His far-reaching imagination carried him to the days of his 
people's great past. The general feeling of love and respect for 
the genius as well as for the man was made evident when he 
resigned his post as chief -cantor of the Vienna Great Synagogue, 
which had echoed the strains of his soul and voice for fifty-six 
years. 

In 1845 he received an invitation from the Vienna Music 
Society to accept the honorary post of Professor of Singing at 




Composers 87 



the conservatory. He kept it until 1848. During one of the 
evenings organized in his honor by his friends and followers, 
Madame Gabglion, a court actress, read Mosenthal's Prologue, 
and the famous violinist Helmesberger, at that time director of 
the conservatory, played music to the same Prologue, especially 
written for the occasion by Karl Goldmark. 

Franz Liszt, after hearing Sulzer sing, spoke of him in his 
article, "The Gypsies and their Music in Hungary" (Budapest, 
1861) : "Only once had we the opportunity to conceive what 
Jewish art could have been if all the intensity of the living 
feeling in the Jew could be expressed in forms innate of their 
own spirit; we met in Vienna Cantor Sulzer. His singing of the 
psalms, like the spirit of fire, soars over us to the all-high to 
serve as steps to His feet. The heavenly quality of his voice 
transports us to heaven . . . ." 

During the latter years of his life, the famous author of 
"Shir Zion" devoted his time to the re-editing of his works. In 
this labor he was much assisted by his son, Professor Joseph 
Sulzer, an outstanding 'cellist and pedagogue. His aid was the 
more necessary as the old composer's sight began to fail him. 
Unfortunately, he did not live to see the new edition of his 
compositions, for he died in Vienna on January 18, 1890. Two 
years after his death, his son published the posthumous works 
of his father, augmented by his own works. 



LEO WEINER 

THIS HUNGARIAN composer won international repute when his 
"Serenade" for small orchestra, written when the composer was 
only twenty-one years old, was awarded the Budapest Liptovarosi 
Kaszino prize. His second string quartet received the Coolidge 
prize in 1922. 

Born in Budapest on April 16, 1875, Leo Weiner studied 
composition under Hans Kessler at the Royal High School for 
Music in his natal town<, In 1907 he accepted the post of teacher 
in harmony and composition at that institution. 

Aside from the two prize works mentioned, this composer has 
written many other works of great significance, a partial list of 
which follows: 

First string quartet, opus 4; "Fasching," an overture for 
small orchestra, opus 5; "Prelude, Nocturen and Scherzo" for 
piano, opus 7; first sonata for piano and violin, opus 9; second 
sonata for piano and violin, opus 11. 

Weiner is very active both as teacher and composer and much 
may be expected of him. 



88 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




ALEXANDER TANSMAN 

ALEXANDER TANSMAN is one of the most gifted among the 
young generation in France. For though he is of Polish origin 
(which is often in evidence), this composer belongs to the 

_ _ modern French, having developed under 

the joint influence of Stravinsky, Ravel, 
and the masters of the eighteenth and 
nineteenth century. 

He was born in Lodz, Poland, on June 
12, 1897. He first studied music in his 
native town with Gawronski, Podka- 
miner, Sandor Vas, and Karl Lutchg. He 
began to compose when he was nine 
years old. At Warsaw he continued his 
musical studies, while he took a course 
in law at the university. His first com 
position to be played in public was 
"Symphonic Serenade" for strings, 
written at the age of fifteen. Musicians 
were surprised by the original harmonic scheme, which gradually 
developed into what Roland-Manuel has called "Les accords Tans- 
man/' Before Tansman was twenty-two he had composed several 
symphonic works, chamber music and piano pieces. In 1919 he was 
awarded not only the Grand Prix de Pologne for musical composi 
tion, but also the second and the third prizes (entries were sub 
mitted anonymously) . All these years the contemporary movement 
in other countries was wholly unknown to him. His "Modernisme" 
was his own. Knowing that the Polish public was not prepared 
for music of modern tendencies, he made Paris his dwelling 
place in 1920, and at once entered actively into the musical life 
of that city, publishing his compositions. He also traveled outside 
France with the same purpose. On March 18, 1924, a dispatch 
from Warsaw announced his marriage at Paris to Anna Eleonora 
Bronciner, the Roumanian dancer. 

Tansman has progressed from his "systematic bitonality" to a 
chromaticism "quasi-atonal through the superposition of several 
well-defined tonalities." For this young musician is credited with 
being an innovator even in the days of Stravinsky in the field 
of harmony and rhythm. Of the Slavic world, this musician has 
beyond doubt preserved a taste for the fairy-like, a very lively 
sense of rhythm, a need for heavy harmonic coloring. One can 
easily observe the influence Scriabine exercised over him. 



Composers 89 



In the Summer of 1924, Tansman composed his new famous 
"Sinf onietta," which was performed for the first time at a concert 
of the Societe de Musique de Chambre in Paris on March 23, 1925. 
Beginning with the "Sinfonietta," reviewers cease mentioning 
any traits that may be charged to immaturity. "Up to the 'Sin 
fonietta/ Tansman's style was one of juxtaposed phrases; further, 
he frequently went astray in the details of his work. But in the 
'Sinfonietta' as also in the 'Quartet/ there is a certain terseness 
of thought, a flight of the imagination which while devel 
oping in a continuous line, shows diversity, and blossoms into 
new richness. It seems that Tansman will always retain an 
attachment for short and compact forms. But the first two parts 
of the 'Sinfonietta' definitely show that with Tansman this 
brevity is often accompanied by a richness of thought which 
loses nothing because of its conciseness." 

The "Sinfonietta" is scored for five strings, woodwinds, 
piano, trumpet, two trombones, kettle-drums, and percussion. It 
comprises an allegro, a mazurka, a nocturne, and a finale made up 
of a fugure and a toccata. In the allegro motto the flute and oboe 
sing their graceful little phrase in thirds to the metronomic 
pizzicato of a viola and ostinato of a clarinet. Bell-figures of 
horn and trumpet are interrupted by tutti. In the Mazurka 
woodwinds develop supple and expressive arabesques. The Noc 
turne flows on in a sombre atmosphere produced by the tremolo 
of low strings. The poetic note of a horn is answered by an oboe. 
After a short development there is a return to the beginning. A 
cymbal sounds forth the mystery of night ... In the fugure 
and tocatta, the violincello exposes a theme based on intervals of 
the fourth; strings, woodwinds, brass join in the general poly 
phony, written freely but with great concentration. 

Although but thirty, Tansman has already proved himself a 
prolific composer. He has chosen the symphony orchestra as the 
medium for his expression, and has already written a number of 
important works, a list of which follows : "Elans" ; "Promethee" ; 
"Le Jardin du Paradis"; "Intermezzo Sinfonic" (1923, Paris), 
which constitutes an effort toward new forms of musical con 
struction; "Scherzo Symphonique," (performed by Koussevitzky 
in Paris, 1923) ; "Legende" (also performed by Koussevitzky in 
Paris in 1924) ; "Danse de la Sorciere" (performed on November 
2, 1925, in New York under Mengelberg) . 

His latest work, at the time of this writing, is a "Sonatina" 
for flute and piano, which introduces a fox-trot as one of the 
movements and is full of fantasy. 

He is making his visit to the United States during the 1927-28 
season, at the invitation of Serge Koussevitzky, and will conduct 



90 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

orchestral performances of his works, among them the Symphony 
in A minor, "Danse de la Sorciere," and Sinfonietta for small or 
chestra. He will be piano soloist in performances of his chamber 
music works, 

During the last season, Tansman's ballet, "The Tragedy of 
the 'Cello" was produced several times. In Chicago it was per 
formed by Adolph Bolm's Allied Arts, and in New York by the 
League of Composers, conducted by Tullio Serafin, of the Metro 
politan Opera Company. 

Much of great importance in the field of contemporary music 
can be expected from this young and gifted musician. 



MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO 

THE MUSIC of Castelnuovo-Tedesco is noted for a breadth of human 
feeling which, brought to bear on us, strives and is able to awaken 
those generous emotions often dormant in man, and only awaiting 
a fraternal word for their awakening. 

No outside influence has been exerted on Castelnuovo-Tedesco, 
if we except that of Pizzetti, his master, who was for him all that 
an educator should be. Divining the ardent individuality of his 
pupil, Pizzetti's^sole aim was to quicken and stabilize it through 
the agency of his own overflowing humanism. 

Castelnuovo-Tedesco was born in Florence, April 3, 1895. He 
studied piano at the Cherubini Royal Institute of Music in Flor 
ence under Del Valle, and composition under T. Pizzetti. One of 
the young Italian school, he is noted for his interesting work. One 
of the compositions that fills us with a bounteous sense of tranquil 
emotion in the presence of nature, is his "II Raggio Verde," tech 
nically one of his most finished and in its inspiration one of his 
freest creations. 

Castelnuovo-Tedesco makes notable approaches to a purity of 
form in certain pages of Pizzetti. His merit lies also in his ability 
to discover the musical language most apt to express the inner 
meaning of the Franciscan parable, in his three "Fioretti" a 
language that should be at once medieval and modern. It is sim 
plicity itself, particularly from the harmonic viewpoint, being pe 
culiarly limpid and transparent, and the declamation varied and 
interesting. 

To piano literature, he has dedicated three rhapsodies (one 
Viennese, one Neapolitan, and one Hebrew) ; also "Le Stagioni," a 
short piano suite. He has written, among other things : "Signor- 
ine" (1918); "Ritmi" (1920); "Capitano Fracassa" (1920); 
"Cinque Canti" (1923). 



Composers 91 



Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco has been actively composing of 
.ate. His work includes a dithyramb in one act, for soli, chorus, 
rdmes, and orchestra; "Bacco in Toscana"; a song cycle, "Otto 
Scherzi per Musica" ; four sonnets for voice and piano ; a new rhap 
sody for piano on Hebrew themes, "Le Danze del Re David" ; and 
three chorales for piano, also based on Hebrew melodies. 



EGON WELLESZ 

EGON WELLESZ, the Hungarian composer, is considered one of the 
most gifted among the young modern composers. He was born in 
Vienna on October 21, 1885. He started to take lessons in theory 
while he studied at High School. Graduating from the school he 
went to the University and also studied counterpoint and compo 
sition with Arnold Schonberg. 

The first composition he wrote was "Wie ein Bild," which Emmy 
Heim sang in Budapest. Later he wrote some beautiful songs and 
piano pieces, of which "Der Abend," opus 4 (1909-10), Four Im 
pressions for Piano, was produced by Mme. de Tigranoff in 1912, 
in Paris, as well as his "Drei Klavierstlicke," opus 9, "Eklogen," 
opus 11, and "Epigrame," opus 17, produced by Norah Drewett in 
Berlin and Vienna, in 1912-13. 

In 1914 he wrote his first String Quartet, opus 14 ; in 1916 his 
Second String Quartet and his "Idyllen" for piano; and in 1918 
his Third String Quartet. 

At the same time Jacob Wassermann wrote especially for Wel- 
lesz the text to an opera, "Princess Girnara," to which Wellesz com 
posed music in 1918-19 ; it had its premiere in Frankf ort-on-Main 
in May, 1921. 

His other compositions are: "Persische Ballett," composed in 
1920 and produced in Donaueschingen in 1924; Fourth Quartet, 
"Achilles auf Skyros," ballet produced in 1926 in Stuttgart; the 
following operas: "Alkestis," produced under Richard JLert in 
Mannheim on March 20, 1924 ; "Opf erung des Gef angenen," pro 
duced under Egan Szenkar in Koln, on April 10, 1926; two violin 
sonatas; compositions for large orchestra; suite for violin, cham 
ber orchestra, and songs. 



92 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



ALEXANDER WEPRIK 

ALEXANDER WEPRIK, composer, was born on July 23, 1899, in Lodz, 
Poland. He first took piano lessons in 1904-5, in the Warsaw Con 
servatory. Till 1909 he was with Goussokofsky, following which 
he studied with Wendling in Leipzig. 
After the war he studied composition in 
the St. Petersburg and Moscow Con 
servatories. In so high esteem were his 
talents held that he was invited to teach, 
despite his extreme youth, in his own 
alma mater. 

His first composition was performed 
in 1920 in Leipzig. He has written two 
sonatas for piano; "Song of the Dead/ 7 
for viola and voice ; "Kaddisch" for high 
voice; a violin suite, and Hebrew songs. 
He is now working on his third sonata 
for piano. 




KURT WEIL 

KURT WEIL has recently begun to attract the attention of Berlin's 
musical cognoscenti. A young man of only twenty-eight, Weil 
has already won a place as one of the prominent ultra-modern 

composers. Busoni, his teacher in piano 
and composition, prophesied for him a 
brilliant future. Weil is a follower of 
Debussy, Schonberg, Hindemith and the 
whole school of our ultra-modernists; 
nevertheless he shows much individual 
ity. In spite of his youth, he has already 
created a good deal of work in the field 
of opera, ballet, symphony and fairy-tale 
music. 

On April 5, 1926, his newest work, an 
opera in one act, "The Protagonist," was 
given its premiere at the Dresden Opera. 
The story, based on a play by George 
Kaiser, tells of the visit to an English 
village of a traveling troupe of actors, headed by the Pro 
tagonist. The period is the Renaissance. The latter's sister, 
who is his particular idol, reveals by her evasions during the 




Composers 93 



performance of a pantomime at the command of a Duke, that she 
is having a love affair. The maddened showman, in a frenzy, 
throttles her. There is an element of "play within a play" as the 
real story is enacted against the background of a stage represen 
tation somewhat as in "Pagliacci." The performance under Fritz 
Busch was a striking one. 

His other works include: "Quodlibet," entertainment music 
for orchestra, aimed for a child's theatre, opus 9 ; "Girls' Dance," 
opus 10; "Concert for Violins and Wood Winds," opus 12; "The 
New Orpheus," a cantata for soprano, solo violin, and orchestra, 
with text by Ivan Goll. In the winter of 1926, his opera "Royal 
Palace," created a sensation, because of its novel theme, when 
produced at the Berlin State Opera. His latest one-act opera, 
"Photography and Love," is based on a play by George Kaiser. 



JAKOB WEINBERG 

JAKOB WEINBERG was born on July 1, 1879, in Odessa. His family 
was well known in music and literature, his father's brother, P. J. 
Weinberg, enjoying a reputation as literary critic, poet, and trans 
lator of Heine. As a child, young Jakob 
displayed marked musical tendencies. 
His father, however, had other plans, and 
wished to make a merchant of the boy, 
and insisted that he attend a school of 
commerce. At the age of seventeen, 
young Weinberg moved to Eostow to 
work as a bank-clerk. But his calling 
was soon made manifest he had a strong 
leaning for music. After studying for 
two years under the musical pedagogue 
Pressman, Weinberg was permitted to 
enter the most" advanced courses of the 
Moscow Conservatory, then under the 
direction of Saf onoff. 
Here he studied piano with Professor Igumnoff, and composi 
tion with Tanejew. At the same time he was appointed professor 
in the law faculty of the Moscow University. 

Weinberg remained in Moscow after concluding his studies. 
His first work was an "Elegy for 'Cello/' a Tschaikowsky memorial, 
published by Jurgenson as opus one. This was followed by the 
Sonata for Violin and Piano, in F sharp minor, first played in 
Paris, 1905, at the Rubinstein Concerts and then given on numerous 
occasions in Russia. The Piano Concerto in E flat minor, opus 
eight, was played in Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, and other cities. The 




94 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

following year, Weinberg toured Russia as piano virtuoso and ac 
companist. He then gave instruction in piano and the theory of 
music. 

In 1923 Weinberg left for Palestine, where he began to com 
pose in the Judaic tradition. 

He has played a leading part in the establishment and organ 
ization of the Jewish National Conservatory of Music in Jerusalem, 
and has composed Jewish music on yemenite, sepphardic, chassidic 
and Arabian themes. 

In 1926 he won first prize in a musical contest at the Philadel 
phia Centennial Exposition, for his comic opera "Hachaluz" (the 
Pioneer), for which he also wrote the libretto. This opera is in 
three acts, the first of which transpires in Poland, the second and 
third in Palestine ; it paints the life of the young immigrants, first 
in the golus, then their arrival and life in Palestine. The opera 
consists of many humorous and interesting episodes. The music 
for it is written in pure Jewish folk-lore music. It is the 
first purely Jewish music that ever received recognition in an inter 
national musical contest. Prominent judges, consisting of com 
posers and conductors, made the award. Parts of the opera 
the chorus, dance, and a few songs, the whole under the title, "A 
Night in Palestine," may be produced next season in Philadelphia 
at a festival to be played by the Philadelphia Orchestra with a 
picked chorus of several thousand singers. 

Besides the above-mentioned works, some of his standard num 
bers are : Concert Piece for Piano and Orchestra ; Sonata in E flat 
major for Piano; Phantasy for Piano and Orchestra; Hebrew Folk 
Dance for Violin ; Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and 'Cello ; and 
many works for chorus and solo voice. 

Weinberg's name is numbered among the outstanding few who 
are making Jewish musical history in the world today, and espe 
cially in Palestine. He has recently been invited to take charge 
of the Jewish Publication Society, in Berlin. 



ALEXANDER ZHITOMIRSKY 

ALEXANDER ZHITOMIRSKY was born in Kherson, Russia, in 1881. 
At the age of seventeen he entered the Odessa Musical School of the 
Imperial Russian Musical Society, where he studied the violin under 
Professor E. K. Mlinarski. During 1898-9 he studied at the Vienna 
Conservatory, where his teachers were Prill for the violin, Foil for 
theory, and Dehr for piano. In 1901 he undertook a special 



Composers 



95 



course in theory and composition with Korsakoff, Liadoff and Gla- 
zounoff . He was graduated from the Conservatory in 1910 with the 
degree of "Free Artist," and received the silver medal there for his 
"Dramatic Overture." Since 1914 he has been professor at the St. 
Petersburg Conservatory in the Special theory and composition 
classes. 



ALEXANDER VON ZEMLINSKY 

ALTHOUGH A musician of great ability and the composer of many 
significant works, Zemlinsky is principally known as teacher and 
for that Wagnerian and Brahmsian element in the early works of 

his famous pupils, Schonberg and Korn- 
gold. 

Born in Vienna on October 4, 1872, 
Zemlinsky attended the Vienna Conser 
vatory, and later became conductor at 
the Volksoper in Vienna, where he in 
augurated a brilliant epoch. In 1908 he 
was conductor at the Vienna Hofoper 
and the following year in Mannheim. 
After several seasons he became chief 
conductor at the Prague Opera. 

Zemlinsky is a brother-in-law of the 
now famous Schonberg. He excels par 
ticularly in instrumentation, the ef 
forts in this field of his other famous 
pupil, Korngold, showing at an early age great brillance and 
originality. 

Zemlinsky has written three symphonies, of which the third 
"Lyric," was first performed in Prague, on June 6, 1924; a sym 
phonic poem, "Die Seejungf rau" ; chamber music of excellent 
quality and six operas. 

His first opera, "Zarema," which had its premiere in Munich 
in 1897 was awarded the Lentpold prize; his second opera, "Es War 
Einmal," also had great success when it was presented in Vienna in 
1900. His "Kleider Machen Leute" was performed in 1910; "The 
Dwarf (libretto by Oscar Wilde) , was performed in 1921, and "The 
Birthday of the Infanta/' also to a Wilde libretto, was performed 
at Cologne. Since September of 1927, Zemlinsky has been con 
ductor at the Berlin Staatsoper. 




96 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




MANNA ZUGCA 

MANNA ZUCCA, one of America's foremost composers, was born in 
New York, December 25, 1891. Her extraordinary musical talent 
manifested itself very early. At four she made her first public ap 
pearance, playing standard works and 
improvisations. At eight she created a 
real sensation, playing a Beethoven Con 
certo with the New York Symphony Or 
chestra under Walter Damrosch. Her 
teacher in this country for piano was 
Alexander Lambert and for composition, 
Herman Spielter. Going abroad, she con 
tinued her studies with Godowsky and 
Busoni, taking also composition with Max 
Vogrich and voice with Raimond von zur 
Miihlen. 

Manna Zucca gave concerts in Russia, 
Germany, France, Holland and England, 
arousing great interest and enthusiasm. 
For a short time she turned her attention to the stage. While 
dining at a friend's house in London, she met Franz Lehar. She 
sang the score of "Gypsy Love" so well at sight that he asked her to 
go to Vienna and sing the leading role. George Edwards, another 
prominent manager, who was present, said, "Stay here and you will 
sing at Daly's." The following week Manna Zucca made her debut 
in London in the "Count of Luxemburg." After this success, she 
came to America to sing the leading role in the "Rose Maid." 
Later she appeared in "Geisha" and "The Mikado." As she 
later said, this life provided lots of fun but not enough of the seri 
ous element. 

Returning to her career as musician, Manna Zucca played her 
own Piano Concerto with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. 

Her compositions are being sung by the world's leading artists. 
Her "children's songs" of which she has made a specialty, are being 
used in a great many schools. She has found time to write upwards 
of 400 compositions. 

In 1921 Manna Zucca responded to the ardent wooing of Mr. 
Irwin M. Calless, a millionaire in Florida, where they married in 
September, the same year. Manna Zucca is still composing. Her 
works, especially her songs, are extremely popular in America. She 
has been called the "Chaminade" of America. 



Composers 97 



THE YOUNG "RUSSIAN-JEWISH" 
SCHOOL OF COMPOSERS 

WITH THE GROWTH of a strong racial consciousness among the 
younger Russian-Jewish intelligentsia and Bohemians, a step has 
been taken which will undoubtedly lead to the establishment of a 
new school. 

We feel that we cannot do better than to quote the words of 
Leonid Sabaneyev, a non-Jewish critic of Moscow, about this new 
trend of the young Jewish composers. It may be mentioned that 
some of these composers, for example, Lazare Saminsky, Joseph 
Achron, Weiner, Jacob Schaeffer, Leo Low, and Zavel Zilberts, have 
carried this movement to the new continent, where they are now 
living, and that the famous Ernest Bloch has carried the ideals of 
this movement to a pitch, the true strength of which the reader can 
appreciate when reading the life of this great and inspired mu 
sician. 

"The natural musicianship of the Jews exceed that of all na 
tions," says Leonid Savaneyev. "The proportion of Jewish musi 
cians is" much larger than that of any other nation. The artistic 
temperament of this people, its colossal ability in the fields of inter 
pretation, the examples of its masters in the field of creative music 
(Meyerbeer, Rubinstein, Halevy, Mendelssohn, Bizet, etc.), and the 
concerted awakening of an interest in the field of national creative 
work, all these give us hope for the future of Jewish music. And 
we must say, in truth, that those stones already laid in the erection 
of a Jewish national music permit us to say that a part of the hopes 
has already been realized. The Jews have already enriched the 
world's musical literature by a fresh and decidedly original draught 
of inspiration. The people who created the great religions of the 
world, this nation of God-bearers, a revolutionary people tragically 
scattered over the face of the earth, bearing for thousands of years 
the world's sorrows, a people that withstood humiliation, insult, 
exile, in which it has tempered its national spirit such a people 
cannot but possess the peculiar psychology of expressing its soul in 
tones. 

"The Jewish nation was always a singing nation; ever did it 
express in tones the sorrows that shook it its wrath and 
its temptations. . . . And now, when this nation has already crys- 
talized an intellectual stratum it not only can, but must say the 
WORD." 

A tremendous impetus to the formation and growth of this 
movement was the "ethnological expedition" financed by Baron 
Horazio Gunzberg. This expedition was organized for the purpose 
of collecting Jewish folk-lore in the remote Russian villages, and in 
out-of-the-way districts of Russia and other parts of the world. 



98 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

The members of this expedition were the best equipped in Eussia, 
culturally, musically and spiritually. We find on its staff such names 
as Julius Engel, Z. Kisselhoff, Leo Wintz, Ephraim, Schklar, Lazar 
Saminsky. At the same time a similar expedition was carried on in 
Palestine by Zwi Idelson. 

The result of these activities was the establishment in St. Peters 
burg of the famous "Society for Jewish Folk Music" founded in 
that city in 1908. Five years later, a branch was also opened in 
Moscow, and others were established in Kiev, Kharkov, etc. 

The next step was the natural moulding of the material col 
lected by the members of the expeditions, comprising such untold 
treasures of fresh and highly original Jewish themes. The concern 
of the musicians that contributed to the Society was to preserve in 
their work the maximum of "Jewishness" as well as the freshness 
of the material collected, and to arrange and develop the themes ac 
cording to the latest harmonic devices. 

Although such men as Rubinstein, Halevy and others of the 
past utilized Jewish themes in their creative efforts there is never 
theless a vast difference between what they accomplished and 
what the members of the Jewish Society have done. It must be 
borne in mind that the great Jewish composers of the eighteenth 
and nineteenth centuries were limited by the culture and traditions 
of the land in which they were born or which they later adopted. 
For example, Mendelssohn was, or tried to be, more German than 
the Germans themselves, Rubinstein more Russian than the Slavs, 
Meyerbeer more French than the Frenchmen. The men who cham 
pion the racial consciousness of the Jewish composers admit no 
doubt as to the racial origin of their creation. No longer are we 
aware of frantic efforts to conceal themselves behind a pseudo- 
nationalism. The Jewish composer of this movement comes 
frankly to the fore. It has taken the Jewish composer many years 
to find out that the outworn idioms of his neighbors would hardly 
suffice for the expression of his individual life and aspirations. 
This new trend which has arisen on the rim of the twentieth cen 
tury, has already gained substantial results, and is intimately con 
nected, in Russia, with such names as Joseph Achron, Alexander 
Krein, Michael Gniessin, M. Millner, Lazare Saminsky, Solomon 
Rosowski, A. Veprick, Gregory Krein, L. Streicher, I. Eisberg, 
Samuel Feinberg, Leo Wintz, 0. Potoker, A. M. Zhitomirski, Rum- 
shinski, Boris Levenson, D. Schorr, P. Lvoff, Herman Swett, M. 
Levin, Abilley, L. Zeitlin, Tomars, Chessin, Bichter, Weisberg, 
Leo Low, Rivessman, G. Weinberg, A. Dzimitrowsky, S. Golub, 
J. Rosenblat, L. Weiner, Rumschinsky, Posner, Okun, M. Schalith, 
G. Kopit, E. Kaplan, Rhea Silberta, E. Schklar (pupil of Balakireff 
and Rimsky-Korsakoff), who wrote extraordinary songs, among 
them "Jerusholaim." 



a 



ONDUCTORS 






MODEST ALTSCHULER 

ONE OP the pioneers of symphonic music in the United States is 
Modest Altschuler, the eminent 'cellist and conductor who was 
born in Moghileff, Russia, on February 18, 1873. He studied 'cello 

under Goebelt at the Warsaw Conserva 
tory, and under Fitzenhagen and von 
Glen at the Moscow Conservatory, where 
he was also a pupil of Arensky for har 
mony, and of Tanieeff for composition. 
He received the Moscow Conservatory de 
gree of Bachelor of Music in 1890. 

Being graduated from the Conserva 
tory, he toured Europe as one of the 
"Moscow Trio," and later went to the 
United States, where he was active for 
some time as 'cellist and teacher. In 1904 
he founded the Russian Symphony Or 
chestra, which annually gave a series of 
concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York. 
He was conductor of this body until 1919, and still continues to 
conduct it at musical festivals in the southern states. 

The first concert of the Russian Symphony Orchestra was given 
under his direction at Cooper Union Hall, on January 7, 1904. It 
was with this symphony that Mischa Elman made his American 
debut on December 10, 1908. Scriabin also owes his popularity in 
America to Altschuler, who first introduced his works and fought 
in his behalf before unfriendly audiences. 



FELIX OTTO DESSOFF 

FELIX OTTO DESSOFF was born in Leipzig on January 14, 1835. He 
belonged to those German conductors who by their refinement, quick 
wit, and inventiveness are as if especially conceived by nature for 
conducting, and can divine the thought of the composer. He studied 
at the Leipzig Conservatory and began his career as conductor at 
Chamnitz, going on to Aachen, Dusseldorff , Altenburg, Magdeburg, 
and Kassel. 

His extraordinary love of work, together with his gifts, brought 
him at the peak of a conductor's career at an age when most mem 
bers of that calling are just beginning. In 1860 he was invited to 

101 



102 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

take the post of court conductor at Vienna. Dessoff accepted and 
remained there for fifteen years, also teaching at the Conservatory 
of the Society of Music Lovers, and conducting the Philharmonic 
concerts. 

His constant labors naturally prevented him from composing. 
The few pieces he did compose, some sonatas for piano, piano quar 
tet and quintet, songs and chamber music, prove his refined taste 
and his great mastery. 

In 1875 Dessoff was invited to take the position of court con 
ductor in Karlsruhe, and from 1881 till his death, which occurred 
on October 28, 1891, he was conductor of the Frankfort-am-Main 
Stadtstheater. Dessoff held first place among the conductors of the 
latter half of the nineteenth century. 



LEO BLEGH 

AN ABLE, energetic and experienced conductor is Leo Blech. He 
particularly excels in conducting opera, having few equals in this 
field. Blech has conducted in practically every great music center. 

His ability and talent are the more re 
markable when one considers that the 
period of his official musical education, 
prior to his first engagement as con 
ductor, was not longer than one year. 

Blech was born in Aix-la-Chapelle on 
April 21, 1871. He engaged in business, 
but decided to devote himself to music, 
and took up the study of theory with Ku- 
dorff. In 1892 he was engaged as con 
ductor at the Aix-la-Chapelle Stadtthea- 
ter, where he conducted until 1898. He 
spent summers of the first four years 
studying under Engelbert and Humper- 
dinck. In 1899 he became first conductor 
at the Deutsches Landestheater, and in 1906, conductor of the 
Eoyal Opera House in Berlin, where, since 1913, he has been 
General Musical Director. Since 1923 Blech has been first con 
ductor of the Charlottenburg Opera in Berlin. 

His latest appointment was to the Berlin Volksoper, thus com 
pleting the rounds of the Berlin Opera Houses, for he was also 
engaged at the Staatsoper. 

Blech is also a composer of great ability. He has written songs, 
piano pieces, symphonic poems ("Die None," "Trost in der Natur/' 




Conductors 103 



"Walderwanderung"), choruses with orchestra for female voices, 
("Von den Englein") and "Sommernacht," one-act comic opera 
("Das War Ich," words by Batka, performed in Dresden in 
1902), "Cinderella," in three acts, performed in Prague in 1905, 
and "Versiegelt," in one act, performed in Hamburg in 1903 ; also 
a new setting of Raimund's "Alpenonig und Menschenfeind," the 
text recast by Batka as a three act opera, performed in Dresden 
in 1903 ; and the operetta, "Die Strohwitwe," performed in Ham 
burg, 1920. 



ARTUR BODANZKY 

ARTUR BODANZKY was born in Vienna on December 16, 1877. He 
studied at the High School and Musical Conservatory in that city. 
Among his teachers in the latter institution were Griin (who was 

Fritz Kreisler's instructor), Graedener 
and J. N. Fuchs. In 1896 he joined the 
Imperial Opera Orchestra as violinist. 
His first engagement as conductor was at 
Budweiss, Bohemia, in 1900, after which 
he went to the Vienna Karlstheatre in a 
similar capacity. He conducted a season 
of light operas in St. Petersburg in 1901. 
Next year he returned to the Vienna 
Opera, where he became assistant to his 
friend, Gustav Mahler. Two years later 
he went to Paris, conducting the first 
French performance of the "Fleder- 
maus." 

Returning to Vienna he became con 
ductor at the Theatre der Wien, famous 

for its premieres of "Fidelio" and "The Magic Flute/' For 
nearly three seasons, beginning in 1906, he was director at the 
Royal Opera in Prague and also conductor of the Philharmonic 
Concerts in the Bohemian capital. It was there that he married a 
Bohemian society girl. In 1909 he was called to be director of the 
Grand Musical Theatre of Mannheim where he also conducted the 
Philharmonic Concerts and Oratorio Society Concerts. 

While a resident of that city he made frequent visits as guest 
conductor to London, Milan, Rome, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Brus 
sels, Cologne, Vienna, Munich, and other prominent European mu 
sical centers. He conducted the first performance of "Parsifal" in 
England in 1914. Such was Bodanzky's reputation that when the 




104 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Metropolitan Opera Company of New York sought a successor to 
Alfred Hertz, his name was the first if not the only one seriously 
considered. He joined that organization in 1915. 

From that time on he has conducted Wagner operas at the 
Metropolitan Opera House as well as directed the New York 
Society of the Friends of Music, whose regular series of concerts 
in New York are among the outstanding events of the music sea 
son. He presents ultra-modern works, gives premieres of novelties, 
and revives old and forgotten scores. 

As a conductor, Bodanzky has gained an enviable reputation. 
His movements, when he conducts, are alert and vivacious, and his 
orchestral army responds to every gesture. In repose, his mobile 
face is melancholy. The sharply modeled features, and firm thin 
lips, are contradicted by the large black-brown eyes with dancing 
golden flecks in them, and by the broad, sloping forehead the emo 
tional brow of the born musician. Although he looks like a pessi 
mist, he is actually the reverse. He is as fiery as a Hungarian and 
as elastic in his moods as a Viennese. At times he is as gay as a 
boy. It is his delight to conduct Italian operas, to lead Mozart and 
Johann Strauss, as well as to conduct Honegger or Ravel. 

His musical pedigree is sound, his personality strong, ingrati 
ating. Few conductors have won their way so quickly. 

Bodanzky made his New York debut with Wagner's "Twilight 
of the Gods," and nobly he stood the tremendous test. There were 
a few slips, the cast was not impeccable how could it have been, 
since the great Wagner singers of former years have vanished ! but 
the conductor was the hero of the evening. For the first time in 
years, the audience was able to hear the singers. The sympathetic 
musician at the helm did not drown them with the turbulent waves 
of the score. There was power, potential and expressed ; there was 
poetry, and there was a rhythmic vitality that swept the listeners 
and musicians along on the wings of the mighty song of Wagner. 
A sagacious intellect controlled the work. 

Bodanzky differs from his predecessors, Hertz and Toscanini. 
He is a versatile, brilliant and subtle conductor, and it is a bold 
dissenter who takes general exception to his broad musical con 
ception, though one may disagree as to details. He is a master of 
nuances. His orchestra is ever transparent. It vibrates, it glows, 
but it always reveals the musical structure. One can hear the inner 
voices, while the larger tonal balance and ensemble are in evidence. 
For the singers the conductor has peculiar care ; every entrance is 
signalled, every variation in tempo or rhythm indicated. 

Arthur Bodanzky is equally the genius in conducting grand 
opera, symphony, and oratorio. He is in fact the conductor par 
excellence. 



Conductors 105 



He is never nervous during a performance although afterward 
he may become unstrung, for he uses up an incredible amount of 
energy, and becomes discouraged over such trifles as a false en 
trance by a singer, or the vagaries of the electric switch. At 
the first "Tristan" he conducted at the Metropolitan Opera House, 
the light failed at his desk during a crucial moment. It made no 
difference in his conducting he could conduct the entire work 
without a score but it annoyed him, and later those about him 
saw his features grow melancholy, his eyes stared at imaginary 
windmills, and he straightway became the dreamer of dreams, who 
waved long, thin hands across the river of multicolored music; a 
veritable Don Quixote of the baton. 



EMIL COOPER 

EMIL COOPER, the eminent Russian conductor, was born on Decem 
ber 20, 1879, in Odessa, Russia. His father, Albert Cooper, was a 
musician and teacher of music, and the son grew up in musical 
environment. His first violin lesson was taken at the age of six, 
and a year later he was discovered by Professor Freeman of the 
Odessa Conservatory. After six years under Professor Freeman's 
instruction he gave his first recital as a wonder child. Among the 
many noted personages in the audience was the Turkish Ambas 
sador to Russia, who invited him to give a concert at the palace 
of the Sultan Abdul Hamid. The Sultan, evidently quite pleased 
with the performance of the young virtuoso, extended to him the 
honor of remaining there as soloist for his pleasure. As protege of 
the Sultan, he was fortunate in obtaining a most liberal, cultural 
and practical education, his teachers being the very instructors of 
the princes. While at court he gained proficiency and fluency in 
the French, German, English, Spanish, Greek and Turkish lan 
guages. 

After a four-year stay at the palace, he returned to Russia at 
the time of the Turkish massacre of Armenians. Upon his arrival 
in Odessa, when only at the age of seventeen, he was offered the 
direction of the symphony orchestra during the Exhibition at 
Odessa (1896). He rapidly rose to fame. In the next four years 
he held such high positions as conductor of the Castellano Company, 
a very famous Italian opera troupe, and the Prince Ziritelli Com 
pany, with which he toured entire Russia and scored great success. 

In the year of 1900 the City Theatre was opened at Kiev, where 
Mr. Cooper in his capacity as main conductor displayed remarkable 
genius and ability. Six years later he was requested to fill the posi- 



106 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

tion of chief conductor of the great Moscow Opera Company, 
Zinuria. After a three-year stay, filled with unquestionable suc 
cesses, he was summoned to share the baton with the great master, 
Dr. Suk, in the Grand Imperial Opera at Moscow. During this ap 
pointment, he accompanied Chaliapin as special conductor to Lon 
don and Paris in order to present "Boris Godounow" at the above- 
mentioned places. It was during the war, following the departure 
of the great composer and conductor Nepravnik from the Marinsky 
Grand Opera at Petrograd that Emil Cooper was 'honored as his 
successor. At this stage in his career he was granted the degree of 
Professorship by the Petrograd Conservatory, at which institution 
he gave a series of lecture courses in conductorship. 

During the revolution, Cooper founded the famous Philharmonic 
Orchestra of Petrograd. In 1923 he began a world-wide concert 
tour as guest conductor of symphonic and special operatic produc 
tions, performing in Germany, France, Spain, South America, Lon 
don, and the Baltic States, and gaining great popularity. At this 
writing he is conductor at the Grand Opera House, Paris, France. 



EDOUARD JUDAS COLONNE 

EDOUARD JUDAS COLONNE is principally famous as the founder of the 
Colonne Concerts in Paris. These he organized on March 2, 1873, 
at the Theatre Odeon. They have since become a permanent insti 
tution in that city, being regularly given 
on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 
the Theatre du Chatelet. They are at 
tended mainly by students and business 
people. 

Colonne was born in Bordeaux on 
July 23, 1838. He was graduated from 
the Paris Conservatoire, under Girard 
and Sauzay (violin), and Elvart and A. 
Thomas (composition). Colonne was the 
first to produce such works of Berlioz as: 
Requiem, Romeo and Juliette, Damna 
tion de Faust (which he performed at 
his own concerts over 200 times), Chris- 
ti's Childhood, etc. In 1878 he con 
ducted the official concerts at the World Exhibition, Paris, and 
from 1892 till his death (March 28, 1910) he was first conductor 
at the Paris Opera, 




Conductors 



107 




LEOPOLD DAMROSGH 

THE MUSICAL LIFE of America took tremendous impetus from the 
energetic and intelligent labors of Leopold Damrosch. His name 
will always be mentioned with respect as one of the most talented 

and extraordinary conductors of the New 
World. 

Dr. Leopold Damrosch was born on 
October 22, 1832, in Posen (Polish Prus 
sia) . He was graduated from the Berlin 
University as doctor of medicine in ac 
cordance with his father's plans, but his 
own inclinations were toward music. He 
quickly negotiated a vocational transfer, 
making his initial appearance as a violin 
ist at Magdeburg in 1855. He studied the 
violin under Dan and Bohmer. His pro 
ficiency was so marked as to attract the 
attention of Franz List, then conductor 
of the Court Theatre at Weimar, who 
engaged the young artist as leading violinist of the opera orchestra. 
In 1858, Damrosch moved to Breslau to accept an appointment as 
conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra. He had married a 
highly gifted young singer, Helene von Heimburg, member of a 
noble family which traced its genealogy back to the thirteenth cen 
tury. 

Musical conditions, however, were miserable. There were no 
regular symphony concerts, but with the founding by him of the 
Breslau Orchestra Verein, such concerts were established. All the 
great artists who passed nearby, visited the city, and invariably 
stopped at the Damrosch home. Among these were Wagner, Liszt, 
Von Bulow, Taussig, Cornelius, Joachim, Eubinstein, Lassen, Auer, 
Clara Schumann, and Raff, with all of whom he established the 
most friendly and intimate relations. 

From 1858 to 1860 Damrosch directed the Breslau Philhar 
monic Society, and greatly aided in the popularizing of the works 
of Wagner, Liszt, and Berlioz. In 1860 he resigned this post, on ac 
count of tours which he undertook with Taussig and von Bulow. 
From 1862 to 1871 we find him conducting an orchestral society in 
Breslau, which blossomed under his fine leadership. At the same 
time he founded a choral society, arranged chamber music soirees, 
directed the Society for Classical Music, was for two years con 
ductor of the Breslau City Theatre, and with all these activities 



108 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




Leopold Damrosch 
and His Son Walter 



still found time to appear as soloist in 
Leipzig, Hamburg and other cities. The 
music center of Breslau is deeply in 
debted to the untiring efforts of this 
splendid musician and executive. 

Upon the outbreak of the Franco-Prus 
sian war in 1870, Dr. Damrosch became 
more and more discontented with musi 
cal, social and political conditions. It 
was with great difficulty that he was able 
to gain a living, the Breslau populace 
evincing more interest in material affairs 
than in art. A republican at heart, he 
hated the Prussian bureaucracy. When 
he received an invitation in 1871 to go 
to America as conductor of the Arion 
Society, he gladly accepted. 

He proceeded to New York to ascertain whether or not the new 
field offered a career and a living. How well he gauged the situation 
and how well he fitted into the new order of things musical in 
America is a matter of history. 

In the United States Dr. Damrosch revealed an even greater 
organizing talent, bringing to its highest development the society 
he directed. 

In 1873 Rubinstein and Wieniawski came to America on a tour. 
While dining at the Damrosch home, the celebrated piano virtuoso 
expressed surprise that the doctor had not as yet achieved a posi 
tion worthy of his European reputation and capacity. Theodore 
Thomas dominated the American orchestral field and the general 
belief prevailed that there was not room for another similar or 
ganization. But Rubinstein urged as a beginning, the formation 
of at least an oratorio society. This was soon accomplished, and 
eventually led to the founding of the Symphony Society in 1878. 
These two societies play the greatest role in the musical life of 
America to this day. 

Dr. Damrosch was a violinist of the first order. Upon his ar 
rival in New York he made his debut with the Philharmonic So 
ciety, playing the Beethoven concerto. His compositions number 
some forty vocal and instrumental pieces, including a symphony, a 
festival overture, an oratorio, and several cantatas. 

In 1879 Dr. Damrosch gave the American public a first hearing 
of the "Damnation of Faust," by Berlioz. The event took plape in 
Steinway Hall. It enlisted the combined forces of the Symphony 
Society, the Oratorio Society, the Arion Society, and several soloists. 
The performance was a sensation, and was repeated four times 
during the winter to crowded houses. Following up this advance, 



Conductors 109 



he conceived the idea of a monster music festival in May of 1881, 
with 1,200 singers, an orchestra of 300, and a group of noted solo 
ists. The Seventh Regiment Armory in New York was filled with 
an audience of 10,000. The organ of St. Vincent's Church was 
transferred bodily. 

The works performed were : Berlioz's "Requiem," Rubinstein's 
"Tower of Babel," Handel's "Messiah," Bethoven's Ninth Sym 
phony, and shorter selections. 

After the failure of Italian Opera under Abbey, Schoeffel, and 
Grau, the directors of the Metropolitan Opera House tendered 
Damrosch the directorship for the 1884-85 season. He accepted 
and sailed for Europe to procure singers for a season of German 
opera in New York. His productions, especially of the Wagner 
operas, proved epoch-making, but the burden of opera, concert and 
oratorio proved too great a strain. During a rehearsal of Bach's 
"St. Matthew's Passion," he collapsed and never recovered, passing 
away on February 15, 1885, of pneumonia. The responsibility of 
continuing his work fell upon his son, Walter. 

In My Musical Life, Walter Damrosch writes : * 

"Money matters were to my father always so unimportant, as 
far as he was concerned, that I think he would have signed a con 
tract in which he bound himself to pay $8,000 a year to the 
Metropolitan Opera House for the privilege of mentioning Wag- 
nerian opera there. . . . He accepted their proposition and was 
happy in the evident security of opera in German for many years 
to come. During this winter he would not give up his beloved Sym 
phony nor Oratorio Societies, and he always insisted that the weekly 
Thursday evening rehearsals with the chorus of the Oratorio So 
ciety were a rest for him from operatic affairs. During one of 
those rehearsals (in February, 1885), while preparing the 
'Requiem' of Verdi, he suddenly complained of feeling ill, and I 
rushed from the piano toward him, and, together with some of the 
singers, carried him to a cab and brought him home. Pneumonia 
set in, and he was too worn with the gigantic struggles of the win 
ter to withstand it. . . ." 

Dr. Leopold Damrosch died at his home in New York on Febru 
ary 15, 1885. 

During his lifetime the Columbia College of New York conferred 
on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Music. 

Following is a list of his compositions: Violin Concerto in D 
minor; "Sulamith," a sacred cantata for soprano, tenor, chorus, 
and orchestra; "Ruth and Naomi," an oratorio; church music pub 
lished as "St. Cecilia," "Thou who Art God Alone," for baritone, 
male chorus and orchestra; the "Lexington Battle Hymn," for 
mixed chorus; "Cherry Ripe," a part song; also songs, concert 
pieces, violin pieces, et cetera. 




110 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



FRANK HEINO DAMROSGH 

THIS GREAT American educator was born in Breslau on June 22, 
1859. He is the son of the American musical pioneer, Dr. Leopold 
Damrosch and began his musical education under his father's guid 
ance in the city of his birth.. At the age 
of eleven, he came to America to join his 
father there. In New York City he con 
tinued his piano studies under Joseffy, 
Jean Vogt, Pruckner and Von Inten. 

From 1882 to 1885 Damrosch con 
ducted the Denver Choral Club, organ 
ized by himself and from 1884 to 1885 
was music supervisor in the public schools 
of that city. From 1885 to 1891 he was 
chorus master of the Metropolitan 
Opera House. In 1892 he resigned in fa 
vor of the People's Singing Classes, 
which later developed into the body now 
known as the People's Choral Union, 
which has accomplished much for the cause of popular train 
ing in choral singing in New York City. 

In 1893 Damrosch founded the Musical Art Society, an organi 
zation of about sixty selected professional singers, who sang a 
capella music, old and new, with a degree of finish and style not 
heard in America before. Its dissolution occurred in 1920, due 
to lack of financial support. 

Frank Damrosch's greatest service in the cause of music in the 
land of his adoption is the establishment by him of the Institute 
of Musical Art in 1905. It was generously endowed by the Jewish 
philanthropist, James Loeb. This school has raised and stabilized 
the shifting standards of musical education and pedagogy in the 
United States, and has since its establishment graduated from its 
ranks many well-known artists, such as Mischa Levitzki and Sascha 
Jacobsen. Damrosch has done wisely in introducing the Anton 
Kubinstein requirements in his school, for no pupil is accepted who 
has not been graduated from high school, or who cannot show the 
equivalent of such an education. Solfeggio, harmony and theory 
are compulsory subjects. 

Dr. Damrosch is the author of A Popular Method in Sight 
Singing (1894), and Some Essentials of the Teaching of Music 
(1916) . He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music 
by Yale University in 1904. 

His younger brother, Walter, speaks of him very enthusiastic- 



Conductors 111 



ally in his reminiscences : "He has always shared with me my love 
and enthusiasm for music in an equal degree. Frank always in 
sisted that his talent was not great enough to warrant making mu 
sic his profession; and therefore at the age of seventeen, he with 
great courage determined to go out West and begin a business 
career. He arrived in Denver, Colorado, with $100 in his pocket, 
and proceeded, in the manner of our American young men who 
have no intention of becoming a burden on their parents, to earn 
his own living. He began at the very bottom and slowly worked 
upwards, but suffered intensely during his first years there from the 
almost total lack of music. In order to satisfy his needs he founded 
a Choral Society, with which he gave some of the old oratorios, and 
with characteristic audacity he supplemented this with an orchestra 
composed of a handful of professionals then playing at the Denver 
Theatres, and a few amateurs. The citizens of Denver, realizing 
that he was a real musician in spite of his modest estimate of him 
self, urged him to give up business and turn altogether to 
music. . . ." 

He took their advice! Great praise is due those citizens for 
having started on his career a man who has probably done more 
for the cause of choral music and teaching in America than any 
one we know, excepting, perhaps, his venerable father and younger 
brother. 

WALTER JOHANNES DAMROSCH 

No ONE has more enriched the musical culture of America, pro 
vided more musical entertainment for its people or labored more 
industriously in the cause of musical art than has Walter Johannes 

| Damrosch. Fate seems to have prepared 
' him for his vocation. As conductor, pi 
anist and lecturer he has ever been an 
alert and indefatigable advocate of good 
music. 

The first nine years of his life were 
full years. His father stimulated in him 
a love for the classics, his favorite read 
ing being Greek mythology, fairy tales 
and biblical parables. Even at so early 
an age, his mind was searching out the 
dramatic. The artistic environment in 
which he lived brought him in contact 
with celebrities, Wagner, Liszt, Kubin- 
stein, von Bulow, Sarasate, Joachim, 
Clara Schumann, and many others. 




112 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Son of the famous Dr. Leopold Damrosch and brother of Frank 
Damrosch, Walter Johannes Damrosch was born in Breslau, Silesia, 
on January 30, 1862. His father preceded his family to America. 
Shortly after his departure, the family in Breslau received an en 
thusiastic letter, bidding them follow him to New York. The mother, 
Walter, Frank, two younger sisters, and their Aunt Marie, set sail 
in August 18, 1871, in a little ship, the "Hermann" from Bremen. 
Dr. Damrosch's position was not worthy of his European repu 
tation and his ability. Pioneering in any field is hazardous, diffi 
cult, unremunerative. Only those with vision undertake it. Dr. 
Damrosch had one comfort in the realization that his two sons 
would continue the tradition of the family and carry his work to 
its ultimate fruition. 

Walter and his brother Frank attended public school in New 
York, the former continuing his piano lessons. He possessed a 
talent for painting which he put into practice by constructing a 
doll's theatre in which miniature productions of opera were 
given. In My Musical Life he writes: "I continued my 
studies of the piano under an old teacher, Jean Vogt by 
name, and after his return to Germany I studied with 
Pruckner, von Inten, Max Pinner and Boeckelmann. . . . My 
first appearance in an orchestra was, I am sorry to say, a 
rank failure. I was only a boy of fourteen years, and my 
father had prepared a charming operetta of Schubert's, 'Der 
Hausliche Krieg,' for a summer night's festival of the Arion 
Society. In this occurs a delightful march of the crusaders with 
one loud clash of the cymbals at the climax. It did not seem worth 

while to engage a musician at full union 
rates for this clash only, and I was there 
fore entrusted with it. At rehearsals I 
counted my bars and watched for my cue 
with such perfection that the cymbals 
resounded with great success at the 
proper time and in the proper manner. 
But at the performance, alas, a great 
nervousness fell upon me, and as the 
march proceeded and came nearer and 
nearer to the crucial moment, my hands 
seemed paralyzed. When my father's 
flashing eye indicated to me that the mo 
ment had come, I simply could not seem 
to lift the cymbals, which suddenly 
weighed like a hundred tons. ... As soon as I could I slipt out of 
the orchestra pit underneath the stage and into the dark night, 
feeling that life had no joy for me. I could not bear to hear the 
rest of the opera or to meet my father's reproachful eye. ..." 
In spite of this unhappy beginning, there followed his appoint- 




Conductors 113 



ment, at the age of eighteen, as director of the Newark Harmonic 
Society, the concerts of which were attended by Dr. Damrosch and 
analyzed by that thorough parent. In 1882 Walter was sent to 
Europe to advance his musical culture through contact with promi 
nent musicians, among them Liszt, von Bulow, and Brahms. He 
was also privileged to meet Wagner and his wife at Bayreuth, 
where he attended the first production of "Parsifal." Dr. Dam 
rosch, who had been appointed director of the Metropolitan Opera 
House with a commission to inaugurate a season of German opera, 
imported some new artists and gained a pronounced success during 
the Winter of 1884-85. 

During the opera season, Walter was alert and toiling, on hand 
for every rehearsal, every performance. That sweet confidence 
between father and son was destined to bear fruit. While deeply 
engrossed in a multiplicity of duties, Walter became assistant to 
Director Stanton of the Metropolitan, and in the summer of 1885, 
again set sail for the land of artists, securing such prizes as Leh- 
mann, Brandt, Alvary, Fischer, and Seidl. Again in 1887, a journey 
across enabled him to have during an entire summer the inestimable 
privilege of analyzing the Beethoven symphonies with von Bulow. 
On the outward voyage he met Andrew Carnegie, who extended 
an invitation for a visit to Scotland. There he met James G. Elaine 
and his daughters, one of whom, Margaret, subsequently became 
Mrs. Damrosch, while the steel magnate was made president of the 
two Damrosch societies, a function which included the role of chief 
supporter ! Thus did fate take a hand in shaping the career of the 
young musician. 

Upon the death of Dr. Damrosch, his responsibilities fell on 
Walter, then a youth of twenty-three. But his training and experi 
ence had peculiarly fitted him for the work. At the end of the 
second season with the Metropolitan Opera, he resigned, in order 
to return to his first love, the symphony. During this decade of 
building up, Damrosch found time to compose an opera, "The 
Scarlet Letter/' produced in 1896 ; the "Manilla Te Deum," in 1898 ; 
another opera "Cyrano de Bergerac," in 1913, as well as inci 
dental music to the Greek plays for Margaret Anglin. A first Han 
del festival in 1892 ; a first Beethoven cycle in 1909, repeated in 
1924 in New York and in Paris, celebrating the centennial of tKe 
Ninth Symphony, are testimony to his energy. In 1908 Saint-Saens 
came to America at the invitation of Damrosch, ever on the gui 
vive for something of musical importance to present to the Ameri 
can public. There were many first performances under his baton, 
among them "Parsifal" and "Samson et Delila" in concert form, 
as well as symphonies by Brahms and Elgar. 

His life was now a crowded one, and until his retirement in 



114 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

1927 has never ceased to be so. It provided enough material to fill 
the volume which appeared in print in 1924, under the title My 
Musical Life. The year 1891 was a fruitful one. Invited by Dam 
rosch, the famous Russian composer Tschaikowsky came to Amer 
ica. The first American performance of his "Symphonie Pathe- 
tique" was given the following year under Damrosch's direction; 
this year also saw the first appearance of Paderewski with his or 
chestra. With the formation of the Damrosch Opera Company in 
1895, other great singers were introduced to American audiences, 
including Sucher, Brema, Ternina, Nordica, Klafsky, Bispham. In 
1900 he again conducted German opera at the Metropolitan under 
Grau. 

In 1912 Walter gave over the baton of the Oratorio Society to 
his brother, Frank, who presided over it from 1898 to 1912, resign 
ing to become director of the Institute of Musical Art. Walter 
again resumed control from 1919 to 1922, then handed it over to 
Albert Stoessel, the present able conductor. 

Novelty and experiment are part of the Damrosch scheme of 
progress. He inaugurated the Sunday Symphony Concerts, devel 
oped the Young People's Symphony Concerts (inaugurated by 
Frank) , made possible the morning Symphony Concerts' for Chil 
dren with explanatory talks, given in his inimitable manner. Dam 
rosch found an active, efficient, and productive work during the 
World War. He was continuously busy as president of the Ameri 
can Friends of Music in France, giving concerts, securing employ 
ment for French musicians, and the like. Finally he went to 
France. He was instrumental in perfecting the organization and 
establishment of the Music School for Americans at Fontainebleau, 
and completed his magnificent labors by a tour with the entire New 
York Symphony Orchestra of France, England, Italy, Holland, and 
Belgium, in the Spring of 1920. 

The most celebrated artists in the world have appeared at his 
concerts, and honors have been bestowed upon him in many forms. 
He was made Doctor of Music by Columbia University, Officer of 
the French Legion of Honor, Chevalier of the Crown of Belgium, 
Officer of the Crown of Italy. He also holds the gold medal of the 
Banda Municipale of Eome and the silver medal of the London 
Worshipful Company of Musicians. In 1922, Damrosch was the 
recipient of a signal honor when the combined orchestras of the 
New York Symphony, Philharmonic, and Philadelphia joined in a 
gala concert to establish a perpetual free-scholarship in the Ameri 
can Academy in Eome, to be known as the "Walter Damrosch Fel 
lowship in Music/' 

The dean of American conductors, he has represented his coun 
try abroad more often than any other musician. Damrosch has 



Conductors 115 



departed for Europe year after year with some message, some duty 
for those across the sea. One of his greatest achievements and 
lasting contributions to the cause of musical art was made at the 
time when everyone turned against Germany and German prod 
ucts. Damrosch almost alone refused to banish his great German 
masterpieces from the programs, never conceding that Bach, 
Beethoven, Mozart, and Wagner were part of the conflict, but 
maintaining that art and war must be kept apart. 

In 1921, during the Congress of the British Music Society, he 
directed the London Symphony Orchestra, giving a program of 
American works. He also led the symphony orchestra of Stock 
holm and that of the Paris Conservatoire. He conducted a Bee 
thoven Cycle in Paris as a benefit for the old conservatory students. 
On numerous occasions he has donated his services in the cause of 
art. 

The significant tour was that to Europe in 1920 which served as 
a fitting climax to his unparalleled record on this side. Through 
the generosity of Mr. Flagler, president of the society, the entire 
orchestra, on invitation of the French Minister of Fine Arts, jour 
neyed abroad to win further honors and establish a record of being 
the first American orchestra to play in Europe. Twenty-eight 
concerts were given in nineteen cities of France, Italy, Belgium and 
Holland, the tour including London; all was effected in less than 
seven weeks. 

In prestige, the New York Symphony Orchestra ranks with 
the best institutions of its kind in any part of the world, while the 
name of Walter Damrosch stands out pre-eminently today as one 
who has served longest and accomplished most in the cause of 
musical art. During the forty-one seasons in which he has been 
director of the New York Symphony Orchestra, the wealth of edu 
cational material he has brought to the attention of thousands of 
students, teachers, musicians and music-lovers is incalculable. 
Standing on the bed-rock of conservatism with respect to the ideals 
of music, he has nevertheless been most liberal in serving the best 
of all schools. He has maintained an unswerving policy against 
the inartistic or banal. The masterpieces of the world's most emi 
nent composers have been presented, many of them having been 
performed for the first time under his baton. He has been a dili 
gent student of schools, traditions and developments. The new, if 
it be good, has an equal chance with the old, but it must be good. 
Damrosch is a keen and merciless analyst. Should anything escape 
his eye, his ear locates it. 

As a worker, Damrosch is an electric dynamo, capable of con 
tinuous performance. He finds time for every duty, every call. 
His labors have been productive and notable. Not the least was 



116 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

his share in the revival by Margaret Anglin of Greek plays, for 
which he wrote dignified and appropriate music. His lectures on 
opera and symphony are models of lucidity and entertainment, 
while as a speaker his natural wit, knowledge and earnestness have 
made him eagerly sought. His programs are constructed with the 
best taste and judgment. 

It was Walter Damrosch who inaugurated with a musical festi 
val the opening of the now famous Carnegie Hall in 1891. In 
order to give special significance to the occasion, he invited Tschai- 
kowsky, with whom he became close friends. The following year 
he visited Cambridge University, on the occasion of Tschaikowsky's 
receiving the honorary degree of Music Doctor, together with four 
other famous musicians, Saint-Saens, Boito, Grieg and Max Bruch. 
Of these four musicians, Saint-Saens was a special friend of Dam 
rosch, who conducted his concerts in New York in 1908. 

America owes to Walter Damrosch and his father an acquaint 
ance with the world's great singers and musicians, most of them 
intimate friends of the conductor, particularly Lili Lehman, to 
whom Damrosch acknowledges a great many debts of a musical and 
practical nature. In the operatic ranks were: Seidl-Kraus, 
Schroeder, Hanstangel, Materna, Brandt, Schott, Staudigal, Eobin- 
son. Following in his father's footsteps, Walter brought over Leh- 
mann, Alvary, Fischer, Seidl, Sucher, Gadski, Brown, Ternina, 
Kalfsky, Nordica, Schumann-Heink, and introduced the American 
baritone, Bispham all famous names that have since disappeared 
from the musical calendar. In the concert field, the artists assisting 
at symphony concerts are legion. In the early days, we had Wil- 
helmj, Rubinstein, Joseffy, Kubelik, D' Albert, von Bulow, Carreno, 
Paderewski, Sarasate, Ysaye, and all the great singers. 

It is to be regretted that Walter leaves no male heirs to carry on 
the rich tradition of their father, uncle and grandfather. Of his 
four daughters, Alice, Margaret, Leopoldine and Anita, only the 
third, Polly, is an excellent pianist. 

In 1920 Walter Damrosch celebrated the marriage of his daugh 
ter, Gretchen, to Mr. Fandlater, in Paris. The occasion served for 
the gathering of the cream of Europe's musical circles, among 
whom were Saint-Saens, the grand maitre, and Mme. Nellie Melba. 

America is also indebted to Walter Damrosch for the many new 
works of great value he has introduced here. Among these are 
"Samson and Delila"; Edward GrelFs "Missa Solemnis"; Liszt's 
"Christus" ; Horatio Parker's "St. Christopher," and many others. 

As a composer, Damrosch has produced compositions which 
do not deserve the neglect which has been their fate. These works 
have an educational value that has never been appreciated. His 
operas, "The Scarlet Letter" and "Cyrano de Bergerac" have a dis 
tinct place in musico-dramatic literature, and deserve study in spite 



Conductors 117 



of the fact that they are not in the repertory of present-day opera 
companies. His "Manila Te Deum," though composed for a speci 
fic purpose, ought not, because of that fact, to be relegated to 
oblivion. There is no more stirring song in print than "Danny 
Deever," while his incidental music to the Greek plays is the work! 1 
of a skilful musician and master of orchestral color. 

During the year of 1925 there was talk in Washington of ap 
pointing Damrosch as America's ambassador to Germany, but for 
one reason or another he did not choose to yield his baton to the 
diplomat's robe, as had his colleague Paderewski. 

On March 27, 1925, Damrosch's friends and followers cele 
brated the fortieth anniversary of his presidence over the fortunes 
and destinies of the New York Symphony Orchestra, a unique rec 
ord in the annals of the musical history. 



ISSAI DOBROWEN 

ISSAI DOBROWEN has achieved considerable reputation as com 
poser, piano-virtuoso, conductor, and staff manager. His recent 
mounting of "Boris Godunov" in Dresden, and at the Berlin Volk- 

soper, aroused unusual critical admira 
tion, as has his conducting of symphonic 
concerts in the German capital. 

Dobrowen was born in 1894 at Nizhni 
Novgorod, and obtained his principal 
musical education at the Moscow Con 
servatory, where he studied piano with 
Jaroschewsky and Igumnoff, and com 
position with Taneieff. Graduated from 
this institution in 1911 as gold medalist, 
he pursued his piano studies with Godow- 
sky in Vienna. He was named professor 
at the Moscow Philharmonic in 1917, and 
two years later accepted the conductor- 
ship of the Grand Theatre, in that city, 
continuing until the spring of 1922, when he resolved to settle in 
Dresden. 

"Although Dobrowen is thoroughly modern in his harmonically 
rhythmic conception of sound, he does not belong to any of the 
radical groups of the present generation of composers. He has in 
scribed on his banner neither the Schonberg school, nor the lately 
proclaimed "inanimation" of music originating from his fellow- 
countrymen at present active as composers in France." 




118 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

In his music he is above all a man of feeling, not merely a me 
chanical sound apparatus. Among his compositions are: "The 
Thousand and One Nights" (1922), a musical fairy play; music 
for Verhaeren's "Philip IF'; two piano sonatas; a violin sonata; 
a piano concerto in C sharp minor, etc. 

During the winter season of 1924-25 he was first conductor at 
the Volksoper in Berlin and successfully produced "Boris Godu- 
now," "Carmen" and other operas. At the same time he conducted 
concerts with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Berlin, Dresden,. 
Magdeburg, Halle, Stockholm, Helsingfors, as well as Moscow and 
Leningrad. 



OSCAR FRIED 

OSCAR FRIED is one of the outstanding figures in the German 
musical world. He is an excellent interpreter of opera as well as 
of symphonic and choral music. He was born in Berlin on August 

10, 1871, and is a pupil of Humperdinck 
and Philip Scharwenka. He started his 
musical career as a hornist in various 
orchestras. In 1904 he received his first 
engagement as conductor with the Stern 
Gesangsverein in Berlin, and in 1907 
with the Geselschaft der Musikf reunde. 
From 1910 on he acted as conductor of 
important orchestral organizations, de 
voting himself to producing novelties. 
He also conducted the Berlin Philhar 
monic Orchestra at the Deutsches Opera 
House in Berlin, and toured Germany, 
Scandinavia and the important cities of 
Russia. 

Fried has also found time for composition. The following is 
a partial list of his works : Choral piece, "Song of Intoxication" 
(text from Nietzsche) , opus 11 ; Harvest Song (text from Dehmel) , 
opus 15 ; Preludes and Double Fugues for large string orchestra, 
opus 10; pieces for thirteen wind instruments and two harps, 
opus 2; songs, opera 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 13; "Radiant Night," for 
solo and orchestra (text from Dehmel), opus 9; Female Choruses, 
opera 12 and 14. 




Conductors 119 




GREGORY FITELBERG 

THE SON OF A Russian army bandmaster, Gregory Fitelberg was 
born in Dinaburg, formerly a Russian province, on October 
18, 1879. By residence and culture he was completely identi 
fied with the Polish nation. In 1891 he 
entered the Warsaw Music Institute, 
where he studied theory with Noskowski 
and violin with Barcewitz. He was 
graduated in five years and immediately 
became violinist of the Warsaw Opera 
Theatre Orchestra. In 1896 his "sonata 
for violin and piano/' opus three, won 
the first Paderewski prize in the Inter 
national competition at Leipzig. In 1901 
he was awarded the Zamoyski prize for 
his "F minor Trio," opus 10,, for violin, 
'cello and piano. 

In 1902 he became solo player at the 
Warsaw Philharmonic and was conductor 
there from 1907 to 1911. In 1912 he led concerts of Polish music, 
especially the music of Karol Szymanowski, and became conductor 
of the Imperial Opera in Vienna. He soon gave up this post to 
return to Warsaw. During the Russian Revolution he was a con 
ductor of opera and symphony in Leningrad. He was also con 
ductor of the Russian Ballet Company, with Pavlowa and Fokine, 
Although not a familiar name to America, he is considered in 
Europe as ranking with the ablest conductors. The breadth and 
fire of his interpretations recall Otto Klemperer. His "Trio" is ir 
the pseudo-classical style, and is extremely sentimental, but broac 
and melodious, while his latest work is impressionistic, exhibitins 
bold and complicated harmonies and richly-colored orchestrations 
Fitelberg's work since his "Trio" has been growing increasingly 
modernistic, and he is now spoken of as the bold and progressiv< 
pioneer of modern Polish music. 

In 1905 Fitelberg founded, together with Karol Szymanowski 
Ludomir Rozycki, and Apolinary Szeluta, the Society of Young Pol 
ish Composers,, which has issued many remarkable compositions 
A list of Fitelberg's work follows : symphonic poem, "The Son; 
of the Falcon" (from Gorky) , opus 18 ; "Protesilaus and Laodamia 
(from Wyspanski), opus 24; violin concerto, opus 13; two ovei 
tures, opus 14 and 17; Piano Trio, opus 12;, two Violin Sonata; 
opus 2 and 13 ; Songs, opera, 19, 21, 22, and 23. 




120 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



NATHANIEL FINSTON 

ALTHOUGH STILL IN His early thirties, Nathaniel Finston can boast 
of a place in the new field of cinema synchronization that is rapidly 
developing from the piano thumpings of yesteryear's nickelodeons 

to the dignity of an independent and col 
ored art of his own. 

It is almost unbelievable how much this 
man has to carry in his head in the way 
of scoring, synchronizing and directing 
his motion picture theatres. He has to 
furnish suitable music not only for one 
theatre, but for a whole circuit of thea 
tres ; not only in one city but in three all 
at a great distance from one another. It 
is interesting to see this man darting 
from on theatre to another and from one 
city to another today in Boston, tomor 
row in New York, and the day following 
in Chicago. 

Nathaniel Finston was born on February 24, 1892, in New 
York City. His father, a Russian, came of a family of professional 
people. His mother is of Austrian origin ; her father was a fisher 
man by trade and a violinist by avocation, performing at peasants' 
weddings and local celebrations. Finston says of himself: 

"I received my early training in public school and for a time 
attended the City College of New York. It was my grandfather's 
brilliant idea to get me to study the violin in order to keep me off 
the streets, so he went to a pawn shop and bought my first violin 
for two dollars. Of course, this violin was big enough for him to 
use it also, and he was longing to play again. My first impression 
of music was hearing my grandfather play by ear. He tried to teach 
me to play by ear, but could not make me understand him. 

"About a year later, a friend of the family, Mr, Gusikoff , father 
of the well-known violinist, Michael Gusikoff, advised me to take 
the violin and call on one of his friends ; to this friend I think I 
owe my whole musical career. This man never made his mark in 
life, but he devoted his best efforts to his violin pupils. His name is 
Solomon Elin, a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory for years, 
a member of the New York Symphony and other organizations. 

"I played with the Russian Symphony Orchestra, under Modest 
Altschuler, for five years, and for two years in the Boston Opera 
Company. After this I came to New York City and played for two 
years with the New York Symphony as assistant concertmaster un- 



Conductors 121 



der Walter Damrosch. In the subsequqent two years I became a 
member of the New York Philharmonic under Josef Stransky, a 
marvelous body of orchestral players. During my years in orches 
tra, which in all were eleven, I also played under Safonoff, Bodan- 
sky, Gabrilovitch, and Ernest Bloch. 

"About this time, the motion picture theatre developed musical 
ambitions. Having played for eleven consecutive years in sym 
phonic orchestras, opera, quartets, salon orchestras, and similar or 
ganizations, I had become dissatisfied with my prospects. An idea 
struck me that I could probably utilize my vast musical experience 
in other ways. I applied to Hugo Riesenfeld. During the first 
association of Mr. Eiesenfeld and Mr. Rothapfel at the Trilby 
Theatre, I was engaged as one of the concert masters. 

"A year and a half later I was engaged as assistant conductor 
at the Rialto Theatre, and two and a half years later I was engaged 
by the Capitol Theatre in New York. Later I went to Chicago, 
where I remained for five years with a then unknown firm, Bala- 
ban & Katz, but who now are credited with the marvelous improve 
ment of the movie theatres. 

"I have been for five years director of all the productions in the 
Chicago Theatre, and now am in charge of all productions in the 
Publix chain of theatres, comprising many hundreds in the United 
States. For a position of this kind is it necessary to know the jazz 
mind as well as the opera and symphony mind." 

Finston's glowing eyes are ever restless, and the sparkle in 
them speaks volumes for his bountiful mental, physical, and spir 
itual resources. His is a clear, logical, and analytical mind. 



ALFRED GOODMAN 

ALFRED GOODMAN, composer and conductor of musical comedies and 
operettas, was born on August 12, 1890, in Nikopol, a small town 
on the River Dnieper near Odessa, Russia. His father was an 
orthodox cantor, and Alfred received his rudimentary education 
from his father and brothers, who were all educated musicians. 

When Alfred was seven years old, his parents brought him to 
America. He spent his adolescence in Baltimore, where he received 
his entire schooling. For ten years he studied piano, organ, 
harmony, composition and singing at the Peabody Conservatory 
in Baltimore. 

Goodman married before he was twenty; thus there was the 
necessity for immediate and additional income. He thereupon 
secured a position with the music publishing firm of Witmark as 
their Chicago orchestrator and arrived in Chicago to hear that 



122 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Los Angeles was a good unworked field. At a Los Angeles 
theatre, he drifted into conducting, for which he was paid, 
though not for the music he composed for the local produc 
tions. One night, while thus officiating, Al Jolson, the celebrated 
comedian, was in the audience. Then and there Goodman's 
troubles were ended. Jolson arranged to have him come to New 
York as his own particular conductor; he has led for Jolson ever 
since. 

The first Jolson show in which he thus participated was 
"Sinbad," and J. J. Shubert, the musical producer, liked his 
methods so much that he was engaged as the general musical 
director and producer of musical scores for the Shubert Theatrical 
Enterprises. 

He is becoming well known as a composer, too, and has 
prepared and composed and interpolated on everything from 
"Artists and Models" to "Maritza" by Emmerick Kalman. He has 
also conducted musical comedy, Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and 
a summer stock season of Grand Opera. 



EDWIN FRANKO GOLDMAN 

EDWIN FRANKO GOLDMAN is known to America as the organizer 
of the "Symphony Orchestra in Brass." This orchestra was 
founded in 1918 when Goldman conceived the idea of free summer 
concerts in New York City. He himself raised the necessary funds 
to begin. Since then he has given free public concerts every sum 
mer at Columbia University campus and at Central Park, drawing 
huge audiences. This European institution of park concerts was 
hardly known to Americans before. Goldman was the first musi 
cian to be officially honored by the city of New York when in 1919 
the mayor presented him with a gold watch. 

Edwin Franko Goldman was born in Louisville, Kentucky on 
January 1, 1878. Both his parents were musicians, having studied 
violin and piano in Europe for many years. His mother appeared 
in public when a very young girl. At the age of eight Edwin began 
to study the cornet. At fourteen, his success in an examination for 
admission to the National Conservatory of Music won him a free 
scholarship. (Dvorak was then director of the Conservatory.) For 
a year Goldman studied composition with him. Then Jules Levy, 
the famous cornetist, accepted him as a free pupil. At seventeen 
he was engaged as cornetist at the Metropolitan Opera House where 
he remained for ten years. 

Since resigning from the Metropolitan, he has devoted most 
of his time to conducting and writing. 



Conductors 



123 




VLADIMIR GOLSCHMANN 

ONE OF the ablest young French conductors is Vladimir Golsch- 
mann, who was born in Paris on December 16, 1893, of .Russian 
Parents. He studied violin, piano, harmony, and counterpoint, 

and on maturing played as violinist with 
various Paris orchestras. 

Golschmann came to public notice in 
1919, when he organized the "Concerts 
Golschmann," which have popularized 
most of the works of the modern French 
School at the Salle des Agriculteurs, 
Salle Gaveau, Theatre de Champs-Ely- 
sees. The first significant event of this 
foundation was his presentation in 1920 
of Milhaud's "Boeuf sur le Toit." 

Golschmann is an excellent inter 
preter of polytonal music, and is natur 
ally the champion par excellence of the 
Groupe des Six. He was also the con 
ductor of the Diaghilev Ballet in 1920, and directed the first 
post-war production in Paris of Stravinsky's "Sacre du Prin- 
temps." He was* invited to Brussels as guest conductor of the 
"Concerts Populaires" in 1924, and on October 19 and 20 
presented there the first hearing of Honegger's "Pacifique 231," 
the Queen and Princess Elizabeth being present. Golschmann was 
summoned to the royal box to receive Her Majesty's congratula 
tions. 

On November 29 and 30, the young French conductor presided 
over the famous Pasdeloups Orchestra in Paris of which Rene 
Baton is the regular conductor. In March, 1924, Golschmann was 
engaged as guest conductor with the New York Symphony Orches 
tra, and in December of the same year conducted a series of 
concerts at Carnegie Hall, Aeolian Hall, and the Brooklyn- 
Academy of Music, where he successfully performed excerpts from 
Rameau's "Castor and Pollux," Stravinsky's "A Bird" suite, 
Roussel's "The Spider's Banquet," Beethoven's "Seventh .Sym 
phony" and Honegger's "Pastorale d'fite." 

The first impression of importance that Golschmann made in 
America was as conductor of the Royal Swedish Ballet. 

His wife, Mme. M. Soyer, is a lyric soprano at the Monnaie 
Theatre in Brussels. She is a graduate of the 'cello class of 
the Paris Conservatory and made her debut with that instrument. 



124 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



LOUIS HASSELMANS 

Louis HASSELMANS, who has been In charge of the music prepara 
tion of the French repertory at the New York Metropolitan Opera 
House and conductor of its performances since the last half of the 

1921-22 season, was born in Paris, on 
July 25, 1878. 

. The young Louis (whose father was 
a celebrated harpist and teacher on that 
instrument at the Paris Conservatoire) 
entered the Paris Conservatoire to study 
the 'cello under J. Delsart, harmony un 
der A. Lavignac, while Jules Massenet 
was his teacher for instrumentation, and 
B. Godard for chamber-music. From this 
institution he was graduated with the 
first prize at the age of fifteen. 

His musical career started as 'cellist 
of the Concerts Lamoureux. In 1904 he 
became 'cellist of the famous Caplet 
Quartet, with which organization he toured France, Germany, 
Great Britain, Italy, Holland, and other countries. 

But he soon manifested great abilities as a conductor. As a 
consequence, he made his debut as conductor of the Lamoureux 
Orchestra in two concerts (1905). The talent displayed on those 
occasions instantly marked Hasselmans' future, and there was a 
public response to the founding, in 1907, of the Hasselmans So 
ciety Concerts in the Salle Gaveau. 

Called by Albert Carre to become first conductor at the Paris 
Opera Comique, Hasselmans resigned his place in the Caplet Quar 
tet. His destiny was, however, apparent; so much that it was 
natural he should have yielded to the invitation to conduct for the 
Montreal Opera Company during 1911-13, and in 1913-14 to lead 
the twenty-four programs of the Marseilles Concerts Classiques. 
At the end of the World War, Cleof onte Campanini secured Has 
selmans for the Chicago Opera Association, where he remained 
as head of the French repertoire in 1918-20. 

Louis Hasselmans returned to Paris, where he again conducted 
at the Paris Opera Comique in 1920-21. It was from that institu 
tion that he went to the New York Metropolitan Opera House. His 
accomplishment there .and at Ravinia near Chicago (where he 
has conducted uninterruptedly since the summer of 1921), are 
matters of public record. 




Conductors 125 




ALEXIS HOLLAENDER 

As A pianist and conductor Alexis Hollaender won notice equally 
with his brother Gustav. Alexis has for many years conducted 
the Berlin "Cecilia Verein," whose object it is to present seldom 

heard choral works. He succeeded in 
carrying out the aims of the organiza 
tion which he still manages, though he 
is now in his eighty-seventh year. 

He was born on February 25, 1840 
in Ratibor, Silesia. In 1858 he was 
graduated from the Elizabeth Gymnasi 
um in Breslau, and entered the Berlin 
University, attending the Academy of 
Arts at the same time. He was a pupil 
of K. Bohmer, and also studied piano 
and composition at the Royal Academy 
in Berlin. In his public appearances 
that followed he advocated the works 
of the then little-known Robert Schu 
mann. From 1861 to 1888 Hollaender was piano teacher and 
instructor of choral singing at Theodore Kullak's New Academy 
of Musical Art, and from 1888 he directed his own music school. 
Previous to that, in 1877, he was engaged as professor of singing 
at the Victoria School, and from 1903 his excellent lectures on 
music were heard at the Humboldt Academy. 

Hollaender wrote a Requiem for six voices, a piano quintet, a 
trio, piano pieces, songs, chorals, songs a capella, five-voice chor 
uses, etc. 

In 1875 Hollaender received the title of King's Music Director, 
and in 1888 the title of Professor. Hollaender is the husband of 
the famous singer, Anna Becky. 



AGIDE JACCHIA 

AGIDE JACCHIA, the Italian conductor and composer, was 
born in Lugo, Romagna on January 5, 1875. He studied at the 
Conservatories of Parma, Pesaro, and Milan, where he was a 
favorite pupil of Mascagni. He made his, debut as conductor of 
the Teatro Grande in Brescia in 1898, and continued to conduct 
there, filling engagements as well in Ferrara and Venice until 



126 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

1902, when he visited the United States with Mascagni. During 
the season of 1903-6 he conducted at Milan, Leghorn, and Siena, 
and from 1907 to 1910 he led a season at the Academy of Music 
in New York. From 1910 to 1914 he was director of the Montreal 
National Opera Company in Canada. For the season 1914-15 
Jacchia was chief conductor of the Century Opera Company in New 
York, and in the seasons following conducted the Boston National 
Opera Company, later becoming director of the popular concerts at 
Symphony Hall in Boston. Since 1919 he has been director of the 
Music Institute of that city. 

He has written a "Hymn to Rossini," a prize Cantata (1898), 
a Central-American National Hymn, and other works. 



VICTOR KOLAR 

VICTOR KOLAR, assistant conductor to Gabrilowitch of the De 
troit Symphony Orchestra, is a gifted and promising young 
musician. He was born of Bohemian parents in Budapest, Hun 
gary, on February 12, 1888. At the Prague Conservatory he 
studied violin, and took composition with Dvorak. In 1904 he 
came to America and joined the ranks of the violinists at the 
Chicago Symphony, but forsook them the following year for the 
Pittsburg Orchestra. From 1907 to 1919 he was a member of the 
New York Symphony Orchestra, also acting as assistant conductor 
since 1915. 

Kolar is now regarded as one of the outstanding young Ameri 
can composers. His symphonic poem "Hiawatha" was performed 
by the Pittsburg Orchestra on January 31, 1908. Another sym 
phonic poem, "A Fairy Tale/' was given a performance by the 
New York Symphony Orchestra on February 16, 1913. This same 
orchestra also performed his symphonic suite, "Americana," opus 
20, on January 25, 1914, and his "Symphony in D" on January 28, 
1916. Kolar's "Slovakian Rhapsody" for orchestra was performed 
at the Norfolk Connecticut Musical Festival on June 7, 1922. 



Conductors 



127 




OTTO KLEMPERER 

DURING THE famous Peace Conference in Vienna in 1813, Czar 
Alexander I is said to have exclaimed in Napoleon's presence, "I 
am the greatest here/' to which the short corporal replied : "No, 

you are undeniably the tallest, but I am 
the greatest." Otto Klemperer, on the 
other hand, is the tallest, and also one of 
the greatest among contemporary con 
ductors. Looking seven or eight feet tall, 
he towers above the .world's leading 
orchestras, without needing the custom 
ary conductor's platform, and magnetizes 
his men with his Promethean fire. His 
appearance calls to mind the late Gustav 
Mahler, Elemperer's friend and patron. 
Members of the orchestras, accustomed 
to leaders of lesser dimensions, look for 
Klemperer's baton, but find their eyes on 
a level with his coat buttons. 
Otto Klemperer is a man of dark complexion, sensitive features, 
and expressive eyes. Now crouching, now rising to his full and 
enormous height, or bending double, like an immense bird, over 
the orchestra, he pulls or drives tone from it. In spite of his 
mannerisms in conducting, his sincerity is unquestionable, and 
whether or not, in these observant days, his gestures appeal to the 
gallery, the basic and important fact is that they draw immediate 
response from the orchestra, that the men are infected with the 
conviction and the enthusiasm of the leader, and that his spirit is 
felt in turn by the audiences. 

I have had the pleasure of playing with the New York Sym 
phony, under Klemperer's leadership during the seasons of 1926 
and 1927. In the course of a conversation with him he related to 
me these facts about himself, 

His paternal grandfather was a teacher of religion and other 
subjects in Prague, and his father was a merchant. His mother, 
whose maiden surname was Nathan, was born in Hamburg, and 
was an accomplished pianist. His maternal grandmother, Frau 
Nathan (nee Ree) was of French ancestry. Like Walter Dam- 
rosch, director of the New York Symphony, Klemperer was born 
in Breslau on May 15, 1885. 

His parents moved to Hamburg four years after his birth. He 
entered at an early age the Hochs Conservatory in Frankfurt-am- 



128 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Main, and later became a pupil of Scharwenka in Berlin. Klemp- 
erer is one of the few notable conductors who have never played 
in an orchestra. His first intention was to be a pianist. His piano 
teacher was Ivan Quast, and his violin teacher was Zayic; and 
Hans Pfitzner taught him composition. 

In the year 1905, Klemperer was assistant conductor to Oscar 
Fried in Berlin. During that time Max Reinhardt came to Berlin 
to put on an Offenbach operetta. He wanted a conductor. Some 
one suggested "that great tall fellow, Klemperer, young, to be sure, 
but very talented." One of Gustav Mahler's works was given its 
first performance in Berlin. There were two orchestras, one of 
them back-stage, which Klemperer was chosen to conduct. 

Mahler was there and being well pleased with the work of the 
long-legged boy, took an interest in him. It was through Mahler 
that Klemperer in 1917 got his first position that of conductor 
at the Deutsches Landstheater in Prague. 

Klemperer treasures as a memento a letter given him by Mahler 
at that time. "I find Herr Klemperer extraordinarily good, in spite 
of his youth, already a well routined musician, who is predestined 
for a conductor's career. I guarantee good results in case of his 
appointment to the post of conductor and always stand ready 
personally to co-operate with him and help him." 

In 1909 Klemperer was appointed conductor at Hamburg, again 
on Mahler's recommendation. Then he went as conductor to 
Bremen and Strassburg, and in 1917 to Koln. During the past 
several years Klemperer has been engaged at Wiesbaden, where he 
is the "Volcano of Wiesbaden." He spends half of the year travel 
ling as guest conductor in Russia, Italy, Spain, Austria, and the 
larger cities of Germany. 

He was among the first to introduce modern French and Italian 
composers in Germany. He is also well-known for his readings of 
Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, and Mahler, as well as Richard 
Strauss. Klemperer is spoken of "as perhaps the greatest of all 
conductors, in Europe today, with a positively fascinating person 
ality, and as an artist is equally at home in classic as well as 
modern music." 

His success in Russia was phenomenal, probably greater than 
in any other country. He was invited there for three successive 
seasons, and is now again invited, this time to conduct the 
Beethoven Festival, planned in Moscow, Leningrad and other large 
Russian cities during 1927. 

During the season of 1925-26 Klemperer was engaged as guest 
conductor with the New York Symphony, where the writer, being 
a member of the orchestra, had an opportunity to study the man 
and the conductor. He wields a precise and rhythmic stick over 



Conductors 129 



his orchestra ; the patterns he lays out are lucid. He knows the 
exact capabilities of his players and how to draw these capabilities 
out. A symphony for him is comprised of sallies, dartings, appre 
hensions. His posture seems to say to his men: "There is some 
thing coming now, something extraordinary; you'll never guess 
what ; watch out ! Around the corner of the next phrase something 
very exciting is lurking watch me get excited and double up 
when it arrives!" 

Klemperer earned particular gratitude in New York for his 
practical championship of Bruckner. It takes courage and convic 
tion for a visiting conductor to lead this modernist's "Eighth 
Symphony" three times in quick succession in spite of an anti- 
Bruckner prejudice which exists among New Yorkers. 

Klemperer won immediate enthusiastic recognition from the 
New York audiences and reviewers. This is the more to his credit 
since, during his first visit to the United States he had to compete 
with such colossi as Toscanini, Mengelberg and Furtwaengler, who 
were conducting other orchestral organizations in New York at the 
same time. As a result of his ten weeks' engagement, Klemperer 
has grown so greatly in public favor that he is now perhaps New 
York's favorite conductor. And let it be added that he came to the 
United States practically unknown and unheralded. The result of 
his first engagement with the New York Symphony was an imme 
diate re-engagement for a season of fifteen weeks for the ensuing 
year. 

The press was unanimous in declaring his interpretations of 
Strauss' "Till Eulenspiegel" and "Todt and Verklarung" the out 
standing musical events of the season. Klemperer is aflame with 
whatever music he interprets, and he conducts everything by 
faultless and letter-perfect memory. 

Being interested in this phenomenal memory of his, I once 
asked Klemperer whether it could be attributed to his sight or his 
ear, to which he pointed at his temple, saying, "Everything is here. 
It is only necessary for me to hear or to play the score a few 
times, and it at once sinks whole into my memory." 

Klemperer is also a composer of consequence, although his 
extensive occupations as conductor absorb most of his time and 
energy necessary for creative work. The following are his pub 
lished works: "Missa Sacra," in C, for solo, choir, children's 
choir, organ and orchestra; Psalm 13, for bass solo, organ and 
orchestra ; a coloratura aria added to Rossini's "Barber of Seville/' 
and several songs. 

Klemperer is also an excellent pianist and accompanist. On the 
occasion of Lawrence Tibbett's appearance with the New York 
Symphony as a substitute for Mme. Austral, Klemperer accom- 



130 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

panied him in Schumann's "Dichterliebe" cycle, playing from 
memory. 

Otto Klemperer accepted an offer to conduct twelve concerts 
at the Colon Theatre, of Buenos Aires, during September and Oc 
tober of 1926. Here he won the same recognition from Latin audi 
ences that he earned throughout Europe and the United States. 

In September of 1926 he accepted the position of general music 
director of the Staats Opera in Berlin offered him by the Prussian 
Kultur-Minister, Dr. Becker. His contract is for ten years be 
ginning in September of 1927. Immediately after signing this 
contract, he engaged the two well-known conductors, Alexander 
Zemlinsky and Fritz Zweig as his assistants. 



HERMANN LEVI 

THE NAME of Hermann Levi is intimately associated with the 
history of the Munich Theatre, and particularly with the shifting 
fate of Richard Wagner's music dramas. 

Levi was born on November 7, 1839, in Giessen, where his 
father was chief rabbi. From 1872 till his death he was General 
Musik Direktor and Court Conductor in Munich. On July 28, 1882, 
he conducted the first performance of "Parsifal" in Bayreuth. 
He was one of the most ardent apostles of Wagner, and his word 
was considered final in debates on the significance of any of 
Wagner's music dramas. In Levi's eyes art stood higher than 
any current party politics. He was governed by wholesome, simple 
instincts, and his worship of the Bayreuth idol did not prevent him 
from giving other gods their due. 

Hermann Levi was a pupil of Lachner in Mannheim, and later 
entered the Leipzig Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Ritz and 
Hauptmann. Like a great many other musicians of his time, he 
was finally attracted to Paris. Levi's career begins with his 
appointment as General Musik Direktor at Saarbrucken in 1859. 
Two years later he was conductor of the German Opera in Rotter 
dam, and from 1864 to 1872 he was court conductor at Karlsruhe, 
after which he held the same position in Munich. 

Wagner's many letters to Levi speak of the ever growing 
intimacy between the two musicians, from the time of their 
meeting in Mannheim in 1871. 

Hermann Levi died in Munich on May 13, 1900. 



Conductors 



131 




SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY 

SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY'S place in the world of music is unique, for 
the celebrated Russian conductor is also universally known for 
his mastery of that ponderous and, in the hands of lesser men, 

lugubrious instrument of the orchestra, 
the contra-bass. As conductor he was 
widely known in pre-war days. As 
leader of his own orchestra in Moscow, 
which he conducted almost without 
interruption during the war and the 
revolutionary upheaval in Russia, Kous- 
sevitzky gained recognition as one of 
Russia's foremost conductors. 

Richard Strauss once astonished the 
world by saying, a propos of "Tristan" : 
"Believe me, the brain that could pour 
out that passionate music must have 
been as cold as ice/' This paradox is 
the sober truth. The more an artist is 
on fire, the cooler must be the head and hand that direct the fire. 
Koussevitzky has this central iciness to an extraordinary degree. 
It would hardly be possible to raise some works to a higher 
pitch of nervous incandescence than he does ; but this nervousness 
never gets out of hand. It is Koussevitzky's servant, not his 
master. The excitement is always perfectly under control; one 
great plastic line runs through the work. 

Although Koussevitzky is known as the "apostle of the 
moderns," he does not devote himself exclusively to them. He 
presents unusual programs, that is, programs that have not become 
platitudinous through repetition; these include seldom heard 
symphonic works of the older masters. 

Koussevitzky is also an extraordinary and thoroughly original 
interpreter- of the classics. He plays the works of Beethoven as 
though they had been written yesterday. He does not build up a 
fanciful picture of this great classicist as he was, one hundred 
years ago, and does not insist on making him behave in the 
decorous way in which some conductors think a classic ought to 
behave. 

It is a spirit of dissatisfaction with ready-made interpre 
tations of life and art that has made Serge Koussevitzky the 
figure he is in the world of music. He is continually searching, 
not merely for novelty, but for new contributions, new explana 
tions, new truths. Claimed both by the romanticists and the 




132 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

classicists, he seems to have applied the 
theories of the first to his life and the sec 
ond to his art. His interpretations are 
the most authoritative, particularly that 
of Scriabin. 

Serge Koussevitzky was born in Tver 
in 1874. His father was a member of 
a symphony orchestra. When only six 
the boy received music lessons, and at 
nine took part in the orchestra of the 
Tver City Theater. Three years later 
he began to conduct a provincial the 
atre orchestra, and to compose music for 
dramatic representations. In ^1890 he 

__ entered the Conservatory of the Moscow 

Philharmonic Society as a student of composition and orches 
tral conducting, and, in order to qualify for a scholarship 
also studied the double-bass under the famous Professor Bam- 
baussec. ^ His studies terminated, he obtained a post as double- 
bass soloist at the Moscow Imperial Opera, and for several years 
appeared in all the principal centers as a double-bass virtuoso. 
He never lost sight, however, of his real aim, and in 1909 organ 
ized a student orchestra in Berlin of the best classical and 
modern music, gaining experience in interpreting. Eeturning to 
Russia, he established his own Symphony organization in Moscow, 
and gave a series of symphony concerts in Moscow and Petrograd! 
He made several tours with his orchestra through the Russian 
provinces, and was the first to familiarize Russia with many of 
the modern European composers, such as Debussy, Ravel, Florent 
Schmitt, P. Ducas, Roger Ducasse, Fanelly, Elgar and Richard 
Strauss, as well as with the Russians, Scriabin, Stravinsky 
Prokofieff, and others. 

Koussevitzky was in the habit of making a bi-annual tour of 
the central provinces of his native country, chartering one of the 
largest Volga steamers, and using the 2,325 miles extent of the 
river as a highway. By this means he was able to transport with 
ease and celerity a large party of friends as well as his permanent 
private orchestra of eighty-five musicians, and a full-size concert 
grand piano. Stopping at the principal cities on the banks of the 
river, he gave a series of concerts at nominal fees, thus bringing 
a breath of the civilized world to the teeming multitudes in that 
region which covers about 583,000 square miles. In the course of 
these crusades, Koussevitzky discovered and encouraged many 
persons whose talents would otherwise have remained unknown. 
The last occasion on which he was permitted to make his 
musical tour on the Volga was in May 1914, the company of 



Conductors 133 



guests and musicians totaling over 100 persons, and the itinerary 
embracing the principal towns of the Volga River from Jaroslavl 
to Astrakhan. 

The principal aim of all the musical organizations and activi 
ties of Koussevitzky in Russia was partly to struggle against 
routine in the understanding and interpretation of the classical 
music. Debussy was twice invited by him to come to Russia and 
to conduct his works in Petrograd and Moscow. 

Koussevitzky used to organize special festivals of Beethoven, 
Bach, Tschaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakoff, and others, conducted by 
himself in the two capitals of Russia. He was a favorite pupil in 
Arthur Nikisch's classes in conducting. Koussevitzky was un 
doubtedly much influenced by Nikisch, for he resembles him a 
great deal in the manner of his conducting, being like him, both 
lyric and romantic. 

The great friendship which united Koussevitzky to the com 
poser Alexander Scriabin is well known. The composer himself 
estimated Koussevitzky as the best interpreter of his orchestral 
works. He was the first to perform in Russia Scriabin's poem 
"Prometheus" and the famous "Poeme de 1'Extase." They had no 
success at the first performance; but their present great popu 
larity is due to many repetitions at the concerts of Koussevitzky. 

The musical publication L'Edition Russe de Musique, organ 
ized by Koussevitzky and his wife Natalie, in 1909, simultane 
ously with his concerts, had as its principal aim the publishing 
of the works of talented young Russian composers thus intro 
ducing them and saving them from exploitation. L'Edition 
Musicale Russe published the most important works of such 
Russian composers as Igor Stravinsky, Serge Rachmaninoff, Alex 
ander Scriabin, Serge Prokofieff, Alexander Gretchaninoff, and 
others. Rimsky-Korsakoffs Treatise on Orchestration, known 
by musicians throughout the world, was also published by them. 
Their activities are now being continued in Paris. 

Koussevitzky came to Western Europe in 1920. He organized 
concerts in Paris with the same aim that he had done in Russia. 
Each year he gave a spring and autumn series of four concerts. 
These have become a leading feature of musical life in Paris, 
owing to the freshness and novelty of their programes and the 
new spirit which inspires them. During the four years of their 
existence Koussevitzky discovered to his audiences not only many 
works of Russian composers quite unknown in Europe before 
him, but also those of the young composers of the modern French, 
English, and Italian schools, and even some quite unfamiliar 
classical and ancient works. 

Koussevitzky has given over sixty novelties in Paris, enjbraQ- 



134 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

ing almost the entire list of the French, Russian, and Italian 
moderns, as well as many revivals. 

During the same years, he conducted concerts in London, 
Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Barcelona, 
Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Warsaw and Mantes. At Barcelona, 
Lisbon, and Paris, he gave Rimsky-KorsakofFs "The Snow 
Maiden," Moussorgsky's "Boris Godounoff" and "Khovanschina," 
Borodine's "Prince Igor," Tschaikovsky's "Queen of Spades," and 
others. 

The following tribute was one of a great many paid him in 
England: "It used to be said" (we quote the Westminster Gazette) 
"that Nikisch mesmerised his players. In Koussevitzky's case 
one might rather put it that he electrifies them and with them 
the audiences too." 

In Autumn of 1924 Koussevitzk was nominated as conductor 
to the Boston Symphony to replace Pierre Monteux. 

During the season of 1924-5 he gave, for the first time in 
America, Moussorgsky's "Tableaux d'une Exposition," especially 
orchestrated for the conductor by Maurice Ravel; Arthur Honeg- 
ger's "Pacifique 231," and Serge Prokofieff s suite "Scythe," which 
he had previously given in Paris. He also brough with him Igor 
Stravinsky's new piano concerto. 

Koussevitsky's success in America was so great that the Boston 
Symphony Orchestra re-engaged him for another five years long 
before his first contract had expired. 

His graying hair, his well-knit figure, his firm decisive jaw 
seems to mark him, not as an artistic radical, but as a conservative. 
He is both of these. Therein perhaps lies the secret of his success. 
He has a somewhat cynical sense of humor, which he is tactful 
enough to suppress when the occasion demands. As he talks there 
is in the inflection of his voice, in the whimsical drooping of his 
eyes, a suggestion of the dynamic personality which he reveals on 
the stand. 

As the bass-viol virtuoso, Koussevitzky developed an extraordi 
nary facility; he not only became the double-bass soloist of the 
orchestra of the Imperial Opera at Moscow, but succeeded his 
teacher as prof essor of that instrument at the Conservatory. For 
ten years he toured Russia and Western Europe as a contra-bass 
virtuoso, and composed a number of works for that instrument, 
including a concerto, that are now part of the repertory of every 
contra-bassist. 

On February 24, 1926, Kossevitzky appeared as soloist on the 
contra-bass at a concert of Brown University in Providence, Long 
Island, playing Handel's "Ombra mai f u" ; and the honorary degree 
of Doctor of Music was conferred upon him. 



Conductors 185 




LEO LOW 

ONE OF the most conspicuous figures in the field of national Jewish 
music in New York and its environments is Leo Low, who was 
born in Volkovisk, Poland, on January 15, 1878. A child of middle- 
class-parents, he received up to the age 
of thirteen a strict Jewish education. 
Low showed his musical predilection at 
the age of eight, when he used to sing in 
the choir of his father, a cantor. When 
twelve years old, he appeared a "child- 
cantor," and attracted much attention. 
Later followed a period of travelling 
with journeying cantors through Lithu 
ania and Ukrainia. When the boy was 
fifteen years of age, and his voice 
changed, he became conductor of a choir 
in his home town. 

Shortly afterwards, Low entered the 
Warsaw Conservatory where he was 
graduated in 1899. He subsequently became leader of a military 
band, and the conductor of Yiddish and Eussia operettas. He was 
also engaged as conductor at the big synagogue in Vilna under the 
famous cantor Sirota, with whom he remained for five years. 

Shortly afterwards, Low went to Bukharest, Roumania, where 
he became music director of a reformed Jewish temple. There he 
directed the chorus and also wrote several compositions for voices 
as well as for the organ. He made the acquaintance of a Spanish 
Jew, Cohen-Linary, with whom he again studied harmony, and at 
that time he composed some music for psalms and several songs. 
In 1908 Low returned to Warsaw, where he became music 
director of the Tolmatzker Synagogue, remaining in that capacity 
for twelve years. During that time he was also conductor of the 
Warsaw "Hazomor," a choral body interested in the. performance 
of oratorio and classic choruses. 

In 1913 he undertook a concert-tour through the United States 
with the cantor Sirota. At that time, Low trained a chorus and 
gave concerts in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other 
centers, drawing a large attendance, and arousing enthusiasm 
among Jewish music lovers. Returning to Warsaw, he lived there 
through the turbulent period of the war. In January of 1920, he 
again came to America with the well-known cantor, Hershman, and 
finally settled here. He then composed a Jewish operetta, "The 
Musical Village/' which had a short run. In 1921 he returned to 



136 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

his former activities, becoming conductor of the Paterson (New 
Jersey) chorus, which he brought to a high degree of perfection. 
He later organized the Nazionaler Arbeiter Verband Chor in New 
York, of which he is to this day conductor. With this he gave a 
number of important concerts, with such soloists as Joseph 
Schwarz, Mischa Levitzki, Marie Sundelius, Mischa Elman, and 
others. At the same time he assumed the musical direction of the 
Brooklyn Beth-El Synagogue. 



DAVID MENDOZA 

ALTHOUGH STILL a very young man, David Mendoza occupies a 
place in the field of motion picture music together with Finston, 
Rapee, Pilzer, and Riesenfeld. The orchestra he conducts is the 

, full-sized symphony orchestra of the 

Capitol Theatre in New York which is 
one of the largest of its kind in the world. 
Mendoza was born in New York City 
on March 13, 1894. His father was a 
government clerk. At the age of seven, 
David began studying the violin with 
Kneisel, and later composition with 
Percy Goetschius. He twice interrupted 
his musical studies in order to work for 
the degree of Doctor of Medicine, but the 
stronger love conquered, and at the age 
of seventeen he determined to devote 
himself entirely to music. 

During his professional career, Men 
doza was with the Eussian Symphony under Modest Altschuler for 
two years, and later with the New York Symphony as first violinist. 
After leaving these two well-known orchestras, he entered the 
motion-picture field, first appearing at the Rialto Theatre. He then 
became concert master of the Rivoli Theatre, where he displayed 
exceptional talent in the selection and presentation of the musical 
programs. He next became musical director at Fox's Academy 
Theater, and remained there for one year, after which he was 
brought to the Capitol Theater by Mr. Rothapfel. He has made 
many friends at this palatial house of entertainment which has 
become a national institution. 

Mendoza is now recognized as one of the ablest musical pro 
ducers for motion pictures. His Adaptations, arrangements and 
compositions for such pictures as the "Big Parade," "The Merry 
Widow," "Greed," "Ben Hur," "Mare Nostrum," and others, are 
both colorful and interesting. 




Conductors 137 




PIERRE MONTEUX 

THIS EMINENT French conductor should be given credit primarily 
for his high courage in popularizing during the early days of his 
career, the works of the French and Russian modernists, who were 

in France at least, taboo. With this view 
he founded at the Paris Casino in Feb 
ruary of 1914, the Societe des Concerts 
Populaires, with which his name is still 
connected. There he gave the first full 
concert performance of Stravinsky's 
"Petroushka," and during April 1914, 
had the courage to include in his program 
the same composer's "Sacre du Prin- 
temps," since made famous and even 
popular. 

Pierre Monteux was born in Paris on 
April 4, 1875. He studied at the Paris 
Conservatoire (solfeggio and harmony 
with Lavignac, counterpoint with Gene- 
puen, and violin with Berthalier), and won the first prize in violin 
playing in 1896. As early as 1894 he made his debut in a quartet. 
On being graduated from the Conservatoire, he commenced his 
career as violinist in the orchestras of the Opera Comique and the 
Concerts Colonne, where he was second leader of the violin section. 
From 1912 to 1914 he won fame as conductor of the Diaghilev 
Ballet Russe, where he conducted Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloe," 
Debussy's "Jeux d'Eaux" and Stravinsky's "Sacre du Printemps" 
(1913-14). 

Beginning with 1913 and continuing for several seasons, 
Monteux conducted at the Paris Grand Opera House Theatre des 
Champs-Elysees, Chatelet, and Odeon. During that time he was 
also conductor at Convent Garden and Drury Lane, London, and 
in Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, and other musical centers. He con 
ducted a tour of the Russian Ballet in the United States, and the 
concerts of the Civic Orchestra in New York. 

During the World War, Monteux was recalled from the front 
and sent to the United States to carry on musical propaganda in 
favor of the Allied nations. He has since definitely settled in this 
country and, until his resignation in 1924, conducted the Boston 
Symphony Orchestra in Boston and in New York. His programs 
are models of eclecticism, and his interpretations are noted for 
their delicacy of detail those of Debussy especially benefitting by 
his fine gradation of nuances and sensitive appreciation of the 



138 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

value of each group of instruments. During the season of 1917-18 
Monteux also conducted at the Metropolitan Opera House in 
New York. 

He has also given the premieres of RavePs "Valses Nobles et 
Sentimentales," Roger-Ducasse's "Le Jolie Jeu du Furet," and 
many others. 

During past seasons Monteux conducted at the Amsterdam 
Concertgebouw, and in the interval directed concerts in Leningrad, 
Moscow, Stockholm, and Berlin. 

in 1TO he married Germaine Benedictus. 



GIORGIO POLACCO 

"THE SOUL of a performance of grand opera is the conductor." 
The man who stands with uplifted baton in the orchestra pit is 
the representative of the composer. In the orchestra pit, the true 

conductor, directing the entire perform 
ance, lives not one role, but all of them, 
for he must live them all to express with 
the music of his orchestra all that moved 
the composer of the score. 

Giorgio Polacco, present conductor 
of the Chicago Civic Opera Company, is 
accepted throughout the world as a mu 
sician and conductor, who is as gifted 
an artist as the age has produced. The 
story of his life, expended in the cause 
of art, is full of achievement. 

Polacco was born in Venice on April 
12, 1875. He spent his youth in a com 
fortable home, studying literature and 
philosophy and languages, according to the ideas of his father. 
But he was born with an inordinate craving for music. He dia not 
know the meaning of moderation in its study. 

Even as a youngster, Polacco displayed the artistic gifts that 
later made him one of the great figures of the musical world. 
When his father died, Giorgio became the head of the family. He 
decided to put his musical education to professional use. Wealthy 
relatives would have given aid, but young Polacco refused. 

At the age of eighteen the young musician accepted a position 
in London with an operatic company. There, in the Shaftesbury 
Theatre in 1892, and with an operatic ease that would do credit 
to any of the principal opera theatres of today, the eighteen-year- 




Conductors 139 



old boy conducted a performance of "Orpheus" that lived long in 
the memory "of many who heard it. 

When he was only twenty, he was sent for to conduct at the 
Lyric International Theatre in Milan. 

His musical career was a series of triumphs. He served 
seventeen seasons at Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro where he 
became a popular idol. Between opera seasons he went home to 
Italy to his mother. 

After more than a decade and a half of opera in Brazil and the 
Argentine, he took up his principal operatic labors in Italy. 
Polacco came to be known as a conductor who was always being 
asked to conduct first performances outside the countries where 
those operas were being composed and produced. He was the first 
man to conduct "Louise" outside of. Paris as well as "Peleas and 
Melisande" and others too numerous to mention. 

In 1904, Porfirio Diaz, President of Mexico, and lover of the 
arts, charged one of his ministers with the duty of obtaining 
talent for the opera in Mexico City. The minister invited Giorgio 
Polacco to come to Mexico with him. Polacco accepted, taking to 
his Mexico company a modestly paid Italian singer whom he 
regarded as a real artist. This artist was Tetrazzini ! 

In his youth Polacco became fluent in French, German, 
Russian, and Italian. In Brazil and the Argentine he learnt 
Spanish and Portuguese. One day in Mexico City it was decided 
to give a presentation of "The Love of Three Kings/ 7 The 
conductor's score was in Italian. The company required a Spanish 
translation. Conductor Polacco sat up all night, and when day 
broke a full translation into Spanish was ready. In 1910, Puccini 
produced his "Girl of the Golden West" at Brescia, with Polacco 
conducting. The production was later brought to the United 
States, and staged by Henry W. Savage. In the Fall of 1911, 
Arturo Toscanini recommended to the Metropolitan management 
that Maestro Polacco be added to the conductors' list. Polacco 
went to the Metropolitan without a contract, expecting to remain 
a month or two. He remained there six years. When Toscanini 
left in 1915, Polacco became senior conductor for three years. 
At the expiration of that period, he joined the Chicago Civic 
Opera Company on the invitation of Cleofonte Campanini, then 
director of the Chicago organization. He is now their chief 
musical director. 

Giorgio Polacco married Edith Mason, the well-known singer. 




140 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



HUGO RIESENFELD 

HUGO RIESENFELD engages in an exceptionally varied and interest 
ing routine of activities as managing director of three Broadway 
picture theatres in New York. He popularizes classic compositions, 

arranges popular melodies symphonic- 
ally and presents them as classical jazz, 
composes melodies and symphonies, cre 
ates film opera by featuring motion 
pictures of opera to match the music of 
opera, writes original settings for pic 
tures and conducts his orchestras at the 
metropolitan theatres. "Just a gentle 
man of leisure," is the way he describes 
himself. 

Hugo Riesenfeld was born in Vienna 
on January 26, 1879, and was gradu 
ated with honors from the Vienna Con 
servatory, after which he filled a long 
engagement in the Vienna Opera House 
as concert master and conductor of ballets. In the course of an 
extremely active and intense life, Riesenfeld played under such 
musical colossi as Mahler, Schuch, Hans Richter, Goricke, Safo- 
noff, Wiengartner, Hugo Bresehan and many others. 

Riesenfeld's first violin teacher was Bachrach. He also studied 
with Grunn and Rose. Robert Fuchs and Grodener taught him 
composition. In the year 1906 Riesenfeld came to America as 
concert master of Oscar Hammerstein's Manhattan Opera House. 
Later he worked with the Klaw and Erlanger Company as music 
director and conductor of comic opera productions. 

Riesenfeld composed and directed his own operetta "The Merry 
Martyr/' produced with success by Klaw and Erlanger in 1913. 
When the Century Opera Company opened with grand opera in 
English, Hugo Riesenfeld was secured as its guiding musical 
spirit. 

In April of 1916, he became the musical director and conductor 
of the Rialto Theatre Orchestra, New York. When the Rivoli 
opened in 1917, and the Criterion in April of 1920, they were also 
placed under his direction. 

Carl Engel, chief of the music division of the Library of 
Congress in Washington, B.C., writing of classical jazz in the 
London Chest erian, declares : "It is nothing else than some of our 
excellent popular tunes of recent vintage, infused with all the 
sparkle of a symphony orchestra bottled up in a masterful i 



Conductors 141 



mentation, enriched with a bouquet unmistakably American, 
irresistible, intoxicating." 

The Kiesenfeld standards have become the standards of the 
motion picture theatres of America. His entertainment scheme 
has been copied from coast to coast. His orchestral settings to 
such pictures as "The Covered Wagon," "The Ten Command 
ments," "Madame Sans-Gene," and particularly "The Volga 
Boatman," which had its world premiere in May of 1926 in 
New York, have been applauded by millions. 

As a composer Riesenfeld has to his credit, aside from the 
operetta already mentioned, such successes as "Betty Be Good," a 
musical comedy ; "Overture in Romantic Style"; songs; and 
innumerable small works. 



FRITZ REINER 

THIS BRILLIANT young Hungarian conductor, though still in his 
thirties, is regarded as one o'f the foremost wielders of the 
baton. His rapid rise to musical eminence in Europe won him the 

conductorship of the Cincinnati Orches 
tra in 1922. 

He was born in Budapest, Hungary 
on December 19, 1888. His parents 
were ambitious for his development. 
. During his youth he carried on many 
studies at the same time, and always 
took first honors in his classes. During 
high school days he studied piano, com 
position, and English besides the regular 
course. At the age of sixteen he was 
graduated simultaneously from higt 
school and from the National Academy 
. of Music of Budapest. His father had 
planned for him the career of a lawyer, 
and so insisted that the young man attend university. The boy 3 
however, became more and more interested in music, and conse 
quently more and more neglectful of his law studies. A year 
later, his father died. Young Reiner abandoned himself to the 
call of music and left the university. 

Through the good advice, help, and influence of a boyhood 
friend, Leo Weiner, Fritz had been admitted to the National 
Academy of Music. He played tympani in the orchestra of the 
National Academy of Music, which is one of the most famous 
musical institutes of the world. During those years the great 
Hubay was conductor, and young Reiner was much loved by the 




142 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

master. His first professional experience as conductor, when he 
was but nineteen, was as assistant to the Budapest Opera Com- 
ique. This was followed by an appointment as principal director 
at the National Theatre in Laibach, Jugo-Slavia, and this led to 
the post of principal director of the People's Opera in Budapest. 
The fame of the young conductor began to spread, and the opera 
management of Dresden, which boasts one of the most celebrated 
opera houses in the world, made him an offer. It resulted in his 
going to Dresden, where he remained for eight years as first 
conductor of the Royal Opera, succeeding in this capacity the 
famous Ernst von Schuch. 

During these years he was frequently invited to be guest 
conductor in various cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna. 
Then came the World War. Reiner's position was a lifetime one. 
At the beginning the beautiful prospect of a glorious future with 
countless honors glowed before him. The war brought ruin and 
revolution to the country. The whole order of affairs was changed. 
When an invitation came to him from the Teatro Constanzi, 
Rome, he accepted immediately. There he remained during the 
winter season of 1921, conducting Wagnerian operas, as well as 
concerts at the Augusteo. While in Rome he received an invi 
tation to conduct at the Teatro Liceo of Barcelona, Spain, a 
number of Wagnerian Operas in the Spring of 1922. While in 
Barcelona, his engagement was extended to include some produc 
tions in Palma, the principal city of the Island of Majorca. 
Meanwhile, his wife, Mme Bertha Gardini Reiner, who had been 
through a great strain during the previous war time years in 
Germany, singing and teaching, remained for a rest at her villa 
in Italy. One day there came to her a cable from a friend in 
Zurich saying that the President of the Cincinnati Symphony 
Orchestra Association was desirous of offering Reiner the position 
of conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Mme Reiner 
immediately cabled her husbancf, but when the message reached 
him, it was no longer intelligible. Unable to make it out, he replied 
that Mme Reiner should use her own judgment in the matter, 
whatever it might be. She accepted. 

This happened in March of 1922. In April Reiner returned to 
Rome to conduct a final engagement. Then he and his wife started 
on their long journey for their new position, home, and country. 
They went first to Dresden, and then sailed from Hamburg, on 
September 16, on the steamer "Caronia," reaching New York, 
September 26, and arriving in Cincinnati on October 1st. 

Reiner had come to Cincinnati on a one-year contract, but 
long before its termination he was offered a four-year contract, 
which he accepted. Under his commanding baton this organiza 
tion has reached a high degree of perfection. 



Conductors 143 



During the Summer months of 1924 and 1925, Fritz Reiner 
conducted at the New York Philharmonic concerts in the series of 
the Lewisohn Stadium open air concerts, playing- for huge audi 
ences. In January of 1926, he brought his Cincinnati orchestra 
for a series of concerts in New York, eliciting high praise from 
the metropolitan press for his splendid leadership and musician 
ship, for according to one New York critic "Reiner delicately 
conjures forth from his favorite compositions not their brazen 
defiance, but whatsoever they have of melody, plaintive, dreamy 
or joyous." 

He also conducted several concerts with the Philadelphia and 
the New York Philharmonic Orchestras. 

Reiner also devotes some of his time to composition, and has 
written a string quartet, many songs, and sundry pieces. 



ERNO RAPEE 

ERNO RAPEE, conductor, who has established for himself a unique 
reputation in the field of motion picture re-scoring, synchronizing, 
and conducting, was born in Budapest, on June 4, 1891. He was 

a pupil of the National Academy there, 
and also of Emil Sauer, the distinguished 
Viennese pianist. He acted in 1912 as 
assistant to Ernest von Schuch, the well- 
known Dresden conductor. He is an ex 
cellent piano virtuoso, and has appeared 
in Vienna, Berlin, and Budapest with the 
Philharmonic Orchestra. Since coming 
to this country in 1912, Rapee has been 
accompanist to such artists as David 
Hochstein, Maurice Dambois, and others. 
He also enjoys the distinction of being 
the first pianist to appear with the Letz 
Quartet. 

For two years he was musical di 
rector of the Rivoli Theatre in New York City, and for four years 
the musical director of the Capitol Theatre, which maintains a 
full-sized symphony orchestra. He is considered one of the most 
talented of the younger conductors. 

After being active for two years as musical director of the 
U. F. A. Theatre in Berlin, he returned in 1926 to New York City, 
where he is musical director of the world's largest and tinest theatre 
the Roxy. His talents as conductor give his musical representa 
tions here a dignity not found in theatres of its kind. 





144 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



SIR LANDON RONALD 

SIR LANDON RONALD, the famous English conductor, is the son of 
Henry Russell, the well-known teacher of singing and song com 
poser. He was born on June 7, 1873, in London, and educated at 

St. Marylebone, All Souls' Grammar 
School, and Margate College. 

He has described his childhood days 
in Variations on a Personal Theme: 

"From the age of four or five I gave 
such obvious signs of being exception 
ally musical that never for an instant 
was the possibility entertained of my 
ever becoming anything but a musician. 
My dear mother not only gave me my 
first pianoforte lessons, but in every way 
guided and helped me in my studies, se 
lecting my masters, and even standing 
over me with infinite patience to see that 
I performed my allotted tasks. Oddly 
enough, I was a lazy boy and would always shirk work if I could. 

"This is all the more curious when it is remembered that from 
the age of seventeen I have been an indefatigable worker and 
that today I never give up unless ill-health compels me to do so. 
Everything in music came remarkably easy to me, especially writ 
ing songs. I was trained, however, to become a pianist and violin 
ist, but heartily disliked having to practice either instrument. At 
the age of fourteen I wanted to give up both in order to become a 
conductor, a composer and a musical critic, and wrote this fact to 
my mother. . . . She met me with a very definite refusal, partly 
because she quite rightly deemed my desire as a mere excuse to 
escape the necessary work that all pianists and violinists have to 
do. To those two instruments I was therefore kept, and after 
some six months' private tuition under Lady Thompson for com 
position, Franklin Taylor for pianoforte, and Henry Holmes for 
violin, I was entered as a student at the Royal College of Music." 
At the College he studied composition under Sir Hubert Parry; 
counterpoint under Sir Frederick Bridge. He also studied under 
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and Sir W. Parrat. 

He obtained his first professional engagement in 1890, soon 
after leaving the College. He played the piano part in "L'Enf ant 
Prodigue" at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. This post 
he obtained in a competition with numerous other applicants. He 
accompanied the famous musical play over 500 times all through 
England and Scotland. He was then engaged by William Greet to 
tour as conductor of comic operas. 



Conductors 145 



At the age of eighteen he met Mancinelli, the well-known con 
ductor at the Covent Garden Opera House, and through his influ 
ence, as well as his own merit, was appointed "maestro al piano" 
at the Italian Opera, Covent Garden, under Sir Augustus Harris. 
The latter sent him on a six months' tour as one of the conductors 
of a company including the Sisters Rowogli, David Bispham, Kich- 
ard Green, Lucile Hill, and about twenty other artists, together 
with a large chorus and orchestra. 

In 1893 he was introduced to Melba, who required a maestro 
to study "Manon" with her. Since that time he .has invariably 
joined her in her tours as conductor and accompanist. 

It will be of interest to quote a few words of his own in regard 
to his meeting with the great Melba: 

"My friendship with this great singer dates back many, many 
years, and I can scarcely think of one milestone in my career with 
out the name of Melba being in some way identified with it. As a 
matter of fact my first meeting with her was actually on Covent 
Garden stage, when I was a boy of nineteen, doing all the dirty 
(musical) work there was to do ! Why she ever took the slightest 
notice of me, or troubled to ask my name of Arthur Collins, will 
ever remain a mystery to me. 

"It came about that one memorable night when I was in my 
usual place (the 'prompt corner' on the stage, vocal score in hand) 
during a performance of 'Faust/ In walked Melba. She sat on a 
wooden bench, looked about her, saw me, glanced quickly at me, 
turned her head, then looked me up and down, and asked in a very 
direct fashion, 'And who on earth are you?' I went hot and cold, 
red and white, tried to stammer out that I was a sort of maid-of- 
all-work, but a humble worshipper of hers, when Arthur Collins, 
the director, bounced in and said: 'This is the young fellow I 
spoke to you about, madame. I want you to give him a chance/ 

"A few days later I was called to visit the great Diva . . . 
I was very nervous when I was eventually ushered into Melba's 
sitting-room and found her waiting for me. At the end of the 
practice on 'Manon,' Melba asked me a few questions about myself, 
and paid me some charming compliments about my touch on the 
piano and the patience I had shown. 

"I told her that my ambition was to become a great conductor 
and accompanist, and she took me seriously and encouraged me. 
Suddenly it occurred to her to ask me to play one or two of her 
famous arias for her. She became very enthusiastic and went into 
minute details as to what she wanted here and what she wished 
there, seating herself at the piano and actually showing me. As I 
left her, she uttered a single sentence, which probably meant little 
enough to her, but everything to me in the world : 'Remember, that 
for the future you are Melba's sole accompanist.' 



146 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

"And for something like fourteen consecutive years she kept 
to her word and had no one else to play for her." 

After his return from America, he appeared twice before 
Queen Victoria, and in 1898 was conductor at the Lyric Theatre. 
He also appeared at Balmoral and Windsor before King Edward 
and Queen Alexandria. 

From 1897 on he became Tosti's helper at court functions, 
and from 1898 to 1902, besides being conductor at the Lyric, he 
also conducted the Sunday concerts at Blackpool. In 1907-08, he 
was guest conductor with the London Symphony, as well as with 
other orchestras on the Continent: Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, 
Leipzig, Bremen, and at the Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome, where 
he introduced Elgar's First Symphony for the first time in Italy. 

In November of 1910 Sir Ronald was elected Principal of the 
Guildhall School of Music, London. He has conducted the Royal 
Albert Hall Orchestra (formerly the New Symphony) since 1908, 
bringing it to a high point of excellence ; also the Promenade Con 
certs in Birmingham. 

He has also conducted the Liverpool Philharmonic Concerts, 
the Manchester Halle Concerts, the Scottish Orchestra, and others. 

At times he has served as critic for London papers. He was 
musical editor of Artist in 1902 and of Onlooker in 1903. 

Among other works, he has written the symphonic poem, "A 
Winter's Night, 1 ' the overture "A Birthday," the ballets "Britan 
nia's Realm" (1902) and "Entente Cordiale" (1904), an operetta, 
dramatic scenes "Adonais" and "Lament of Shah Jehan" (violin 
and orchestra), incidental music to "The Garden of Allah," about 
300 songs, including additional numbers to "Little Miss Nobody," 
"The Silver Slipper," "Floradora," "1'Amour Mocille," and many 
piano pieces. He also published, in 1924, an autobiographical book, 
Variations on a Personal Theme. 

He was knighted in 1910. He married Miss Mimi Ettlinger, 
of Frankfort-on-Main. 

Of his musical likes and dislikes, he says : 

"I would like to make it quite clear that I have no grievances 
no axe to grind. I belong to no clique I have no prejudices for 
or against any particular school, and thank God, I am not jealous 
or envious of a single member of my profession. There is room 
for us all in this world, and perhaps life might be made a little 
more pleasant for many of us if we took a little more interest in 
each other's work and were not quite so absorbed in our own." 

His father, Henry Russell (1812-1900), wrote "A Life on the 
Ocean Wave," "Woodman, Spare That Tree," "Cheer, Boys, Cheer," 
and other popular songs, numbering more than 800 in all. He 
played organ in Rochester, N. Y., wrote I'Amico dei Cantanti and 
a book on singing. 

Henry Russell was a pupil of Rossini in Naples. 



Conductors 



147 




WALTER HENRY ROTHWELL 

WALTER HENRY ROTHWELL was born on September 22, 1872, in 
London, of an English father and an Austrian mother. He was 
taken to Vienna when a very young child. His musical talent soon 

manifested itself too clearly to be over 
looked, and his mother, an excellent 
pianist and a pupil of Wieck (who was 
the father of Clara Schumann), gave the 
boy instruction. He made such rapid 
progress that at he age of nine he en 
tered the Royal Academy of Music in 
Vienna, where his piano teachers were 
Rauch, Schonner and Professor Julius 
Epstein. Counterpoint and composition 
he studied with Hans Krenn, Robert 
Fuchs and Anton Bruckner. 

Upon graduating from the Royal 
Academy with highest honors the first 
prize and the gold medal at the age of 
fifteen, Rothwell continued to study piano and composition with 
Julius Epstein and Nathan Fuchs in Vienna, and then went to 
Munich, where he completed his studies in composition and modern 
orchestration with the late Ludwig Thuille and Dr. Max von Schil 
lings, noted authorities in these branches of music. 

In his seventeenth year, Rothwell became widely known as a 
pianist throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. He was 
engaged as teacher of piano for several members of the royal family 
of Austria, and became the vogue among the members of the Aus 
trian aristocracy. 

At this time, notwithstanding his extreme youth, he coached 
many artists of the Royal Opera of Vienna and also prepared 
artists for the Bayreuth Festivals. It was while he was rehears 
ing one of the Wagner operas that the famous impresario Pollini, 
of the Hamburg Opera, heard him and persuaded him to abandon 
the concert field and become conductor of the Hamburg Opera, 
under the leadership of the distinguished Gustav Mahler, who was 
chief conductor of the institution. To Gustav Mahler Rothwell 
acknowledges a deep debt of gratitude, as that great master took 
an immediate interest in the young musician, and taught him every 
detail of the technique of conducting. Although for years he had 
been in close contact with the opera in Vienna and its wonderful 
orchestra, Rothwell's insight into the works of the great masters 
was due to Mahler's genius and personality. 



148 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Two years later, having become a skilled conductor, he left 
Hamburg to act as first conductor in such cities as Vienna, Bres- 
lau, Rostock, and Linz. After several years of activity in Ger 
many, he was invited to conduct "Fidelio," "Lohengrin," and "Die 
Freischutz" at the Royal Opera in Amsterdam, Holland. After 
a sensational success he was appointed general musical director of 
that institution. While there he received an offer from Colonel 
Henry W. Savage, which resulted in his first visit to America to 
conduct the English performances of "Parsifal" in 1904-05, when 
it was given in all the large cities of the United States a total 
of 114 performances of this opera under his baton. This tour was 
so successful that he was re-engaged for a similar tour of Puc 
cini's "Madame Butterfly/' which had its first American presenta 
tion in English at Washington, under RothwelL The opera was 
produced at the Metropolitan Opera House later in the same sea 
son. Its success was so great that a second season was made 
possible, and the second year was even more successful than the 
first. 

Upon the completion of this engagement, he accepted a five- 
year contract to conduct opera at Frankfort-am-Main. He later 
procured his release from the Frankfort operatic conductorship 
and accepted an offer from the St. Paul Symphony Association of 
Minnesota, for after conducting opera for many years, he much 
preferred symphonic to operatic work. 

Rothwell has been conductor of the St. Paul Symphony Or 
chestra for seven years and has raised it to a high degree of excel 
lence. His contract had another two years to run when, at the 
outbreak of the World War, the Symphony Association found it 
impossible to raise the necessary guarantee fund, and so the or 
ganization was disbanded. It was while conducting the St. Paul 
Symphony Orchestra in 1907 that Rothwell inaugurated the first 
Children's Concerts given in America. They were tremendously 
successful and have since been generally introduced in America 
by the various symphony orchestras. 

In 1908 Rothwell married Miss Elizabeth Wolff, dramatic so 
prano, who came to America to sing the title role in "Madame 
Butterfly," and who has since appeared in recital on numerous 
occasions. 

In 1915-18 Rothwell centered his activities in New York City, 
where he maintained a studio for artist pupils. His pupils include 
many who have since attained recognition and fame. During this 
period he found the time, hitherto denied him in his more exacting 
engagements, to devote himself to composition. 

Rothwell was not permitted, even during this period of teach 
ing in New York, completely to lay aside his conducting. During 
the years 1917 and 1918, he served as guest conductor some ten 



Conductors 149 



times of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Sym 
phony Orchestra. 

In the Summer of 1916, Rothwell directed the Civic Orchestral 
Concerts at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, in a 
series of summer concerts, which drew capacity audiences. 

In the Summer of 1919, William Andrews Clark, Jr., decided 
to found the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and selected 
Rothwell as its permanent conductor, which position he held until 
his death by apoplexy on March 13, 1927. He was driving his car 
in Los Angeles, making for the beach. Evidently he felt the at 
tack coming, for he shut off his car and coasted to the curb where 
he collapsed over his wheel. A woman driving behind him stopped 
and helped him out of his car, and laid him on the grass where, 
in another minute, he died. 

Rothwell served the highest ideals in art, both as a conductor 
and a composer, in which latter field he was also well known. His 
work in Los Angeles was that of a pioneer and his influence has 
been great in molding and developing the musical taste, not only 
of the community but the surrounding territory as well. The ex 
cellence of his orchestra was a matter for favorable comment of 
important guest-conductors who led it in the Hollywood Bowl Con 
certs and it also made possible the fine performances of the Los 
Angeles Opera Association, with which he was to have conducted 
the first local performance of "Tristan and Isolde.'* Personally, 
he was unostentatious but sincere, and his untiring efforts brought 
honor to himself and distinction to the organization whose destiny 
he did so much to shape, in making it, in the space of eight years, 
one of the notable orchestral bodies in the country. 

Rothwell composed a piano concerto with orchestral accom 
paniment; two piano sonatas; incidental music to Maeterlinck's 
"Mort de Tintagiles" for voice and orchestra; a "Bacchanale" to 
a poem by Louis Untermeyer for voice and orchestra; a musical 
setting for voice and orchestra for a cycle of poems by the same 
American poet; two scherzos for orchestra; "Midsummer Night" 
for voice and orchestra (the vocal part was sung by Florence 
Easton with great success) ; and many other songs. 



AARON PASOWSKY 

AARON PASOWSKY, chief conductor of the Moscow "Big Theatre," 
is distinguished as a conductor of opera. Still in his early forties, 
he is considered one of the most significant conductors in Russia 
at the present time. 




150 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

KURT SCHINDLER 

KURT SCHINDLER is widely known for his conductorship of the 
famous Schola Cantorum, the foremost choral organization in the 
United States, which he founded in 1908. The original name of 

this organization until 1910 was the 
MacDowell Club Chorus. No other or 
ganization of its kind has been known to 
present such a great variety of new or 
forgotten works, singing with style and 
finish, as did the Schola Cantorum. 

Kurt Schindler is a master of pro 
gram building; he has a genius for 
discovering new or forgotten music, for 
which he makes periodical journeys to 
Europe. He is also a great connoisseur 
of folk songs, particularly Russian and 
Spanish, having published Songs of the 
Russian People (1915), and Russian 
Liturgical Songs (with Charles Win- 
fred Douglas, in 1913). From 1912 to 1917 he edited two volumes, 
entitled A Century of Russian Songs, comprising the best examples 
of several Russian schools. 

Schindler is a gifted writer. His two brochures in essence 
an attack on Moussorgsky and Schonberg are well known. 
Schindler has furthermore composed over eighty songs of his own. 
From 1907, he has been almost continuously connected as 
critic and reader with the great New York publishing house of 
G. Schirmer, also making many translations into English from the 
Russian, Finnish, Spanish, German and other languages. He has 
also published an album of songs of the Finnish people. 

This versatile scholar, composer, and conductor of choral 
music, was born in Berlin on February 7, 1882. He studied piano 
under Ansorge, and composition under Bassler, Gernsheim, Thuile 
and L. C. Wolf. He also studied philosophy and history of art 
and music at the Universities of Berlin and Munich. From 1902 
to 1904 he was conductor at the Court Theatres at Stuttgart 
and Wtirzburg, and assistant conductor to Richard Strauss in 
Berlin. 

Schindler came to America in 1905 as assistant conductor at 
the New York Metropolitan Opera House. This post he resigned 
in 1908 when he laid the foundation of the present Schola 
Cantorum which is responsible almost to him alone for the high 
place it holds in the musical life of America. Kurt Schindler 
resigned his leadership of the Schola Cantorum in 1926. 



Conductors 



151 



Schindler has been organist and music director of the famous 
New York reformed synagogue, Temple Emanuel, from 1912 to 
1925, when he resigned. He is now musical director of the Musical 
Forum Society, of New York. 




ALEXANDER SMALLENS. 

THE PROGRESS of this young conductor during the past fifteen 
years has been steady. It was therefore not unexpected that he 
should reveal such distinctive gifts when his symphonic debut 

eventually occurred in Philadelphia dur 
ing the Summer of 1925, conducting the 
Philadelphia Orchestra concerts in Fair- 
mount Park for one week. The skill 
and authority displayed on this occasion 
resulted in an engagement to conduct a 
number of concerts of the Philadelphia 
Philharmonic Orchestra the following 
December. 

Alexander Smallens was born in 
Petrograd, in 1889. He came with his 
parents (his mother's maiden name was 
Anna Rosovski; his father's, Pantelei- 
mon Smallens, a well-known physician 
in Petrograd, and head of the Ked 
Cross) to New York in 1890, was educated at City College, and 
studied piano and composition (1909) at the Institute of Musical 
Art, where his teachers were Arthur Hochman and Bertha 
Feiringin, in piano; and Percy Goetschius, in composition. 

After being graduated from both places, he departed for 
Paris, studying from 1909 to 1911 at the Paris Conservatoire 
under Pessard, Gedalge, Vidal, and Paul Ducas. We later see 
him as assistant conductor at the Boston Opera House (1911-14) ; 
conductor at the Century Opera Company of New York (1914) ; 
conductor with the Boston Opera Company (1915-17) ; and 
conductor for the Pavlowa Ballets through South America (1917- 
19). Further prestige came through his achievements with, the 
Chicago Opera Company (1919-22), where he was also chosen by 
Sergei Prokofieff to conduct the performance of his "The Love of 
Three Oranges/' succeeding the world premiere which the com 
poser himself conducted. The following year brought oppor 
tunities for conducting at the Volksoper and Staatsoper in 
Berlin, and at the Royal Opera in Madrid. Since 1923, and upon 
invitation, Smallens has acted as conductor and musical director 
of the Philadelphia Civic Opera Company. 



152 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




JOSEPH STRANSKY 

JOSEPH STRANSKY, known to the world as one of the foremost 
living conductors of Wagnerian and symphonic music, was born 
in Humpolec, Bohemia on September 9, 1872. His father, a man 

of strong musical tastes, sang and played 
the violin. The Stransky home had a 
genuine musical atmosphere. Fortun 
ately for the young Stransky, his father 
took the family to Prague, and there 
personal contact with such men as Fi- 
bich and Dvorak fanned the flame of 
the boy's musical predilections. 

Stransky was educated in the Uni 
versities of Prague, Vienna, and Leipzig, 
and received a medical degree in 1896. 
The great Dvorak was perhaps the first 
to discover young Stransky's ability for 
leadership. Smetana also became inter 
ested in him. He studied under Jadas- 
sohn in Leipzig, and under Robert Fuchs and Bruckner in Vienna. 
In December of 1898, Stransky made his first appearance, 
conducting "Die Walkure" with eminent success. In Hamburg 
he has had to conduct 164 operas in one season alone, not to 
mention frequent symphonic concerts. Following his first engage 
ment, Stransky served for five years at Prague, and for seven at 
Hamburg, both as symphony and opera conductor, and for two 
years led the Bliithner Orchestra in Berlin. 

Stransky was a close friend of Gustave Mahler. "Your letter 
affords me great pleasure. You have hit the nail on the head in 
all you have written regarding my work, while concerning the 
character of my art, you have made the most appropriate and 
discriminating comment that has yet reached me. As Mozart has 
been called, perhaps rightly, the Singer of Love, so I might be 
given the title the Singer of Nature. From childhood, nature has 
been to me my all in all. It delights me to find at last some one 
to whom my music says something and means something. I had 
almost despaired of it." This was written by Gustav Mahler in 
acknowledgment of a note of appreciation sent to him by Stransky 
after a performance of Mahler's "First Symphony" In Prague. 

In November of 1911, Stransky conducted his first concert 
with the Philharmonic Orchestra, in New York. There was a 
large audience, among whom were many musicians of note. His 
success was immediate. It must be born in mind that Stransky 



Conductors 153 



was invited by the New York Philharmonic to succeed the great 
Mahler. This post Stransky filled with great credit to himself 
and to the orchestra for fully twelve years. He resigned in 1923, 
when he became the head of the State Symphony Orchestra, also 
of New York. 

Stransky was chief conductor of the Wagnerian Opera Com 
pany during its American tour in 1923-4. While still conductor of 
the New York Philharmonic, he undertook many tours with this 
orchestra, and everywhere elicited the highest possible praise from 
public and press. A Boston newspaper said of his conducting: "He 
seems to be a man of authority and taste, a fiery nature. 
"Stransky has won a great triumph in his own right." 
Stransky composed "Symphonic Songs/* .for medium voice and 
full orchestra (1913) ; Songs (published in 1896 and 1908) ; and 
an opera. 



VLADIMIR SHAVITCH 

ONE OF the rising musical stars on the horizon in the "United 
States, South America and Europe is Vladimir Shavitch who was 
born in South America, on July 20, 1888, of Russian parents. 

At the age of five he began to study 
violin. Later he turned to the piano 
with such seriousness of purpose as to 
be graduated from the Berlin classes of 
Busoni and Godowski while very young. 
A brilliant career as concert pianist was 
prophesied for him. He was only seven 
teen when he made his successful debut 
as a pianist in Berlin. 

In 1908 Shavitch became a member 
of the faculty of the Institute of Musical 
Art in New York, a post he resigned in 
order to resume concertizing in Europe. 
Meanwhile, he held a professorship in 
the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. 
The ambition to conduct was early revealed in Shavitch, who 
sought for an opportunity to signalize himself in that capacity. 
It came in assisting Schonberg in the production of his "Pierrot 
Lunaire," and as second conductor of the Russian Ballet under 
Oscar Fried. The war interrupted his progress, and he returned 
to the United States, where new opportunities began to present 
themselves. He made a deep impression when he directed a 




154 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Spring festival at a Greek Theatre at Berkeley, California, in 1920, 
and since then he has acted as conductor in various orchestras. 

From 1921 to 1923 he conducted the Montevideo Symphony 
Orchestra in Uruguay, and afterwards with great success in 
Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, and other places. 

It was during the season of 1923-24, when the writer of this 
book was leading 'cellist in the Rochester Eastman Theatre and 
the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, that Shavitch shared the 
season's program with Eugene Goossens and Albert Coates. Sha 
vitch revealed himself during that period a conductor of great 
temperament and an energetic leader. In my memory is partic 
ularly fresh his conducting of Tschaikovsky's "Fourth Symphony/ 7 
to the performance of which he gave much fire and expressiveness 
and the genuine Russian sweep that the work demands. It is also 
worthy of mention that on the same "All Tschaikowsky" program, 
his wife, the famous pianist, Tina Lerner (whom he married in 
1915), appeared as soloist, playing the Russian composer's "Piano 
Concerto in B flat minor." This fine musician combined a truly 
womanly tenderness with masculine power. 

In June of 1924, Shavitch made his debut with the London 
Symphony, which resulted in immediate re-engagements. The 
London Times found him a "conductor of real authority and 
knowledge," while Ernest Newman, the famous critic, approved his 
"great technical skill." On June 23 of the same year he led the 
Lamoreau Orchestra at his Paris debut as first conductor. In the 
Fall of 1924, he was engaged as conductor of the Syracuse Sym 
phony Orchestra; under his direction this organization has 
prospered to such a degree that it is now one of America's 
permanent symphony orchestras. 

In June of 1925, Shavitch returned to Paris, again leading 
Lamoreau and the Pasdeloup orchestras. Then he returned to 
Syracuse. Of his successes in Europe during 1926, the fol 
lowing cable despatch speaks convincingly: 

"This evening, April 12, Vladimir Shavitch, conductor of the 
Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, appearing for the third time in as 
many seasons as guest conductor of the London Symphony, 
conducted a long exacting program. At the end of the symphony 
the audience not only applauded frantically but arose and shouted, 
recalling the conductor. The orchestra, too, joined in the demon 
stration. Shavitch's three appearances here have firmly estab 
lished him with London audiences." 

It must be mentioned here that the London Symphony Orches 
tra's subscription concerts are distinguished for their conductors. 
Among those who appeared during the season of 1926 were Albert 
Coates, Bruno Walter, and Felix Weingartner. In April, Shavitch 
and Sir Edward Elgar closed the symphony season. Following 



Conductors 



155 



his London engagement, Shavitch was again guest conductor of 
the regular concerts of the Pasdeloup Orchestra. 

Shavitch is not only an excellent pianist and conductor, but 
also an earnest and gifted composer. His teachers in theory, 
harmony and orchestration were Hugo Kaun and Paul Juon. Like 
his wife, he is a charming and 4 highly intelligent personality. 



JULIUS STERN 

THE HISTORY of music in Berlin will forever remain intimately 
associated with the name of the conductor Julius Stern. Much 
of an enduring nature has been done in the cause of music in that 

city by this talented musician and execu 
tive. In 1847 he established a Choral 
Society, which later became famous. 
The directorship of this Society later 
passed into the hands of such men as 
Julius Stockhausen (1873), Max Bruch 
(1878), S. Sudorf (1880), and Fried- 
rich Gernsheim (1890). In 1850, with 
Kullak and Marks, he founded a 
conservatory which bears his name to 
this day, and is held in great esteem 
throughout the world. When Kullak in 
1855, and Marks in 1857, abandoned 
the conservatory, Stern continued the 
work alone and unaided. From 1869 to 
1871 Stern conducted the Berlin Symphony Capella, and from 
1873 to 1878 conducted the orchestra in Reichheim, organized 
by himself. He also left his mark on the choral life of Berlin, 
being for many years chief director of the choruses of the Jewish 
reformed congregations. 

Julius Stern was born on August 8, 1820 in Breslau. He 
studied the violin there under Liistner, and later was a pupil of 
Maurer, Ganz, and St. Lubin in Berlin. In 1843 his teacher at 
the Academy was Ruhenhagen. At that time he was awarded the 
prize for his sacred overture. 

Thanks to the stipend granted him by King Friedrich-Wilhelm 
IV, he undertook a voyage in 1843 with a view to rounding out 
his education. He first visited Dresden, where he took singing 
lessons with the famous Johann Kikscha. Later he went to Paris 
where he began his career by becoming conductor of the German 




156 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Singing Society there. Stern wrote some compositions for voice, 
and transcribed Bach's and Handel's oratorios for the piano. 

It is characteristic of Wagner, the author of Judaism in Music, 
that hq accepted the services of such Jewish conductors as Levi 
and Stern, when they could assist his interests and aims. To Levi 
he entrusted the presentation of "Parsifal," an opera steeped in 
the deepest mysteries and allegories of mediaeval Christianity, and 
to Julius Stern he came for aid in other matters. From 1859 on, 
Stern and Wagner were in active correspondence. 

In one of his letters to Stern (October 30, 1859), Wagner says 
regarding his desperate conditions in Paris, the city of his exile : 
"By the mei^cy of the Saxon king and the consent of the general 
German public, regarding the exposure of politically compromised 
persons, I am forced to abandon all hope of ever returning to 
Germany, and must begin planning to make Paris my permanent 
home. . . . " When on April 30, 1871, Wagner finally returned 
to the Vaterland, and visited Berlin, the local Musical Society 
gave him a royal welcome at the Singakademie, and on that 
occasion his own overture was played to Stern's baton. In 1872, 
at the laying of the corner-stone of the Bayreuth Theatre, when 
Wagner wanted to make the event historical by giving Beethoven's 
"Ninth Symphony," he came to the same Stern to lend him his 
best singers for the occasion. 

When in 1866, the "Niebelungen Ring" was given, Stern was 
of course there. The following letter from Stern to his wife 
belongs to that period. 

"On the way to Wagner I met Frau Cosima, who received me 
quite graciously, Mr. Richard was at the theatre. At this time 
he was even more genial with me than usual, and I believe was 
genuinely glad to see me. To those present he introduced me as 
his 'oldest and best-tried friend/ Liszt is living in Wagner's 
home, furnished in the Parisian taste in the grandest and most 
refined fashion. And ten years ago he wanted to buy a warm 
overcoat for his trip to St. Petersburg on the instalment plan. 
I speak of Wagner, the owner of all those riches !" 

Professor Julius Stern died in Berlin on February 27, 1880. 



LJOV SHTEINBERG 

LJOV SHTEINBERG is an excellent Russian conductor, both in the 
operative and symphonic fields, and has a wide reputation through 
out Russia. 



Conductors 157 




NIKOLAI SOKOLOFF 

THIS GIFTED young Russian-American violinist and conductor was 
born near Kieff, Russia in 1886, of a family known in the musical 
life of Russia for a century and a half. At the age of five he was 

taught to play the violin by his father, 
who put him through a rigid training 
until 1893, when he was admitted to the 
violin section of the Kieff Municipal 
Orchestra. His parents have always 
insisted upon strict scholastic routine, 
as well as musical training, so the lad 
had no opportunity for the normal 
recreations of childhood. He tells of 
nodding over his violin at concerts, worn 
out with long practice, school work, and 
the late hours necessary as concert per 
former, and being awakened by a rude 
rap of the conductor's baton on his 
head. Despite his youth, he toured 
Russia as a regularly employed member of the Municipal Orchestra 
of Kieff. 

In 1898 his parents sold all their possessions including young 
Nikolai's only companion, his violin, and came to America. The 
lonely lad, deprived of his only recreation and self-expression, his 
music, wandered about the streets of New Haven, whither his 
parents brought him. He deciphered a window card announcing a 
musical contest at the Yale University School of Music. He 
earned the money to buy a three-dollar violin, started preparing 
for the contest, then presented himself to the professor a week 
after the contest had closed, failing to understand the time limit 
of the competition. But he secured a private hearing, and a 
special scholarship was created for him because of the splendid 
musicianship he displayed. 

In 1903, at the age of seventeen, Sokoloff was invited by 
Willem Gericke, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, to 
join its first violin section. He then placed himself under the 
tutelage of Charles Martin Loeffler, the American composer, with 
whom he remained throughout his employment with the Boston- 
ians. In 1907 he went to Paris on the advice of Loeffler, to study 
and concertize. There he secured an audience with Vincent 
d'Indy, the French composer and leader of the modernist school, 
and received instruction from him. 

During the year 1911, concert work in France and England 



158 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

brought him tremendous success, resulting in a call to Manchester, 
England. There he conducted an orchestra for a short time. The 
same year he returned to America as concert master of the 
Russian Symphony Orchestra. Five years later, in 1916, he was 
called to San Francisco as leader and first violinist in a String 
Quartet, and the same year was also appointed conductor of the 
San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra. He resigned this post in 
1917, and went overseas to France to play for the American 
soldiers. Upon his return in 1918, he conducted a series of 
concerts in Cincinnati. 

In 1918 Sokoloff was asked to come to Cleveland as musical 
adviser, to survey music in schools and aid the newly incorporated 
Association to carry out its plans. 

He then organized the Cleveland Orchestra with fifty-five 
musicians, and gave the first series of concerts, which included 
three symphonies, four popular concerts, thirteen special concerts, 
and seven out-of-town concerts. The Cleveland Orchestra, thus 
established, began at once to make musical history under the 
guidance of its virile and forceful conductor. The next years 
were marked by the phenomenal success of the Cleveland Orches 
tra, and a constantly widening circle of renown for both 
organization and conductor. 

In 1922 Sokoloff was invited as first American conductor to 
direct the London Symphony Orchestra at the National Welsh 
Eisteddfod. There he gave two concerts before 30,000 people, 
with such success that each year brought a renewal of the invita 
tion to come as guest-conductor of the London Symphony. In 
1923 he was invited to London and Stockholm; among other 
concerts in the English capital, he conducted two concerts in 
Queen's Hall. Illness prevented his acceptance of an invitation to 
conduct the Symphony Orchestra of Barcelona, Spain, organized 
and conducted by Pablo Casals, the world-famous 'cellist. At his 
sixth guest-conductorship of the London Symphony Orchestra, he 
conducted two concerts, introducing Londoners to Charles Martin 
Loeffler's "Pagan Poem." From his youth, his friendship with 
Loeffler has been growing, and Sokoloff seldom misses an oppor 
tunity to introduce the work of this truly noble but unfortunately 
seldom heard musician, both in the United States and abroad. 

His concerts were enthusiastically received by capacity houses, 
and Sokoloff was feted by the most prominent music patrons of 
England. 

In 1925 Sokoloff was also asked to conduct the New York 
Philharmonic Orchestra for a week during the Summer concert 
season at the Lewisohn Stadium. This, appearance was recorded 
as a triumph, and he was immediately re-engaged for the following 
Summer season. 



<uonauciors 159 




MICHAEL TAUBE 

MICHAEL TAUBE, the young Russian-German conductor, was born 
on March 13, 1890, in Lodz, Poland. His father, a teacher and 
musical director of that city, gave his son his first music lessons 

at the age of eight. 

From 1910 to 1911 he studied piano 
in Leipzig with Professor Teichmuller. 
From 1917 to 1918 he studied counter 
point and composition in Koln with Pro 
fessor Strasser. The two following 
years he studied conducting in the same 
city with Abendroth. After being grad 
uated from the Koln Conservatory, he 
soon became leader of the Municipal 
Symphony concerts in Bad Godesberg, 
Germany, where he was immediately ac 
claimed by the press. 

Since 1922 he has been invited to 
conduct six annual subscription concerts 
in Koln, where he enjoys great vogue. He also conducts opera and 
concerts in Berlin, Frankfort, and other cities. In 1923 Taube 
accepted the position of permanent conductor at the Charlotten- 
burg Deutschen Opernhaus, where he works with Bruno Walter, 
and where he is considered a priceless member of the staff. In 
addition to his operatic activities, he conducts a number of sym 
phony concerts with the Berlin Philharmony. 

In 1926 he organized the Neuen Kammerorchester, and the fol 
lowing year the Kammerchorus, both in Berlin. 

He has written a Sonata for piano ; Variations, for two pianos 
on a Beethoven theme; Suite, in the old style, for violin and piano; 
Hymne, for mixed chorus ; songs and small pieces for the piano. 

Of him, the Cologne Post wrote, on March, 1920 : "It is seldom 
that music lovers enjoy such a treat as Saturday night's Grand 
Orchestral Concert which the conductor Michael Taube gave with 
his orchestra, and the co-operation of Georg Bertram, the great 
pianist from Berlin. The programme opened with Beethoven's 
Leonoren Overture No. 2 and the masterly rendering of the 
Maestro's chef-d'oeuvre immediately revealed what a wonderful 
Beethoven interpreter Taube is, and his ability to bring out all the 
delicacies, power and joy Beethoven expresses in that heavenly 
work. Next came Brahms' C minor symphony, which raised the 
audience to a pitch of enthusiasm seldom witnessed. At the close 
of this remarkable concert Michael Taube was called over and over 



160 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

again to acknowledge the frantic applause accorded him by a highly 
pleased audience." 

Mr. Taubman, the well-known critic of the Berlin Borsen 
Courier, thus commented on his production and conductorship of 
the "Freischutz" at the Deutschen Opernhaus: "Mr. Taube was 
in full command, not only over partitur and orchestra, but also 
over the singers and staff. His tempos and nuances are tasteful 
and fine. Summa summarum, he is a conductor par excellence." 

Taube is a delightful charming personality. In meeting him, 
one gets the impression that here indeed is a true artist. One is 
won by his absolute sincerity. To him, art is no commercial ven 
ture, but a sacred trust. 

He is not alone a conductor and composer, but plays the piano 
and 'cello in a masterly way. 



IRVIN TALBOT 

IRVIN TALBOT, musical director of the Paramount Theatre, of 
New York City, was bo.rn in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 27, 
1896. At six years of age, he began to study violin under Christo 
pher Jakob. 

From 1912 to 1917 he played with 
the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, un 
der the direction of Max Zach. Upon 
America's entrance into the World War, 
he was commissioned bandleader of the 
Sixty-ninth Infantry. The war over, he 
returned to St. Louis, and became con 
ductor at the Pershing Theatre. 

Talbot accepted an invitation in 1920 
to become musical director of the Mis 
souri Theatre, in St. Louis one of the 
largest theatres in the Middle West. It 
was here that Hugo Riesenfeld, manag 
ing director of the Rivoli and Rialto 
Theatres, of New York City, saw and was so impressed by his 
work that he offered him the conductorship of the Rivoli. 

Under the direction of Riesenfeld, his progress was rapid. 
He gained distinction as a synchronizer and conductor of cinema 
music. He was invited in May, 1925 to be guest conductor for 
eight weeks at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Theatre, after the ter 
mination of which engagement he returned and opened the New 
Mosque Theatre, in Newark, New Jersey. 




Conductors 161 



In January, 1926, Nathaniel Finston, musical director of all 
Publix Theatres, offered Talbot the directorship of the musical 
representations of the Rivoli. Here, as orchestra leader, score 
writer and arranger, his work won merited recognition. New 
York newspaper writers mention "sincerity," "modesty/' and 
"simplicity," as the qualities that characterize his art. 

So marked was his progress that when the Paramount 
Theatre, New York, one of the finest in the world, opened in Nov 
ember, 1926, he was chosen as its musical director. 



LAZAR WEINER 

ON A SUMMER'S afternoon in 1910, when I played as soloist at the 
Merchant's Club in Kiev, under Schneevoigt, I made a vist to an 
old friend of mine, Dzimitrovsky, then conductor at the Brodsky 

Synagogue, where I too was a chorister 
in my childhood. In the basement of the 
synagogue were the rehearsal hall and 
the class rooms, where the candidates 
for the great choir pursued their aca 
demic as well as their musical studies. 
I arrived while Dzimitrovsky was giving 
a piano lesson. Among the assembled 
boys was a dark haired, pale lad of 
twelve, small for his years. 

It was Lazar Weiner who, Dzimi 
trovsky said, had a great gift for the 
piano. When I met him again, eleven 
years later, I found him a mature 
musician, then holding the position as 
coach and conductor, and giving piano lessons in New York City. 
This young, energetic and talented musician, was born in 
Charkass, near Kiev, Russia, on October 15, 1897. At the age of 
seven he began to sing in the choir of the Cherkass Synagogue. 
At ten he came to Kiev, entering Dzimitrovsky's choir. There h^ 
studied the piano under the conductor until he was fourteen. He 
then entered the Kiev Conservatory, continuing his piano studies 
under Poukhalski, and theory under Ryb. After three years at 
the conservatory, he left with his family for the United States, 
arriving here in 1914. 

In 1921 he resumed harmony and took up orchestration with 
Jacoby, and later with Benett, in New York City. In 1923, 
Weiner organized the New York Freiheit Gesangs Verein, an 
amateur chorus of several hundred Jewish shop workers. He 




162 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

became and remains its conductor. By unremitting effort he suc 
ceeded in bringing this body of men and women to a degree of 
perfection among amateur choruses. At the same time, Weiner 
is also conductor of the choruses of the Folk's Universitet in 
New York. 

He has also written many songs, piano pieces, incidental 
music to the drama "Day and Night," pieces for violin, for 'cello 
and also two unpublished compositions for orchestra. He is at 
present engaged in setting Levick's poem "Der Golem" for chorus, 
solo and orchestra. Weiner's work belongs to the school of 
impressionists, and shows much originality and melodic invention. 



BRUNO WALTER 

BEUNO WALTER, was a pupil of Gustav Mahler, and is one of the 
world's greatest living conductors of symphonic and operatic music. 
At the present day no music festival in any part of Europe or 

America is complete without Walter's 
name among the conductors. Walter is 
furthermore an enterprising operatic 
manager and gifted composer. 

He was born in Berlin on September 
15, 1876, and was a student at the 
Stern Conservatory under Ehrlich, Buss- 
ler and Robert Radeka, , He began his 
career as a conductor of opera, working 
in Cologne, Breslau, Hamburg, Press- 
burg, Riga, Berlin ( Royal Opera House) , 
Vienna (Court Opera, 1901-1912). In 
1911 he became conductor of the Sing- 
akademie in Vienna, and from 1912 to 
1922 was general music director in 
Munich. 

Bruno Walter is now an independent conductor, traveling 
freely to almost all parts of the world as guest conductor. 
During the season of 1922-23 he conducted the New York 
Symphony, repeating his engagements during the following two 
seasons. In 1924 he also conducted in London. This was the first 
German opera season since the war, and was enormously 
successful. The audiences were warm, responsive, and absolutely 
sympathetic. The human side of the visit was fully as enjoyable 
as the artistic. Arrangements have since been made to repeat the 
German season the following year. Walter also gave a series of 




Conductors 163 



concerts with the Vienna Symphony, and conducted Mengelberg's 
orchestra in Amsterdam. On completion of his American series 
at the end of March, 1925, he returned to Amsterdam to conduct 
the Mozart "Requiem," and also to conclude his Berlin cycle, 
giving three concerts in Vienna before going to London. 

Bruno Walter is not an admirer of ultra-modern music, 
although it cannot be said that he is conservative. "The conductor 
in me leads me to do what I can for modern music, but the 
musician is not always convinced," says Walter. "Many experi 
menters in modern music seem to me to be walking sidewise. 
There is no convincing impression of progress or development in 
what they are doing. They are too absorbed in trying to discover 
something sensational. The octave with half-tones does not 
satisfy them as the basis of music. They want to add to it a brand 
new set of quarter-tones. And then, they are intent on repro 
ducing musically all sorts of machines and other extraordinary 
sounds. 

"One gets dizzy trying to follow them. I am amazed, inter 
ested, curious to see what will happen next. Without doubt 
something of value will evolve out of the present chaos. Indeed 
much already has. There are a number of Russian composers 
who are producing music that is really fine as well as exceedingly 
original and audacious. Prokofieff is one of them. In England, 
Hoist and Vaughan Williams represent the best of the New 
school. For my part I am still a conservative a member of a 
great audience that is bedazzled with watching a seven-ring 
circus. My eyes cannot follow the changes they are too swift." 

Bruno Walter is at present playing the troubadour through 
the length and breadth of Europe, presenting Wagner cycles and 
symphony concerts, particularly in Germany. 



MISGHA SHTEIMAN 

MISCHA SHTEIMAN, at present chief conductor of the Gorodskoy 
Theatre of Moscow, is one of the most talented of the younger 
Russian operatic conductors. 



164 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




JOSIAH ZURO 

JOSIAH ZURO'S life has been one of service to music a devotion 
so strong that even when it demanded an outlay of money running 
into thousands of dollars he did not hesitate to pay. His Sunday 

Symphonic Society is supported almost 
entirely out of his own pocket but, 
hoping that the sight of other contribu 
tors might stimulate further donations 
from the audiences, he listed his own 
contributions under various names. This 
is indeed, a proof of a devotion that 
hardly has a parellel in musical history. 
But these Sunday concerts organized by 
him are not his only contribution to the 
cause of American music. 

Zuro was born in Byelostock, Russia, 
on November 27, 1887. His father's 
ambition was to make of his son a rabbi, 
but the boy's inclinations were decidedly 
musical and not rabbinical. He used to gather his friends about 
him and form an "orchestra", of which he was leader, somewhere 
behind the shed. In spite of family opposition, he insisted upon 
a musical career. He began to study at the great Conservatory in 
Odessa. There his talents were recognized, and he had a place in 
the school orchestra with a view to becoming a conductor. After a 
final year at the Cracow Conservatory, he came with his family to 
America, when he wafe eighteen years old. 

By this time the fortune of the family had dwindled and their 
only resource was their musical talent. The older Zuro had a fine 
voice, and his son could play the piano. They both found work at 
the Manhattan Opera House under Hammerstein, whose special 
protege Josiah became. There he was given the title of assistant 
conductor and a very small salary. He played the piano during 
rehearsals. The following year, Hammerstein's chorus master 
left. Zuro asked for the post, and got it. 

An interesting incident in . his life was his meeting with 
Campanini. The Italian was nearly overcome with indignation 
when he saw a nineteen-year-old chorus master. But at a 
rehearsal of "The Damnation of Faust," which Zuro was con 
ducting, Campanini stepped up to him and gave him a resounding 
kiss on each cheek for his expert handling of the chorus. 

After the closing of Hammerstein's opera in 1909, Zuro gave 



Conductors 165 



grand opera performances in New York's East Side with his 
own company. Then he went to the Pacific Coast where he 
produced "Aida" in San Francisco during the World Exposition 
in that city. Later he became conductor at the Century Opera 
in New York. His operatic ventures culminated with the signal 
honor of being asked to produce three open-air grand-opera 
performances for the city of New York in the Summer of 1925. 
Zuro has in the course of his career conducted musical comedy, 
grand opera, managed his own "Zuro Company/' and given 
concerts throughout the country. He was with the Paramount 
motion picture theatres in New York City for over six years, 
as director of presentation, in which capacity he has directed and 
developed many vocalists, instrumentalists, and performers of 
various kinds. 



SAVEL ZILBERTS 

SAVEL ZILBERTS was born in Pinsk, Kussia, on November 7, 1881. 
His father was then one of the most widely known cantors, and 
he took care that his child, who at the age of nine was already 

showing marked musical talents, should 
receive a sound and thorough musical 
training. 

At the age of eighteen, Savel entered 
the Warsaw Conservatory of Music, 
studying piano, harmony, theory, com 
position, and singing. The talented young 
man also possessed a lyric baritone of 
fine quality. In fact, as time went on, 
an operatic career seemed to be the aim 
of the young artist. However, fate had 
arranged matters differently. We find 
Zilberts in 1903 as conductor of the 
Hazonim Society in Lodz. In 1906 he 
was called to Moscow to fill the position 
of director of the largest temple there, which is also one of the 
greatest in the world. In 1914, he returned to Lodz, taking back 
his old position and giving many interesting concerts there. In 
1920 Zilberts came to New York, where he accepted the post of 
director of the Cantors' Association of America, and also opened 
a studio for vocal training in New York. 

Zilberts has composed a number of songs and sundry other 
works, especially for choruses a c&pella, and with organ or piano 




166 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

accompaniments, but is very well known as one of the ablest 
conductors of oratorios and chorus works. 

In 1922 Zilberts organized the Hazomir Choral Society, and 
the Young Men's and Women's Hebrew Association of Newark, 
New Jersey. 



IGNAZ WAGHALTER 

THIS EMINENT German conductor and prolific opera composer 
started his musical career in 1910, when he became conductor of 
the Komisches Opera in Berlin. Since 1912 he conducted at the 

German Opera House in Charlottenburg. 
During the season of 1924-25 he also 
conducted, with great success, the New 
York Symphony Orchestra. 

Following is a list of Waghalter's 
works: "The Devil's Road" (Berlin, 
1912) ; "Mandragola" (Charlottenburg, 
1914) ; "Youth" (words from Max Halle 
by R. Wienhoppel, Berlin, 1917) ; "The 
Late Guest," (Berlin, 1912 and 1922) ; 
"To Whom Does Helen Belong?" (Ber 
lin, 1914) ; "Satan" (P. Milo, Charlot 
tenburg, 1923). 

Waghalter also wrote a violin con 
certo, Opus 15; a string quartet, Opus 
3, and a violin sonata, Opus 5. 




VIOLINISTS 




LEOPOLD AUER 




HUNGARY, LAND of wine and song, is also the land of musicians. 
It is particularly the home of violinists. The gypsy music of 
Hungary conquered the whole world. Such virtuosi as Joachim, 

Mischa Hauser, Jacob Griin, Eduard 
Remenyi, Edward Singer, Tivador Na- 
chez, Carl Flesch, Joseph Szigeti, and 
many other musicians come from that 
enchanted land of melody. 

Leopold Auer is also a son of this 
country of chardash and paprika. He 
was born on June 7, 1845, in the little 
Hungarian town of Veszprem. His 
father was a house-painter of consider 
able skill, who was received everywhere 
despite his humble social position, and 
held a sort of recognized place as a 
decorator and beautifier. On the occa 
sion of these professional visits he would 
mention the fact that he had a boy of five who, according to those 
in a position to judge, had a gift for music. It was during one 
of these conversations that he laid the basis for little Leopold's 
apprenticeship. 

At four years of age Auer showed an understanding of rhythm. 
At eight he was taken to Budapest and appointed to the Budapest 
Conservatory, in the class of Professor Ridley Kohen. At the 
same time he continued the regular school curriculum at the 
boarding school, where he was treated with much consideration. 

Later, Auer started taking lessons from the famous Professor 
Jacob Dont. He it was who gave him the foundation of violin 
technique. At the same time he took lessons at the Conservatory 
under Professor Josef Helmesberger. In 1858 his studies at the 
conservatory, and the lessons under Dont came to an end, since 
the money necessary for the continuation of his musical studies 
was not forthcoming. His father appeared in Vienna one day and 
took him travelling as an infant prodigy, giving concerts in the 
provinces, in order to earn the money necessary to support the 
family in Hungary. Upon being graduated later from the con 
servatory, with the first prize, he left for Hanover, to study with 
Josef Joachim, under whose guidance he soon became an accom 
plished artist. 

For four years Auer toured through many cities, winning 
abundant laurels, as violinist. In the Spring of 1861, he arrived 

169 



170 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

in Paris and gave a morning recital at the Salle Pleyel, arranged 
for him by persons of influence, to make it possible for him to 
continue his studies. At this recital he was assisted by the famous 
pianist, Josef Wieniawsky, the brother of Henry, the great 
violinist. In Paris, Auer, thanks to Moscheles, succeeded in 
making friends with Rossini and Berlioz, who fully appreciated 
his great talent. While studying under Joachim in Hanover, he 
drew the attention of Ferdinand David Nils Gade, the greatest 
composer Denmark has produced, Madame Clara Schumann, 
Ferdinand Hiller, and many other celebrities. 

After two years in Hanover, he and his father, having ex 
hausted all their reseources, took leave of the beloved Joachim, in 
order that the young Auer might try to make his debut at one of the- 
big Leipzig Gewandhaus concerts. He was invited to play there by 
Ferdinand David, Mendelssohn's friend, who had heard him play 
in Hanover. This was in November of 1863 or 1864. This is what 
Auer says about this concert in his book My Long Life in Music : 

"The day of the concert I was so nervous that I could not eat a 
thing. My father, in despair, brought a little bottle of seasoned 
Bordeaux wine along with him to the hall, and at the moment when 
I was about to step out on the stage, made me swallow a tiny glass 
of it. It produced the effect desired. I stepped out, full of courage, 
and actually scored quite a success, for not only did David and .the 
other artists congratulate me warmly, but the press was praising 
me as well." 

In 1863 he received the position of concert master in Dusseldorff, 
and in 1865 had a similar appointment in Hamburg, where he met 
and appeared with Brahms. 

In 1868 Auer was invited to take the post of professor at the 
Conservatory of St. Petersburg, succeeding Henry Wieniawski, who 
received at that time the title of "Soloist to his Majesty the Em 
peror/' to play the soli expressly composed for the ballets. In 1782, 
when Wieniawski resigned, Auer succeeded him and held that post 
until 1906, when he retired with a right to retain his title of "Solo 
ist to the Czar." Due to the great talent of his playing and his 
pedagogic abilities, Auer was, and still is, one of the greatest violin 
teachers the world has ever known. He is not only a great teacher 
of the violin, but a great authority and excellent guide in the art 
of chamber music and ensemble playing. 

It is necessary to mention only a few of his many pupils : Jascha 
Heifetz, Mischa Elman, Efrem Zimbalist, Cecilia Hansen, Kathleen 
Parlow, Eddie Brown, David Hochstein, Toscha Seidel, Alexander 
Bloch, Ruth- Ray, Myron Poliakin, the brothers Piastro, Maia 
Bang, Thelma Givens, Joseph Achron, Francis Macmillen, Jaroslav 
Siskowsky, Stassevitch, Max Rosen, Ruth Breton, Burgin, Jascha 
Fischberg, Vladimir Grafman, Benno Rabinoff, and many others. 



Violinists 171 



Auer is also famous for founding the St. Petersburg Quartet, 
composed of two of his pupils, Korgueff, Kruger, Werzbilowitch, 
and himself. Auer also played much chamber music with the 
famous cellists, Alfred Piattil and Karl Davidoff, and such pianists 
as Anton Rubinstein, Annette Essipova, and other great celebrities. 
The writer of these lines remembers with much gratitude the 
unforgettable days during the years 1910-1915, when he had the 
pleasure of attending Auer's chamber-music classes at the St. 
Petersburg Conservatory. 

From 1878 till 1892 Auer was director of the Symphonic Con 
certs of the Imperial Musical Society in St. Petersburg, where he 
had the privilege of presenting two works of the greatest impor 
tance : Berlioz* "Requiem/' and the whole of the incidental music 
to "Manfred" by Robert Schumann, to the Russian text. 

Tschaikowsky's famous violin concerto was dedicated to Auer, 
who for some reason of his own, refused at first to play it. Tschai- 
kowsky, very angry, re-dedicated the score to another famous 
violinist, Adolph Brodsky. 

Professor Auer's career has been an amazing one. It contains a 
brilliant kaleidoscopic perspective of artistic Europe and Russia 
of the last sixty years, with the present and the future in music of 
this younger and newer land, America. Auer looks back to ac 
quaintances and intimate friendships, among which he numbers 
Franz Liszt, Rubinstein, Joachim, Brahms; the Russian "Five," 
Tschaikowsky, Napoleon III, Abdul Hamid II, Rossini, Henry 
Vieuxtemps, Clara Schumann, Richard and Johannes Strauss, 
Saint-Saens, Gounod, Gladstone, Disraeli, Turgeniev, von Bulow, 
and others. 

In 1918, shortly after the Russian revolution, Auer, at the age 
of seventy-three, sailed for Christiania, where he established a 
home for himself and some of his pupils in Vocsenkollen, a famous 
Norwegian hotel on a high mountain near Christiania. In 1920 
he, together with Mme Bogutzka-Stein, now his wife, and some of 
his pupils, came to New York, where he established his residence 
and studios. On April 28, 1925, his eightieth birthday, his two 
pupils, Heif etz and Zimbalist, arranged a magnificent gala-concert 
at Carnegie Hall, New York, in his honor. Ossip Gabrilowitz, 
Joseph Hofmann, Serge Rachmaninoff, and Paul Stassevitch played 
on that occasion. The program follows : 
I. Vivaldi: Concerto in F major for three violins. Played by 

Auer, Heifetz, and Zimbalist (the cadenza was by Joseph 

Achron, also a former pupil of Auer), with Stassevitch at 

the piano. 
II. Brahms : Sonata in D minor. Played by Zimbalist and 

Gabrilowitch. 



172 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

III. Tschaikowsky: A Melody. 
Brahms: Hungarian Dance. 

IV. Auer : Romance. 

Joseph Achron: Pensee de Leopold Auer. 
Auer: Tarantelle de Concert. 

Played by Heifetz, with Zimbalist at the piano. 
V. Chopin: Polonaise. 

Tschaikowsky : Berceuse. 
Wagner-Liszt : Isolde's Liebestodt. 

Played by Josef Hofmann. 
VI. Bach: Concerto in D Minor for two violins. Played by 

Heifetz and Zimbalist, with Stassevitch at the piano. 
The writer remembers that concert very well, not only because 
of the significance of the occasion, but because of the great gather 
ing of celebrities on that evening. Carnegie Hall has seldom held 
a more illustrious audience. All seats were sold weeks in advance, 
standing room was at a premium, and hundreds of people were 
turned away. This audience was composed not alone of celebrated 
musicians, but of great captains of industry, financiers, etc. 

Auer's long life as violinist and teacher is like one triumphal 
march, during which he has moved under a constant shower of 
medals, prizes, and other distinctions without number. He received 
decorations from many sovereigns, including the Chevalier du Le 
gion d'Honneur, conferred upon him by the French Republic, the 
little Meininger Cross, the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Stan- 
islav (with a star) a high distinction which he shared with only 
two other Russian musicians : Saf onoff and Napravnik, and which 
was handed him personally by the Czar on his twenty-fifth jubilee 
at the conservatory of St. Petersburg. He also played for the Kings 
of Sweden and Norway, and for the Turkish Sultan, Abdul 
Hamid II. 

In his studio in New York we find him to this day very active, 
instructing his numerous students. Professor Auer is very ener 
getic. His bright brown eyes radiate life, his cheeks are fresh and 
full of color, his face full of expression. He looks wise, skeptical, 
and optimistic. At eighty-two he is as full of ambition as many a 
youngster at twenty-five. 

Aside from some pieces he wrote for the violin, he also wrote : 
My Long Life in Music and Violin Playing as I Teach It. 

Auer is not a builder of technique, or a teacher of beginners. 
Pupils who are accepted by him must already be technically pro 
ficient, and it may be stated that the teacher who can prepare pu 
pils for Auer must stand pretty high in the profession. Auer is 
considered a great adviser, a former of style and master of inter 
pretation, to whom pupils flock too early, and feel aggrieved if 
they are not at once accepted. 



Violinists 



173 



ALBERTO ABRAHAM BAGHMANN 

ALBERTO ABRAHAM BACHMANN, eminent Swiss-French violinist, 
was born on March 20, 1875, in Geneva of Russian parents. He 
studied under Ysaye, Thomson, Brodsky, Hubay and Petri, and 
was awarded first prize at the Lille con 
servatory. 

As a performer on the violin, Bach- 
mann is equipped with a splendid tech 
nique and a broad tone. 

He made many successful tours In 
Europe and came to the United States in 
1916, where he toured with great success. 
Later he became a member of the New 
York Philharmonic Orchestra, and 
taught the violin privately. He has toured 
the world, and has received many of 
ficial decorations. 

Some of his compositions include 
three concertos, .a sonata, two suites and 
many light violin pieces. He has also written many important 
works dealing with the violin and violinists, including an encyclo 
pedia of the violin (1925). Among some of his books are: 
"Les Grandes Violinistes du Passe" (1913) ; "Le Violon" (1906) ; 
"Gymnastique" (1914). 

Bachmann returned in 1922 to Paris where he opened a studio 
for teaching and concertizing. 




ALEXANDER BLOCH 

ALEXANDER BLOCK, well-known American violinist and teacher, was 
born in Selma, Alabama, on July 11, 1881, and received his gen 
eral education in New York City, where he studied in public and 
private schools, and at Columbia University. He pursued his mu 
sical education at the same time, studying under Edward Hermann 
in New York, Otokar Sevcik in Petrograd, and Leopold Auer in 
Vienna. Bloch studied theory under Lilienthal in New York. 

Upon being graduated from Auer's classes, Bloch was appointed 
concert master of the Tiflis Symphony orchestra, and on his return 
to America began his pedagogic career by accepting the post of 
head of the violin department of the Washington Conservatory of 
Music. His formal American debut as virtuoso was made in New 
York, in 1913. 



174 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

While in Vienna, Bloch married a gifted pianist, with whom he 
gives a series of sonata recitals each season at Aeolian Hall, in 
New York. Here they gave their performance of important 
works, among them sonatas of Magnard and the much discussed 
"Sonata" by Pizzetti. They were also the first to give a public 
performance of the entire cycle of Beethoven's piano and violin 
sonatas. 

Bloch is the author of a number of published technical studies, 
among them Scale Studies in Double Stops, Finger Strengthening 
Exercises, and Principles and Practice of Bowing. He has been 
for the past few seasons an assistant to Leopold Auer in New York, 
and is considered by him an excellent pedagogue, and one of the 
best interpreters of his methods. Of the violinists chosen from 
every State in the United States for Juilliard Foundation Fellow 
ships, 25 per cent were his pupils. 

Because of his great popularity as a teacher, Alexander Bloch 
has practically abandoned his career as artist. "Either the pupil 
must suffer from lack of continuity in his lessons and from a super 
ficial interest on the part of the teacher/' Bloch says, "or the 
teacher must suffer from giving his all to his pupil so that he is 
not fit to concertize. Concert work demands all of one's interest 
and strength ; and if you are really giving yourself to your students, 
as a good teacher always does, you will have little or nothing left 
to offer an audience." 

He conducts summer classes with his wife in the Berkshire 
Hills, where he has 110 acres of ground, "just enough," he says, 
"for each of my violin pupils to have an acre to himself and not 
be heard by any of his colleagues, nor yet by Mrs. Bloch and 
myself." 

Alexander Bloch is one of those delightful persons who does 
not take life too seriously. He is an unsentimental soul, and he 
does not name his fiddle, nor talk to it in endearing terms. Be 
cause of this, perhaps, he has been a great favorite of the New 
York bohemian colony. 



NAUM BLINDER 

NAUM BLINDER, the Russian violinist, was born at Evpatoria, in 
the Crimea, and was distinguished as a child prodigy. He studied 
with Fidelman in Odessa, and with Brodsky in Manchester. After 
touring Europe he returned to Russia in 1912. He is at present 
professor of the Moscow Conservatory, and enjoys a high reputa 
tion as a soloist, chamber music player, and pedagogue. 



Violinists 175 




ADOLPH BRODSKY 

THE EMINENT VIOLINIST, ADOLPH BRODSKY, a pupil of Helmes- 
berger, was born on March 28, 1851, in Taganrog, Southern Rus 
sia. When only nine years old, he gave a public concert in Odessa, 

and upon being graduated from the 
Vienna Conservatory, played second vio 
lin in the famous Helmesberger String 
Quartet. From 1868 to 1880, Brodsky 
was engaged at the Vienna Opera House, 
and in concerts, with great success. In 
Moscow he made friends with Ferdinand 
Laub. After Laub's death, Brodsky took 
his place as teacher at the Moscow Con 
servatory. Prior to this, he concertized 
through Europe for four years. 

In 1879 we find Brodsky conducting 
the Kiev Symphony Concerts. In 1882 
he played for the first time the Tschai- 
kovsky violin concerto, hitherto not 
risked by any other violinist. This concert occurred after Auer, to 
whom the score was previously dedicated, had declared it too dif 
ficult. When the famous violinist Radeck accepted the position of 
violin teacher at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Brodsky was ap 
pointed to fill his place at Leipzig. While in that city, he made 
a success of various concerts at the Gewandhaus. 

Because of his long experience in chamber music, acquired in 
the Helmesberger and Laub quartets, he decided to organize his 
own quartet in Leipzig, under his own name. The second violin 
was played by his friend, the excellent violinist, Hans Sitt, the 
viola was played by one of his pupils, 0. Novatcheck, while the 
'cello was played by Leopold Grtitzmacher. This ensemble was 
later changed, the second violin being played by Hans Becker, and 
'cello by the famous Julius Klengel. This quartet is said to have 
had no superior in all Europe, and not more than one equal. 

In 1891 Brodsky resigned his Leipzig position, to take a post 
in the New York Conservatory of Scharwenka. He was also en 
gaged by Walter Damrosch as concert master in the New York 
Symphony. During his stay in America he appeared in many 
important concerts, and was considered one of the best violinists 
who had come to America up to that time. In 1892 he returned to 
Europe, and after a short sojourn in Berlin received the appoint 
ment of Director of the Royal College of Music in Manchester, 
England where he succeeded Sir Charles Halle, and where he again 
organized his own string quartet. 



176 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

As a virtuoso and chamber music player par excellence, Brod- 
sky was universally successful and popular. As a teacher he also 
won great renown, many of his pupils securing important posi 
tions in the great orchestras. 

Brodsky was a close friend of Tschaikowsky. He is now living 
in Manchester. 

MAX BENDIX 

SELDOM HAS any other violinist occupied so many honorable po 
sitions as Max Bendix, the noted violinist, pedagogue and con 
ductor, who was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 28, 1866. 

His general education he received in 
Cincinnati, New York, and Berlin. Mu 
sic he studied chiefly with Jacobssohn. 

He became concert master at the Met 
ropolitan Opera House under Van der 
Stucken, where he remained for two 
seasons. Later he accepted the follow 
ing positions of first rank: concert 
master and assistant conductor of the 
Theodore Thomas Orchestra (1886-96) ; 
assistant and later successor to Theodore 
Thomas in conducting at the Columbian 
Exposition, Chicago (1893). After mak 
ing a two-year concert tour as a violin 
virtuoso through the United States, 
he organized the Bendix Quartet (1900). A year later he organ 
ized his own School of Music. In 1904 he conducted a symphony 
orchestra at the Exposition in St. Louis, and in 1905 was the con 
cert master in the Wagnerian Operas at the Metropolitan Opera 
House, New York. 

He reached the height of his popularity and fame in 1906, 
when Oscar Hammerstein opened the Manhattan Opera House 
and invited Max Bendix both as concert master and conductor of 
his opera. 

In three successive years he gave recitals all over the United 
States and Europe, winning praise from critics and audiences. 

From 1909 to 1911, he again conducted at the Metropolitan 
Opera House, later conducting various orchestras including the 
National Orchestra, Chicago (1914-15). (Besides being a splendid 
conductor and violinist, Max Bendix is also a very talented com 
poser. Among other things he composed: "Thirty-six songs/ 7 
"Tema con Variazioni" for 'cello and orchestra, "The Sisters," a 
ballad for soprano with orchestra, violin concerto in E minor, 
music to the play "Experience," etc. 




Violinists 177 




EDDY BROWN 

EDDY BROWN was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 15, 1895. He 
started studying the violin at the age of four, and gave his first 
recital in Indianapolis when six years old. Soon afterwards he was 

taken to Europe, where he became a pu 
pil of Hubay, at Budapest. At eleven, 
he played the Mendelssohn concerto. In 
a contest open to all violinists, he came 
out victor among forty contestants, re 
ceiving a fine violin as a prize. In his 
thirteenth year he passed his examina 
tions at the Royal Conservatory by play 
ing the Beethoven concerto with orches 
tra, and on this occasion the celebrated 
virtuoso, David Popper, came on the 
stage and kissed the abashed Eddy 
before an audience of 3,000 persons, de 
claring that he had never heard the work 
played so perfectly since Joachim. 
After touring for some time, he went to London in 1909, where 
he made his English debut at the huge Albert Hall. In London he 
met Leopold Auer and with him went to Russia to study. There 
came a period of five years' continuous work under Auer, and then 
his triumphant Berlin appearances, which settled his European 
status once for all This was at once followed by recital tours 
through Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, and 
England again, playing at the Nikisch concerts. 

He returned to America in 1915, and made his American debut 
in Indianapolis, playing the Beethoven concerto with the New 
York Symphony Orchestra under Walter Damrosch. His New 
York debut followed a few days later. Since then he has 
made recital tours throughout the United States, and has appeared 
with the leading orchestral organizations of the land. His first 
engagement in New York with the Philharmonic Orchestra, under 
Josef Stransky, when he played the Tschaikowsky concerto, took 
place in 1915. 

Eddy Brown has also composed, including songs and works for 
the piano, and has made numerous violin arrangements of the 
works of the classic composers. As a technician and interpreter, 
Brown is ranked very high among contemporary violinists. He 
possesses incredible facility of technique. A sweet caressing tone 
that can be both tender and powerful, and a dashing and brilliant 
style are foremost among the attributes which have made Brown a 
favorite. 



178 Famous Musicians of "a Wandering Race 



RICHARD BURGIN 

*> 

RICHARD BURGIN is one of those fortunate students of the violin 
who has had the best teachers the age afforded. Born in Warsaw 
on October 11, 1892, he began to study violin at the age of six, his 

first teacher being Winetzky. Later he 
studied with Lotto, Joachim (in Berlin) 
and Auer in St. Petersburg, being gradu 
ated with the gold medal from the latter's 
class of 1912. 

Burgin made his first public appear 
ance prior to this accomplishment, how 
ever, for in 1903 he appeared as soloist 
with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orches 
tra, of which he became concert master 
in 1914. Burgin was a favorite of the 
famous conductor, George Schneevoigt, 
and appeared with him in Helsingfors, 
1912-15, as concert master of that city's 
symphony orchestra. In 1915, upon being 
graduated from the Warsaw Philharmonic, he became concert 
master in Fitelberg's Orchestra in Pavlovsk, and from 1916 to 
1919 again appeared as concert master with Schneevoigt, this 
time in Christiania, playing also with Nikisch and Richard 
Strauss, during that period. 

Schneevoigt regarded his concert master very highly, but 
when Monteux came, in 1920, to Europe to look for a concert 
master for his disrupted Boston Symphony, Schneevoigt recom 
mended Burgin warmly to the French conductor. When the 
latter heard Burgin play in Paris, he immediately engaged him. 
Burgin often appeared as soloist with the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra, after he joined its ranks as concert master, playing 
Sibelius' "Concerto in D minor," on January, 1924. He gave a 
performance of the highest merit. He has also been noted for 
his playing of the "Prokofieff Concerto/' both in America and in 
Europe. 

Burgin is also a chamber music performer of exceptional en 
dowments, and is celebrated as such throughout Europe and Am 
erica. 




Violinists 



179 




SAMUEL DUSHKIN 

TRADITION AND environment play a more important part in the 
making of an artist than heredity. This fact is manifested in the 
life and career of Samuel Dushkin. He was born in Russian 

Poland, the land of famous musicians, 
in the little town of Suwalk. 

Since he evinced a desire to play the 
violin at an early age, an instrument was 
put into his eager hands, with such ex 
cellent results that he entered upon a 
tour of Russia at the age of nine. A 
year later his parents brought him to 
America. In the New World the young 
violinist continued his studies, but feel 
ing that Paris offered better opportun 
ities, he returned. In the French capital, 
he became absorbed in work, studying 
with Remy at the Conservatoire. Later, 
he became a pupil of Auer and then, for 
a final polishing, of Kreisler. War broke out. Dushkin joined the 
British Army, and when the United States entered the conflict 
was transferred to the American forces. After the Armistice, he 
resumed his artistic career, touring through England and France, 
appearing in recitals and as soloist with the principal orchestras. 
Early in 1924, Dushkin returned to America and gave three suc 
cessful appearances in rapid succession, which demonstrates how 
completely the public and critics accepted him. His debut with the 
New York Symphony Orchestra on January 6, 1924, was 
impressive. 

On October 8, 1924, Dushkin played in Bristol, England, 
then in Wiesbaden, Frankfort, and Darmstadt, followed by ap 
pearances in Amsterdam with Mengelberg. Later he went to 
France, and gave a recital at the American Conservatory at Fon- 
tainebleau. In the Spring of 1925, Dushkin was invited to per 
form at the Beethoven Festival in Paris. 

Dushkin is not an artist who relies on virtuoso effects to im 
press an audience, but one who plays simply and sincerely, with 
out affectation, and without undue seeking after individuality in 
interpretation. 

Dushkin has composed several small but effective pieces for 
the violin, and made a number of successful transcriptions and 
arrangements. 




180 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



MISCHA ELMAN 

LIKE CARUSO'S tone among singers, so Elman's tone in the realm 
of the violin has been accepted as the standard by which violinists 
are measured. This child of the ghetto alone can produce that 

broad, wholesome, spiritual tone which is 
characteristic of his playing and is so 
representative of the spirit dominating 
the long-suffering sons and daughters of 
his race. 

The late James Huneker, in his vol 
ume of criticism and comment, Unicorns, 
with his inimitable raciness of style and 
bewildering glitter of erudition, devotes 
a chapter to "Violinists Now and Yester 
year/' Considering the fact that this 
ubiquitous critic had personally heard 
such violinistic giants as Vieuxtemps, 
Wieniawski, Wilhelm, and Joachim, and 
had listened to a host of virtuosi of this 
generation, his praise of the playing of Mischa Elman is all the 
more significant. He writes: "United to an amazing technical 
precision there is a still more amazing emotional temperament, all 
dominated by a powerful musical and mental intellect that is un 
canny. In the romantic or the virtuoso realm he is a past master. 
His tone is lava-like in its warmth. He paints with many colors. 
He displays numberless nuances of feeling. Naturally the pride 
of hot youth asserts itself, and often, self -intoxicated, he intoxi 
cates his audience with his sensuous, compelling tone. Hebraic, 
tragic, melancholy, the boisterousness of the Russian, the swift 
modulation from the mad caprice to Slavic despair Elman is a 
magician of many moods." 

Mischa Elman was born in Talnoye, Eussia, on January 20, 
1892. His father was a Jewish religious teacher and amateur 
violinist, who early recognized the boy's musical talent and judici 
ously encouraged it by giving him at the age of four a little violin. 
When he was twelve years of age, his father succeeded in bringing 
him to Odessa where he gained admission to the Imperial music 
school ; here for some time he was taught by Alexander Fidelman. 
It was at that school that Leopold Auer, his future master, heard 
him play, and took him along subsequently to St. Petersburg. 

In 1904 we find Mischa the star pupil of Auer in St. Petersburg. 
It so happened that a much advertised young virtuoso, called 
Vecsey, was to give a concert and Professor Auer was asked for 



Violinists 



181 




his opinion of the artist's ability. "I have 
a pupil only twelve years old who is far 
superior," said Auer. This, naturally, 
was taken as a wild statement by all who 
heard it, and the news spread fast. Auer 
was determined to back up his remarks. 
He planned an opportunity for Mischa 
Elman to appear at the opening concert 
of the Deutsche Liedertafel the most 
important musical society of the city. 
Auer was to play. At the last moment 
he sent word that he was too ill to ap 
pear, but that his youngest pupil would 
take his place. Consequently, Elman, a 
lad of twelve, played the Mendelssohn 
Concerto, Paganini's "Motto Perpetuo" and a Chopin "Nocturne" 
with such tremendous success that the audience refused to let him 
leave the stage until he had played half a dozen encores. The 
following day, the name of Mischa Elman was on everyone's 
tongue. After that important appearance the young virtuoso went 
in triumph from one city to another. Today he has played in 
practically every city on the globe. 

In speaking of his teacher, Auer, Elman has said : "I may call 
myself the first real exponent of his school in the sense of making 
his name widely popular to American audiences." Auer himself 
says in his reminiscences, regarding the episode with Vecsey: "In 
October Mischa left with his father for Berlin, and in spite of the 
vogue enjoyed by his competitor Ferenc Vecsey, his success was so 
overpowering, that Vecsey's manager left the latter in order to 
engage little Mischa, and a few months later had him make his 
London debut, after which Elman made the English capital his 
headquarters until the outbreak of the World War in 1914." On 
the occasion of his first London appearance, the Grand Duke Au 
drey Vladimirovitsh presented the lad with a handsome diamond 
pin as a token of his appreciation. 

Elman first played in the British Isles when he was only four 
teen. He came there after his conquest of Eastern Europe as one 
of the world's supreme wonder-children. England, particularly 
London, was sceptical about these sensational reports, but after 
hearing the youthful master, it was captivated like the rest of 
Europe. Since that period, Elman has been a frequent visitor and 
the British have taken him to their hearts as they have done few 
foreign artists. On the occasion of his recent trip to London, 
when he gave a recital at the Royal Albert Hall, the largest audi 
torium in the English capitol, Clarence Lucas, the renowned author 
and critic, had the following to say : "Mischa Elman had an enor 
mous audience in Albert Hall last Sunday afternoon. No other 



182 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

hall in London could have contained the Elmanites who flocked to 
Kensington's big music room to hear him pour forth from his little 
Stradivarius such a boundless flood of music. The journeys of his 
fingers up and down the tiny fingerboard were as nothing com 
pared with the miles his music flew in filling every part of the vast 
auditorium. And though the instrument was silent at the end of 
the afternoon, many an echo of it will live in the memories of those 
who came under the spell of Elman's bewitching tones." 

Not only is Elman popular with the general public and with 
the critics, but he is also a favorite with the British royal family. 

After his recital, he was commanded to appear before Queen 
Alexandra, widow of the late King Edward VIII, before whom 
Elman had made several appearances at Buckingham Palace. 

Elman has played with the world's greatest conductors. He 
has the following episode to relate about Colonne, the famous 
French conductor: 

"I had an amusing experience with Colonne once. He brought 
his orchestra to Russia while I was with Auer, and was giving a 
concert at Pavlovsk. Colonne had a perfect horror of 'infant 
prodigies/ so Auer had arranged for me to play with his orchestra, 
without telling him my age. I was eleven at the time. When 
Colonne saw me, violin in hand, ready to step on the stage, he 
drew himself up and said with emphasis : 1 play with a prodigy ! 
Never!' Nothing could move him, and I had to play to a piano 
accompaniment. After he had heard me play, he came over to me 
and said : 'The best apology I can make for what I said is to ask 
you to do me the honor of playing with the Orchestra Colonne in 
Paris/ Four months later I went to Paris and played the Mendels 
sohn concerto for him with great success." 

When Elman appeared in New York with the Russian Sym 
phony Orchestra, under Modest Altschuler, on December 20, 1908, 
he played the now familiar concerto of Tschaikovsky, the difficulties 
of which melted under his agile fingers. It was said that the 
Tschaikowsky concerto was written for Auer, who considered it 
too difficult to play himself. Nevertheless, he showed Elman the 
secret of how to do it, and aided him in triumphing over it wher 
ever he played it. On the occasion of Elman's debut in New York, 
the music critic of the Tribune wrote : 

"It argues no lack of appreciation for the Russian Symphony 
Orchestra to say that the most interesting feature of the concert 
was the playing of Mischa Elman, the young Russian violinist, 
who made at this time his American debut. Elman passed through 
the prodigy period some years ago, and he now comes as a matured 
artist. The performance of the Tschaikowsky concerto was listened 
to with the attention it deserved, and it gained the genuine en 
thusiasm of the large audience. Elman's tone is large and is also 
full. His notes were produced with a precise faith to the pitch 



Violinists 183 



that was comforting to hear. . . . In the double stopping, his oc 
taves, and especially the rapid passages, the violinist reached a 
lofty standard of proficiency, while his cantilena was admirable, 
full and sustained." 

"To hear Mischa Elman on the concert platform," another New 
York critic declared, "to listen to him play with that wealth of 
tone, emotion, and impulse which places him in the very foremost 
rank of living violinists, should be joy enough for any music lover. 
Tone, technique, temperament, intelligence, artistry, musicianship, 
are all combined in his work." 

Elman apparently liked the land that showered so much praise 
on him as much as its inhabitants liked him, and he decided to 
become one of them. On May 17, 1923, he received his final citi 
zenship papers, and became a naturalized American citizen. He 
is now a resident of New York. 

It would be unfair to speak of Elman and not mention his 
father's part in his successes. The debt that Mischa owes his 
father is beyond calculation. To the credit .of Mischa be it said 
that he keenly realizes the obligation to which he stands to his 
father. "If," he says, "anyone deserves thanks for the pleasure 
of listening to my playing, it is first of all my father, who did more 
than his means permitted to nurture and develop my talent, and 
to help me to occupy the place that is now mine. Thanks are also 
due my grandfather, and great-grandfather, from whom I have 
inherited a love for study and application. If my father is not a 
Mischa Elman himself it is undoubtedly due to the fact that the 
circumstances of his childhood were not such as he had himself 
created for me. Thanks are due him for the encouragement and 
inspiration he was ever ready to offer me." 

Mischa's paternal grandfather was the town fiddler, and, ac 
cording to "Papa Elman" he was able to conjure forth from his old 
instrument tones like those of his famous grandson. This grand 
father did not want his son (Mischa's father) to follow in his 
steps, for the humble position of town musician was looked down 
upon in those little ghetto communities in the pre-Mischa days. 
"Papa Elman," however, saw the thing in another light and wheth 
er or not he knew that heredity in the third generation always as 
serts itself more strongly than in the second, he, for one, was de 
termined to lay down his life for the advancement of his Mischa as 
violinist. 

On a summer's day in 1914, while visiting my mother in Leip 
zig, I also paid a call at the Kochanski home. On that occasion, 
Paul Kochanski's father showed me a letter recently received from 
"Papa Elman," with whom he had a strong friendship. In that 
letter, the father of Mischa described his son's successes in London, 
and I remember that that letter was freely sprinkled with such 
expressions as "we made a great success"; "we were invited to 



184 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Buckingham Palace"; "we had wonderful reviews in the papers," 
etc. At that time I smiled the cynical smile of youth, for to 
gether with a great many of the Elman intimates, I was under the 
impression that "Papa Elman" was exploiting his son's genius 
for all it was worth. Only later, and with maturing years, did I 
learn to respect and love Mischa's father for utter self-effacement 
something akin to martyrdom in his son's cause. 

In his reminiscences concerning Mischa and his father, Auer 
says : "The next morning the father and son stepped into my room. 
The father said that he came from Odessa, where his son was at 
tending the Music School. He also informed me that his pecuniary 
situation was very precarious, and that he was obliged to sell part 
of his wardrobe in order to be able to pay his fare from Odessa to 
Elizabethgrad, a few hundred miles away. He added that he was 
prepared to make any and every sacrifice, provided his son was 
accepted for the St. Petersburg Conservatory . . ." After hear 
ing the lad play, Auer wrote a letter of recommendation to the 
director of the Conservatory, the great Alexander Glazounoff, re 
questing him to enter little Elman in his class and to see that he 
was given a scholarship. 

"When I returned to St. Petersburg I found Elman installed in 
my class, but as regards his father all sorts of difficulties had de 
veloped. The law authorized students of every nationality to re 
side in the capital, but the same permission was not extended to 
their parents, unless they happened to be artisans who knew a 
trade, or were simply workmen. Tapa Elman' could not qualify 
in either capacity, and he led a most precarious existence, remov 
ing all evidence of his presence in the city of Peter the Great dur 
ing the day, hiding in various retreats known to him alone, and 
spending his nights in the dirty, overheated, and airless janitor's 
quarters of the apartment in which he had rented a small room 
for his son. A petition signed by Alexander Glanzounoff to the 
only too famous Minister of the Interior, V. von Plehve, was de 
nied. Tapa Elman,' exhausted and enervated by his furtive and 
unnatural mode of life, was in despair at being obliged to leave 
the city without any idea of where he might take refuge. One 
day he told me his troubles, and the office of the Conservatoire as 
sured me of the truth of his statement that the Minister of the 
Interior had refused him the necessary domiciliary permission." 

"Four weeks after a personal visit to Plehve's residence," Auer 
continues, "I received a large envelope with an official seal. Plehve's 
secretary informed me in the Minister's name that Tapa Elman' 
was graciously permitted to reside in the capital while his son was 
a pupil at the Conservatory. . ." 

Mischa Elman has long since become a favorite due to his ex 
cellent sonata playing, as well as his chamber music performance. 
In order to give a larger audience the benefit of his art in this 



Violinists 185 



branch of music, he organized the Elman Quartet, now famous 
in the United States. When a great artist enters the realm of 
ensemble playing, he has as much difficulty in submerging his 
individuality as a small musician has in trying to make himself 
important. A great violinist is not always a happy leader of a 
string quartet, but Mischa Elman knew that he could enter the 
field with three of the best available colleagues. Playing quartets 
is no novelty to him; the only new feature is giving the public 
opportunity to hear him. He has associated himself with those 
rare ensemble players, Edward Bachman, Nicholas Moldovan, and 
Horace Britt. The Mozart "Quartet in B flat," at the opening of 
the first concert of this quartet, was thrilling in the beauty and 
simplicity with which it was played. The magical tone of the 
first violin, the exquisite legato, lovely rounding of phrases, flaw 
less intonation spelled Elman. There was moments in the Schu 
bert "D minor Quartet" that seemed almost a prayer, and there 
joy and spring-like naivete in the Haydn piece. The large audi 
ence made Town Hall ring with applause. 

Since its first concert, Mischa Elman's quartet has enjoyed a 
reputation rivalled by none of the quartets giving concerts in the 
United States, and provides series of regular concerts through 
out the music season there. 

Elman owns an instrument of rare excellence. It cost him 
$50,000, and he claims he knows its history from the time it 
was manufactured in 1717. According to him, it belonged to the 
collection of Mme Recamier, a celebrated French leader of so 
ciety exiled from Paris by Napoleon. In 1804 she is said to have 
sold it to Marshal Count Molitor, who distinguished himself in 
the Napoleonic wars. It remained in the Marshal's family until 
it passed to the dealer who sold it to Elman. It was Elman's third 
Stradivarius. 

Mischa Elman has a letter, written by the late Czar Nicholas 
II in which the Russian ruler told the violinist to remain out of 
the war zone until the end of the conflict as "Russia does not wish 
any harm to befall one of her greatest geniuses." This is espe 
cially interesting in contrast with his father's persecution by the 
police in St. Petersburg some years previous for the simple rea 
son that he was a Jew. 



186 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



HEINRICH WILHELM ERNST 

ONE of the greatest violinists of the nineteenth century was Ernst. 
Attracting attention principally as a virtuoso, Ernst had at the 
same time a broad musical education. He was a man of warm and 

impulsive nature; his playing was dis 
tinguished by great boldness in the ex 
ecution of technical difficulties of the 
most hazardous nature. His tone had a 
peculiar charm, and he was one of the 
most welcome performers in the concert 
halls of Europe. He was a thorough mu 
sician and a good composer, though his 
works, "Othello Fantasy," "Concerto in 
F sharp minor/' "Erl-Koenig," "Elegie," 
for example, are so full of technical dif 
ficulties as to be almost impossible of per 
formance. Indeed, it is said that some 
of them contain difficulties which even 
he with his enormous technique could not 
always overcome. 

Ernst was born May 6, 1814, in Brunn, Moravia. His education 
he received at the Vienna conservatory where Bom was his teacher 
on the piano and Zeifrod in theory and composition. 

Paganini was at that time traveling through Europe. His 
matchless playing made such an impression on Ernst that he was 
filled with a passionate desire to imitate in everything the Italian 
violinist. Deliberately or through some coincidence, he began to 
follow Paganini in his travels, and so he often met the great vir 
tuoso. Ernst did not rest content with his adoption of some of 
Paganinfs artistic tricks, but actually memorized and played by 
ear some of Paganini's unpublished works, played only by Pagan 
ini himself. 

Once Ernst visited Paganini and found him with a guitar in his 
hands, working* on some composition. Pag&nini, noticing his 
guest, jumped up from his stool and hid his manuscript. "I have 
to look out not only for your ears, but for your eyes as well !" 

In 1832 Ernst settled in Paris where he studied hard under 
Beriot and frequently played in concerts. Like his idol Paganini, 
Ernst made concert tours in France, England, Germany, Russia, 
Scandinavia and other lands, creating a furore everywhere. 

After 1844 he lived chiefly in England, where he was highly 
appreciated, until the approach of his fatal disease made it neces 
sary for him to give up, first, public performances, and then, violin 




Violinists 187 



playing of any kind. He died at Nice, October 8, 1865, from spinal 
meningitis^ after eight years of intense suffering. When Ernst 
died, a critic compared him with other players of his day in the 
following words: "Less perfect in polish, less unimpeachable in 
the diamond lustre and clearness of his tone than Beriot, Ernst 
had as jtmich elegance as that exquisite violinist, with greater depth 
of feeling. Less audaciously inventive and extravagant than Pag- 
anini, he was sounder in taste. His music, with no lack of fantasy, 
was scientific in construction. The secret however, of Ernst's suc 
cess, whether as a composer of virtuoso, lies in his expressive 
power and accent. There has been nothing to exceed these as ex 
hibited by him in his last days. The passion was carried to its 
utmost point but never turned tatters." 

His "Carnival de Venice" will preserve his name for the coming 
generations. But the gem of Ernst's creative genius is his "F 
sharp minor concerto," a work wondrous in its beauty, and which 
puts in the background all his other work. 

Ernst wrote a string quartet, two nocturnes, Concertino, Polon 
aise de Concert, Hungarian Airs and the magnificent violin piece 
"Rondo Papageno" which unfortunately is seldom played. 



LOUIS EDLIN 

Louis EDLIN, American violinist and chamber music player of rare 
excellence, was born in New York City on September 30, 1893, and 
began his violin studies under Arnold Volpe at the age of nine. At 
thirteen he appeared as soloist with the Young Men's Symphony 
Orchestra, and also with Duss's Band, in Madison Square Garden, 
New York. At the age of sixteen, he went to Paris to study with 
Remy. There he remained for two years, and then went to Berlin, 
there studying under Kreisler. Returning to America, he became 
concert master of- the Russian Symphony Orchestra, and later con 
cert master of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, which post he 
held for five years. While there he often appeared as soloist with 
that orchestra in the larger mid-western cities. In Cleveland he 
organized the Cleveland String Quartet, and was a member of the 
Institute of Music in that city. 

In 1923, he came to New York, where he became a member of 
the New York Trio and member of the faculty of the Institute of 
Musical Art. Of his playing in that celebrated Trio, one reviewer 
said, in part: "Edlin is a far better violinist than one meets with 
ordinarily in a chamber music organization. . . . He plays with a 
firm and virile tone ; moreover, it is music with meaning that comes 
from his bow." 



188 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



NAHAN FRANKO 

THE ORGANIZER and director of the Franko Symphony Orchestra 
in New York, was born in New Orleans on July 23, 1861. He 
learned to play the violin in childhood, and at the age of eight 
toured the world with Adelina Patti. Like his brother, he went to 
Berlin, and there studied the violin under Rappoldi, De Ahna, 
Wilhelmj and Joachim. Upon the completion of his studies, he 
returned to New York, and entered the Metropolitan Opera House 
Orchestra. In 1883 he became concert master of that orchestra, 
and from 1905 to 1907 was conductor there. 



SAM FRANKO 

SON OF Haman and Helene (nee Berman), this eminent American 
violinist, teacher, composer, and executive, was born in New Or 
leans, Louisiana on January 20, 1857. He went to Breslau, where 
he studied the violin under Blecha, and later went to Berlin, study 
ing there with De Ahna. At the age of ten, he appeared in public 
with an orchestra in Breslau, and at twelve had his first American 
concert at Steinway Hall in New York. In 1876 he returned to 
Berlin, resuming his violin studies, this time under Joachim, and 
studying composition at the same time with Hollaender until 1878, 
when he went to Paris to study the violin with Vieuxtemps and 
Leonard until 1880. Upon the completion of his studies, he re 
turned to New York, where he became leading violinist in 1884 in 
the Thomas Orchestra. 

From 1891 to 1897 Franko was principal viola player in the 
New York Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1883 he toured the United 
States and Canada as first violinist of the Mendelssohn Quintet of 
Boston, and from 1890 to 1893 gave chamber music concerts with 
his own organization. In 1894 he organized the American Sym 
phony Orchestra, consisting of sixty-five native players. From 
1900 to 1909 he attracted much notice with his concerts of seven 
teenth and eighteenth century music. In 1909 Franko went to 
Berlin, where he continued these interesting series of concerts, 
and at the same time taught advanced violin classes at the Stern 
Conservatory, and conducted the orchestra class. 

His works include "Meditation," "Lullaby," "Valse Gracieuse," 
a "Fantasy on Korsakoff s 'Coq d'Or' for Violin," and others. 

Franko was awarded the Art and Science medal in Germany. 



Violinists 189 




CARL FLESGH 

IN THIS era of decadence, the art and personality of a musician like 
Carl Flesch is to be doubly welcomed. Flesch today stands at the 
zenith of his art. He is an individual, one of those who can say /. 

As an artist, Flesch is a pronounced 
personality, a seeker after beauty. He has 
a Hedda Gabler soul, one, however, which 
will not "die for beauty," but will live 
and work for beauty. Like A. Wilhelxnj, 
he is the personification of perfection. 

Carl Flesch is very modest, yet he is 
a brilliant personality. He combines the 
sound thinking usually attributed only 
to a legal mind with the sensitivity of 
the artist. He is thoroughly human, and 
although he thinks only of music when 
he is making music, he is not so wrapped 
up in his particular accomplishment as 
to lack a broad interest in life in general. 
Like a good physician, he has a manner that inspires confidence, 
and one of the eccentricities which we might expect a great violin 
ist to manifest. Above all, he has a sense of humor. He writes 
very well, and his articles and books on music are marked by a 
crisp, entertaining style. In fact, he is a genius who manages to 
be human at the same time. 

Carl Flesch was born in Moson, Hungary on October 9, 1873. 
He began to play the violin at the age of six, receiving his first 
formal instruction three years later. At the age of ten, he was 
sent by his parents to Vienna to study. Five years later he was 
graduated from the Vienna Conservatory. From Vienna he went 
to Paris, studying with Sauzay and Marsick, and won first prize 
at the Conservatory in 1894, starting on his public career a year 
later. 

The remarkable gifts and accomplishments of the young violin 
ist at once made him a favorite, and in 1897 he was appointed 
court violinist to the Queen of Roumania, also becoming professor 
at the Royal Conservatory. After five years, Flesch again went 
on tour, and in 1903, became professor at the Amsterdam Con 
servatory. 

Flesch has been heard in every part of Europe and has made 
two tours in America. His fame has spread, not only as an ex 
ecutant and as a preceptor, but also as the author of several works 
on violin playing, one of which, now published in America, is al- 



190 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

ready acknowledged to be a standard work. The appearances of 
this master, now at the height of his striking powers, are musical 
events welcomed by all who appreciate and enjoy violin playing 
which combines complete technical mastery and virtuosity with 
authoritative and sensitive understanding and appreciation. 

Flesch returned to America in 1924, and appeared with the 
Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati and Chicago Sym 
phony Orchestras. He also gave recitals in many parts of the 
country, all of which intensified the impression which he had made 
on his first visit some ten years earlier. Carl Flesch has come to 
be looked upon in America as a paragon in the realm of violin 
musicianship. He is a master, and his audiences are composed of 
the musical and intellectual elite that the country affords. This 
great artist arouses human and divine dreams. It is life that is 
speaking, and its words are music, the music of Flesch's violin. 
In his programs are reflected the characteristics of their maker. 
They are full of beauty, serious and yet not heavy. And they are 
performed with the skill that is not an end in itself but a perfect 
means of expression. 

So many young violinists from all parts of the world have been 
anxious to study with Flesch that he has been unable to deny him 
self completely to pupils. In 1924 he accepted the post of head 
of the violin department in the Curtis Institute of Music in Phila 
delphia, where his colleagues are Josef Hofmann, Marcella Sem- 
brich, and Leopold Stokowsky. Among his pupils are Alma 
Moode, William de Boer, Josef Wolfsthal, and many others. 

While in Berlin, in 1921, Flesch joined Hugo Becker and Ar 
thur Schnabel in forming an eminent trio. Nor did he neglect his 
love for chamber music in America, for soon after his arrival 
there he formed in 1925 the Curtis Quartet, an organization that 
is already active and popular. 

Carl Flesch has published: Basic Studies, and the first part of 
an extensive educational work, The Art of Violin Playing. He 
also edited Kreutzer's Studies, Caprices of Paganini, Mozart's 
Violin Sonatas, and the concertos of Beethoven and Brahms. 



Violinists 191 



FREDERIC FRADKIN 

FREDERIC FRADKIN, appointed concert master of the Boston Sym 
phony Orchestra in 1918, w.as the first American to be honored 
with this position. Fradkin's achievements in the musical world 

have been remarkable. Born in Troy, 
New York, in 1892, he began the study 
of the violin at the age of five, first with 
Jarow, and later with Sam Franko, L. 
Lichtenberg, and Max Bendix. At the 
age of nine he was soloist with the Am 
erican Symphony Orchestra. Three years 
later, Fradkin went to France, starting 
his studies with G. Remy and later en 
tering the National Conservatoire in the 
class of A. Lef ort. Here he received the 
first prize, the only time an American 
violinist has been so distinguished. Af 
ter serving as concert master in Royan, 
France, with the Bordeaux Opera Com 
pany, and later with the famous Louis Ganns Orchestra at Monte 
Carlo, Fradkin continued his studies with Ysaye. He later ap 
peared with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and was the 
last soloist to play under the late Gustav Mahler. Fradkin has 
also appeared as soloist under Lowe, Ronald, Rabaud, Monteux, and 
Ysaye. 

After touring England in 1911 and 1912, Fradkin accepted the 
post of concert master at the Wiener Concert Verein in Vienna. 
The outbreak of the war in 1914 found Fradkin again visiting 
England. Later, during the season of 1914 and 1915 he was con 
cert master with the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York. 
The following two years he was concert master with the Diaghileff 
Ballet Russe, joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1918. 

Fradkin's tone is silk, supple and lustrous. It bends to every 
modulation, every inflection of the piece in hand. It answers quick 
ly to every beat of rhythm. It is artful in light and shade. 

In 1922 Fradkin accepted the post of concert master with the 
New York Capitol Orchestra, remaining there till 1924. 





192 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



SAMUEL GARDNER 

SAMUEL GARDNER was born in Elizabethgrad, Province of Kher 
son, Russia in 1891. But he considers himself an American, for his 
family, fleeing from the pogroms, brought him to America when 

he was a child. They settled in Prov 
idence, Rhode Island. He has received 
his entire musical training in America. 
Gardner began the study of violin at the 
age of seven with Wendelschaffer, and at 
nine placed himself under Loeffler, to 
whom the young violinist and composer 
is much indebted. Next he studied with 
Winternitz, and at the age of fifteen, 
studied under Franz Kneisel in New 
York. His teacher in composition was 
Percy Goetchius of the Institute of Mu 
sical Art. 

Samuel Gardner, who is now one of 
the most promising young American 
composers, as well as an excellent violinist, believes that stricter 
methods should be used in handling inspiration. He believes in 
paying more attention to its plainer sister "work" and by this 
method bringing the spoiled beauty to terms. 

In 1918 Gardner's "String Quartet in D minor" was awarded 
the Pulitzer Prize of $1,500 by Columbia University. Gardner 
also received the Loeb Prize of $500 for a Symphonic Poem for 
Orchestra. This poem, entitled "The New Russia" has been played 
by such leading orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra, with 
himself as soloist, and the Stadium Concerts Orchestra. 

Gardner has also written a violin concerto, which he performed 
with the Boston Symphony. During the season of 1924-25 he 
played the Mendelssohn "Concerto" with the New York Philhar 
monic under Mengelberg, and on March 27 and 28 of 1925, played 
his own concerto under the same leadership. 

Gardner made his formal debut in New York as a violinist in 
1918, and during the same year was for some time first violinist 
of the famous Letz Quartet, while Mr. Letz was in service dur 
ing the war. 

Gardner's "String Quartet" was performed by the celebrated 
Flonzaley Quartet and many violinists are using his solo com 
positions in concert. "Four Preludes," "In the Rockies," and 
"From the Canebrake" are among the most popular compositions 
by this versatile young violinist and composer. 



Violinists 



193 




CHARLES GREGOROVITSGH 

CHARLES GREGOROVITSCH belongs to the number of the great Rus 
sian musicians of the newest virtuoso violin school. He was one 
of the most gifted violinists of our time. His frequent concert 

tours in Europe and America made him 
world famous. 

Charles Gregorovitsch was born in 
St. Petersburg (Leningrad), on Oc 
tober 25, 1867. His teachers were Vas- 
sily Bessekirksy, Henry Wieniawski, 
and later in" Vienna, Jacob Dont and 
Joseph Joachim. His father, however, 
must be considered his very first teach 
er, as is the case with Heif etz and Elman 
and Piastre. Wieniawski considered 
Gregorovitsch his best pupil, and was so 
impressed with the boy's great promise, 
that on first hearing him, he offered to 
take him as a pupil, gratis. Wieniawski 
once said to him: "If I did not know I was Wieniawski, I would 
think that you were Wieniawski !" 

Few violinists have had the advantages that have fallen to 
the lot of Gregorovitsch, principally as regards great teachers. 
He was highly honored in Russia, where the Czar granted him ex 
emption from military service, and he was decorated by the King 
of Portugal. He made his first London appearance in 1897 at the 
Queen's Hall Symphony Concerts. Gregorovitsch was remarkable 
for his broad tone and for the smoothness and finish of his playing. 
He has often been compared to Sauret and Sarasate. 

Like Anton Rubinstein, Brodsky, Joachim, and Auer, Gregoro 
vitsch was considered one of the most talented interpreters of 
chamber music. His name was later connected with his leader 
ship in the famous Mecklenburg Quartet (which bore the name of 
its patron, the Duke of Herzog Mecklenburg) . The other members 
of this famous quartet were Kranz, second violin; Makaleinikoff, 
an excellent viola player ; and Butkevitsch, 'cellist. 

Due to some political misunderstanding, Gregorovitsch was 
arrested by the Soviet government officials in Vitebsk in 1921, and 
confined to jail. There he fell sick of typhoid fever, and died. 
Thus came to an inglorious and untimely end the life of one of the 
world's greatest and most gifted violinists. 



134 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



JACQUES GORDON 

THE DISTINGUISHED violinist and concert master of the Chicago 
Symphony Orchestra, was born in Odessa, Russia, on March 7, 
1898. He attended the Imperial Conservatory, his instructor being 

Franz Stupka, at present conductor of 
the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. A 
prize pupil of the Conservatory at the 
age of thirteen, young Gordon demon 
strated his unusual artistic mettle and 
entered upon a professional career. Af 
ter a successful concert season on the 
European Continent he came to New 
York, where he further perfected him 
self under the masterly guidance of 
Franz Kneisel. 

In New York City Gordon made a 
number of successful appearance, includ 
ing chamber music recitals with such 
artists as Harold Bauer and Benno 
Moiseivitch. He was also a member of the famous Berkshire 
String Quartet. 

The position of concert master of the Chicago Symphony Or 
chestra was proffered Gordon by Mr. Stock, after an exhaustive 
scrutiny of the available violinistic material in America and 
Europe. The wisdom of this choice has been more than justified. 
Gordon's commanding mastery as soloist has won the unanimous 
and enthusiastic approval of the musical public and the press. 

In the course of his artistic career, Gordon preformed many 
new works of European and American composers. Among others, 
he gave performances in America of RespighTs "Concerto Gregor- 
iano," Kodaly's "Quartet for Strings," and many others. Gor 
don's original compositions and transcriptions are published in 
New York by Carl Fischer. 

Jacques Gordon is a virtuoso violinist minus eccentricity and 
plus a most engaging modesty and simplicity of demeanor. He is 
far more worthy his honors as soloist than many male and female 
artists in these days of many violinists. 

He also formed a string quartet in 1921, which bears his name. 




Violinists 



195 




JAKOB GRUN 

JAKOB GRUN Is famous principally for his pedagogical activities, 
though he was an excellent violin virtuoso as well. He was born 
on March 13, 1837 in Budapest. His teachers in Vienna were El- 
linger and Josepf Boehm in violin. He 
studied composition principally in Leip 
zig under Hauptmann. From 1858 to 
1861 he played in the Royal Orchestra of 
Weimar, and from 1861-65 in the 
Queen's orchestra in Hanover. After 
his concert tours through Germany, 
Hungary, Holland and England, Grtin 
was appointed in 1868 concert master 
in the Vienna Royal Opera, where he re 
mained for a considerable time. 

In the early sixties Griin attracted at 
tention because of a conflict that arose 
on his account, in which Joachim, then 
concert master in Hanover, was con 
cerned. This is the story : Joachim reported to his master, Count 
Platen, that Griin, then a court musician, was worthy of a place in 
the court chamber orchestra, whose members, unlike the ordinary 
musicians of the orchestra, were entitled later in life to a pension. 
Platen objected, saying that to admit a Jew to a government post 
of that kind would be contrary to the wishes of the king and 
against the laws of the land. On Joachim's objection that his own 
Jewish religious belief did not stand in the way of his obtaining a 
life contract under Count Platen, the latter replied that Joachim's 
conversion to Christianity had made this argument invalid. Joa 
chim was highly insulted at the insinuation that he had changed 
his religious belief for purely material reasons. The letter sent 
to his master on August 23, 1864 needed no comment. In that let 
ter Joachim declared, among other things: "With my views on 
honor and duty, in order to vindicate myself, there remains only 
that I, together with Griin should leave you. If I should remain 
after Griin's dismissal, I would not be able to combat within myself 
the feeling that I owe my privileged position in the Hanover or 
chestra to my change in faith, leaving my fellow-Jews to occupy a 
humiliating position." 

To settle this musico-Jewish argument, King George V in 
vented for Griin the title of "Kammer-virtuoso." This came as a 
great and sudden honor to Griin, but as the title given him did not 
entitle him to a pension, Joachim declared he was not satisfied 
with the solution, and on February 25, 1865, handed in his resigna 
tion. 



196 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



MISHEL GUSIKOFF 

MISHEL GUSIKOFF, who was in 1926-27 first concert master of the 
Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, was born of 
Russian parents in New York City, twenty-nine years ago. His 

father gave him his first lessons in vio 
lin; he later continued his work with 
Formanoff. But the greater part of his 
artistic training was gained under Franz 
Kneisel. At the age of twenty-one he 
was engaged as concert master of the 
Russian Symphony in New York City, 
and toured the country with that organ 
ization. He was also heard on a num 
ber of occasions as assistant artist with 
the Russian String Quartet. 

In 1917 Gusikoff went to St. Louis 
to assume the post of concert master with 
the St. Louis Symphony, succeeding Al 
bert Stoessel. Since then he has played 
each year as soloist with this organization at its subscription and 
popular concerts. He also made several appearances in recital and 
concert in St. Louis each year, does considerable chamber music 
work, and was first violinist of the String Quartet organized there 
recently. 

Gusikoff made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall in October 
of 1920, and gave his second recital the following year at Town 
Hall. In 1925 he was soloist with the St. Louis Symphony Or 
chestra under Rudolph Ganz on its tour of the South and South 
west. In April of 1927 he resigned from the Philharmonic Or 
chestra and accepted the invitation of Walter Damrosch to be his 
concert master for the New York Orchestra, effective October, 
1927. 



ARTHUR HARTMANN 

ARTHUR HARTMANN, noted Hungarian violinist, was born in Mate 
Szalka, Hungary, July 23, 1881. He studied under Charles Loeffler, 
and at the age of twelve knew practically the whole modern violin 




Violinists 197 




(repertory. Having been a child prodigy, 
Ms earliest appearances were with Saint- 
Saens, Guilmant, Hans Richter, develop 
ing to the latter-day associations with 
Debussy, Binding, Sjogren and others. 
The concertos of Saint-Saens and Godard 
were given by the young violinist, with 
the composers, in Paris; the Beethoven 
with Hans Richter and so on. He has 
been heard in almost every part of the 
world and is widely known also for his 
compositions and transcriptions. Of the 
latter, over one hundred are published 
and they are played and recorded by 
Kreisler, Elman, Renee Chemet and 
others. 

He has written the choral work "At the Mid-Hour of Night," 
various piano-pieces, about twenty songs, two melodramas, the 
discovery and editing of six sonatas by Giardini, Instinctive 
Method for the Violin, etc. As a performer on the violin, Hart- 
mann is specially noted for a pure tone, splendid technical ability, 
and musicianly interpretation. Each season since 1925 he has given 
the public another demonstration of his many-sided artistry in a 
series of quartet concerts. He can claim the unique distinction of 
having had three such pre-eminent composers and conductors as 
Ernst von Dohnanyi, Eugene Goossens, and Alfredo Casella appear 
with him as pianists in the interpretations of their own chamber- 
music works. 

DAVID HOGHSTEIN 

DAVID HOCHSTEIN was born in Rochester, New York, one of 
America's important music centers. The city is the home of the 
Eastman Institute, as well as of a symphony orchestra of high 
standing. This city has honored its citizen, David Hochstein, by 
naming one of its music schools after him. 

Hochstein was born on February 16, 1892. He studied the 
violin at the Vienna Royal Academy, under Leopold Auer and 
Professor Sevcik, winning a scholarship at the Meisterschule. He 
was also awarded the First State Prize. 

Hochstein made his debut in Vienna in January, 1911, and 
later, during the same year, visited London with Sevcik. He toured 
England, the Continent and the United States. Hochstein com 
posed several numbers for the piano. 

This fine virtuoso and pedagogue was killed in France during 
the World War, 




198 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



JASCHA HEIFETZ 

THE GREATEST technical genius of the violin of the present day is 
undeniably Jascha Heifetz. He is the technician par excellence 
since Paganini and Wieniawsky. His style is of the utmost refine 
ment and he invests everything he plays 
with a classical purity of line and love 
liness of tone. 

Jascha Heifetz was born in Vilna, 
Russia, on February 2, 1901. From his 
earliest days he showed a remarkable re 
sponsiveness to music and seemed to 
take instinctively to the violin. He be 
gan to play it at the age of three, when 
he was presented with a small violin by 
his father (also a violinist), who spent 
his time teaching his remarkable son. 
At the age of five, Jascha entered the 
Royal School of Music at Vilna, where 
jascha Heifetz at Seven he studied under Malkin, and was gradu 

ated before he was eight years old. He made many appearances 
in public immediately following his graduation, and was every 
where regarded as one of the greatest wunderkinder the age has 
produced. 

Regarding Jascha's meeting with his future master, Leopold 
Auer, who has so influenced him and his career, Jascha's father 
tells the following interesting story : It happened that at that time 
(the boy was about nine years old), Auer was on tour with the 
famous pianist Mme Essipova, and Vilna was included in their 
tour. Malkin, Jascha's first teacher, a former pupil of Auer, came 
to the hotel to meet his master. He brought his little pupil to 
introduce to the grand maitre. Before he got a chance to rest from 
his long journey, Malkin 'eagerly assailed him with pleas to 
hear his pupil, but the master, first because he was tired, and 
secondly, which is the greater reason, because he had a peculiar 
and deep-rooted distrust, bordering on antipathy, for wunder 
kinder. Malkin nevertheless insisted. He kept on shouting, "but 
master, this youngster you must hear!" After a long pestering, 
which finally beat down Auer's resistance, he consented to give 
Malkin's favorite pupil a hearing. 

Jascha played the twenty-fourth "Capriccio" of Paganini, and 
Mendelssohn's "Concerto." Auer was astounded. His eyes opened 
wide and his face flushed with wonder. It was clear that the boy's 
talent made a deep impression on the veteran of many "hearings." 



Violinists 



199 




Made happy by the great master's deci 
sion to admit the boy to his classes, the 
father sold his meagre belongings, gave 
up his post as violinist at the theater (his 
sole source of revenue) and with the 
small sum realized, took the child to St. 
Petersburg. Arriving in the capital, 
they went direct to Auer's house from 
the railroad station. But a great disap 
pointment awaited them. The master 
had apparently forgotten his meeting 
with Jascha in Vilna, and thought this 
was a new wunderkind. In a rage he 
told the parent that the Conservatory ex 
aminations were over and it was too late 
to admit the boy. Private lessons could not be arranged as the 
father, being a Jew, had no legal right to live in the capital of 
Holy Russia. Pupils at the Conservatory had the legal right to 
reside there. 

Heifetz' position can easily be imagined. Only one thing was 
left for him to do, and that was to take his son and return to 
Vilna, where, alas, someone had already replaced the father in the 
orchestra. ^But Leopold Auer was not without a heart, and after 
a consultation with Glazounoff, then director of the Conservatory, 
they arrived at this decision: The boy should enter the Conserva 
tory, but since Auer's classes were already filled with pupils who 
had qualified at the regular examinations, the boy should be en 
tered temporarily, for the current semester, in the classes of Auer's 
assistant, Nalbandjan, until the beginning of the following sem 
ester. 

The father remained happy with this decision, as it offered at 
least the hope of the boy's entering Auer's classes in the near 
future. But a new and greater disappointment awaited both father 
and son. Jascha, upon his enrollment in the Conservatory, was 
granted the right to reside in St. Petersburg, but not so his father, 
who was ordered by the police to leave the city at once. Again 
Glazounoff interfered and saved the situation. 

Auer thus describes the episode in his reminiscences : "Jascha 
Heifetz, then ten years old, was admitted to the Conservatory 
without question in view of his talent; but what was to be done 
with the family? Someone hit upon the happy idea that I admit 
Jascha's father, a violinist of forty, into my own class, and thus 
solve the problem. This I did, and as a result the law was obeyed, 
while at the same time the Heifetz family was not separated 
(soon after this had happened, the other members of the family, 
the mother and two daughters arrived in that city) ; for it was 
not legally permissible for the wife and children of a Conservatory 



200 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

pupil to be separated from their husband and father. However, 
since the students were, without exception, expected to attend the 
obligatory classes in solfeggio, piano and harmony, and since "papa 
Heifetz" most certainly did -not attend any of them, and did not 
play at the examinations, I had to do battle continually with the 
management on his account. It was not until the advent of Glaz- 
ounoff, who knew the true inwardness of the situation, that I had 
no further trouble in seeing that he Remain in his parent's care 
until the Summer of 1917, when the family was able to go to 
America." 

Jascha Heifetz thoroughly realizes the great debt he owes his 
father for the many sacrifices he has laid on the altar of his genius. 
Furthermore, it must be stated that the Heifetzes did not exploit 
their child's talent to their own gain, as is the case with so many 
other ' parents of child prodigies, but saw to it, on the contrary, 
that the boy received an all-around education before entering the 
world of artists. 

Jascha Heifetz himself realizes the advantage of the thorough 
training he received during those years at the Russian capital. 
"When I was studying at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg," 
he says, "we were not considered properly taught if we knew only 
our own instruments. We violinists, for instance, had to study 
piano, and of course viola. We were required from time to time 
to play in different sections of the orchestra, for the benefit of our 
sight reading, and we had to know the theory and technique of 
performance in duets, quartets and all forms of musical ensemble. 
Languages were emphasized, too, especially for the singers. They 
had to know Italian in addition to Russian, and two more besides 
that: French and German, or French and English. I think I was 
with Professor Auer about six years, and I had both class lessons 
and private lessons with him, though toward the end my lessons 
were not as regular." 

Heifetz made public appearances at a very early age before 
coming to St. Petersburg, and everywhere he visited he was hailed 
as the coming genius of the violin. It happened that in the 
Summer of 1911 he was engaged to play soli at an exhibition in 
Odessa, where a symphony orchestra performed under the direc 
tion of Wolf-Israel and Pribick. I happened to be the first solo 
'cellist of that orchestra. 

Heifetz arrived there unheralded and unknown, but after his 
first three appearances his name fairly rang through the crowded 
streets of the Black Sea port, the young boy becoming overnight 
the idol of the population. After his third appearance Heifetz 
was invited to play as soloist at the concert for the-benefit of the 
Odessa students, who during their vacation were employed as 
ticket choppers at the various theatres in the city. That was on 



Violinists 201 



the first of September, 1911. The author, who was also one of 
the soloists at that concert, remembers the huge crowd of over 
28,000 that Heifetz drew to the big open-air arena, and the mad 
demonstrations of the throngs, who nearly killed the prodigy with 
their uncontrolled adoration. 

The child's god-like playing and cherubic face so hypnotized 
them that each one of them was eager to see and touch the chosen 
one of the gods. The people refused to leave the grounds. Little 
Jascha, his parents and two younger sisters could not pass out by 
the artists' quarters since all exits, windows as well as doors, were 
blocked by a raving undulating crowd. The family was nearly 
suffocated with fright and lack of air. I succeeded in summoning 
a whole police division, and with its help rescued the family from 
the over-enthusiastic attentions of the audience. Hiding Jascha 
under my cloak, I broke through the surging crowds, but someone 
saw the child's face, and we were seized and overwhelmed, and 
the boy was exposed to view. In the grand frenzy we were separ 
ated from the other members of the family, and had to search for 
them until late into the night. In the meanwhile, the parents, who 
had to force their way through a different exit nearly died of 
anxiety over Jascha's fate, until they found that he was safe. 

In 1914 Jascha Heifetz made his Berlin debut, on which occa 
sion the great Nikisch declared that he had never heard his like. 
There followed a large number of engagements in Europe's great 
centers, but these were all cancelled when the war broke out. 
Fortunately, the family succeeded in returning to St. Petersburg 
in December of the same year, and the boy was able to resume 
his studies at the Conservatory. 

In the Summer of 1916 the Heifetz family went with Auer to 
Christiania. "The name of Jascha Heifetz was totally unknown 
to the great mass of the public there," says the grand mattre in 
his book My Long Lifei in Music. "Yet his manager discovered in 
the library of one of the most important Christiania dailies a Berlin 
article of 1914 which gave a very enthusiastic account of Heifetz' 
sensational debut in that city at a symphonic concert conducted 
by Arthur Nikisch. It had been written by a Norwegian musician 
of high repute who happened to be in Berlin at the time. This 
article, coming from an altogether unprejudiced source, aroused 
the interest of the public to such a degree that the house was en 
tirely sold out when Heifetz gave his first concert, and the same 
held good for his succeeding ones. . . . His numerous concerts 
were given turn and turn about with Toscha Seidel. Every seat 
in the house was always filled by an enthusiastic audience. . . . 
One newspaper remarked, 'Toscha, Jascha, Jascha, Toscha when 
will our own artists get a chance? ' " 

The Heifetz family came to the United States in 1917 by way 
of Siberia and Japan. Jascha made his American debut October 



202 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

27, 1917, at Carnegie Hall, New York, with sensational success. 
His second recital was sold out weeks in advance, and he gave six 
recitals in New York that winter without once repeating his pro 
gram. Ever since he made his American debut, and was consid 
ered the greatest discovery in a generation by the New York 
press, he has wanted to become an American citizen, and on Feb 
ruary 3, 1925, the first steps toward fulfilling this wish were taken 
at the Naturalization Bureau in New York City. 

Great as a wunderkind, Jascha Heifetz is also great as a man. 
He is no longer the boy- wonder in velvet jacket and long curls. 
He is now a man of the world, a student of affairs, and a connois 
seur of art and literature. In his New York studio apartment, 
surrounded by rare books purchased in London, Berlin, Paris, 
Tokio and Sydney, and his collection of Oriental curios, rugs, 
carvings, and unusual decorations, the distinguished violinist works 
and receives his many visitors. A lover of light effects, he has 
them so arranged that he can at will get the desired effect to fit 
the various moods of the evening. 

Probably no other living musician has received such unanimous 
and unqualified praise as Heifetz. Regarding his first appear 
ances in America, Leonard Liebling, the New York critic, said : 

"Jascha Heifetz' violin wizardry thronged Carnegie Hall at his 
afternoon recital. This modern young Orpheus seems to do all 
the things with a violin which the fabled charmer accomplished 
with a lyre. Heifetz remains unapproached in the perfection of 
his finger and bow manipulation, the refined wistfulness of his 
tone, and the unique appeal of his apparently impersonal relation 
to his playing." 

Hardly a critic failed to appreciate his pure, limpid style and 
perfect technique, or to note the profound appeal he made to his 
huge audiences. 

Jascha Heifetz remains, in spite of all the tributes paid him, 
the modest man he always was. He says, "I admit that I have a 
naturally reserved exterior. But since when must one's heart be 
worn on one's sleeve? And who says that temperament must be 
expressed in mannerisms and eccentricities? I am not indifferent 
to the public. If I were, I shouldn't offer the programs I do. 
Naturally, the program that an artist whose life has been devoted 
to music would choose for his own pleasure does not quite cor 
respond to that which he presents to a public picked from all 
walks of life. But I sincerely believe myself the servant of that 
public, and I carefully choose numbers which I think will please 
them. For years I played the Ave Maria, because the people loved 
it. Audiences are improving all the time, I watch their rise and 
model my programs accordingly." Nevertheless, externally cool 
and reserved as Heifetz may appear to some, he is capable on 



Violinists 203 



occasions of lighting up with that divine fire that characterizes 
his playing. 

Jascha Heifetz, prince of violinists, continues to gain honors. 
The Continental public of Europe delights in the fact that the 
child prodigy has more than fulfilled his promise. The Societe 
des Concerts du Conservatoire of Paris has recently conferred 
membership upon him. Since it was founded in 1828 only three 
other musicians have been made "Honorable Members." They are 
Plante, Busoni, and Paderewski. After his Paris concert with the 
Conservatoire Orchestra in 1926, under the baton of Philip Gau- 
bert, he was presented with a gold medal and a diploma. In his 
apartment there are countless medals, gold and silver wreaths, 
as well as many works of Orientals given him in the Far East as 
expressions of appreciation. 

In April of 1926, Heifetz gave a series of five concerts in 
Palestine, the entire proceeds being donated to the fund for the 
proposed National Conservatory in Jerusalem. Previous to his 
departure for the land of his forefathers, Heifetz played in Spain, 
the royal family being present on the occasion. 

Heifetz was also awarded membership in the French Legion 
of Honor of France. 



SANDOR HARMATI 

SANDOR HARMATI, violinist, chamber music player and conductor, 
was born on July 9, 1892 in Budapest, Hungary. He is the son of 
Maurice and Sophie (nee Frohlich) . Sandor received his academic 

education at the high schools and at 
Teachers' College. He studied violin at 
the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest 
with Jeno Hubay, and composition with 
Hans Koessler. In 1909 he became con 
cert master of the Budapest Symphony 
Orchestra, and in 1910 concert master of 
the People's Opera Orchestra in the same 
city. 

Sandor Harmati came to America in 
1914 and the following year became a 
member of the Letz Quartet. In 1915 
he assumed the conductor ship of the 
Women's Orchestral Club in New York. 
He later held similar positions with the 
Symphony Society of Morristown, New Jersey, and other organiza 
tions. In 1922 he organized the Lenox String Quartet. He was 
awarded the 1922 Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship for his symphonic 




204 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

poem. A* string quartet by him was awarded a prize by the Phila 
delphia Chamber Music Association in 1925. 

Harmati played under the most famous conductors of our 
time, such as Strauss, Dohnanyi, Weingartner, Loewe, Pierre Mont- 
eux, David Popper, and others. At the age of twenty he toured 
Europe as conductor, having assumed the baton when the con 
ductor was taken suddenly ill. 

In 1924 Harmati was engaged to conduct the Omaha Symphony 
Orchestra. Its main objective is civic service and its activities 
have been carried on without outside aid, financial or otherwise. 

Harmati has written other compositions besides the two men 
tioned. "Little Caprice" and "Caprice Espagnole," for violin and 
piano, are among his best known works. 



MISGA MAUSER 

THE NAME of Misca Hauser is seldom mentioned in these clays 
of great violinists, and yet it was once known all over the world* 
No virtuoso of his time traveled more extensively, and few created 

more enthusiasm than Hauser. As at 
one time Liszt, Paganini, Rubinstein, 
and Ole Bull inspired their audiences, so 
this Hungarian .fiddler and composer, 
born in Pressburg, Hungary in 1822, 
won laurels over the whole vast expanse 
of the earth. He was a pupil of Bohm 
and of Mayseder at Vienna, and also of 
Kreutzer and Sechter. 

As a boy of twelve Hauser made an 
extensive and successful concert tour. 
In 1840 he toured Europe, and ten years 
later went to London, and thence to the 
West Indies and the United States, where 
he created a sensation, being a member 
of the company of Jenny Lind. He afterwards visited San Fran 
cisco, where he got himself into difficulties on account of the beau 
tiful dancer, Lola Monte. He also visited South America (Lima, 
Santiago and Valparaiso) . He then proceeded to the Sandwich Is 
lands, where he played before the royal family and all the dusky 
nobles. He produced an extraordinary effect on them, and they 
finally decided that he could pipe on the wood as well as any bird. 
He was particularly honored by Queen Pomare herself. He be 
came a hero at Otaheite, but was obliged to continue on his jour 
ney. He next visited Australia and Turkey, where he played be 
fore the sultan. 




Violinists 



205 



Hauser had many amusing stories to tell of his travels, espe 
cially of his experience in the Sandwich Islands, Turkey, Cairo and 
Alexandria. 

Hauser was the possessor of a great technique and there was 
something characteristic and charming in his tone and manner 
isms which were especially pleasing to the fair sex. Some of his 
compositions, named by him "Hungarian Rhapsodies," and which 
belong to the salon genre, are still to be found on concert pro 
grams. He used to play these exquisitely. 

Hauser lived in retirement in Vienna after concluding his 
travels, and died on December 9, 1887, practically forgotten. 



GUSTAV HOLLAENDER 

THERE ARE, as is known, scientific and musical dynasties. There 
are the Scalligers, Bachs, Rubinsteins, Mendelssohns, Damrosches, 
etc. Among these gifted families belongs the name of Hollaender. 

Gustav Hollaender occupies an honored 

place among contemporary violinists, 
although he seldom plays in public since 
accepting the post of head of the violin 
department of the Stern Conservatory in 
Berlin. 

Gustav Hollaender was born on Feb 
ruary 15, 1855, in Lochschutz, Upper 
Silesia. At the Leipzig Conservatory, 
his principal teacher was Ferdinand 
David, and at the Berlin Hochschule the 
great Joachim. He began his career as 
musician with the Berlin Court Orches 
tra. In 1877 he was invited to teach 
violin at the Kullac conservatory. From 
1871 to 1881 he organized chamber music soirees, together with 
Xavier Scharwenka and Heinrich Griinfeld at the Berlin Sing- 
Akademie. 

His uncommon talent and technical accomplishments as soloist 
caused Hollaender to be invited to Koln in 1881 as concert master 
and violin teacher. He organized the Koln String Quartet which 
included also Emil Bare (second violin), Joseph Schwartz (viola), 
and Friedrich Griitzmacher, Jr. "('cellist). This quartet concertized 
with much success in Germany, Italy, the Scandinavian coun 
tries, and elsewhere. 

From 1894 Hollaender was at the head of the Stern Conserva 
tory, where he again organized a quartet, including Willy Nick 
ing, Heinrich Brandler, and Leo Schrattengold. When the last 




206 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

two withdrew, they were replaced by Walter Rappelman and Anton 
Kecking. Hollaender wrote several salon pieces. 

Victor Hollaender, brother of Gustav, born in 1866, is a very 
talented composer. He is known for his operas, "Carmozinella," 
"The Bay of Morocco," and others. Since 1901 he has been the 
director of the Metropolitan Theatre in Berlin. 



BRONISLAW HUBERMAN , 

BRONISLAW HUBERMAN, the distinguished violinist, was born on 
December 19, 1882, at Czenstochova, near Warsaw. His father 
was an established barrister in Warsaw, who gave up his practice 

when his son was ten years old in order 
to devote himself to the cultivation of 
his genius. He received his first lessons 
from Michlowicz, a teacher in the Con 
servatory, and at the age of seven, per 
formed Spohr's "Second Violin Concer 
to/ 7 besides taking the leading part in a 
quartet by Rode. After a short course of 
lessons under Isidore Lotto, he was taken 
by his father in May, 1892, to the Berlin 
Conservatory, where he studied for 
eight months under Joachim. He made 
public appearances in Amsterdam in 
1893. During the same year he played 
in Brussels and Paris. Charles Gregoro- 
vitsch was also among his first teachers. 

In the Polish Count Zamoiski, Huberman found a patron, who 
made the boy a gift of a valuable old violin. 

Playing in London in May of 1894, he attracted the notice of 
Adelina Patti, who introduced him the following year to an Aus 
trian audience, and engaged him to play at her farewell concert 
in Vienna on January 12, 1895. At this concert he made a sensa 
tion, and attracted the favorable notice not only of the capricious 
Viennese public, but also of Brahms and the critic Hanslick. He 
made tours through Austria, Italy, Germany, Russia, America and 
England. 

In 1896, the venerable Brahms had learned to his great indig 
nation that Bronislaw Huberman, then a boy prodigy, was to play 
his "Concerto" a difficult violinistic feat. He determined 
to attend the concert and at the end administer a stern rebuke for 
such presumption. The forbidding presence of the famous com 
poser in the audience did not make the boy nervous, but instead 
filled him with an intense desire to play his best. The difficulties 




Violinists 



207 




Bronislaw Huberman at Eight 



of the first movement were easily surmounted. Brahms' look of 
disapproval gradually disappeared, and at the close of the "Con 
certo/' he drew out a handkerchief and wiped his eyes. After the 

concert he hurried to the artist's room, 
warmly embraced young Huberman, 
and said, "You are a genius, my son." 

From that day Huberman's career 
as a master .violinist was assured. His 
great successes (particularly in Rou- 
mania, where he often played for Queen 
Carmen Sylva) became universal. He 
was given the title of "Roumanian Court 
Virtuoso." 

Huberman is a writer of distinction 
as well as one of the world's foremost 
musicians. His books and articles on 
musical topics are well known. His vol 
ume on the violin entitled From the Vir 
tuoso's Workshop has had a great vogue, 
and is considered one of the standard 
works on technique. Many leading periodicals in England, Ger 
many, France, Italy, and Holland have published his articles on 
various phases of musical art. 

An incident of his Italian journey was his engagement by the 
municipality of Genoa to play on Paganini's Guarnerius violin in 
one of the Chambers of the Town Hall an honor he shares with 
the late Camillo Sivori. This took place on May 16, 1903. 

An unusually personality is Huberman. He is always friendly 
and affable, but the real spirit of the man is delicate. He is a 
good companion, and his interests are by no means limited to 
music. He is a reader and philosopher. Human events and human 
thoughts always interest him, and he has a real sense of humor. 

In the Spring of 1923, when he played in Vienna, the Neue Freie 
Pr^esse remarked: 

"The fifth concert of Bronislaw Huberman was sold out. That 
signified a triumph without equal. Artists who can attract the 
public on a warm June night are not too numerous. Huberman 
had the power to do this. His violin playing has a legendary 
lustre, his tones a clear beauty, an infatuating sensuousness. The 
noble breadth and ardent interpretation bewitched all. Artists like 
Huberman are the elect and favored of fate ; they shine like stars." 
On the occasion of his return to Carnegie Hall in New York 
on October 17, 1924, Henry Edward Krehbiel of the Herald-Tri 
bune wrote : "Huberman's technique is remarkable, his execution 
superlatively facile." W. S. Henderson noted that "he played 
with dash, incisiveness. and brilliancy." 



208 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



SASGHA JAGOBSEN 

THE FAMILY of Sascha Jacobsen, the violinist, can trace music in 
its blood from its earliest recollections. For at least three genera 
tions back, every member of the Jacobsen family, both on the 

paternal and maternal branches, have 
played some musical instrument. Some 
have reached professional attainments, 
others a high degree of amateur profi 
ciency. Sascha's father is an excellent 
'cellist, his mother* is as conversant with 
music as an amateur can be, his brother 
is a pianist, one sister a pianist, another 
a violinist. But this musical talent found 
its highest expression in Sascha who, 
since childhood, showed great musical 
gifts. He justified all the prophecies 
made for him by famous artists and by 
his teachers. 

Sascha Jacobsen was born in Helsing- 
fors, Finland, on December 11, 1895. He spent the first eleven 
years of his life partly in Finland and partly in Leningrad. 

At the age of eight, Sascha began to prepare for the class 
which had become the mecca of all violin aspirants. But the Rus 
sian Revolution intervened, and at the age of eleven the boy found 
himself in America. Soon after, he became a member of another 
famous violin class, that of Franz Kneisel. In 1915 his famous 
teacher pronounced him ready for public appearance. 

Since that time, Jacobsen has toured the country extensively, 
played in all the large and small centers, and became a favorite 
with phonograph owners as well. He possesses a marvelous tech 
nique, his runs are always clear, and his intonation is almost be 
yond reproach. He has temperament, but not to such an extent 
as to mar his playing or drive beauty from his tone. He has 
youth, a beautiful artistic outlook and a rare love of his art. 

In sonata recitals Jacobsen has been associated with such cele 
brated pianists as Mischa Levitzki, John Powell, and Leo Orn- 
stein. He has been soloist* with the New York Symphony Or 
chestra under Walter Damrosch, with the New York Philharmonic 
Society under Stransky, with the Philadelphia Orchestra under 
Stokowsky, with the Metropolitan Opera House, etc. 

On the death of his former teacher, Kneisel, in March of 1926. 
Sascha Jacobsen was invited to 'succeed him as head of the violin 
department of the Institute of Musical Art in New York. 




Violinists 



209 




JOSEPH JOACHIM 

JOSEPH JOACHIM, one of the world's great violinists, was born on 
June 28, 1831, in the village of Kittsee, Hungary, within the small 
radius which has produced three other great musicians Haydn, 

Handel, and Liszt. He began to study 
the violin when barely five years old, 
when he was placed under Servaczinski. 
Later his parents took him to the Vienna 
Conservatory, where he studied under 
Joseph Bohm for two years, 1839-41, 
after which he went on Bohm's advice 
to Leipzig. Due to Ferdinand David's 
friendly help, he met Mendelssohn and 
played in a concert of Madame Viardot. 
While in Leipzig he also took lessons 
from Hauptmann ' and Mendelssohn. 
The latter took a particular interest in 
the boy. On one occasion he said to his 
parents: "You need not worry about 
your son. I will also be his relative, will play with him myself, 
and be his advisor." A few months following Joseph's arrival in 
Leipzig, he appeared at the Gewandhaus concerts as a finished 
artist, and played Ernst's "Otello" fantasy. 

Musical Leipzig was at that time under Mendelssohn's influ 
ence, as was the rest of the civilized world. For a boy of twelve 
to appear at the hallowed Gewandhaus concerts and earn, not only 
the applause of the audience, but also the praise of the all-powerful 
critics, was something very extraordinary. But even greater 
honors fell to the lot of the wonder-boy the following year, when 
he assisted at a Gewandhaus concert in a concertante of four 
violins in which Ernst, Bazzini, and David took part. 

In 1845 Joachim went, together with Mendelssohn, to London. 
At his first appearance with the Philharmonic Orchestra, he at 
tracted attention by his excellent interpretations of Beethoven's 
"Concerto." Upon his return to Leipzig, he met Ludwig Spohr, 
whose acquaintance had a wholesome influence on him. His. friend 
ship with Clara Schumann, with whom he often played, was also 
valuable to him. 

Joachim visited England again in 1847, and from then on so 
frequently, that he became one of the regular features of the 
musical life of that country and was highly honored there. In 
1849 he made his first appearance in Paris, at an orchestral con 
cert given by Berlioz. Liszt, who had heard of Joachim's rapidly 
increasing reputation, invited him to come to Weimar and lead the 



210 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

orchestra which he conducted. Joachim accepted, and remained 
in Weimar for two years. 

Of particular importance at that period was his friendship 
with Hans von Bulow, Max Bruch, Raff, Hermann, Grimm, Franz 
Liszt, Rubinstein, Remeny, and others. In 1854 he went to Han 
over, accepting there a contract for the position of concert director 
of the Queen's Concerts. This assured his economic independence. 

He was in high favor with King George V of Hanover. Re 
maining there for twelve years, he met and married Amalia Weiss, 
a celebrated contralto singer. 

In 1869 he was appointed director of the Hochschule fur Musik 
in Berlin. On that occasion he received the honorary title of the 
"King's Professor/' That same year he was elected member of 
the Berlin Royal Academy of Art. During the many years of his 
connection with the Hochschule, Joachim's personal influence was 
exerted upon a large number of pupils. Almost every well-known 
violinist of our time has been to Berlin to receive advice and in 
struction from him. Among the innumerable players he has per 
fected are: Betty Schwab, Gabrielle Wietrowitz, Marie Soldat- 
Reger, Gustave Hollander, Willy Hess, Jeno Hubay, Leopold Auer 
(the latter two having since become the greatest violin teachers 
the world has ever known), Henri Petri, Karl Halir, Charles Greg- 
orovitsch, Kamervirtuos Eeksher, the famous Professor Mar- 
seek, Tivador Nashez, and many, many others. 

WILLIAM KROLL 

WILLIAM KROLL, violinist, was born in New York City on January 
30, 1901. His father was a violinist, and gave the boy his first 
instruction on the instrument when he was but four years old. 

At the age of ten he went to Berlin, 
where he studied for three years at the 
Hochschule under Marteau. At the out 
break of the war, Kroll returned to New 
York where he continued his lessons un 
der Kneisel from 1916 to 1921. He was 
graduated from the composition class at 
the Institute of Percy Goetschius. In 
1923 he became a member of the South 
Mountain Quartet sponsored by Mrs. 
Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. 

He then joined the famous Elshuco 
Trio on the recommendation of its 'cell 
ist Willeke, and is still a member of that 
organization, giving frequent concerts in 
New York and adjacent territory. 




Violinists 



211 




PAUL KOGHANSKI 

OF THE MANY younger artists who have blazed their way into pro 
minence, Paul Kochanski is perhaps the foremost. Musical critics 
say that he is one of the very few interpretive artists who approach 

a musical composition from the stand 
point of sincerity and truth. He does 
not seek to dazzle, when to do so would 
interfere with the spirit of that parti 
cular part of the music. There is a 
musically aristocratic point of view in 
his approach to the music he presents, 
a finer grain in his playing, a distinc 
tion that separates him from the many. 
His tone is wonderfully pure. He has a 
solid technique and a G string that vi 
brates without metallic rasping. 

Paul Kochanski has entertained many 
of the best-known rulers and imperial 
families of Europe, among them those 
of Spain, Belgium, and the late Czar and Czarina of Russia. 

Born on August 30, 1887, in Orel, Russia, Paul Kochanski 
received his first tuition in violin playing from his father. When 
his family removed to Odessa, Paul was immediately admitted to 
the class of Emil Mlynarsky at the Conservatory of that town. 
His extraordinary talent enabled him to complete his studies at 
the Conservatory at the age of twelve. After his brilliant success 
it was stated in the press that not since the foundation of the 
Conservatory had there been so remarkable a talent as Kochanski 
among the pupils. In consequence, Mlynarsky, on being appointed 
director of the Opera of Warsaw, took his pupil with him to that 
institution. 

The time Kochanski spent in Warsaw was a period of unin 
terrupted triumphs. In 1900 the Warsaw Philharmonic Society 
was founded, and Kochanski was appointed first soloist. Two 
years later he went to Brussels to continue his studies at the Con 
servatory under the celebrated Thomson. There he obtained the 
first prize with the greatest distinction. He was the protege of 
the Belgian nobility and especially of the Countess of Flanders, 
who after his concert personally congratulated him upon his phen 
omenal playing. Kochanski then appeared in Antwerp, Liege, 
Paris, and other cities, and thereafter made a tour through Spain, 
Greece, Egypt, and Turkey. 



212 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

In Spain he was commanded to appear before the Royal family. 
The Infanta Isabella of Bourbon presented him with her signed 
portrait and some jewelry. In 1909 Kochanski returned to War 
saw, where he was appointed Professor at the Conservatory, stay 
ing- there for two years. He then appeared in Berlin, Leipzig, 
Vienna, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. Kochanski's London recitals 
were so successful that the press hailed him as one of the greatest 
violinists of our time. 

His engagement as professor of the Warsaw Conservatory was 
followed by a similar appointment at the St. Petersburg (Lenin 
grad) Conservatory as successor to Auer. He held this post from 
1915 to 1918. 

Late in 1919, he gave several recitals in Warsaw and appeared 
fourteen times with the principal orchestras of Poland. In the 
fall of 1920 he returned to London, the scene of his debut thirteen 
years before. Leaving a profound respect earned by four recitals 
and appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra under Al 
bert Coates, Kochanski came to America in 1921 at the invitation 
of Walter Damrosch, conductor of the New York Symphony Or 
chestra. His life has been full of work, adversity, war, and art; 
but he came through triumphantly to win new glories in a new 
world. 

Probably few artists have given more recitals in as many dif 
ferent places as Kochanski. He possesses, besides his genius for 
the violin, a mentality of a high order, an ingratiating person 
ality, seriousness toward art, lofty idealism, reverence for the best, 
sound training, studious habits, experience, and self-mastery. 

Paul Kochanski is also a conductor of excellent ability. In 1910 
he conducted the Warsaw Philharmonic in Mayrenhoff, near Riga, 
for a period of three months. 

On March 19, 1926, Paul Kochanski gave his second and last 
recital of the season at Carnegie Hall, New York, when he intro 
duced a new suite by Igor Stravinsky. The composer finished the 
suite last September and the unpublished score, which is dedicated 
to Kochanski, is in his possession. The title of the work is "Suite 
Apres des Themes de Pergolesi," and as heard that evening it 
has five movements in dance poems. 

Not only did Stravinsky dedicate this manuscript to Kochanski, 
but he furthermore handed over to him the rights for its execu 
tion, thus allowing him to retain a priority for two years, during 
which time no other violinist will be allowed to play it. 

Paul Kochanski has two younger brothers, Elli, a 'cellist, and 
Joseph, a pianist. The former, with whom the writer studied 
under Klengel, showed remarkable genius for his instrument, and 
at that time displayed great promise of a brilliant career as vir 
tuoso. His technique was indescribably facile. In 1924 Elli 



Violinists 



213 



settled in Warsaw, where he is professor at the Conservatory, and 
first cellist at the Warsaw Philharmonic. 

Like his two older brothers, Joseph is a talented pianist, having 
studied under Wendling at the Leipzig Conservatory. For some 
time he was assistant professor to Kreutzer at the Berlin High 
School of Music. His musical achievements have brought him a 
tribute from the Far East, where he was invited in 1925 to 
accept the post of piano professor in Tokio, Japan. 

On May 3, 1927, Poland conferred on him the order of the 
Legion of Honor. 

Paul Kochanski's wife, the daughter of a famous Warsaw jurist, 
resembles her famous husband in many respects. 



FRITZ KREISLER 

HATS OFF ! The King comes ! And his name is Fritz Kreisler ! 

So universal is Kreisler's genius that he may be called the King 
of Violinists. His appeal is so wide that he draws his audiences 

from all ranks and classes. 

It was said that Paganinfs playing 
was a magic of the devil. Kreisler has 
a finer magic the magic of entire self- 
subordination. Before his tone listening 
becomes a spiritual faculty. No other 
violinist so melts the listening mind, ear 
and heart into a common pleasure, a sub 
limated and suffusing sensuous delight. 
Kreisler did not become famous over 
night. His growth from a modest be 
ginning was steady and unaided by 
chance. 

The author of this volume well re 
members the empty halls that resounded 
to Kreisler's inspired playing on the few occasions when he heard 
this superb master, still without a name, and was enchanted by 
him; in Leipzig (1907), and later in St. Petersburg (1910 or 
1911). 

To quote his own words : "From the age of 20 to 27 I struggled 
hard for recognition. I played every bit as w$ll then as I do now, 
but people did not understand it." 

Fritz Kreisler was born in Vienna on February 2, 1875. For 
tunately for the boy, his father, one of the leading physicians in 
Vienna, was also an amateur musician of talent. He instructed 
and encouraged his son to such good purpose that Fritz appeared 
at a concert given in Vienna by Carlotta Patti, the singer (sister 




214 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

of the more famous Adelina), when he was only seven years old. 
Then he entered the Conservatory of Music, where he was a pupil 
of Hellmesberger. He was so young that he had to get special 
permission to enter the Conservatory, for as a rule pupils were 
not admitted before the age of fourteen. He justified the opinion 
of his teachers by winning the gold medal for violin playing at 
the age of ten. Kreisler then went to Paris, where he studied at 
the Conservatory under Massart and Delibes. He achieved an 
other remarkable success by wanning the gold medal at the age 

of twelve. His competitors, of whom 
there were about forty, were all over 
twenty years old. 

He then appeared in several German 
cities and during the same year he made 
his first tour of America, playing with 
the pianist, Moritz Rosenthal. He was 
regarded as a youthful prodigy. Many 
predicted that his talent was being "burnt 
out." He returned to Vienna to complete 
his general education at the Gymnasium, 
took a course in medicine, studied art in 
Paris and Rome, and then entered the 
army and became an officer of the re 
serve cavalry. 

Kreisler was in Switzerland at the outbreak of the war. On 
July 31, 1914, without waiting for a summons, he started for 
Graz, the headquarters of his regiment. In the middle of August 
he was sent to the front. He was in the thick of the fighting 
against the Russians in Galicia. On the night of September 6, 
the trenches were rushed by the Cossack cavalry. Kreisler was 
severely wounded by a lance, and was left for dead in the trenches. 
Toward morning, however, his orderly crept to the trench and 
carried him back to the hospital. Two weeks later he was sent to 
Vienna, and was finally discharged from military service, not, how 
ever, before he had received a medal of honor and promotion. In 
his books, Four Weeks in the Trenches and My Own War Story, 
Kreisler related his war experiences. 

Returning to America in 1915, Kreisler resumed his concert 
tours, but when the United States entered the conflict, objections 
were made on the grounds that he was an alien. He cancelled his 
engagements and retired into private life until the end of the war, 
when he resumed his career and found his popularity even greater. 
Kreisler's student days were rather stormy. It was hard work 
to drive him to practice, and he frankly owns to having resorted 
to every kind of device to escape from the hated fiddle, just as 
Collini abhorred his flute. 




Violinists 215 



"I was only seven when I attended the Vienna Conservatory," 
he says, "and I was much more interested in playing in the park, 
where my chums waited for me, than in taking lessons on the 
violin. And yet some of the most lasting musical impressions of 
my life were received there. Some very great men played at the 
Conservatory when I was a pupil there. There were Joachim, 
Sarasate in his prime, Hellmesberger, and Rubinstein, whom I 
heard play the first time he came to Vienna. I really believe that 
hearing Joachim and Rubinstein play was a greater influence in 
my life, and did more for me than five years of study. 

"I have worked a great deal in my life, but have always found 
that too large an amount of purely technical musical work fatigued 
me and reacted unfavorably on my imagination. As a rule only 
practice enough to keep my fingers in trim; the nervous strain 
is such that doing more is out of the question. And for a concert 
violinist, when on tour, playing every day, the technical question 
is not absorbing. It is more important for him to keep himself 
mentally and physically fresh and in the right mood for his work. 

"Sincerity and personality are the first main essentials. Tech 
nical equipment is something which should be taken for granted. 
The virtuoso of the type of the Ole Bull, let us say, has disap 
peared. The modern virtuoso, the true concert artist is not worthy 
of the name unless his art is the outcome of a completely unified 
nature. I do not believe that any artist is truly a master of his 
instrument unless his control of it is an integral part of a whole. 
The musician is born his medium of expression is often a matter 
of accident. The true musician is an artist with a special instru 
ment. And every real artist has the feeling for other forms and 
mediums of expression, if he is truly a master of his own. I 
firmly believe that if one is destined to become an artist the tech 
nical means find themselves. Too great a manual equipment often 
leads to an exaggeration of the technical and tempts the artist to 
stress it unduly. Technique to me is a mental, not a manual thing. 
A technique whose controlling power is chiefly mental is not per 
fect I say so frankly because it is more or less dependent on 
the state of the artist's nervous system. Yet it is the only kind 
of technique that can adequately express the musician's every 
instinct, wit and emotion. Every other form of technique is stiff, 
unpliable, since it cannot entirely subordinate itself to the indi 
viduality of the artist." 

Kreisler has composed "Caprice Viennois" and other pieces for 
violin, cadenzas to several concertos and to Tartini's "Devil's 
Thrill"; arranged a number of classical and modern pieces for 
violin solo and written a "String Quartet in A minor," and num 
erous other works. Kreisler's transcriptions and arrangements 



216 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

for the violin are masterpieces of their kind and appear regularly 
on the programs of all leading violinists of the day, 

Regarding his work as composer, he says: "I began to com 
pose and arrange as a young man. What I composed and arranged 
was for my own use, reflecting my own musical tastes and pre 
ferences. In fact, it was not till years after that I even thought 
of publishing the pieces I had composed and arranged. For I was 
very diffident as to the outcome of such a step. I have never 
written anything with the commercial idea of making it pay 
able." 

Kreisler is not only a violinist ; he is a first-rate pianist as well 
as a composer. His famous operetta "Apple-Blossom" (New York, 
1919) is a melodious and picturesque work which was produced 
with great success. He has also done invaluable work in reviving 
the compositions of the Italian and French masters of the seven 
teenth and eighteenth centuries. 

Kreisler's programs usually include works of Bach, Mozart, and 
Gluck, the French miniaturists, Couperin and Cartier, Pugnani, 
Corelli, or TartinL Not within memory of modern times has a 
violinist given more genuine musical satisfaction than Kreisler. 
He has intellect, blood and brawn, can be forceful, sombre, or play 
ful as the mood of the piece demands it. His playing of Beethoven's 
"Concerto," for example, is like an inspired prophesy. 

In November of 1902 (when in England), Kreisler married 
Miss Harriet Lies, an American. Kreisler's home is the haven of 
all who need help or succor. In spite of his enormous earnings, 
Kreisler is not rich. This is attributed to the fact that a whole 
group of talented children at the Vienna Conservatory are com 
pletely dependent on his support. 

Fritz Kreisler's brother, Hugo, is a well known 'cellist, a mem 
ber of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. 



ISIDORE LOTTO 

LOTTO WAS born December 2, 1840, in Warsaw. 

He studied violin under Massar and composition with Zeber. 
Lotto concertized all over Germany and other countries, and every 
where delighted his audiences with his technique and bravura. 

In the field of polished French technique, Lotto realized 
its maximum possibilities. In this respect he was outshone by no 
one. His faultlessness in the art of conquering all difficulties, his 
double flageoletti, his wonderful staccato, which only Wieniawsky 
could execute with equal perfection, impressed his audiences so 



Violinists 



217 



much that in Leipzig for example, he had to give four concerts in 
one week, instead of the single one planned. 

In 1862 Lotto received the title of the Archduke's soloist, and 
Kamer-virtuos in Weimar. Some time later he was invited to teach 
violin at the Warsaw Conservatory. There he unfortunately fell 
sick with typhoid, and for several years had to discontinue all 
artistic and pedagogic activities. Recuperated, he returned to 
Warsaw, where he remained for the rest of his life. 



FERDINAND LAUB 

FERDINAND LAUB was born on January 19, 1832, in Prague, the city 
that has given the world so many other great musicians. His violin 
playing was brilliant and technically perfect, and always created 

a deep impression. He toured practically 
all over the world. 

At the age of six, he could play the 
variations of Beriot; at nine he made 
a concert tour through Bohemia. He 
studied in the Prague Conservatory un 
der Moritz Mildner. From early child 
hood he was patronized by people of 
high rank, such as Archduke Stephan, 
who presented the young violinist with 
an excellent Amati violin and gave him 
recommendations to Vienna. In that 
city Laub gave several concerts, creat 
ing a furore. He was unusually well 
received also in Paris and London. In 
Paris he had among his followers, Berlioz, Ernst, and others. 
Laub led a romantic life, having no permanent residence. In 1853 
he came to Weimar, taking Joachim's place at the local music 
school ; two years later, he became teacher at the Stern Conserva 
tory, Berlin, soon winning the position of concert master and 
Kammer-virtuoso in the court orchestra, where he remained until 
1864. 

In 1864 Laub, together with Charlotte Patti, Alfred Joell, and 
the 'cellist Chermann, made a concert tour through the Nether 
lands and South Germany. In 1866 he was first teacher of the 
violin class at the Moscow Conservatory and first violinist at the 
local music society. This did not, however, prevent him from 
continuing his musical journeys. 

He died on March 17, 1875, In Griz, near Bozen. 





218 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



LEA LUBOSHUTZ 

LEA LUBOSHUTZ was born in Odessa, Russia, on February 21, 
1888. She is the daughter of Saul and Gittl Luboshutz. Her 
father, a violinist, gave h^r her first lessons at the age of five. 

At six she gave her first concert at a 
pupils' recital in Odessa. At the age of 
ten, she entered the Odessa Music School, 
studying under Mlynarsky. Three years 
later she was heard by Wassily Safonoff, 
who took her to the Moscow Conserva 
tory of Music, where at the age of six 
teen she received a gold medal and the 
gift of an Amati violin from the Con 
servatory. 

Her adult career began with an or 
chestral tour through Poland, Germany, 
and France under Artur Nikisch, Was 
sily Safonoff, and others. The Russian 
Symphony Orchestra, Modest Altschuler 
conducting, invited her to come to America to play with them, 
biie came, but returned in three weeks, due to her husband's 
insistence. Upon returning home she played in a concert of twenty 
of the best violinists in Moscow, and won the prize. Later she 
began studying with Ysaye in Belgium. 

Lea Luboshutz played at the court of the Romanoffs and for 
the King and Queen of Belgium. 

She appeared in concerts under such famous conductors as 
Mlynarsky, Lamoreux, Koussevitzky, Bohnany, Glazounoff, 
Cooper Rene Baton, et cetera. In her concert tours she traveled 
through Germany, France, China, Japan, the United States, and 
many other countries. In 1921 she appeared as soloist with the 
Berlin Philharmonic orchestra and with the Pasdeloup orchestra 
in Paris. During the following four years she was professor of 
violin at the Berlin and Paris Conservatories. 

Lea Luboshutz is a player of vitality and a mistress of many 
moods. She has great technical skill, a broad tone, and much per 
sonal and artistic charm. Her style is fluent, brilliant and finished, 
and she has a sure musicianly understanding of the music she plays 
During ^ her 1925-26 American appearances she was warmly 
and enthusiastically greeted by audiences and the press, receiving 
many favorable reviews. "Mme Lea Luboshutz," said the Phila 
delphia Bulletin, "a Russian violinist of remarkable talent gave 
a recital in the Academy of Music last evening, which was one of 



Violinists 219 



the high spots in the musical seasons of Philadelphia. She played 
a most difficult and exceptionally varied program, with an artistry 
which places her extremely high among women violinists of .the 
present day. She possesses a beautiful tone of great power and of 
equal sweetness, and plays for the music rather than for the effect 
pyrotechnics will produce." 

Together with her sister Anna, a 'cellist, and her brother Piotr, 
a pianist, Lea organized a trio, concertizing with much success in 
Europe. Anna was a pupil of von Glenn, receiving the gold medal, 
while Piotr studied with Shumnoff. Lea Luboshutz's second son, 
Boris, is a gifted piano pupil of Kreutzer, who has recently been 
his mother's accompanist. 

On November 21, 1926, Lea Luboshutz appeared as soloist with 
the State Symphony Orchestra in New York, giving a first per 
formance of Prokofieff's "Violin Concerto." She played the diffi 
cult score with brilliance and a fine tone distinguished for its 
purity of accent and intonation. She was an ideal interpreter for 
the work, presenting its many interesting points with great 
clarity. 

She was invited to be a member of the Faculty at the Curtis 
Institute of Music, in Philadelphia, effective September of 1927. 



YEHUDI MENUHIN 

"LET YOUR pen fly; you can't overdo it. This boy puts us all to 
shame." 

These words were spoken by the assistant concert master of 
the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra when Yehudi Menuhin, at 
the age of six, swept San Francisco off its feet by his playing as 
soloist for the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. His superb 
technique, his musical comprehension, and his warmth of tem 
perament brought down the house. 

A short time later the little fellow gave another demonstra 
tion, at his own recital in San Francisco, of his almost uncanny 
powers as violinist. Many of the audience were so enthusiastic 
over the child's playing that they broke into some of his numbers 
with thunderous applause. Yehudi's poise at these outbreaks was 
that of a seasoned soloist. The first number was Vieuxtemps' 
"Fantasia Appassionata." Then he gave two encore pieces, 
Tschaikowski's "Chant sans Paroles" and Victor Herbert's "A la 
Valse." When he played the Mendelssohn "Concerto" he con 
vinced even the hardened music critic, Redfern Mason, of his 
genius, as is evidenced by the following which appeared in the 




220 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

newspaper the next day : "His conception of what the music means 
was so ripe, the manner of its production so artistic that, if the 
player had been invisible, we could have thought that we were 
listening to the playing of a proved mas 
ter. I thought of Joachim who, when a 
lad, left his boat in the bathtub, dried 
his hands, to play this same work for 
Mendelssohn himself, and was publicly 
embraced by the composer. I think Men 
delssohn would have done the same to 
Yehudi if he had heard him last night." 
Then Yehudi played Paganlni's "Moto 
Perpetuo." The audience gasped at the 
speed of this number so masterfully ren 
dered and with so much feeling. 

Zimbalist, the great and mature vio 
linist, said that the nearest approach to 
Yehudi's playing that he has come across 
anywhere was Heif etz at the age of nine. Yehudi was seven years 
old at the time. Mischa Elman and other well-known artists are 
astonished at the boy's playing and unusual mentality. His teacher, 
Louis Persinger, former concert master of the San Francisco 
Symphony, and now with the Chamber Music Society of San Fran 
cisco on its tour through the East, writes in the Violinist of Au 
gust, 1925: 

"People have been kind enough to 'blame' me for creating 
some of the mature understanding and musical richness of Yehudi's 
playing, but it is all within the boy himself and I am happy to be 
the guide who takes him along the good path." 

Yehudi is not the usual type of heralded genius. From the 
description of his conquests as rendered above, one is frequently 
prepared for the picture of this genius as a "dark, slight, serious 
boy, of sallow complexion from hours Indoors, and with an adult 
expression." But he is a chubby, blue-eyed, red-cheeked young 
ster with a profusion of blonde hair and a winning smile. 

Yehudi Is the oldest of three children of Mr. and Mrs. Moshe 
Menuhin. His father is superintendent of the Jewish Educational 
Society of San Francisco. His mother was born in the Crimea and 
has father in Palestine. They were married in New York, where 
both were attending university. Upon being graduated, the couple 
decided to follow a famous American's advice and "go west." 
Their destination was San Francisco, where they have since lived. 
Yehudf s successes in New York have been remarkable. Mrs. 
J. Casserly, of New York and San Francisco, herself a prominent 
music lover, presented Yehudi with a valuable Stradivarius violin. 
The forty guests who came to do honor to little Yehudi included 



Violinists 221 



the Damrosches, Goldmark, Britt, and others of prominence in the 
world of music. They were amazed to hear such playing by a 
lad of eight. So pronounced has been Yehudi's success that he 
gave his first eastern recital in tht Manhattan Opera House. 

So marked is his fame that the Symphony Society of New York 
engaged young Menuhin as its soloist for two concerts in Novem 
ber, 1927. 

He was born in New York City on January 22, 1917. 

(See addenda for additional facts.) 

DAVID MANNES 

DAVID MANNES is known in the United States for two things; 
first, the Mannes School of Music, founded by himself in New 
York, of which he is director and owner; second, his directorship 

and conductorship of the Metropolitan 
Museum of Art Saturday Evening Free 
Concerts in the same city. Further 
more, Mannes is the founder and di 
rector of the Music School Settlement 
for Colored People in New York. The 
David Mannes School of Music holds a 
place in the pedagogic field in America 
second to none. The Metropolitan 
Museum Concerts, given every Saturday 
night between January fourth and 
March fourth of each year, are financed 
by philanthropical New Yorkers. The 
orchestra is drawn from the New York 
Symphony Orchestra. 
To the spacious halls of the great Museum six to eight thousand 
people come to listen to the music of the great masters. Mannes' 
programs often include Tschaikowsky's "Sixth Symphony," Beetho 
ven's "Fifth," the symphonies of Schumann, Dvorak, and many of 
the works of Wagner and Bach. 

This famous American violinist and pedagogue was born in 
New York City on February 6, 1866. His teachers were Carl 
Richter, John Douglas, in New York, De Ehna and Halir in Berlin, 
and Ysaye in Brussels. In 1891 Mannes was "discovered" by 
Walter Damrosch, who appointed him to the last stand of the New 
York Symphony Orchestra's violinist section. 

The young musician moved rapidly towards the front stands, 
and seven years later became concert master, keeping his post 
with much honor until 1912. From 1902 to 1904, Mannes gave 
chamber music concerts with his own organization, and some time 
later founded the Symphony Club, of which he was conductor. 




222 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

In 1898 he married the talented pianist, Clara Damrosch 
(daughter of Dr. Leopold Damrosch and sister of Walter Dam 
rosch). Within two years after their marriage, they became fa 
mous for their joint sonata recitals, which they gave for several 
seasons in and around New York City. 

He has for the past seven years been supervisor of music at 
the Cleveland Laurel School, and for the past two seasons has 
been conductor of orchestral concerts for young people in Green 
wich, Connecticut. 

David Mannes and his wife separately received the rosette of 
an "Officer de Instruction Publique," conferred by the Ministere 
de I'lnstruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts of France, in Septem 
ber of 1926, for their work as artist-educators and directors of the 
David Mannes Music School. 

Few citizens of any city have so nobly and whole-heartedly 
served the cause of art in the city of their birth as has David 
Mannes. His special interest in the negro population of the vast 
metropolis stamps him as a man of wide sympathies, which alone 
should assure him of a place of great honor and esteem among 
his fellow-citizens, as well as of the larger fraternity of music 
lovers of all cities and lands. 



MISCHA MISGHAKOFF 

THE EVOLUTION of Mischakoff s name is a rather complicated one. 
His father's original name was Beckerman, but for some reasons 
of his own he changed it to Fischberg. His son, Mischa, has made 

a derivation of his own first name, adopt 
ing the surname of Mischakoff, under 
which name he is now known. 

Mischa Mischakoff was born on April 
3, 1895,, in Proskouroff, Russia. His 
parents were Isaac and Masia Fischberg. 
Little Mischa showed a liking for the 
violin at the age of five, and received his 
first instruction from his father, a flutist. 
After two years under his parent's care, 
he continued with his brother for three 
years. At the age of nine, he went to 
study In the Imperial Conservatory in 
St. Petersburg (Leningrad), with Kor- 
gueff, one of Leopold Auer's pupils. He 
was graduated in 1914, at the age of sixteen, with the highest 
honors offered by the institution, the gold medal, and the Anton 




Violinists 223 



Rubinstein prize of 1,200 gold roubles. When Korgueff first heard 
the talented boy (Mischa's brother told the writer), he not only 
immediately accepted him, but offered him a stipend for life. 

He came to America in October of 1922. On his arrival, Mis- 
chakoff gave a series of successful concerts, but his first real suc 
cess was at the auditions for the Stadium Concerts in 1923. Out 
of 500 applicants he was the only soloist selected. He made his 
American debut as soloist at a Stadium concert in New York on 
July 27, 1923, playing on his famous Stradivarius. The seasons 
following he gave recitals in Carnegie Hall and Town Hall, in New 
York, and also appeared as soloist at a Sunday evening Metro 
politan Opera House concert. Then followed his appointment as 
concert master of the New York Symphony Orchestra on October 
31, 1924, in which capacity he was employed for two seasons. 

In April of 1927, Mischakoff resigned from the New York 
Symphony Orchestra, and accepted the position of first concert 
master in the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowsky. 



NICOLAS MOLDAVAN 

NICOLAS MOLDAVAN was born in the town of Kremenetz, Province 
of Volhyn, Russia, on January 23, 1891. When two years old, 
his parents moved to Odessa, where he began his musical educa 
tion under Professor Perman at the age 
of seven. Later he studied with Pro 
fessor Alexander Fidelman. In 1906 he 
received a scholarship at the conserva 
tory of Music at St. Petersburg (Lenin 
grad), where he remained until 1912, 
graduating with highest honors from 
the classes of Korguyeff. When the 
World War broke out, Grand Duke Boris 
took a keen interest in the young musi 
cian and made him organize a trio, 
when he soon became a favorite of that 
royal family. The Grand Duke pre 
sented him with a diamond pin and gold 
cigarette case at the termination of the 
war in Russia. 

During the revolution of 1917, Moldavan joined the ensemble 
"Zimro" as a violin player and in 1918 left Russia with that 
organization. Since that time he specialized exclusively as a 
viola player. After an extensive tour with the "Zimro" in Siberia, 




224 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

China, Japan, Java, and British Columbia, he finally arrived in the 
United States, where he soon became one of the leading and most 
popular viola player in New York City. After three successful 
years with the Lenox Quartet, Mischa Elman chose him as a mem 
ber of his own quartet, with which organization he played many 
successful public recitals and also made phonographic records. 

In various concerts he appeared with some of the greatest 
artists, including Harold Bauer, and Jascha Heifetz. He also took 
part in the Berkshire Music Festivals, In 1924 he was chosen 
member of the Beethoven Association. 

Moldavan's fame as a brilliant viola player spread rapidly 
throughout the United States. When in 1925 the famous viola 
player of the Flonzaley Quartet, Louis Bailly, resigned, Moldavan 
was immediately chosen in his place. The Flonzaley Quartet is 
the foremost music organization of its kind in the United States, 
and the appointment of Moldavan to the place of violist was the 
first instance since its existence that this body admitted a non- 
Latin in its membership, and a Jew at that. 



ERIKA MORINI 

ERIKA MORINI, is one of the few fortunate talents who have not 
been hampered in their study of art. She was born in Vienna in 
the year 1906. Her family (especially on the paternal side), has 

been musical for as far back as anyone 
can remember. At the age of four, she 
began to display a marked aptitude for 
the violin. Her father, Oskar Morini, 
head of a music conservatory, gave her 
her first instruction, but the child's swift 
and startling development into an expert 
persuaded him, after only two years, to 
take her to Professor Sevcik. 

Erika Morini was never a "child 
prodigy," for she was always a perfectly 
normal child, studying and playing as 
other children do and living the ordinary 
life of a child. She was educated at 
home, so that she might have more time 
to play her violin, but she took the regular examinations and was 
given satisfactorily high marks in every subject except mathe 
matics, for which she has the average girFs distaste. Although 
she was establishing a reputation as an unusual violinist, Erika 
was, until the age of eleven, only an outstanding artist in a city 
which has always been a sort of paradise for musicians. 




Violinists 225 



The custom of having a secondary artist fill in the time be 
tween a famous artist's numbers gave Erika her chance. She 
was chosen to play at a concert given by one of Vienna's favorite 
singers, so that a great crowd of critical music lovers was present, 
perfectly willing to be bored for a few minutes while their fav 
orite rested. Instead of being bored they were treated to a new 
sensation a sensation so great that after she had played her first 
number, the concert was hers, and after the concert Vienna was 
hers. 

This concert, and her playing with some of the best local or 
chestras in Europe, led to her engagement, during the war, to play 
with Arthur Nikisch, who had long been considered the leading 
orchestral conductor of Europe. The disruption of travel caused 
by the war compelled the soloist and orchestra to play the Mozart 
"Concerto" without a rehearsal. So little was known of Erika 
Morini in Leipzig that not even all the members of the orchestra 
knew that she was only eleven years old. Yet it was after this 
concert that Nikisch gave his opinion of Morini in these words: 
"Erika Morini is not a wonder child, she is a wonder!" 

So successful was this concert that Nikisch at once engaged the 
young violinist to play with him in Berlin, and until her departure 
for America she played with him at least twice each year. En 
gagements with other notable conductors followed at once upon 
the critical approval of Nikisch's audiences. Felix Weingartner 
often chose her to be his soloist, and in the Music Festival Week 
in Vienna in 1920 she was the only artist distinguished by being 
asked to play with his orchestra. 

The war naturally limited the scope of Morini's activities, but 
as soon as actual hostilities ended, while the Peace Conference was 
officially making peace, she was invited abroad, and made a tour 
in Roumania an<J Poland. The profundity and understanding she 
displayed amazed her auditors who heard for the first time an ex 
pression in music of the terrible emotions of years of war. In the 
midst of poverty and desolation, the tributes paid to Erika Morini 
could not be the extravagant jewels and gifts of former times. 
Even flowers were prohibitive. But baskets of food, cherished 
loaves of white bread, and other simple necessities, were sent to 
her as tributes to her playing. 

On her return to Vienna, she was about to start a tour of 
Switzerland when Otto Weil of the Metropolitan Opera House in 
New York brought word of her genius to Mr. F. C. Coppicus, 
proprietor of the Metropolitan Bureau, who engaged her for Am 
erica. Her first American appearance given in Carnegie Hall, 
New York City, as soloist with the New York Philharmonic Or 
chestra under Bodanzky, on January 26, 1921, was made without 
any previous publicity. The result was electric, for the cities, 



226 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

swamped by violinists of high talents, were quite prepared for an 
other one, but totally unprepared for the unheralded appearance of 
a genius. The notices she received the morning after her first 
playing betray the excitement and wonder of those who heard her. 
Within four weeks she was compelled to play four New York re 
citals and only after could she start on her first American tour. 

Since then Erika Morini has been soloist with the New York 
Philharmonic Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera House in New 
York, the symphonic societies of Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis 
and other cities, and has given recitals in Chicago, Boston, Pitts- 
burg, Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Milwaukee, New Orleans, 
Buffalo, Rochester, Washington, and many other points en route, 
making seventy-one appearances in fourteen months, and being 
immediately re-engaged in more than half of those cities. 

Morini has at the time of this writing completed her fourth 
American tour, and during her travels she has appeared with 
nearly every symphony orchestra in America and given recitals 
in every important city. In these four seasons Morini's fame and 
art have grown so that she is everywhere acknowledged the peer 
of all violinists of her sex, being compared with the greatest living 
masters, Kreisler, Heifetz, and Elman. 

A complete mistress of technique, Morini is able to address her 
entire attention to the music itself, the interpretation of its glories. 

"Her tone is a heartbreaker," wrote one critic, "but it is not 
her tone alone, it is her ability to extract, as it were, the very 
essence of music and convey it across the footlights to the audi 
ence. She is able by her genius to reduce to a common denomina 
tion her own soul, the soul of music and the soul of her listeners." 

As an artist Morini was perhaps more sensitive than the aver 
age girl to the extremes of joy and fear, of love and hate, of pride 
and humiliation, which were the portion of everyone living through 
the war in Central Europe. 

Although protected by their parents and sheltered somewhat by 
their youth, all the children of Europe absorbed tragedy from the 
air they breathed and saw and felt things unknown to the Ameri 
can boy or girl whom the war hardly touched. Erika Morini, 
according to those who know the present condition, is the fore 
runner of a race of geniuses given to Europe by the war. 

Following the express wish of the late Maud Powell that her 
violin "must be used by a great artist," H. Godfrey Turner, her 
husband, has loaned the American artist's Guadagnini to Erika 
Morini for her American tours. Mr. Turner's decision was made 
immediately after hearing Morini at her debut. The violin was 
taken from the vault where it had been stored since Miss Powell's 
successor. The day after it was sent to Morini, Mr. Turner re 
ceived the following letter: "Very dear Mr. Turner: When my 



Violinists 227 



heart is very full I cannot talk at all. The inner being has no 
tongue. So it is now. I can only tell you that I thank you from 
my heart. I have heard so much of your wife that I am proud 
above everything else to play on her violin. This is such a happy 
day for me and please do not be angry if I do not write any more 
but go to my violin. Gratefully yours, Erika Morini." 

The author has had the opportunity to hear this young artist 
on numerous occasions and has ever found her playing of a great 
and noble quality, her tone possessing true masculine breadth and 
vigor. 

TIVADOR NACHEZ 

NACHEZ, THE celebrated violinist, who achieved world fame, was 
a pupil of Joachim. He was born on May 1, 1859 in Budapest. 
Robert Volkmann and Franz Liszt took a lively interest in him, 

and a government stipend enabled him 
to continue his education in Brussels, 
under Leonard. His technique was 
highly developed. 

Although Nachez made London his 
residence, he undertook concert tours in 
Germany, Switzerland, Russia, France, 
Holland, and the Scandinavian countries. 
This famous Hungarian violinist often 
played before Queen Victoria, Wilhelm I 
and II, the Russian Emperor and Em 
press, the Danish Royal family, and 
other crowned heads. 

He also won laurels in Leipzig, Dres 
den, Breslau and all the large German 
cities. He was many times likened to the greatest violinist of all 
times Paganini. Here is what a Diisseldorff critic once said 
of him : "Tivador Nachez recalls the times of the great Paganini. 
It is true that our knowledge of the latter emanates mostly from 
written sources and portraits, with which Heinrich Heine sur 
rounded him in his Thoughts during Paganini' s Playing. Nachez' 
pale inspired face, his black hair, the calm which he preserves 
during demoniacally strong playing, resurrected before us the 
image of Paganini." 

Nachez enriched the literature of his instrument by his fam 
ous "Danses Tzigaens," which are genuinely musical and effective. 
However, their composer regards them with mixed feelings. 

William Martin, in his book Violin Mastery, relates what 
Nachez once said to him: "I have done other work that seems 
to me relatively much more important, but when my name 




228 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

happens to be mentioned, echo always answers, 'Gypsy Dances, 
my little Gypsy Dances!' It is not quite fair. I have published 
thirty-five works; among them a Requiem Mass, two overtures, 
two violin concertos, three rhapsodies for violin and orchestra, 
variation on a Swiss theme, romances, a polonnaise, three Hun 
garian poems, Evening Song, three classical master works of the 
seventh century, to say nothing of songs, and the two concertos 
of Vivaldi and Martini, which I have edited, are practically new 
creations. I wrote the "Gypsy Dances" as a mere boy, when I 
was studying with Leonard in Paris, and really at his suggestion. 
Leonard was not my first teacher. I took up the violin when a 
boy five years of age, and for seven years practiced from eight to 
ten hours a day, studying with Sabartheil in Budapest, where I 
was born. But England, the land of my adoption, in which I have 
lived these last twenty-six years, is the land where I have found 
all my happiness, and much gratifying honor, and of which I have 
been a devoted, ardent, loyal, and naturalized citizen for more 
than a quarter of a century. Playing with Liszt is my most 
precious musical recollection of Budapest. 

"What happiness there was in playing with such a genius! 
I was still a boy when I played the Grieg *F Major Sonata/ which 
had just come fresh from the press with him. There was not a 
trace of condescension in Liszt's attitude toward me, but always 
encouragement, a tender, affectionate and paternal interest in a 
young boy, who at that moment was a brother artist. Through 
Liszt, I came to know the great men of Hungarian music of that 
time; Erkel, Hans Richter, Robert Volkmann and Count Gezer 
Zichi, and eventually I secured a scholarship which the King had 
founded for music, to study with Joachim in Berlin. Hahag was 
my companion there, but afterwards we separated, he going to 
Vieuxtemps, while I went to Leonard in Paris. Liszt had given 
me letters of introduction to various French artists, among them 
Saint-Saens. When I left Paris I went to London, and then began 
my public life as a violinist. I played no less than three times 
as a soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Society of London ; once 
under Sir Arthur Sullivan, once under Sir A. C. MacKenzie, and 
once with Sir F. Cowen. On the last occasion, I was asked to 
introduce my new second "Concerto in B Minor." I appeared also 
under Liszt, Rubinstein, Brahms, Pasdeloup, Sir August Manns, 
Sir Charles Halle, Weingartner, Hans Richter, and others. 

"I also remember with pleasure an episode at the famous 
Pasdeloup concerts at the Cirque d'Hiver in Paris, on an occasion 
when I performed the T Sharp Minor Concerto' of Ernst. After 
I had finished, two ladies came to the Green Room; they were in 
deep mourning, and one of them, greatly moved, asked me to 



Violinists 229 



'allow her to thank me' for the manner in which I had played this 
concerto. She said : 'I am the widow of Ernst/ She also told me 
that since his death she had never heard the concerto played as I 
had played it. The other lady was the Marquise de Gallifet. 
Mme Ernst later presented me with her deceased husband's bow, 
and an autographic copy of the first edition of Ernst's transcrip 
tion for solo violin of Schubert's 'Erl Koenig/ " 

ALEXANDER PETSCHNIKOFF 

ALEXANDER PETSCHNIKOFF, eminent Russian violinist, was born 
in Yeletz, Government of Orel, Russia, on February 8, 1873. At 
an early age he was taken by his parents to Moscow. One day 

a musician of the Royal Opera House 
chanced to hear the boy play the violin 
and managed to secure his entry in the 
Conservatory. He became a pupil of 
Hrimaly, and to earn his livelihood 
began to teach at the age of ten, He 
was graduated with the first prize and 
gold medal. An opportunity was offered 
him of going for further study to Paris, 
but he declined. 

In Princess Ourusoff, Alexander 
found a patroness. She presented the 
boy with a violin which formerly be 
longed to Ferdinand Laub, and is said 
to be the costliest instrument in exist 
ence. In 1895 he made his bow before Berlin audiences and 
created a sensation. Since then his successes in Europe have 
been innumerable. He is said to have received the highest honor 
arium ever paid to any violinist in Europe. 

Petschnikoff's technique is not astonishing, but he possesses a 
full, penetrating, sympathetic tone. There is no charlatanism nor 
trickery in his playing. The charm of it rests in his glowing 
temperament, ideal conception and wonderful power of expression. 
He can move the hearts of his hearers as few violinists can. 

In 1910 Petschnikoff was appointed violin professor at the 
Berlin Royal Hochschule, and from 1913 to 1921 he was teacher 
at the Royal Academy in Munich. He married Mme Lili Petsch 
nikoff, a distinguished violinist and jointly gave many concerts. 
They are now divorced. Petschnikoff's first visit to America was 
undertaken on Leschetizkf s recommendation, who saw in this 
musician "an artist of the very first rank and of inconceivable 
versatility," 





230 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



MISHEL PIASTRO 

IN THESE days the violinist is almost, if not altogether, lord of the 
earth musically, for his tribe has increased to such a degree that 
singers and other instrumental artists find it hard to secure 

opportunities for playing in public. 

Genius, it is claimed, is either in 
herited or acquired both in the case of 
Piastro, the brilliant Eussian violinist, 
whose born love for the violin dates 
back to early childhood and whose envi 
able attainments have been acquired 
only by dint of hard work. Piastro has 
been conceded a place of high standing 
throughout the musical centers of the 
world. Critics speak of the beautiful 
sonority of his big tones, his impeccable 
technique and his profound and poetic 
interpretations. 

Mishel Piastro was born in Kerth, 
Russia, on June 19, 1891, and is two years younger than his equally 
famous brother, Josef Piastro-Borisoff. His father, a very able 
musician (who was a pupil of Auer), gave the young Piastro his 
first lesson on the violin when the boy was six years old. "The 
Crimean town in which I passed my boyhood and part of my youth," 
Piastro says, "was not far from some of the lovely villas near the 
Black Sea which were the Summer homes of many of the Petro- 
grad aristocracy. Some of the Grand Dukes had places there, not 
ably the Grand-Duke Nicolas, the father of the Grand Duke who 
was the Russian commander-in-chief during the World War. He 
was a very musical old gentleman and could draw a good, round 
tone from the violin and the viola. My father often played 
quartets with him in his beautiful villa near Yalta, 

"I studied with my father and then with Professor Auer. My 
father was himself an Auer pupil, but studied at a time when the 
idea of teaching at the Petrograd Conservatory was a good gen 
eral musical education rather than the development of virtuosity 
of the highest type. In fact, there are hardly any cele 
brated Auer pupils dating from the Professor's earlier teach 
ing days, simply because at that time he did not trouble to 
develop the virtuoso aspect. I cannot say that I regret belonging 
to the later period because, though virtuoso is a word which once 
had evil associations, standing for technical skill and ability, but 
not necessarily for musical good taste or feeling, it has been 



Violinists 231 



rehabilitated by the playing of the great artists of the past 
twenty years. And under Professor Auer's training no violin 
student ever could imagine that technique was all-important, or 
anything more than a means to the end of interpretation. Auer 
made short work of those pupils who came to him technically un 
prepared. They were at once turned over to an assistant teacher 
and did not come to the professor himself until they were in a 
position to benefit by his instruction. 

"One reason why his classes were so valuable to his students 
was that we had a chance to watch each other play every Satur 
day and Wednesday, and had an audience of private pupils to put 
us on our mettle. You know an audience is the most valuable 
stimulant an ambitious young violinist can have to make him do 
his best. I am saying nothing new when I mention that the 
professor's great gift in teaching was interpretation, making the 
very soul of the great numbers of the violin repertory clear to 
those whom he taught. I have heard people accuse him of 
suppressing individuality, but I cannot agree with them. He never 
opposed individuality, unless it was taking the wrong course. The 
idea that all Auer pupils play in the same way is ridiculous. All 
you need to do is to go to concerts given by any two of his 
pupils to realize that each plays in a manner distinct from every 
other one. 

"My father often told me that when he studied with Auer, 
the Professor was not as patient and long-suffering as he after 
ward became. I have seen him angry, though, and I think his 
anger on the occasion was natural. His reverence for the master 
composers of the violin was very great, and he could not put up 
with anything that seemed to belittle their merit. I know that 
once a pupil brought him the Beethoven Concerto and played it 
for him. Before he came to the cadenza, Auer asked him 'What 
cadenza do you play?' 'Well, was the answer, "people are tired of 
the same old cadenzas by Joachim and Ries and the rest. So, I 
have written my own.' He played it, and it turned out to be a 
very modern affair, entirely out of keeping with Beethoven's style. 
Then the storm broke. Auer raged, gave him a lecture which 
came from the heart, and told him in plain words that he ought 
to be ashamed of himself for his conceit and lack of reverence 
with regard to such a composer as Beethoven. 

"There were often distinguished visitors present at the Satur 
day classes of Professor Auer's pupils. Many a famous figure in 
the world of music came in while I was studying with the 
Professor. There was Ysaye, that lion of the violin, and among 
others, Zimbalist, back from his first American tour of concerts." 

In 1910 Mishel Piastro graduated from the Conservatory with 
highest honors, and the following year he won the annual 1,000 



232 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

ruble prize, which was contested for by many well-known 
musicians. 

Piastro spent the years of 1914-1919 in a concert tour of 
the Orient and the Antipodes. From press reports, this visit was 
the most sensational event in the musical history of that distant 
portion of the globe. The King of Siam was so impressed with 
his playing that he presented him with a gold medal. Mishel 
Piastro, by the way, was one of the three violinists whom Czar 
Nicholas exempted from military service, the other two being 
Mischa Elman and Efrem Zimbalist. 

It was not until 1920 that Piastro made his first American 
appearance, as soloist for the National Symphony Orchestra, in 
New York. He created a genuine stir in musical circles. Since 
then Piastro has been heard with great success in every part of 
the United States. Of special interest are the appearances he 
made with Richard Strauss, on the occasion of this famous 
composer-conductor's recent tour of the United States when 
Piastro played the "Sonata for Violin and Piano" by Strauss, with 
the composer at the piano. The various eulogistic reviews 
accorded the violinist in America, not only equalled but surpassed 
his splendid reception in Europe and elsewhere. 

Mishel Piastro was appointed concert master to the San 
Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1926. 



STEPHAN PARTOS 

A GREAT loss to the musical world of Europe was the death of the 
sixteen-year-old Hungarian violinist, Stephan Partos, which 
occurred in Holland in 1919. 

Partos was born in Budapest on March 1, 1903, and at a very 
early age studied with J. Hubay, who took great interest in the 
boy genius. The author of this volume heard Stephan Partos play 
in the Scandinavian countries during the season of 1918. He was 
an extraordinarily beautiful boy and left an indelible impression 
by 'his truly marvelous playing. Having arrived in Amsterdam 
for a concert during the Spanish influenza epidemic, he succumbed 
to this disease in a few days. 

He gave promise of greatness equal to that of Jascha Heif etz, 
his successes in the Scandinavian countries, in particular, having 
always been greater than his rivals. 



Violinists 233 




JOSEF PIASTRO-BORISSOFP 

JOSEF PIASTRO-BORISSOFF is the older brother of Mishel Piastro, 
the renowned violinist. He adopted the surname of Borissoff to 
distinguish him from his brother. Both were born in the Russian 

Crimea Josef on February 17, 1889. 

His first teacher on the violin was 
his father, a former pupil of Auer. In 
the year of 1900, while the great violin 
ist Pablo Sarasate was concertizing in 
Russia, Piastro-Borissoff played before 
him in Odessa several times, receiving 
most valuable instruction from the cele 
brated virtuoso, who wrote a personal 
letter to Leopold Auer, and in 1902 he 
went to the Conservatory of St. Peters 
burg (now Leningrad), where he became 
a pupil of Leopold Auer, and in his 
classes was associated with Mischa El- 
man, Efrem Zimbalist, and Kathleen 
Parlow. Upon his graduation he was awarded a gold medal as 
the honor pupil of the Auer class, and as a special distinction 
was given a famous old Italian violin called "Gobetta," the gift 
of Princess Alternburg, president of the Russian Musical Society. 
For four years afterward he toured the various Russian cities 
in recital, as soloist with the principal orchestras, and as director 
and first violin of the Leopold Auer Quartet, which he organized in 
honor of his maestro. They achieved a very great success in the 
foremost circles of St. Petersburg, Odessa, Warsaw, and other 
musical centers of his native land. During this time he was 
frequently "commanded" to give recitals before the Court, the 
Czar and the Imperial family, being rewarded with many hand 
some gifts and other honors while fulfilling his military service. 
As a special privilege the Czar permitted him to appear in con 
certs outside of military and governmental circles in civilian 
clothes. 

Released from the army, Joseph re-entered the Conservatory 
for post-graduate studies in composition and orchestration. While 
there he composed the score of* an opera "Lolita," which was 
produced with success at the Palace Theatre in St. Petersburg. 
In 1918 began a tour to remote parts of the world seldom visited 
by concert artists. In Constantinople he gave ten concerts, 
playing before the sultan. Before the Sultan of Arabia he was 
equally well received and was offered an apartment in the palace 



234 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

of Beirut, with a pension for life, which would have enabled him 
to devote all his time to study and composion. However, a tempt 
ing offer took him to Athens instead, and there he gave recitals 
and played four times as soloist with the Symphony Orchestra 
under the direction of Armand Marsick. 

The late King Alexander of Greece decorated the artist with 
the title of "Chevalier de 1'Ordre de Sauveur." Josef was the first 
foreigner to receive this honor. It has since been granted to 
Saint-Saens, but to no other foreigner. 

Borissoff is a man of twin talents, for he is also an excellent 
landscape painter. So great is his gift in this form of artistic 
expression that the American National Academy of Design made 
him, in Autumn of 1924, a member of that venerable body, a 
distinction rarely bestowed on a man so young, especially when 
a foreigner. 

He came to America on March 20, 1920, became a citizen in 
1926, and on November 24 of that year, left for a world concert 
tour through Europe, India, Java, and Australia, together with 
Alfred Mirovitsch, the renowned pianist. 



MAXIMILIAN PILZER 

MAXIMILIAN PILZER, American violinist and composer, was born 
in New York City, on February 26, 1890, being the son of Jacob 
and Hulda (nee Cohn) Pilzer. At the age of six he gave his first 

public recital, having been prepared for 
this appearance by local teachers. 

Later, in the course of his studies, he 
has been with Joachim, and Gustave 
Hollaender at the Stern Conservatory in 
Berlin. In that city he made his debut 
at the age of twelve, then returned to 
the United States, where he toured as 
soloist. In 1908 he was concert master 
of the Russian Symphony and the Peo 
ple's Orchestra in New York, and from 
1914 to 1917 occupied the same position 
with the New York Philharmonic Or 
chestra. He then resigned to give a 
concert tour of his own throughout the 
United States. 

Among Pilzer's compositions are : "Love Song," "Valse Cap 
rice," "Berceuse/' "Orientate," "Meditation," and several other 
pieces for violin. 




Violinists 



235 



Pilzer is a member of the Bohemian Tonkiinstler Society. 

Pilzer holds the unique record of having appeared with the 
New York Philharmonic Symphony as soloist over twenty-five 
times. His tone is warm and sympathetic, with rich quality and 
ample volume. He displays serious musicianship and variety 
understanding. 

Early in 1926, Pilzer was engaged as conductor at the Rialto 
Theatre, of New York City, from which he resigned in April of 
1927, to accept a similar position at the Roxy Theatre in the same 
city. 

Besides his activities as conductor, Pilzer is very busy teaching 
and has a large class of students who come from all parts of the 
country to study under him. 

Pilzer is a member of the Bohemian Society. 



MYRON POLIAKIN 

MYRON POLIAKIN is one of the most gifted virtuoso violinists of 
the Auer school, whose traditions he represents in their present 
form. A fellow-pupil of Heifetz and Toscha Seidel, he entered 

r _ = Auer's classes at the age of twelve, and 

remained with him for six years. 

Myron Poliakin was born in Tscher- 
kassy, near Kieff, Eussia, on January 
31, 1895. His father was a violinist 
and conductor, and he It was who gave 
the boy his first Instruction. At the age 
of ten, Myron went to Kieff, where he 
studied with Vousovskaya, a pupil of 
Laub, in the Lyssenko School. Two 
years later he entered Auer's classes in 
Petrograd, and at the age of thirteen 
began concertizing in Russia, Poland, 
Germany, Scandinavia and America. 

Poliakin was a particular favorite of 
Auer and Glazounoff, the director of the Petrograd Conservatory. 
In the course of his artistic career, he has played under such 
conductors as Safanoff, Koussevitzky, Feitelberg, Glazounoff, and 
others. He is now living in New York, where he is active both 
as concert artist and teacher. 





236 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



MICHAEL PRESS 

MICHAEL PRESS, eminent violinist, conductor and one of the most 
inspired musicians of our day, was born in Vilna, Russia on 
September 8, 1872. His father, Isaac, was cornetist in the City 

Theatre of Vilna, and his mother (nee 
Stupel) came of a musical family. 

At the age of- eight, Press began 
studying with Tissen, in his native town, 
and when ten years old made his first 
public appearance. At the age of thir 
teen he was concert master in the Vilna 
Opera House, and at seventeen was 
assistant conductor to the famous Suk. 
For some years he was conductor of 
the Kartayev Opera Company, travelling 
all over Russia. In 1897 he entered the 
Moscow Conservatory, where he studied 
with Hrimaly, and two years later 
graduated, winning the gold medal. At 
his graduation, he was offered the post of professor at the Con 
servatory, but refused the honor, as it necessitated his accepting 
baptism. 

Press was also a member of the quartet with Sokolsky and 
von Glen, in which organizations he played the second violin, and 
later organized his own quartet. From 1901 to 1904 he was 
professor at the Philharmony Conservatory in Moscow, and from 
1905 was at the head of the Russian Trio organized by himself 
(the other two were his brother Joseph Press, 'cello, and his 
wife Maurina, piano). From 1915 to 1918 he taught at the Im 
perial Conservatory in Moscow. 

In 1910 Press won first prize in a competition where twenty 
violinists competed; and for two years conducted the orchestra 
in Goteborg, Sweden. He also received many honors from crowned 
persons in Europe, among whom were Emperor Wilhelm II, the 
King of Roumania, the Dukes of Luxemburg, Gerra, Anhalt, 
Coburgatha, and others. 

Press came to America in 1923. During 1923 he taught violin 
at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and also conducted the 
Philadelphia Philharmonic and Boston Orchestras. 

Press possesses an extraordinary musical memory, which 
enables him to be completely independent of the score. The 
Goteborg press was very enthusiastic over his work with their 
orchestra. "All criticism must be silent in face of the deeply 



Violinists 237 



inspired performance of Professor Press. He is a true Beethoven 
interpreter, but also conducted Tschaikowsky's Symphonie Pathe- 
tique with rare intensity and grandeur." The Boston public and 
press were equally impressed by his conducting of the orchestra 
there. 

The reviewer of the Boston Traveler wrote : 

"He has a genial, pleasing personality and a quiet, dignified 
manner. He manipulates his baton without 'prima donna' manner 
isms. Yesterday he gave forceful, artistic interpretations of the 
pieces of the program, with a beautiful sense of shading. He 
indulged in brilliant phrasing; in fact, he minimized his own 
presence to a rare degree, rather letting the personality of each 
composer dominate the music. Thus there was the fiery, impas 
sioned Wagner of the Flying Dutchman, given with a dramatic 
flavor that quite changed Symphony Hall atmosphere to one of 
scenery, costumes and shifting lights. There was the serious, 
masterful Brahms, demanding every last accomplishment on the 
violin and getting it. And the vibrant scintillating Sibelius, 
transporting the hearer to the far north where lights are opales 
cent and spaces limitless." 

Press is a noble and serious musician. The writer remembers 
a concert by Michael Press in Bergen, Norway, in 1916, given at 
the Cathedral. Press's popularity among music lovers in that 
picturesque country was great, and there were not enough seats 
in the temple to go around; many had to sit on the floor. Press 
played, among other things, Bach's "E major Concerto" to the 
accompaniment of the organ. The effect of his masterly and 
heart-felt playing was such that the people remained silent long 
after the last echoes died in the vaulted expanses of the old church. 



RUDOLPH POLK 

EUDOLPH POLK, promising young violinist, was born in New 
York City in 1893 and is the son of D. M. J. Polk. Rudolph Polk 
studied with David Pasternack, Max Bendix, and Lichtenberg. He 
played in Europe until 1916, and then enlisted with the American 
armies during the war. In 1919, he made his New York debut in 
Carnegie Hall, and then went to Europe for further study, later 
to appear in concerts there. During the season of 1924-25 he 
was assistant artist to Chaliapine, famous Russian basso, on his 
tour through the American continent. 



238 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



TOSSY SPIVAKOWSKI 

TOSSY SPIVAKOWSKI, who comes of a very musical family, was born 
in Odessa, and was a pupil of Fiedelman. In his playing he ex 
presses the impetuous temperament of his birthplace, the south of 
Russia. The author of this work had opportunities to hear this 
slender, dark young man in Norway in 1919, where he concertized 
both in recital and as soloist with symphony orchestras, and was 
much impressed by his technique as well as by his passionate and 
impetuous tone. During the last few years he acted as concert 
master with the Berlin Philharmony. 

Aside from his father, a professional musician, two of Tossy's 
brothers are talented pianists. 



EDOUARD RAPPOLDI 

THIS EXTRAORDINARY violinist, who was for a long time concert 
master of the Leipzig Court Band, was considered one of the 
greatest violinists of the latter half of the nineteenth century. 

Rappoldi was in no wise inferior to 
Joachim; his full, noble tone, grandeur 
of style, clearness of interpretation, 

(purity and elegance of nuance all re 
minded one of the Berlin king of 
, violinists, yet Rappoldi did not imitate 

Joachim but showed independence and 
individuality. 

Rappoldi was born on February 21, 
1831, in Vienna. At the age of seven he 
appeared as pianist and violinist, play 
ing his own composition at a concert 
organized by his teacher, Doleschallein. 
Later his teachers were Hellmesberger, 
Bohm, Ernst, Janza. Rappoldi made a 
concert tour through the cities of Austria-Hungary, Germany, 
Scandinavia, Holland, and Belgium. At one time he was concert 
master in Rotterdam, and later was conductor in Luebeck, Stettin 
and Prague. In 1876 he received the title of Prussian Professor 
and Concert Master in Dresden. 

His concert tours, on which his wife, Laura Kahr, a famous 
pianist, accompanied him in the Scandinavian countries, Vienna, 
Warsaw, and other cities, could be likened to a triumphal march. 




Violinists 239 



^Among his works, published and in manuscript, are two 
string quartets, two sonatas for violin and piano, two symphonies, 
overture and songs. 

He died on May 16, 1903 in Dresden. 



MAX ROSEN 

MAX EOSEN, eminent violinist, was born in Dorohoi, Roumania, 
on April 11, 1899. He is the son of Benjamin Eosen, a barber 
and amateur musician. The family came to America when Max 

was eight months old. He was educated 
in the New York Public Schools, and 
received his first music lesson from his 
father at the age of five. Eachel Lubar- 
sky (now Garbat), who had collected 
funds to send Mischa Levitzki abroad, 
also undertook to collect funds for Max's 
education. Through the aid of Mr. and 
Mrs. James Goldmark, a MacDowell 
scholarship was secured for him but 
was refused, as it was too small to send 
him abroad. Edward J. de Cappet then 
heard Eosen and offered to supply 
money for his education. While in New 
York Max took lessons from Alois 
Truka, Bernard Sinsheimer and David Mannes (1908-11). 

In 1912 Eosen went to Dresden to study with Auer. When 
Auer returned to St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Eosen wished to 
accompany him, but because of his religion was refused entrance 
into Eussia. He continued his studies with Willy Hess in Berlin. 
At the outbreak of the war, when Auer went to Christiania 
(1916), Eosen went there and continued his work with his former 
master. He made his debut in that city in the presence of the 
King and Queen, and members of the court. This initial appear 
ance was followed by tours in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and 
Germany, where he made his Berlin debut in 1917. His New 
York debut was made on January 11, 1918, when he played the 
Goldmark Concerto with the Philharmonic Orchestra. Since then 
he has been heard in many of the large cities of the United States. 
Max Eosen possesses brilliant technical attainments. His 
tone, while not big, is nevertheless of a beautiful and penetrating 
quality. His playing of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Bruch, 
and Saint-Saens are marked by a fine elegance and truly poetic 
fervor and grace. 




240 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




ERNA RUBINSTEIN 

ERNA RUBINSTEIN was born in Hermannstadt, Hungary, in 1903. 
At the age of seven, after only four weeks of lessons on the 
violin, she made her debut as soloist at one of the conservatory 

musicales. She displayed such extra 
ordinary natural gifts that a year later 
she was placed at the Conservatory of 
Budapest and became a pupil of Hubay, 
the noted violinist and composer. Five 
years later, at the age of thirteen, after 
capturing the highest possible honors, 
she was brought out as soloist with 
the leading orchestras in Budapest and 
Vienna. From that time on her rise to 
European fame was rapid and sensa 
tional. 

She toured Germany, Czecho-Slo- 
vakia, and Scandinavia. Arthur Nikisch 
was so amazed with her talent that at 
her first recital in Berlin he played her piano accompaniments. 
In Amsterdam she was introduced by Willem Mengelberg as 
soloist with the Concertgebouw orchestra. Again her success was 
extraordinary. She subsequently gave twenty-nine concerts in 
Holland within a short time, playing everywhere to capacity 
audiences. 

Her American debut was made in February, 1922 as soloist 
with the New York Philharmonic under Willem Mengelberg. 
There had been no preliminary trumpetings it was only her 
amazing performance that in the words of one distinguished critic, 
"aroused a Friday afternoon audience to enthusiasm." 

In spite of the lateness of the season, Erna Eubinstein appeared 
six more times in New York, including three more appearances 
with the Philharmonic. In addition, she played in Minneapolis, 
Nashville, Lindsborg and other cities. Since then she made two 
tours in America, dividing her time between European appear 
ances in the autumn, and American engagements in the winter. 
Erna Kubinstein became a violinist by mere chance. Her 
father had played the fiddle indifferently well, and her parents 
wished her to study the piano because it was considered necessary 
that the little girl play some instrument for her own as well as 
her parents* pleasure. She was taken to a conservatory in Buda 
pest, where the Rubinstein family lived, but when the principal 
saw her he shook his head. He explained that she appeared too 



Violinists 241 



fragile for the hard hours of practice, seated at the piano. But 
taking her long white fingers in his hand, and examining them 
closely, he said that the child could study the violin. The mother 
of little Erna was somewhat annoyed at this announcement. She 
had listened to her husband's poor fiddling for many years, and 
feared that the daughter would follow in his footsteps. 

But to the great surprise of parents and teacher, the child 
took to the violin like the proverbial duck to water. In a short 
time the little student was giving a recital in the conservatory and 
two years later gave a concert in another city where she was 
recognized as an artist. The great Jeno Hubay, whose name abroad 
is as well known as that of Leopold Auer, offered to teach her for 
the mere joy of having such a pupil. Her parents accepted this 
offer and for three years she remained in the studio, constantly 
refusing offers from managers who saw in this child's playing a 
potential fortune. When she emerged from Hubay's studio she 
continued her career, and the demands for her appeara'nce all 
over Europe were innumerable. 

Erna has other talents also. The first thing she learned in 
school was to dance. In a very short time she was the show pupil, 
the premiere danseicse. As star dancer she used to appear in all 
the school exhibitions, and even went touring with a group of 
pupils to the towns in the immediate vicinity. But it was the 
marvelous sense of rhythm which she displayed with her little feet 
and body, that led her mother and father to believe that she should 
express herself with a musical instrument. Between the serious 
periods of her practicing Erna watched the people who came 
and went, and often convulsed her parents by imitating some of 
the great musicians who heard her play, both at the conservatory 
where she studied, and later when she was acknowledged to be one 
of the finest fiddlers of the generation. She has been known to 
dress up in men's evening clothes and with rumpled hair, slightly 
humped shoulders and serious frown, imitate to perfection the 
famous Jan Paderewski. Early in life this little artist also showed 
a decided taste for the use of color. She has done portraits for 
several friends that are excellent likenesses, in a manner quite 
reminiscent of Gauguin. A sketch of herself which she made at 
the age of fourteen has been reproduced and published. 

"As I grow older, and feel things differently not more 
intensely than I did when a small child/' she says, "I find that I 
interpret the works of the masters with more insight and imagi 
nation than when I was younger. Before, I seemed to play and 
interpret as though I were being guided by some unseen presence. 
This guidance is of course, unexplainable. As I grow older, I am 
more dependent upon my own self, upon my own brain. My one 



242 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Idea, now, is to play the works of a composer as nearly possible in 
the way that I believe and feel he meant it to be played. In fact, 
years have made me change. For I know I do not play composi 
tions as I did last year or two or three years ago. I feel them 
differently, and I hope that my change is progress as well as 
development." 

Genius never seems to feel satisfied. This realization comes 
as a consolation to less gifted mortals. One hears of a famous 
singer whose desire is to retire to the quiet of some far-off 
mountain top, while a noted baritone seriously considers giving up 
his operatic career in order to enter a monastery. Now Erna 
Rubinstein, having received every possible praise from the Eu 
ropean and American press, wants to become an orchestral 
conductor. "It is tremendously thrilling to play as soloist with a 
great orchestra, and I have always longed to conduct a huge, well 
trained body of musicians. Unfortunately, the woman orchestral 
conductor is seldom considered seriously. However, it needs a 
little pioneering and I shouldn't be surprised if I started doing 
this in the near future." 



EDOUARD RBM'BNYI 

FEW CELEBRATED violinists have led more romantic and adventur 
ous lives than Remenyi. Born at Hewes in Hungary, in 1830, 
he possessed the relentless spirit of his race. 

From his twelfth to his fifteenth 
year he studied the violin at the Vienna 
Conservatory under Bohm. In 1848 
he became adjutant to the distinguished 
General Gorgez, and fought under Kos- 
suth and Klapka in the war with Aus 
tria. When the insurrection failed he 
escaped to America, where he made a 
tour as virtuoso. In 1853 he visited 
Weimar and sought out Franz Liszt, 
who at once recognized his genius and 
became his friend and guide. 

In 1854 he went to London and was 
appointed solo violinist in the Queen's 
Band. Six years later he obtained an 
amnesty and returned to Hungary where he became solo violinist 
in the band of the Emperor of Austria. 




Violinists 243 



His restless disposition would not allow him to remain long in 
one place, and in 1865 he once more began to travel. He visited 
Paris, where he created a furore, and then continued his trium 
phant course through Germany, Holland, and Belgium. After 
settling in Paris for about two years, he returned in 1877 to 
London. 

He went to America and remained there for some years, then 
proceeded in 1887 to the Cape of Good Hope and Madagascar. 
In 1891 he once more visited London. A few years later he 
returned to the United States where he passed the remainder of 
his days. 

He was frequently compared to Wilhelmj, although he differed 
widely from him in temperament, ideas and musicianship. In his 
prime Remenyi was master of an enormous technique and the 
possessor of a strongly pronounced poetic individuality. He was 
most successful in playing Hungarian music, some of which he 
adapted to his instrument; but the stormier pieces of Chopin 
which he arranged for the violin were given by him with tremend 
ous effect. 

During his long career, he toured Australia and almost all the 
islands of the Pacific, also Java, China, and Japan; in fact, he 
went where few if any violinists of his ability had been before. 
He discovered thirty out of his collection of forty-seven old and 
valuable violins in South Africa. Most of them had probably 
been the property of the Huguenots. 

It was related by Remenyi that when he was a young man in 
Hamburg in 1853, he was to appear at a fashionable soiree one 
night, but at the last moment his accompanist was too ill to play. 
Remenyi went to a music "store and asked for an accompanist. 
The proprietor sent J. Brahms, then a lad of sixteen, who was 
struggling for existence, and teaching for a very small sum. 
Remenyi and Brahms became so interested in one another that 
they forgot all about the soiree, and sat up until the next morning 
playing and chatting together. Remenyfs negligience of his 
engagement resulted in the loss of any further business in Ham 
burg. Together with Brahms, he set out for Hanover. They gave 
concerts as they went, thus earning sufficient funds to carry them 
on their way. 

At Hanover they called on Joachim, who arranged for them to 
play before the court. After this, they proceeded to Altenburg 
to see Liszt, who received them warmly and offered them a home. 
During all this time Brahms received little or no recognition, in 
spite of Remenyfs enthusiasm in his cause, neither did he find 
much favor with Liszt, although the latter recognized his talent. 
He therefore returned to Hanover, where Joachim gave him a 



244 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

letter to Schumann, and it was Schumann's enthusiastic welcome 
and declaration that a new genius had arisen that established 
Brahm's reputation in musical circles. 

Remenyi died of apoplexy while on the concert stage on May 
15, 1898, in San Francisco. 

It is said that Remenyi's real name was Hoffman. 



ARNOLD ROSE 

tt 

ARNOLD ROSE, who made a great name for himself particularly 
because of his famous Rose Quartet, which is considered one of 
the finest musical organizations now in existence, was born on 

October 24, 1863, in Yassy, Roumania. 
At the age of seven he took up the 
study of the violin, and when ten years 
old was admitted to the Vienna Con 
servatory, where he studied under Pro 
fessor Karl Goesler. During the three 
years in the Conservatory he received 
three first prizes and was graduated 
with the silver medal 

In 1881 he accepted the post of first 
soloist and concert master in the Vienna 
Imperial Opera, under Wilhelm Jahn; 
this was the more flattering to the 
violinist since he was then only eighteen 
years old. 

From 1888 to 1889, Rose undertook concert tours over Germany 
and Roumania, and also visited Paris. Later, from 1889 to 1896 
he was first concert master at the famous Beyreuth Festivals. He 
organized regular chamber music evenings in Vienna, and his 
Quartet has since become universally famous by its tours through 
Austria-Hungary, Germany, Italy, etc. 

In 1894 he became violin professor at the Vienna Conservatory, 
where he is still teaching. 

His brother Edouard (born 1865 in Roumania) is a very 
gifted 'cellist. He has been soloist of the court orchestra in 
Weimar since 1890. 




Violinists , 245 




PAUL STASSEVITCH 

PAUL STASSEVITCH is one of those rare musicians who has achieved 
virtuosity in a dual role that of pianist as well as violinist. This 
noted artist's debut in America in 1924 was as soloist with the State 

Symphony Orchestra under Josef Stran- 
sky, and the works he performed are 
among the most exacting in the reper 
toire of violinists and pianists, Brahms 7 
Concerto for Violin and Tschaikow- 
sky's for piano. 

Born in Simpheropol, Russia, on May 
5, 1894, Paul Stassevitch revealed, at an 
age where most precociously musical 
children attain skill as soloist on one in 
strument, an equal talent and facility for 
the violin and the piano. His first teach 
ers were : Sokolowsky and A. Sapelnikoff 
(violin), and Mme Koboreva (piano). 
* He was thirteen when he made his first 
appearance with symphony orchestra as soloist on both instru 
ments, and the works he played were the Mendelssohn violin and 
the Grieg piano concertos. 

Like so many others of the brilliant Russian soloists of today, 
Paul Stassevitch studied with Professor Leopold Auer, from whose 
class at the Petrograd Conservatory he graduated in 1917. Al 
though it was in 1911 that he began his studies with the famous 
master, he had played for Auer seven years earlier while the violin 
ist was touring Southern Russia. Professor Auer had urged the 
boy's parents to permit Paul to return with him at once to St. 
Petersburg (Leningrad) , but this they had decided against in view 
of the fact that his school studies would be seriously interrupted. 
Upon entering the Conservatory, Paul, whose first piano teacher 
had been a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakoff, continued his studies on this 
instrument with Professor Nikolayeff. He was the favorite ac 
companist for the violinists and cellists at the Conservatory, and 
acted as accompanist for Professor Auer's classes. 

Paul Stassevitch' s debut in Moscow, made while he was yet a 
student at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, was with Koussevit- 
sky's orchestra, where he played Glazounoff's Violin Concerto, for 
which the young artist had the distinguished conductorship of the 
composer. Later, in 1914, he made his first appearance in Scandina 
via where he became, during that season and in successive years, 
one of the most popular violin virtuosi, and was assured a per- 



246 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

manent place of esteem on the concert platforms of Norway, Den 
mark, and Sweden. 

As England, France, Germany, and other European countries 
were closed to him as a Eussian, Stassevitch arrived in the United 
States in 19-19, invited by Professor Auer whose assistant he be 
came. For a time he retired from the concert platform, during 
which period he studied, for a year, with Josef Lhevinne to perfect 
his piano technique. 

Paul Stassevitch married, in 1923, the celebrated Norwegian 
pianist, J. Margarethe Somme. 



ILYA SCHKOLNIK 

ILYA SCHKOLNIK, present concert master of the Detroit Symphony 
Orchestra, under Gabrilowitch, and first violinist of the Detroit 
Quartet, was born in Odessa, Russia on February 11, 1890. His 
father, Samuel, a clarinetist and violin 
ist, began teaching Ilya at the age of five. 
One year later the boy appeared in con 
cert, and later toured with his brother, to 
raise funds to enable them to go abroad. 
In Berlin they met Joachim, who was in 
terested in the boy's talent. He advised 
him to remain in Berlin. There Ilya won 
a scholarship, and studied with Gustav 
Hollaender, after which he was gradu 
ated from Leipzig Royal Conservatory, 
under Hans Sitt in 1905. 

Later he toured the Scandinavian 
countries and Germany, and then went to 
Belgium to continue his studies under 
Cesar Thomson. At the Brussels Royal Conservatory, in 1918, he 
received the "Premier Prix avec la plus grande distinction." When 
the war broke out in 1914, he found himself in Dresden. Unable 
to fill his engagements in France, Belgium, and other countries, he 
embarked for America. He became in the course of time concert 
master of the Russian Symphony, assistant concert master with 
the New York Symphony, concert master with the Stadium Sym 
phony under Volpe, and since 1919, concert master with the Detroit 
Symphony, where he also founded the Detroit String Quartet. 




Violinists 



247 



ALEXANDER SASLAVSKY 

WHEN ALEXANDER SASLAVSKY died in 1924 in San Francisco, vio 
linists and the musical world at large lost a staunch champion and 
supporter, as well as a fine musician. Saslavsky specialized as a 

concert master, just as others specialize 
in solo or chamber music work. His last 
position was as concert master with the 
San Francisco Orchestra, a post which 
was taken over at his death by Mishel 
Piastre. 

Alexander Saslavsky was born on 
February 19, 1876 in Kharkoff, Russia. 
He began his musical studies under pri 
vate teachers at the age of nine. Two 
years later he entered the Imperial Con 
servatory in Petrograd, studying under 
Pestel (a pupil of David), and later 
under Gorsky. He then went to the Vien 
na Conservatory, where he studied under 
Jacob Groin until 1893. The same year he made a concert tour of 
Canada, and then joined the New York Symphony as one of the 
first violinists. He subsequently acted as concert master, and fre 
quently appeared with it as soloist. He was also active in organ 
izing the Russian Symphony in 1904, and was its concert master 
for four seasons. In 1900 he founded the Mendelssohn Tri Club; 
in 1904 the New York Trio, with Paolo Gallico and Henry Bram- 
sen ; and in 1907 the Saslavsky Quartet. With the last-named or 
ganization he gave concerts throughout the United States. 

His summer concerts with his quartet in Denver, Colorado, 
which began in 1915, were so well received that he subsequently 
repeated the series every year. Among many novelties he intro 
duced Chausson's "Poeme" for the first time in the United States. 
For several years previous to his death his musical activities were 
confined to San Francisco and Los Angeles. 




LEON SAMETINI 

LEON SAMETINI, Dutch violinist, and head of the violin department 
of the Chicago Music College since 1912, was born in Rotterdam, 
Holland, on March 16, 1886. He is the son of Samuel and Rose 



248 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



Sametini. Leon began studying the violin 
with his uncle, Michel von Groot, and 
from 1892 to 1896 was under the tutelage 
of Felice Togni and Bram Eldering in 
Amsterdam. In 1902 he went to Prague, 
where he became a pupil of Sevcik for 
one year. 

Sametini made his debut in 1896 in 
Flushing, Holland, and achieved the dis 
tinction of a solo appearance with the 
Amsterdam Concertgebouw under Wil- 
lem Mengelberg in March of 1902. Since 
then he has appeared with practically 
- every leading orchestra in America and 
Europe. His American debut took place 
in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, during Christmas of 1912. 

Leon Sametini plays with a fine tone. He phrases with intelli 
gence and indulges in no banal effects for the sake of pleasing. 




ALEXANDER SCHMULLER 

THIS EMINENT Russian violin virtuoso and teacher was born on 
December 5, 1880 in Mazur, Russia. He studied the violin under 
Sevcik, Hrimaly, and Auer. In 1908 he went to Berlin, where he 

taught at the Stern Conservatory, and in 
1914 received an invitation from the 
Amsterdam Conservatory, which he ac 
cepted. Schmuller concertized a great 
deal with Max Reger and Leonid Kreut- 
zer, as well -as alone, both in Europe and 
in America, introducing many new works 
on his programs. He was the first to 
play Reger's "Violin Concerto* 7 and car 
ried on a lively propaganda for his 
favorite composer and friend. Schmul- 
ler's is a deep, expressive tone. He is an 
exceptional ensemble player. 

At present he is occupying an im 
portant post at the Amsterdam Conserv 
atory. During his American season of 1922-23 he appeared under 
the baton of his friend, Willem Mengelberg, as well as with Stokow- 
ski, Gabrilowitch, and others. 




Violinists 



249 




JOSEPH SZIGETI 

JOSEPH SZIGETI'S chief musical characteristics are extreme ele 
gance and dignity. His career has been a succession of successes. 
The long list of orchestral engagements which he has filled in the 

past several seasons is more eloquent 
than any description of his playing. 
Famous as a player of classics, Szigeti is 
also renowned as the violinist who has 
introduced many of the new works of the 
violin repertory. Hamilton Harty's Vio 
lin Concerto dedicated to Szigeti; Bus- 
oni's Violin Concerto; Bloch's Violin 
Sonata and ProkofiefFs Violin Con 
certo are a few of the modern composi 
tions which he has played at the pre 
mieres. Eugene Ysaye's Sonata for Solo 
Violin, recently published, is another 
work dedicated to Szigeti. This sonata, 
introduced by him, made a great success ; 
the violinist received a letter of gratitude from the composer thank 
ing him for his brilliant efforts in behalf of "an old minstrel." 

The American composer, Templeton Strong, now living in 
Geneva, has also composed a work for Szigeti a poem for violin 
and orchestra, which Szigeti played in Europe, and also in New 
York under Mengelberg. 

Orchestral conductors are perhaps the severest judges of solo 
instrumentalists. The unanimous approval of an artist by cele 
brated conductors is probably the highest possible endorsement. 
Joseph Szigeti has been selected by Leopold Stokowski, Wilhelm 
Furtwaengler, Walter Damrosch, Frederick Stock, Sergei Kousse- 
vitzky, and Fritz Reiner as soloist. 

During the past few years, Szigeti has appeared as soloist in 
Europe with Furtwaengler and Bruno Walter in Berlin, Pierne 
and Rene-Baton in Paris, Ysaye in Brussels, Richard Strauss in 
Salzburg, Mengelberg in Amsterdam, Reiner in Prague, Schnee- 
voigt in Stockholm, Ansermet in Geneva, and with many other im 
portant conductors. 

London proclaimed him as "one of Nature's violinists." 
Ghristiania announced that his playing had the "sacred fire." 
Amsterdam described him as "grand, noble." Bologna declared 
that such playing has been "unknown to us since the interpreta 
tions of Kreisler." Madrid hailed him "a magician." Paris con 
siders him "among the most remarkable," while Brussels holds him 



250 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

to be in the same category. Bucharest says that he "combines all 
the qualities of the great artists," and Rome summarizes him as 
"master of the violin." 

Joseph Szigeti was born in Budapest on September 5, 1892, and 
studied with Hubay, making his debut at the age of thirteen in 
Budapest, Dresden, and London. He was the last of the great con 
temporary violinists to come to America. Brought over by the 
Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra, under Stokowski, he ap 
peared as soloist in the autumn of 1925, first in Philadelphia, and a 
few days later in New York City. His success was great and imme 
diate. Engagements followed with all the leading orchestras. He 
has since played with the Chicago, Boston, and many other leading 
symphonic organizations in United States. 

Olin Downes, music reviewer of the New York Times, wrote 
"De Musset remarked that while his glass was small it was his own. 
An artist's style may be intimate or commanding, he may deal in 
broad brush strokes or effects of miniature ; the first and last requi 
site is that he do a beautiful thing and reveal himself in doing it. 

"These cogitations are induced by the violin recital of Joseph 
Szigeti last night in Aeolian Hall. This was Mr. Szigeti's first ap 
pearance in recital in New York. He had performed several days 
previously in Carnegie Hall with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and 
his performance on that occasion had bred curiosity to hear him 
under more intimate circumstances. The result justified expecta 
tions. Mr. Szigeti appears to be most himself, and to show most 
effectively the different phases of his artistic personality when he 
can get close to his audience and discourse the music of different 
composers. He played last night Tartini, Bach, Mozart, Bloch, 
Prokofieff, Veracini, Dvorak, Kreisler, and Paganini. He met each 
of these creative personalities on his own ground, yet with indi 
vidual perspective and within a self-appointed scale of values, 
achieved effects of much variety and artistic value. Mr. Szigeti 
never relied upon superficial means for his results. He was always 
the finished virtuoso, the distinctive musician. 

"There was a lightning change from the radiant Mozart to the 
savage, rhapsodic Orientalism of Ernest Bloch. His two pieces, 
'Viduf and 'Nigun' are masterly in their brevity and intensification 
of mood. They say much in little, and are Hebraic in the emotional 
force and the jagged contour of the melodies. They were given 
their true character, their utmost significance by Mr. Szigeti, and 
this without an instant of ugliness, roughness or bad taste. The t 
tone assumed a new sensuousness and there was a dramatic accent 
that would have been unexpected in a less intuitive player." 

Szigeti's successes in Eussia were extraordinary. As a proof of 
this, the government has invited him three successive times to play 



Violinists 251 



in the leading cities of that country. He was invited there together 
with the famous conductor, Otto Klemperer, to play as soloist at the 
Beethoven Festivals there in April of 1927. 

The author was present at Szigeti's farewell concert on March 
24, 1926, In New York. It was extraordinary in many respects. 
In the first place, Szigeti had as a companion the famous Swiss 
pianist, Walter Gieseking. The afternoon was given to playing 
sonatas of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. The ensemble was per 
fect, and Szigeti's playing recalled the golden days of Joachim, to 
whom Szigeti can well be likened, if there is such a thing as com 
parison in the world of mature art. 

Szigeti is a young man of medium height, with an attractive 
stage personality. He is an accomplished linguist, and writes and 
speaks English fluently. He has made a study of American music 
and has played several premieres of American works. 

He now makes his home in Paris. 



TOSCHA SEIDEL 

TOSCHA SEIDEL'S tone is singularly sweet and clear ; and technical 
ly he is as near perfection as human skill can hope to come. As a 
boy of seven he astonished audiences in Warsaw, not alone by his 

phenomenal ability in playing, but by his 
precocious musical sense that was obvi 
ous in performances. His progress has 
attracted world-wide notice, and he is 
today one of the most admired violinists 
in the world. 

Toscha Seidel's playing is like the 
wines of Burgundy: of a deep purple, 
warm, sparkling and mellow. The con 
trast between him and his fellow-student, 
Jascha Heifetz, was summarized by a 
certain critic, who said : "Jascha Heifetz 
is the angel of the violin, while Toscha 
Seidel is its devil." There is a wild pas 
sion and abandon in Toseha's playing 
that is not to be found in these days of cultured and sober 
musicians. 

Toscha Seidel was born in Odessa, Eussia. His mother was a 

school teacher, his father a business man, and his uncle, Beerman, 

a well-known violinist. Toscha at the age of three "chose" his 

uncle's profession. He was "a boy born with a fiddle in his hand." 

His first teacher was Max Fiedelmann, a pupil of Auer. Once 




252 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

when his teacher's brother, Alexander Fiedelmann (first teacher 
of Mischa Elman), heard the boy play a De Veriot concerto when 
he was eight years old, he was so impressed that he made arrange 
ments for him to enter the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. In 1912 
Toscha Seidel was sent to Auer, spending his summers in Dresden 
and his winters in Petrograd. In 1915 the boy made his debut in 
Christiania, playing the Tschaikowsky "Concerto/' He gave other 
concerts in Scandinavia, and made his first public appearance in 
Petrograd in April, 1916. Then followed a long concert tour. 

Seidel, who represents the fruition of Auer's formative gifts, 
has, to quote H. F. Peyser, "the transcendental technique observed 
in the greatest pupils of the master, a command of mechanism 
which makes the rough places so smooth that the traces of their 
roughness are hidden from the unpracticed eye." Speaking of his 
master's methods, Toscha said once: "Professor Auer always 
taught us to play as individuals, and while he never allowed us to 
overstep the boundaries of the musically aesthetic, he gave our in 
dividuality free play within its limits. When playing for him, if 
once I came to a passage which demanded an especially beautiful 
legato rendering, he would say: 'Now show how you can sing!' 
The exquisite legato he taught was all a matter of perfect bowing, 
and as he often said : 'There must be no such things as strings and 
hair in the pupil's consciousness. One must not play violin, one 
must sing violin.' " 

Auer's classes were held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at the 
Petrograd Conservatory. Those were the gala days ! All the pupils 
used to stop in front of Auer's studio, listening to his great pupils' 
playing. Once (in 1913) while I was on my way to take my 'cello 
lesson in an adjoining chamber on the famous third floor of the 
Conservatory, I also stopped to listen. The marvelous strains of 
Beethoven's "Concerto" were issuing from the room into the cor 
ridors. Such playing should have been that of a mature master. 
A little boy emerged from the classroom, dressed in a sailor's suit. 
A woman of a southern type, who had been very restless, clasped 
him in her arms. It was Seidel and his mother. The students 
looked wide-eyed on the prodigy. On those days when Seidel, 
Heifetz, or Cecilia Hensen played, some other of Auer's pupils, 
who came prepared to take their lessons, and whose turn happened 
to be immediately after those geniuses of the bow, would lose con 
fidence and find all kinds of excuses for not playing on that day. 

Toscha's mother was much concerned with her son's academic 
and worldly education. She engaged the services of a Russian- 
German professor of philosophy and mathematics, a certain Pro 
fessor Galatzky, who was tutor and guide to Toscha and his brother 
during their travels in Scandinavia and in America. In 1916 I met 



Violinists 253 



Auer and his "court suite" at the famous resort, Voxenkollen, near 
Christiania. There were Seidel and Heifetz, with their families, 
Burgin, Max Rosen, Stassevitsch, May Bang (a talented violinist, 
armies during the war. In 1919, he made his New York debut in 
and daughter of a Christiania bishop). There I became a close 
friend of the charming Seidel family. Toscha was called by the 
Norwegians "Tosca/' and for a long time he and Jascha Heifetz 
held sway over the city, and the hearts and ears thereof. The main 
music hall in Christiania was occupied by these two for weeks in 
succession Toscha and Jascha alternating. The dark-headed boy 
captivated Norwegian hearts even more than the fair-headed one. 
During that time, in one of the Norwegian dailies, the following 
joke bearing on the subject of the boy's name, was printed: "A 
man in the street car, dressed in evening clothes, asked his neigh 
bor, f And where are you going, Hans ?' 1 am going to hear Tosca 
of Puccini, and you?' 'I am going to hear Tosca of Seidel.' " 

Toscha with his mother and brother and tutor, lived in the 
city of Christiania, and not at Voxenkollen, where some of the 
other Auer students lived. The reason for this was two-fold 
economy, and the great freedom allowed the students at dormitories 
in which they lived to practice whenever they wanted, while those 
living at the hotel had much trouble on that account. 

Auer, in his reminiscences, speaks much of Seidel, and relates 
the details of his dual concert with Heifetz before the King and 
Queen of Norway. 

Coming to America from Europe in 1918, Seidel instantly won 
recognition as a bright light of the violin world. Of his New York 
debut, W. J. Henderson of the Sun said: "He plays with dashing 
grace and great brilliance," and the late H. E. Krehbiel of the 
Tribune wrote : 'In dash and fire, breadth of bowing, solidity and 
richness of tone, his performance was unforgettable." 

The Chicago Evening Post said : "Toscha Seidel settled all pos 
sible questions as to his power as a virtuoso." The Minneapolis 
Journal found him "a giant of the violin." The St. Paul Daily 
thought him "an uncanny blend of technique and fire a very 
flower of Slavic genius." The Detroit Free Press discovered action 
and life in his playing. Each city found new wonders in his art. 

From Australia, where Seidel made a tour in 1923-24, also came 
many flattering reports regarding his successes there. That was 
Seidel's first tour of the Antipodes and it meant his complete con 
quest of both Australia and New Zealand. 

On his tour of Europe in 1925, he played a series of recitals in 
Christiania, and every concert was sold out days m advance. In 
Paris, Le Gaulois said: "He possesses an impeccable virtuosity." 
His playing of the incredibly difficult Brahms "Concerto" elicited 



254 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

from the Daily Mail the remark that "Kreisler at his best did not 
play the Brahms Concerto with more animated passion than this 
youth, who showed no intimidation at its oppressive traditions, 
rather handling it heartily, whereby the music lived more warmly." 

SeidePs interpretation of Mendelssohn's "Concerto" is in a class 
by itself. Thread-like, his tone undulates upon the air. Light are 
the inflections he plays upon it. Sunshine and shadow no more than 
ripple over it. Fine-spun are the transitions, a modulation is a mere 
touch of bow and finger; rhythm stirs rather than beats; ara 
besques are tracery on gossamer. 

Toscha Seidel and his brother, Vladimir, suffered an irreparable 
loss in the death of their mother, on April 26, 1925, in England, 
after a short illness. 



EDUARD SINGER 

THE HUNGARIAN violinist, Singer, won great fame as a virtuoso, 
pedagogue, and chamber music player. He was born on October 
14, 1831, and received his musical education in Budapest under 

Ellinger and Professor Eidely Cohen. 
After several concert tours, he went to 
Vienna, where he finished his violin 
studies under Professor Preyer. From 
1851 on, Singer made concert tours 
through Europe, which were highly suc 
cessful. 

In 1854 Singer was invited to Weimar 
on Liszt's recommendation to succeed 
Ferdinand Laub as court concert master 
and chamber music player, but in 1861 
he moved on Meyerbeer's invitation to 
Stuttgart. Here he took the post of Pro 
fessor at the Conservatory, and was also 
concert master for a long time. 
Singer won honor as a composer of violin compositions, princi 
pally of an elementary nature. He wrote many etudes, capriccios, 
and fantasias, and also arranged and edited many classic pieces for 
violin. Together with Deifritz, he founded an excellent school of 
violin playing. 




Violinists 



255 



JENNY SKOLNIK 

JENNY SKOLNIK, scion of a very musical Russian family, and 
gifted young violinist, was born in Odessa, Russia, in February of 
1896. Her first teacher was Sitt. Later she studied under Fiedel- 

man (the teacher of Toscha Seidel), fin 
ishing: her studies under Carl Flesch. Her 
brother, Ilya Skolnik, is the well-known 
concert master of the Detroit Symphony 
Orchestra, and her sister, Marie Skolnik- 
Wellerson, was a gifted 'cellist (who has 
a young- daughter, Mila Wellerson, al 
ready well known as a player on the same 
instrument) . 

Jenny Skolnik is now living in the 
United States, from where she under 
takes very successful concert tours 
through the musical centers of Europe, 
and America. 




MAX MOSSEL 

MAX MOSSEL, the younger brother of the famous Dutch 'cellist, 
Isaac Mossel, was born in Amsterdam on July 25, 1871, and like 
his brother showed his musical predilections at an early age. He 
studied the violin with Willy Hess and Sarasate, and made Ms 
debut at the age of fifteen, as soloist for the Hommel Orchestral 
Society, in Holland, in October, 1876. 

On July 5, 1892, he appeared, this time also as soloist, at the 
Crystal Palace Saturday Evening Concerts in England. Since 
then Max Mossel has made numerous wide tours and has estab 
lished a reputation as one of Holland's great violin virtuosi. 

He is at present director of the Max Mossel concerts in the 
chief cities of Great Britain, and Professor of the Guildhall 
School of Music in London, being intimately connected with that 
country's musical life. 



256 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




HELEN TESGHNER TAS 

HELEN TESCHNER TAS, daughter of an internationally known 
physician, Dr. Jacob Teschner, was born in New York on May 24, 
1889. She began the study of the violin when she was five years 

old, her first teacher being Nahan Franko 

and her second, Sigmund Deutsch. At 
seven years of age she made her initial 
public appearance, playing at Chickering 
Hall, and was announced by the Musical 
Courier as "certainly the most remark 
able child violinist, who has ever ap 
peared in this country within present re 
collection, if ever." 

With her entrance at Dr. Julius Sach's 
private school, Helen Teschner discon 
tinued her appearance as a child prodigy. 
Violin studies with Henry Schradick and 
George Lehman filled the years until she 
went to Germany for further musical 
study. Her teachers abroad were Carl Flesch and Willy Hess. In 
1909 she made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 
under Ernst Kunwald, playing Bach and Bruch concertos and the 
Beethoven "Romanzes." Recitals in Berlin and Vienna followed 
and other orchestral appearances at which she performed the 
Brahms and Beethoven concertos, Lalo's "Symphonie Espagnole" 
and Bruch's "Scotch Fantasie." 

In 1913 Helen Teschner married Emile Tas, son of Louis Tas, of 
Amsterdam, Holland, and relinquished her professional career for 
a period of seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Tas made their home in New 
York, where the violinist appeared at a private benefit concert in 
1915 as soloist in the Brahms "Concerto" with the New York Phil 
harmonic. 

Her first public appearance in New York was at Aeolian Hall 
in 1920. These were followed the next season by a recital in Bos 
ton with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mengel- 
berg, when she was heard in the Brahms and Mendelssohn 
concertos. * 

An appearance with the New York Philharmonic under Mengel- 
berg, on which occasion she played Mozart's A major Concerto, 
took place the next season, and one in Holland with the Concertge- 
bouw Orchestra during the violinist's visit to Amsterdam. Helen 
Teschner Tas participated during the summer of 1923 in the con 
certs of American music given in Paris by Lazare Saminsky, at 



Violinists 257 



which she introduced Albert Elkus's "Concertino after Ariosti," 
Lazare Saminsky's "Hebrew Rhapsody/ 5 and shorter works by Al 
bert Stoessel, Emerson Whithorne, and Frederick Jacobi. 

American orchestral appearances the succeeding- season were 
with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Ossip Gabrilowitsch, 
and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Walter 
Henry Rothwell. In the Spring of 1924, Mme Tas gave a series of 
recitals in Holland. Upon her return to America she participated 
in concerts of the American Music Guild and the League of Com 
posers. Among the works she gave first hearings on these pro 
grams are: Louis Gruenberg's second Sonata and Alexander 
Tscherepnine's Sonata. Last season the violinist was heard with 
Arthur Loesser in three semi-public chamber music programs at 
Steinway Hall. 



MISCHA WEISBORD 

MISCHA WEISBORD began his violin studies at an early age under 
his father, who is an accomplished musician. He brought the boy 
to St. Petersburg (Leningrad) and entered him in the Conserva 
tory when the young violinist was nine years old. He could play 
the most complicated compositions from memory. Glazounoff 
heard him play, gave him a scholarship, and placed him in the 
most advanced class. The young violinist then studied music un 
der a number of famous teachers, including Auer, and was coached 
for a time by Paul Kochanski. During the war and the revolution 
Mischa and his father escaped to Siberia and gave concerts there. 

Some of the New York managers heard him play, and wished 
to engaged him for tours at once. But the father decided to go 
once more with the boy to Europe. He studied with Cesar Thomp 
son and Hubay, and gave concerts in all the European centers. In 
London young Weisbord gave a private recital for a phonograph 
company which gave him the money to continue his progress. The 
violinist then went to Berlin for further concertizing and study, 
and then toured Germany and the Scandinavian countries. In 
Stockholm two years ago, Weisbord was given a tremendous ova 
tion. His ten concerts there were immediately sold out within 
a few hours after the tickets went on sale. 

Coming to New York, Weisbord made his debut at Carnegie 
Hall on February 23, 1926, justifying all expectations of his for 
mer New York friends, and receiving glowing tributes from the 
press. Mischa Weisbord has a smooth flowing tone, brilliant tech 
nical attainment, and an intellectual grasp of his subject matter, 
gained in his many wanderings around the globe. 




258 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



HENRY WIENIAWSKI 

FEW VIOLINISTS succeeded more thoroughly in captivating their 
audiences than the famous violin virtuoso, Henry Wieniawski, 
whose impetuous Polish-Hebraic temperament, with its warm and 

tender feelings, gave color to his play 
ing. He was undoubtedly the greatest 
technician of his time. Wieniawsky is 
significant also as a composer. His com 
positions are, designed primarily for 
virtuosity effects. Who, for example, is 
not acquainted with his celebrated vio 
lin concertos in D minor and F sharp 
minor, his two "Polonnaises," his famous 
"Fantasy on the Faust Motive," his 
"Legend," his "Mazurkas," and numer 
ous other monuments to Ms art? 

Wieniawski was born on July 10, 
1835, in Lublin, Russian Poland, where 
his father practiced medicine. He was 
taken to Paris by his mother when he was only eight years old, 
and entered the Conservatoire, where he joined Massart's class. 
When only eleven he gained the first prize for violin playing, after 
which he made a concert tour in Poland and Russia. Soon, how 
ever, he returned to Paris to resume his studies, especially in 
composition. Together with his brother Josef, an excellent pianist, 
he went again in 1850 on a concert tour through the Netherlands, 
England, Germany, and Russia. 

In 1860 he received the appointment of solo violinist to the 
Czar of Russia, and held that position for about ten years in St. 
Petersburg, after which he resigned. In his book, My Long Life 
in Music, Auer speaks thus of Wieniawski: "He was delightful 
company. He was always saying something that provoked laugh 
ter, always full of puns and anecdotes. He was never serious, 
save when his violin in his hands, he commenced to practice; but 
he practiced several hours a day. As regards the court, he was 
such a favorite there that no serious objection was made to Ms 
habitual late-coming to the performances. One day he had been 
asked to play at a soiree-musicale at the house of one of the rich 
est bankers in St. Petersburg. At those affairs the Baron was ac 
customed to entertain the most aristocratic society of the capital. 
The day after the soiree, Wieniawski received a letter from the 
Baron containing a bank note for 100 roubles and the Baron's 
card on which he had written 'with a thousand thanks/ Wieniaw- 



Violinists 259 



ski, furious, at once put the 100 rouble note in an envelope, to 
gether with his own card, on which he scribbled: 'I should have 
preferred a thousand roubles with a hundred thanks/ Baron X, 
delighted, sent him the 1,000 roubles the following day." 

In 1862 he was invited to take a position as professor at the 
St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he remained five years. It 
was at the conclusion of this engagement that he made his tour 
in the United States with Anton Rubinstein, who was his intimate 
friend. When the great pianist returned to Europe, Wieniawski 
remained in America and succeeded in making a large fortune 
by his performances. 

This tour was cut short toward the end of 1874 by a telegram 
from Brussels, offering him the professorship in violin at the con 
servatory there, during the illness of Vieuxtemps. When Vieux- 
temps recovered, Wieniawski resumed his tours. During one of 
those concerts he was seized by a sudden spasm and compelled to 
stop in the middle of the Bach "Chaconne." Joachim was among 
the guests. He came to the rescue, taking up Wieniawski's violin 
and finishing the program. Notwithstanding his great physical 
suffering, Wieniawski continued on his tour, but in Odessa he 
broke down altogether. He died on April 2, 1880. 

It is stated as a fact, although it sounds improbable, that this 
unusual violinist died friendless and poor in a Moscow hospital, 
and that he was buried by public charity. But his son Jules con 
tradicts this, stating that his father died in the house of the 
Countess Meek, and was buried by Czar Alexander III, of whom 
he was the friend as well as the favorite violinist. A third version 
is that he was buried in Warsaw by his friends and relatives. 
One is reminded of the tomb of Moses, the whereabouts of which 
no mortal is supposed to know. 



OSCAR ZUGGARINI 

A MUSICIAN and virtuoso of uncommon ability, Oscar Zuccarini 
is one of the very few contemporary great Italian violinists. He 
was born in Rome on February 19, 1888 and studied at the Royal 
Liceo Musicale di Santa Cecilia under Ettore Pineli. Zuccarini 
played solo under Schneevoight, both in Kiev and Riga, and gave 
successful concerts at the Augusteo in Italy. Since 1913 he has 
been concert master of the Augusteo Orchestra, and has played in 
the Trio Romano and the Quinteto CristianL He is at present first 
violinist of the new Quarteto di ROBQ&. 




260 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



EFREM ZIMBALIST 

ALTHOUGH BORN In Russia, Zimbalist Is in many respects an 
American artist. He makes his home in New York City and 
spends most of his time in America. He has become one of the 

great factors in the musical life of New 
York, and is constantly in demand, not 
only for concerts, but as a judge in mu 
sical competitions of all sorts, and as a 
musical adviser. 

Zimbalist, owner of the famous "Ti 
tian" Stradivarius violin, commands per 
haps the most beautiful tone to be heard 
today. His contribution to music is 
purely musical rather than technical, al 
though he is one of the great virtuosi of 
all time. He has brought forward much 
beautiful new music. American com 
posers have found in Zimbalist a pro 
found exponent and a brilliant inter 
preter of their works. * 

As a composer, Zimbalist has distinguished himself not only in 
his contributions to the literature for the violin, but also as a 
writer of songs and piano pieces. Although eminently a serious 
musician, he has given to the light opera stage a highly successful 
musical play : "Honeydew," which had its premiere in New Haven, 
Connecticut, and was subsequently played with great success all 
over the United States. 

There is hardly a city in which Zimbalist has not played, nor is 
there a symphony orchestra of importance with which he has not 
appeared frequently as soloist. 

"Mr. Zimbalist's playing, coming after the vast deal of fiddling 
that we have heard lately, was refreshing in its artistic ma 
turity," said the New York Tribune. The New York Times wrote: 
Mr. Zimbalist gave a superb performance of the Glazounoff Con 
certo. It was a performance of gorgeously rich tone, entrancing 
cantilena, and in the florid passages, brilliant and accurate." The 
Evening World said: "In this year of a remarkable invasion by 
foreign fiddlers, Mr. Zimbalist's sound musicianship and big tone 
enabled him to more than hold his own. It was masterly playing." 
Efrem Zimbalist was born in Eostov-on-the-Don, Russia, on 
April 9, 1889. His first teacher, as in the case of Heif etz, Elman, 
Kochanski, the Piastres, and others of the world's greatest, was 
his father, who was an orchestra conductor. In the autumn of 



Violinists 261 



1903 Efrem entered Auer's classes at the Conservatory in St. 
Petersburg (Leningrad) and was the forerunner of the famous 
coterie. Elman entered the conservatory one year later, then fol 
lowed Heifetz, Seidel, and the others. Speaking of the humilia 
tions and hardships the parents of the great Jewish violinists had 
to bear on account of the old Czarist laws in Holy Russia, Auer 
says sympathetically in My Long Life in Music : 

"Similar difficulties arose with regard to Efrem Zimbalist, 
only in his case the one who suffered was his mother, who had 
accompanied him to St. Petersburg in order to place him with 
some family or other willing to take care of the boy, then between 
thirteen and fourteen years old. In this quest she spent several 
days with no success, meanwhile persecuted by the police. With 
out means and therefore unable to grease the palms of the guar 
dians of public safety, she was forced to leave her son's room one 
evening under menace of arrest. So mother and son were forced 
to walk the streets of St. Petersburg during the cold October 
nights, when the temperature sometimes dropped below zero. 
They wandered hither and thither, stopping to warm themselves 
in the all-night restaurants which catered to the factory hands 
working on night shifts and to the droshky drivers. And I never 
even suspected the depths of misery to which this poor mother 
had been reduced in her search of a lodging for her son. One 
morning when I had hardly arisen, Mme Zimbalist and her son 
were announced. Shivering with cold, they had come in to warm 
themselves and to ask my help. This time it was a question of a 
permit to remain in the city for a few days, something not so 
difficult to procure ; yet what physical and moral suffering had they 
not endured in the meantime! I was not personally acquainted 
with the current chief of police of St. Petersburg, but I wrote him 
a letter in which I pointed out the wretchedness of this poor 
mother, who was merely looking for a place where she could leave 
her child, laid stress on the boy's great talent, and in addition, 
assumed all responsibility for the infraction of the law involved. 
As a result I had the satisfaction of being notified that permission 
was accorded Mme Zimbalist to remain in the capital an entire 
week. How her heart must have grieved when she was obliged to 
leave this inhospitable city, to entrust her child to the keeping of 
strangers, and to face the depressing prospect of never being able 
to visit him when her mother-love prompted." 

After the Russo-Japanese war, there occurred throughout Rus 
sia so-called "school-strikes," and expression of revolt against exist 
ing authorities, who caused so many lives to be needlessly ex 
tinguished in an inglorious war. The striking students refused 
to attend the classes of the royalist-teachers, A similar strike 



262 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

took place, of course, at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. There 
were also "neutral" professors. Auer, in his reminiscences, re 
lates regarding that turbulent period in Russia : 

"As for myself who wished to have nothing at all to do with 
politics, I belonged to the latter class, which was regarded with 
suspicion by the strikers, who picketed the stairs and halls leading 
to the class rooms. Among the most fiery and jealous of the 
strikers who forbade their colleagues to visit the classrooms on 
pain of a beating was Efrem Zimbalist, then fourteen or fifteen 
years old. He was a picket on a guard in the corridors leading to 
my classroom, and watched all those who attended my classes. 
Whenever he met me in the corridor he would salute me proudly 
and continue to tramp his beat." 

Zimbalist was graduated from the Petrograd Conservatory as 
the winner of the coveted gold medal and the Rubinstein scholar 
ship of 1,200 rubles. On November 7, 1907, he made his Berlin 
debut, playing the Brahm's Concerto, and at once became 
famous. Shortly afterwards, he made his first London appearance 
(on December 9, 1907) and then appeared in many of the chief 
centers of Europe. 

I first met Zimbalist in Leipzig (where I was studying at the 
Conservatory under Prof. Julius Klengel, and was a member of 
the Gewandhaus Orchestra under Arthur Nikisch) . Zimbalist was 
the soloist with this Orchestra on January 1, 1910, playing the 
Glazounoff Concerto in A minor. I can still remember the ex 
cellent impression left on me by this great fiddler and musician. 
The day following, a certain Mr. Eugene Simpsen, the Leipzig cor 
respondent for the Musical Courier of New York, called on me at 
my home. He asked me to follow him to the house of a well- 
known Leipzig surgeon, Dr. Barban, and to take my 'cello along. 
We arrived at our host's house at about two in the afternoon. 
There I met Zimbalist, Schmuller, the two pianists, Leonid Kreut- 
zer and Telemaque Lambrino, and an old gentleman of about sixty, 
Dr. Margulies. I was told by the guests that the amiable old 
gentleman was in his day a favorite pupil of Wieniawski, but 
that he gave up a promising public career at the altar, on the re 
quest of his rich and jealous bride. 

After dinner, a quartet was organized. Dr. Margulies, whom 
those present respected for his excellent musicianship and vir 
tuosity, played the first violin; Zimbalist was modest enough to 
play the second violin, Schmuller played the viola and I played 
the 'cello. We played several quartets of Mozart, Haydn and 
Beethoven, as well as Brahms 7 F minor Quintet with Leonid 
Kreutzer; and later, with Lambrino, the Piano Quartet of 
Dvorak. The playing continued until after midnight, with occa- 



Violinists 263 



sional interruptions, when I had the opportunity to observe Zim- 
balist at close range. This gifted young man was the soul of the 
gathering and a charming gentleman. I also heard him that 
evening accompany one of the violinists at the piano. He has an 
uncommon gift for accompanying. That afternoon and evening are 
among the most pleasant of my life, and I will never forget it. 

His American debut Zimbalist made on October 27, 1911, with 
the Boston Symphony Orchestra, giving the first performance in 
America of Glazounoff s A minor Concerto. He was imme 
diately hailed as an artist of unusual merit. 

Zimbalist's list of novelties is amazing. He has introduced two 
American concertos those of Schelling and Powell, as well as 
one by Frederick Stock. He was the first to play the music of the 
Norwegian master, Tor Aulin, and he was also the first to recog 
nize the compositions of Albert Spalding. 

On June 15, 1914, in London, Zimbalist married the famous 
soprano, Alma Gluck, to whom he has since often acted as accom 
panist in her tours. 

Those who meet Zimbalist personally will find him a smiling 
man with a straightforward manner and address, and a re 
luctance to speak of his successes. He has no affectations. Despite 
his fame, he is. not convinced that he knows everything about 
making music on his instrument, and he still confers frequently 
with his illustrious teacher, Leopold Auer. Although about eighty 
years old, Professor Auer has not aged musically and is as keen 
a listener and as helpful a guide as ever he was a fact which 
Zimbalist finds of great advantage. 

The friendship of the old master and his celebrated pupil is 
deeply rooted. In 1925 Zimbalist, with the cooperation of Jascha 
Heifetz (whom he also accompanied at the piano on that occasion), 
organized a gala concert in honor of Professor Auer's birthday. 
He enlisted the aid of Josef Hofmann, Sergei Eachmaninoff, Ossip 
Gabrilowitsch, Siloti, Achron and Stassewitsh. The concert netted 
a very large sum. The most striking moment of the evening came 
when Zimbalist and Heifetz played a triple concerto with Leopold 
Auer, who still plays with the art and fire of his virtuoso days. 

Aside from his operetta "Honeydew," Zimbalist also composed 
a "Suite in old Form" for violin and piano (1911) ; Three Slavic 
Dances (1911) ; "Fantasy on the Motives of Rimsky-KorsakofFs 
*Le Coque d'Or' " ; arrangements for the violin, and many other 
works. Zimbalist's most recent composition is a Sonata for vio 
lin and piano, in G minor, which received its first performance in 
Carnegie Hall, New York, on March 5, 1926, with Emanuel Bay 
at the piano. 

In 1925, Zimbalist made a tour of the Orient, receiving a royal 



264 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

welcome wherever he appeared. He is much in demand in all parts 
of the world, and always plays to sold-out houses. He appears as 
soloist regularly every season on one of the Metropolitan Opera 
House Sunday Evening Concerts, as well as with the New York 
Philharmonic and New York Symphony Orchestras. 

Efrem Zimbalist is a happy personality, and a favorite in the 
most contrasted social circles. He is the beloved of his fellow 
Jews, and one can often hear him in concerts of a specifically Jew 
ish nature, on which occasion he often plays some of his own 
transcriptions of traditional national Jewish airs. The home of 
this charming man and great musician is the center of New York's 
musical life. 



LOUIS ZIMMERMAN 

THIS EXCELLENT artist, born at Groningen, Holland, on July 19, 
1873, received his first lessons from his father, and afterward's 
studied with P t . Ortman. In 1890 he went to Leipzig, where he 
had the advantage of receiving lessons from Hans Sitt, and after 
wards to Brussels, where he studied with Ysaye. He then made 
a tour of Holland and visited Hamburg, Frankfort, and other Ger 
man towns, his performances meeting with unvarying success. In 
1896 he was appointed Hofconcertmeister and soloist of the Court 
Orchestra at Darmstadt and from 1899 to 1904 he held the post 
of solo violinist of the celebrated Concertgebouw Orchestra in 
Amsterdam. In 1898 he played before Queen Victoria at Osborne. 
He has also played before his own sovereign, Queen Wilhelmina, 
at the Hague. 

Louis Zimmerman made his first public appearance before an 
English audience when he played the solo violin part in Richard 
Strauss's "Ein Heldenleben," on its initial performance in Eng 
land, under the composer's direction, at Queen's Hall, December 6, 
1902. On that occasion he made a distinctly favorable impression. 

A pupil of Carl Reinecke, he has produced several compositions, 
among others a quintet for clarinet and strings. 

Zimmermann also wrote a violin concerto (first performed in 
Amsterdam in 1921) ; variations for violin and orchestra; a string 
quartet, smaller pieces for violin and piano, and songs, 



Violinists 265 



LJEF ZEITLIN 

LJEF ZEITLIN, Russian violinist, one of the founders of the now 
famous "Conductor-less Orchestra" in Moscow, Russia, of which 
he has been chairman since its organization in 1922, has won for 
himself a place of honor in the hearts of his music-loving country 
men, because of his great musical talent and energy. So great a 
conductor as Otto Klemperer declared that he firmly believes in the 
growth and development of this idea of Zeitlin's. 

Ljef Zeitlin was born in Russia on March 14, 1881. He was one 
of Auer's violin pupils at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, being 
graduated in 1901. He became a member of the Colonne Orchestra 
in Paris, as well as of the Zeitlin Quartet, which he organized and 
which has since 'won esteem among its kindred organizations. In 
1910 he became concertmaster at the Zimny Theatre in Moscow, 
and later held the same post in Koussevitzky's Orchestra there. 

This excellent musician and executive is now professor at the 
Music School of the Moscow Philharmonic Society, 



'C. 



ELLISTS 





EVSEI ,BELOUSSOFF 

EVSEI BELOUSSOFF, eminent Eussian 'cellist, was born in Moscow 
in 1881. He entered the Imperial Moscow Conservatory at the 
age of eight. His entire musical education was directed by Was- 

sily Safonoff (at the time director of the 
Moscow Conservatory) and Professor 
Alfred von Glehn, a pupil of Charles 
Davidoff. He was graduated in 1903 
and was awarded the gold medal, the 
highest prize of the Conservatory. At 
the time of this award his name was en 
graved on the marble tablets of the con 
servatory to join those of many illus 
trious predecessors, among them: Tane- 
ieff, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Siloti, and 
others. In 1910 he received the prize in 
a contest of 'cellists from all parts of 
Russia. 

Before the war, Safonoff returned 
from America and toured through the capitals of Europe with 
BeloussofL During this period they played sonatas. Beloussoff 
also appeared as soloist when Safonoff conducted the leading or 
chestras of Europe. 

When, during the revolution, the musical centre of Russia 
shifted from Moscow and Petrograd to Southern Russia, Beloussoff 
became Professor at the Rimsky-Korsakoff Conservatory in Khar 
kov. He became one of the leaders of musical activity there, and 
organized many chamber music cycles, which were participated in 
by the leading musicians in Russia. In 1921 he and Alexander 
Borovsky, pianist, gave twenty-three concerts in Tiflis within the 
short period of three and a half months, playing every concert to 
capacity houses. In these twenty-three concerts Beloussoff ap 
peared not only as soloist and in chamber-music, but conducted 
the Civic Opera Orchestra in a cycle of symphony concerts. In 
1922 he played in Paris, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, 
Frankfort, Wiesbaden, and other cities, and before coming to Am 
erica, toured through Poland, Finland, Esthonia, and Lithuania. 
During the season of 1923-24, Beloussoff made his first Am 
erican tour, which carried him from coast to coast. He appeared 
as soloist in concerts, being acclaimed by critics and audiences 
alike as a brilliant artist of the highest order. Beloussoff s per 
sonality is engaging and dignified. In New York he married the 
daughter of the late well-known philanthropist, Max Levy. 

269 




270 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



CARL DAVIDOFF 

THE GREATEST 'cellist of the nineteenth century, and perhaps of all 
time, was Carl Davidoff. His playing was extraordinarily elegant, 
and he could gracefully overcome all technical difficulties. He was 

born on March 17, 1838, in Goldringer, 
Russia, and educated in Moscow, where 
in 1858 he was graduated from the Uni 
versity as a mathematician. His musical 
education began in childhood when he 
chose the 'cello as his instrument. He 
studied at first under Smith in Moscow, 
and later under Carl Schubert in St. 
Petersburg. 

In 1859 Davidoff went to Leipzig 
where he studied theory and composi 
tion with Hauptmann. From 1859 to 
1861 he was solo 'cellist at the Leipzig 
Gewandhaus; after the death of Grutz- 
macher, he was appointed 'cello teacher 
at the Leipzig Conservatory. 

Having made several concert tours, Davidoff returned to St. 
Petersburg, where he was invited to become soloist of the St. 
Petersburg Italian Opera (1861-77). From 1862 to 1865 he gave 
lectures on history of music at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, 
and after Schubert's death (1863) 'was appointed Professor of the 
'cello class. At the same time, he was appointed soloist of the 
Empress' court band. 

Davidoff contributed much effort to the newly organized Im 
perial Music Society. From 1866 to 1867 he was director of the 
St. Petersburg Conservatory. As an administrator, he was un 
tiring. He won the love of both colleagues and pupils by his 
humanity and kindness. 

As a 'cellist he was immensely popular both in Eussia and 
abroad. He toured England, France, Belgium, Germany and Rus 
sia. Besides a large and beautiful tone, his playing was noble, 
elegant, and technically perfect. Davidoff was a favorite of the 
Czar and other crowned heads. When he died on February 26, 
1889, in Moscow, the Imperial Court attended his funeral. 

As a composer, Davidoff had great talent and a refined taste, 
but unfortunately he left only a few works. "Gifts of Terek," a 
symphonic poem for orchestra, an orchestra suite, four concertos 
for cello, "Am Spring-Brunnen," "Allegro de Concert," a "Russian 
Fantasy" for 'cello, piano quintet, string quartet, string sextet, an 



'Cellists 271 



excellent "School for Violoncello," and songs. He also left an 
unfinished opera, "Mazeppa," the libretto of which he turned over 
during his life to Tschaikowsky, who made use of it for his opera 
of the same name. 

Leopold Auer, with whom Davidoff was associated at the St. 
Petersburg Conservatory, as well as in their famous string quar 
tet, says in My Long Life in Music: 

"Davidoff was a musical virtuoso of the first class. He en 
riched the 'cello repertory with several concertos and other com 
positions of real merit, some of which are still nearly forty years 
after his death holding their own on concert programs and 'cello 
curricula, and will, it seems to me, continue to do so for many 
years to come. He was a man gentle and timid by nature, yet 
gifted with a fund of real energy which disclosed itself only on 
rare occasions. At the least opposition of resistance, he withdrew 
himself and shut up like a clam. Owing to him and to its presi 
dent, the Grand Duke Constantine, the Eussian Music Society and 
the Conservatoire became Imperial institutions/' 



EMANUEL FEUERMANN 

DESPITE THE fact that the 'cello fulfills more functions than any of 
its stringed brethren, despite the fact that musicians and critics 
have considered it the leader of the stringed flock for a long time, 

it is only recently that it has received its 
due from the general public. 

There are two reasons why recogni 
tion has come to this instrument so slow 
ly there have been few great masters 
of it and amateurs play it with only the 
most agonizing results, for it is very dif 
ficult. Its size is unwieldy and its strings 
twice the length of the violin strings. 
Feuermann was the master of it at the 
age of fourteen. 

He was born in Kolomea, Austria, on 
November 22, 1902, and comes from a 
very cultivated musical family. His 
father, Marx Feuermann, still active as a 
violin and 'cello teacher in Vienna, was Emanuel's first teacher 
when the latter was only five years old. 

A few years later, the Feuermann family went to Vienna, 
where Emanuel became a pupil of Anton Walter (a wonderful 
'cellist himself, and member of the Rose Quartet in Vienna), with 




272 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

whom he studied for three years. At eleven, he gave his first 
debut in public, and at fourteen he toured Germany and Austria, 
being appreciated by critics and audiences. It was at that youth 
ful age that he played under Arthur Nikisch at the Gewandhaus 
in Leipzig, and under Felix Weingartner at the Philharmony in 
Berlin. 

In 1917 Feuermann went to Leipzig to study with the famous 
Professor Julius Klengel. After studying for three years, the 
young virtuoso, then seventeen, was invited to become Professor 
at the Koln Conservatory, as well as solo- 7 cellist of the Giirzenich 
Symphony Concert and member of the Giirzenich Quartet, in which 
posts he remained until 1923. Feuermann now devotes himself to 
concert and chamber music work exclusively. 

He has played under such conductors as : Bruno Walter, Furt- 
wanger, Nikisch, Weingartner, Klemperer, Busch, Abendroth, 
Pierne, and many others. During the past two seasons he also 
played in Moscow and Leningrad, where he had an enormous suc 
cess. The Isivestia wrote (on March 6, 1925) : "Enianuel Feuer 
mann is a great artist. His technique is remarkable and his tone 
is beautiful." On October 22, 1925, the newspaper Het Vater- 
land (Der Haag, Holland) wrote: "Feuermann, who belongs to the 
Casals class, is without doubt one of the greatest 'cellists we have." 

Feuermann is an excellent musician and grand virtuoso. He 
has fire and bravura, a brilliant technique, and a scintillant style, 
an acute sense of dramatic confrontation. 

Today he is acknowledged to be one of the greatest living 
interpretive artists. And for the great breadth of his powers 
he finds the 'cello the most satisfactory medium. 

Emanuel's brother, Sigmund Feuermann, is a very talented 
violinist and musician of note. 



EDUARD JACOBS 

EDUARD JACOBS, eminent Belgian 'cello virtuoso was born in Hal, 
Belgium, in 1851. He studied under Servais, at the Brussels Con 
servatory, and later went to Germany, where he became a mem 
ber of the Weimar Court Orchestra. Upon his return to Belgium, 
he became professor at the Brussels Conservatory. 

Jacobs made many tours as virtuoso through Europe and was 
particularly popular in Russia. He belonged to the old school of 
'cello virtuosity and was one of the favorite 'cello performers of 
his day. 



'Cellists 



273 




RAYA GARBOUSOVA 

FOR CENTURIES the violin has been considered supreme among 
string instruments. Violinists alone, of all string players, have 
been able to attain the popularity of singers or pianists, by virtue 

of technical possibilities of their instru 
ment and the appealing quality of its 
tone. But in the last few years a 'cellist 
has come to the fore, whose accomplish 
ments have gone far toward changing 
traditional beliefs. Her name is Eaya 
Garbousova. 

She sings so tenderly that she melts 
the heart of you; sings like an angel, 
either damned or celestial. There is 
something diabolic in her energy of at 
tack, an attack like the slash of a sabre. 
What temperament ! What surety! What 
purity of intention ! Technically she per 
ilously approaches perfection! 
Raya Garbousova was born on September 25, 1908, in Tiflis, 
Russian Caucasia. Her father, Boris, is a cornet player who is 
also a teacher at the Conservatory and a member of the symphony. 
At the age of seven, she started piano lessons, with her sister 
Lydia. A year later, she took her first 'cello lesson with Constantin 
Miniar, at the Tiflis Conservatory, from which she was graduated 
in 1923. She made such an impression with her playing, that the 
principals of the conservatory arranged a stipend for her, which 
enabled her to continue her studies in Moscow. 

Her first appearance was made at the age of nine. Since then, 
she has appeared under Conductor Suck, in Moscow ; under Paray, 
Wolf and Arbos, in Paris; under Peres Casses in Madrid; under 
Sir Henry Wood and Albert Coates in London. 

Critics have been unanimous in praise of Garbousova. When 
the famous 'cellist Casals heard her in Paris, he prophesied a great 
future for her. At her last appearance in London, the critic of the 
Westminster Gazette wrote: "Her success was indeed nothing 
short of sensational." Glazounoff thus described her in the Lenin 
grad Krasnaja Gazeta: "Her cantilena reminds one of singing 
and possesses a surprising variety of tone qualities. Everything 
in this young artist is extraordinary and she is herself a wonder 
of nature." 




274 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



JEAN GERARDY 

JEAN GERARDY, noted Belgian 'cellist, was born on the seventh 
of December, 1877, at Liege, where his father, Dieudonne Gerardy, 
was a piano teacher at the municipal conservatory. At the age 

of seven his studies were begun under 
Richard Boellmann. In less than two 
years he had won the second prize at the 
conservatory. In 1889, he was awarded 
the gold medal by unanimous consent of 
the jury. When ten years of age, he ap 
peared in public for the first time. The 
following year, when he played at Lille 
and Aix-la-Chapelle, newspaper critics 
hailed him as "an apparition destined to 
revolutionize the musical world." Each 
subsequent appearance s e r ve d to 
strengthen this prediction. Eugene 
Ysaye, who heard the boy during the 
Summer of 1888, was so greatly im 
pressed that he caused London appearances to be arranged where 
Gerardy appeared jointly with Ysaye and Paderewski. Since then 
his successes have been continuous and phenomenal. 

When he enlisted as a private soldier in 1914, it was his desire 
to remain unrecognized. After successfully concealing his iden 
tity for three years, the Belgian Queen finally discovered him, and 
summoned him to appear at a Red Cross Benefit Concert in Lon 
don at the Royal Albert Hall. At that concert the King and Queen 
of England, the Queen Mother, and the King and Queen of Bel 
gium were present. As Gerardy says : "In poker parlance, we had 
a 'full house 7 two kings and three queens/' 

Thereafter, until the armistice was signed, Gerardy, at his 
Queen's request, gave concerts at the "front," playing in all to 
more than 60,000 soldiers. When Gerardy made his last tour 
prior to his enlistment in the Belgian Army, he was generally rec 
ognized as having reached the pinnacle of perfection. 

Artistically, Gerardy is fascinating. He embodies every qual 
ity for completely conquering his audiences. 

The very manner in which he approaches his audience shows 
mastery and self-confidence. His listeners are captivated by his 
magnetic personality before he has drawn a single tone on his 
'cello. 

Gerardy has appeared for several seasons in the United States, 
making a great stir in music-loving circles. 



'Cellists 



275 



HE IN RICH GRUNFELD 

GRUNFELD is considered one of the most extraordinary 'cellists of 
the past generation. By his playing as soloist, and particularly in 
chamber ensemble, he established in Germany Bohemia's fame as 

a land of musicians par excellence. He 
was born on April 21, 1855 in Prague, 
and was a pupil under Hegenberdt at the 
local conservatory. At eighteen, he was 
soloist at the Vienna Opera. In 1876 
Griinf eld moved to Berlin and was most 
popular as a teacher at the Kulak Musik 
Akademie, where he taught for eight 
years. He also toured with his brother, 
Alfred, the pianist, through Germany, 
Austria, and other countries. 

In league with Xaver Scharwenka 
he organized in Berlin chamber trio con 
certs, which had great artistic success. 
This noble and gifted artist, the idol of 
Berlin society, was high in favor with the German Emperor, 
princes and counts, who covered him with medals and other tokens 
of favor. He also received the title of "soloist of the Prussian 
Court." He had an acquaintance and friendship with such colossi 
as Hans von Billow, Johannes Brahms, A. Eubinstein, I. Joachim, 
I. Strauss, Sarasate, D'Albert, Scharwenka, M. Sembrich, Sophia 
Menter, Adeline Patti, Zuderman, Fulder, Lindau, Bodenstedt, 
Spielhagen, Sonnenthal, Rodenberg, Lenbach, Edouard Hanslick, 
and many other celebrities. 

Griinf eld has other ambitions than success on the concert stage. 
Amid all his broad activities as a concert artist, organizer, teacher, 
and ever-welcome friend in all of Berlin's music circles, Grlinfeld 
preserved the one treasure which most musicians sacrifice to their 
success healthy nerves, sparkling humor, and cheerfulness. 




276 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



BORIS HAMBOURG 

THE WELL-KNOWN Russian 'cellist, Boris Hambourg, was born on 
December 27, 1884, in Voronetz, Russia, and is the son of Michael 
and Catherine Hambourg. His first teacher was his father, who 

was director of the Imperial Music School 
in Voronetz. Later, Boris studied 'cello 
with Herbert Wallen and Hugo Becker, 
and harmony with Professor Ivan 
Knorr, at Dr. Hoch's Conservatory in 
Frankfort. Later he studied in Paris 
and Brussels. 

Hambourg made his debut at the 
Tschaikowsky Festival in Pyrmont, Ger 
many (1903), and later appeared in 
Aeolian Hall, London (November, 1904), 
and with the Philharmonic Orchestra in 
Berlin (1906). He also toured Austra 
lia and New Zealand in 1903. At Aeo 
lian Hall, London, he gave five historical 
recitals on the 'cello (1906). 

Hambourg made his American debut in 1910. In Toronto, 
Canada, together with his father and brother Jan, he established 
the Conservatory of Music, but abandoned the enterprise after his 
father's death in 1916. Later he settled in New York. 

Boris Hambourg is also a talented composer, having published, 
among others, the following works : 

"Perles Classiques," for 'cello and piano, arrangements from 
original editions for 'cello and figured bass ; several songs and 'cello 
pieces, including six preludes and six Russian dances. 

Boris Hambourg is the brother of Mark, the famous pianist, 
and Jan, the violinist. 



MARIX LOEVENSOHN 

THE FAMOUS Belgian 'cellist and composer, Marix Loevensohn, 
to whom such contemporary composers as Flora Joutard, Henriette 
Bossman, Charles Granville Bantock, and many others, have dedi 
cated their works, was born in Coutari, Belgium, on March 31, 
1880. He studied under Jacobs at the Brussels Conservatory and 
on graduating in 1898, received the first prize. 




'Cellists 277 



The same year he made his debut in London, then toured 
through England with Adelina Patti, Albani, and Katherine Good- 
son. Marix Loevensohn is one of the best chamber-music "cellists, 
and one of the most learned musicians. He was successively mem 
ber of the Quartets of Wilhelmy, Marsick, Ysaye, and Thomson. 
He appeared as soloist in every center of importance in Europe, 
and also toured as soloist with the Colonne Orchestra (1905), 
visiting all the South American countries. The following year he 
toured with Ysaye. 

He also organized the "Loevensohn Modern Chamber Music 
Series" in Berlin, in which city he remained until 1914, when 
he enlisted in the Belgian army. He was discharged in 1916, and 
became soloist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. In 
1920 he was appointed first professor of 'cello at the Brussels Royal 
Conservatory. At present he is holding two similar positions at 
Amsterdam and Brussels. He is also a member of the Amsterdam 
String Quartet. 

Loevensohn has written many works for the 'cello ; many songs 
(in manuscript), and a brochure, called Chamber Music of Bel 
gian Masters. 



JOSEPH MALKI N 

JOSEPH MALKIN, Russian 'cellist, was born in Odessa, Russia, on 
September 25, 1879. When still a very young boy, he received his 
musical instruction on the violin. Two years later, however, he 
adopted the 'cello, studying at the Conservatory under Aloise, 
Later he went to Paris, where he entered the Conservatory, and 
studied under H. Rabaud. In 1898 he received the first prize. 
The same year he toured the Scandinavian countries with his broth 
er Jacques, the violinist, and repeated this tour for three successive 
years. In 1902 he was accepted as 'cellist with the Berlin Phil 
harmonic Orchestra, remaining with them for six years. He 
played under Nikisch, Mahler, Weingartner, Mottl, Strauss, Sibe 
lius, and others. In 1908 he left the Philharmonic to join the 
Brussels Quartet, and a year later toured as soloist throughout 
Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, Russia, and England. 

In 1914, because of his friendship with the famous Moltke, 
who had presented him with an excellent Ruggieri, Malkin was 
allowed to leave Germany for the United States, where he joined 
the Boston Symphony forces as first 'cellist. He remained in that 
capacity for five years. Later he served three years with the 
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and afterwards concertized for two 
years .with Geraldine Farrar, the famous American soprano, giv- 



278 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

ing concerts in the United States, Cuba, and Canada. Malkin has 
also concertized jointly with Melba, Emmy Destinn, Amato, and 
other celebrated artists. 

During the seasons of 1925-26-27, Malkin was first 'cellist with 
the New York Symphony Orchestra, under Walter Damrosch. 



ISAAC MOSSEL 

ISAAC MOSSEL, the teacher of nearly all present-day famous Dutch 
'cellists, was born in Rotterdam, Holland, on April 22, 1870. When 
three years old he started to study the violin, but soon forsook it 
for the 'cello. In 1885 he was a member of the Philharmonic Or 
chestra of Berlin, and from 1888 to 1904 soloist of the Concert- 
gebouw in Amsterdam. 

He began his long career as teacher by accepting a post at the 
Amsterdam Conservatory in 1890, from which institution he grad 
uated his numerous famous pupils. 

Isaac Mossel, who was the older brother of Max Mossel, the 
famous violinist, died in December of 1923. 



MICHAEL PENHA 

MICHAEL PENHA, eminent Dutch 'cellist, whose playing is of that 
"grand style," was born in Amsterdam in 1888. He was a student 
at the Amsterdam Conservatory, under Isaac Mossel, and later of 

H. Becker and Salmon. 

Penha appeared in Amsterdam in 
1907 and then toured Europe, South and 
Central America. In 1916 he settled in 
the United States, making occasional 
trips to Canada. He was leading 'cellist 
with the Philadelphia Symphony under 
Stokowski, and now 'occupies the same 
post with the San Francisco Symphony 
Orchestra under Alfred Hertz. 

His playing is marked by the fin 
ished virtuosity of a master. Wherever 
he appears in chamber music or as solo 
ist, he has been accorded an enthusiastic 
reception. 




'Cellists 



279 



GREG OR PIATIGORSKY 

GREGOR PIATIGORSKY, the 'cellist, ranks with that small galaxy of 
stars who look down from the heavens of the musical profession. 
He has been called the Russian Casals, and the Kreisler of the 'cello. 

Superlatives come readily to the pen 
of the critic reviewing his art. A daz 
zling technique, a warm rich tone that 
glows with color, a poetic insight and 
infinite variety of expression are out 
standing characteristics of his art. Added 
to his superb musical equipment is a per 
sonality of rare charm which captivates 
his audiences before he plays a single 
note. 

As in the case of so many musicians 
who have achieved distinction, Piati- 
gorsky comes of a musical family. His 
father, Paul, was an accomplished violin 
ist, and taught Gregory when the latter 
was seven years old. Before the lad was nine, he was playing the 
concertos of Saint-Saens and Davidoflf. At fifteen he was jsolo- 
'cellist of the Moscow Royal Opera. 

From 1916 to 1919 he studied 'cello with von Glen at the Mos 
cow Conservatory, from which he graduated with the Grand Prix. 
Later he studied in Berlin with Hugo Becker, and in Leipzig from 
1920 to 1922. He toured Poland and Germany in 1921, 
and has appeared with most of the European orchestras under the 
direction of such distinguished conductors as Furtwangler, Klem- 
perer, Bruno Walter, Muck, Monteux, Clemens Craus, and others. 
Since 1924 he has been first 'cellist at the Berlin Philharmonie. 

The story is told that during a premiere of Richard Straus's 
"Don Quixote/' the famous composer brought with him a special 
'cellist. The orchestra protested that their own first 'cellist be 
used. Straus, with an understandable respect for the difficulties 
of this work, agreed to dispense with his own 'cellist, if the other 
musician could play the score by sight. Piatigorsky accomplished 
the feat, and had his talents brought to the forefront as a result. 





280 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



JOSEPH PRESS 

THE MUSICAL world suffered one of its greatest recent losses when 
Joseph Press, still a young man, died on October 4, 1925, after his 
return to America with a newly purchased splendid Ruggieri 

'cello, from a successful tour in France 
and Western Europe. 

He returned to occupy his place as 
'cello instructor at the Eastman School 
of Music, in whose development he was 
actively interested, and to resume his 
other professional duties as first 'cellist 
of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra 
and member of the Kilbourn Quartet. 
A few days after his arrival, he caught 
a severe cold and was removed to the 
hospital. He developed double-pneu 
monia, and succumbed in a few days. 

This splendid musician and popular 
man was born in Vilna, Russia, on 
January 15, 1881. 

While still a very young boy, he studied under Weinbreh and 
Kleppel. Later he studied under von Glen at the Moscow Con 
servatory from which he was graduated with the Gold Medal. This 
was immediately followed by a career of concert playing and teach 
ing, which continued until the World War. During that time he 
was chief of the 'cello department at the St. Petersburg Con 
servatory. In 1920 he was offered a position on the faculty of the 
Berlin Music Academy, but decided to come to America. His 
cordial reception there influenced him to remain, and he shortly 
after became a member of the faculty of the Eastman School of 
Music. 

In 1921 he made his American debut in New York, and was 
accepted at once by public and critics as a 'cellist of unusual merit. 
A rare interpretative ability and superior technical mastery of 
the 'cello evoked enthusiastic commendation from the New York 
writers and the musical press of the country. 

Shortly before the outbreak of the World War, Press with his 
brother Michael, and the latter's wife, Maurina Press (pianist), 
organized the famous "Russian Trio," which won great renown 
in Russia and abroad. These musicians often played for the ex- 
Kaiser Wilhelm II and other royal persons in Europe. 

Joseph Press received many honors, among which were the 
gold Art and Science Medal of Germany. Not only as an artist, 



'Cellists 



281 



but as a man, Press was held in the highest esteem by all who 
knew him, because of his highly sympathetic disposition, nobility of 
mind, character and a staunch idealism that caused him, perhaps, 
much suffering in his career. The writer of this volume, who was 
associated with Press as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic, 
will never forget the rare friendship with his colleague. 



DAVID POPPER 

ONE OF the greatest 'cellists of our time was undoubtedly David 
Popper, born in Prague, Bohemia on June 18, 1846. 

His playing was to the highest degree elegant and artistic, and 
his technical mastery perfect. Popper 
received his musical education at the 
Prague Conservatory. From 1863 he 
toured Europe, soon winning great fame 
as soloist. Not only was his technique 
perfect, and his tone large and noble, 
but his interpretations were ever musi 
cal, intelligent, and moving. He was par 
ticularly well received at Karlsruhe in 
1865 where he played at a Musical Festi 
val, and in Vienna in 1867, where for 
several years he was soloist at the Vien 
na Court Theatre. 

During many years Popper was pro 
fessor at the National Academy in Bud 
apest, from which city he started his concert tours over Europe, 
meeting everywhere with great enthusiasm. 

In cooperation with Jeno Hubay he established the famous 
"Hubay-Popper String Quartet," which won great success. 

In 1872 Popper married the pianist, Sofia Menter, daughter of 
another famous 'cellist of his day. With her he made many con 
cert tours over Germany, France, Russia, and other countries. 

Aside from his activities as soloist and executive, he enriched 
'cello literature by writing many beautiful and charming composi 
tions, mainly of the salon genre. These include: two concertos (E 
minor and G major), two suites, Requiem for three 'cellos, five 
Spanish Dances, the famous "Gavotte" in D, "Papillon," "Spinning 
Song," "Elf -Dance," and many other beautiful works, both original, 
transcriptions and arrangements. 

A characteristic of his work is the brilliant and effective ac 
companiments which, it is said, he owes to his wife. 
This great 'cellist died in Baden, Austria, in 1913. 




282 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



JOACHIM STUTSCHEWSKY 

JOACHIM STUTSCHEWSKY, the well-known Russian 'cellist, was 
born on February 7, 1891, in Romny (near Poltava), Russia. He 
conies of a musical family; his father and grandfather were pro 
fessional musicians. 

He began to play the violin at the 
age of five, but it was a year later before 
he received regular lessons. At twelve, 
he expressed the wish to change to 'cello. 
It happened, however, that the town of 
Cherson, where the Stutschewsky fam 
ily was residing, lacked a single 'cello 
teacher, and Joachim had to take his first 
lessons from a bass player. 

Shortly after, an accomplished 'cel 
list, Kusnetzoff, came to the town, and 
taught the lad for several years. 

In October of 1909, he studied at the 
Leipzig Conservatory with Professor 
Julius Klengel ('cello), and Emil Paul (theory). Upon being 
graduated in 1912, he left for Zurich, where, till 1924, he was 
active as soloist, chamber music player, and pedagogue. He also 
toured in Germany, Holland and Austria. 

He came to Vienna in 1924 and with three renowned musicians 
organized the Wiener Streichquartett, which gave successful con 
certs in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. 
He left this organization in 1927 to devote himself to concertizing 
and 'cello teaching. 

He is also a talented composer. Specially interesting are his 
Jewish compositions: "Mchol Kedem," "Dweikuth," arrange 
ments of "Eli, Eli," and other works. His "Studien zu einer neuen 
Spieltechnik auf dem Violincello," (exercises for the left arm) is 
also an interesting work, and a new method for developing a high 
technique. 

Stutschewsky has contributed articles in the Wiener Morgen- 
zeitung, Israelitisches Wocheriblatt, Das Judische Heim, Neue 
Zuricher Zeitung, and Die Musi'k. He is now living in Vienna. 




'Cellists 283 




JACOB SAKOM 

JACOB SAKOM, the Russian 'cellist, was born in the little town of 
Ponieweje, Lithuania, on July 9, 1877. 

Although he started to take piano lessons at an early age, the 

lad was soon forced to abandon them, 
for his father, a lawyer, removed his 
family to another town, Shavly, and in 
sisted that his son first receive a general 
education. Jacob therefore entered the 
local high school, which boasted a stu 
dent orchestra. At the age of fourteen, 
Jacob decided to take 'cello lessons with 
the leader of the orchestra. 

After being graduated from the high 
school, Sakom went to Kiev in order to 
enter the university, where he studied 
physics and mathematics. At the same 
time he entered the Royal Music School 
of the same city, studying 'cello with 
von MulerL 

At twenty-four, Sakom was graduated both from the univer 
sity, with a doctor's degree, and the Royal Music School, with a 
diploma and the first prize. He then decided to become a profes 
sional musician and left for Leipzig, where he studied 'cello with 
Professor Julius Klengel, and theory and composition with Ste- 
phan Krehl. 

He was graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory in 1905, re 
ceiving first prize for his wonderful and highly cultivated playing. 
He accepted an invitation of the Philharmony in Hamburg, as first 
solo 'cellist. 

Sakom possesses a fine noble tone, and is a musician par excel 
lence. He is at present living in Hamburg, where, besides being 
the leading 'cellist with the Philharmony, he engages in pedagogy 
and is a chamber music executor. 

He has concertized through Germany, Sweden, and the Nether 
lands, and is acclaimed an unusual 'cellist. He was a member of 
the "Fidelman Quartet" and the "Quast Trio." 

JACQUES VAN LIER 

THE NAME of Jacques van Lier, the Dutch 'cellist, is well known 
among 'cellists and musicians at large. He is considered as one 
of the foremost interpreters on his instrument. Both as soloist 



284 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

and chamber-music performer, he occupies a place of high rank. 
Jacques van Ller was born in the Hague on April 24, 1875. He 
studied 'cello with Hortog, Joseph Griese at the Hague, and with 
Eberle, in Rotterdam. He was first 'cellist in Basle from 1891 to 
1895, after which he made many tours, and finally established him 
self in Berlin as member of the Philharmonic Orchestra. From 
1897 till 1899 he was teacher at the Klindvorth-Scharwenka Con 
servatory, and also a member of the Dutch Trio, with Coenraad 
Boss and Joseph van-Yen. He is the author of "Violincello Bogen- 
technik," "Moderne Violincello Technick," and composer of many 
classical works for the 'cello. Of particular value and excellence 
is his 'cello transcription of the well-known Burmeister "Stiicke 
Alter Meister," originally written for the violin. He Is at present 
in England, where he organized in 1910, the Hermann vanLier 
Quartet. 



MIL A WELLERSON 

THIS PHENOMENAL seventeen-year-old 'cellist proudly carries with 
her a formal Introduction from an older colleague, the famous 
and unsurpassed 'cellist, Pablo Casals, which reads: 

LONDON, Nov. 22, 1925. 
To Whom It May Concern: 

The violoncellists Mila Wellerson pos 
sesses the genius of her instrument. She 
was ready to play in public at ten years of 
age. Today she has been recognized as a 
great artist in the principal musical centers 
of Europe. PABLO CASALS. 

Mila Wellerson was born in New 
York City of Russian parentage, March 
30, 1910. Her mother, Mera Skolnik, 
is a 'cellist, and her father, Max Weller 
son, a pianist. At the age of two and a 
half, Mila would hide in the room to 
gether with her twin sister, Eugenia 
(violinist), waiting for her mother to 
leave the room after practicing on her 

'cello. The twins would then fight for the privilege of playing on 
their mother's instrument. The winner would climb upon a chair 
to reach the fingerboard of the 'cello and would then pick out by 
ear the melodies which she had heard her mother play. Perhaps 
it was Mila's physical superiority and special desire for the 'cello 
in those early battles of ambition that turned her thoughts towards 
becoming a 'cellist. On her third birthday she was asked if she 




'Cellists 285 



wanted a sled, a doll, or other things of the kind. She answered that 
she wanted only a little 'cello. But no 'cellos could be found small 
enough for her diminutive hands. So by taking a large viola and 
inserting a peg on the bottom, her mother manufactured a service 
able "baby cello" on which Mila at once began to play, under her 
mother's guidance. At the age of four, Mila could play sonatas 
by Romberg, Corelli and others. At the age of six, she played 
as 'cello soloist with the Young Men's Symphony Orchestra under 
Arnold Volpe, performing the A minor Goltermann concerto. 
At the age of nine, she gave several recitals at Carnegie Hail, 
New York, playing the most difficult compositions with such ease 
and understanding that old musicians and the press proclaimed 
her a great genius and a finished master of her instrument. At 
ten, she was engaged as soloist with the Cincinnati Orchestra un 
der Eugene Ysaye. The critics as well as the audience went into 
raptures over her playing, and Ysaye also paid tribute to her. 
The same year she went to Paris, where she took a competitive 
examination in the Conservatoire. Some of the judges advised 
her she would be wasting time by studying, since she knew before 
hand more than those who had been graduated with highest hon 
ors. 

Immediately afterwards, she was engaged as soloist with the 
Colonne Symphony in Paris, under the direction of Gabriel Pierne. 
After giving several recitals, she came to Germany, playing with 
principal symphony orchestras as soloist. She gave many con 
certs and the critics proclaimed her the greatest artist on the in 
strument of her times. 

Mila, has transcribed Paganini's "Violin Concerto for the 
'Cello," and has composed a number of pieces which she plays at 
her concerts. 



PIANISTS 




ISIDOR ACHRON 

THE VERY talented pianist and accompanist, Isidor Achron, is 
a brother of Joseph Achron, the famous violinist and composer. 
Isidor was born on November 11, 1892, in Warsaw. As he showed 
a decided musical learning in early childhood, his older brother 
placed him in the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied 
first under M. Vilaschevski and Mme Ersipov, and was graduated 
from the classes of Doubassov (1918). There he also studied 
theory, first with his brother and later under Liadov. 

Isidor Achron concertized widely in Russia and Germany, 
and appeared as soloist with a large symphony orchestra in Pav- 
lovsk, near St. Petersburg. In Berlin he gave four concerts in the 
course of one season. He came to the United States in 1922, 
where he made his debut in a concert at Carnegie Hall, New York. 
Later he was engaged by Jascha Heifetz as his permanent ac 
companist. 



CLARENCE ABLER 

CLARENCE ADLER, pianist and pedagogue, was born in Cincinnati, 
Ohio, on March 10, 1886. He obtained his early musical training 
at the Cincinnati College of Music under Romeo and Albino Gorno. 
Later he studied in Berlin with Godowsky and Jose da Motta; with 
Alfred Reisenauer in Leipzig; and with Raphael Joseffy in New 
York. His European debut took place in Berlin in 1907, after 
which he was engaged to succeed Arthur Schnabel as pianist of 
the Hekking Trio, which toured the Continent. He returned to 
America in 1909 and established himself in Cincinnati where, 
together with Hugo Heermann (violinist) and Julius Sturm ('cell 
ist), he organized a trio. 

He also was active there as teacher until 1912, when he was 
induced by Joseffy to come to New York. His first appearances in 
New York were with the Kneisel Quartet and with the New York 
Symphony in 1913. The same year he was engaged as member 
of the faculty of the Institute of Musical Art. In 1919 he appeared 
on numerous occasions with Kneisel and the Letz Quartet. Later, 
Adler organized the New York trio with Cornelius van-Vliet 
(cellist), and Scipione Guido (violinist). 



289 



290 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



GREGORY ASHMAN 

GREGORY ASHMAN was born in Kiev, in 1899. His parents were 
Sophia (Belopolsky) and Naum Ashman. 

At the age of thirteen, Gregory resisted his father's objections, 
and secretly practiced the piano when no one was at home, play 
ing with each hand separately all the music which he could find 
in the house. 

About a year later, Gregory startled his family at the dinner 
table by announcing that he had been accepted by the Russian 
Imperial Conservatory, as a scholarship pupil under Professor V. 
Puchalsky. The family who had shown such little sympathy for 
his musical inclinations could hardly believe such a statement, es 
pecially since no pupil was accepted in the conservatory without 
preliminary training. 

Gregory Ashman continued to make great strides in his music, 
and at the end of the second year, was appointed to the position 
of official accompanist to all the soloists who were invited by the 
Imperial Musical Society to appear in Kiev. 

Such remarkable progress was interrupted by the Revolution. 
Gregory was mobilized and a musical career had to be abandoned 
for a while. Later, when freed from military service because of 
his health, he was given permission to leave Russia. After travel 
ing through many countries, including Turkey and Greece, where 
he supported himself through his music, Ashman arrived in the 
United States at twenty-two. 

Here he was glad to meet again Paul Kochanski and Josef 
Press, both of whom he had accompanied in Russia. Just when 
he was about to settle in the new country he received an offer 
from Zimbalist to tour the Orient with him. Again he was a 
traveler, and when the tour was ended, instead of coming back 
to the United States, he decided to go to Java. He lived there for 
a year and half and returned to the United States to continue his 
musical career. 

EMANUEL BAY 

EMANUEL BAY, the son of a cantor in Lodz, Poland, was born in 
that city on January 7, 1891. At the age of ten, he began taking 
piano lessons under Strobel at the Lodz Music School. (Strobel 
was at one time the director of the Warsaw Conservatory.) After 
being graduated from the local school in 1909, Bay went to St. 
Petersburg, entering the Conservatory and studying there under 
Drozdov. He completed the course in 1913, playing the Tschaikow- 



Pianists 291 



sky concerto, and receiving a grand-piano as a prize. Since then 
Bay has appeared as soloist under Coates, Koussevitzky, Malko, 
Tcherepnin, Glen, Aslanoff, and other famous conductors. 

Bay is one of the best of contemporary pianists and accom 
panists, being accompanist for Koahanski, Press (the 'cellist), 
Heifetz, the Meckelburg quartet, and others. 

For the past few seasons he has been the accompanist of Zim- 
balist. 

HAROLD BAUER 

HAROLD BAUER is one of the greatest pianists of our time. He was 
born in New Maiden, near London, on April 28, 1873. His father 
was of German origin (an excellent amateur violinist), while his 

mother was English. 

Born of a musical family, he began 
studying the violin at the age of six, 
with Pulitzer. At ten he appeared in 
public. 

A few years later, the young Bauer 
met Graham Moore, a serious and ac 
complished musician, who taught him 
the piano. In the meanwhile he had no 
thought of giving up his studies on the 
violin. After his debut in London, he 
played much in public. At twenty, he 
went to Paris expecting the musical 
world to bow before him. He had very 
little money, but was determined to stay 
there indefinitely, for he loved the glamorous city. He found that 
engagements as a violinist were not easy to get, but that piano 
accompanying was apt to be more marketable. Bauer decided to 
use his knowledge of the instrument and, after a few weeks prac 
tice, succeeded in securing several engagements. His first chance 
came very soon. He was asked to substitute for another man who 
was to accompany Paderewski on a second piano. "At that time," 
says Bauer, "I knew about enough to be able to play the essential 
notes in a difficult passage those that could not be spared !" Pad 
erewski was evidently impressed, for he gave him helpful hints 
from time to time, and got him a job. 

This job consisted of playing sonatas for violin and piano 
twice a week with an old Polish aristocrat who had escaped from 
Poland during the insurrection and had managed to retain a con 
siderable part of his fortune. 

During that period other engagements were coming and Bauer 




292 ' Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

had no time to develop the careful technique that takes many years 
to perfect. He was a born musician; the violin had taught him 
to listen attentively to the tone, and he had to rely on his musical 
knowledge and ability for the rest. There was no time for perfec 
tion, so instead he strove to discover the essential meaning of the 
thing he was studying, and then to produce an effect that would 
bring out this meaning. 

When he was offered an engagement to tour with a singer in 
Russia as her accompanist, he could not refuse the chance. Then 
he went to Constantinople, where he had to wait for money from 
Paris, for he had been robbed en route. In Constantinople he 
played a solo concert which was apparently a great success, for, 
on his return to Paris, engagements multiplied. From that time 
on his career as a pianist was an established fact. Circumstances 
had made him one of the greatest piano virtuosi of the world, a 
musician whose name is well known all over the civilized globe 
today. For Bauer is a real cosmopolite; he has played in Spain, 
Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, the Scan 
dinavian countries, Russia, England, Australia, Honolulu, Turkey, 
and in every town of the United States ; his audiences have con 
sisted of every class from the most sophisticated and cultured to a 
hall full of red Indians. 

Bauer has played in America for twelve successive seasons. 
Until quite recently his permanent home was in Paris, but he has 
since moved to New York, making that city the centre of his 
numerous American engagements. 

In 1919 Bauer founded the Beethoven Association of New 
York. Many of the foremost artists give their services gratuit 
ously to these concerts ; the idea being simply that these renowned 
virtuosi should have an opportunity to play together those beautiful 
pieces of chamber music that are seldom heard. 

Six successful concerts have been given annually by the Beetho 
ven Association for the past eight years in New York under the 
inspiration of Bauer. The public would readily support twice 
as many. 

Among the players are such names as Casals, Heif etz, Ysaye, 
Godowsky, Elman, Kochanski, Damrosch, Thibaud, Kreisler, Ga- 
brilowitsch, McCormack, Matzenauer, Lhevinne, Flesh, Samaroff, 
Kneisel, Stokowski, and of course Bauer. 

The result of assembling so many noteworthy artists, with no 
other purpose than that of rendering beautiful music, should be to 
stimulate such artistic co-operation all over the United States. 

It has established a precedent for co-operation, self-effacement, 
and the subordination of personal interests to the greater glory 
of art. This principle is upheld by the great triumvirate Bauer, 
Casales, and Thibaud. 



Pianists 293 



Today Bauer is regarded as one of the most perfectly equipped 
pianists in the world. His talent thrived on this method and he 
advocates something very much like it for others. "The first thing 
for a student to learn/' he says, "is rhythm and self-expression. 
He should dance and sing before he ever touches an instrument. 
He should learn to express himself through gestures and voice. 
Singing is a vast help in learning correct phrasing. The child will 
learn that the true phrase should last as long as the breath required 
for its delivery. I would never start a child's actual lessons with 
scales. I would give him something that would interest him im 
mediately. There are plenty of good pieces simple enough for 
beginners. If he likes the piece that he is playing, he will want 
to remedy his weakness to obtain the effects. His imagination 
will become alert. Under my system scales would be abolished 
until the student wanted to play them." 

Harold Bauer was an intimate friend of the late Debussy, the 
two artists holding each other in high esteem. There was only 
one point of disagreement between them. Debussy contended that 
his compositions were among the most difficult of the moderns, 
while Bauer disproved this again and again by reading his works 
at sight, and exactly as they were meant to be played. 

One day Debussy greeted Bauer with a shout of delight. "I 
can write you a chord that even you will not be able to play at 
sight I" he cried. "Go ahead !" Bauer challenged. The chord was 
written. It was composed of three notes the highest note on the 
piano, the lowest, and another in the middle of the board. Bauer 
promptly played the bottom and top notes with his hands and the 
middle one with his nose. 

Great honors were paid Bauer in Europe. As soloist wim the 
leading orchestras of England, France, and Holland, and in re 
cital in the leading cities of that continent, he achieved great per 
sonal success. He was gratified to find a large public to welcome 
him after his absence of nine years in America. Among his most 
interesting recent appearances was his participation at the Salz 
burg (Austria) Festival for modern chamber music compositions. 
While in that city Bauer also officiated at the formal ceremonies 
of laying the cornerstone for the new opera house, attending this 
function as president of the Beethoven Association of New York 
City. In conclusion, we may add that thanks to Harold Bauer, 
the profits of the Beethoven Association concerts are devoted to 
the publishing of the original English version of Arthur Wheelock 
Thayer's authoritative life of Beethoven, hitherto available only in 
its German translation. The society has also contributed mater 
ially to the establishment in the New York Public Library of a 
valuable collection of works by Beethoven and books about the 
great composer, and has made a substantial contribution towards 
the erection of a new Festspielhaus in Salzburg. 




294 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

FANNY BLOOMFIELD-ZEISLER 

THE EMINENT pianist, Fanny Bloomfield-Zeisler, was born in Belitz, 
Austria Silesia, on July 16, 1863. She was the daughter of Solomon 
and Bertha (nee Yaeger), and was brought to Chicago when she 

was three years old. In time she be 
came one of America's most successful 
artists. Her teachers in Chicago were 
Bernhard Ziehn and Carl Wolf sohn, with 
whom she studied from 1878 to 1883. At 
the age of ten, Fanny made a profound 
impression at a public concert in Chicago 
and two years later met the famous Mme. 
Essipova, who advised the girl to go to 
Leschetizky. She accordingly went to 
Vienna and studied under the famous 
pedagogue for five years. 

Beginning with 1883, and for nearly 
ten years more, Bloomfield-Zeisler con- 
certized in every large and small center 
of the new continent, establishing for herself a reputation as a 
pianist of unusual prowess, commanding very enthusiastic audi 
ences, 

Mme Bloomfield-Zeisler studied harmony and composition with 
Gardener and Navaratil. Her debut was made in February of 1875, 
when she appeared with the Beethoven Society in Chicago. Her 
first important New York appearance was at Steinway Hall under 
van-der-Stucken, in January of 1885. Bloomfield-Zeisler appeared 
with all the leading orchestras of both continents, under such con 
ductors as Richard Strauss, Nikisch, Mahler, Seidel, Thomas, 
Chevillard, Svendsen, MacKenzie, Ermannsdorfer, Stock, Rotten- 
berg, Hellmesberger, Damrosch, Gerricke, Stokowski, Pauer, Her 
bert, Oberhoffer, and many others. From 1893 until 1912 with oc 
casional interruptions, she concertized in Germany, Austria, 
France, England and elsewhere, meeting in those countries with 
even greater recognition than at home. Her emotional force, her 
personal magnetism and her keen process of analysis compelled 
critics everywhere to rank her with the foremost pianists of the 
day. 

Bloomfield-Zeisler contributed articles on music to magazines 
and lectured on music before leading clubs. On October 18, 1885, 
she married Sigmund Zeisler. She was a cousin of Moritz Rosen- 
thai, the famous pianist, and of Adolph Robinson, the baritone ; and 
sister of Professor Maurice Bloomfield, of the Johns Hopkins 
University. 



Pianists 



295 



In speaking of Bloomfield-Zeisler's successes as an artist, she 
herself said : "The secret of success in the career of a virtuoso is 
not easily defined. Many elements have to be considered. Given 
great natural talent, success is not by any means assured. Many 
seemingly extraneous qualities must be cultivated. . ." 

She died in Chicago on August 20, 1927 of a heart attack. 



ALEXANDER B^OROWSKY 

A PIANIST of Jovian pattern is Alexander Bprowsky, the Russian 
pianist. Like one of Turgenieff s heroes, "with a storm in the soul 
and a flame in the blood," he invaded the western world of music, 

intrenched behind its critical bastions, 
and was victorious. 

Alexander Borowsky learned his first 
scales in Enisseysk, a small outpost of 
civilization in Siberia, where his father 
held a government position. Here, the 
winter lasts eight months of the year, 
and the temperature freezes the unwary 
nose that ventures out too long. Alex 
ander was born on March 19, 1889. The 
youthful Borowsky began his musical 
studies under his mother's devoted guid 
ance. The piano was one regularly 
loaned to the family by the captain of the 
ship which put into port every year be 
fore the ice season set in, and stayed until the ice broke up in the 
Spring. Thus Borowsky was taught early to make music while 
the piano lasted. 

From the first his mother realized that her child had mar 
vellous gifts. He mastered scales, double thirds, and octaves with* 
out any trouble, and asked for more. He was only seven when his 
mother overheard him playing a Chopin Scherzo which she her 
self had been studying. When the family returned later to St. 
Petersburg, Alexander was sent to the Conservatory of Music 
where he studied under Mme Essxpova, and received honorary 
mention in the Anton Rubinstein competition. But his mother de 
cided that he should not be exploited as a wonder-child, and so he 
was not allowed to give public concerts until he had finished Ms 
course at the Conservatory. He -continued quietly at his musical 
studies throughout his University course, and received his degree 
in law before he made his bow as a professional musician to the 
public, The wisdom of this course was apparent to all who heard 




296 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

the young artist on the occasion of his debut. Like Minerva who 
sprang full-grown from the head of Jove, he appeared suddenly 
before the public a finished artist. His concerts were crowded 
wherever he played, even during the early Soviet regime when coal 
was scarce and the heating of concert hall a problem. 

After five years of concert work in Russia, Borowsky decided 
he would like to see the world. He found, however, that it was 
not so easy for a Russian to leave his country, and it was only 
after countless visits to high officials that at last he received per 
mission to cross the frontier. That was in 1921. After giving 
recitals in Poland and the Balkan countries, Borowsky arrived in 
Paris at the time of the Music Festival, which was under the di 
rection of Koussevitzky. Here in two orchestral concerts con 
ducted by the famous Russian, Borowsky made his bow to a 
French audience. His success was extraordinary, and one recital 
followed another. In the three seasons since his first appearance 
he has appeared twenty-seven times in the French capital. In 
fact, throughout Europe and South America, Borowsky has ap 
peared with "marked success. In his five seasons before the west 
ern public he has appeared in nearly 400 recitals or concerts. 

His American debut was made in two recitals in Carnegie 
Hall, in 1923, on which occasion he impressed all who heard him as 
a genuine artist. The following season (1924-25) he returned to 
America for a brief tour, owing to the fact that he was booked 
for a concert tour of twelve concerts in the Balkans, eight in Ger 
many, twelve in Scandinavia, five in London and six in Paris. 
The next season he returned to America for the months of Janu 
ary and February. 

Borowsky is also a favorite in Berlin, where his twelve recitals 
and his appearances as soloist with the Philharmonic created a 
furore. He is known as a colossus of the tonal world. The in 
terest in his concerts is very great, and his large and representa 
tive audiences have included Rachmaninoff, Godowski, Levitzki, 
Rubinstein, Nikisch, Siloti, Claudio Arrau, Elly Ney, Marcella 
Sembrich, Huberman, and many other important artists. 

The American press was particularly enthusiastic over Bor- 
owsky's performances. Lawrence Gillman of the New York Trib 
une wrote: "Mr. Borowsky's rapid achievement of distinction is 
not surprising. He is a pianist of imposing technical equipment." 

Pitts Sanborn wrote: "Borowsky has a tremendous technique; 
he plays with crystalline clearness, with a sure command of dyna 
mic gradations, with unlimited nerve and dash. But it is always 
scrupulously clean playing, even when he splashes the tonal can 
vas with ochre and vermilion. His crescendo is one of the most 
thrilling things to be heard in our concert rooms these days, and 
his diminuendo is as faultlessly controlled." 



Pianists 



297 




JOSEPH WIENIAWSKI 

IN CONTRAST to his brother Henry, Joseph Wieniawski was a 
favorite of fortune. His marriage to the daughter of the famous 
composer, Julius Schulhoff, brought him not only happiness but 

wealth as well. Joseph Wieniawski was 
as considerable a pianist as his brother 
Henry was a violinist. He was his 
brother's junior by two years, having 
been born on May 23, 1837, in Lublin, 
Russia. He studied at the Paris Conser 
vatory, where he won two medals. In 
1853 he came to Weimar, where Liszt 
became interested in him and accepted 
him as a pupil. Later he toured with his 
brother through Europe, meeting every 
where with enthusiasm and financial suc 
cess. 

To complete his musical studies, 
Joseph Wieniawski began studying the 
ory under A. B. Marx in Berlin, from 1856 to 1860, when he went 
to Paris and met with much success, often playing for Napoleon 
III. At Ober's insistence he became teacher at the Paris Con 
servatory, but left Paris for Moscow in 1865, where he was ap 
pointed professor at the Conservatory. He soon established his 
own school of piano playing, which prospered greatly. In 1875 he 
organized a musical society in Warsaw, whose director he was until 
1876. He also was professor at the Brussels Conservatory for 
many years. 

Wieniawski also won recognition as a composer. He wrote a 
concerto for the piano, Idyls, sonatas, tarantelles, waltzes, polo 
naises, etudes, capricios, rondos, songs without words, impromp 
tus, fantasias, fugues, cadenzas to Beethoven's C minor Concerto, 
and many other works. 

In his book My Long Life in Music, Leopold Auer says the fol 
lowing of his meeting with Joseph Wieniawski : 

"At a morning recital at the Salle Pleyel arranged for me by 
persons of influence in order to make it possible for me to continue 
my studies, I was assisted by the pianist, Joseph Wieniawski, the 
brother of Henry, the great violinist, whom at that time I knpw 
only by name. I had met the pianist Wieniawski in Germany. 
He played a sonata at my recital, a decided honor for me, 
who was no more than a young student with hopes that lay all in 
the future, whereas Joseph Wieniawski, aside from the imposing 



298 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

relationship with his famous brother, was himself a personality. 
The day after my recital, in order to thank him for his kindness, 
I went to call at his rooms in the Hotel de Bade, which was at that 
time very popular with musicians. When I had explained the rea 
son for my call, he received my thanks with dignity and a certain 
coldness. Nevertheless I plucked up sufficient courage to ask him 
for his photo. The album containing- a number of small photos 
were than at the height of their popularity, and every student then, 
just as he does today, yearned to add to his collection the auto 
graphed photos of the artists most in the public eye. 

To possess an album of this kind had always been my greater 
desire; so after my recital, when my father made me a present of 
one as a little secret, Joseph Wieniawski was the first person to 
whom I turned for a pictorial contribution, because of our colla 
boration. I timidly explained what I wished of him. This is 
what happened: 

"Wieniawski, stretched negligently on a lounge and employing 
the tone of a superior addressing his subordinate, asked, 'Have 
you a photo o'f Liszt?' I answered that, alas, I had none. 'Very 
well/ said he, 'have you a photo of Thalberg?* Once more I replied 
in the negative. . . . Thereupon Wieniawski, in a tone which min 
gled pride and regret, declared, 'Then I cannot give you my por 
trait. . . .' 

"Many years later, when I was dining with Henry Wieniawski 
in a London restaurant, I told him the story of his brother Joseph 
and the portrait. Henry, looking very serious, told me, 'You should 
have said to him, "Sir, if I had the portraits of Liszt and Thalberg, 
I should not have done you the honor of asking for yours." ' " 



Pianists 299 




FERRUGCIO BENVENUTO BUSONI 

BUSONI'S FATHER was an Italian Christian, but his mother (nee 
Weiss), was of German- Jewish origin. It was she, this accom 
plished pianist and earnest musician, who taught the gifted boy, 

who was afterwards to become one of 
musical history's greatest names. 

Busoni began as a pianist (perhaps 
the only great pianist who treated the in 
strument purely objectively, with no 
imaginative illusions about its singing or 
even suggestive melodic powers). His 
playing of Bach, Liszt, Chopin, or Weber 
could only be compared to stone colon 
nades coming to life. He was the most 
educative pianist in the world, for 
though there was everything to absorb 
in that gigantic style, there was nothing 
to imitate. 

As a composer, on the other hand, 
there was probably no one among his contemporaries concerning 
whom there was such diversity of enlightened opinion. While 
Stravinsky is reported to have said that he "would like to bring 
it about that music would be performed in street cars, while people 
get in and out," Busoni regarded music as something which should 
be kept apart from daily life. "Music is the most aloof and secret 
of the arts. An atmosphere of solemnity and sanctity should sur 
round it. Admission to a musical performance should partake of 
the ceremonial and mystery of a freemason ritual/ 7 This was Bu- 
soni's attitude toward the highest, if not the most universally ap 
pealing art. 

Leschetizki is known to .have said some nasty things about 
Italian pianistic methods; but Busoni is the exception, that ra/ra 
avis a really great Italian pianist. He understood music as a 
musician, not merely as a pianist. 

In Busoni was a wonderful blend of the dazzling virtuoso, the 
serious musician, and the restless, romantic spirit. 

Ferruccio Benvenuto Busoni was born on April 1, 1866, in 
Empoli, near Florence, Italy. His father, Ferdinado Busoni, was 
a clarinettist, and his mother, Anna Weiss, was an excellent pianist, 
who appeared in public concerts with no less an artist than Sara- 
sate. Under her guidance the boy advanced very rapidly and at 
the age of seven made his first public appearance in Trieste, play 
ing a Mozart Concerto with orchestra, Two years later he ap- 



300 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

peared in a public concert in Vienna. Not only by his playing, 
but by his gifts of improvisation he gained, even at that age, the 
enthusiastic praise of the famous critic, Eduard Hanslick. 

For some years after, Busoni was a pupil of W. Mayer Remy 
in Graz, Austria, a Jewish pedagogue of considerable reputation, 
who was also the teacher of Kienzl and Weingartner. 

At sixteen, Busoni competed for the diploma given by the 
Academy of Bologna for a fugue on a given theme. He won it 
to the great astonishment of the savants of the academy, for not 
since Mozart had a youth of sixteen gained this distinction. As 
an additional reward, his Cantata for soli and orchestra, "II Sabato 
del Villaggio," was performed by the Bolognese Philharmonic Or 
chestra. 

At eighteen, he went to Leipzig and studied composition and 
virtuosity. During his stay there, he came in contact with great 
musicians, such as Delius^ Grieg, Mahler, and Tschaikowsky. 

In 1890, Busoni was appointed Professor at the Helsingfors 
(Finland) Conservatory. In that city he met and married Gerda 
Sjorstrand, daughter of a famous sculptor. In that Scandinavian 
country Busoni for the first time came in contact with the North 
erners. This had an important influence on the course of his de 
velopment. It was during the same year that he won the Rubin 
stein Prize for his "Konzertstiick," opus 31, for piano and or 
chestra, which he rounded off into a concertino in 1921 by adding 
a charming Romanza and Scherzo. This was the first occasion 
which caused him to be regarded as a person of importance. In 
Russia he met Rimsky-Korsakoff, Safonoff, and Glazounoff, with 
whom he became friends. 

After his first term at the Helsingfors Conservatory in 1891, 
Busoni made a visit to the United States, as professor of piano at 
the New England Conservatory. He returned to Europe two years 
later, making his home in Berlin, where he resided from time to 
time until his death. From that place he made frequent concert 
tours, and spent the season of 1907-1908 in Vienna, where he suc 
ceeded Emil Sauer as teacher of the Meisterklasse at the Conser 
vatory. From 1909 to 1911, he made highly successful tours to 
the United States, and in 1913 went to Bologna as director of the 
Liceo and conductor of the symphony concerts in that city. That 
same year he was decorated with the Cross of a Chevalier of the 
Legion d'Honneur, Rossini and Verdi being the only other Italians 
to have been so honored. 

In 1915 Busoni again came to America. Italy being blockaded 
on account of the war, Busoni spent the period from 1915 to 1919 
in Zurich, Switzerland, in a sort of voluntary exile, playing in 
none of the belligerent countries. Returning to Berlin in 1920, 
he was appointed director of the "Meisterklasse" for composition, 



Pianists 301 



a post whch he kept until his death (from heart attack) on July 
27, 1924. 

Ferruccio Busoni achieved fame in four phases of his profes 
sion: as pianist, as pedagogue, as conductor, and as composer. 
As a pianist, Busoni was one of the world's greatest technicians 
since Liszt and Rubinstein. His mastery over his instrument was 
almost superhuman, yet he never sacrificed music on the altar of 
display. His playing was imbued with extraordinary fire, which 
he also imparted to some of his numerous pupils, many of whom 
are now among the world's foremost concert artists. There was 
an elevation, a spiritual force, an utter absence of materialism in 
his playing which rendered it unique. The astounding boldness 
and clearness of his polyphonic playing, the vehemence and ele 
mentary force of the sweeping passages, the elegance of his orna 
mental work, the elasticity and precison of his rhythms, his sur 
prisingly new and admirable treatment of the pedal, created 
marvels of sound. The profundity which was the metaphysical 
background of his playing did not interfere with its musical quali 
ties. 

Busoni's compositions cover practically the entire field of music 
from opera and symphony to incidental music. Probably his best 
known single work is his transcription for the piano of the Bach 
Chaconne. His best known opera is "Die Brautwahl." Between 
1890 and 1900 he did not compose, but slowly evolved those ideas 
which later found expression in his mature work. 

The art of his earlier period, which he later hardly consented 
to recognize, contains nevertheless many gems. This period is 
summed up in his monumental "Pianoforte Concerto," opus 34, 
outstanding in the grandeur of its construction and wealth of 
musical invention. 

Busoni was a violent opponent to realistic and Wagnerian ten 
dencies in the field of dramatic music. He wrote all of his libret 
tos, and occupied himself only with magical, mythical and fan 
tastic subjects, realistic subject matter being, in his opinion, un 
suitable for musical treatment. 

It was Busoni who brought the art of arranging to a perfec 
tion surpassing even Liszt's work. His Bach studies fill seven 
extensive volumes. 

This sincere and cultured man also found much time for writ 
ing, and his essays, which have recently been collected under the 
title of Von der Einheit der Mu&ik, are examples of limped style 
and earnestness, approaching that of Santayana. Of these essays, 
his Entwurf einer Newn Aesthetic der Tonkunst (1907-1916), 
has been translated into Russian and English. 

His compositions of the later period may be roughly said to 
begin with opus 36a, which shows his peculiar mixture of southern 



802 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

temperament with the mysticism and fantasy of the north. Under 
this opus number is published his second "Violin Sonata/' His 
"Violin Concerto," opus 35, in D major, has of late become some 
what familiar through frequent performances by the young Hun 
garian violinists, Szigeti and Telmany, especially, having played 
it often. 

Busoni has also written for the pianoforte for two and four 
hands. To the latter class belong his famous "Fantasia Contra- 
puntistica," "Improvisations on a Bach Chorale," and a "Duetino 
Concertant," on themes from a Mozart concert. 

He has written two chamber music quartets, opus 19 and 26, 
twelve compositions for symphony orchestra, the earliest of which 
is his "Tone Poem/' opus 32a, and the last, the famous "Tanz- 
walzer," opus 53; various songs, opus 1, 2, 15, 18, 24, 31, 32 and 
35; a "Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra/' opus 48; a "Diver 
timento" for flute and orchestra; and cadenzas to concertos by 
Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart, as well as numerous other works. 



SH.URA CHERKASSKY 

THE MOST IMPORTANT musical discovery since Hofmann such is 
the consensus of opinion of all who hear Shura Cherkassky, the 
sixteen-year-old boy pianist. New York heard him in November, 

1923, and again on March 14, 1924, as 
well in 1925, '26 and '27. But to Balti 
more belongs the credit of his "discov 
ery," or rather to Harold Randolph, di 
rector of the Peabody Conservatory of 
Music, and Frederick R. Huber, muni 
cipal director of music in Baltimore. 

When the little family arrived in Bal 
timore in 1923 from their home in 
Odessa, Russia, where privation and cold 
had made life unbearable, the boy, who 
was born in 1911 in Odessa, was taken by 
his uncle to the Conservatory, to have 
judgment passed on his playing. Deeply 
impressed, Mr. Randolph arranged for a 
private hearing before the chief critics of the city. About fourteen 
persons were present on that occasion. When Shura entered the 
room, they saw before them a child of average height for his eleven 
years, pale, with a shock of black hair shadowing a pair of rather 
sad eyes. He sat down at the piano. His stubby little boots barely 
touched the floor, so that he was obliged to sit on the extreme edge 




Pianists 303 



of the chair in order to reach the pedals. But his playing showed 
no trace of his physical immaturity. His small audience sat 
amazed. 

This awjpvard little boy with the sad eyes manifests in his 
music the intellectual grasp of a mature artist. His technique leaves 
the hstener breathless, for before one's eyes, you see the little fel 
low s fingers take octaves, arpeggios, scales with lightning speed. 
On this occasion he gave the Rachmaninoff Prelude in G, the 
Beethoven Sonata, opus 31, No. 2, Daquin's "Le Coucou," the 
C sharp minor Etude," and "Fantaisie Impromptu" of Chopin, 
and a Prelude Pathetique" which he himself had composed. Ran 
dolph and Hubert kissed the boy for his wonderful playing 

It is terrifying!" a critic was heard to remark. Here was 
indeed the find" of the age. A recital was arranged forthwith 
at the Lyric Theatre, and here Shura made his American debut 
on March 3, 1923. Two other sold-out recitals followed, in which 
he was heard in entirely different programs. At that time the 
eleven-year old boy had a repertoire of two hundred pieces, in 
cluding such works as the Liszt, Grieg, and Chopin concertos. In 
fact, he played the Chopin F minor with the Baltimore Symphony 
in October, 1924. 

But technique is more or less a physical attribute; it is the 
spiritual quality in the playing of Shura that shows him to be a 
genius without equal in recent years. 

When Paderewski heard Shura play, he was delighted with his 
gifts and personality. He declared that Shura must continue the 
same course that had developed his talents. "Two concerts a 
month no more. A sound general and cultural education with 
special attention to the languages. The rest will take care of 
itself, and his needs will be met as they arise." This last phrase 
was the one that pleased Shura the most. For he does not want 
especially to be this vague and mysterious creature that men call 
a "genius." His ambition is to be a regular boy and to master 
the intricacies of base-ball. 

Rachmaninoff also heard 'him and was impressed by his re 
markable gifts, as were also Godowsky and De Pachman. The late 
Victor Herbert after hearing the boy, exclaimed, "He is a genius, 
that is all there is to it ! He is marvelous that is the word." 

As one reads the various criticisms in the newspapers, criticisms 
from various cities where Shura has played, he meets more than 
once the remark that it was impossible to listen to the boy's play 
ing with dry eyes. Strange indeed is the effect of the playing of 
this "wonder child." What some pianists spend a life-time in 
acquiring, this boy possesses without effort rhythmic understand 
ing, a beautiful singing tone, a technical mastery that is uncanny. 
So incomprehensible is the mystery that it stirs the very depths of 
one's emotions. 



304 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

After his recital in New York on March 13, 1925, one periodical 
said: "On this occasion the young artist not only drew a dis 
tinguished audience but also received the warm favor of the critics, 
the World saying in part: 'With careful nurturing, preferably in 
some musical hothouse, Shura Cherkassky might be in a few years 
the piano genius of a generation.' " 

Shura has found the "hot-house" the critic recommends in the 
Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he was awarded 
a scholarship in 1924, and where he is a pupil and special favorite 
of the great pianist, Joseph Hofmann. Young Shura is very proud 
of having in his possession an autographed picture from the late 
President Harding and his wife, which he received after playing 
at the White House. 



SAMUEL CHOTZINOFF 

ONE OF the pre-eminent piano-accompanists and music critics is 
Samuel Chotzinoff, who was born in Vitebsk, Russia, on July 4, 
1889. His father was a rabbi and teacher of Yiddish. The family 

emigrated to the United States in 1906. 
At ten, Samuel exhibited decided musical 
predilections, and began taking piano les 
sons, first under Jeanne Franko (sister 
of the noted Franko brothers), and later 
under Oscar Skach, at the Columbia Uni 
versity in New York. Chotzinoff also 
studied theory and composition at the 
same insititution under Daniel Gregory 
Mason. He also pursued a general aca 
demic course at this University. 

Chotzinoff came to the fore as an able 
accompanist, when in 1911 he made a 
concert tour with Zimbalist. In the fol 
lowing years he was accompanying artist 
to Zimbalist's wife, Alma Gluck, and also to Frieda Hempel. He 
reached the peak of his career as accompanist when, in 1919, he 
undertook a tour with the celebrated violinist Jascha Heifetz, 
whose sister Pauline he subsequently married in 1925. 

ChotzinofFs early musical articles began to appear in Vanity 
Fair and other American magazines in 1923, and on the resigna 
tion of Deems Taylor he became music editor of the New York 
World, one of the most important of the metropolitan dailies. 




Pianists 305 




SANDRA DROUGKER 

IN EUROPE and especially in Germany, Sandra Droucker is no less 
a celebrated pianist than her famous husband, Gottfried Galston. 
She is a pupil of Anton Rubinstein. Like her husband, she ap 
peared with the most important orches 
tras and under the most famous con 
ductors. 

The writer of this volume met Mme 
Droucker in Bergen, Norway, in 1920, 
where she gave a series of concerts. We 
decided to concertize jointly for three 
months and I had the pleasure of asso 
ciating with this excellent musician and 
personality. Our tours extended through 
Norway, up to North Gape, and our pro 
grams consisted of solo numbers and 
sonatas. Her parts of the sonatas as 
well as her solo numbers she performed 
with uncommon virtuosity and deeply 
felt poetry. She possesses a brilliant crystalline technique, a mas 
culine power, together with the tenderest and finest nuances, a 
sense of rhythm and a rarely excellent taste. 



RICHARD EPSTEIN 

THE PASSING of Richard Epstein (son of the famous Julius Ep 
stein), in New York City on August 1, 1919, took from the musical 
world an artist of achievements far beyond the ordinary, as well 
as removing from his social circle a man of sterling worth and 
great personal charm- 
Epstein's versatility, combined with his thorough musician 
ship, made him a notable figure even among the musical elect. 

He was born in Vienna in 1869 and educated at the Conserva 
tory, studying piano with his father, the eminent teacher, Julius 
Epstein, and theory with Robert Fuchs. He married the daughter 
of Johann Strauss, the "Waltz King," but later was divorced 
from her. 

Under the baton of Richter, he played with the Vienna Phil 
harmonic Orchestra, as well as with famous Bohemian and Vien 
nese ensembles. For some time he was professor of piano at the 



306 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Vienna Conservatory; he toured Austria, Roumania, England, 
France, Spain, and America; was accompanist for Olive Frem- 
stad, Julia Gulp, Elena Gerhardt, and other famous singers. 

In 1918 his artistic and beautiful ensemble playing added to 
the success of the Elshuco Trio in New York. Ossip Gabrilowitsch 
was among the many who praised him both as teacher and as vir 
tuoso. Personally, he was everywhere held in the highest esteem 
for his fine manly qualities. 



ARTHUR FRIEDHEIM 

THE NAME of Arthur Friedheim is known to almost every lover 
and student of music. He attracted universal attention by his 
poise, power, and sincerity in playing. 

Arthur Friedheim was born on Oc 
tober 26, 1859, in St. Petersburg (Len 
ingrad). He was a pupil of Anton Rub 
instein, then pupil and close friend of 
Liszt, in the interpretation of whose 
music he excelled. His first public ap 
pearance he made when barely nine years 
old, and even then a brilliant career was 
predicted for him. From 1894 he was 
teacher and concert player in the United 
States, then went to England, where he 
became professor of piano playing at the 
Royal College of Music in Manchester 
and remained there until 1904, after 
which he went on a tour through Europe. 
Arthur Friedheim is not only a brilliant pianist but an excel 
lent conductor and first-rate composer as well. His opera "Die 
Tanzerin," written to his own libretto, was performed by Karl 
Lohse at Cologne in 1904, and by Arthur Nikisch in Leipzig in 
1907. From 1908 to 1910 Friedheim conducted in Munich; he 
took part in many Liszt centenary performances in 1911. In 1921 
he was engaged as professor of piano at the Canadian Academy 
of Music in Toronto. 

Friedheim remains to this day faithful to his friend and 
teacher, Liszt. He is preparing a book, a psychological study of 
Liszt. 

Among the many decorations received by Friedheim, the one 
given him by the former President Taf't at the White House in 
1912, is particularly worthy of mention. 




Pianists 307 



Following is a list of Friedheiin's publications: Piano concerto 
in E flat (1890) ; American March "Pluribus Unum" (1894) ; 
his operas are "Die Tanzerin," "The Christian" (unfinished), and 
"Giulia Gonzaga" (also unfinished) . He has also orchestrated four 
"Hungarian Portrait-Sketches" of Liszt, and his second Rhapsody 
for piano and orchestra. 



IGNAZ FRIEDMAN 

IGNAZ FRIEDMAN was born at Podgorre, near Cracow, Poland in 
February 14, 1882. At three, he showed unmistakable evidences 
of a strong affinity for music and piano. This tendency in a few 

years developed into a serious devotion 
for his chosen art, and a willingness to 
study patiently and effectively. He took 
his first lessons with Mme Grzywinska, 
and later studied for a long term of 
years with the famous master Lesche- 
titzky, whose friend and assistant he 
subsequently became. He began study 
ing composition with Hugo Riemann in 
Leipzig in 1900. 

At the age of eight, Ignaz was able 
to play remarkably well, and his mu 
sicianship was such that he could trans 
pose the fugues of Bach without diffi 
culty. He appeared throughout Europe 
as a "prodigy pianist" and quickly won fame as a brilliant Chopin 
player. So great was the demand for his services that he did not 
have an opportunity to visit America until 1915, but then post 
poned the tour on account of the war. 

The coming of Ignaz Friedman to America in 1921 was the 
important musicial event of that year, for Friedman is one of 
that noble cycle of Polish pianists now living, whom musical his 
tory will record as the greatest of artists of the pianoforte ever 
to be produced at one time by one country : Ignaz Friedman, Ignaz 
Paderewski, Joseph Hofmann, and Vladimir de Pachmann. Com 
poser, scholar, poet, and virtuoso, Friedman measures up to his 
celebrated colleagues. 

Friedman made his American debut in New York City early in 
January of 1921. His gigantic technique, his poetic pianissimos, 
and marvelous virtuosity caused a veritable sensation. Audiences 
listened to him with awe and greeted him with tumultous applause. 
It was acknowledged everywhere that a Friedman recital is a 




308 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

thrilling affair, and the late James G. Huneker referred to him, 
as "the biggest pianistic hit of the season." 

His whole approach to the piano is that of a powerful artist 
whose work, bench, and tools have no means of frightening him. 
He is master of the piano and he does not fear it ; he does not pose 
at the piano, nor grimace. He has a quiet, dignified manner, and 
he does a "good job" like any other skilled artist. Curiously 
enough, all his powerful technique and grip oft the piano was 
taught to Friedman by his first teacher, a woman. 

Friedman completely won the rugged audiences of Germany, 
Scandinavia, Holland, Russia, Poland, and Denmark by the fire and 
power of his technical virtuosity, and in those countries where the 
gentler and more romantic moods prevail, such as France, Spain, 
Portugal, Argentine, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and even in non-com 
mittal England his poetic understanding made as deep an impres 
sion as did his power. Ignaz Friedman was the recipient of two 
of the most remarkable tributes ever given simultaneously by 
two responsible music critics to one artist. The writers are Deems 
Taylor of the New York World and Max Smith of the New York 
American, on the occasion of one of his latest New York appear 
ances. Under the caption, "One of the Great," Mr. Taylor writes: 

"Ignaz Friedman played stupendously at Aeolian Hall last 
night. This stubby, gray man has a piano technique so utterly 
complete that his playing does not even seem effortless. He sits at 
the piano, exerting himself just about as much as would appear 
seemly in a good average player, and out of the instrument come 
such sounds as it seems impossible for any human pair of hands to 
evoke glittering scales that approach, flash by, and disappear 
with the speed of lightning and yet are so clearly fingered that 
every note is clear and round ; runs in sixths, thrills in thirds, chords 
that blare like trumpets, arpeggios that are like a caress and 
never for a moment technique for its own sake." 

Max Smith says : 

"If you want to be thrilled by the 'Tannhauser' overture, don't 
go to concerts of the Philharmonic or Symphony societies. Hear 
it in the Liszt transcription for piano as played in Aeolian Hall 
by Ignaz Friedman to an audience that went wild with excite 
ment. How he did it the writer is unable to say. Surely it was 
not with ten fingers only that he enunciated those oily violin pas 
sages in clean-cut legato octaves, while proclaiming sonorously the 
chant of the pilgrims. Yet where were the other hands that 
seemed to be scurrying over the keyboard? And behold, the feet 
kept close to the pedals, offered no solution to the mystery. It 
was stupendous, it was incredible, what this man accomplished." 

After his recent American appearance, Friedman made con 
cert tours in Holland, Spain, and Portugal, playing in Madrid no 



Pianists -309 



less than six concerts in quick succession in place of the two or 
iginally planned, appearing- always as composer-pianist with the 
greatest possible success. From Spain he traveled to South Am 
erica where, during his first month, he gave the record number 
of twenty-three recitals. In Argentine, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, 
and Paraguay he earned a wide following and has been re-engaged 
for the next three seasons. 

Friedman has been soloist with every leading orchestra in 
America and abroad, appearing with the world's greatest con 
ductors. Recently, he has also completed a tour of the larger Can 
adian cities. 

His interpretations of Tschaikowsky's concerto and Chopin's 
works have absolutely no equal among contemporary pianists. 
Further proof of Ignaz Friedman's profound musicianship and 
studious art is presented in his work of editing the entire Chopin 
and Liszt editions. He is now at work on similar editions of Bach 
and Schumann. 

Friedman has also found time for composition, despite the 
strenuous work of touring throughout Europe and America. To 
date there are nearly 100 compositions to his credit, and these 
are published in all lands. They include: one concerto for piano 
with orchestra, a quintette for piano and strings, three other string 
quartettes, compositions for piano alone, and several beautiful 
songs. In addition to these he has written many fragmentary 
compositions which are still without classification and in manu 
script. 



ROBERT FISGHHOFF 

BORN IN a family of artists, Eobert Fischhoff was one of the most 
talented pupils of Door. His uncle, Joseph Fischhoff, professor at 
the Vienna Conservatory, was a friend of Schumann, and one of 
the contributors to the music magazine published by the latter. 
Robert Fischhoff was born in 1857 in Vienna. He studied the piano 
at the Vienna Conservatory under Anton Door, and theory and 
composition under Robert Fuchs, Franz Kren, and Anton Bruck 
ner. Later he continued his studies with Liszt. He made his first 
public appearance at the age of seven, and was looked upon as a 
"wunderkind." Later in his career he made long concert tours and 
on several occasions played in the courts of many European coun 
tries, including Prussia, Austria, Sweden, and Denmark. 

In 1884 Fischhoff was appointed professor of the Vienna Con 
servatory. He left several compositions for the piano, principally 
some excellent piano concertos, which he introduced in Paris and 
Berlin. 




310 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



OSSIP GABRILOWITSGH 

A STRIKINGLY cosmopolitan artls is Ossip Garbilowitsch, the 
famous Russian pianist and conductor. 

He is one of the few masters of the pianoforte who combines 
with mere virtuosity both poetic feeling 
and soaring imagination, and who pos 
sesses the power to convey those qual 
ities not only in his own music, but in his 
interpretation of the works of other 
masters. 

Thirty years ago in St. Moritz, 
Romain Rolland overheard the boy prac 
tice in a hotel room, and was much im 
pressed. Not wishing to interrupt him, 
he waited for a long time, then left a 
letter for the boy in which he predicted 
a great future. At the time Rolland also 
was unknown. 

Just as De Pachmann became known 
as the sympathetic interpreter of the moods of Chopin, so Gabrilo- 
witsch has established himself in an exalted position as one who re 
veals the piano compositions of the great Pole with superb under 
standing and with a gift of illumination which transcends mere 
interpretation. 

Gabrilowitsch was born in St. Petersburg, on February 7, 1878. 
His father was a well-known jurist of the Russian capital. His 
brothers were musical, and one of them was his first teacher. Later 
he was taken to Anton Rubinstein who was so deeply impressed 
that he earnestly urged a career as a virtuoso. Accordingly, the 
boy was entered in the classes of Victor Tolstoff at the St. Peters 
burg Conservatory (at that time under the supervision of the 
great Rubinstein himself). He also studied composition at the 
Conservatory under Liadow and Glazounof (1888-94). His fre 
quent personal conferences with the latter, Gabrilowitsch has 
always regarded as of inestimable value. In 1894 he won the 
Rubinstein Prize. From St. Petersburg he went to Vienna, where 
he studied for two years with Leschetizky another great per 
sonality to whose influence much of his subsequent success is 
credited. His debut he made in Berlin, in October of 1896. Tours 
of Europe and America served to bring him into prompt and well- 
deserved recognition. 

He visited the United States in 1900-1901, 1906, and 1909, in 
which year he married Clara Clemens, the daughter of Mark 



Pianists 311 



Twain. From 1909 to 1911 he lived In Munich, where he also con 
ducted the concerts of the Konzertverein. From 1912 to 1913 he 
toured Europe. After leaving Europe for America in 1914, he 
gave concerts in Boston, New York, and Chicago where he was 
equally successful. In 1917 he conducted an orchestra in New 
York. 

It was in 1918 that Gabrilowitsch was offered the conductor- 
ship of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This honor meant the 
addition of new and arduous duties to his already heavily-taxed 
time, but the temptation to leave the narrow limits of pianoforte 
interpretation for the more colorful fields of the great symphonic 
and orchestral works was not to be resisted. As a conductor, 
Mr. Gabrilowitsch has revealed the same extraordinary qualities 
which are such significant factors in his success as a piano vir 
tuoso. 

Since his marriage, Gabrilowitsch has identified himself more 
and more with the life of America. The last step in the process of 
his Americanization came in 1921 when he became a citizen of the 
United States, thus forging the one final bond of his allegiance to 
the ideals and musical future of this country. 

Gabrilowitsch has an astounding memory. He has a perfect 
technical equipment and his interpretations are penetratingly 
warm and poetic in the highest sense, Richard Aldrich, music 
critic of the New York Times, said of him : "His translucent beauty 
of tone, the clearness of his articulation, the beauty of his rhythm 
and phrasing were transportingly united in it." H. T. Finck of 
the New York Post thus commented on his versatility and energy : 
"Never has Ossip Gabrilowitsch played more beautifully and poeti 
cally than he did Saturday afternoon. He was listened to with 
rapt attention by a large and discriminating audience. One won 
ders, when hearing Gabrilowitsch, how he finds time to conduct 
an orchestra, and to play the piano with unfailing mastery as 
he does." 

W. J. Henderson, music critic of the New York Herald, expressed 
himself as follows, after one of Gabrilowitsch's New York recitals: 
"As is usual at Gabrilowitsch's recitals, his audience filled the hall. 
His playing of the Bach and Beethoven compositions was mas 
terly. His various readings showed poetic feeling, technical bril 
liance and a rich diversified palette of tone colors." 

Gabrilowitsch himself says: "The three men who have ex 
erted the strongest influence upon my artistic development were 
Rubinstein (whom I first heard play when I was a boy of sixteen), 
Mahler, and Leschetiszky, the incomparable teacher. Mahler, who 
had read, as it seemed to me, everything, was one of the great 
minds of the modern period. The extent of his culture was simply 
amazing. Whatever engaged his attention became practically a 
part of himself." 



312 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

One day Gabrilowitsch was to play in a town which, although 
"short on art was long on cash." To the citizens of the town 
Ossip Gabrilowitsch was simply another of those Russians with 
the unpronounceable names. Then somebody discovered his il 
lustrious family connection (for Gabrilowitsch is the son-in-law 
of Mark Twain). The men of the town woke up and hustled to 
the concert. Every man who had ever white-washed a fence or 
read the other homely adventures of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry 
Finn was curious to see anything that touched him, Mark Twain, 
no matter how distantly. 

When Gabrilowitsch stepped out on the stage, he was aston 
ished to find a huge audience overwhelmingly masculine. But 
half-way through the program he overheard a comment that en 
lightened him, when one man whispered loudly to another: "He 
may be Mark's son-in-law, but he sure can play!" 

As Gabrilowitsch quaintly remarked, "That particular recital 
represented to me the triumph of music over literature, for at the 
end of it the audience undoubtedly was liking me for my music and 
not simply because of my illustrious American affiliation." 

Up to a few years ago, Gabrilowitsch gloried in the most 
spectacular head of hair barring perhaps Paderewski's, since Sam 
son's time. But after an experience with a cigar lighter, when 
a part of his locks were unceremoniously singed, he sacrificed 
himself on the altar of "safety first," and was shorn to normalcy. 

Although he bears a name that all too few on this side of the 
Atlantic find it easy to pronounce (the accent is on the lo) , Gabrilo 
witsch is as thoroughly American as naturalization papers can 
make him. He has a little girl, Nina, who finds life a serious affair 
trying to live up to her famous parents, to say nothing of her 
celebrated grandfather. 

The home of the Gabrilowitsch family is in Detroit, and is one 
of the show places of the city. But it happens to be little more 
than an interlude in Gabrilowitsch's life. Between his duties as 
conductor of the Detroit Orchestra and his activities as a concert 
artist he has all too little time for home. 

The Fall of 1925 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of 
Gabrilowitsch's debut in New York. On this occasion the old 
Carnegie Hall in TSFew York was the scene of gala festivities. Leo 
pold Stokowski conducted, and Gabrilowitsch played Tschaikow- 
sky's "B minor Concerto," the same as he had played at his debut, 
and with the same Philadelphia Symphony orchestra whose soloist 
he was twenty-five years before. 

Gabrilowitsch has written a number of songs, an "Elegie" for 
'cello, and some charming pieces for the piano. 



Pianists 



313 




GOTTFRIED GALSTON 

A DISTINGUISHED place in the pianistic world belongs to Gottfried 
Galston, the eminent pianist. Born in Vienna on August 31, 1879, 
Gottfried showed in his childhood a great inclination towards music. 

He studied with LeschetizM from 
1895 till 1901, and for one year (1899- 
1900) with Jadassohn and Reinecke, at 
the Leipzig Conservatory (in theory, 
counterpoint and composition). 

He held a professorship at the Stern 
Conservatory in Berlin from 1903 to 
1907. 

His wide tours as solo pianist in 
cluded Germany, Austria, Spain, Aus 
tralia, New Zealand, France, Russia, 
America (1912), and many other coun 
tries. His performances are regarded 
as models, for not only is he an out 
standing technician but a deep and 
earnest musician, and a man of uncommon intelligence. In 1904 
Galston settled in Berlin, having been appointed professor of a 
higher class at the Stern Conservatory. Demand, however, for 
concert appearances by him caused him to relinquish this post in 
1907, the year in which he first gave his cycle concerts devoted to 
the music of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Brahms. He 
has received signal honors, including the title of professor ex 
traordinary at the Imperial Conservatory of Petrograd, and was 
invited to play at the concerts of the Paris Conservatoire without 
having made the customary application in writing. In memory 
of his great success there, the Conservatoire had a special medal 
cast for Galston. Among other orchestral appearances for him 
have been those in Paris under Colonne, Lamoureux and Messager ; 
in London, under Richter; in Berlin, under Nikisch; and in New 
York under Walter Damrosch. 

Not only as a pianist, but as a pedagogue Gottfried won a pre 
eminent place in the musical world of the continent. In Planegg, 
near Munich, Gottfried with his wife, Sandra Drucker, established 
a music center in 1910, and they are attracting a great number 
of pupils from all parts of Europe and America. 

In 1909 Galston wrote a Studienbuch, which is an analytical 
note-book to a series of five historical concerts. 



314 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



ALEXANDER GOLDENWEISER 

ALEXANDER GOLDENWEISER, Russian pianist and composer, was 
born on February 26, 1875, in Kischineff, Russia. His first teach 
er was his mother (who was herself a great pianist), then he 
became a pupil of Pabst and Siloti (1889-1897) in piano, and of 
Arensky, Taneieff, and Ipoiitoff Ivanoff in theory. He received 
the gold medal of the Moscow Conservatory in 1897. From 1904 
to 1906 he was professor jof piano at the Music School of the 
Moscow Philharmonic Society. From 1906 till now he has been 
professor at the Moscow Conservatory, and in 1922 became direc 
tor. He was a friend of Leo Tolstoy and has written a diary of 
days spent with him. He has also published many songs and 
piano pieces. 



LEOPOLD GODOWSKY 

LEOPOLD GODOWSKY was born in the ancient town Vilna (in the 
Lithuanian province 9f Russian Poland), on February 3, 1870. 
The ruins of the old castle which stands above Vilna have staunch 
ly withstood the storms of many cen 
turies. It was in this old-world atmos 
phere, in this town of talmudical semin 
aries and debating cabalists, that the 
child spent the first decades of his life. 
Here, at the early age of nine, he gave 
his first public concert, having shown an 
extraordinary aptitude for music since 
he was three years old. 

Apparently, at that time, the youth 
already possessed definite opinions about 
pianoforte teaching, for when in 1883 he 
attended the Hochschule in Berlin, he 
found the instruction so dull and con 
ventional that he left after a few months, 
entering upon an American tour when but fourteen years of age. 
In the United States he concertized with Clara Louise Kellogg 
and Emma Thursby, also appearing a number of times at the Sun 
day Orchestra concerts given at the New York Casino. He sub 
sequently toured the United States and Canada with the violinist, 
Ovide Musin. 

But the young pianist's wish was to study with Liszt, who was 
then in Weimar. One can imagine with what sadness and dis- 




Pianists 



315 




appointment the boy learned, after arriving in Europe, that Liszt 
had just died. This was in 1886. 

A year later he was presented to Camille Saint-Saens who, 
having heard Godowsky play his own compositions, took the warm 
est personal interest in his musical education. Unfortunately, 

Saint-Saens' restless spirit led him fre 
quently to foreign countries, and this pre 
vented the eager student, who remained 
in Paris for three years, from fully avail 
ing himself of the advice of the dis 
tinguished master. Thus Godowsky is 
practically a self-taught musician. 

Returning to the United States in 
1890, he married Frederica Saxe of New 
York, in 1891. After a sojourn of sev 
eral months in Europe with his young 
wife, he again set sail for America. He 
soon appeared at the Lenox Lyceum Or 
chestral Concerts, conducted by Theodore 
Thomas, with such success that he was 
offered numerous engagements, followed 
by an extensive tour during the succeeding seasons. 

At this time he was appointed instructor of the piano teachers 
at the Broad Street Conservatory, in Philadelphia. This was the 
beginning of his career as pedagogue. He did not neglect his con 
cert engagements, for it was his ambition to co-ordinate these 
two lines of artistic endeavor. Thus it was natural that he should 
accept an offer to direct the piano department of the Chicago 
Conservatory in 1894. Here, at the age of twenty-four, he took 
up the duties relinquished by William H. Sherwood, the famous 
American pianist. 

Like Saint-Saens, Leopold Godowsky is of a restless spirit. In 
1900 he decided to challenge European opinion. The most dis 
tinguished pianists of the day had long urged him to do this. His 
debut in Berlin on December 6, 1900, will forever remain memor 
able in the annals of the piano-playing world. In one night Godow- 
sky's name was firmly established in the musical firmament. There 
followed nine years of concertizing throughout the world, meeting 
everywhere with the greatest possible recognition of his stupen 
dous talents, until in 1909 he resumed his pedagogic activities by 
becoming director of the Master School of piano playing at the 
Imperial Conservatory in Vienna. This post was previously 
held by Emil Sauer and P. B. Busoni. In 1912, he returned to the 
United States and established a reputation as the greatest piano 
pedagogue on that Continent. 

Godowsky is a firm believer in work. "The fault with many 
students/' he says, "is the erroneous idea that genius or talent 



316 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

will take the place of work. They minimize the necessity for care 
ful, painstaking consideration of the infinite details of technique 
.... But this is not all. Individuality, character, and temperament 
are becoming more and more significant in the highly organized 
art of pianoforte playing. Remove these, and the playing of the 
artist again becomes little better than that of a piano-playing ma 
chine. . . ." 

The one thing in the world to which Leopold Godowsky ob 
jects most emphatically is being called a pianist! This seems 
strange in view of his world-wide reputation as such, but an ex 
planation from Godowsky himself throws a new light on the 
matter. A pianist, according to him, is one whose sole medium of 
expression is the keyboard, one whose instrument is the be-all and 
end-all of his existence, and the end as well as the means of his 
artistic expression. Godowsky, on the other hand, has a broader 
concept of art ; and while the piano has served him as an excellent 
medium, he finds an equal, if not surpassing, satisfaction in com 
position and travel. Back from the Orient, where he concertized 
again during the season of 1924-25, just long enough to complete 
his "Java Suite, 5 * he made ready to leave New York once more 
in September of 1925, this time for a tour of Egypt, Assyria, and 
Palestine. 

"I consider/' he said, "that the years I spent in teaching were 
an unfortunate choice of my early career. Of course teaching is 
a noble profession, but I have found that the results are not in 
proportion to the time and effort spent. It is so futile to teach 
where there is no pure gold like preaching in the wilderness. 
Great genius is exceedingly scarce, and I have not yet found one 
supreme talent. It is discouraging to realize that there is not one 
Chopin or Liszt living today who has created a new art for the 
piano." 

And so, since the average pupil is in the majority, Godowsky 
has always favored class-teaching, as this involved a lesser ex 
penditure of the teacher's time and has many advantages for the 
pupils. He believes that a group of pupils will make a greater 
effort to be intelligent than a single person with no competition. 
When Godowsky was director of the Master School of the Imperial 
Royal Academy in Vienna, he taught only in classes. 

"It is more inspiring," he insists, "for the teacher to talk to a 
group. I had forty in my piano classes, fifteen who played, and 
twenty-five who listened. It was a wonderful master-class, the 
quintessence of piano playing in Europe. The pupils who played 
received the benefit of the criticisms from the others. Also, we 
were able to cover a greater field of compositions when everyone 
was learning a different work. Thus, class teaching is the only 
means of embracing a lar^e repertoire. Also it is an incentive 



Pianists 317 



to ^ the student to distinguish himself. There is a competitive 
spirit, a feeling of friendly rivalry, that causes a class pupil to put 
forth a greater effort than a private pupil who has no basis of 
comparison for his work. There is a certain amount of alertness 
in classes, while I have always found that private lessons are 
bound to drag. It is more difficult to go beyond the mere mechanics 
with a private pupil. For one or the other, self-consciousness 
stands in the way, whereas aesthetics can prevail in a large class. 

"And that leads me to say that I have no use for the convex 
tional type of class teacher, the horn-rimmed type so academically 
stiff ! Perhaps it was this which caused me to make musicians and 
artists out of my pupils, rather than pianists. I am also in favor 
of class lessons in the field of composition. The pupil gets a 
better perspective of his own work. And speaking of composi 
tion, I am tempted to confess that my greatest wish is that I had 
begun earlier to realize the tremendous satisfaction derived from 
this angle of music as an artistic outlet." 

Godowsky as a composer is quite as delightful as he is in the 
role of pianist. His "Triakontameron," "Renaissance," and 
"Waltzermasken," to say nothing of his prolific transcriptions, are 
features of almost every piano repertoire today. In August of 
1925, the three first volumes of his newest work were brought out. 

Since he is of the opinion that travel is one of the finer arts 
and also that music can be descriptive, he has put two and two 
together and, with his usual ability as a jongleur de mots, has in 
vented a synonym for sound journeys and named his new compo 
sitions, "Phonogramas." 

"In order to eliminate the cheap clap-trap endings to pro 
grams, sending the audience away with a little melodramatic 
excitement," says Godowsky, "I am doing a series of travelogues, 
ranging from 'Java' to "jazz/ The 'Java' Suite is now complete 
and will be heard on many programs. 

"Next I shall record my musical impressions of Egypt, As 
syria and Palestine, as well as those of several European countries. 
Then I shall come back to America and start on the American 
suite I have already planned. This American suite will begin 
with a polyphonic sketch entitled the 'Melting Pot' in which early 
America is shown as a combination of Old World elements. There 
will be a skyscraper movement to denote the energy and power 
of America and its significent aim to reach the skie. A descrip 
tion of Niagara Falls will symbolize the momentum of American 
life, and there will be local descriptions involving the Negro 
rhythms of the South and the Indian color of the West. Such ele 
ments as the cowboy and miner will be treated carefully. The 
final sketch will be my conception of glorified jazz." 

It has been six long years (1921-27) since New York has heard 



318 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Godowsky play, and it will be at least one more before re will play 
there again. It is not because he is giving up his pianistic career. 
On the other hand, he gave concerts in all parts of the world, 
some near and familiar, others remote and strange, because he 
prefers to absorb the ideas, musical and otherwise, of the entire 
universe rather than to stay in one little circle in New York. 

"For instance," he says, "a visit to Java is like entering an 
other world or catching a fleeting glimpse of immortality. Mu 
sically, it is amazing. One cannot describe it because it is a simple 
sensation as difficult to explain as color to a blind person. 

"The sonority of the 'gamelan' is so weird, spectral, fantastic, 
and bewitching, and the native music is so elusive, vague, shim 
mering, and singular, that on listening to this new world of sound 
I lose my sense of reality. It is the ecstasy of such moments, pos 
sible only through world travel, that makes life full of meaning 
and raises art to the pedestal of the Golden Age." 

When Vladimir de Pachman made his sensational re-appear 
ances in the United States in 1924, he was asked by an inquiring 
New York reporter whom he considered the greatest pianist. To 
this the old master replied in his characteristic way, "Next to my 
self comes Leopold Godowsky." 

Godowsky is known to be temperamental at times, and eccen 
tric. In 1915 or thereabouts, the American newspapers sent out 
an alarm at his sudden and mysterious disappearance. A week or 
two later, he reappeared as if nothing had happened. To all ques 
tions he simply replied that he had needed quiet and peace in order 
to compose, and had gone away for a few days. 

Godowsky is not only a great pedagogue and technician but an 
outstanding and prolific composer. A partial list of his composi 
tions follow: 

Three concert studies for piano, opus 11; Studies of Chopin's 
Etudes (1904) ; a Piano sonata (1911) ; "Renaissance" a free 
transcription of old music for piano (1911) ; "Triakontameron" 
thirty moods and scenes for piano (1920) ; "three Symphonic 
Metamorphoses on Themes by Johann Strauss, for piano ; twenty- 
four "Waitzermasken" ; "Educational Adaptations" for piano 
(1915) ; "Phonograms in four books" and twelve "Tonal Journeys" 
(1924-25) ; "Miniatures" for piano, in four hands; three Suites 
for Piano; "Ancient Dances"; "Modern Dances"; Transcriptions 
of works of Chopin, Schumann, Richard Strauss, Carl Bohm, Al- 
beniz, and others ; two cadenzas to Mozart's Concerto in E flat for 
two pianos; Bach's Sonatas and Suites (consisting of famous works 
for violin solo and cello solo, unaccompanied), freely transcribed 
and. adapted for the pianoforte ; and many others, published and in 
manuscript. 



Pianists 



319 




GITTA GRADOVA 

IN THIS day ^ when all of the great pianists of the world are in 
America during the musical season, it becomes increasingly dif 
ficult for a newcomer to win recognition. Gitta Gradova made 

her debut in New York, in a year notable 
for its number of piano concerts and 
achieved one of the most striking and 
individual successes o*f recent years. Al 
though Gradova is one of the younger 
American pianists (she was born in 
1904), she is already accorded a place 
with the most interesting artists of the 
time. She is regarded by critics as an 
authoritative exponent of Seriabin's mu 
sic, but her repertoire is an eclectic one, 
'ranging from Bach to the moderns. 
Gradova has at her command almost 
everything in the piano repertoire, and 
her programs are considered models of 
their kind. Her interpretations are most individual. Regarding 
them one of America's foremost critics, H. T. Parker of Boston, 
wrote: "Bach, Chopin, Scriabin, Liszt, each with a thrill, each 
with the stamp of a personality upon the music." 

Because of her pronounced pianistic talent, her general educa 
tion was obtained at the Lewis Institute in Chicago where she 
could study music as well as English, classical literature, ethics, 
French, and philosophy. She began her study of the piano at the 
age of seven under local teachers. When twelve years old, she gave 
a program of three concertos, accompanied by a small orchestra. 
In the Spring of 1920 she became the pupil of Mme Djane 
Lavoie-Herz, a friend and disciple of Scriabin, with whom she has 
continued to prepare her programs. Mme Lavoie-Herz insisted 
on four years of concentrated training and forbade concert appear 
ances during that time. 

Gitta made her debut "in New York in Town Hall on November 
20, 1923 and won a gratifying success, which was confirmed in 
her second New York recital on January 28, 1924. The press com 
ments show how quickly she captured the New York public and 
critics. 

W. J. Henderson of the New York Herald-Tribune, wrote: 
"She is in many respects one of the best and most talented young 
pianists heard here in some time. Virility and great power, musi 
cal insight, an astounding command of finger technique, together 
with feeling and imagination, were qualities observed in her style. 



320 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

The Dante Sonata of Liszt performed with much bravura, brought 
'bravos' from the audience." 

The story of Gradova's parentage is one in which the air of 
romance predominates. One is impressed with the sense that she 
is indeed an exotic personality and, in a mysterious way, a true 
child of the muses of music and drama. Her parents were highly 
endowed musically and possessed exceptional dramatic and artistic 
powers. For many years they performed in Russian, German and 
Yiddish plays in Southern Russia, Egypt, Greece, Asia Minor and 
Turkey, and the Balkans. In their devotion to the arts, they lived 
a nomadic life of which they at length tired. They settled in 
Chicago twenty years ago, and continued their work in the theatre, 
appearing in the leading Chicago Yiddish Stock. 

Gitta, like most great pianists, showed her gifts for piano play 
ing at a very early age, but she escaped the fate of most musically 
precocious children. Her parents and her friends realized that a 
premature plunge in the musical waters would be harmful, and 
she studied consistently until the time for her New York debut 
arrived. The wisdom of the course was proved immediately by 
the amazing reception which came to her. 

Although Gradova has studied the liberal arts and is a well- 
educated young woman, she naturally devotes most of her time 
to music. Her study has been intensive and she has an amazing 
knowledge not only of the Rusisan music in which some hold her 
as a specialist, but of the music of all times. She knows her Bach 
as well as she knows her Scriabin, and she is conceded to be one 
of the foremost exponents of the great Russian master. 

Gradova has made rapid strides in her art since her first New 
York recital. In her two subsequent recitals in the metropolis, and 
also in her appearances in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, 
Montreal, and other cities, she has been acclaimed as one of the 
most gifted of the younger pianists. Her first appearance with 
orchestral forces was with the Cincinnati Symphony in Cesar 
Franck's "Variations Symphoniques," on March 25 and 26, 1924. 
She also played the Griffes "Sonata" at the concert of the Franco- 
American Musical Society in Aeolian Hall, New York, on January 
18, 1924, and appeared during the same year in two colleges of 
Virginia. 

Gradova believes strongly in what Shaw has called "the sanity 
of art/' and her aim is to reveal as clearly as she can the messages 
of the composers whose music she interprets. Scriabin ceases to 
be an enigma when she plays his works, Bach is not "heavy," and 
Chopin is not maudlin. Gradova does not look on a page of 
printed music as an assortment of symbols corresponding to keys 
on the piano. To her it is the composer's thought, and her brilliant 
technique goes entirely to turning this thought into tone. Con 
sequently, her interpretations are uniformly sound and interesting. 



Pianists 321 



OTTO GOLDSMIDT 

OTTO GOLDSMIDT, though he walked in the shadow of his incom 
parable wife, Jenny Lind, was not only distinguished as "a gentle 
man of the highest general culture/ 7 but as an accomplished mu 
sician, co-worker with Sir William Benedict in the development 
of music in London, and in the founding of the Bach Society in 
that city. 

Otto Goldsmidt was born on August 21, 1829, in Hamburg, 
and died in London on February 24, 1907. He was a pupil of 
Jakob Schmitt and Frau W. Grund in Hamburg. Later he entered 
the Leipzig Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Mendelssohn, 
and in 1848 went to Chopin in Paris. He then proceeded to Lon 
don where he made his debut at a concert with Jenny Lind in 1849. 
In 1851 he went with the diva to America where he married her a 
year later. During 1852-55 they lived in Dresden, and from 1858 
in London. Goldsmidt directed the Diisseldorf Music Festival in 
1863, and in Hamburg in 1866. In 1863 he was appointed di 
rector of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and founded 
the Bach Choir which he developed to high perfection. With 
Bennet he edited the Choral Book of England in 1862. He also 
composed the biblical idyl, "Ruth," a piano concerto, a trio, some 
songs, and sundry other pieces. 



ALFRED GRUNFELD 

LIKE HIS younger brother (the 'cellist Heinrich Grtinfeld), Alfred 
was, according to E. Hanslick, a virtuoso who by his bravura and 
fierce temperament could captivate his audiences completely. Griin- 
feld was one of those extraordinary pianists who could play the 
classics and the modernists equally well. He was well versed 
in almost all schools of music, and his programs were many- 
colored and extremely varied. All those who knew him intimately 
speak of him as a man genial, intelligent, and of rare kindness. 

Alfred Grunfeld was born in Prague on July 4, 1852. He 
received his elementary education in the local conservatory of 
Hoyer, under whom he studied the piano. Later he studied under 
Theodore Kullak in Berlin. 

He began his public career when still very young, and soon at 
tracted the attention of connoisseurs and critics. Most often he 
appeared with his brother, the famous 'cellist; they were after 
wards called the "inseparables." 



322 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Grtinfeld was honored by the title of Prussian Court Soloist, as 
well as the title of Austrian Chamber Virtuoso. 

He enriched piano literature by a number of melodic and mu 
sical pieces, excellent from the technical point of view. 

Like his brother, Alfred was the friend and chum of many 
celebrities of his day, as well as of crowned heads. 



HEINRICH (HENRI) HERZ 

AMONG NATURALLY gifted virtuosi is Heinrich Herz, or as he pre 
ferred to be called in Paris, Henri Herz. He was born January 6, 
1806 in Vienna. Like his teacher Franz Gurstein, he became a 

naturalized Frenchman. 

At eight he made public appearances. 
Later he, as well as his younger brother, 
the pianist Jacques Herz, became a pupil 
of the Paris Conservatory. He succeeded 
so well that he was awarded the Premiere 
Prix. Having finished the course at the 
Conservatory under Ignaz Moscheles, 
Herz met everywhere with an enthusiasm 
which in this day of calm and dignity is 
hardly imaginable. 

From 1846 to 1850 he toured the 
United States and South America. Par 
ticularly interesting is the book he wrote 
about his travels, published in 1856. 
Not counting his tours in America, his principal residence was 
Paris. He became one of the best piano professors at his Alma 
Mater in that city. 

^For a long time Herz was famous as one of the greatest tech 
nicians of his time, and one of the most prolific composers for the 
piano. His compositions have now been shelved, but it is a fact 
that in his lifetime he was unusually popular, and that his many 
variations, fantasies, rondos, and other salon pieces could be 
heard in courts and concert halls. 

Aside from the above-mentioned activities, Herz also became 
one of the founders of a large piano factory. In the beginning he 
made many sacrifices, but thanks to his intelligence, energy, and 
enterprise, succeeded in bringing this business to such a level that 
his pianos finally could compete with the best of his time, and at 
the World Fair in Paris, 1855, were awarded first prize. 

Herz died January 5, 1888, in Paris, leaving eight "concertos 
for piano, over two hundred salon pieces, the book Mes Vvyages, 
and the very well known Piano Exercises, under the title Hanon. 




Pianists 



323 



MARK GUNZBURG 

THIS EMINENT pianist and teacher was born in Kharkov, Russia, on 
April 18, 1879, and received his first lessons from Schulz-Evler. 
Later he went to the University of Moscow, where he studied 
natural sciences. At the same time he continued his piano training 
at the Imperial Conservatory with Pabst, Sapelnikoff, and Kwast, 
passing all the examinations with distinction. In 1905 he con 
tinued his studies for two years with Emll Sauer in Vienna, under 
whom he won the First Austrian State Prize, this being a competi 
tive examination at the Piano Master School Giinzburg then 
taught successfully for ten years at the Klindwort-Scharwenka 
Conservatorium in Berlin, his piano classes having the reputation 
as the best in that Institute. Giinzburg distinguished himself 
not only as a teacher, but as an excellent concert pianist, as well. 

In April, 1921, he went to Mexico City, where he was en 
gaged by the Mexican Ministry of Instruction as Professor of the 
Conservatorio Nacional, as pianist-leader of the quartet "Cuarteto 
Clasico Nacional," and as standard soloist of the Symphony Or 
chestra Concerts. 

In 1923 he became head of the piano department at the Detroit 
Institute of Musical Art. 



MARK HAMBOURG 

ONE OF the best known of contemporary Russian pianists, Mark 
Hambourg, was born on June 1, 1879, in Bogutschar, Southern 
Russia. He is the son of Michael and Catherine Cecilie Hambourg, 

and brother of Jan and Boris Ham 
bourg. Mark studied the piano with his 
father in London and with Lesehetizky 
in Vienna. 

He made his debut with the Moscow 
Philharmonic Orchestra in 1888, and has 
appeared with the Vienna, Paris, Berlin, 
St. Petersburg (Leningrad), and Lon 
don Philharmonic Orchestras; also at 
the Colonne and Lamoureux concerts in 
Paris, and with Ysaye in Brussels. In 
the course of his career, he toured Rus 
sia, Switzerland, Australia, South Af 
rica, the United States, and Canada. 

Mark Hambourg was a wonder-child 
in his day, and made many successful appearances as a prodigy. 




324 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

The fact that he also developed into a mature pianist and artist of 
rank is undoubtedly due to his parents' wise precautions in with 
drawing him from public appearances for a number of years to 
develop his general education. 

In 1907 Mark Hambourg married Dorothea, daughter of Sir 
Kenneth Muir Mackenzie, Permanent Clerk of the House of Lords. 

He has composed "Variations on a Theme of Paganini," "Im 
promptu Minuet/' "Komance Espieglerte," all for the piano, and 
also written a book, How to Become a Pianist. 

"Mark Hambourg's brother Jan, the brilliant violinist, was born 
in Voronetz, Russia, on August 27, 1882. He studied with Wilhelmj 
and Sauret in London, with Kikermann in Frankfort, with Sevcik 
in Prague, and with Ysaye in Brussels. He made his debut in 
Berlin in 1905, and has since toured widely alone and with his 
brothers. 



MYRA HESS 

MYRA HESS is a pianist who can be heard, with unalloyed pleasure. 
One may marvel at her beauty of tone, her command of nuances, 
her ease in dismissing technical difficulties, her range of senti 
ments and emotions, her irresistible 
grace and dash, her 'aesthetic intelli 
gence, but one is always conscious that 
with her the chief aim of her perfor 
mance is to reveal the spirit of the com 
poser. 

She is of the line of world-distin 
guished women pianists, which includes 
Teresa Carreno and the late Sophie 
Menter, of whom she may be accounted 
the successor. Miss Hess was born in 
Hampstead, London, thirty-two years 
ago, the youngest of four children. Her 
parents so quickly perceived the child's 
exceptional talents that they made her 
begin her studies at the age of five. Two years later she passed 
her first examination at Trinity College, London. From the age 
of seven to twelve she was a student at the Guild-hall School of 
Music, after which she went to the Royal Academy of Music, where 
she became a pupil of Tobias Mathay. Here she had a distin 
guished career, winning the gold medal for pianoforte playing 
and subsequently being made Associate and Fellow. 




Pianists 



325 



She gave her first piano recital at Aeolian Hall, London, on 
January 25, 1908, with such success that before the year was out 
she had played at important orchestral concerts at the Royal Al 
bert Hall and Queen's Hall and on the Continent. 

The foundation of her success is an unusual mental comprehen 
sion and artistic acumen. Her readings, far more than her bril 
liant executive fluency, make her performance memorable. They 
are interpretations in the fullest sense of the word. Her playing 
has none of the brutality of man and none of the weakness of 
woman. Her playing is herself. 

She is impressive and yet winning, with plenty of f orcef ulness 
and the ability to preserve the musical beauty of her tone through 
all the mazes of technical intricacy. She seems to feel musically 
in every fiber, so that her expression upon her Instrument is 
spontaneous and natural and has the quality of inevitableness 
inherent in great art. 

Recently Myra Hess was asked whether she is of Jewish ex 
traction : 

"Not only that," she answered, "but I was brought up in an 
orthodox home. My parents taught me Hebrew when a child, but 
I have since forgotten it. It is impossible for an artist to keep up 
the Orthodox faith. Besides, one's ideas do change. I look at 
life a little differently now." 



VLADIMIR HOROWITZ 

VLADIMIR HOROWITZ, the eminent pianist, was born on October 1, 
1904, in Kieff, of a well-to-do, artistically inclined Russian family. 
At an early age he showed remarkable pianistic gifts, encouraged by 
, , his parents who recognized his great tal 
ent. Entering the Conservatory of Kieff, 
he studied under Professor Blumenfeld, 
and graduated with the highest honors. 
The first years of his professional career 
were spent giving concerts in the prin 
cipal cities of his native Russia. In 1924, 
a boy of twenty, he started on a tour of 
Europe, conquering in quick succession 
Germany, Holland, Italy, France, Aus 
tria, and Spain. An indication of his 
standing as a pianist is the fact- that Leo 
pold Stokowski has engaged him to make 
his debut as soloist with the Philadelphia 
Orchestra. Vladimir Horowitz comes to 
America in the Autumn of 1927, preceded by an unusual reputation, 




326 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

His first American tour will undoubtedly be a repetition of his 
triumphal march through the music centres of Europe. 

In the New York Times of December 19, 1926, Henry Prunieres, 
editor of La Revue Musicale and one of the Continent's leading 
critics, wrote in a dispatch from Paris: "The event of the week 
was the reappearance of the great Russian pianist, Vladimir 
Horowitz. Horowitz is twenty-three. He is without question the 
greatest pianist of the rising generation. Berlin critics unani 
mously hailed him as the successor of Busoni. His first Paris con 
cert last year was a revelation. He has all the technical gifts in 
addition to an exquisite musical sensitiveness. He excels in the 
interpretation of Bach and Liszt, but he can play Ravel and De 
bussy to perfection. From the start this young artist has been 
classed among the pianists of the first rank; one can only com 
pare him to Paderewski or to Busoni. Those who heard Anton 
Rubinstein think that they have rediscovered the Russian pianist 
in Horowitz. Horowitz is conquering Europe with startling rap 
idity, without adventitious publicity. His tour in Germany was a 
triumph and at the Concerts in the Conservatoire here, he received 
an endless ovation." 



IGNACE HILSBERG 

IGNACE HILSBERG was born in Warsaw, Poland, on July 8, 1894. 
While very young, he displayed such remarkable aptitude and tech 
nical command of the piano that at the age of nine he was soloist 

with the Warsaw Philharmonic Sym 
phony, playing Beethoven's second con 
certo. 

When Ignace was eight years old, he 
was given his first teacher, Oberfeld. 
His appearance at the Symphony Or 
chestra having won him a scholarship at 
the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He 
studied there for three years with the 
Professors Essipoff and Vengerova, con 
tinuing after the former's death with 
the noted Professor Dubasoff. On his 
graduation he was summoned to play 
before the Imperial family. 

He moved eastward from St. Peters 
burg to Tomsk, Siberia, where he accepted a professor ship, in the 
Tomsk Conservatory. After a year in that city, he started 
toward the Orient, giving many concerts en route. In China he 




Pianists 327 



was Invited to play before the President in the Palace at Peking, 
and was awarded a medal as Chevalier of the Chinese Republic. 

Vienna welcomed Hilsberg on his return from the Orient. He 
became a friend of the world-famous Professor Sauer, with whom 
he spent much time in study, absorbing the best of the master's 
methods. On Sauer's suggestion, he journeyed to Athens, hold 
ing for two years a professorship at the Royal Conservatory, and 
frequently playing for the king. 

He came to America in the Summer of 1923 at the height of his 
artistic power, after having established so enviable a reputation 
abroad as a pianist of great sincerity, understanding, and beauty. 
A year after his arrival there, he was selected by the Stadium 
Committee from among hundreds of applicants to be soloist with 
the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at the Lewisohn Stadium, 
and proved beyond question his appeal to musicians of discrim 
inating musical taste. 

Since his arrival in America, Hilsberg has appeared as soloist 
with the symphonies of Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, 
New York, Buffalo, Newark, and other large musical centers. In 
March of 1924 Bruno Walter, the famous conductor, gave Hils 
berg this recommendation : "Ignace Hilsberg is a pianist with ex 
cellent technique and sincere feeling a rare musician." 



JULIUS ISSERLIS 

JULIUS ISSERLIS, who is one of the most outstanding of the many 
pianists Russia has given to the world in the present gen 
eration, was born in Kishineff, Russia, on October 26, 1889. His 

studies began when he was four years 
old, In his eighth year, his teacher, a 
Mr. Koleze, sent him to Professor 
Pachulsky of the Conservatory in Kieff. 
Elated with his talents, Pachulsky taught 
him until he was eleven and then brought 
him to Saf onoff in Moscow. 

In his thirteenth year, Isserlis ap 
peared in a Symphony Concert in mem 
ory of Anton Rubinstein, playing Chop 
in's "Polish Fantasy," with Safonoff 
conducting. 

In 1905 he graduated as gold medal 
ist from the Moscow Conservatory and 
left for Berlin, where he concertized 
with great success. He then went to Paris, where his talents at- 




328 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

tracted Dlemier, the head of the Paris Conservatory. At the same 
time he also appeared as soloist in Switzerland, and in Paris under 
Safonoff. 

In 1907-08 he was invited by Modest Altschuler to come to New 
York, where he played with enormous success at the concerts of 
the "Russian Symphony Society," under Altschuler and Safonoff. 

It was in 1913 that he accepted the position as Professor at the 
Moscow Philharmonic School, where he remained until 1918. After 
resigning from that post, he devoted himself exclusively to concerts. 
He toured all over Russia, Vienna, Prague, Belgrad, Germany, and 
France. 

At present this eminent pianist is living in Vienna, where he 
is very active both as concert-performer and pedagogue. 



ALBERTO JONAS 

ALBERTO JONAS, celebrated piano virtuoso and teacher, was born 
in Ma e drid, Spain, on June 8, 1868. He is the son of Julius and 
Doris Jonas, who came to Spain from Germany. Alberto Jonas 

studied music with Olave and Mendizabel 
at the Conservatory in Madrid, the Brus 
sels Conservatory, and with Rubinstein 
in St. Petersburg. 

He made his debut in Berlin in 1891 
with the Philharmonic Orchestra, and 
then made extended and very successful 
concert tours in Germany, Austria, Hol 
land, Belgium, Russia, Spain, England, 
Central America, the United States, and 
Canada. Jonas played before the Em 
peror and Empress of Germany, and the 
King and Queen of Spain. From 1894 
to 1898 he was instructor in advanced 
piano playing at the Music School of 
the University of Michigan, and later became president and di 
rector of the Michigan Conservatory of Music in Detroit. From 
1898 to 1904 he was head of the piano department of the Klind- 
worth-Scharwenka Conservatory of Music in Berlin, but resigned 
because of the demands of a large class of private pupils. Two 
of his "wunderkinder," including Pepito Arriola, appeared before 
the courts of Germany and Spain. 

Like all musicians who have won fame, Jonas showed his 
genius for music in early childhood. His first musical studies 
were not made with the object of following a professional career, 




Pianists . 329 



for his father wanted him to become what he himself was a suc 
cessful business man. For this purpose he was sent by his father 
to England and France in order to study the business methods of 
those countries. His love for music, however, grew from day to 
day and finally conquered the opposition of his father, as well 
as all other obstacles. 

He entered the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. When he 
was examined, those who had charge of the piano class told him 
there was little hope for his achieving success, as he was "too old 
to begin." He was then eighteen. In 1888 he won the first prize 
in open competition, against nineteen competitors, in the presence 
of the Queen of Belgium and an audience of 2,000 persons. He 
also won the first prize for theoretical and practical harmony, 
counterpoint, and reading of orchestra scores, as well as the Rubin 
stein prize in St. Petersburg in 1890. 

During the next three years he studied piano by himself, de 
veloping and applying to his own playing a system that later gave 
him fame in Berlin, where he taught from 1904 to 1913, as one of 
the greatest pedagogues in the world a system that is embodied 
in his work, Master School of Piano Playing and Virtuosity. 

Alberto Jonas has played during two decades with immense 
success all over Europe and North and Central America. His 
name is known and respected in the musical circles of all coun 
tries. Jonas is the teacher of many famous pianists. He is also 
well known as a composer, his piano pieces being featured on the 
programs of many virtuosi. In his four-fold capacity of piano 
virtuoso, pedagogue, composer, and writer, Alberto Jonas stands 
out today as one of the dominant figures of the musical world. 

Since 1914, Alberto Jonas has been living in New York City 
where he devotes himself to pedagogical activities, (his handsome 
home is the mecca of talented students from all over the world) , 
and to the completion of his book, already mentioned. This work, 
the most elaborate and complete work on piano in existence, has 
the unique distinction of having the collaboration of practically all 
the greatest living piano virtuosos. Their own technical exercises 
are contained in the Master School. It is published in six books, 
of about 250 pages each, by Carl Fischer, the New York publishers. 

This book was written with the collaboration of Fannie Bloom- 
field-Zeisler, Ferruccio Busoni, Alfred Cortot, Ernst von-Doh- 
nanyi, Arthur Friedheim, Ignaz Friedman, Ossip Gabrilo- 
witsch, Rudolph Ganz, Leopold Godowsky, Katherine Goodson, 
Joseph Lhevinne, Moritz Rosenthal, Emil Sauer, and Sigismund 
Stojowski. It embraces all the technical and esthetic elements re 
quired for the highest pianistic virtouosity. It gives excerpts 
from all the best pedagogical works extant, and approximately 
1,000 examples, instructively annotated, taken from the entire 
classic and modern piano literature. 



330 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

In breadth of scope, originality, and clearness of execution, the 
book is unprecedented. It has been written by its author in Eng 
lish, German, French, and Spanish, and is being introduced in 
every musical country. 

Following is a partial list of Jonas' compositions: "Fantasy 
Pieces," opus 12; "Northern Dances"; "Toccata"; "Valse in C 
sharp minor" ; and many songs. 

He has also translated into Spanish Gevaert j s Instrumentation 
(1903) and Pianoscript Book (1918). 

A cosmopolitan in every sense, Alberto Jonas has the distinc 
tion of being a member of the Eed Cross of Belgium and of Spain. 

RAFAEL JOSEFFY 

RAFAEL JOSEFFY, whose father was rabbi of Pressburg, was one 
of the most talented pupils of Taussig. He was born on July 3, 
1852, in Hunfalu, Hungary. In boyhood a pupil of Brauer, in 

Budapest, Joseffy studied later at the 
Leipzig Conservatory under Wenzel in 
Berlin, and under Liszt in Weimar. He 
made his debut in Berlin in 1872 and 
was hailed as Taussig's successor. Dur 
ing the next five years he gave concerts 
in the principal musical centers of 
Europe. In 1879 he visited New York, 
playing at an orchestral concert given by 
Dr. Leopold Damrosch in Chickering 
Hall (October 13, 1879) ; he later played 
with the Philharmonic Orchestra and 
with Theodore Thomas. He settled in 
New York as concert pianist and teacher, 
where his outstanding technique and 
broad catholicity of taste brought him an unusually large number 
of engagements and pupils. He was also one of the first exponents 
of Brahms in America. His public appearances were rare, but 
those that he made were regarded as events of the musical season. 
Joseffy had almost completed editing the works of Chopin 
when he died in New York on June 25, 1915. As a teacher, Joseffy 
was in great demand. He developed a great number of the pianists 
who now occupy leading places in the artistic world and undoubt 
edly exercised a far-reaching influence on the present generation, 
not only of America, but of other lands as well. 

Joseffy left several works of great importance. Among these 
are his School of Advanced Piano Playing. Besides the pianoforte 
works of Chopin, he also edited the pianoforte studies of Czerny, 
Henselt, Moscheles, Schumann, etc. 




Pianists 



331 




HARRY KAUFMAN 

HARRY KAUFMAN, pianist and accompanist, was born in New 
York City on September 6, 1894, of Russian parents, being the 
youngest of thirteen children. His father until the age of eighty- 

* two taught Hebrew to the fast-growing 
generations of American Jews of the 
neighborhood. 

On being graduated from public 
school, Harry entered the City College 
and also the Institute of Musical Art (as 
a scholarship pupil under Sigismond 
Stojowski), and studied harmony there 
under Percy Goetschius. In 1913 he went 
to Germany. There he studied harmony 
and composition under Kreutzer. Lack 
of funds forced him to return after a 
year. He secured a position playing with 
an orchestra in Boston's finest hotel. 
This experience afforded him excellent 
training in ensemble playing. He continued to study music by 
himself, giving several hours daily to intensive work at the piano, 
and virtually teaching himself Russian, French, and German. He 
now speaks these languages with no trace of foreign accent, and 
coaches singers in enunciation. He is exceedingly well read in the 
literature of these languages as well. Of course, the traditional 
Yiddish and Hebrew has been familiar since childhood. 

In 1919 Kaufman was playing in a hotel in Atlantic City with 
the violinist Beerman, the uncle of Toscha Seidel. When young 
Seidel arrived in America, his uncle recommended Harry Kauf 
man as his accompanist, but Kaufman had too little self-confidence 
to accept. Not until his friends packed his grip, bought his ticket, 
and engaged a substitute for his orchestra position did he travel 
to New York for a hearing. He was engaged at once, for he gave 
evidence of being a thoroughly equipped musician, technically and 
artistically balanced for the work of accompanying a violinist. 
For two years Kaufman and Seidel toured the United States, and 
for the next two years played with Ef rem Zimbalist. The list of 
those artists whom Kaufman has accompanied, and with whom he 
appeared as co-artist in public and private, reads like a musical 
Who's Who. It includes the late George Hamlin, Charlotte Lund, 
Carl Flesch, Carlos Sedano, Felix Salmond, Pablo Casals, Jascha 
Heif etz, Mischa Elman, Erika Morini, and many others. 



332 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

In the Summer of 1922, Harry Kaufman was one of the two 
pianists of a list of 745 applicants to win the Stadium Audition 
of the year. At the Stadium that summer he played the Liszt "E 
flat major Concerto" with the Philharmonic Orchestra. In Oc 
tober of the same year and in the same month of the following 
year, he was heard in recitals, receiving excellent notices from the 
metropolitan dailies. 

Kaufman has since been engaged by the Curtis Institute in 
Philadelphia as the official accompanist "of that institution, and 
also as teacher in the piano department under Josef Hofmann, 
with whom, by the way, he is a great favorite. 



LEONID KREUTZER 

LEONID KREUTZER is an outstanding Russian pianist and conduc 
tor. He was born on March 13, 1884, in St. Petersburg, Russia. 
At the age of five he commenced the study of piano with Blum- 
berg, from whom he secured his first 
serious conception of theory and piano 
playing. It is curious to note that in his 
childhood he studied the violin but that 
the piano predominated as his chosen in 
strument. His father, a lawyer by pro 
fession, did not permit his son's educa 
tion to be neglected and sent him through 
preparatory school, after which the 
young Leonid entered the St. Petersburg 
Conservatory, studying piano under the 
famous Mme Essipowa, and composition 
under Glazounoff. 

Kreutzer's debut was made in 1905 
with the Moscow Philharmonic Society, 
where he played Rachmaninoff's "Second Concerto/ 7 making a 
tremendous success. Shortly after, he left Russia and settled in 
Germany (first living in Leipzig, and after 1908 in Berlin). Since 
1906, Kreutzer has been concertizing extensively over the Con 
tinent and has appeared as soloist with practically every leading 
European orchestra. It is worthy of notice that he is known, not 
only as a pianist of the first rank, but also as a conductor, having 
conducted the first performance of a number of Reger's orchestral 
works. His debut as conductor was made in Leipzig in 1908, since 
which time he has conducted on various occasions. 

In 1921 Kreutzer was appointed professor of piano at the Staat- 




Pianists 333 



liche Hochschule f iir Musik in Berlin, where he holds an esteemed 
position in the pedagogical field. 

He is the author of two books on piano-playing, Das normale 
Klavier-pedal (Leipzig, 1915), and Das Wesen der Kla/viertechnik 
(Berlin, 1923). He has made special editions of Liszt, Chopin, 
and other composers. 

Kreutzer has also found time for composition, being author of 
the pantomime "Der Gott und die Bajadere" (performed at the 
Mannheim and Berlin Opera Houses), and sundry other works. 

On January 1, 1927, Kreutzer made his American debut with 
the Philharmonic Orchestra under Mengelberg, scoring a great 
success, after which he appeared also with the Detroit Symphony 
under Gabrilowitsch, and with the Cincinnati Symphony under 
Fritz Reiner, as well as giving numerous other recitals and con 
certs. 



ALEXANDER LAMBERT 

ALEXANDER LAMBERT (son of Henry and Salomee Lambert), 
eminent Polish pianist and teacher, was born in Warsaw, on Nov 
ember 1, 1863. His father was a musician of reputation, and 

under him the boy began began his mus 
ical studies at the age of ten. He was 
then, by the advice of Rubinstein, sent 
to Vienna, where he entered the conser 
vatory, and after completing his studies 
under Julius Epstein, was graduated at 
the age of sixteen with the gold medal 
of the Conservatory. He afterwards 
spent some time at Weimar studying un 
der Liszt, and in due time was heard in 
concert in Germany. He then came to 
the United States and, though he ap 
peared almost unheralded, met with the 
most flattering success. 

Lambert was heard first in the Schu 
mann G minor Piano Sonata, and with this gained the admira 
tion, not only of the audience but of the critics. He appeared at 
Steinway Hall, New York, with Remenyi, sharing honors with the 
Hungarian violinist. His touch was described as bold and free, 
his attack sure and daring, his tone large and round, and his con 
ceptions just. His dexterity was noted as well as his earnest con 
scientious work. Like so many musicians of his nationality, he 
astonished with his brilliancy. 




334 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

He went for a year to Germany. In Berlin, where he was first 
heard, the critics spoke in high praise of his work, as revealing a 
beautiful pearly technique, naturalness, and freshness in his con 
ceptions. 

During his sojourn in Germany, he met and spent much time 
with Moszkowski and later with Joachim, who engaged him for a 
tour through Germany. 

Lambert accompanied Joachim as far as Kiel, where he played 
before the Prince and Princess of Schleswig-Holstein. Then he 
filled an engagement to take part in Terisina Tua's concerts. Af 
terward he was invited to play by the Philharmonic Society of 
Berlin on the occasion of the anniversary of Beethoven's death. 
By the advice of Hans von Biilow, he gave the great composer's 
C major and C minor concertos, with the original cadenzas. The 
choice was an exceedingly happy one, and he won the interest of 
the Berlin public and the praise of the Berlin press in a season 
that had been made remarkable by Rubinstein, Hans von Biilow, 
D' Albert, Scharwenka, and Clara Schumann. 

Leaving Poland, Lambert paid a visit to his native city, War 
saw, where he made the acquaintance of the violinist Sarasate, 
with whom he afterwards concertized. Thence he went to Wei 
mar, where he spent four months in daily communication with 
Franz Liszt, Mme Montigny-Ramaury, Mme Alfred Jaell, Siloti, 
Friedheim, Felix Weingartner, and Saint-Saens. Of this sojourn, 
Lambert says: "He who has enjoyed the distinction of being the 
object of the Master's solicitude, knows how precious is every 
word of Liszt's while one is playing for him." 

Returning to New York, Lambert resumed his work in the 
musical world. He had added much to his repertoire, and made 
his second entree at one of the concerts with the G minor piano 
concerto by Saint-Saens. He played with his accustomed bril 
liancy of technique, with added poetic charm, and complete beauty 
of tone, "a clear and silvery touch" full of color as occasion de 
mands, and a delicacy of delivery that was very fascinating. He 
began to fulfill the predictions of his earlier admirers. Of an 
other appearance a critic wrote: "Lambert played the Liszt Hun 
garian Fantasie with tremendous power and dash. We have few 
pianists who could so stir up an audience without resorting to 
trickery of any kind." 

Subsequently there followed engagements with America's lead 
ing symphonic organizations under Damrosch, Seidl, and others. 

At the age of twenty-three, Lambert settled permanently in 
New York City. He became head of the New York College of 
Music and remained director thereof for eighteen years. By his 
unwearying energy and devotion he has brought this institution 
to a very high place. 



Pianists 



335 



Lambert is now one of New York's acknowledged great piano 
teachers, and to his classes flock pupils from all over the country. 

Among his pupils are Mana-Zucca, Nadia Reisenberg, Julia 
Glass, and Beryl Rubinstein. 

Lambert has to his credit among other works: "Etude and 
Bourree" and "Valse Impromptu" both for the piano. He has also 
written Piano Method and Systematic Course of Studies. 



WANDA LANDOWSKA 

THE BIOGRAPHY of this illustrious artist is the story of a person 
ality. From earliest childhood she showed a pronounced passion 
and love for the music of Bach. Born in Warsaw in 1877, Wanda 

Landowska studied the piano, first under 
Michalowski and Noskowski at Warsaw 
Conservatory, and completed her studies 
under G. Urban in Berlin. 

Coming to France in 1900, she evi 
denced a love for the masters of the 
harpsichord (Clavicembalo) of the sev 
enteenth and eighteenth centuries. Mas 
ters of the harpsichord have found in 
her an original interpreter, for she has 
added to their works that particular col 
or we find in beautiful paintings. 

From 1900 to 1913 she was teaching 
harpsichord at the Schola Cantorum in 
Paris ; then she went to Berlin as prof es- 
sor of that instrument at the Berlin Hochschule, and after the 
war returned to Paris. 

She has published among other works: Bach-et Ses Interpretes 
(1906), and La Musique Ancienne (1908). 

Wanda Landowska is one of the rare woman virtuosi, who do 
not seem to imitate the playing of men. She has had the intelli 
gence to conserve for art all the intimate character of her feminin 
ity. Her interpretation is profound, as if she herself had composed 
the music. France recently paid tribute to her genius by naming 
her a chevalier of the Legion of Honor. 




336 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




TINA LERNER 

OF THE eminent young pianist Tina Lerner, Joseph Hofmann once 
said, when he first met her in 1905 : "If she plays as well as she 
looks, it will be splendid/' Soon after hearing her, he predicted 

for her a brilliant future. She was born 
in Odessa, Russia, in 1889, and is the 
daughter of very cultivated and accom 
plished people. Her father is a journal 
ist, and both her mother and her grand 
mother were musicians. Her talent was 
discovered by her grandmother, who on 
arriving home one day heard some one 
playing a difficult study. As this com 
position happened to be one which she 
had herself vainly tried to master, she 
was overjoyed on entering the room to 
find that the performer was her wee 
grandchild, aged seven. 

"I began my music when about four 
years old," Tina Lener says, "by playing on a toy piano consisting 
of eight keys, which had been given me. My older sister, who was 
studying the piano, noticed this, taught me a little, and I learned 
to pick out little tunes on the real piano. Finally one day my sis 
ter's teacher, Rudolf Heim, a pupil of Moscheles, was coming to 
the house mainly on my account. 

"Soon after this I was taken to the Professor's studio. He ex 
amined me, considered I had talent, and thought it should be culti 
vated. My real musical education then began when I was five." 

Soon afterward the Lerners moved to Moscow, where Tina was 
sent to the Philharmonic School; in four years she accomplished 
what some students do in nine years, which is the time required to 
complete a full course. 

Her teacher, Professor Pabst, predicted a brilliant future for 
his pupil, and proved a reliable prophet, for Tina Lerner is now 
recognized as one of the most outstanding pianists of both conti 
nents, winning the enthusiastic praise of the critics and the musi 
cians. 

After her graduation from the Moscow Conservatory with high 
honors, she went to the great master and pedagogue, Leopold 
Godowsky, with whom she studied for several years. 

After a joint concert in London in 1908 with Kubelik, Tina 
Lerner received quite as great an ovation as the "great Kubelik." 
When these two young virtuosos appeared later in Brighton, Eng- 



Pianists 337 



land, one of the critics said : "Tina Lerner did not use her piano 
as an excuse for indulging in wild Saturnalian orgies of most un 
musical sound, but, on the contrary, made her instrument a vehicle 
for limpid purity, symmetry, and purling sweetness of tone. She 
wove arabesques of dainty fancy in the treble over which De Pach- 
mann himself would have smiled and gurgled approval. . . . Tina 
Lerner at nineteen has risen to a commanding position in the 
musical world. 5 ' 

Tina Lerner made her American debut in November, 1908, at 
Carnegie Hall, New York, when she appeared as soloist of the Rus 
sian Symphony Society's first concert of the season, under Modest 
Altschuler. She played Rachmaninoff's Second Concerto. The 
Musical America of November 21, 1908, wrote: 

"The interest of the large audience that comfortably filled the 
hall was concentrated upon the debutante, and the general verdict 
was of the most favorable nature. The little pianist with the 
Madonna face demonstrated that she is the possessor of not only 
a finely developed technique with at times a peculiarly caressing 
and liquid tone, at other times a surprising sonority and brilliance 
of color, but also of true musicianly feelings and taste and an indi 
vidual charm of style." 

H. T. Finck wrote in the Evening Post: "Miss Lerner is a true 
virtuoso. In the last movement of Rachmaninoff's Concerto the 
pianist rose to a splendid climax. 

Max Smith of the Press wrote : "Miss Lerner made a decidedly 
agreeable impression even on those who did not listen to music with 
their eyes. . . . The little pianist, with her gentle, refined touch, 
revealed an excellent techinque. In soft passages her scales and 
arpeggios rippled like strings of liquid pearls." 

After her first American piano recital at Mendelssohn Hall, 
New York, on December 4, 1908, the New York Herald wrote: 
"Miss Lerner's playing showed rare taste and a high degree of 
digital facility." Musical America said: "That there is a wide 
spread interest in the work of this young artist was made evident 
by the size of the audience, which completely filled the hall. It was 
furthermore an audience which expressed deep sympathy in the 
work of the performer, and the applause which followed each num 
ber left no doubt as to the nature of her success. Mme Luisa 
Tetrazzini of the Manhattan Opera House, one of the most dis 
tinguished of the young Russian pianist's auditors, led in the hand- 
clapping." 

Tina Lerner appeared as soloist with most of the leading or 
chestras and all the pre-eminent chamber-music organizations of 
both continents. 

Lerner's is a truly musical nature, endowed with unusual talent. 
Her touch is singularly beautiful and she has at her command as a 
colorist a great variety of nuances. 



338 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Aside from her purely musical endowments, Tina Lerner is a 
woman of rare charm and intelligence. 

Together with her husband, the noted conductor, Vladimir 

Shavitsh, she is now living in Syracuse, New York, where they are 

both members of the faculty at the university of that city, and 

* where Mr. Shavitsh is the conductor of the Syracuse Philharmonic 

Orchestra. 



MISCHA LEVITZKI 

MISCHA LEVITZKI, whose art combines the perfect technique of 
the experienced genius with the virile fire of enthusiastic youth, 
is a commanding figure in the pianistic world of today. His in 
terpretative gifts are so remarkable that 
they recall the stories told of the pre 
cocity of Handel, Mozart, and other mas 
ters, and the miraculous results which 
they obtained from the spinets and harp 
sichords of their day. 

His poise and assurance are extra 
ordinary. During the first three seasons 
that he was before the American pub 
lic, Mischa Levitzki played with prac 
tically every orchestra of importance in 
the country, including the Boston Sym 
phony, New York Symphony, New York 
Philharmonic, the Chicago, Minneapolis, 
St. Louis, Cincinnati, Toronto, and Kus- 
sian Symphony Orchestras, not once but many times. During the 
season of 1919-20 he was heard five times with the New York 
Symphony under Walter Damrosch, twice in New York and once 
each in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, repeating the 
triumphant tour which he had made with the Damrosch players 
the season previously. 

The impresario of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra was 
one of the first of American managers to recognize Levitzki's great 
gifts; she has included him among her musical offerings every 
season since the first one. Since she now has an orchestra, the 
new Cleveland Orchestra, under her own management, she has 
engaged him for no less than three appearances during the past 
season, twice in Cleveland and once in Oberlin. Levitski also 
played again with the Minneapolis Orchestra in both Minneapolis 
and St. Paul, and with the Detroit Orchestra under the baton of 
Ossip Gabrilowitsch. Both the San Francisco and Los Angeles 




Pianists 339 



Orchestras were bidders for his services, but owing to the fact 
that his stay in the United States during that time was a rather 
short one, on account of the long Australian tour he was made to 
undertake during the season of 1919-20, the Pacific Coast cities 
had to wait for him until the following season. 

Mischa Levitzki is an American although he did happen to be 
born in a town near Kieff in Southern Russia. His father had 
previously resided in America and had become fully naturalized 
before returning to Russia on a business trip. It was during this 
stay that the child was born, and the first eight years of his life 
were passed in the land of the late Czar. It would seem to have 
been a fortunate chance for him, for his personality and his play 
ing show that the inherent reserve and intensity of the Russian 
character have been tempered by the freedom and spontaneity of 
America. 

Mischa was born in Krementschug on May 25, 1898. At the 
age of three he showed a remarkable sense of rhythm, playing 
the drum in an orchestra made up of his three brothers. Neither 
of his parents was particularly musical, and they were not at all 
anxious for a musical career for their son. However, on the 
insistence of a local pianist, he was taken to Warsaw, where he 
studied with A. Michalowski (an excellent routine teacher), from 
1905 to 1906. At the age of eight, his parents brought him to 
New York, where he studied at the Institute of Musical Art under 
Stojowski for four years. 

His outstanding talent caused friends of the family to advise 
that the boy be taken to Europe for further study. With his 
mother and younger sister Bertha, he arrived in Berlin, his heart 
set on becoming a pupil of Ernest von Dohnanyi. He telephoned 
immediately on his arrival, only to be told that Dohnanyi was out 
of the city for several days. He was extremely anxious to play 
for the master, for he knew that the classes in the Hochschule fur 
Music were being formed and that Dohnanyi, as usual, was limit 
ing himself to sixteen pupils. Each prospective student had to 
demonstrate the possession of extraordinary talent before he could 
hope to be accepted, and the boy coveted the honor more than 
anything else. He learned that already twelve others had qualified 
who had influence and were leaving nothing undone in their efforts 
to be chosen. He telephoned Mme Dohnanyi every day and at 
last learned that the teacher had returned. Over the telephone 
Dohnanyi held out little hope and tried to put the boy off by saying 
that perhaps there would be a chance the following year. How 
ever, Levitzki was insistent and pleaded for a hearing and at 
last an appointment was given him for the next evening after 
dinner. 

When Dohnanyi came out from his dining room the following 



340 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

night, he found awaiting him a small boy in knickerbockers. He 
was not only amazed but annoyed. His was the master class, and 
all of his pupils were of maturer years. He had no time for 
beginners as he supposed the child to be. 

"Are you the new student from America," he asked, none too 
graciously. 

"Yes sir/' answered the boy whose feet scarcely touched the 
floor when he was seated. 

"Don't you know that we don't admit pupils under sixteen to 
the Hochschule?" began the pianist, and before Levitzki could 
answer he added, "and I personally have never taught children," 
this with a perceptible emphasis on the last word. 

Levitzki was determined not to be dismissed in this summary 
fashion and asked that he be allowed to play one piece. Dohnanyi 
at length consented and the boy played "La Fileuse" by Raff. 
When he had finished, Dohnanyi without other comment asked him 
to play something else. Mendelssohn's "Spring Song" followed. 

"Come tomorrow morning at eleven to the Hochschule for the 
entrance examination," said he, as he gravely bent down and shook 
hands with the boy. 

The next morning Levitzki was confronted with no less than 
fifteen examiners. 

"What do you want to play?" he was asked. 

"The Mendelssohn Concerto in G minor," was the astounding 
reply. 

"But that requires an orchestra or at least a second piano for 
accompaniment," answered one of the judges. 

This act of consideration inspired the boy to do his very best. 
When he had finished he was unanimously voted a member of the 
Dohnanyi's master class. There he spent three years, between 
1911 and 1915. In 1913 the youth received the Mendelssohn sec 
ond prize, and in 1914 the first. In March of the same year he 
made his Berlin debut, capturing the city, and later during the 
same year played in several Belgian cities. From 1915 to 1916 
Levitzki appeared in Germany once more, then in Austria and 
Norway. At that time Germany was confident of victory, and 
Berlin enjoyed one of the greatest musical seasons in its history. 
The youthful pianist became a great favorite there, but he longed 
to return to America. He made his American debut in Aeolian 
Hall in 1916, and immediately established a reputation as a finished 
master of the piano, in spite of his extreme youthfulness. 

We have already mentioned the fact that he was soon engaged 
as soloist with America's leading orchestra. Meanwhile, Mischa 
made tours over the country until 1921, when he made a tri 
umphant tour through. Australia and New Zealand, returning to 
America by way of Europe the following season, when he was 



Pianists 341 



again received with enthusiasm by both audiences and press. "Mr. 
Levitzki is a musician of fine intimacies, delicacies and reserves/' 
said the New York Times. "His style is individually his own, 
as is his technique exceedingly finished, unfailing in its correct 
ness, endless in its minute gradations. His tone is of an exquisite 
purity and opalescence." 

"Levitzki has grown with somewhat confounding quickness 
from the position of an unusually gifted boy to that of a young 
master. The authority with which he plays is impressive," said 
the New York Sun. The Chicago Examiner eulogizes Mischa 
Levitzki as follows: "A great figure in the pianistic world is 
Mischa Levitzki. He combines something of the authority and 
superlative pianistic mastery of Busoni with more than an echo 
of the romanticism of Paderewski." 

Mischa Levitzki is ingenuous and frank. With him there is 
no suggestion of either pose or pretense. His hair is no longer 
than it would be were he a business man, and he walks to his 
instrument in as matter of fact a way as a banker would approach 
his desk. To make his audience feel the message which the 
composer has written into the music is his mission, and he suc 
ceeds in such a measure as to efface himself. 

Many a pianist has given a recital from the pulpit platfrom 
of a church in cities which boast no other concert halls, but there 
are few who have been called upon to replace the preacher by 
giving a sermon in harmony. Yet such was the task which was 
set Levitzki by the minister of one of the large New York churches. 

Dr. Christian Reisner, pastor of the Grace Methodist Episcopal 
Church, has the reputation of being a preacher of the simple 
gospel, but he also believes in making use of every honest means 
to draw men to his church. He evidently agrees with the belief 
of Charles Wesley who once said: "The devil ought not to have 
all the best tunes/' and so he invited Levitzki to play a short pro 
gram which included the Gluck-Brahms "Gavotte/' a Chopin Bal 
lade and a Liszt Rhapsody. The effect on the large congregation 
was such that the church rang with applause. 

But this was not all. Levitzki drew something more than 
applause. After he had finished, Dr. Reisner made an appeal for 
funds and when the collection plates were emptied the sum 
totalled over $5,000. "And your playing had more to do with 
it than anything I was able to say/' he told the pianist afterward. 
"It was a direct response to the message which you gave them. 
They knew that it was something bigger and greater than a mere 
display of technique that you were there to unfold to them the 
ideas which the composers had concealed within the notes as they 
had arranged them. It was the preaching of the gospel of music 
and beauty and power, just as surely as any words of mine pro 
claim the gospel of salvation." 



342 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Mischa Levitzki is the composer of a number of small piano 
pieces, in waltz and gavotte form. 

He has three older brothers, the oldest of whom, Dr. Louis 
Levine, is a famous professor of economics and journalist; his 
younger sister, Bertha Levitzki, is a gifted pianist and accom 
panist. It is worth while mentioning the reason for the dis 
crepancy in the names of the family scions. The original family 
name was Levitzki, but when the family moved to New York from 
Russia and were naturalized, they assumed, for some reason of 
their own, the name of Levine. But Mischa uses his original 
name. 



HENIOT LEVY 

A PLACE in the American musical life has been quietly and securely 
won by Heniot Levy. As a composer he is well and favorably 
known in America and abroad. Germany and France, as well as 

his native city of Warsaw, Poland, have 
bestowed honors on him. In 1907, in a 
contest of international composers, his 
trio was given highest award by the 
Concours International de la Musique, 
in Paris. As a teacher his gifts gather 
about him a coterie of enthusiastic and 
brilliant young players. 

It is said he was born to the mu 
sician's life, his father having been a 
composer and teacher. His natural 
gifts were early developed and educated. 
He was born on July 19, 1879, in* Warsaw, 
a part of the world which has furnished 
a number of distinguished musicians. He 
is, however, cosmopolitan, for though Polish by birth, he was edu 
cated in Germany and New York, lived for a time in Norway and 
England, and for the past twelve years has lived in Chicago. 

He studied with Raif and Earth at the Royal High School for 
Music, in Berlin, from which place he was graduated in 1897 ; and 
composition with Max Bruch at the Master School of the Berlin 
Academy. He made his debut with the Philharmonic Orchestra 
in Berlin, in 1898. He then toured through Southern Europe and 
Germany, Norway and Sweden. In a competition in Warsaw, in 
1901, he won first prize for a violin sonata. 

Heniot Levy seems to be the possessor of a dual musical per 
sonality. He has successfully solved the problem of escaping the 
fossilization process that often overtakes the busy pedagogue, for 
he has remained a valuable concert giver. 




Pianists 343 



Levy appears frequently in recitals and as soloist for sym 
phony orchestras in Chicago and the surrounding towns. He also 
played in London and other European cities, meeting with marked 
success. Aside from the prize-winning trio, Levy has written a 
number of works for the piano, among them, "Poeme de Mai" and 
"Petite Valse." 



JOSEF LHEVINNE 

JOSEF LHEVINNE is one of the few representatives of that great 
virtuoso school of piano playing which came into vogue in the 
latter days of Liszt and Rubinstein, and as such has established 

himself in the realm of pianistic art as a 
supreme master of the instrument. To 
play the piano as Lhevinne does, requires 
a sympathetic unison of mental and phy 
sical power. 

His style is brilliant and clear, his 
tone and conception replete with poetic 
feeling and imagination. His ease and 
flawless technique have caused him to 
be called Rubinstein's legitimate suc 
cessor. 

How to become a pianist without a 
piano was the problem that faced Josef 
Lhevinne at the beginning of his career. 
The Lhevinne family lived in a small 
town close to Moscow. There Josef was born in 1874. His father 
was a trumpet player in the Royal Opera, but was too poor to 
indulge in any luxuries, much less a piano. By chance, a brother- 
in-law sent them an old square instrument to keep for him. The 
father put his son through a test to ascertain if he possessed any 
great musical qualifications. He was astonished at his talent 
which included an uncannily sense of pitch. 

How to secure instruction was the next problem, for none of 
the family could play the ungainly piece of furniture that had 
been looked upon as a white elephant, but which proved a blessing 
in disguise. Josef knew several conservatory pupils who con 
sented to teach him the elements of playing. At the age of six he 
could sing melodies and play the accompaniments to songs of 
Schubert, Schumann, and Mendelssohn. But though Josef loved 
music, and liked to play for fun, he found it so easy to express 
himself freely in music that he did not understand the importance 
of learning or the seriousness of art. He did not like work a 




344 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

disposition that clung to him until he had played before Rubin 
stein and been inspired by the great master's playing. 

Josefs first teacher was a Swede named Crysander, a student 
at the Conservatory in Moscow. After a short period of study 
with him, Josef conceived the clever idea of giving a concert to 
raise funds for his tuition, but his father opposed such measures 
on the ground that it would be better to wait until he had com 
pleted his studies. Nevertheless, the boy got his wish through 
peculiar circumstances. A certain colonel who was a friend of 
Josef's teacher had arranged a soiree in honor of the Grand Duke. 
Through this connection, the youth was chosen to play at the 
function, which was a most brilliant affair, held in the palace and 
attended by the elite of the city. In spite of his youth, Josef 
was not a bit flustered by the lights, brilliant attire, and court 
ceremony. He performed Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," and 
the Wagner-Liszt March from "Tanhauser" with such power and 
skill that he deeply impressed the Duke, who then and there ar 
ranged for a certain banker to take the young artist under his 
patronage. 

When, therefore, the boy was brought to study with Safonoff, 
the director of the Conservatory, he was surprised because he 
taught only master classes and certainly Josef was far from 
ready to take his place there. But Safonoff took a fancy to the 
lad and accepted him because of his great promise, and gave him 
daily private lessons for several months so that he might catch up. 
This course was tedious but wise, though it necessitated forsak 
ing his Liszt, Beethoven, and Chopin for a season of technical 
work. At the end of six years, Josef, then seventeen, was grad 
uated with the highest honors, even with s.uch stars in the class 
as Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, winning the conservatory gold 
medal and later the Rubinstein prize at Berlin from among thirty- 
two contestants. 

Before his graduation from the conservatory, Josef appeared 
at a concert conducted by Rubinstein, playing Beethoven's "Fifth 
Concerto." 

After a period of concert touring throughout Europe, Lhevinne 
became professor of piano at the Imperial Music School in Tiflis, 
and later at the Moscow Conservatory, which post he held for 
four years (1902-06). But a year spent in military service proved 
a setback to his work and a serious delay in his musical progress. 

Lhevinne came to America for the first time in 1907. His ap 
pearance then caused something of a sensation and his visits 
became yearly events till the outbreak of the war, when he was 
interned in Germany. He returned to America in 1919, opening 
his season in New York at the Hippodrome before a vast audience 
with triumphant success. He toured the principal cities of the 



Pianists 345 



United States, returning to New York City several times for re 
citals and for appearances as soloist with the leading symphony 
orchestras. Each season since has been devoted by the great 
virtuoso to touring the United States and Mexico. 

When Josef was nineteen years old, he met a young lady, Rosina, 
a little younger than himself at one of the numerous house parties 
of the neighborhood in Moscow, where he lived. Both played the 
piano and became close friends. Rosina went to Safonoff at the 
Conservatory and, like Josef, finished the course by winning the 
gold medal, being the first girl to achieve that honor. She wanted 
to continue her studies and the director advised her to coach with 
Lhevinne. This led to a romance, but the formalities required in 
Russia at that time had to be complied with, so they could not 
marry until after his service in the army. After this another tour 
of a year, made necessary by a contract, was fulfilled. Finally 
the marriage took place, and the couple took up residence in Tiflis, 
where Josef had been engaged as professor in the conservatory. 
Here they spent three years, during which period the plans for 
their joint recitals and his world tour were launched and perfected. 

Josef Lhevinne is a powerfully built, heavy-set man of a kindly 
disposition. His hands are extraordinary, even for a pianist. He 
can reach four keys beyond an octave without effort and bridges 
with first and fourth fingers an interval as large as most players 
can do with first and fifth. His octave-playing is brilliant and 
perfect. His fingers have natural cushions of unusual size to 
which is partly due his exquisite touch and tone quality. It is a 
powerful forearm that produces the titanic tunes. His mastery of 
the instrument also owes much to his remarkable sense of pitch 
and his powerful imagination. Lhevinne classifies great piano 
playing as a combination of physical material, hearing, tempera 
ment, and imagination. 

While a believer in technique, Josef Lhevinne considers in 
dividuality the secret of artistic success. "But it must be limited 
by the canons of correct art," he says, "or it is neither artistic 
individuality nor the expression of the artistic. By study and re 
search that develop mental equipment, by devotion to absolute 
beauty, and a perfect form or art through the inspirational fervor 
that flares up as the soul is filled with the fire of the composer's 
genius, one may hope to attain an individuality of style in inter 
pretative power that will have warmth as well as symmetry an 
individuality that will do justice to the composer above all. 

"By intensive study and with a properly focussed aim, any 
thing within the realm of possibility may be accomplished. Of 
that I am sure, and I am equally sure that not one of us ever 
attains his birth-right, because we are mentally lazy when it comes 
to training the will. 



346 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

"We don't mind spending an hour every day in some gym 
nasium to put our muscles in prime condition, but who ever heard 
of a mental gymnasium? It is so much easier to wish than to 
will. I became interested in the possibilities of this power we 
possess, but use so little, after an experience on one of my tours. 
A few hours before the concert, a tooth started to jump and 
broadcast pain. I could not find a dentist at that hour, so de 
termined to play anyway. I said to myself, "Just imagine you like 
it and enjoy the sensation." Strange to say, as the concert pro 
gressed, the pain seemed to subside. The incident led me to study 
this great force and I found it just a method of practicing life as 
one practices the piano putting aside a certain portion of the day 
for thinking practice. Thus, in time, one acquires the habit of 
concentration, reasoning, self -perception, and self-control. Tremb 
ly nerves respond the speediest to this regime. You will soon find 
that you mind yourself, which really means that you are your will, 
and that your mind is only the servant who takes orders. The 
subconscious mind is one of the greatest factors in life and we 
use it the least." 

It was on his second concert tour in Mexico that a remarkable 
scene followed his final concert in Mexico City. On his first ap 
pearance there, he came unknown, giving his debut concert mod 
estly in a small hall. Before he left, a big theatre was needed to 
accommodate the enthusiasts thronging to hear him. However, 
even this was surpassed on the next visit to Mexico City. The 
Mexicans love music ; Lhevinne gave seven concerts in their capital 
before they would part with him. At the final one shouts, cheers, 
pounding on chairs and the floor with canes, marked their frantic 
approval. When at last he had no more strength left to play en 
cores, people from the audience followed him outside, unhitched the 
horses from his carriage, and drew it themselves to his hotel a 
token of exuberant enthusiasm usually reserved for a great prima 
donna. 

A great musician becomes doubly interesting when we know 
more of his personality, and especially of the charm of his home 
life. Josef Lhevinne now lives in a particularly lovely suburb 
near New York. His home is on a hill, overlooking many villas 
and a great sweep of rolling country. The living-room has many 
windows, letting in the sunlight, more an outdoor than an indoor 
room. Lhevinne and his talented pianist wife are not only artists 
in the best sense, but parents in the best sense too. Their two 
children, a' boy, Constantine still in his teens, and a girl Mariana, 
five years old, find that their parents are their best companions in 
sport, tennis, skating, and tobogganing, for which the hill on 
which they live offers a splendid opportunity. The education of 
the children is considered; and Mariana, like her brother, speaks 
four languages, English, Russian, French, and German. 



Pianists 347 



Josef Lhevinne and his wife have become intimately associated 
with the musical life of the new continent. They conduct master- 
classes in pianoforte playing in New York City, Chicago, and other 
large centers of the United States. Lhevinne is without a doubt 
one of the outstanding pianists and teachers of our time. 

This celebrated artist does not scorn to play pieces that people 
love because they already know them, but he plays those numbers 
in a way so completely different, searching out fresh beauties and 
giving them new life, that they grow to be delightful novelties. 

GEORGE LIEBLING 

GEORGE LIEBLING occupies an outstanding place among those pian 
ists who bring fame to German music, not only in England and 
the United States, but wherever he appears. 

He was born on January 22, 1865 in 
Berlin. He studied piano under T. Kul- 
lak and F. Liszt, and theory with Hein- 
rich Urban, Wusst, and Albert Becker. 
He was a great favorite with all his 
teachers. From his earliest childhood 
he was a precocious pianist. Having 
studied as a boy under Kullak, he was 
made, when a pupil of sixteen years, a 
professor of master piano classes. This 
was at Kullak's suggestion. 

He toured the important centers of 
Europe, and won fame as an excellent 
pianist of unsurpassed technique and 
refined taste. At one time he lived in 
England for a number of years. Queen Victoria was much de 
lighted by the virtuosity of his playing on August 4, 1908. 

Like Ossip Gabrilowitsch, and Ignaz Friedman, George Liebling 
belongs to that group of fortunate artists who can play the classics 
and the modernists with equal ease and perfection. 

His interest in playing is a subjective one. He wishes to play 
as a composer felt when he first conceived the music, and not as 
the writer afterwards thought of it. In public performances, he 
follows his impulse, and does not imitate. After public appear 
ances, he regularly meets friends and chats with them. Liebling 
says it is not until an hour or two later that he can recall faces 
and conversations which have taken place. 

Contact with great musicians placed Liebling in an intermedi 
ary position between the old and new schools. He knew Rubin 
stein, Brahms, Grieg, and Tschaikowsky. Arthur Nikisch, Mar- 




348 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

cella Sembrich, and Emil Sauer were his early friends. He toured 
with Adelina Patti and is acquainted with Siegfried Wagner. His 
personal contacts extended to Busoni and Sgambati, and his con 
temporary acquaintances number Pizzeti, Alfano, Respighi, Au- 
gustini, Hindemith, and many younger members of the new Euro 
pean schools. 

As a composer and pianist, he combines the qualities of two 
periods. Indeed, it is his conviction that all art must incorporate 
both the best belonging to the past and those things which are 
just being recognized. 

In 1890 Liebling was appointed local court pianist in Coburg. 

From 1894 to 1897 he was piano professor in his school in Ber 
lin, which has won wide renown. In 1898 he was teacher of the 
Guildhall School of Music in London, and in 1908 again opened 
a school of his own in Munich. 

His works for the piano are a distinct contribution to piano 
literature. They include: 

Concerto, opus 22; Pieces: for Piano, Violin and Piano, and 
cello ; Violin Sonatas, opus 28 and 63 ; Songs ; Orchestral works ; the 
opera "The Wager" (1908, Dessau) ; and a mystery, "St. Kath- 
erine" (1908, Cologne), etc. 

On October 11, 1925, at his recital at the Aeolian Hall, New 
York, Liebling played his new piano concerto, "Concerto Eroico," 
which won high praise from critics and audience. The first per 
formance of the composition in the United States made an event 
of importance, and to this tlie press comments were largely de 
voted. 

Olin Downes, music critic of the New York Times, said: "The 
work is written by a mature musician, but one who prefers to 
follow the models of the romantic composers rather than speak in 
the modern idiom . . . Three small pieces also by Mr. Liebling,' 
dedicated to Ossip Gabrilowitsch and marked 'new' on the pro 
gram, served to exhibit another more popular angle of his musical 
fancies." Pitt Sanborn, in the New York Telegram of October 
12, said: "The concerto (previously unheard in this country) is 
in the three movements of classical tradition. The music is melo 
dious, impetuous, romantic in spirit. Mr. Liebling, being a pianist, 
is not ashamed to show his affections for Chopin, and many a 
rhapsodic page breathes ardent devotion to the memory of his 
master, Liszt. Needless to say, Mr. Liebling's performance of 
his own music had the authority of authorship, as well as all the 
requisite dash. The orchestral part was on this occasion en 
trusted to a second piano, presided over by the composer's nephew, 
Leonard Liebling/' 

Liebling comes of a family of musicians, several of whom are 
well known in America. His brother Emil became a distinguished 



Pianists 349 



figure in the musical life of Chicago, where he long played the 
piano and taught. 

His nephew, Leonard, is editor of the Musical Courier, New 
York, and his niece, Estelle Liebling, is a noted singer and vocal 
teacher, in New York. 



YOLANDA MERO 

MME YOLANDA MERO, famous Hungarian pianist, was born in 
Budapest, in 1887. Her father, a musician, was her first teacher. 
At the age of five, she began to receive training under one of the 

most famous of Liszt's disciples, Augusta 
Rennebaum at the National Conserv 
atory. There she remained for eight 
years. 

At the age of sixteen she made her 
debut in Vienna and was hailed as one 
of the greatest women pianists that city 
had heard since Essipova was at the 
height of her fame. The next few years 
she was traveling from one part of the 
Continent to the other, and finally ap 
peared in London. Her success there 
was one of the sensations of the season. 
The following autumn (1910) she came 
to America. Here she has spent the 
greater part of her time in recent years, not only because America 
found in her a very great pianist and a charming woman, but also 
because she married here. 

Several seasons ago she ventured on a tour of South America 
for the first time. Her success there was equal to that which she 
had enjoyed in the United States and in Europe. Returning to 
America, she was confronted with a formidable list of engage 
ments for orchestral appearances and in recitals. She played with 
the Boston Symphony, the New York Symphony, the New York 
Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Min 
neapolis Symphony Orchestras. 

Yolanda Mero is ranked among the foremost interpreters of 
Liszt's music. When she plays his rhapsodies, she is in a sense 
playing her own music, for it belongs to her as it belongs to every 
one of Hungarian birth. She feels that strange exultation, that 
wild, tempestuous fire that sets a crowd of Hungarians singing, 
laughing, weeping, shouting and dancing when they are listening 
to this music. What a difference racial feeling may make is well 
illustrated by comparing Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies with 




350 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Brahms' Hungarian Dances. The latter uses much of the same 
material as the former, and yet, beautiful as they are, how different 
they are! And again, see the difference when a Hungarian plays 
these dances of Brahms, and when they are played by a pianist of 
some other nationality. 

It used to be said of Carreno that her art contained the best 
that came from men, and combined with it the best that can come 
from women. The same comment is made on the part of Mero. 
She has all the strength, fire, and vigor of the greatest men pian 
ists, and with it she has the delicacy, grace, and fineness of the 
woman. 

Yolanda Mero is now at the peak of her ripened and matured 
powers. She has all that tremendous verve and fiery temperament 
which marked her as a most exceptional girl, but the last ten years 
of normal maturing have brought qualities of repose and certain 
intellectual traits which one cannot expect to find in tempestuous 
youth. 

During the season of 1923-24, Mero appeared as soloist with 
the America's leading symphony orchestras, and the foremost 
conductors as well as in recitals and concerts. Few women pianists 
have elicited so much enthusiasm from public and press as did 
Mero at those appearances, for not even Schumann-Heink has a 
greater gift of reaching out and making enthusiastic personal 
friends who hear her. 

One of the most notable traits in the playing of this great 
Hungarian pianiste is her remarkable command of color, combined 
with the lovely singing tone which she produces from her instru 
ment. Since she first came to America these characteristics were 
strongly present in her performances, and with passing years they 
have combined to place her among the foremost pianists of our 
time. The pedals are all important in the production of the 
singing tone and the color, and Yolanda Mero studied them long 
with great profit to herself and to her art. Moreover, the singing 
tone denotes great strength and absolutely perfect command of 
arm and wrist, both of which the artist has in an unusual degree. 
She can strike the keys with the force of a powerful man and the 
next instant can bring forth a singing pianissimo which is almost 
a whisper. Between the two extremes are an infinite number of 
dynamic degrees cunningly drawn from the strings. 

She has an abiding faith in the classics, and although she 
often includes some representative works in her programs of the 
modern school she declares she finds her greatest pleasure in play 
ing the older works. 

"I fear I am very old-fashioned when it comes to music," she 
says. "I frankly admit that Debussy and Ravel are about as far 
as I can go with the moderns. What is good and what is not is 



Pianists 351 



always a matter of taste, subject to constant change. Some of 
the best music that has been produced in recent years has come 
from the pen of American composers. I refer to John Powell and 
Ernest Schelling, both of whom are extraordinarily gifted and 
have composed works of outstanding merit, and like many com 
posers of the past, will probably receive more recognition in the 
future than they do now." 

Yolanda Mero is an artist as conservative and quiet in her 
home life as she is tempestuous and revolutionary in her art. 
Certainly no one ever accused this "whirlwind" pianiste, as she 
has been called, of being unoriginal. 

"The musical world needs to be shocked," declares this mu 
sically unconventional woman. "I even go so far as to say that if 
a musical composition is worth nothing except as an aesthetic shock 
it has value, for a shock every once in a while is essential to awaken 
the dormant intellectuality and emotions of those who have per 
mitted themselves to be moulded into set forms so far as musical 
appreciation goes." 

It would be difficult to find a person among the "temperamental 
ly artistic ones" with a more sparkling sense of humor or a keener 
appreciation of the funny side of life than Yolanda Mero. 



BENNO MOISEIVITSCH 

BENNO MOISEIVITSCH calls himself philosophical a rather unusual 
thing for an artist who has been considered one of the most in 
dividual pianists of late years. He has little patience with "tem 
perament." The temperamental artist, 
according to this Russian genius, is 
"spoiled by too sudden or too easy suc 
cess," which largely accounts for the 
recognized difference between instru 
mentalists and singers. The latter, says 
Moiseivitsch, "are born with their in 
strument and seldom have much difficulty 
in learning to use it effectively." It is 
different, however, with instrumental 
ists. Moiseivitsch belongs to the line of 
'intellectual' pianists. By the exercise 
of the intellect, rather than by spontane 
ous play or responsive temperament, 
Moiseivitsch seems to apprehend and dis 
till the particular beauty of voice or mood that the composer 
wished to awaken. As to his technical means, they are the ex- 




352 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

ercises of a penetrating, precise, perfecting mind. His tone is 
richly sonorous without a trace of roughness. It is luminous with 
out a hint of the hardness of an over-crystalline touch. His tone 
achieves both beauty and power, being of many colors and accents, 
yet always in proportion. 

Just how much heredity has to do with musical genius seems 
difficult to calculate when one learns that Moiseivitsch has eight 
brothers and sisters, only one other of whom showed any particular 
taste for music. 

Benno was born in Odessa, Russia, on February 22, 1890. He 
studied at the Imperial Musical School of his native town, receiv 
ing the coveted Rubinstein prizes at the age of nine. 

When Benno wa's fourteen years old lie entered the Vienna 
Conservatory, studying under the famous Leschetizky for four 
years. It was not long after his entrance there that he was looked 
upon as the best student in the institution. 

Benno is unique in never having been a "boy prodigy." He 
was a regular boy and grew up with as much interest in games 
and playing "hookey" as in music. His artistic growth was sane 
and natural ; at no period was it forced, nor were his other studies 
neglected because of it. Only when he had reached the age of 
fifteen was a musical career decided upon. Looked at logically, 
this is as it should be, and Moiseivitsch's accomplishments as a 
pianist, certainly prove that an artistic genius need be by no means 
a one-sided individual cut off from all other natural interests and 
broadening influences. Today this young man stands with the 
biggest pianistic talents of modern times, a distinguished musical 
personality and at the same time an engaging, quiet young gentle 
man, interested in a host of subjects unrelated to his art. 

He made his European debut in Town Hall, Reading, England* 
in 1908, and played in London at Queen's Hall in the Spring of 
1909, achieving instantaneous success. In 1919 Moiseivitsch made 
a profound impression at his New York debut, and his second 
concert in Carnegie Hall brought the city to his feet. With the 
close of his first tour he had the unusual distinction of being re 
engaged for a score of concerts the following year. 

Technically, he dazzles ; musically he charms with the very ease 
and clarity of his interpretations. He adds a new touch to every 
thing, seeing even the coldest and sternest of classics in a fresh 
light and from unexpected and always delightful angles. As he 
himself says, no two interpretations can or should be alike; per 
formances must reflect the artist's mood and his ideas, and these 
from a natural human necessity are constantly varying. Just as 
no individual ever feels exactly the same on different days, so 
ought his playing never to be exactly the same on different occa 
sions. If he attempts to make it so, he is neither true to himself 



Pianists 353 



nor to the public. This fidelity to mood is unquestionably a strik 
ing feature in Moiseivitsch's playing. His individuality is always 
present ; he never poses nor invents effects for the sake of causing 
an impression. 

The season following his American debut, Moiseivitsch made a 
tour of Australia. It was stated that this Russian was the first 
pianist who had ever arrived unknown and had instantly become 
famous. Of course, reports from America prepared the profes 
sional circles for unusual performances, but the layman knew 
nothing of the unassuming dark-complexioned pianist until his 
debut in Sydney. 

A few days later, however, the name of Moiseivitsch was on 
every music lover's tongue. 

Moiseivitsch's subsequent appearances in the United States 
during the season of 1922-23 were even more sensational than his 
debut. 

Since his English debut, Moiseivitsch has made wide tours 
over New Zealand, Canada, France, Belgium, Austria, and Ger 
many, aside from the United States and Australia. In the United 
States he appears regularly every season since his debut and re 
turn from the Antipodes, and his reputation there is always on 
the increase. "The return of a Russian pianist, Benno Moisei 
vitsch/' said the music editor of the New York Sun, "was heralded 
in Carnegie Hall yesterday afternoon by a large audience and a 
number of distinguished masters of the keyboard. His tone was 
always translucent, beautifully resonant, and skillfully colored. 
His familiar grasp of rhythm and his fine sense of melodic line and 
structure were everywhere revealed." 

The extraordinary brilliance of his playing of Bach's "Chro 
matic Fantasie and Fugue" centered the attention on the per 
former rather than on the composer, on the same occasion. One 
feared that such high pressure could not be maintained indefi 
nitely, but it never faltered. Moiseivitsch swept victoriously on. 

Among the modern piano compositions introduced to New York 
by him, was the Tscherenin "Concerto in C sharp minor," which 
he played with the New York Symphony and Philadelphia Orches 
tra. It is a tremendously difficult work, the cadenza alone being 
eighteen pages long. Moiseivitsch also introduced it in England 
when he played it in London with Sir Henry Wood's Orchestra in 
1923. Modern piano literature in general finds a ready place in 
his repertoire, but it by no means encroaches upon the territory 
of the classics. He admits that much of the ultra-modern com 
position fails to impress him at all ; many of the twentieth century 
writers, he says, seem to compose entirely for effect and not be 
cause they have something musical to record. In fact, so he be 
lieves, they are continually attempting to be "smart," to invent 



354 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

strange impressions which do not ring true. In England, Moisei- 
vitsch was an enthusiastic member of an artistic organization 
which had as its object the promotion of sane, legitimate art, both 
in music and painting, and at its frequent semi-public gatherings, 
the members introduced numerous new works which they thought 
were the results of real inspiration and worthy of serious atten 
tion. The society, known as "The Fresh Air Society/' has done 
much towards exposing and combining the modern trend of bizarre 
and insane art, at the same time encouraging what is genuine 
and beautiful. 



MIECZYSLAW MUNZ 

How EASILY success can be obtainable, how simply and unpredict- 
ably good fortune can steal upon a youth and make a lofty goal 
and easy seizure, is illustrated by the career of Mieczyslaw Miinz, 

gifted pianist. 

Young Miinz, though still in his twen 
ties, is one of the most successful claim 
ants for pianistic honors that has ar 
rived in the United States in a long time, 
His success has some of the elements of 
a fairy tale, where fate takes no cogniz 
ance of hardships or obstacles, but makes 
them all serve glamorously toward the 
desired happy end. The stage seems to 
be set for such youths, and all the winds 
favorable. 

Miinz was born in Krakow, Po 
land, in 1900, and began the study of 
the piano at the age of nine although he 
had played by ear ever since he was able to reach the piano. 
Though he appeared occasionally in concerts in Krakow and neigh 
boring cities, his parents justly decided it would be best for him 
to go through a thorough course of study before appearing in the 
great capitals. At fourteen he went to Vienna, working with 
Balewicz at the Vienna Conservatory of Music, and later was 
accepted as a pupil of Busoni. 

Although Miinz played in concerts in Krakow at the age of 
ten, his formal debut was made in Berlin in 1920, when he appeared 
as soloist with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, on which occasion 
his program was three piano cencertos Liszt's "A major/' 
Brahms' "D minor" and Franck's "Variations Symphoniques." 
Following this performance, he played five times in Vienna, twice 




Pianists 355 



with orchestra and three recitals ; two recitals in Rome ; and then 
toured throughout Poland and Hungary. In Vienna he played at 
one of the subscription concerts of the Symphony Orchestra, under 
Titl. 

Arriving in the United States in 1922 in the proverbial manner 
of European prodigies, full of a volume of praise but with little 
else materially, Miinz found the roadway of conquest, which breaks 
so many, a gay and exciting adventure. He arrived without money 
and without friends, but soon, and all unaccountably to him also, 
he had both money and friends. 

''When I came here," says Miinz, "I knew nobody, but I went 
around to people and told them I would like to give a concert. 
I had no money but I had very fine criticisms from Europe. I 
just went around and told them I would like to give a concert, and 
everybody was nice to me. That was all there was to it. I did 
not have so many difficulties. 7 ' 

After playing privately in a few places, a group of New York 
business men arranged a recital for him at Aeolian Hall. He 
played there on the evening of October 22, 1922 and woke up the 
next morning to find himself famous. The newspaper accounts 
were unanimous in their enthusiasm for the playing of the new 
arrival, and the popular acclaim was such that a second recital was 
arranged for shortly afterward which resulted in an engagement 
to appear as soloist with the New York Symphony Orchestra. 

The New York music editor, H. E. Krehbiel, said of his playing 
in the New York Tribune : "Pianof orte playing of a higher order 
than that disclosed at Aeolian Hall last night will probably be 
heard at some, but not many, recitals and concerts this season. It 
will come from not more than half a dozen men who have long 
ago been acclaimed as master musicians as well as virtuosos/' 

His second New York recital strengthened his position in the 
musical life of the metropolis, and stamped him as an outstanding 
stellar attraction in the pianistic world. 

In the summer of 1924 the leading impressarios of China, Japan 
and Australia combined to bring him to their shores, and he toured 
those countries with a success which duplicated his American 
triumphs. 

In Japan he played seven times at the famous Imperial The 
atre and played several times in other Japanese and Chinese cities ; 
he was recorded a most unusual reception in the Orient. 

In Australia his first concert was attended by a list of notables 
which included Dame Nellie Melba. He was so enthusiastically 
received by the public there that he played seven recitals in quick 
succession before going on to Melbourne and other cities where 
new triumphs awaited him. 

The author of these lines was present at Miinz's recital in 



356 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Carnegie Hall, New York, on October 22, 1926, and at the concert 
of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra tinder Willem Mengel- 
berg, where Miinz played the Brahms "Concerto." On both oc 
casions he received tumultuous applause. He played the lengthy 
Brahms- "Concerto" with breadth and brilliant tone. The noted 
critic Olin Downes, thus described Munz's playing, in the Neiu 
York Times of October 23, 1926: 

"The many delightful and sparkling pieces that Domenico 
Scarlatti created for the keyed instruments of his day might well 
be given more attention by modern pianists. Six of his sonatas 
opened the recital of Mieczyslaw Miinz last night at Carnegie 
Hall. They are full of melody and liveliness ; the writing has rare 
spontaneity, and an admirable invention of motives and figures 
which anticipate virtuoso effects of today. For these composi 
tions the clarity and fleetness of execution and the well-sustained 
legato which Mr. Miinz has at his command served well. The 
pieces were fortunately chosen, from the point of contrast and key- 
color. They were effective, even in the spaces of Carnegie Hall. 

"Mr. Miinz turned from these compositions to that monument 
of nineteenth century romanticism in music, the Schumann C. 
major Fantasie, of which he gave a fiery and genuinely emotional 
performance 'sempre f antasticamente ed appassionatamente.' 
The composition has everything that is greatest and most poetic in 
Schumann, and very few of his limitations. The artistic stature 
of the piece is so noble and it has such a wide arch that the only 
interpretative boundaries for the pianist are those that reside in 
himself. Miinz played with the enthusiasm of his years, his 
temperament and his virtuoso instinct. 

"His program was fortunately not too long. The maxim that 
too little is better than too much applied. After Scarlatti and Schu 
mann there were pieces by Labunski, whose Minuet was played for 
the first time here, Medtner, Faure, Chopin. He understands 
the elegance of Faure and is one of the pianists to whom Chopin 
remains a supreme poet of his instrument. 

"A large audience insisted on many encores, and the pianist was 
generous. The concert was thus prolonged into the night." 



ALFRED MIROVITGH 

ALFRED MIROVITCH, noted Russian pianist, was born in St. Peters 
burg (Leningrad) in 1884. He was educated in the gymnasium 
and university of that city, and upon graduation entered the St. 
Petersburg Imperial Conservatory, where he studied for seven 
years under the famous piano pedagogue, Mme Essipova. In 



Pianists 



357 



1909 he was graduated, receiving the gold medal and the Rubin 
stein prize, in the form of a concert grand piano. 

Then followed successful tours throughout Europe and Rus 
sia, lasting from 1910 till 1914. The war having interrupted his 
European engagements for 1914 and 1915, he accepted an offer 
from the Orient, where he played almost without interruption for 
five years, visiting Japan, China, Manila, Java, Sumatra, India, 
Australia, New Zealand, Siam, etc. 

Mirovitch made his American debut in 1920 and was im 
mediately engaged as soloist by all the important symphony or 
chestras. In 1922 he founded the now internationally famous 
Mirovitch Master Classes in Los Angeles, which have since at 
tracted students and teachers from many countries. 

On February 23, 1926, Mirovitch made his New York reappear 
ance in Chickering Hall, New York, for a series of three recitals. 

Mirovitch is also a talented composer. Among the most popu 
lar of his compositions are: "Minuet," "Spring Song/' "Humor- 
esque," "Valse Gracieuse," the first two of which are published for 
piano and orchestra. 



LEO ORNSTEIN 

"LEO ORNSTEIN may be ahead of his time. In fact, he may be 
ushering in a new epoch in music ; that he is employing his genius 
towards the attainment of a new musical expression an expres 
sion which, perhaps not permanent in 
itself, must play an important role in the 
development of the music of years to. 
come. . . His music is color for that 
is the basis on which he builds." 

These words were said about Orn- 
stein by another Jewish-American com 
poser, Walter A. Kramer, who is 
perhaps equally important in another 
phase of America's musical art songs. 

Leo Ornstein to many represents an 
evil musical genius wandering without 
the utmost pale of tonal orthodoxy, in 
a weird No-Man's land haunted by 
tortured souls, wails of futuristic des 
pair, cubist shrieks and post-impressionistic cries and crashes. He 
is the great anarch, the iconoclast, the destructive genius who 
would root out what little remains of the law and the prophets 
since Scriabine, Stravinsky, and Schonberg trampled them under 
foot. 




358 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

An article by this young composer in the The Seven Arts on 
"The Music of New Russia" not alone emphasized this attitude of 
mind, but also threw an interesting light on his own philosophy of 
tone. What he says of Moussorgsky, for instance, might be quite 
as well applied to himself. "The distinctive quality of the new im 
pulse in art has been the need of expression through direct contact 
with the emotions a rediscovery and restatement of men's ex 
periences. Art has torn itself from the admitted routine and hon 
ored idioms; it has come to realize the inadequacy of conceiving 
modern life according to the old and accepted formulae!" 

And again: "Music has become too finished, too mechanically 
perfect. So little has been left to the imagination of the listener 
that he is no longer required to create towards the artist. In all 
epochs of great musical art the epoch of Bach, the epoch of Cesar 
Franck, for instance it was realized that the province of art 
was not to instil a passive pleasure in the listener. Great music 
must wake in us a creative impulse. Unless it does that, it has 
failed to fulfill its destiny." 

Ornstein's music is, in the words of Waldo Frank, "the full- 
throated cry of the young Jew in the young world, background 
of the old passion of storm and repression. But upon it breaks of 
fire, interstices of flight, America's release. The weight of sor 
row of the Jew like a loading atmosphere about him. And the 
Jew's intricate response, reasoning and wailing. The birth of 
faith, the tidal energy of faith. New hope, new dream, new life. 
An answer to the lamentation of the Jewish fate is in Ornstein's 
music; a sort of angry joy, lust of a new conquest, Hebrew the 
seed, American the fruit." 

Leo Ornstein was born in Krementschug, Southern Russia, on 
December 11, 1895. His recollections of his early childhood are 
vivid. Krementschug, an important commercial town of nearly 
60,000 inhabitants, is situated on the Dnieper River in a flat, dreary 
countryside, and before the war was the centre of the tallow-trade 
with Warsaw. The Government of Poltava, in which it lies, was 
included within the pale of settlement first established in 1791, by 
which a great Jewish population was held down in a congestion 
which worked terrible destitution and misery, and reduced them 
to a condition of abject poverty and despair. 

Leo was only three years old when he began to study music, 
encouraged and taught by his father, a rabbi, who himself had 
acquired fame as a synagogue cantor when only eighteen. Unlike 
some other children whose musical talent is developed along the 
lines laid down by the originators of pate de fois gras, he was not 
driven to consume ceaseless hours in practice. On the contrary, so 
eager was he to make progress that he would beat his older brother 
with his fists in order to drive him from the piano when he thought 



Pianists 359 



the latter had pre-empted it over-long. When no more than five 
he not only played on the piano a Russian folk-song which he had 
heard sung for the first time, but also followed it up with a series 
of improvised variations. Although his father was opposed to his , 
studying music as a profession, his brother-in-law, M. Titiev, a 
violinist, overcame his opposition, and as a result the lad was 
taught the elements and put through a thorough course of scales 
and five-finger exercises (Kuhlau, dementi), and the easier com 
positions of Bach and Handel. 

When Josef Hofmann came to Krementschug in 1902, young 
Ornstein played for him. He was praised, and received a letter, 
recommending him to the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Some time 
later the boy sought out Vladimir Puchalski, played for Mm, and 
was accepted as a pupil at the Imperial School of Music at Kiev, 
of which Puchalski was the director. 

The death of an aunt, however, interfered with his plans of 
study at Kiev. He was obliged to return to Krementschug and 
work with local teachers. Gabrilowitch, who gave a concert there 
in 1903, also heard him play, and gave him a letter to Alexander 
Siloti, at the Moscow Conservatory. But the boy had not as yet 
made up his mind definitely where and with whom to study. Mere 
ly to gain self-confidence (Ornstein, even yet, is far more diffident 
than he is supposed to be), he took an entrance examination for 
the Conservatory of Poltava, but disappeared as soon as he was 
offered a scholarship. Meanwhile, his father had decided for him. 
He was to go to St. Petersburg in 1904. Before he went, he en 
joyed his first real contact with native music at an old-fashioned 
provincial wedding at which a wealthy merchant celebrated the 
nuptials of his daughter with a week of dancing and festivity. 
Balalaika orchestra and folk-song choruses were a feature of the 
affair and woke that interest in Russian folk-song which has since 
been reflected in the composer's earlier "Russian Suite" for piano, 
the "Russian Impressions" for violin and piano, and, more re 
cently, in new Russia songs and choruses. At St. Petersburg Leo 
played for Alexander Glazounoff, director of the Conservatory, 
and was at once accepted as a pupil. At the test he gave un 
awares an exhibition of his possession of "perfect pitch." 

Ornstein studied piano theory and harmony with Medem 
(though Mme Essipova had expressed a wish to teach him) ; at 
tended all rehearsals and concerts of the Conservatory orchestra, 
directed by Glazounoff, where he became acquainted with the works 
of Moussorgsky; frequented the opera, the ballet, concerts, and 
recitals, and drank in music through every pore. His marked tal 
ent soon made him a favorite of those aristocratic salons of St. 
Petersburg where music was cultivated, and he was spoiled and 
petted to a degree by the music-loving society of the Russian 
capital. 



360 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

The boy was an eye-witness and very nearly a victim of the 
Russian Revolution of 1905. While attending his classes at the 
Conservatory, young Ornstein was earning a living by coaching 
aspiring singers in operatic roles. Thus he came to know much 
of the standard repertory Aida, Faust, Onegin, Mefistof ele, Sam 
son and Delilah, and others. Before he was twelve years old he 
had begun to devour Tolstoy, Andreyev, Chekhov, as well as 
Shakespeare, Balzac, and other non-Russian classics in transla 
tion. He was rudely interrupted by the revolutionary cataclysm. 
Leo was then taken from St. Petersburg to his native city, and 
thence, soon after, the entire family fled to America, arriving in 
1907. 

On the lower New York East Side, on Attorney Street, Leo 
Ornstein gradually sloughed his Russian skin and became an Am 
erican boy. He went to school, he practised for he had no in 
tention of giving up his music he played with other boys in the 
block. He attended the Institute of Musical Art, where he had 
been given a scholarship, and also the Friends' Seminary. His 
teachers in theory and harmony at the Institute were Dr. Percy 
Goetschius and R. Huntington Woodman. He was graduated in 
due course. 

A kindly lady, Mrs. Tapper, herself an excellent pianist and 
pedagogue, became exceedingly interested in the boy, and took 
him under her wing. In the Spring of 1910 she took him to 
Europe. This first visit to the Continent was a comparatively brief 
one. From Dresden, where they had stopped, they returned to 
New York, and there the boy gave his first public concert in that 
city at" the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 5, 1911. 

Arthur Brisbane, in an editorial in the New York Evening 
Journal (June 11, 1910) had already spoken prophetically of the 
extraordinary promise displayed by the pianist in a concert given 
by the Institute of Musical Art in Mendelssohn Hall a few days 
before, and paid a deserved tribute of appreciation to this teacher. 
He said in part: "We believe that this boy, providentially saved 
from Russia, brough up in the poverty of a great city, will stand 
with the great musicians of the world." 

In the Summer of 1913, Ornstein once more crossed the ocean 
in company with Mrs. Tapper and went directly to Paris. It was 
here that the sudden and overwhelming projection of Notre Dame 
on his consciousness had such an effect on him that it evoked the 
two "Impressions" which bear that name. Later he went to 
Switzerland, whose scenic beauties inspired him for another set, 
"Quatre Impressions de la Suisse," for four hands. Here he wrote 
a quartet and quintet for strings. 

From Switzerland he went to Vienna, where he first realized 
that, aside from his earlier, more conventional style and his new 



Pianists 361 



manner, he was in addition the possessor of a third, and began 
the "Vienna Waltz" and "The Night." 

In Berlin, Ornstein made the acquaintance of Ferruccio Busoni, 
whom he admired as "a great intellect in music," and thence went 
to Norway, practising where he could, composing on trains, and 
making his debut in Christiania as a concert pianist with a group 
of Chopin pieces and the Liszt E flat major Concerto. He also 
played some of his own newer compositions for the first time, and 
drew from critics the statements that "it was amazing that Mr. 
Ornstein should have decided to play a little joke on the public 
and transfer it from the concert hall to the dental parlor," and 
that he was "a young man temporarily insane." 

From Christiania, Ornstein turned to Denmark, and in Copen 
hagen gave the Danish publisher, W. Hansen, his more than con 
ventionally attractive "Russian Suite" and "Cossack Impressions" 
for piano. He went to Paris to meet Harold Bauer and from 
there he went to England. 

After two recitals Ornstein returned to America and continued 
to work at composition and as a concert pianist, until January, 
1915. It was during January and February of that year that he 
gave the now celebrated series of recitals at the Bandbox Theatre 
in New York, in which he braved conventional program-making 
by presenting four programs made up entirely of ultra-modern 
piano music, his own, and that of others. 

On December 15, 1915, Ornstein gave another New York re 
cital at the Cort Theatre, and in February, March, and April of 
the same year he gave a series of four "Informal Recitals" in New 
York at the residence of Mrs. Arthur M. Reis. 

The aim of these unconventional programs was to illustrate 
the actual process of divergence by which pianoforte composition 
had moved away from the art forms of the romantic composers 
to find its present contemporary mode of expression. 

The Summers of 1916 and '17, Ornstein spent at Deer Isle, 
Maine, composing, practising, and reading proof on various of 
his compositions in press at the time. His work as a concert 
pianist during the winter of 1916 and the Spring of 1917 may 
be said to have placed him well within the rank of contemporary 
piano virtuosi. 

As a composer Ornstein has often been spoken of as an imitator 
of Schonberg. As a matter of fact, despite surface resemblances, 
the two have little in common. As Ornstein says: "It is but neces 
sary to compare a page of my music with that of Schonberg to see 
the vast difference between their concepts and methods of ex 
pression." 

"Nothing," says Ornstein, "irritates me more than to have a 
composer claim the modernity of his music as a virtue, A state- 



362 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

ment of the kind is rank heresy, since the sincere composer does 
not choose a medium the medium chooses him. He is compelled 
to use it If I had found it possible to express all that I thought 
and felt diatonically, I should not have had to resort to the 'radi 
cal' idiom which those who do not understand condemn. When 
a composer feels deeply he cannot convey his feelings in weak and 
anaemic sentimentalities, draped in all sorts of diatonic reticences, 
but gives them as they are in all their pathos and poignancy, 
naked and unashamed." 

Ornstein's harmonies are the natural and unalloyed result of 
his unfettered creative impulse, innocent of any preconceived the 
ory. "When I began to compose," he says, "I had practically not 
been influenced by any current music." For him there exist no 
actual chords or discords. His chord combinations are not the 
conscious reflexion of a definite theoretic basis, but the outcome 
of the impulse for a richer, fuller tonal coloring, one which ex 
tends the possibilities of pure harmony far beyond the limits of 
the diatonic system. 

He never composes 'at the piano/ His whole intricate and 
complete harmonic and rhythmic scheme is developed in his 
mind, and often he dares lose no time in setting it down on paper 
before its outlines grow dim. Many of his compositions are pro 
grammatic; yet he often hesitates to give them too definite a 
title, since "to others my piece may suggest something entirely 
different from the picture or mood I had in mind when writing it ; 
and their imaginings may be quite as appropriate and legitimate 
as the one I had intended. I am even free to say that I have heard 
certain interpretations of my compositions by other pianists, which 
struck me as being more fine and effective than my own concep 
tion of the same pieces." 

Ornstein's "diatonic moments" are not his only lyric ones. He 
has written much music essentially lyric in his later manner : the 
Sonata for violin and piano, opus 26; "The Arabesques"; the 
"Poems" (1917) ; and the Sonata for 'cello and piano, opus 45. 
"It is when I am in search of softer and gentler color effects that 
I resort to the use of the diatonic scale," he states. "The vital 
issue is to write music which is sincere, which has in it the germ 
of individual emotional vitality; for after all, emotional comprehen 
sion is localized within the individual consciousness." 

Ornstein is frank in saying of his "second manner" of musical 
speech: "I honestly find this the most logical and direct idiom 
through which to express my musical impulse, thought, and feel 
ing. I cannot help contrasting it with one representing a com 
promise with traditional formulas which often react unfavorably 
on my spontaneity of inspiration. I find that existing tonal idioms 
do not allow me the perfect expression of all that I wish to say 



Pianists 363 



musically. And I have had to find a language of my own. Yet I 
feel that, once its underlying basis is understood, this language 
will be listened to, and my work will be clear to many who do 
not grasp its meaning now." 

Ornstein is by no means narrow in his musical sympathies. 
His stand is in keeping with his whole theory that the brother 
hood of man (at present, alas, so far from being realized!) has an 
analogy in a corresponding brotherhood of tone: that there is no 
one tone, no combination of tones but which is related to all others. 
It is merely a question of discovering their connecting ties. To 
quote Ornstein once again: "Perhaps these affinities cannot be 
mathematically demonstrated ; this does not mean to say that they 
do not exist for there is an inner physical, emotional relationship 
which transcends all others in importance." 

Of course, those who dislike Ornstein, the music he plays, and 
the stir he makes in what should be a tranquil, elderly world, will 
call him insincere. The listener, whose mind is open only to mu 
sical thought expressed with positive logical continuity, and in 
accord with certain accepted rules of presentation, cannot grasp 
the vital potency of a mood inspiration whose logic is perfectly 
emotional, which carries away with it the spirit attuned to its 
keynote of absolute abandon of sequential arrangement. But 
those who understand Ornstein's tonal language and their num 
ber is increasing are as enthusiastic in their admiration of his 
accomplishments as his detractors are scornful of its value and 
significance. 

Ornstein is an experimenter in new forms of musical art. 
and exponent of the modern futuristic movement. Among the 
music-loving public ever alert for the novel and unusual, he has 
created for himself a substantial reputation. 

Charles L. Buchanan speaks of him as possessing "to a large 
extent that indefinable clairvoyant quality that is present in all 
vital art," yet expresses the fear that Ornstein's music shows ten 
dencies which seem to him to be dangerously in the direction of 
an exclusive preoccupation with mood at the expense of thought." 
And he puts*the question, "Can a substantial, authentic musical 
message proclaim itself through a medium essentially suggestive 
rather than definite?" Perhaps the best answer to this question 
has, unconsciously, been given in advance by Paul L. Rosenfeld. 
In discussing the movements entitled "Love," in the piano sonata, 
opus 25, Mr. Eosenfeld says: "It tells its tale: it is silent; and 
while one speculates whether it is music or not, one discovers that 
he has heard real episodes out of the life of the composer, and 
perhaps through him, episodes out of the lives of a whole up- 
growing generation." 

Qrnstein's fame and reputation a$ a piano interpreter, in par- 



364 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

ticular of the great modernists in music, has grown independently 
of his fame as a composer. Of his pianism nothing need be said 
but that he plays superbly, in a manner that leaves no doubt as to 
his position among present-day virtuosi. But he is more than 
that, he is personality, Leo Ornstein at the piano has often been 
limned in picturesque phrase. Huneker wrote: "Yet I do be 
wail the murderous means of expression with which Leo Orn 
stein patrolled the piano. He stormed its keys, scooping chunks 
of slag and spouting scoriae like a vicious volcano." He attests : 
"I was stunned, especially after glissandi that ripped up the key 
board and fizzed and foamed over the stage" feeling no doubt, like 
another commentator on whom Ornstein's playing had made "the 
unique impression of a grand piano frothing at the mouth." 

Of his playing, Ornstein expresses himself in the following 
illuminating manner : "Quite often in playing my own pieces I use 
the palm of the hand. But I use it merely as a matter of con 
venience, since in many cases it would be physically out of the 
question for me to play the chord in any other way. And often, I 
secure a heightened brilliancy, which I may desire. Strange to 
say, the body of chord sound produced in this manner is less 
harsh than would be the case if the notes were played with the fin 
gers, for in throwing the whole palm of the hand on the keys my 
invariable tendency is to relax." 

"His color sense, his marvelous mastery of touch graduation 
and tonal nuance and shading in playing, his absolute control of the 
pedal possibilities and his successful exploitation of every elusive 
and colorful keyboard means; his singing development of what 
have been termed "the head-tones of the piano," his use of "a 
pressure touch in pianissimo," the glow, the plangency of a piano 
tone whose "long sweep, sustained volume and reverberent climax 
have become more and more supple in the play of ornament, more 
even and transparent in runs, more liquid in arpeggi, more crisp 
in octaves," have been exemplified not alone in the playing of his 
compositions. 

But we will let Ornstein speak for' himself with regard to two 
important phases of his technique: "One of the most interesting 
statements I have ever heard anent pianoforte playing was 
Leschetizky's remark to me that 'half a pianist's technique lies in 
the pedals/ It took a long time before I thoroughly understood 
what he meant. It was while experimenting with the music of 
Debussy and Ravel that I first realized how impossible it was to 
give a satisfactory performance with the fingers only. For months 
I labored until I had devised a system which established absolute 
sympathy between pedal-work and finger-work. And then I found 
that the color possibilities of the instrument were practically limit 
less. By delicate manipulation of the pedals, I found I could melt 



Pianists 365 



shade into shade in infinite variation of the dynamic tone-palette. 
But first I had learned to breathe with the music, so to say, to let 
the pedal pulsate with my own emotional perception. It is not 
enough to thrust down the pedal with the foot and change with 
new harmonies. I found that by using half and even a quarter 
of my pedal I could produce the most delicate things. The psy 
chological moment comes when you strike the key, after having 
prepared your attack by lifting and shutting off the damper. It 
it a very delicate process, and months passed before I had secured 
absolute co-ordination of finger- and foot-work. Relaxation and 
manner of attack also have much to do with a varied tone-produc 
tion ; yet fundamentally I believe that the preparation of the pedal 
to receive the stroke of the finger is the most important factor." 

Ornstein's original compositions for the piano cover a wide 
range of mood and expression of style and type. Among them are 
the numbers of his ''first manner," in which the lyric element pre 
dominates, whose keynote is a certain simplicity of means and 
which, without pretending to the more complex thought content 
or technical elaboration of his later writing, are all in a degree 
touched with an individuality that makes itself felt. 

His "Piano Sonata," a fine, imaginative work, has been rec 
ognized as one of the significant productions of recent American 
music. 

Of more modest proportions, but of undeniable value, are three 
new numbers from his pen, one entitled "Prelude Tragique," and 
two lyric pieces: "Barcarolle" and "Waltz." The "Prelude" is 
conceived, harmonically, in a manner that seems strangely in 
telligible for a composer who is supposed to think in the most in 
tricate idiom of the day. As a matter of fact, Ornstein is merely 
concerned about thinking musically, whether it happens to be 
tinged with modernism or classicisms. -He has evidently settled 
down to a genuineness of expression that takes what form it will. 
In other words, he is sincere. 

The "Prelude" has brilliancy and a strong emotional appeal. 
The "Barcarolle" and "Waltz" are in lighter vein, but they ring 
true. They are full of color, tender, bright, as their shifting moods 
demand ; and too, they have all the Ornstein originality and skill. 
Pianists will miss something of unusual worth if they overlook 
these numbers. 

Ornstein's work presents a notable harvest of inspiration to 
have been gathered by one still so young. Yet youth, intellectually 
and emotionally, is sometimes a relative concept Schubert wrote 
his "Forellen-Quintet" at the age of seventeen. We may be as 
old as our feelings or as young as our thoughts. Mental and emo 
tional development is not invariably a matter of years, and Orn 
stein is one of those exceptions which go to prove the general rule. 



366 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

In his case youth lends him the fiery energy, the passionate con 
centration, the intense belief in his aims and ideals which inform 
the musical maturity of his inspiration with so triumphant an 
accent of sincerity, so eloquent a feeling of truth. His creative 
work is the logical outcome of his ideas, the spontaneous fruition 
of absolute conviction, the irrefutable evidence of his artistic 
honesty, whether or not we accept it, together with the doctrines 
of which it is the outcome, the fact of its existence as the true 
and legitimate musical materalization of definite trends and con 
sistent ideals in compositions and expression cannot well be gain 
said. Ornstein possesses in a supreme degree the ability to trans 
mute into art, by means of a powerful and lucid imagination the 
life of his time. 

During the season of 1925-26 his Second "Piano Concerto" (or 
iginally written as a sonata for two pianos) was performed by 
the composer, with the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra under 
Stokowski, in Philadelphia, Boston, and other cities. Although 
its thematic material was not new, it was otherwise with the or 
chestration in which much of the interest of the piece lies. The 
score is by no means without comprehensible plan it is rich in 
individualistic instrumental devices, informed by imaginative 
virility and a wealth of savage and even brutal beauty. 

Its Slavic flavor is unmistakable, and there are moments when 
the idioms of Stravinsky and Borodin are strongly suggested. 
Much of the work has the flavor of Tartar dances, with somewhat 
the same compelling rhythms that prevail in the once much- 
discussed piano portraits of the "Wild Men." 

Ornstein has been for a number of years, and still is, teaching 
piano at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. 

In conclusion, we may say that Leo Ornstein's activities in 
the field of composition have been sufficiently varied and extensive 
to develop a technique and a grasp that place him in as dis 
tinguished a position among composers as that which he enjoys as 
a pianist. 



Pianists 367 




VLADIMIR DE PAGHMANN 

VLADIMIR DE PACHMANN was born in Odessa, Russia, on July 27, 
1848. He first studied under his father, who was professor of 
Roman Law at the Vienna University, and an amateur musician of 

considerable attainment, for he wrote a 
manual on harmony. Vladimir was the 
youngest of thirteen children. (None of 
his brothers or sisters are living.) Next 
in importance to the great pianist was 
Simon, professor in the Petrograd Uni 
versity, who died in Russia at the age of 
eighty-seven. Besides being a great 
jurist, Simon was also a musician and a 
clever player on the violin. 

Vladimir exhibited a decided musical 
tendency from earliest childhood, and at 
the age of six began to study the violin 
under the loving tuition of his father. 
But by the time he was ten, he developed 
a strong desire to study the piano, and under the same guidance, 
began to play on the instrument which was to reveal his powerful 
genius. One day, when barely twelve years old, his playing of 
Handel's "Double Fugue in C minor" attracted the attention of a 
gentleman who was passing his window. This man, Dr. Morgan, 
wanted to know the name of the able performer of the difficult 
piece. He was greatly astonished to learn that this perfect pianist 
was a child. 

At the age of eighteen, De Pachmann had already given public 
proofs of the talent and skill which had gained the universal admi 
ration of Odessa, Many among his chief admirers, being aware of 
Vladimir's longing to pursue his musical studies, and that his 
father, burdened with the support of a numerous family, could not 
gratify this longing, decided to make a collection for him. Many 
of the aristocracy contributed, and by this means sufficient funds 
were raised to enable Vladimir to enter the Vienna Conservatory, 
where he studied under Dachs and Bruckner. Shortly after his 
arrival in Vienna, he applied to Professor Dachs for admission to 
the higher class of the Conservatory. Dachs pointed out that ac 
cording to the rules of admission to this grade, pupils were required 
to be good musicians and to be able to play the pianoforte. He in 
vited him to return the following day to aff ord due proofs of his 
ability. 

With a punctuality rare among artists, Vladimir hastened the 



368 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

next day to keep his appointment, and assisted at Professor Dachs' 
lesson to his pupils. When the class was dismissed, he was request 
ed to open his music roll and choose the piece he preferred to play. 
Vladimir replied that he had brought no music, but that if the pro 
fessor would name any musical composition he would try to play it 
from memory. Dachs, turning a stern and almost reproving glance 
on the youthful Vladimir, objected that the conservatory was no 
place for wasting time, and still less for joking, ending by directing 
him to play whatever he liked, but never to appear again without 
music. Thereupon young De Pachmann seated himself at the piano 
and played Liszt's arrangements of Verdi's "Rigoletto." 

He had no sooner finished playing than the wonder-struck pro 
fessor, bereft of words, ran to call the head of the conservatory, 
Professor Helmesberger. De Pachmann, on turning around, was 
struck with dismay at the professor's disappearance, which in his 
anxious state of mind he attributed to his own faulty execution of 
the piece. The professor, however, soon returned, accompanied by 
the director himself; both were loud in their congratulations of De 
Pachmann. They made him play again, to the wondering delight 
of the two teachers. Dachs then requested the youth to prepare 
two studies of Chopin for the following day. Vladimir returned 
punctually, but again without music, and expressed his willingness 
to play the twenty-four studies of Chopin in any key that might be 
required by the teacher. The professors having seated themselves, 
De Pachmann played as he alone could play Chopin. When the 
divine strains were hushed, Dachs, much affected, embraced him, 
saying : "I have heard this played by Chopin himself ; your playing 
is perhaps better, and he could not but be flattered by your perfect 
rendering." It will not be difficult to imagine the enthusiastic 
reception of De Pachmann at the Vienna Conservatory, where he 
remained from 1867 to 1869. Not to study the piano, however, 
Dachs, after a few short lessons, having frankly admitted that the 
pupil, having excelled the teacher, had no further need of his 
lessons. Instead, Vladimir studied harmony and fugues with 
Bruckner, his success being such that at the final trial he was 
awarded the large silver medal. 

On leaving the conservatory young Vladimir returned to Odessa 
where he began to give lessons and also a few local concerts which 
excited general admiration. In 1870, in Odessa, he first heard 
the famous Tausig, who impressed him greatly with his technique. 
Tausig urged him to still further endeavors. He studied alone 
for eight years. In 1878 he went to Kerson, barely five hours 
distance from Odessa to give a concert with the pianist Herscheck. 
It was a failure financially, and his aged father was under the 
necessity of proceeding to Kherson to fetch young Vladimir, who 
had exhausted his resources. 



Pianists 369 



On completing his thirtieth year, Vladimir, having lost his 
father, removed with his sister Elizabeth to Leipzig, where under 
the management of Carl Reinecke he gave a concert which won a 
complete success. Leaving somewhat later for Berlin, the youthful 
artist gave a concert in the Architectural Hall which was enthu 
siastically received and very favorably reviewed. He returned to 
Vienna with the intention of giving a series of concerts. Happen 
ing one day to be playing a Chopin ballade in Bosendorfer's piano 
repository, he chanced to be overheard by Herr Waldmann, a mu 
sical connoisseur, who after the first few notes introduced himself 
to De Pachmann and in rapturous terms signified his desire to 
organize a series of concerts on his behalf. It may be said, there 
fore, that his career as a pianist had its beginning from that day. 

He played at the Philharmonic Society with enormous success, 
receiving the warmest praise from Professor Hanslick, one of the 
most celebrated musical critics of the time. 

From Paris he proceeded to London, meeting with like success, 
and exciting a warm sympathy which has never to this day failed 
to greet the great artist. In London after one of his concerts he 
formed the acquaintance of a young lady pianist, who became one 
of his pupils, and whom he subsequently married in 1884. Her 
name was Maggie Oakey. 

Full of honors, Vladimir returned to Vienna and then left for 
Budapest, where he became acquainted with Liszt, who expressed 
great friendship and admiration for him. A. lady who accompa 
nied Liszt to one of De Pachmann's concerts, said later that the 
veteran master had declared great admiration for De Pachmann, 
whose execution was such, he added, that he had never been so 
moved before. Liszt and De Pachmann were much together, and 
great was the friendship and admiration of the latter for the aged 
master. 

In 1890 Mr. and Mrs. De Pachmann gave a number of concerts 
in Europe and America, visiting the United States for the first 
time in 1892, and were everywhere received with the greatest 
applause. At that time De Pachmann had a house in Paris, where 
it might be said he passed the major part of his married life. His 
wife bore him three children, the first of whom was born and died 
at St. Petersburg; tlie other two were born in London. One of these 
two surviving sons is now professor of harmony at the Paris Con 
servatoire. 

De Pachmann also visited Italy, but much to the regret of true 
lovers of music, only two towns, Milan and Florence, were favored 
with his visit. Of 'Florence, especially, De Pachmann retains 
poetic memories. 

Vladimir de Pachmann's playing always excites the greatest 
admiration. His style is so varied that no one ever tires of hearing 



370 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

him; his concerts are crowded to excess wherever a love of 
music prevails. The country in which De Pachmann is best appre 
ciated and where he no doubt plays with greatest pleasure is Eng 
land, whose people, while fully alive to the excellence of his pow 
ers, make every allowance for his eccentricities, cherishing the 
man quite as fully as the artist. De Pachmann, thoroughly realiz 
ing the sincerity of this admiration, happily mounts his stand to 
address a few words to the public of whose friendly welcome he 
is fully assured. 

De Pachmann is today, as years are counted, an old man. By 
his own confession, made on a multitude of European stages in 
recent seasons, he is nearly eighty years of age. Yet to writers 
in Europe where he has been playing annually there seems no dif 
ference at all in appearance and playing between De Pachmann 
of 1926 and De Pachmann heard fifteen or twenty years ago. De 
Pachmann is short, rotund, jovial, with a head of such pictur- 
esqueness as has not been seen on our stages of recent years. His 
playing is still that of one who loves above all else to play the piano. 

He literally makes love to his instrument; he kisses his hand 
to the instrument as he enters the stage. His hands wander over 
its keys in caresses of joy. No lover ever went to his lady with 
greater joy or with a heart so bounding with expectation than De 
Pachmann goes to the pianoforte on which he is to give his immor 
tal message of beauty. 

Vladimir de Pachmann as an artist links the present with the 
past. He played piano recitals when Liszt was still the living giant 
of the pianoforte. In Cracow, when De Pachmann was a success 
ful recitalist, he was visited by the student, Paderewski, and his 
advice solicited. One of his earliest tours was made through Ger 
many in joint recital with Marcella Sembrich. But where the older 
artists have passed and the young have grown to maturity, even in 
some cases also to pass, De Pachmann has continued, a sort of 
eternal phoenix whose life and vigor know not apparently the ordi 
nary ravages of time. Busoni one time expressed no surprise over 
the report of De Pachmann's continued youthfulness as a pianist. 
The great Italian is reported to have said : "Why should there be 
wonder over De Pachmann's defying age? He has lived for his 
art alone; therefore, his art is to him eternally faithful." 

As a master of Chopin, De Pachmann has ever been without a 
rival. The Polish master's works are transfigured under his fingers 
by his exceptional temperament and unbridled individuality. To De 
Pachmann, Chopin is a god; his music the emanation of divine 
effulgence. Pachmann approaches a Chopin composition as a 
Catholic goes to St. Peter's in Rome, a Mohammedan to Mecca, a 
Buddhist to the river Ganges. 



Pianists 371 



The secret of De Pachmann's youthfulness lies, as he himself 
tells all audiences, "in my new method." By such technical facility 
does he manage, without fatigue, to play with all the esprit of a 
young man. In his own words, "Playing the piano never tires me. 
At the end of a recital I feel ready to give another program/' The 
number of his encores bears vivid testimony to the truth of such a 
statement. 

Not so long since, when his managers objected to his giving so 
many additional pieces, De Pachrnann begged "to play just one 
more." Being permitted, he went before his audience and played 
an entire Beethoven sonata. 

On his seventy-fifth birthday, De Pachmann said to his friend, 
"During my three score and fifteen years, I have heard many times 
all the great pianists of the day." (De Pachmann is in the habit of 
talking simultaneously in English, German, French, and Italian.) 
"I have watched them closely. Liszt himself attended my first 
concert in Budapest. He sat in the first row. (After the concert 
we had supper together in my quarters.) At the end of the concert 
he came upon the stage and congratulated me most effusively, even 
going as far as to say : 1 wish that Chopin had heard you play.' 
Later in the day I played his arrangement of 'Auf Fliiglen des 
Gesanges/ and he said with great enthusiasm : 'So I like it!' Liszt 
then played his arrangement of Chopin's 'Chant Polonnaise.' It 
was like some wonderful voice singing, for Liszt was transcen- 
dentally the greatest of all pianists. I shall never forget it! He 
played like a god! . . . Later I met Liszt at his home in Rome, 
when Richard Wagner was staying with him. I had the honor of 
playing for both of them. I played the Chopin Ballade in G minor 
and was again overwhelmed by the generous praise of both. Liszt 
insisted that I played it better than Chopin, who had mannerisms 
in his playing at times." 

De Pachmann lives in a world of his own, and knows no other 
world, no other composers than those who serve his needs, 
no other pianists than those who fulfill his ideals. Worshipping 
beauty in the absolute, he compromises with no one, not even with 
himself. "If I should make an ugly tone," he said, "I would shut 
down the piano." Knowing no other law than that of genius, he 
does not hesitate to pass sentence on himself. "Before I discovered 
my new method," he declared, "I played like a pig. Now I play like 
a god." And he proved it. "Come over to the piano," he called, 
"and I will show you what I do. First, I play scales, like this, for 
sixteen minutes every morning. No one can play scales as I do." 
And no one can! "Then," he continued, "I practice Godowski for 
technique. Every morning I give to Godowsky, and a few octave- 
studies of Joseffy for legato." Here his fingers melted in some 
octaves. "And now, listen to this, and look at my fingers. My 
tone is like velvet, Nicht wahr! My fingering is colossal! Liszt 



372 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

told me that he wished Chopin could hear me; I played his Noc 
turnes so beautifully. He also told me that not even Rubinstein 
had as beautiful a tone as I. Liszt was then seventy-three, about 
my age now," he added parenthetically, "and I was a young man 
of thirty-four or five. But I can play some of his things now even 
better than he could/' 

De Pachmann is universally known for his eccentricities. He will, 
for instance, stand no interruption in his recital. He has been 
known to grow indignant over late and noisy entrances ; a situation 
he once met by calling a friend to his side and saying, "I will play 
for you. . . . The others are pigs." Again in London, when a late 
arrival peered upon him through her lorgnette, he quite discom 
fited her and pleased the rest of his audience exceedingly by mak 
ing faces at the offender. 

De Pachmann's greatest object of detestation is the 'cello. He 
cannot bear the sound of the violin's big brother, and when through 
pique or for some other reason, threatens not to appear at a sched 
uled recital, he has never failed to be won over by his manager's 
telling him, "0, very well, I've an excellent 'cellist who can take 
your place." 

In a recital given in Cambridge, England, in December, 1922, 
De Pachmann played a Chopin Etude. Its end was greeted with 
loud applause. The pianist held up his hand, quieted the audience, 
and said: 

"None of you knows anything about piano-playing. I really 
played that very badly. Now, I shall play it again, and if I play 
well, I shall tell you." 

He did play the composition a second time. Then kissing his 
own hand with a "Bravo, Pachmann," he asserted: 

"That was truly magnificent, Kaphaelesque. Now applaud." 
And the audience burst forth into true Pachmann cheers. 

On April 13, 1925, Vladimir de Pachmann gave his farewell 
American all-Chopin recital, in Carnegie Hall, New York. The 
author of this volume still remembers how wonderfully De Pach 
mann played ! The hall on the occasion was packed to capacity, the 
stage seats and even standing room having been sold out, and many 
hundreds clamoring for admission turned away. 

De Pachmann will, no doubt, continue to play in Europe and cast 
his spell there as no other living pianist can. It is his dread of the 
ocean voyage that deters him from revisiting our shores. 

Yladimir de Pachmann played his farewell recital in Carnegie 
Hall before a crowd that overflowed upon the stage in such num 
bers as to leave barely room for himself and his piano. 

Vladimir de Pachmann is the recipient of the Order of Dane- 
brog from the King of Denmark (1885), and the Eoyal Philhar 
monic Society's Medal of London, bestowed upon him in 1916. 



Pianists 



373 




LEFF POUISHNOFF 

POUISHNOFF COMES of an aristocratic Russian family. His people 
were affluent members of Russian society. The boy's aptitude for 
music became evident when he was only three years old. He 

always wanted to "play with" the house 
hold piano, and seemed awe-stricken 
when anybody performed on it. At such 
times he would sit in rapt silence, with 
an expression unusually serious for a 
baby. 

Mme Essipova-Leschetizky accepted 
him as a pupil, developing his piano 
technique. He studied theory and compo 
sition under the eminent composers Rim- 
sky-Korsakoff, Glazounoff and Liadoff. 
In 1910 he completed his studies at the 
Petrograd Conservatory and was award 
ed the Gold Medal of that famous insti 
tute of music. He also won the Rubin 
stein prize, which carried with it 1,200 rubles for a tour of Europe. 
That year he made his first concert tour with the celebrated 
violinist Professor Leopold Auer, and soon began giving unassisted 
concerts of his own. He played for the first time in Germany in 
1911, winning marked success. Several tours were making him 
famous in that country when the world war broke out. This com 
pelled him to return to Russia, where from 1914 to 1920 he spent 
most of his time as a professor of piano in the Tiflis (Armenia) 
Conservatory, giving occasional concerts. 

Leaving Russia in 1920, Pouishnoff concertized in Rome, Milan, 
Vienna, Munich, Amsterdam, and The Hague. The London Musical 
Courier wrote, regarding his return engagement there : 

"Leff Pouishnoff has returned to England from a continental 
tour which was a series of unchallenged successes. He was the first 
pianist of rank to tour the British broadcasting stations and this 
tour was so successful that he was immediately re-engaged." 

Pouishnoff made his bow before American audiences in 1924, 
in New York City. The following tribute was paid him by the dean 
of America's music critics, W. J. Henderson: 

"This player effected his entry into New York in a quiet and 
unheralded manner, but by his performances he at once made it 
clear that he is one of the finest new pianists heard in this city in 
a long time. ... No finer piece of pianistic management of dy 
namic and tone coloring has been heard in Aeolian Hall in many a 



374 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

day than Mr. Pouishnoff displayed in the opening passage of the 
concerto. . . . His playing was a widely varied and fine demonstra 
tion of rare musical talent admirably developed." 

A tour of the United States followed ; it included Chicago, Day 
ton, Boston, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and many other large American 
cities. 

Pouishnoff appeared as soloist with the New York State Sym 
phony under Casella on February 23, 1926, playing Rachmaninoff's 
Concerto No. 3. In Boston, where Pouishnoff played several times, 
he was likened by the critics in that city to Paderewski and Hof- 
mann. One critic remarked on Pouishnoff s "beautiful tone, al 
together adequate technique, extraordinary command of nuances, 
keen sense of rhythm and convincing interpretative power/' 



MAX RABINOWITSCH 

MAX RABINOWITSCH, Russian pianist, was born in Libau, Russia, on 
January 24, 1891. His father was a merchant, and the eleven-year- 
old boy began studying piano with Mme Yazdovskaya, and later 
with Mme Hollatz, a former pupil of Leschetizki. Pursuing his 
academic courses at the same time, Rabinowitsch was graduated 
from the Libau Gymnasium at the age of nineteen, when he entered 
the University of Yuriev, and later of Petrograd. In the latter city 
he attended the Conservatory as well as the University, studying 
piano for three years under Mme Essipova and Barinova, and the 
ory with Leff Zeitlin and Schteiman, He was graduated from the 
Conservatory in 1913. Three years later he was also graduated 
from the University of Petrograd. 

At the age of fifteen, Rabinowitsch appeared in Riga as soloist 
under Eibenschiitz, playing Mendelssohn's Concerto, and later ap 
peared under the conductors, Ignaz Newmark, Fitelberg and 
others. He came to America on November 1, 1922, and immediately 
established a reputation as one of the foremost accompanists. In 
the course of his career in that branch of the art he has accompa 
nied, and also appeared as assisting artist with such celebrities as 
Heifetz, Chaliapin, Smirnoff, Isadora Duncan, Davidoff, Jeritza, 
Hidalgo, Anna Case, and many others. In 1926 he accompanied 
Chaliapin on a tour of Australia. 



Pianists 375 




MAURYGZ (MORITZ) ROSENTHAL 

A VIENNA critic once said that Moritz Rosenthal was a piano trick 
ster and a piano acrobat. He is certainly the greatest piano tech 
nician living. The attempts of some of his followers to place him 

above Anton Rubinstein are not without 
basis. 

Moritz Rosenthal was born in De 
cember of 1862, in Lemberg (Galicia), 
where his father was professor in the 
Chief Academy. From him Rosenthal 
obtained the philosophical turn of mind 
for which he is noted. 

At eight years of age, the boy began 
the study of pianoforte under a certain 
Galeth, whose method was curious in that 
he permitted his pupil absolute freedom 
in sight-reading, transposing, and modu 
lating, not paying much attention to the 
systematic development of his technique. 
By the time he was nine, the boy manifested such a love of and a 
determination to learn the piano that he conquered all the difficul 
ties of Weber's music, with its brilliant passages. 

In 1872 Carl Mikuli, an excellent interpreter and editor of 
Chopin, who was then director of the Lemberg Conservatorium, 
took charge of RosenthaPs education, and within the same year 
played in public with him Chopin's Rondo in C major, for two 
pianos. 

All this time, however, nothing had been determined as to 
RosenthaPs ultimate career, and it was only on the urgent advice 
of Rafael Joseffy that the parents consented to his becoming a 
pianist. 

When in 1875, the family moved to Vienna, Rosenthal became 
a pupil of Joseffy, who set to work systematically to train the boy 
on Tausig's method. The results were astonishing, since Rosen- 
thai played at his first public recital in 1876 Beethoven's thirty-two 
variations, Chopin's F minor concerto and some Liszt and Mendels 
sohn. 

There promptly followed a tour through Roumania, where at 
Bucharest the king created the fourteen-year-old lad Court-pianist. 
In the next year Liszt came into RosenthaPs life, and henceforth, 
until the master's death, played a great part therein. In 1878 and 
subsequently, they were together in Weimar, Rome, Budapest, and 
Vienna. Rosenthal then appeared as Liszt's pupil in Paris, St. 
Petersburg, and elsewhere. 



376 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Meanwhile, the philosophical studies were by no means neg 
lected by him, for in 1880 Rosenthal qualified at the Staats Gym 
nasium in Vienna for the philosophical course at the University 
where he studied with Zimmerman, Brentano and Hanslick (musi 
cal aesthetes). Six years elapsed before he resumed public piano 
forte playing. Then there followed in quick succession, after a 
triumph in the Liszt- Verein at Leipzig, a long series of concert- 
tours in America and elsewhere, which brought him ultimately to 
England in 1895 and to America again later, where in the Spring 
of 1907 he made a remarkably successful tour. 

Rosenthal, like Hofmann and Paderewski, owes his universal 
fame to America where, beginning in 1887, he gave a long succes 
sion of brilliant concerts. 

He was considered a rare phenomenon in the field of piano tech 
nique. This reputation for unrivaled technical mastery spread 
over the world. However, his playing always wakes the highest 
admiration, not on account of the perfect technique alone, but 
because of the deep expressiveness of the pianist. 

"Seldom has there been heard in San Francisco a pianist of 
greater technical gifts," said the San Francisco Bulletin, "or of 
more virile power. It is, of course, as a technician that Rosenthal 
has been known. But added to this was also so much sincerity, in 
tellectuality and beauty as to make of the performance a truly dis 
tinguished memory." 

Rather short, heavy set, with dark skin, quick brown eyes, and 
thin dark hair, Moritz Rosenthal is the type of personality whose 
presence is always felt. He is quick in his motions, and his short 
stubby hands are never still ; yet he is by no means a nervous type 
and has none of the languishing/ dreaming mannerisms which some 
associate with musicians. 

Rosenthal is also a writer. His style is crisp, caustic, and con 
vincing. He has had numerous battles with critics and has gener 
ally come out the victor. He has contributed to many prominent 
reviews, and in collaboration with Ludvig Schytte, the Danish 
composer, has written a book on the technique of the piano which 
has been translated into nearly every living language. 

It is said that no man has ever been so fast and .yet so accurate 
in the transmission of thought from his active mind to the sensi 
tive muscles of his finger tips. Columbia University professors 
who examined him to ascertain the length of time for a thought to 
pass from his mind into action on the piano keyboard, found that 
Rosenthal was phenomenal in that it took less time for the thoughts 
to pass down his head, the length of his arms and into his fingers 
than could be gaged by the stop-watches of the professors. 

Few artists evoke such superlative praise from critics as does 
Rosenthal. "He radiated and glittered and chiseled filmy filigrees 



Pianists 377 



and thundered exciting fortissimos. His utterance has softened 
and mellowed. A marvelously sustained legato and endless shades 
of color are his. And he no longer makes the impression of resist 
ing tender sentiment with an overplus of masculinity. He reaches 
for the hearts of his listeners." Leonard Liebling wrote these words 
in the New York American on December 15, 1923. 

Though in the last seventeen years there have been many pian 
ists heard in New York, distinguished for many things, there have 
been few, even among the younger generation, who could equal him. 

Having missed the great triumvirate, Liszt-Chopin-Rubinstein, 
the pianists of the younger generation must learn from him who 
has had the privilege to study with these pianistic and musical 
giants. 

BERYL .RUBINSTEIN 

THE NAME of Rubinstein has stood for greatness in the music world 
for many years. Beryl Rubinstein, American pianist and composer, 
proves himself worthy of the name. It would seem that he has 

been sent into the world for the purpose 
of playing everything that was ever writ 
ten for the piano, for he seems to possess 
a natural technical equipment that re 
joices in difficulties. 

Beryl Rubinstein was born in Athens, 
Georgia. His father discovered his tal 
ent at the age of six and taught him until 
he was twelve. During these years he 
toured the country, appearing as an infant 
prodigy. At thirteen, under the tutelage 
of Alexander Lambert, he appeared at 
the Metropolitan Opera House. Follow 
ing this he went to Europe, studying 
under Da Motta in Berlin, and being a 
frequent visitor at the home of Busoni. He studied composition 
under May-Kenost. As a mature artist he made his New York 
debut in 1916, following which he made many recital tours of the 
United States. He appeared in numerous joint programs with 
Ysaye and also played with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra 
under Stransky, and with other leading orchestras. He also toured 
as assistant pianist with the Duncan dancers. 

Beryl Rubinstein has composed works for the piano, voice and 
violin which have been published. His recent works include a 
sonata for piano, which was performed in New York two years ago, 
and a concerto for piano and orchestra, which had its premiere 




378 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

with the Detroit Symphony at the program of all- American works 
that was given in February of 1926, on which occasion Rubinstein 
appeared as soloist. He is at present engaged in teaching, being a 
member of the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Musical 
Art (formerly under Ernest Bloch) . 

Beryl Rubinstein belongs to the elect among pianists, for he 
possesses dexterity, power, and imagination to a high degree. He 
plays beautifully and with a singing tone. 

NIGHOLAI RUBINSTEIN 

NICHOLAI RUBINSTEIN, the younger brother of Anton Rubinstein, 
was born on June 2, 1835, in Moscow, whither his parents had 
moved from Bessarabia, and established for himself a place as an 

outstanding pianist and social worker. 
Although his fame never reached the pro 
portions of his immortal brother's, it 
would nevertheless be unjust not to give 
full value to his useful activities. 

From his very earliest years Nicholai 
Rubinstein manifested unusual talent. 
At five he possessed technique on the 
piano and composed small pieces. His 
first teacher was his mother; later he 
studied under Gehel. In 1844 his mother 
took her two sons, Anton and Nicholai, 
to Berlin, where Nicholai began to study 
piano with Kullak, and theory and com 
position with Dan. In 1846 the mother 
and Nicholai moved back to Moscow, where he continued his studies 
with the pianist Willman. 

In 1856 Nicholai Rubinstein went to study law and mathematics 
at the Moscow University, but he gave most of his attention to his 
playing and won great renown as a pianist. According to the 
opinion of his countrymen, he was a great pianist, like his brother 
Anton. During his annual concerts in St. Petersburg, Nicholai, like 
his brother Anton in St. Petersburg some years before. 

A great part of his social activities was performed in 1860, when 
he established a branch of the Russian Music Society, founded by 
his brother Anton in St. Petersburg some years before. 

In 1866 he established the Moscow Conservatory, of which he 
was director and piano teacher until his death. He not only under 
took the directorship and professorship of the Conservatory, but 
conducted the symphony concerts at the same time, and was known 
as an excellent conductor. 




Pianists 379 



In 1868 he gave a series of Russian concerts at the World's Fair 
in Paris and gained tremendous success. Aside from these activi 
ties he made a number of concert tours over Europe, and it is note 
worthy that many concerts were given by him for the benefit of 
his poor colleagues. 

Nicholai also played a great role in the life of Tschaikowsky and 
aided him in his activities as composer. 

He died in the flower of his life, at the age of forty-six, on 
March 23, 1881, in Paris. 

Leopold Auer, friend and associate of Nicholai, says the follow 
ing of him in My Long Life in Music: 

"Nicholai Rubinstein was a genuine artist, and showed himself 
most encouraging and admirable to every unknown young colleague 
whom chance had thrown in his way. There was nothing about 
Nicholai Rubinstein's personality which recalled his brother Anton, 
unless it was his hands hands which were enormous and his 
great thick fingers, each finger-end upholstered on its inner side 
with a veritable cushion of flesh. He was gay and cheerful. Nicho 
lai, like his brother Anton, was very generous by nature, and re 
garded money merely as a convenience for giving pleasure to others 
and to himself. . . . 

"Nicholai Rubinstein often came to St. Petersburg, where he 
gave annual concerts, though since he was director of the Music 
Conservatory and conductor of the Russian Symphony concerts in 
that city, besides teaching his own special piano class, he was con 
tinually engrossed with the administrative affairs which brought 
him to the head of the Imperial Russian Musical Society in the 
capital. He was young, jovial, generous, btit in him were united 
the most opposite traits of character, for in his office at the Conser 
vatory, on the conductor's stand, and at the piano he was the seri 
ous and most capable artist, like his brother Anton. He was an ex 
ceptional musician as well as a master pianist. Anton was always 
full of admiration for his great talent, and often remarked that 
Nicholai was the better pianist of the two and vice versa. There 
was never a hint of jealousy between them, and to tell the truth, 
there was no occasion for it." 

Regarding Nicholai's death, Auer continues : : 

"A year after Anton had died, I went to Moscow to attend the 
funeral of Nicholai Rubinstein, the news of whose death had horri 
fied me in Paris. Some months before, stricken with a serious mal 
ady, he had fought it with all his strength. He could not be ill, he 
said ; he had no time for illness. Yet in the end he was obliged to 
give up the unequal struggle. The devotion of friends made it pos 
sible for him to be brought to Paris to consult some of the most 
famous physicians there, but there was nothing to be done for 
him, and he died after several weeks of suffering. 



380 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

"AH Russia was grieving profoundly and Moscow went into 
deep mourning. The streets through which the funeral procession 
passed it was on a bright sunny morning were closed to traffic, 
and everywhere lamps were burning behind thick walls of crepe. 
Hundreds of carriages and thousands of pedestrians followed the 
hearse, which was hidden by flowers. When the inventory of his 
estate was made, it was discovered that while Nicholai Rubinstein 
had lived like a prince, he had died in the poverty which is the lot 
of the majority of musicians." 

Many of Nicholai Rubinstein's pupils became famous pianists. 
Like his brother Anton, he was continually given honors and 
medals. 



NADIA REISENBERG 

Music IS a thing of lights and shades, of moods and emotions, and 
Nadia Reisenberg is one of the few young pianists whose playing 
reflects the underlying thoughts and feelings of the great com 
posers. Technically she is nearly fault 
less, but what first-class pianist is not, in 
these days of great virtuosity? 

Paderewski attended her debut to 
hear her play his Polish Fantasy and 
described her playing as "exceedingly 
beautiful." Joseph Hofmann has de 
scribed her as "charming and talented" ; 
De Pachmann has expressed his "admira 
tion for her pianistic talent"; Mischa 
Elman has praised her for "her great 
talent and beautiful playing." 

Nadia Reisenberg was born in Russia 
on July 14, 1904. She studied the piano 
at the Imperial Conservatory of St. Pe- 
terburg under Leonid Nikolai ev. After the Revolution she left the 
land of her birth, and following an extensive concert tour in Poland, 
Latvia, Lithuania, and Germany, came to America. In New York 
she became an artist pupil of Alexander Lambert. 

Nadia Reisenberg has given several recitals in New York City, 
and has appeared with great success as soloist with the New York 
Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Walter Damrosch, and 
with other prominent organizations, including the City Symphony 
Orchestra, the League of Composers, and the Society of the Friends 
of Music, of New York, under Arthur Bodanzky. 




Pianists 381 



ARTHUR RUBINSTEIN 

"THE ILLUSTRIOUS Anton himself," said Herman Devries of the Chi 
cago Evening America, "could surely not surpass the talents, the 
accomplishments, let me say, the genius of this young giant of the 
keyboard. Like his predecessor, Anton, Arthur plays the piano by 
no rule or formula, but according to the dictates of his own inspira 
tion. He has never devoted his time to the finger exercises gener 
ally deemed necessary for a mastery of the keys, but he works out 
each composition by an instinctive grasp of its potential effects. 

This insight has endeared Arthur Rubinstein to many living 
composers, some of whom, including Stravinsky, have written 
works for his special interpretation, with the understanding that 
none else shall perform them for a period of years. In spite of his 
neglect of those exercises, Arthur Rubinstein is nevertheless de 
clared to be a sterling virtuoso, who combines great technical skill 
with refined musical qualities, an innate instinct for accent, and a 
sense of beauty in tone coloring and with a personality which in 
stantly grips the attention of his audiences. 

Rubinstein is self-taught to a large extent. His only teacher, 
when a child, was R. M. Breithaupt of Berlin. Rubinstein devotes 
the bulk of his attention to the works of his contemporaries. 

He was born in Lodz, Russian-Poland, on January 28, 1886. 
At the age of seven he made his first public appearance in Warsaw, 
and has since made many extensive tours in Europe and America. 

He is an intimate friend of Paul Kochanski, the celebrated vio 
linist, with whom he has made many concert tours, particularly in 
Spain and South America. 



DAVID SAPERTON (SAPERSTEIN) 

DAVID SAPERTON, eminent American pianist and pedagogue, at 
present one of the chief instructors of the famous Curtis Institute 
of Music in Philadelphia, was born on October 29, 1889, in Pitts 
burgh, Pennsylvania. He is the son of the physician Nahum Lenn 
Saperstein and his wife, Nathalie (nee Michalowski). Prior to 
becoming a physician, his father was a well-known basso and 
teacher of singing, and his grandfather was a tenor and famous 
cantor. 

Saperton studied music with his father and later with Joseph Git- 
tings in Pittsburgh and August Spanuth in New York, Theory and 
composition he studied with Hugo Kaun in Berlin. Saperton played 
the Mendelssohn Concerto with orchestra at the age of ten, in Car- 



382 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

negie Hall, Pittsburgh; his New York debut he made in Mendels 
sohn Hall in 1905. He also played at the Metropolitan Opera House 
during the same year, and subsequently appeared in joint recitals 
with Geraldine Farrar, Rita Sachetto, and other famous artists. 
Saperton is a truly musical nature, endowed with unusual talent. 
He is now one of the most acknowledged piano teachers not only in 
Philadelphia but also in New York. On his many tours through 
Europe, Saperton was honored at many European courts. He gave 
a concert series in New York from January to March, 1914, and 
another in January of 1915, playing on six successive days several 
Busoni transcriptions and Karol Szymanowski's Sonata (opus 21). 
Saperton is married to the daughter of Leopold Godowsky. 



HAROLD SAMUEL 

HAROLD SAMUEL, the distinguished English pianist, who has won 
great success the world over with his incomparable interpretations 
of Bach's music, comes of a distinguished musical family. His 

father's uncle was a well-known singing 
teacher and composer, and a great friend 
of Lord Byron. On his mother's side 
Samuel is descended from a well-known 
Baltimore family. He was born in Lon 
don, May 23, 1879. 

Samuel has played the piano as long 
as he can remember. He learned the 
notes from his sister in one lesson, and 
then had a rapid succession of other 
teachers. At one time he planned to study 
with Theodore Leschetizki in Vienna, but 
his health broke down and he had to re 
turn to England. He received the bulk 
of his piano training from Edward 
Dannreuther of London (a brother of Gustav Dannreuther of New 
York) . It was he who inspired Samuel with his interest in Bach. 
Before going to the Royal College, Samuel studied for a short time 
with Albeniz, Schonberger, and Michael Hamburger. After grad 
uation from the Royal College, Samuel gave his first public recital 
at the age of twenty-one in Steinway Hall, London. After an 
absence of several years, during which he devoted himself to theory 
and composition, as well studying Bach exclusively, he returned in 
1919 to the concert stage, giving the same program (the thirty 
variations) that he had given in his first public recital. It was an 
outstanding success. He was hailed immediately as one of the 




Pianists 383 



great pianists of England. In 1921 Samuel attempted something 
which had never been tried before ; he gave six recitals in six suc 
cessive days, devoting them entirely to the music of Bach, playing 
all of them by memory, and never once repeating not even in 
encores a single composition. The risky venture proved an enor 
mous success, and he has repeated it many times, not only in Lon 
don, where it is now an annual affair, but throughout England and 
in New York. 

In the Autumn of 1924, Samuel paid his first visit to America, 
coming at the invitation of Mrs. Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge to 
play at the Berkshire Festival. He intended to give only two re 
citals in that country, both in New York, but his success was so 
extraordinary that he also gave one in Boston. He appeared with 
the Beethoven Association in New York and was engaged to play at 
Yale, Bryn Mawr, and Vassar Colleges before returning to Eng 
land. Few artists have ever received such universal and unquali 
fied endorsement. All the New York critics and the concert public 
insisted on hearing him. 

From the leading orchestras came requests for his appearances, 
but he had to return to Europe, where he was engaged for a tour of 
Belgium, Spain, Holland, and Germany. His tour of the United 
States during the season of 1925-26 was an answer to numerous 
demands. 

Samuel is almost the only one among pianists to have as great 
resources in phrasing as a violinist has perfect command of the 
bow. So his audience has the easiest time imaginable. It requires 
no conscious effort of concentration to listen. One is carried along, 
marveling at the beauty of each dance tune in the "Partita Suite," 
compelled to the enjoyment of the argument of each fugue, and sur 
prised afresh, however well one knows them, by the way in which 
the "Preludes" forecast the romantic period. 

It is hard to recall any other pianist indeed, even among the 
greatest, who makes Bach quite so winning, so human, so convinc 
ingly beautiful. The academic face of Bach glows with warmth 
and humor as Samuel elucidates this or that cunning little bit of 
counterpoint or obstinately repeated sequence which the old master 
has employed with obviously playful purpose. 

Samuel's programs should be of particular interest to music stu 
dents, for his programs are of rare intelligence and scope. 

He is the recipient of many signal honors, and is on the piano- 
teaching staff of the London Royal College of Music. 



384 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



EMIL SAUER 

EMIL SAUER is one of the greatest pianists of our time. His indi 
viduality is almost as well defined and as fascinating as that of 
Paderewski or Hofmann, and his technique is marvelously perfect. 

This man with the sympathetic face 
has everything necessary for the pianist 
Dignity, breadth and depth are evident. 
He has temperament enough for ten play 
ers, but wonderfully controlled. 

Emil Sauer was born on October 8, 
1862, in Hamburg. His mother (nee 
Gordon), who was from Scotland, was 
his first teacher in piano. But Anton 
Rubinstein heard him play when quite 
young, and recommended his being sent 
to his brother Nicholai Rubinstein at the 
Moscow Conservatory, where he re 
mained for two years (1879-81). Later, 
he made the acquaintance of Liszt, who 
became his friend and counsellor, and with him he studied at Wei 
mar (1884-85). He paid his first visit to London in 1894, and his 
first appearance in America was made in New York in 1899. 

In the course of his extensive tours he has received a great 
number of tokens of royal and official appreciation. In all, he is a 
member of over twenty orders, including the French Legion of 
Honor. As a composer, Sauer, like Chopin, has devoted himself 
almost exclusively to the piano. The most outstanding of his com 
positions are two piano concertos, two piano sonatas, twenty-four 
etudes for piano, and also songs. 



DAVID SGHOR 

DAVID SCHOR, pianist, was born in Simpheropol, Russia, in 1867. 
He studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Amenda, Van 
Ark, and later at the Moscow Conservatory with Safonoff. 

Schor has become famous through the Moscow Trio, which he 
organized with Alexander Krein (violinist) and Modest Altschuler 
('cellist). This organization gave many concerts throughout the 
Russian empire and in Europe. 

He is now living in Tel Aviv, Palestine. 




Pianists 



385 




ARTHUR SCHNABEL 

ARTHUR SCHNABEL, the eminent pianist, composer, and pedagogue, 
was born in Lipnik, Checko-Slovakia, on April 17, 1882. At the 
age of six he was a piano pupil of the famous Hans Schmitt, known 

to all piano students for his numerous 
exercises for the piano. In 1888 the boy 
was placed under Leschetizky in Vienna, 
where among his fellow-students were 
Ossip Gabrilowitsch and Mark Hamburg. 
He was graduated from these classes in 
1897. During those years Schnabel de- 
vofed himself to a virtuoso's career, spe 
cializing particularly in the music of 
Brahms. 

Few contemporary pianists have suc 
ceeded so thoroughly in substantially es 
tablishing themselves with the musical 
publics of Europe and America as has 
Arthur Schnabel. He appeared repeat 
edly as soloist with the world's leading orchestras, under such mas 
ters of the baton as the late Artur Nikisch, Weingartner, Mengel- 
berg, and many others. His interpretations of Brahms and Bee 
thoven are considered superb examples of their order, 

Schnabel has also devoted considerable attention to the study of 
theory, pursuing his courses under the famous musicologist, Euse- 
bius Mandgzcewski. He has composed a string quartet, a dance 
suite for piano, a sonata for violin alone, and numerous other 
works. 

As a composer, Schnabel belongs to the Expressionistic School. 
Together with Carl Flesch, Schnabel edited Mozart's violin sonatas 
for the Peters Edition. With Flesch and Hugo Becker, he organ 
ized the famous trio, which toured all over Europe. 

He had taught on previous occasions, but from 1919 has de 
voted himself almost exclusively to teaching. Many of the younger 
generations of celebrated pianists are his pupils. 

Schnabel has an erudite and highly cultured personality. Kind 
and genial, he is the beloved and esteemed friend of most con 
temporary great musicians. Brahms was one of his admirers, as 
well as the late Anton Rubinstein, of whom Schnabel cherishes, 
the fondest memories., 



:386 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




GERMAINE SCHNITZER 

ALTHOUGH OF Austrian parentage, Germaine Schnitzer, the cele 
brated Viennese pianist, was born on May 28, 1888, in Paris, where 
she began her musical training at the age of six. At eight she could 

transpose Bach and others by sight. She 
went to the Paris Conservatorie, where 
Marmontel and Raoul Pugno took charge 
of her studies. Later she moved to Vi 
enna and studied with Emil Sauer. 

She soon appeared in public and 
everywhere was acclaimed as an unus 
ually gifted pianist. Both press and au 
diences were not slow to realize that they 
were making the acquaintance of a talent 
of the first order. 

Her first American debut was made 
at Chickering Hall, Boston, on December 
13, 1906. Her success was enormous. 
Musical America of December 22, 1906, 
wrote: "Miss Schnitzer is a musician in the narrow meaning of 
the word; she is also a poet. That she is the former was revealed 
at once in her admirable reading of Bach's prelude and fugue, 
while in her playing of the 'CarnavaP she was romantically poetic. 
The capriciousness, the whimsicality, the tenderness, the brilliance, 
the dreaminess of Schumann's music were expressed with the spon 
taneity of an improvisor." 

The New York Journal wrote : "To say that she achieved suc 
cess is to put it mildly. Hers was a blazing triumph, a complete 
conquest. This girl is without question the greatest and most im 
portant new voice in pianoforte playing that has sounded upon 
us for a decade at least." 

Five days after her successful debut in Boston, Germaine 
Schnitzer made her first appearance in New York, at Mendelssohn 
Hall. It is of interest to quote a few press comments : 

The New York Tribune said: "She came without the loud 
trumpetings which usually herald foreign artists or those of native 
birth who have gone abroad for a foreign hallmark, and her success 
was for that reason all the more emphatic and convincing." 

"She has a superb tone, big, sonorous, rich, and wide in range," 
said the critic of the New York Sun. 

The New York World wrote : "In addition to her brilliant tech 
nique she commands a singing tone, and a virile one, which has a 
certain admirable nobility." 



Pianists 387 



After this she returned to Europe to fulfill her engagements 
there, appearing in recitals, as soloist with many of Europe's lead 
ing orchestras and with prominent chamber-music organizations. 

Her second reappearance in New York was made on Thursday, 
January 14, 1909, as a soloist with the Russian Symphony Orches 
tra under Modest Altschuler at Carnegie Hall. She played the 
"Ukrainian Rhapsodie" by Liapunoff, rose to the technical de 
mands and extraordinary power, and gave a most perfect perform 
ance of the work. 

On January 30 of the same year she played Schumann's A minor 
Concerto with the New York Philharmonic under Saf onoff at Car 
negie Hall, New York. 

A noted critic said: "Germaine Schnitzer played the Schu 
mann Concerto with breadth, authority and musical appreciation 
of its beauty." 

Since that time Mme Schnitzer has become a favorite of both 
continents. She has played with practically all the leading or 
chestras and under the most famous conductors. She played six 
times with the New York Philharmonic, three times with the New 
York Symphony, five times with the Boston Symphony, twice with 
the Chicago Symphony, three times with the Cincinnati Symphony, 
twice each with the Detroit, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and San Fran 
cisco Orchestras, the Pasedeloup and Colonne Concerts in Paris, the 
Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna Kon- 
zertverein, the Vienna Tonkiinstler Orchestra, Warsaw Philhar 
monic, Stockholm Konzertverein, Budapest, Christiana and Bergen 
Philharmonic, etc. This shows how popular she is. 

Germaine Schnitzer at present occupies a prominent position 
and is one of the most interesting among the celebrated interpret 
ers of pianoforte literature. 

Technically, she has splendid assets, finely developed finger 
velocity and pleasing tone qualities, especially in pianissimo pas 
sages, in which she uses a delightfully feathery touch. 

KAROL SZRETER 

KAROL SZRETER, the Polish pianist, is one of the new stars that 
have arisen on the new musical horizon. He was born on Septem 
ber 29, 1898, in Lodz, Poland. He took his first lesson at the age 
of seven, his first teacher being Wachtel. His first appearance 
was held in Warsaw, in 1909. From 1912 to 1914 he studied at 
the St. Petersburg Conservatory, under Professor Dubassoff ; and 
from 1914 to 1918 under Professor Petrie. He made his Berlin 
debut in 1915, and has concertized in Germany, Holland, the Scan 
dinavian countries, Italy, Poland, Roumania, and Cheko-Slovakia. 



388 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

He is the possessor of a brilliant technique. His tone is noble. 

During- the past few seasons, Szreter also toured as accom 
panist to Franz von Veesey, the famous violinist ; Arnold Foldesy, 
the 'cello virtuoso, and other celebrities. 



ALEXANDER SKLAREVSKI 

EDUCATED AT the University of Warsaw, Alexander Sklarevski, the 
eminent pianist, first studied piano privately. He later entered the 
Conservatory of St. Petersburg, where he was graduated in 1908, 

his teacher being Mme. Benno. At his 
graduation he was given the gold medal 
for musical proficiency. 

Sklarevski then went to Paris to be 
gin concertizing, but just as he was about 
to set out, the Russian government of 
fered him the post of professor at the 
then newly founded Conservatory at 
Saratov, which he accepted. He finally 
became director of that Conservatory. 

With the coming of the great war, 
Sklarevski was prevented from return 
ing to Paris, and so left Russia for Amer 
ica in the Autumn of 1918, intending to 
appear there in concert on his arrival. 
But again he was unable to do what he had intended. The Spanish 
influenza was then raging, and his concert plans were so affected 
by it that he left Vancouver for the Orient. There he gave a series 
of more than 100 concerts in Japan, China, the Philippines, Singa 
pore, the French and Dutch Indies, and Java. He made a sensation 
in these places, his performances being considered the greatest 
pianistic exhibition ever heard in those remote parts. 

On his return to America in 1919, he gave a concert at Van 
couver, where he was hailed as one of the greatest piano virtuosi 
of our day. 

Sklarevski made his debut in New York City on March 18, 1920, 
at the Aeolian Hall, and was received with much favor by press and 
public. 




Pianists 



389 




KARL TAUSIG 

KARL TAUSIG was a Jew from Poland, whose Jews were very bit 
terly denounced by Wagner, chiefly because the orthodox among 
them wear beards and gaberdines. Nevertheless, It was Tausig 

who devised the plan by which 300,000 
thalers were raised for the building of 
Wagner's Bayreuth Theatre. 

On a level with Liszt, Rosenthal, An 
ton Rubinstein, Hofmann, and Paderew- 
ski, Tausig was one of the greatest tech 
nicians on the piano, and one of the 
greatest interpreters ever known. Un 
fortunately, Tausig's life was short, like 
that of Schubert's and Mozart's. He died 
at the age of thirty. But in this short 
span he succeeded in reaching great 
heights. It can be said without exaggera 
tion that as a virtuoso he stood second to 
no one of his generation, Tausig's techn 
nique was perfect, in a class by itself. By technique we mean not 
that nimbleness of fingers that conquers difficulties, but the art of 
producing elegantly and purely each separate tone. In this art 
there is something marvelous, something the mind cannot perceive. 
Great was Liszt's respect for Tausig. He once said about him: 
"Being considered one of my best pupils, he exceeded me by the 
soulfulness and warmth of his playing. He possesses a great in 
nate musical talent," 

Karl Tausig was born on November 4, 1841 in Warsaw. Till 
the age of fourteen he studied with his father, Alois Tausig, an 
excellent pianist and teacher, and a pupil of Berkley and Thalberg. 
The years 1859 to 1860 Tausig spent in Dresden, after which 
he lived for two years in Vienna, where he made a furore not only 
by his piano playing, but as a conductor of the most complicated or 
chestral compositions of Liszt, Wagner, and Berlioz. In 1865 
Tausig, on the invitation of his friend Hans von Billow, went to 
Berlin, where he received the title of Court-pianist and founded a 
high-school for piano playing, which he however forsook in the Fall 
of 1870. Among his numerous pupils who afterwards became fam 
ous was the pianist Sophia Menter, who was called by Anton 
Rubinstein the "queen of all keyboards and hearts." 

During the last years of his life even the most sensational suc 
cesses did not make Tausig happy. He became a wretched, melan 
choly individual This change in him some try to explain by his 



390 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

unfortunate marriage to the pianist Wrabelli, from whom he soon 
parted; others attribute this change to his deep philosophical 
meditations and speculations. 

Tausig died on July 17, 1871, in spite of the vigilant care of 
Countess von Krakow. Countess Kukhanova Nesselrode, pianist 
and friend of Richard Wagner, visited Tausig during the last week 
of his life, endeavoring to convert him to Christianity, but the 
patient did not respond. 

As a teacher Tausig exercised a great influence on the younger 
generation of pianists. Of the compositions he wrote, only a few 
have been published; but his piano arrangements of Wagner's 
operas, dementi's "Gradus ad Parnassum" and his own famous 
"Deux Etudes de Concert" present a degree of refinement and bril 
liance hardly rivaled in contemporary piano literature. 



ISABELLA WENGEROVA 

ISABELLA WENGEROVA, noted pianist and pedagogue, was born in 
Vilna in 1879. At the age of five she performed on the piano in 
public. Her first teacher was Goldenweiser (pupil, of Mojesko, in 

Odessa) ; at fourteen, the girl entered 
the Vienna Conservatory, studying there 
under Professor Dachs (teacher of De 
Pachmann) for three years, and from 
1896 to 1900 with Leschetizki. 

In 1905 Wengerova was engaged by 
the St. Petersburg Conservatory to take 
the place of the famous Mme Essipova. 
Two years later she was made a Pro 
fessor at the Conservatory and kept the 
post until 1921, when she came to New 
York to establish her own piano studio 
there. 

Wengerova's father, Afanasy, was 
the director of the Minsk Bank. Her 
mother, Paulina, published a book at the age of seventy, under the 
title of The Memiors of a Babuschka. Isabella is not the only 
musical celebrity in her family; her brother Vladimir is a gifted 
'cellist, being a pupil of Zeiffert in St. Petersburg. Isabella's 
brother Semyon was professor of literature, critic, and writer, 
while her sister Zinaida is a writer of repute and critic of foreign 
literature in Russia, 




Pianists 



391 



SARA SOKOLSKY-FREID 

THE PRAISE of fellow artists is ardently desired by all artists. 
To Sara Sokolsky-Freid, this has been accorded in generous meas 
ure for her brilliant achievements as pianist and organist. Rafael 

Joseffy called her "a remarkable talent" ; 
Vincent d'Indy declares that she "pos 
sesses an absolutely sure technique and 
I consider her a brilliant virtuoso" ; and 
according to Maurice Moszkowski "she 
is remarkably talented and can be rated 
an artist of high attainments." 

Sara Sokolsky-Freid was born at 
Korytki, Poland, on April 7, 1896. She 
received her education in the public 
schools of New York City. Rusotto was 
her first teacher in music; later she 
studied composition with Eugene Bern 
stein, Marie de Levenoff, Raphael Joseffy 
and Guenther Kiesewetter; organ at the 
Royal Academy of Music, in Germany, under Corbach and Ludwig ; 
and the history of music at the Sorbonne University under Romain 
Rolland, and also Moritz Moszkowski. 

Her debut occurred in April of 1909, at the Mendelssohn Hall, 
New York. The next five years saw extensive concertizing in 
Europe, which included appearances as soloist with philharmonic 
orchestras in Berlin, Paris and Vienna. 

Since 1916 Sara Sokolsky-Freid has devoted herself to con 
certizing and teaching in the United States. Many artist pupils 
of hers are now prominent in the concert field. She is a contrib 
utor to many art publications. 

Of her playing, the New York Evening Post said: "Mrs. 
Sokolsky-Freid proved herself an organist of almost Saint- 
Saensian stature, yet her touch on the piano was good, too . . . 
She played like a born musician, with intelligence and feeling, 
being indeed at her best in the one number on her programme 
which was the most difficult not to play but to interpret. Her 
reading of Beethoven's sonata, opus 111 ? was most engaging/' 




SINGERS 





MAX BLOCH 

MAX BLOCH is one of the bright lights of the New York Metro 
politan galaxy. He possesses a lyric tenor of extraordinary sonor 
ity and beauty. Born in Germany about forty-five years ago, he 

studied there under Mrs. Keva Pockal, 
an American lady from St. Louis. Bloch 
obtained his first engagement with the 
Komische Opera in Berlin, under the 
management of Hans Gregor. From 
there he went to the Kunstwerke Opera, 
in the same city, and for more stage ex 
perience, he accepted an engagement at 
the Municipal Theatre for one season. 
This was followed by another season in 
the German metropolis, after which he 
was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera 
Company of New York. 

He was engaged for the Summer sea 
son of 1926 with the Colonne Theatre in 
Buenos Ayres, where his success was pronounced. 



SOPHIE BRASLAU 

SOPHIE BRASLAU is one of fortune's favorites. She has reached a 
foremost position among the great singers of the world and is 
counted as one of the finest artists on the stage. She has succeeded 

in opera and in concert, having "arrived" 

at an age when most singers are still in* 
the midst of their studies. A serious 
student in her art, untiring in her efforts 
to advance, she has mastered the singing 
of songs and their interpretation as few 
singers have at the end of a long career. 
The possessor of a beautiful voice, a con 
tralto of rare quality, she is equally for 
tunate in her personality. She is beauti 
ful and has a stage presence of charm and 
dignity. She seems to radiate wholesome- 
ness, sanity, right thinking and right do 
ing. 

Sophie Braslau does not, like many 
great singers, merely sing beautifully: her voice gives every deli- 

395 




396 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

cate shade of emotion and poetic value. In this she is like Chalia- 
pin, Buffo, and Bori. With their voices alone they are able to give 
us the emotions and the dreams of the composer even as Pavlova 
interprets them with her exquisite body. 

She sings with perfect diction, in addition to her native Eng 
lish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Hebrew, some 
of her songs in ancient Hebrew and modern Jewish being among 
the most remarkable things she does. 

Having a voice of uncommon range and flexibility, her musical 
repertory is much more comprehensive than that of most singers. 
Although her voice is a true alto in its lower register of the true 
diapason quality which one always hopes to hear and so seldom 
does,it carries easily to high B flat, and the entire literature of the 
mezzo-soprano is within its range. 

One of the most distinguished successes that Sophie Braslau 
has had in her brilliant career was the performance of the title- 
role of Bizet's "Carmen" at Ravinia Park in Chicago. The part 
was written for a mezzo-soprano and its tessitura is high, so that 
it says much for the wide range of Braslau's voice that she was able 
to sing it without any difficulty whatsoever. On the contrary, she 
sang it with consummate ease and gave the music a warmth and 
glow of color which only a rich voice such as hers can impart. Her 
singing, for instance, of the "Habanera" always stirs an audience 
to great enthusiasm. 

When the King of Belgium was visiting New York in 1920, it 
was Sophie Braslau who was chosen to greet him with her songs. 

Pitts Sanborn, one of New York's chief critics, regards her as 
"one of the exceptional singers of our day." W. J. Henderson 
characterized her voice as "one of the most beautiful voices now 
before the public." 

The Braslau tone quality is exceedingly pleasing, pure, and 
robust, and projected as only the seasoned concert artist can pro 
ject it. 

The only child of Dr. Abel and Alexandra Braslau (nee 
Goodelman), who emigrated to America many years ago, Sophie, 
who was born on August 16, 1892, in New York City, of Russian 
parentage, received her general education in the public schools of 
New York, at the Wadleigh High School, and from private tutors. 
She started her musical work at the age of six, devoting herself to 
the piano. It was not until several years later that she began her 
vocal studies. In 1910 she took voice lessons with Buzzi-Peccia, 
studying for three years with him. Since 1913 she studied with 
Gabriele Sibella. That same year she made her debut with the 
Metropolitan Opera Company when she played the role of Feodor 
in "Boris Godounoff" (with Didur as Boris), following which she 
appeared in leading contralto roles, creating the role of "Shane- 
wis" in 1918, at the premiere of Cadmaij's opera. 



Singers 



397 



Her concert debut was made in 1913, when at short notice she 
replaced Mme Homer as soloist of the Kichmond Festival, imme 
diately gaining recognition for her splendid singing. 

Following this introduction, she has appeared in concert and 
recital throughout the United States, being heard with such leading 
organizations as the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia, the New 
York, and Cincinnati Symphonies, and many others, as well as at 
the important festivals, including the Worcester, Ann Arbor, and 
Cincinnati festivals. 

She finally decided to devote herself to concert-recitals and ap 
pearances with symphony orchestras. 



CHARLES DALMORES 

ONE NEVER knows when the Muse is going to touch one on the 
shoulder and show one how one should go. Giuseppe Campanari, 
the great baritone, began his musical career as a 'cellist, as did 

Toscanini and Campanini, the greatest 
Italian conductors. Charles Dalmores, 
the eminent French tenor, jumped from 
obscurity to prominence by forsaking the 
French horn and 'cello. 
'. It is perhaps not generally known 
that this illustrious tenor began his mu 
sical life as a student of the violin, 'cello 
and French horn. When he was twenty- 
three years of age he became a professor 
at the Conservatoire at Lyons, where he 
gave lessons on the violin and French 
horn. "When I was teaching," he says, 
"I considered myself rich if I made two 
dollars a day. It is to M. Dauphin, the 
celebrated basso, that I owe my position today. He had sung at 
Covent Garden for fifteen years, and had heard me singing snatches 
of music to my pupils. He pointed out a new road to me." 

Charles Dalmores was born in Nancy, France, on January 1, 
1872. His musical instruction commenced at the age of six. He 
studied first at the Conservatoire at Nancy, intending to make a 
specialty of the violin. For a time he also studied the 'cello and 
managed to acquire a very creditable technique upon that instru 
ment. 

Then he had the misfortune of breaking one of his arms. It 
was then he decided that it would be better to study another in- 





398 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

strument. He chose the French horn. This he did with much suc 
cess. At the age of fourteen he already 
played second horn in a theatre at Nancy. 
With the financial help of some citizens 
of his native town, he entered the Con 
servatoire at Paris, where he studied 
very hard and succeeded in winning the 
first prize for playing the French horn. 
For a time he played under Colonne, and 
from 1878 to 1894 he played in Paris 
with Lamoreux Orchestra. 

All this time he had his heart set 
upon becoming a singer, but the very 
mention of the fact that he desired to 
become a singer was met with ridicule by 
his friends, who evidently thought that 
it was a form of fanaticism. 

Notwithstanding the success he met with his instruments, he 
was confronted with the fact that he had before him the life of a 
poor musician. His salary was low, and there were few, if any, 
opportunities to make extra money, outside of his regular work 
with the orchestra. 

In his military service he played in the band of an infantry 
regiment, and when he told his companions and friends that he 
aspired to be a great singer some day, they greeted his declaration 
with howls of laughter, and pointed out the fact that he was already 
along in years and had an established profession. 

At the age of twenty-three he found himself appointed Pro 
fessor of the French horn at the Conservatory of Lyons. 

It is of interest to mention that Dalmores tried a few times to 
enter the classes for singing at Paris. His voice was apparently 
liked, but he was refused admission upon the basis that he was too 
good a musician to waste his time in becoming an inferior singer. 
"Goodness gracious!" he exclaimed in an interview. "Where 
is musicianship needed more than in the case of a singer? This 
amused me, and I resolved to bide my time." 

Where there is a will, there is usually a way. He devised all 
sorts of "home-made" exercises to improve his voice as he thought 
best. He listened to singers and tried to get the best points from 
them. 

"I played in opera orchestras whenever I had a chance, and 
thus became acquainted with the famous roles. One eye was on 
the music and the other was on the stage. During the rests I 
dreamed of the time when I might become a singer like those over 
the footlights." 
-" Gradually, if unconsciously, he was paving the way for the great 



Singers 399 

opportunity of his life. It came in the form of an experienced 
teacher, Dauphin, who had been a basso for ten years at the lead 
ing theatre of Belgium, fourteen years in London, and later direc 
tor at Geneva and Lyons. He also received the appointment of 
Professor at the Lyons Conservatory. 

"One day/' he says, "Dauphin heard me singing and inquired 
who I was. Then he came in my room and said to me, 'How much 
do you get here for teaching and playing?" I proudly replied, 
'Six thousand francs a year.' Then he said, 'You shall study with 
me and some day you shall earn as much as six thousand francs a 
month/ " 

Dalmores could hardly believe that the opportunity he had 
waited for so long had come ! 

Dauphin had him come to his house, where he gave him lessons 
free of charge. 

Besides studying with Dauphin he also studied in opera reper 
toire with Franz Emerich in Berlin. He was also a prize pupil of 
the Paris Conservatoire, where, as it is known, he was at first 
refused admission to the singing classes. They found that he was 
"too good a musician to waste his time becoming a mediocre 
singer." 

During the first Winter he studied no less than six operas. 
During the second, he mastered one opera each month, and at the 
same time did all his regular work, studying and improving his 
voice, disregarding the foolish remarks of his pessimistic advisers. 

"I sang in a church and also sang in a synagogue to keep up my 
income/' he says. "All the time I had to put up with the sarcasm 
of my colleagues, who seemed to think, like many others, that the 
calling of the singer was one demanding little musicianship, and 
tried to make me see that in giving up the French horn and pro 
fessorship at the Conservatoire I would be abandoning a dignified 
career for that of a species of musicianship which at that time was 
not supposed to demand any special musical training. 

"I, however, determined to become a different kind of a singer. 
I had a feeling that the more good music I knew the better would 
be my work in opera. I wish that all singers could see this. Many 
singers live in a little world all of their own. They know the music 
of the footlights, but there their experience ends. Every symphony 
I have played has been molded into my life experience in such a 
way that it cannot help being reflected in my work/' 

After long and hard study, he finally made his successful debut 
as a singer in Rouen, in 1899. Later he sang at the Theatre de la 
Monnaie, Brussels, Covent Garden, etc. His American debut he 
made in 1906 at the Manhattan Opera House, under Oscar Ham- 
merstein, when that theatre was opened. There he remained till 
1911, after which he went for several seasons to the Chicago Grand 
Opera Company. 



400 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

On January 3, 1908, he sang Jullen in "Louise" at the Man 
hattan Opera House, New York. One critic said: "Dalmores' 
voice was frequently of compelling beauty. The French tenor was 
in good form and, especially in his dramatic singing of the Aria, 
proved himself well adapted, both vocally and temperamentally." 

Another critic said: "His 'Julien' is of individual, complete 
and powerful characterization." 

Of all music, that which most appeals to Dalmores is Wag 
ner's. He says it is the most difficult, but also the most superb. 
But of all he loved to sing was Julien in Charpentier's "Louise" 
perhaps dearest to his heart because it could not but bring back the 
old, passed happy days when he and Charpentier were together. 

Charles Dalmores is regarded as one of the most distin 
guished tenors now living. His reputation is widespread, for he 
has excited admiration in Bayreuth, Vienna, P'aris, Italy, the United 
States and most of the chief cities of Europe. His voice is a noble 
organ, manly, tender, and always sympathetic. He sings with 
great skill and always as a musician, and he is an accomplished 
and impressive actor. 



LEOPOLD DEMUTH 

DURING THE Bayreuth Festivals in 1899 a young baritone of the Im 
perial Vienna Opera, Leopold Demuth, attracted wide attention. 
He sang with extraordinary success Hans Sachs in the "Meister- 
singer," and the hunter in the last part of the "Niebelungen King." 
The beauty and resonance of his voice charmed all connoisseurs 
and lovers of singing. 

Leopold Demuth was born on November 2, 1861, in Briinn, 
Czechoslovakia. He received his musical education under Pro 
fessor Hensbacher in Vienna, and tried his luck for the first time 
at the Halle City Theatre, and at the Queen's Opera in Berlin. In 
1891 he was engaged by the Leipzig Stadttheater, where he soon 
showed himself in full glory. From Leipzig, Demuth went to Ham 
burg, where he soon established a reputation as a first-rate artist 
by his singing of "Wolfram," in which he made his debut there on 
September 1, 1896. 

His playing in "Der Fliegende Hollaender," "Kurwenal," "Graf 
Almaviva," "Don Juan," "Rigoletto," and others, were masterly 
creations of their kind. Gustav Mahler immediately engaged him 
for the Vienna opera when he first heard him. There he made a 
colossal success, and soon became Vienna's favorite singer. He 
died on March 4, 1910, in Bernowitz. 




Singers 401 



ELLEN DALOSSY ' 

ELLEN DALOSSY is a young soprano from Prague. She comes from 
the land which gave birth to Maria Jeritza and Emmy Destinn. 
As a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York, 

she has sung many roles with success 
and is considered a most valuable mem 
ber. She is also an excellent linguist, 
speaking most of the dialects of Central 
Europe, besides French, Italian, and Ger 
man. Her musical training was with the 
best masters in both Berlin and Milan. 
For several years she studied with Nicho 
las Rothmuhl in Berlin. At fifteen she 
made her debut in "Haensel and Gretel," 
after which she sang in many parts of 
Germany and Austria, from where she 
went again to Milan to study with Sibella. 
Dalossy came to America in 1917 
for the German production of "May- 
time," in which she made such a success that the Shuberts 
(famous theatrical managers) made her a most flattering 
offer. She refused it in order to join the Metropolitan Opera 
Company. She was cast to create an important part in the 
operatic version of "The Blue Bird." Since the revival in 1921 
of "Boris Godounoff" with Chaliapin, Miss Dalossy has sung the 
role of the Princess in that opera with great charm and feeling. 

Ellen Dalossy is one of the most promising of the younger sing 
ers of today, one who can look forward with confidence to a brilliant 
future. 



SELMA KURZ 

SELMA KURZ, one of the most outstanding coloratura sopranos of 
the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, was born in Bic- 
litz, Silesia. 

A great figure in her day, she made her debut at the Frankf urt- 
on-Main Opera House. Subsequently, she sang with great success 
in all the large centers of Europe and America. At the Vienna 
Hofoper she sang under Gustave Mahler, whose special favorite 
she was, and who contributed largely to her great advance and 
successes. 




402 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

NANETTE GUILPORD 

A NEW name to the concert stage but one already prominent at the 
Metropolitan Opera House of New York is that of Nanette Guil- 
ford, the young American soprano who attained eminence at the 

age at which many singers have not yet 
made their debut. At the opera house, 
she is called the "baby." Nanette was 
only eighteen when she joined that cele 
brated organization, but she has already 
had triumphs which many a more experi 
enced artist might be glad to claim. Her 
career shatters the old tradition that 
great singers must be made in Europe, 
for Guilf ord is wholly American in birth 
and training. 

The young soprano was born in New 
York City in 1906, and was educated 
there, principally under private tutors. 
Piano playing and a fluent command of 
French, German, Italian, and Spanish were some of her early ac 
complishments which stood her in good stead as it became evident 
that she was to be a singer. Her voice is a heritage from her 
mother, and she is the first in her family to appear in public on the 
stage. 

Her voice won recognition when she sang at a war benefit, and 
she was engaged immediately, at the age of sixteen, for a musical 
production. The young artist's goal, however, was the Metropoli 
tan Opera House, and she abandoned the field of light music in 
order to prepare herself for the opportunity which was soon to 
come. With this purpose, she undertook serious study under the 
guidance of Albert Clark Jeannote, and with him studied for two 
years. An audition was then arranged for her at the Metropolitan, 
and a contract followed shortly afterwards. Like most young sing 
ers, Guilf ord had a start with minor roles, but it was not long be 
fore she was singing such important parts as Musetta in "La Bo- 
heme," Micaela in "Carmen," and Olga in Giordano's "Fedora." 
Guilford's voice is a treasure emphatically worth possessing, 
and her use of it is skillful and artistic. It is a rich soprano of 
great range, and capable of all manner of tonal coloring. As an 
interpreter of song she is versatile and accomplished, and whatever 
that indispensable and indefinable quality of "personality" is, Guil- 
f ord has it in abundance. She is not only a beautiful young woman, 
but her charm communicates itself easily and naturally to her 
audience. 



Singers 403 

During the season of 1925, Guilford was heard as Juliette in 
Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette," and as Nora Burke in Perollo's "La 
Veglia," which she sang at a performance given privately for the 
Manufacturers' Trust Company. She made her concert debut in 
New York on February 10, 1925, in the Town Hall, when she was 
assisted at the piano by Giuseppe Bamboschek, conductor of the 
Metropolitan. She was also heard in Boston on March 16, 1926, 
as soloist with Vannini's Symphony Ensemble at a concert given 
under the auspices of the Boston Athletic Association. 

She won a triumph as the star of "Cena del Beffe," produced 
in New York at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1925. 

"I much prefer tragic roles to coquettish ones/' she says. "I 
am never so happy as I am when I am sad, portraying the Micaela 
or Juliette. Perhaps it is because my life has always been so full of 
joy that I must find an outlet for emotions never experienced. 
Perhaps I read too many morbid Russian novels or Schopenhauer 
and Nietzsche. But such harrowing literature does not affect my 
life in any manner. I go on being jolly and carefree. It is only 
when the blue footlights cast their reflection over me and it is my 
turn to break the stillness of the audience with a melancholy aria 
that my pessimistic reading, on the fringe of my consciousness, 
comes to the fore and aids me in a sincere expression of tragedy." 

Her favorite role is Manon, because it involves such a mixture 
of conflicting characteristics, variety of moods and strange blend 
of love and wickedness. "It is fun to play being wicked," she con 
fesses, "and I sometimes think I should like to help Micaela win 
back her lover's affections. As you see, I have a dreadful imagina 
tion and sense of the dramatic/' American drama is her chief 
delight, next to the opera. "I have never been abroad to study and 
I am proud of it," she says. "I was born in New York and have 
lived there all my life, and ever since I was six years old I have 
been going regularly to the theater. I used to think I could watch 
it grow, and several years ago when Eugene O'Neil came to the 
fore I waxed very eloquent in my youthful praises." 

Most of Guilf ord's spare time has been spent in studying Ger 
man, as her aim is to enlarge her repertoire to include leading roles 
in Wagnerian music dramas. 

Walking through New York's famous Central Park on a warm 
sunny day, one may pass this golden-haired girl who dwells as a 
soul apart. "Only once in a while I get into a mood of solitude," 
says Nanette. "I am not chronically 'the melancholy Jacques.' 
When I walk and philosophize I really do it because it tickles my 
vanity. One part of me always stands a little distance away and 
"watches " 

Miss Guilford, already at the peak of her career, will probably 
remain there or rise even higher, due to her intelligence, ambition, 
and the modesty so necessary in a young artist. 



404 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




ALMA GLUCK 

ALMA GLUCK is one of the most succesesf ul of the newer school of 
American singers. She made her debut in New York City at the 
New Theater in 1909 as Sophie in "Werther." The story of her 

rise to celebrity is most interesting. 

Alma Gluck was born in Bucharest, 
Roumania, in 1886, and came with her 
parents to New York when a small child. 
Her maiden name was Eeba Fierson, 
and she is said to have been employed as 
a stenographer in the office of a young 
lawyer in New York previous to her mar 
riage with Mr. Gluck, which took place 
when she was still quite young. It is 
said that one summer, when she was in 
the Adirondack Mountains, in New York 
State, her singing as an amateur at 
tracted the attention of a gentleman, who 
advised her to go to Signor Buzzi-Pecia 
for lessons. This she did, but with no idea of an operatic career. 
She merely wanted to learn to sing well, and with that idea worked 
hard. In three years she had a repertory of ten operas. In 1909 
her teacher suggested that she sing for Mr. Gatti-Casazza, general 
manager of the Metropolitan Opera House. To her surprise he 
offered her a contract for five years at the Metropolitan Opera 
House, which she at once accepted. 

During her first season at the celebrated institution she sang 
eleven different roles, appearing in "Boheme," "Pique Dame," 
"Stradella," "Orfeo," "Maestro di Cappella," "The Bartered 
Bride," "Faust," "Rheingold," and others. Her opportunity to 
sing "Marguerite" at Baltimore came about through the illness of 
Mme. Alda. 

Constant demands for appearances on the concert platform 
induced Gluck, as is the case of her colleague and close friend, 
Sophie Braslau, to abandon the operatic boards and devote her 
entire attention to that field. 

Possessing a tone of rare, penetrating quality, smooth and easy 
in production, and full of that "soulfulness" which is the heritage 
of the Jewish people, she is furthermore an interpreter of extraor 
dinary intelligence, and finds a response among the laymen as well 
as the cognoscenti. She is particularly happy in her rendition of 
airs of the country of her adoption, and in this field stands to this 
day without a peer. It has become a tradition after the presenta- 



Singers 405 

tion of her regular program for her to seat herself at the piano and 
sing such tunes as "Annie Laurie/' "My Old Kentucky Home/' and 
other airs dear to American hearts. 

Alma Gluck is a woman of charm, intelligence, and culture. In 
1915, after divorcing her first husband, she married the celebrated 
Russian violinist, Efrem Zimbalist, who often appeared with her 
as her accompanist. Mme. Gluck-Zimbalist is the happy mother of 
three children, the oldest of whom, a girl, was married in 1924. 
Having devoted much of her time to the education of her children, 
Mme. Gluck has for several years neglected her concert appear 
ances, but in 1925 again appeared in New York City and on tour. 

Alma Gluck and Zimbalist make their home in New York City. 
Their home is the center of that city's aristocratic, musical, and 
cultured circles. 



ARNOLD GABOR 

ARNOLD GABOR, baritone of the Metropolitan Opera House in New 
York, was born in Budapest, and studied singing in Berlin and in 
Italy, his art being a blending of two schools. 

He made his first appearance in 1912 
at the Opera in his native city, after 
which followed many appearances in 
Germany in 1915. He sang there until 
1923, when he was engaged for the Met 
ropolitan Opera Company in New York. 
Gabor is the possessor of a beautiful 
voice. Critics declare him to be a true 
artist with a voice of genuine operatic 
quality. 

His popularity is not confined to his 
operatic roles at the Metropolitan. He 
is also in great demand as a concert 
singer in recitals throughout the 
country. 




406 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 
ISIDOR GEORG HENSCHEL (Sir George) 

HENSCHEL BELONGS to the group of great singers of our time excel 
ling particularly in oratorio and concert. At the same time he is 
one of the leading conductors and composers. His powerful, sym 
pathetic and pleasant baritone produces a particularly deep impres 
sion in oratorio, a field in which he remains to this day almost with 
out a peer. Henschel is hailed everywhere as being of refined, cul 
tured taste. 

Isidor Georg Henschel was born on February 18, 1850, in Bres- 
lau, the mother city of the Damrosches, Otto Klemperer, and other 
great musicians. From 1867 to 1870 he was at the Leipzig Conser 
vatory, where he studied singing under Franz Gotze and theory 
with Richter. His further education Henschel received in Berlin 
under the guidance of Adolph Schulze (in singing) and Friedrich 
Kiel (in composition). 

In 1879 he settled in London, where he became professor of 
singing at the Royal College of Music. He revealed his talents as 
conductor when he brilliantly conducted the symphony concerts in 
Boston from 1881 to 1884, after which he returned to England 
(1885) to direct the London Symphony Concerts until 1896. He 
was also first conductor of the Scottish Orchestra in Glasgow. In 
1890 he became a naturalized Britisher. His services in the cause 
of English music were duly appreciated by King George V, who 
knighted him in 1914. Sir George developed into one of the most 
cultured musicians of his generation. 

His first wife was Lilian June Bailey, a popular concert singer 
(born on January 17, 1860, in Ohio; died November 5, 1901, in 
London). She was a pupil of her uncle, Charles Hayden, and 
Mme Viardot-Garcia, and later of her future husband, whom she 
married in 1881, accompanying him on her concert tours. Their 
daughter, Helen, sang soprano, but retired on her marriage to W.- 
Onslow Ford. 

Following is a list of Henschel's compositions: Canon suite 
for string orchestra; Psalm 103, for chorus, soli, and orchestra; 
Stabat Mater (Birmingham Festival, 1894) ; Hamlet Music (Lon 
don, 1892) ; the operas, "A Sea Change" (Love's Stowaway, 1884) ; 
"Frederick the Fair" and "Nubia," both performed in Dresden in 
1899; "Requiem/' opus 59 (1903) ; String quartet in E flat major, 
opus 55 ; many songs for solo and choruses, etc. 

Aside from musical works, Henschel also wrote Personal Recol 
lections of Brahms (1907), and his own reminiscences, under the 
title Musings and Memories of a Musician (1918). Sir George 
Henschel has resided for many years in Scotland at Allt-na-Criche, 
Aviemore. 




Singers 407 



HERMANN JADLOWKER. 

HERMANN JADLOWKER, who first appeared at the New York Met 
ropolitan Opera House on January 22, 1910, as Faust, was born 
in Riga in 1879, and was intended by his father for a busi 
ness career. This was not quite in ac 
cordance with the views of the youth, 
who accordingly fled from Russia. He 
was then but fifteen years of age. He 
succeeded in reaching Vienna, where he 
became a pupil of Ganse. Later he con 
tinued his studies in Italy, and eventually 
secured an engagement at Cologne, when 
he was twenty years of age, taking a 
small part in a German opera, "The 
Night Watch of Granada." 

He later sang for a short time in 
Stettin, but first attracted attention by 
his work at Karlsruhe, where Emperor 
William heard him and invited him to 
sing at the Royal Opera House in Berlin. A contract for five years 
Resulted. This was followed by a similar contract at Vienna, 
through the help of the Grand Duke of Baden. 

Triumph followed triumph all over Germany, England, France, 
and other continental countries. 

From 1910 to 1913 he sang with the Metropolitan Opera for 
three successive seasons, gaining a reputation as one of the fore 
most dramatic tenors that had ever reached these shores. 

Jadlowker is thoroughly schooled in the finer ways of music 
drama. His supple figure and attractive face serve him well in 
romantic parts. His movements are free, his gestures intelligent, 
and h avoids the trite conventionalities of operatic pose. He 
truly sings, with justice to intonation, with heed to melodic design, 
with musical shapeliness of phrase, with unforced and intelligently 
ordered quality of tone. 

In 1912 Jadlowker left the Metropolitan Opera Company, hav 
ing been engaged by the Royal Opera in Berlin. His contract was 
said to be for five years, and his salary the largest ever paid in 
Germany to a tenor. Yet it was intimated that by the terms of 
his contract he might be able to return to the Metropolitan in 1914. 
But war intervened and Jadlowker has not been in America since. 
While in New York, Jadlowker created the chief tenor parts in 
the American premieres of Humperdinck's "Konigskinder" (1910) 
and Thriller's "Lobetanz" (1911), 



408 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 




Paul Kalisch and his wife, 
Lilli Lehmann 



PAUL KALISCH 

IN 1882, at a soiree at the houses of Paul Lindau, Paul Kalisch 
sang in the presence of Adelina Patti, Nicolini, Albert Neuman, 
and others. The famous Pollini, also a guest at the soiree, rang 

Kalisch's bell at eight o'clock the follow 
ing morning with a five-year contract in 
his pocket, which he offered to Paul, and 
which the youth accepted immediately, 
forsaking architecture to devote himself 
to Orpheus. He promptly went to Milan, 
where he studied under Leoni, and made 
his debut in 1888, in the part of Edgard 
in "Lucia," in Varese. The debut brought 
him engagements at all the large thea 
tres in Italy. He sang at Milan, Flor 
ence, Venice, Rome, Naples and Barce 
lona. Following that he went to Berlin, 
where he played Raoul in "Les Hugue 
nots." His excellent interpretation in 
duced von Gulsen to engage him for the 
court opera. His singing in "The Hu 
guenots" and "Traviata" made such an impression that he was 
engaged for five years. In Berlin he met Lili Lehman, with whom 
he went to London. There they appeared at Her Majesty's Thea 
tre in the parts of Florence and Alfred. They became engaged in 
London and were married in America in 1888. 

Kalisch's famous wife, who undoubtedly had a great influence 
over her husband's artistic development, appeared during their 
early meeting in Berlin as a colorature soprano. Not till they were 
in America did she begin her career as a dramatic artist in Wag 
ner's operas. Both wife and husband remained in the United 
States for six winter seasons, also touring the larger cities in con 
cert, arousing everywhere great enthusiasm by their splendid voices 
and artistic singing. Upon Kalisch's return to Europe, he sang in 
Vienna, Budapest, Paris, London, Cologne, and Wiesbaden, later 
signing a contract with Julius Hoffman as singer of "heroic" parts. 
Kalisch's best roles were considered to be Tannhauser, Tristan, 
Florestan, Raoul, Otello and Eleazar. He helped considerably in 
spreading the gospel of Wagnerian opera. 

Paul Kalisch was born in Berlin on May 6, 1855. His father, 
David Kalisch, was a composer of modern couplets and farces. 

In Wiesbaden, where Kalisch often sang at court, the Emperor 
presented him with a diamond pin. He was also honored with the 
title of Kammersanger by Duke Ernst Saxen von Altenburg. 



Singers 



409 




ALEXANDER KIPNIS 

ALEXANDER KIPNIS, the famous bass-baritone of the Chicago Civic 
Opera Company, was born in Zhitomir, Southern Russia, in 1890. 
The story of his life and his early struggles afford an interesting 

insight into the obstacles he surmounted 
before he reached his present rank among 
the great singers. Kipnis says of him 
self: 

"My parents were very poor, but they 
gave me the best education possible un 
der the circumstances. They were not 
musical ; in fact, music in any phase was 
unknown in our home. Until I reached 
the age of sixteen, I had not even seen a 
piano. What I did see was poverty, dis 
tress and hunger (of which my native 
Russia can tell so many heart-rending 
tales). Hunger made me sing; hunger 
was the tyrant that brought forth the 
singer. When I was twelve years old, my father died and I was 
forced to carry on his business (he was a merchant) . I could not 
endure this long. The longing for music became stronger and took 
possession of my body and soul. I ran away from home and joined 
a small Russian opera company which traveled from one province 
to another. I was happy as long as I could breathe the air of the 
theatre. I fell in love with the Daughter of the director, but it was 
an unrequited affection. My life during this period alternated be 
tween sorrows, hunger and work work in every branch that a 
small company demands. I was ticket-taker, wardrobe master, 
stage-hand, wigmaker, singer, and actor. Finally, the police inter 
fered with us, and our troupe disbanded. Again I faced hunger. I 
reached Warsaw, studied music there and sang in the choirs, not to 
become an artist, but only to earn money to live and study further. 
I was graduated from the Conservatorium as conductor. Then my 
voice was"discovered. I took the first train out of Warsaw, allowing 
it to assume the responsibility of my further fate. Its destination 
was Berlin. There I studied four years with Grenzebach. 

"The World War broke out and I was put under arrest. In 1915 
I signed up for my first engagements in Hamburg, and during five 
years there and at the Royal Opera House in Wiesbaden I gathered 
my opera experience and successes." 

After this period, Kipnis appeared in concert in Berlin. His 
first appearance created a sensation. Henceforth, he was a favorite 



410 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

soloist at all the great concerts in Berlin. He sang under the direc 
tion of Nikisch, Weingartner, and Furtwangler, the latter acting as 
his accompanist at a concert at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. 

In 1922, as a member of the Berlin Opera, Kipnis made his first 
great tour over the United States under the auspices of the, Wagner 
Festival Company, associated with Leo Blech. The New York press 
was unanimous in its praise of Kipnis as an artist of unusual ability. 
The prominent critics, among them W. J. Henderson, compared his 
voice to that of Eduard de Keszke. It was at this time that Mary 
Garden and Georgio Polacco of the Chicago Civic Opera heard the 
great baritone. Kipnis was immediately engaged for their organ 
ization, of which he is at present one of its most valued members. 
Since his appearance with this organization he has been dividing his 
time and talent between the United States and Germany, where he 
sings every season. 

Kipnis, in reviewing his life, his childhood, his early struggles 
and hardships, and later achievements, voices the opinion that it 
was not accident which mapped out a singer's career for him. To 
use his own words, "It is never by accident that singers become 
singers. Singers are born." 

His roles with the Chicago Opera Company during the season of 
1925-26 have included Ochs in "Der Rosenkavalier," Wotan in "Die 
Walkiire," Escamillo in "Carmen," the Cardinal in "The Jewess," 
Arkel in "Pelleas et Melisande," King Henry in "Lohengrin," and 
Albert in "Werther." During the summer of 1925 he married Miss 
Mildred Levy of Chicago, daughter of Heniot Levy, the noted 
pianist. 

Kipnis is a great concert favorite in America and frequently 
concertizes throughout the great musical centers of both continents 
between his operatic appearances. He is frequently compared to 
Chaliapin. 

After a concert appearance in San Francisco on April 24, 1925, 
the Daily Herald said that "Kipnis got and deserved an ovation for 
his four Russian folk songs: 'The Rainbow/ 'The Log/ 'The 
Night/ and the well known 'Volga Boatsong/ He revealed last 
night a far finer artistry, a much greater depth of feeling than in 
his previous appearances. As an encore he sang Schubert's 'Seren 
ade' and made of it a thing glorious almost beyond recognition." 

In June, 1925, Kipnis gave a series of concerts in Berlin with 
the utmost success. Later he concertized with the same results 
in Paris and other European centers. On March 18, 1926, he gave 
one of his New York recitals in Aeolian Hall and was enthusiasti 
cally received. 

Kipnis has one of the most lovely voices now being heard either 
in concert or in opera. Its lower register is a true bass, the upper 
register is like a baritone. Its range is very wide. He sings the 



Singers 411 

lightest and purest pianissimo as well as the strongest and heaviest 
fortissimo with equal ease and no loss of beauty. What is equally 
if not more important is that Kipnis has a real musical gift. What 
he does by way of interpretation could never be learned were the 
musicianship, the temperament, and the gift of strong feeling not 
inborn. He accomplishes the highest vocation of art, which is to 
communicate feeling. Kipnis' voice is most wonderful material 
in the most cultured state. He has excellent taste, to which is added 
the gift of penetrating to the core of the significance of his songs. 

ISA KREMER 

ISA KREMER, widely known as the "International Ballad Singer," 
is a unique figure on the concert stage today. No other living singer 
brings so much vividness, realism, and charm to her interpreta 
tions as does this inimitable singer. Gift 
ed with great histrionic qualities, her 
concert presentations assume a lifelike- 
ness that is altogether lacking in the 
interpretations of her more stiff and con 
ventional colleagues of the concert plat 
form. 

Miss Kremer is particularly happy in 
her Jewish, Italian, and Russian songs, 
although she is equally great in the other 
languages in which she thrills her audi 
ences. She cannot help feeling at home 
in every language, cannot help respond 
ing to the throb of every nation's tune. 
Odessa, her native town, has a tradition 
that is an embroidery of many cultures. There was ? a time when 
even the street-tablets there were printed in Italian as well as Rus 
sian; the theater was Italian, the first newspaper French. 

No wonder then that her singing carries her vast audiences in 
all parts of the world back to their native lands. Possessed of a 
voice that is not of extraordinary range or volume, she succeeds in 
extracting so much feeling from the music by her profound grasp 
of its significance. No "golden voiced" prima-donna receives 
greater applause. 

At the age of seventeen Isa Kremer left Odessa for Italy, where 
she studied in Milan with the famous Professor Ronzi. Four years 
later she made her debut as Mimi in "La Boheme." Called back to 
Russia, she sang the title role in "Yolande," Tatiana in "Eugene 
Onegin," Marta in "The Czar's Bride," Madame Butterfly, 
Manon, etc. 




412 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

In 1916 at the apogee of her success she abandoned the opera 
for the concert field. Her debut in Moscow made her celebrated all 
over Russia. Her career since then has been one repetition after 
another of the first success. She left Russia in 1919, sang in many 
European capitals, and came to America in October, 1922. Those 
who were in Carnegie Hall on that occasion will never forget this 
marvelous and unique afternoon. The critics declared her a true 
artist with a voice of real operatic quality, rich and expressive. 

Isa Kremer is now living in New York, where she is one of the 
most popular artists before the public. 



HULDA LASHANSKA 

A PUPIL of Marcella Sembrich and a devoted admirer of the lovely 
art of that great singer, Hulda Lashanska, is accounted more than 
any other singer of our day the best example of the fine traditions 

of the art of bel canto. 

Like her great teacher, Madame 
Lashanska has thoroughly studied the 
ancient classical airs of the older Italian 
composers. 

She has a voice of pure and limpid 
beauty and fine musicianship, recalling 
Mme Emma Eames. 

Lashanska's recitals in New York, 
which are an annual event, are always a 
signal for the outpouring of one of New 
York's choicest audiences. Musicians 
and singers are there in full force, paint 
ers, sculptors, writers, and men of the 
professions as well as the most distin 
guished amateurs in music that the city possesses. No singer since 
Sembrich has been able to gather an audience of such quality. 

^ This brilliant American soprano has sung with most of the 
principal orchestras of America, for she is one of the rare lyric 
sopranos whose repertoire is such that she can "fit into" a sym 
phony programme. It so happened that Lashanska's appearance 
with the Philadelphia Orchestra was at the same pair of concerts 
where Mengelberg was the conductor, and even the excitement 
caused by that notable leader did not prevent due credit being given 
to the lovely art of the singer. 

Hulda Lashanska was born in New York of well-to-do parents 
and was fortunate in having no financial struggles. But she had 




Singers 413 

nearly all the other difficulties which beset the paths of ambitious 
would-be singers. Her parents objected to her becoming a musi 
cian. As a young girl she had visions of a career as a pianist and 
worked arduously for several years to that end. With the rapid 
development of her voice, she felt she would prefer to become a 
singer, and the piano was degraded from a "major" to a "minor" 
in her list of studies. But the work she did as a girl was not 
wasted. It gave her a thorough foundation in musicianship which 
has been of inestimable value to her in her art. This musicianship 
is apparent in every measure she sings. 

Hulda Lashanska is thoroughly American, being trained en 
tirely in this country. The girl was the favorite pupil of the great 
diva Sembrich, who gave a private concert in Aeolian Hall for "my 
best pupil." 

That was really the beginning of Lashanska's brilliant career. 
The next season she made her formal debut in New York and was 
most warmly received. Before another season had passed she was 
singing with the principal orchestras and giving song recitals to 
crowded houses was in fact a great artist, secure in her position. 

Hulda Lashanska was forced to absent herself from the concert 
stage for nearly a year. But during this time she never ceased to 
study and to practice. On March of 1925 she made an appearance 
as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski con 
ducting, in Philadelphia. 

Lashanska brings to the stage an uncommon charm and grace 
of manner. There is a refinement, a delicacy of feeling, and an 
artistry which is fully up to the standards of the most outstanding 
singers of today. Her voice is clear and fresh, and she has the 
vim and fervor of youth. 



PAULINE LUCCA 

PAULINE LUCCA, who was in her days a star of the very first mag 
nitude in the operatic firmament, was aptly designated by Oettin- 
ger a "prima-donna di primo cartello." So great was her fame 
and so mighty her powers, that Meyerbeer composed especially 
for her "his immortal and perhaps most popular opera, "Le Pro- 
phete." It was undoubtedly due to Lucca's great vocal and histri 
onic powers that this opera at once established itself in the favor 
of countless audiences. To this day it remains the favorite French 
opera of the modern repertory. 

Pauline Lucca was born in Vienna on April 25, 1841, and re 
ceived her vocal and musical training from Uffmann and Levy, in 
Vienna. For practical experience, she joined the chorus of the 



414 



Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



Hofoper, while continuing her studies. In 1859, she was leader of 
the Jungfern chorus in Weber's "Freischiitz." She first appeared 
in solo parts at Olmiitz, during the same year, and immediately 
afterwards appeared in Prague. In 1861 she was given a life con 
tract with the Berlin Hofoper, and soon became the favorite of the 
Prussian capital. 

Lucca's best roles were in "Don Juan/' "Fra Diavolo," "Car 
men," and "L'Africaine." In 1869 she married the Baron von 
Rhaden, but divorced him two years afterwards, marrying a cer 
tain von Mahlhoffen. 

Lucca broke her Berlin Hofoper contract in 1872, whereupon 
she played and concertized for many years with the utmost success 
in England, America, Paris, St. Petersburg, etc., until 1882. From 
1874 to 1889 she belonged to the Vienna Hofoper, of which she was 
an honorable member. 

The great diva died in Vienna on February 28, 1908. 



LILLI LEHMANN 

LILLI LEHMANN, the famous German dramatic soprano, was born 
in Wurzburg, Germany, on November 24, 1843., She was taught 
singing by her mother (nee Low, of Jewish origin), who was for 
merly a harp player and prima donna at 
Cassel, under Spohr, and was the orig 
inal heroine of several operas written by 
that master. 

Lilli Lehmann's position in the oper 
atic world was not won suddenly. She 
made her first appearance in Prague as 
the First Boy in the "Zauberflote," after 
which she filled engagements in Danzig 
(1868) and Liepzig (1870). In the lat 
ter year she also appeared at the Berlin 
Opera House. In 1876 she was appoint 
ed Imperial Chamber-Singer (Kammer- 
sangerin). 

She now began to sing in Wagner's 
operas, taking the parts of Woglinde and Helmwige. She sang the 
bird music in Wagner's trilogy at Bayreuth. In 1880 she made a 
successful appearance in England as Violetta in "Traviata," and 
again as Philine in "Mignon." She also sang at Her Majesty's 
Theatre for two seasons. In 1884 she went to Covent Garden, and 
made a substantial success as Isolde. The following year she vis 
ited the United States, and for several years was frequently heard 





Singers 415 

in German Opera, acquiring a great reputation. In 1892 she was 
taken ill and returned to Germany. At that time the condition of 
her health was such that it was feared she would never sing again, 
but in 1896 she reappeared and was engaged to sing in Bayreuth, 
where she electrified the world by her magnificent performances. 
One of the critics wrote regarding the event: "Lehmann is the 
greatest dramatic singer alive. Despite the fact that her voice is 

no longer fresh, her art is consummate, 
her tact is so delicate, and her appre 
ciation of the dramatic situation so accu 
rate, that to see her simply in repose is 
keen pleasure." 

Like all the greatest Wagnerian sing 
ers, her reputation was made in work of 
a very different nature. It wasa, indeed, 
because of her ability to sing music of 
the Italian school that she was so high 
ly successful in the Wagner roles, and 
it may be said that her long career is 
sufficient refutation of the oft-repeated 
assertion that Wagner operas rapidly 
wear out a singer's voice. 
In 1888, Lilli Lehmann married Paul Kalisch of Berlin, a highly 
regarded tenor. The marriage took place after an engagement of 
several years and was carried out in a most informal manner in 
New York. Kalisch telegraphed one afternoon to a clergyman to 
the effect that he was coming at five o'clock to be married. The 
clergyman held himself in readiness, the couple arrived promptly, 
and the knot was tied. During the few years of retirement, Frau 
Lehmann-Kalisch resided in Berlin, where she devoted her time 
to teaching the vocal art, but since her Bayreuth appearance in 
1896, she has revisited America, and renewed her former triumphs. 
Walter Damrosch, then a young man, and assistant conductor 
of the New York Metropolitan Opera House, is responsible for first 
bringing Lehmann to America in 1885. A close friendship be 
tween the conductor and the prima donna ensued, and Damrosch 
freely acknowledges in My Musical Life his debt of gratitude for 
the many points of advice she gave him. He says in part : 

"Lilli Lehmann, at that time forty years of age, had sung prin 
cipally the coloratura roles, and with these had made a great local 
reputation throughout Germany and Austria. She had sung the 
First Rhine Maiden at Bayreuth in 1876, and an occasional Elsa in 
"Lohengrin/' but it was not until she came to America that she 
began to sing the Brunhildes and Isoldes which made her one of 
the greatest dramatic sopranos of her time. Curiously enough, she 
insisted on making her first appearance in America as Carmen, a 



416 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

role to which she gave a dramatic, tragic, and rather sombre sig 
nificance, but in which the lighter, coquettish touches were perhaps 
not sufficiently emphasized. 

"Great credit belongs to her for her indomitable will and per 
severance. Nature had not given her originally a dramatic voice. 
It was a wonderfully clear and high coloratura soprano, but by 
persistent practice she developed an ample middle and lower regis 
ter and made it equal to the emotional demands of an Isolde or a 
Brunhilde. 

"Her acting was majestic. In the first act of "Tristan" and in 
the second act of "Gotterdammerung" her anger was like forked 
flashes of lightning. I suppose that her technique of acting would 
be called old-fashioned today, as those were the days of statuesque 
poses, often maintained without change for long stretches of time. 

"On the afternoon of days that she had to sing "Isolde," she 
always sang through the entire role in her rooms with full voice, 
just to make sure that she could do it in the evening. Compare this 
to those delicate prima-donnas who, on the days when they have to 
sing, often speak only in whispers in order that their precious 
vocal cords may not be affected. . . . 

"Having achieved so much through her own energy and tri 
umphed over so many obstacles, she thought that she could similar 
ly transform her husband, Paul Kalisch, from a lyric to a dramatic 
tenor. How she worked over and harassed that poor man! She 
certainly was the stronger of the two, and while his entire inclina 
tion was toward easy and delightful companionship with others, 
she forced him to study and to sing for hours at a stretch, but with 
only partial success as far as his transformation into a real dra 
matic and 'heroic' Wagner tenor was concerned. It simply was not 
in his nature to become 'heroic/ and when, as sometimes happened, 
he committed some blunder, some false entrance while singing 
Siegfried in the "Gotterdammerung," the glances which Brunhilde 
cast upon him on the stage were so terrible, so pregnant with pun 
ishment to come, that from my conductor stand I used to pity the 
poor man thus compelled to swim around in a pond which was so 
much larger than he wanted ; and often after such a performance 
I would find him moodily seated all alone at a table in the restaurant 
of the hotel with a pint bottle of champagne before him and with 
no desire to go upstairs and face the anger of his Brunhilde 
spouse." 

One of the brightest and musicianly personalities in the field of 
her calling, Lilli Lehmann has lived to see a ripe old age. Sur 
rounded by pupils from all parts of the world, in her home near 
Berlin, where she now lives, Lilli Lehmann perpetuates her art in 
the young aspirants. One of her pupils was Marion Telva, the 



Singers 417 

successful young singer of the Metropolitan Opera House, New 
York. She has also published her methods in her standard works 
on the voice. Her book How to Sing is considered among the most 
valuable works in that field. This book, which was originally writ 
ten in German, has been translated into English, and has since its 
first appearance in 1902, seen many editions and translations. In 
1913 she wrote another equally valuable book, My Way. 

Although Lilli Lehmann's father was a basso of some standing, 
it was from her mother that she inherited her great musical and 
histrionic gifts, together with the Jewish blood. Lilli Lehmann 
speaks in her reminiscences of those far-off years in the following 
manner : 

"I was brought up in Prague, where I made my debut at 
eighteen years of age. My mother was my first teacher and con 
stant companion. She was herself a dramatic soprano, well known 
as Maria Low, and my father, too, was a singer. 

"It was in the 'Magic Flute' that I appeared in one of the 
lighter roles ; but two weeks later, during the performance, the dra 
matic soprano was taken ill, and I then and there went on with her 
role, trusting to my memory, as I had heard it so often. My mother, 
who was in the audience, and knew I had never studied the part, 
nearly fainted when she saw me come on the stage in the role. 

"I appeared not only in many operas, but also as an actress in 
many plays. In those days opera singers were expected to be pro 
ficient in the dramatic, as well as the musical side of their art, and 
were called upon to perform in all the great tragedies. But nowa 
days this would be impossible, since the operatic repertoire has 
become so tremendous. The divine art, like nature, has its various 
works, and Wagner and Bellini represent two extremes." 



ANNA MEITSCHIK 

ANNA MEITSCHIK, the Russian contralto, has an unusually deep 
voice, so deep that she has even sung baritone airs. It is related 
of her that once, at the fair at Nijny-Novgorod, where a perform 
ance of Rubinstein's opera "Demon" was to be given, the baritone 
to whom the title role had been assigned was taken ill. Miss 
Meitschik sang the part and saved the performance. 

Anna Meitschik was born in St. Petersburg on October 25, 1878, 
and was graduated from the Gymnasium at the age of fifteen. A 
year later she entered the Conservatory, where she studied voice- 
culture under Carolina Fermi-Giraldoni. At the age of twenty she 
began her artistic career in Odessa and Tiflis as an operatic singer, 
and shortly afterwards appeared in Kiev, Kharkov, and Moscow. 



418 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Meitschik has a repertoire of over fifty standard operas, all of 
which she performed in Russia and abroad in the course of her long 
career. Her favorite roles are Delila, Fides, and Martha in "Kho- 
vanstchma." From 1907 to 1914 she sang leading parts at La 
Scala (Milan), Lisbon, the San Carlo Company of America, and 
the Metropolitan Opera in New York, under Toscanini and Mahler. 
In the latter organization she made fifty-five appearances, among 
them Tschaikowsky's "Pique Dame," the Niebelungen Ring of Wag 
ner, '11 Trovatore." 

Since 1912 Meitschik has devoted herself principally to concert, 
oratorio singing, and teaching, and is at present in New York, 
where she maintains a vocal studio. 

Mme Meitschik's interpretations of the Countess in "Pique 
Dame" is one of the foundation stones of her reputation in Europe 
as well as America. She is a thorough artist, and brings an indi 
viduality into her representations that makes them quite unforget 
table. Her voice, as well as her acting, is full of rich and individ 
ual character. 



JEAN LOUIS LASSALLE 

JEAN Louis LASSALLE is regarded by some historians as being of 
German extraction (his father's or grandfather's name has been 
Lasal), but he was thoroughly acclimatized in Paris. His name is 

linked to the grand period of the Paris 
Opera, when Faure, Roge, and other 
great singers held sway over the operatic 
boards. Lassalle, the possessor of a great 
baritone voice, was a product of the Ital 
ian school of bel canto, which enabled 
him, like Battistini, to sing to a very ad 
vanced age. He was a splendid actor as 
well. 

Lassalle was born on December 14, 
1847, in Lyons, and made his debut in 
Liege in 1869, as St. Brie in "Manon," 
and sang in Paris for twenty-three 
years, creating many new roles, and oc 
casionally making tours to other parts of 
Europe and to America. In Berlin he made a sensation in the parts 
of Vasca da Gama in "L'Africana," "Don Juan," and others. In 
1903 he became professor of singing at the Paris Conservatoire. 

This great singer who conquered both continents with his beau 
tiful bel canto, died in Paris on September 7, 1909. 




Singers 419 



GIUDITTA NEGRI PASTA 

ALAS, so short-lived is the fame of the great singer that even the 
name of Pasta, the paragon of dramatic singing of the nineteenth 
century, who has had more written of her divine art than any of 
her contemporaries, is now but a dead letter, known to but a few 
students and lovers of singing. So supreme was the art of this 
singer, who unfortunately had but a short career, the peak lasting 
only ten years, that when on the wane of her career she gave a 
farewell concert in London, the scene of some of her greatest 
triumphs in 1850, Mme Viardot, daughter of the famous Manuel 
Garcia, exclaimed, with tears in her eyes: "Her singing is like 
the 'Last Supper' of da Vinci a wreck, but still the greatest in 
the world !" 

Giuditta Negri is known to history as Pasta, by reason of her 
marriage to an obscure singer of that name. She was born of 
Jewish parents in Como, near Milan, Italy, in 1798. Little is 
known of her early life and surroundings except that she studied 
first under the chapel master, and five years later, at the age of 
fifteen, entered the Conservatory of Milan, where she studied under 
Asioli. 

Pasta made her debut in Brescia, singing a little later in Parma 
and Leghorn, without arousing any enthusiasm for her voice or 
art. In 1816 she was in Paris as one of Catalan!' s "puppets/' and 
in 1817 in London with Feodor; but she made no impression in 
either city and returned to Italy, practically as unknown as when 
she left it. 

After two years of hard study, in 1819-20, she sang in Milan 
and Rome with success, and in 1821-22 appeared in Paris, where 
even the most critical now accepted her as the greatest dramatic 
singer of the day. Her principal roles were in "Otello" by Rossini, 
"Tancredi" by the same master, "Romeo et Juliette" by Zingarelli 
(in which she took the part of Romeo), "Nina" by Paisiello, and 
"Medea" by Mager, in all of which she was held to be incom 
parable. 

In the tragic parts she had a capacity to thrill her audiences 
profoundly. The majesty of her carriage and the sweep 1 of 'her ges^- 
tures were superb. She was the "classic artist" par excellence. 
For six years she alternated between London and Paris, 'then re 
turned to Italy. Bellini wrote for her "La Sonnambula" (1831) 
and "Norma" (1832), in both of which she achieved memorable 
successes. Into every part she played she poured her creative 
powers so generously that her impersonations made the roles seem 
real. 



420 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

In 1833 she returned to Paris, and wan a fresh triumph in 
"Anna Bolena," which Donizetti had specially written for her. 
The capacity always to express the intentions of the composer was 
Pasta's to an unusual degree and raised her above all the singers of 
her time, even above Malibran, who possessed a greater voice and 
was her only rival. 

A strange and impressive parallel can be drawn between those 
two singers who dominated the operatic stages of Europe during 
the same time. Malibran, endowed with a natural voice and musi 
cianship in fabulous measure, squandered her gifts on unimpres 
sive ornament and selfish display, while Pasta, poorly endowed 
with scant gifts, lifted herself from mediocrity to heights in her 
art never before approached. 

In 1829, Pasta bought a villa near Lake Como, which became 
her permanent home. There, surrounded by friends and family, 
she lived quietly until her death on April 1, 1865. 



MAURICE RENAUD 

MAUEICE RENAUD, considered one of the most outstanding singers 
in the world, was born at Boreau in 1862. He studied at the Con 
servatoire in Paris, then under Gevaert and Dupont at Brussels. 

, His first appearance was made at the 
Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels. He re 
mained in the latter city for ten years, 
occasionally making visits elsewhere in 
the interims of his engagements. 

On October 12, 1890, Renaud made 
his debut as Karnac in "Le Roi d'Ys" at 
the Opera Comique, Paris, and the fol 
lowing year at the Grand Opera as Ne- 
lusko, having previously, in Brussels, 
created the roles of the high priest and 
Hamilcar in Reyer's "Sigurd" and 
"Salammbo" respectively. He was en 
gaged from 1883 to 1890 in Brussels. 

Telramund, Wolfram, De Nevers, 
Beckmesser, lago, Hamlet, Scarpia, Athanael, Rigoletto, Valentine, 
Herod, Escamillo, etc., are some of the numerous roles he is said 
to have acquired. 

In 1897 he was a favorite at Covent Garden, and in 1907 at the 




Singers 421 

Manhattan Opera House, New York, under Oscar Hammerstein. 

Renaud's voice is of full, rich baritone quality, capable of wide 
and very adroitly modulated range of tonal color, from delicacy 
to power, from lyric smoothness to piercing poignancy. His sing 
ing and his characterization in opera seem to be the result of long 
and penetrating study and of adroit and subtle imagination. His 
is always a singularly acute intelligence. Every detail is polished 
and adjusted to its due place in the musical and emotional -whole 
of the part of song. There is romance as well as reflection in his 
temperament. 

Among his most famous impersonations are Mefistot'ele in 
Boito's opera of the same name, Rigoletto in Verdi's opera, the 
monk Athanael in Massenet's "Thais," and Scarpia in Puccini's 
"Tosca." 

The following criticism of Renaud's interpretations of the role 
of Scarpia and his comparison with that of Scotti will be most in 
teresting : "The essential difference is the stress that Renaud lays 
on the cruelty of Scarpia ; Scotti, a hard, unscrupulous, passionate 
man, who can be cruel as he can be almost anything else that is evil, 
when occasion and disposition prompt. To Renaud's Scarpia, 
cruelty has become a second nature and an essential pleasure. He 
is cruel for the perverse sensual pleasure of cruelty. Renaud's 
Scarpia suggests a man of far more acute mind than Scotti's." 

When the ill-informed and provincial Heinrich Conried suc 
ceeded Maurice Grau at the Metropolitan Opera House he found 
in his desk a contract which would have bound Renaud to that 
theatre for a number of years, but, being ignorant of operatic 
affairs and of those pertaining to the French stage in particular, 
he had never heard of Renaud, and let the contract go by default. 
Oscar Hammerstein, better informed, sought Renaud and kept him 
as one of the chief ornaments of his company as long as he con 
tinued to manage the Manhattan Opera House, New York. 

One of the leading critics in New York wrote of him in 1910 : 
"There are as many Renauds as the actor has characters. . . . 
He is a singer by dint of intelligence and knowledge as well as by 
grace of voice and labor. . . . He is in possession of an exalted 
speech that often is more poignant and vivid than the spoken 
word." 

The Musical America of January 4, 1908, wrote: "The out 
standing feature of the week at the Manhattan Opera House was 
the revival of 'Don Giovanni,' with Maurice Renaud as the wicked 



422 



Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



heart-crusher. This was one of the most remarkable impersona 
tions the French baritone gave in New York, and once again it was 
an impressive demonstration of the singing actor's art." The same 
journal wrote a month later (February 15, 1908) the following 
on the occasion of Renaud's farewell appearance at the Manhattan 
Opera House before leaving for his French engagements: 

"The departure of Maurice Eenaud, the French baritone, who 
made his farewell appearance at the Manhattan Opera House last 
week, has robbed New York of one of the brightest lights of its 
operatic stage. All of the New York critics, including the most 
hypercritical of them, have united in acclaiming the art of this 
distinguished singing actor with a unanimity they so rarely exhibit 
as to make it of itself the most eloquent tribute an artist could 
receive." 



GIAGOMO RIMINI 

GIACOMO RIMINI, the eminent Italian baritone of the Chicago 
Opera Company, was born in Verona, Italy, in 1889. Toscanini 
chose him for the title role in Verdi's "Falstaff," which he con 
ducted at Milan several years ago. Be 
fore joining the Chicago Opera Associa 
tion, he was a member of the Dal Verme 
Company in Milan. After making his 
debut in his native city, he sang in the 
opera houses of Padua, Roviga, and 
other cities of Italy. His success led to 
engagements in Venice, Palermo, Naples, 
and Rome. 

For several seasons Rimini has ap 
peared at the Colon Theatre in Buenos 
Aires. With the Chicago Grand Opera 
Company, Rimini has scored a big suc 
cess in "Rigoletto," "II Barbiere di 
Siviglia," "Falstaff/' "Pagliacci," and 
other roles of the Italian school. 

During the summer of 1917 he was 
immensely successful in Mexico City. Critics have declared him 
one of the best interpreters of "Falstaff" ever seen on the operatic 
stage. He is the possessor of a sonorous voice, somewhat marred 
by a vibrato. He is a good actor, and shows a fiery temperament 
in the characters he portrays. 

With his wife, the famous Rosa Raisa, he often gives joint re 
citals, singing arias and duets. 




Rosa Raisa and Giacomo Rimini 



Singers 



423 




ROSA RAISA 

"ONCE UPON a time there was a little girl who wanted to be a prima 
donna. She was very, very poor, but a kind lady came along and 
gave her the money to go to Italy. She went to a great teacher, 

who mothered the little girl and saw that 
she had enough to eat and showed her 
how to sing. And then she grew up and 
sang in a big opera house and made such 
a success that she went around the world 
singing in one great city after another. 
And whenever there was a new part to 
sing in a new opera they sent for her and 
she traveled all the way back to sunny 
Italy to gain new triumphs. She not 
only won success, but found romance, for 
she married a handsome young baritone, 
and they went to the opera house to 
gether, and sang together, and lived hap 
pily ever after." 
"It sounds like a fairy-tale, does it not?" says Rosa Raisa. 
"But it's really true. I am more surprised at it than anyone else. 
Everything seems to be coming to me, but I have worked for it for 
long years." 

In speaking of her years in Italy, where she studied under Mme 
Marchesi, Rosa Raisa said: "I was sent to Italy to study and I 
was given forty lire a month by some people who were interested 
in my voice. That was for food, room, clothes everything. Some 
times I would have to go without breakfast and sometimes without 
lunch. One day I fainted and Mme Marchesi began to investigate. 
She told me not to worry and went to these patrons and told them 
of my needs. She told them that I must have plenty of food and a 
room with a piano and lots of air and one woolen dress for the 
winter and one thin one for the summer. If they could not give 
me the money, she would herself. They did, and after that I had 
enough to eat. It was not so easy, but it was good for me. When 
we are young we can starve and live in garrets. It does not hurt us 
and it makes success all the sweeter." 

Rosa Raisa was born in Bielostock, Russian Poland. Her 
father's name was Herschel Burnstein. Like many another true 
genius, she advanced herself under the most discouraging circum 
stances. A dramatic experience of her early life was her escape 
from the pogrom that led to the cruel massacre in Kiev. She fled 
to Italy^ where she studied with Marchesi. In August of 1913 her 



424 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

teacher brought her to Parma, Italy, for an audition before Maes 
tro Campanini, who engaged her immediately for the Chicago 
Opera Company. 

Raisa's debut was made at the Teatro Reggio in Verdi's first 
opera, "Oberto," the occasion being the centenary celebration of the 
composer's birth. Her success destined her to be one of the great 
singers of the time. Later she sang Aida and created the role of 
Queen Isabella in "Cristoforo Colombo." 

Raisa is an accomplished linguist, speaking fluently French, 
Italian, Russian, Polish, Spanish, German, and English. During 
her first two years in opera, she mastered twenty-five leading roles 
in the Italian and French schools. For two seasons she sang with 
great success at the Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires, where she 
created the leading role in Zandonai's "Francesca da Rimini" and 
Giordano's "Andrea Chenier." During the 1918 season with the 
Chicago Opera Company, she appeared in "Falstaff," "Aida," 
"Ballo in Maschero," and "Norma," which was especially revived 
on account of her exceptional talents. 

Ro^a Raisa does not act like a prima donna. She says: "That 
is what Mme. Marchesi taught us. She was not only our singing 
teacher. We lived with her and she planned our lives like a mother. 
She taught us not to act like the proverbial opera stars, to be sim 
ple and natural above everything. And she taught us to save 
money. She used to point out singers of another day who passed 
their last years in terrible poverty because they had spent all their 
money recklessly in their youth. She made us realize that the 
number of years you can sing is limited, and that when you are 
through you should be able to live comfortably and happily, not 
keep on singing after your voice is gone because you need the 
money." Raisa has taken all her teacher's maxims to heart and 
has already bought a villa (it is the show place of Verona) for her 
old age. But now that she has achieved success she does not stop 
to rest on her laurels. She is looking always for new parts to sing, 
new fields to conquer. So in 1924, she created the part of Asteria 
in "Nerone," in Milan, and the name part of Puccini's "Turandot" 
at La Scala. 

"This is how I learned Asteria," Raisa narrates : "It was the 
most terrible experience I ever went through, bub it taught me one 
thing, that one can drown sorrow in work and that often you do 
better work for your sorrow. Maestro Panizza went with us when 
we sailed from America to Italy, for I was to coach with him aboard 
ship the part of Asteria. I got my part just before I sailed. The 
third day out Mrs. Panizza died. It was terrifying. She slipped 
away before our eyes. We had eight days more on the boat. I had 
to learn my part before we landed. We worked day and night, 
Maestro Panizza and I. I could hardly stand the strain, and I 



Singers 425 

really don't know how he did. And this is the way I learned 
Asteria. I was ready for the final rehearsals when we arrived." 

"I love Italian opera/' she confesses, "I would rather sing it 
than anything else. I do sing Wagner, of course, but it has not the 
lyricism that I love so in the Italians. Italy was my second home. 
I went there when I was fourteen. I was not so happy in my native 
Russia. I have never been back. Last summer I started, got as 
far as Vienna, and then turned back. Maybe next year, after the 
Scala season, I will go there, but only for a visit. I do not want to 
stay. I only want^ to stay in Italy and in America. I wish I could 
be in both lands a"t once. That would be perfect bliss." 

Since Raisa has become a member of the Chicago Opera Com 
pany, she has the longest record of service with that organization 
next to Mary Garden. Seldom has a first performance elicited so 
warm a personal feeling of the interest which amounts in an audi 
ence to co-operation as did her Cio-Cio-San in Puccini's opera. It 
was gratifying to observe the smoothness with which the perform 
ance had been performed and executed. Raisa's singing, like her 
acting, sounded new depths of genius. As she has found new 
graces of characterization, so she had found new refinement of 
vocal style. As she brought into the role an occasional profundity 
of tragic force, ever so delicately indicated yet still new to tradi 
tion, so her use of her unmatched soprano voice gave the score a 
breadth and fullness it surely has never before known. 

"The richness of her voice, like the sound of a prodigious flute, 
was familiar and was welcome. What was still more welcome was 
the inference that Raisa has at last found the road to a new sort 
of study, to the searching for new and subtle means of artistry, 
to particularization, to imaginativeness, to growth." 

In the above words spoke one of Chicago's best-known and fair 
est critics. It points the fact that Raisa, ii> spite of her enormous 
successes, is still studying the significance of her art, and is con 
stantly bringing new improvements into her performances. This 
is probably the greatest praise that can be given any prima-donna. 
Rosa Raisa is a gorgeous example of feminine beauty and aristoc 
racy. She acts with skill and sings with a style and absorption 
that makes at times even weak music seem worth-while. Her 
singing is vital, richly colored, almost insolently exuberant. She 
pours into her music an extraordinary emotional appeal, a limitless 
volume of glowing tone, and into its histrionic delineation an equal 
ly passionate emotional sincerity. 

Raisa's performance of "Norma" (an opera which was, by the 
way, written especially by its composer for another Jewish singer 
of the nineteenth century, the greatest singer of serious roles that 
ever lived, Guiditta Negri Pasta) electrifies her audiences. In it 
she gives the most thrilling exhibition of vocal art that has yet been 



426 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

heard from any woman singer in over two decades in America. 
We doubt whether there is one singer who could sing "Norma" 
half as well as Raisa does. In spite of this great art of Raisa, her 
greatest glory still remains her voice, a voice that sweeps from the 
warm sonorities of a contralto to the fine-spun graces of a lyric 
soprano, that sounds the depths of tragedy, or exults in florid joy, 
that swells into vibrant gold, ear-filling, heart-searching, compell 
ing, or tapers into filigree of silver, delicate as a gossamer thread. 
Rosa Raisa is the wife of the well-known Italian baritone, Gia- 
como Rimini (whose biography the reader will find on another page 
of this book) , with whom she often gives joint concerts and appears 
jointly on the opera stage. 



MARIE RAPPOLD 

MARIE RAPPOLD, one of the distinguished American singers, 
has achieved an enviable reputation in both concert and opera. 
She was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1880, and studied singing 

with Oscar Saenger in New York City. 
During the early years of her career as 
singer, this gifted girl sang in church 
and in concerts in Brooklyn. 

In 1906 she was heard by Heinrich 
Conried in a festival concert in Montauk 
Theatre and invited to sing for the im 
presario of the Metropolitan Opera 
House in New York. She was immedi 
ately engaged for the part of Sulamith 
in Goldmark's opera, "The Queen of 
Sheba," newly staged in 1907, and made 
her debut with sensational success, re 
maining a member of the Metropolitan 
forces for several seasons. During that 
time, she sang the roles of "Aida," "Desdemona" in Verdi's 
"Othello," Marguerite in "Faust," Leonora in "II Trovatore," 
Euridice in Gluck's "Orfeo," Elsa in "Lohengrin," Venus and 
Elizabeth in Wagner's "Tannhauser," Micaela in "Carmen," the 
Forest Bird in "Siegfried," and Inez in Meyerbeer's "L'Af ricaine." 
Rappold has also created the part of the Princess in Thille's 
"Lobetanz," and sang at the Bucharest Opera for the season of 
1908, receiving the medal for Arts and Sciences from the Queen 
Carmen Sylva; she was the first singer to attain that distinction. 
Some years ago Rappold temporarily abandoned the operatic 
stage in order to devote herself to the study of concert literature. 




Singers 427 

She traveled on the Continent in search of novel additions to her 
already large repertoire. On her return, she again joined the 
Metropolitan forces, of which she is still a member. In the course 
of her career, she has made several tours of the United States and 
Europe. 

During the season of 1908 she sang in Paris; in 1911 in Milan, 
and in 1916 with the Elis Troupe. She was separated from her 
first husband, Dr, Julius Rappold, in 1906, because of his objection 
to her artistic career, and in 1913 married the late tenor, Rudolf 
Berger, with whom she appeared jointly in concerts and at musical 
festivals. 

Despite her continuous professional career, she manages to 
find time to continue her work with her first and only vocal teacher 
and coach, Oscar Saenger. In June of 1925, Marie Rappold created 
the leading feminine role in Frank Patterson's new American 
opera, "The Echo," at the biennial of the National Federation of 
Music Clubs in Portland. From Oregon she hurried to New York 
to sing Aida at the Yankee Stadium. In the summer of 1925, 
Marie Rappold again went to Europe, returning the following 
autumn to take up an extended schedule of concert and opera 
engagements. 



ODA SLOBODSKAYA 

ODA SLOBODSKAYA is a dramatic soprano whose vocal gifts are of 
a high order. A stage presence of dignity and serenity is added 
to her vocal accomplishments. She has a high, powerful, and clear 
soprano which she uses with skill and musicianly knowledge. 

She was born in Russia. After completing her musical studies 
she became leading dramatic soprano with the former Imperial 
Opera in St. Petersburg, singing for four successive seasons. Since 
her resignation, she has given recitals in Berlin, Copenhagen, 
Stockholm, Milan, Zurich, Central and South America, and has 
been heard on two coast-to-coast tours of the United States, re 
ceiving unusual praise from press and public. While in Paris, she 
was chosen by Stravinsky to create the leading role in his opera 
"Mavra," in which she was called a "sensational success." 

She sang several times in New York, including the occasion of 
the debut of the "Clavilux" (light organ) at the Metropolitan 
Opera House in November of 1926. Here she was greatly ap 
plauded and gave many encores. 

Oda Slobodskaya is a woman of intelligence, personality, and 
appearance. She is now living in New 



428 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 



OSCAR SAENGER 

OSCAR SAENGER, baritone and eminent teacher of singing, was born 
on January 5, 1872, in Brooklyn, New York, and is the son of 
S. Karl and Louise (nee Gresser) Saenger. He began to study the 

violin at the age of six and when four 
teen years old played in concert. As a 
boy he had a fine contralto voice, which 
he kept to the age of fourteen. A few 
years later, his contralto voice changed 
to a baritone and his father gave him 
his first voice lessons. Having won a 
scholarship at the National Conservatory 
of Music, he studied there under Jacques 
Bouhy, in singing, taking up dramatic 
art with Frederick Robinson, the Eng 
lish actor, also stage action with M. 
Bibyran (famous dancer). To accom 
plish his musical education he took 
courses in theory and harmony with 
Bruno Oscar Klein. 

Saenger sang in church and concert when eighteen years old 
and made his operatic debut with Heinrich's American Opera 
Company in 1891, where he sang leading roles. He then made a 
successful tour of Germany and Austria. For several years af 
terwards he taught at the National Conservatory in New York, 
and since 1892 began teaching privately. His pupils were among 
the first American trained singers (without European study) to 
make their debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. 
Among his famous pupils are Josephine Jacobi, Marie Rappold, 
Paul Althaus, Mabel Garrison, Henri Scott, Orville Harold and 
others. 




LJOW SIBIRIAKOFF 

IN RECOUNTING the glorious days of the Russian operatic stage of 
the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, we must put 
down the name of Ljow Sibiriakoff in that Golden Guard in whose 
midst belonged such singers as Tartakoff, M. Medviedieff, A. Davi- 
doff, and Oscar Kamyonisky, whose golden baritone rang through 
the length and breadth of Russia, and whose interpretation, in par 
ticular of the role of Figaro, were models for all contemporary bar 
itones. 



Singers 429 

Sibiriakoff s voice is a very large basso, skilfully directed, ca 
pable of emotional significance. 

Of all the Jewish names mentioned on the roster of Russia's 
Golden Guard, only to Sibiriakoff and to Davidoff was it granted 
to sing at the Imperial Opera in St. Petersburg without the humili 
ation of baptism. Although an old man now, he is still very active 
on the operatic stages of Western Europe, particularly in Paris. 



JOSEPH SGHWARZ 

JOSEPH SCHWARZ was one of the greatest operatic baritones, and 
one of the very few who were equally great on the concert plat 
form. Possessing a voice of extraordinary compass and penetrat 
ing beauty and sonority, Schwarz was 
furthermore an artist to his finger tips, 
besides being blessed with an appearance 
which would be the envy of a cinema 
leading man. Few operatic singers there 
are who can grasp and transmit the 
finer shades of Schumann, Brahms, 
Grieg, Singing, and others of the roman 
ticists, or the stern realism of a Mous- 
sorgsky, as did this inspired singer. 

Joseph Schwarz was born in Riga, and 
as a boy studied piano. During his 
youth he sang for a number of years in 
the synagogues and cathedrals of his na 
tive city. It was not long before his 
voice developed an excellent quality. In 1901 he left for Berlin 
to complete his studies. Soon after, he made his operatic debut as 
Amonasro in "Aida" at a performance given in Linz, Bohemia. 
Two seasons at Graz and at Riga brought him gratifying prom 
inence and an engagement to sing with the Royal Opera Company 
of Vienna under Gustave Mahler. His fame spread, and after six 
years at Vienna he was called to Berlin by the Royal Opera Com 
pany of that city and became its leading baritone. 

In 1921 Schwarz came to America where, after a series of 
successful concert appearances, he was engaged as a member of 
the Chicago Civic Opera Company. 

During the season of 1923-24 he devoted himself chiefly to 
concert ; he therefore appeared at the Chicago Opera only in guest 
appearances, but the management of the same Opera Company 
re-engaged him for the entire 1924-25 season. He has appeared 




430 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

in "Traviata," as lago in "Othello", as Scarpia in "Tosca", as 
Rigoletto (in which role he made his Chicago debut), Wolfram in 
"Tannhauser," Tonio in "Pagliacci", and in many other parts. 

Schwarz gave recitals in Chicago and New York and was 
soloist with the leading American orchestras. 

During the symphony season of 1923-24 Schwarz appeared 
with the New York Philharmonic, singing the baritone part in the 
Ninth Symphony of Beethoven, and during the season following 
filled operatic engagements in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and London, 
signing also an engagement to sing in Milan under Toscanini. 

Joseph Schwarz possessed great histrionic power in addition 
to his musical gifts. His portrayal of Rigoletto, for example, is a 
model of modern operatic playing. During his 1924-25 London 
appearances in that role the press was highly enthusiastic over 
his prowess as singer and actor. 

"A mighty fine singer was heard as 'Rigoletto' last night at 
Covent Garden/ 7 said the Daily Mail. 

"The new baritone, Joseph Schwarz, came to us from 
Riga by way of Berlin and New York. His voice is of a dark 
rich bass-baritone type, magnificently ample, and his is a fine dra 
matic art. He had a serious grip of the grim part of Victor Hugo's 
buffoon. He was something really Chaliapinesque. No other 
Covent Garden Rigoletto of these years has been so big a tragic 
figure. Instead of leaving as usual after the quartette, the audi 
ence stopped to see his passion in the scene of Gilda's death, and 
were rewarded." 

Schwarz was as great, if not greater, in his favorite Wagner- 
ian roles. 

On February 11, 1922, Schwarz married in New York, Mrs. 
Clara Sielcken, widow of the late Herman Sielcken, known as the 
"Coffee King." His first marriage was to Mrs. Hannah Radon of 
Vienna in 1907, whom he divorced one year later. 

This excellent singer succumbed to death in Berlin, November 
10, 1926, following an operation for kidney trouble. 



LAZAR S. SAMOILOFF 

ONE OF America's best known vocal teachers, the operatic and con 
cert baritone, Lazar S. Samoiloff, was born on January 12, 1877, 
in Kiev, Russia. He is the son of Samuel and Fannie Samoiloff, 
who educated the boy at the Gymnasium of Kiev. Later he at 
tended the medical school in Vienna. With a strong musical pre 
dilection from his early childhood, it did not take him long to be 
graduated from the Vienna Conservatory, as well as from the 



Singers 431 

Teacher's College in Milan. Samoiloff also received private les 
sons from August Brodgi. Since then he sang in the leading Rus 
sian cities, as well as in Vienna and Italy. Samioloff is now one of 
New York's acknowledged vocal teachers, and to his classes flock 
pupils from all parts of the country. 

Samoiloff has coached and taught such artists as Rosa Raisa, 
Rimini, Isa Kremer, Curt Taucher, and a host of others. He also 
conducts * 'Master Classes" in the cities of the Pacific Coast during 
the summer months. 



ERNESTINE SGHUMANN-HEINK 

LIKE LILLI LEHMANN and Busoni, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, 
the world's greatest operatic and concert contralto, inherited the 
musical gifts of the Jewish race from her mother Charlotte (nee 

Goldman) Roessler. 

To put into words the art, career, and 
life of this incomparable singer is a task 
for a master of belles-lettres, plus a 
music reviewer. 

Ernestine Schumann-Heink was born 
in Lieben, near Prague, on July 15, 1861, 
and was educated at the Ursuline Con 
vent in Prague. Her family had no faith 
in her future as a singer. Later she 
studied singing with Marietta von Le- 
clair, in Graz. The girl made her debut 
at the age of fifteen, singing the con 
tralto solo in Beethoven's Ninth Sym 
phony, with the Akademie Gesangsverein 
in Graz. The young singer then sang for the director of the 
Vienna Opera, in the hope of securing an engagement, which might 
prove to her father and mother the wisdom of her choice of a life 
work. But here she was roughly discouraged. Nevertheless, the 
young lady persisted, and opportunity finally came in the form of 
a debut at the Dresden Royal Opera, as Azacena in "II Trova- 
tore." She remained a minor member of the Dresden Opera until 
her first marriage, which caused her to lose her position. 

She resumed her musical career as soloist at the Court Church, 
meantime studying under the guidance of Krebs, Franz Wiillner, 
and Frau Kreb-Michalesi, to whom belongs the honor of having 
so splendidly prepared her for the long career that was to follow. 
Fraulein Roessler, now Ernestine Heink, by her marriage to 
her first husband (in 1882), accepted a minor position under the 




432 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

new name in 1883, when she substituted as Carmen without a 
rehearsal, at the Hamburg Royal Opera House, and scored a de 
cided triumph. Mme Heink turned this chance to such account 
that she was soon thereafter presented in the role of Fides in "Le 
Prophete." Not long thereafter she was invited to become first 
contralto of the Berlin Royal Opera and attracted great attention 
as guest at Kroll's Theater in Berlin (1888). In 1891 we find her 
triumphing in Scandinavia; in 1892 in London; in 1893 in Paris; 
in 1898 at Covent Garden, London ; and again at the Berlin Royal 
Opera from 1899 to 1904, alternating with appearances at the 
Metropolitan Opera House in New York. 

Of particular significance during that period were her appear 
ances as first contralto at the celebrated Bayreuth Festivals, reg 
ularly from 1896 up to the World War which brought those Fes 
tivals to a temporary close. 

It is worthy of mention that Mme Schumann-Heink made her 
formal American debut, not with the Metropolitan Opera in New 
York, but with the Chicago Opera on November 7, 1898, as Ortrud 
in "Lohengrin." It was from there that she was immediately 
enticed into the ranks of the New York Metropolitan Opera House. 

The story of Ernestine Schumann-Heink's triumphs in the 
United States, where she now makes her home, would make a long 
story. It is one filled with recognition of a sort which comes to 
only a chosen few in any generation. Her immediate acceptance 
by the critical patrons of the New York Metropolitan Opera House 
was a tribute which predicted to a large extent the future of this 
exceptional artist. Those early days at the New York Metro 
politan found her an artist completely routined in the great tra 
ditions of opera ; an artist with a voice conceded to be one of the 
finest heard, and used with a technical perfection few singing 
voices^ have revealed. Then there was the emotional warmth, 
coupled with an intellectual understanding, which made her inter 
pretations unique. 

Time passed, and little by little the concert stage beckoned to 
this illustrious singer. Back and forth across the American con 
tinent, Europe, and Australia, went the singer. City after city, 
and country after country was visited, then revisited time and 
again. She had developed her own faithful legion, which turned 
up loyally whenever she appeared. 

The evolution of Mme Ernestine Schumann-Heink's name de 
serves a few words of explanation: Born Roessler, she appeared 
up to 1883 under her maiden name. After her first marriage to 
Ernst Heink (by whom she had four children) she appeared under 
the name of Ernestine Heink. After her second marriage to Paul 
Schumann, the actor (to whom she bore three children), she com 
bined the names of her two husbands, and began to appear under 



Singers 433 

the full name by which she is now known to the world. Her third 
husband's name is William Rapp, Jr., a Chicago attorney. 

Ernestine Schumann-Heink created the part of Clytemnestra 
in Richard Strauss's opera "Elektra" in 1909. This not only re 
quires an exceptional voice but histrionic powers of an extraor 
dinary degree, both of which were found in ample abundance in 
this unusual personality. 

Schumann-Heink is considered one of the very greatest Wag- 
nerian contraltos. After many years' absence from the operatic 
stages, the New York Metropolitan created a momentous stir in 
operatic circles by bringing her back to its illustrious roster in 
February of 1926, the occasion being that diva's golden jubilee. 

On that night (February 25, 1926) Wagner's "Reingold" was 
given, on the eve of Ernestine Schumann-Heinle's fiftieth year as 
a public singer. The recipient of this signal and unique honor 
appeared in the role of Erda. Well might Erda have borrowed 
the words of Brunhilde, "Lang War Mein Schlaf." The great 
contralto sang with an astonishing volume of tone and enunciated 
the words with all her old-time mastery and expressiveness. There 
are few singers in the world who can deliver music in the grand 
manner she does. Her Erda had all its old dignity, its familiar 
command of the great style of the Golden Age of Wagner. Her 
ability to color her tones with the mood of the dramatic moment 
contains a lesson for younger interpreters of Wagner. Of course, 
she was greeted as an unforgettable and most welcome friend. 

As a climax to her '"farewell" golden jubilee of the United 
States, she appeared as soloist in two concerts with the New York 
Symphony under Walter Damrosch, on December 16 and 17. 

At the matinee concert a feature was the presentation of a 
jeweled brooch to Mme Schumann-Heink from the directors of the 
Symphony Society, Harry Harkness Flagler, president of the so 
ciety, making the presentation speech. The audience stood up to 
welcome Mr. Damrosch and Mme Schumann-Heink when they ap 
peared, and remained standing during Mr. Flagler's address. Mme 
Schumann-Heink was given a "tusch" by the orchestra. 

Mr. Flagler's speech of presentation to Mme Schumann-Heink 
was as follows: 

"My dear Mme Schumann-Heink: 

"You are celebrating this year the fiftieth anniversary of your 
first appearance on the concert stage by a golden jubilee which is 
carrying you through the length and breadth of this land. 

"Everywhere grateful hearts again respond to the magic of 
your voice and art, but New York claims a special price in this 
noteworthy year, in that it was the scene of your early triumphs 
in the operatic world. 

"Those of us who were fortunate enough to hear the great 



434 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Wagnerian performances of the early years of 1900 at the Metro 
politan Opera House can never forget the wonderful impersona 
tions which you called into being. Your Ortrud, Fricka, Bran- 
gane, Waltraute, Erda, made a gallery of operatic portraiture which 
quickly became, and remained, the standard one. 

"Today you return to us in the splendor of your matured art 
to renew the joys of the past, and to give to the younger genera 
tion an example of singing and interpretation in the truly grand 
style. 

"The Symphony Society has had evidence in the past of your 
generous and warmhearted interest in its welfare, and today it is 
again honored by your appearance at this concert. 

"On behalf of its officers and directors, I have the pleasure of 
presenting to you this brooch, in token of their gratitude and affec 
tionate admiration, with the hope that for a long time to come 
the world may be made happier and better by your beautiful art." 

It was some moments before Mme Schumann-Heink could 
reply, not only because of the emotion which plainly held back her 
words, but because the audience. standing like the orchestra 
applauded vigorously and long. Then she referred to her singing 
for "her boys," the soldiers, and pledged that as long as she lived 
her art would be available to help "your girls." 

"I have been told I am interested only in the boys," she said. 
"Well, maybe I am. But now I am going to be interested in the 
girls, too. I will give to them all my help I can." 

There were characteristic shrugs and gestures, an orchestral 
player was patted on the shoulder, another smiled as a finger was 
shaken under his nose, and it was possibly five minutes after the 
gift had been acknowledged before the applause subsided. 

Friday evening's audience again rose in homage for Mr. Dam- 
rosch and for the favorite singer when she entered, regal and 
benign as ever, in a white gown. Mr. Damrosch kissed her hand. 
At the conclusion of her second solo a huge testimonial wreath 
in gold was carried up to the stage. There were not a few touches 
of informal good humor in the impromptu address which George 
Barrere, first flutist and one of the older members of the orchestra, 
made in conferring honorary membership in the orchestra upon 
the singer. He paid tributes to her great artistic achievements 
and her personal charm and womanliness, saying, "We are all your 
pupils" with a gesture including the house. 

Mr. Barrere presented a hand-engraved parchment scroll wel 
coming her as a member of the orchestra. The inscription on the 
scroll, which he read, was as follows: 

"WHEREAS, Mme Ernestine Schumann-Heink is a great singer, 
whose art after fifty years of triumph remains perennially young ; 
and whereas Mme Schumann-Heink, having received them at first 



Singers 435 

hand, has faithfully preserved and inspiringly transmitted to the 
present generation the purest Wagnerian traditions : 

"WHEREAS, Mme Schumann-Heink is scarcely more renowned 
for her artistry than for her personal charm and her womanliness ; 
and whereas during her recent appearances as soloist with the 
New York Symphony Orchestra in Washington, Baltimore, Phila 
delphia and New York, Mme Schumann-Heink especially endeared 
herself, by virtue of her unsurpassed Wagnerian interpretations, 
her amiability and her personal magnetism to the members of the 
New York Symphony Orchestra. 

"RESOLVED that as a token of their homage to the artist, and 
of their admiration for the woman, the members of the New York 
Symphony Orchestra, whose names are hereto subscribed, do here 
by confer upon Mme Schumann-Heink honorary membership for 
life in the New York Symphony Orchestra." 

The orchestra played the Valkyrie's theme. Mme Schumann- 
Heink acknowledged the tributes with characteristic gestures of 
humorous depreciation, and she made a brief but hearty reply in 
which she said that "she had previously been a mother to all the 
boys of the United States Army, but now she found that she was 
to be mother also to a whole symphony orchestra. " She concluded 
with a pledge that she would always be ready to aid any member 
of the orchestra who should bring any sort of difficulty to her. 
She was recalled again and again to the stage. 

At the luncheon on Tuesday, December 14, Henry W. Taft, 
chairman of the League for Political Education, presided. Mme 
Schumann-Heink was given a souvenir testimonial in a hand 
somely engraved portfolio. The testimonial contained tributes 
from the board of governors of the Town Hall and, in addition, 
from many leaders in the world of music. The singer was pre 
sented with fifty-one roses in honor of her golden jubilee by Mr. 
Taft. 

The formal testimonial from the Town Hall read: "We pay 
tribute today to the beauty of a glorious voice, but even more to 
the beauty of a noble character. We do homage to a great artist, 
but even more to a great soul. 

"The ideal use of a rarely precious gift, work patient, brave 
persistent work, unselfishness, self-denial, self-sacrifice, faithful 
ness to the duties of motherhood, devotion to the country to which 
allegiance had been pledged when it cost much it is for these 
things that we honor you. 

"We give you our hearts' love. We wish you many years to 
come of triumph and happiness. May your ways be ways of pleas 
antness and all your paths be peace." 

The guests included Geraldine Farrar, Mrs. Theodore Roose 
velt, Jr., Antonio Scotti, Josef Hofmann, Artur Bodanzky, Harry 



436 Famous Musicians of a Wandering Race 

Harkness Flagler, Richard Aldrich, Frances Alda, Mrs. William 
H. Bliss, Ernest Schelling, Francis Rogers, Harold Bauer, and 
Frederick Steinway. Testimonials also were sent by Giulio Gatti- 
Casazza, William J. Guard, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Marcella Semb- 
rich, Mary Lewis, Frederick A. Stock, and Leopold Auer. The 
speakers were Mrs. Robert Erskine Ely, Mrs. Roosevelt, Mrs. 
Walter Damrosch, James Speyer and Mr. Flagler. 

When the final pages of musical history are written the name 
of Ernestine Schumann-Heink will appear conspicuously. And 
there will be attached to that name a record extending over half 
a century of artistic achievements; achievements in both opera 
and concert, in which voice, interpretative resources and human 
kindliness have combined. 

Mme Schumann-Heink had a particularly unfortunate role as 
mother in the World War, for one son had enlisted for Germany 
in 1914, and another for America in 1917. One of these was 
killed. 

She is a devoted mother and grandmother; yet retains more 
vitality in her old age than many a young girl. She is extremely 
sympathetic, kind, and charitable to a fault. 



HEINRIGH SONTHEIM 

How FEW of us know the names of the great tenors of a generation 
ago. Yet the name of Sontheim was famous as that of a real singer 
and the possessor of a heroic tenor of marvelous strength and 
beauty. It is a pity the phonograph was invented so late, otherwise 
we would even now have the delight of listening to his voice, as we 
listen t