PREMIERS. WC. 4695. 05/09/2020.

Early:3. Cecilia: 116. Apollo Club: 107. Instrumental: 41. = 267. Students and Colleagues: 17. Composer conducted: 1.    Grand Total = 285.

CHORAL (EARLY)(Other than the Cecilia Society and Apollo Club).

(Boston) Haydn: The Seasons, March 24, 1866 at Music Hall, unnamed chorus. “In part only” (Johnson, First, 190)- H and H sang it complete in 1875 under Zerrahn, (Ibid) but he had conducted it with the Salem Oratorio Society in 1869. (Johnson, First, 189)

(Boston) Mendelssohn: First Walpurgis Night. May 3, 1862. Combined choirs; unnamed choir; soloists – Mrs. Kempton, Dr. Langmaid, Messrs. Wadleigh and Weterbee. Boston Music Hall. (Johnson, First,  255)

(Boston) Mendelssohn: Hymn of Praise, Opus 52 at Old South Church; combined church choirs; used only an organ four-hand accompaniment for the overture, and J.S.D. Parker as the organist for the rest of the work, January 30, 1862. (Johnson, First, 250)

Total: 3.

CECILIA. First Concert (with HMA)-Nov. 19, 1874). Last concert. April 1907, Paine’s opera, Azara.

Chapter 3: 1871-1881.
Chapter 4: 1881-1891.
Chapter 5: 1891-1901.
Chapter 6: 1901-1909.                                                                                                              All from the 1907 List unless noted.

(Boston)       Bach: Bide With Us, Cantata No. 6 (with piano). February 27, 1880.

(Boston)       Bach: Blessing, Glory, Wisdom and Might (with piano), January 24, 1894.

(American)  Bach: Christmas Oratorio, Part VI, April 2, 1883.

(Boston)       Bach: God’s Time is Best (with piano). December 13, 1880.

(Boston)       Bach: Ich hatte viel Bekummemiss. March 16, 1876.

(Boston)       Bach: Mass in b minor. Complete. Handel and Haydn had done only 12, six solos and six choruses, of the 24 sections at their February 27, 1887 performance. (Johnson, First, 18)

(Boston)       Beach: The Rose of Avontown. Mrs. Beach was the accompanist. February 4, 1897.

(Boston)       Beethoven: Missa Solemnis.  March 12, 1897.

(Boston)       Beethoven: The Praise of Music, March 22, 1888.

(Boston)       Beethoven: The Ruins of Athens (Selections). January 24, 1881. (Also listed in the Instrumental Section)                                                                                                                                            (American)  Berlioz: The Fifth of May, or Cantata on the Death of the Emperor Napoleon for baritone and double-choir; written in 1855. November 28, 1891. (First Wage Earner Concert)

(Boston)       Berlioz: Requiem, Op. 5, February 12, 1882 (Johnson, First, 69). Second American

(Boston)       Brahms: German Requiem, December 3, 1888.

(Boston)       Brahms: Gipsy Songs, May 16, 1889.

(Boston)       Brahms: How Long Wilt Thou Forget Me, O God?  January 25, 1892.

(Boston)       Brahms: Naenie, May 22, 1890 (with piano).

(Boston)       Bruch: Fair Ellen. March 19, 1877.

(Boston)       Bruch: The Lay of the Bell, May 16, 1883 (Bruch conducting).

(Boston)       Bruch: Odysseus. December 22, 1879.

(Boston)       Bruch: Siechen rost. January 25, 1893.

(Boston)       Bruckner: Te Deum. December 12, 1905.

(Boston)       Buck: The Golden Legend, January 24, 1881.

(Boston)       Chadwick: Phoenix Expirans. December 3 and 5, 1900.

(World)         Chadwick: The Pilgrims. April 2, 1891.

(American)  Charpentier: The Poet’s Life. April 4, 1905.

(Boston)        Coleridge-Taylor: Death of Minnehaha. February 3, 1903.

(American)  Coleridge-Taylor: Hiawatha’s Departure.  December 3 and 5, 1900.

(Boston)       Coleridge-Taylor: Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. March 12 and 14, 1900.

(American)  Coleridge-Taylor: Overture to Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. March 12 and 14, 1900.

(American?) Cornelius: The Barber of Bagdad (selections) May 10, 1888.

(Boston)        Debussy: The Blessed Damozel. April 4, 1905.

(  ??        )        Dvorak: A Patriotic Hymn, March 22, 1888.

(Boston)       Dvorak: Requiem. November 28 and 30, 1892. Second American-Dvorak conducted.

(Boston)       Dvorak: The Spectre’s Bride, May 13, 1886.

(Boston)       Dvorak: Stabat Mater, January 15, 1885.

(Boston)       Elgar: Dream of Gerontius. January 26, 1904.

(Boston)       Elgar: My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land. January 17, 1895. Second American.

(Boston)       Fanchetti: Academic Festival Hymn (with piano). January 24, 1894.

(American)  Foote: A Motet: Vita Nostra Plena Bellis (Mortal Life is Full of battle), Op. 47. February  4,  1902.

(World)         Foote: The Wreck of the Hesperus, January 26, 1888 (with piano) and March 27, 1890 (with orchestra).

(Boston)       Franck: Psalm 150. February 4, 1902.

(Boston)       Gade: Comala. January 21, 1876. (first Boston performance with orchestra)

(American)  Gade: The Crusaders (with piano). January 11, 1877. (with orchestra) February 7, 1879.

(Boston)       Gade: Psyche (with piano and organ), January 18, 1883.

(    ??     )         Gade: Spring Fantasy, March 22, 1888.

(    ??     )         Goetz: Noenia. Listed in the 1907 Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.” No performance date given.

(Boston)       Goring: The Swan and Skylark.  January 13, 1898.

(Boston)       Grieg: At the Cloister Gate (with piano). December 13, 1880. (with orchestra) January 24, 1881.

(Boston)       Handel: Acis and Galatea. May 17, 1878.

(Boston)       Handel: L’Allegro ed Il Penseroso (selections). April 21, 1879. (first Boston with orchestra)

(    ??     )         Handel: Zadok the Priest, March 25, 1886.

(Boston)       Haydn: Salve Regina. March 20, 1896.

(World)         Henschel: Requiem. On December 2, 1902. Henschel conducted.

(Boston)       Henschel: Stabat Mater. March 31, 1901.

(Boston)       Hofmann: Cinderella (with piano) November 30, 1881.

(Boston)       Hofmann: The Tale of the Fair Melusina, December 6, 1877.

(Boston)       Hood: The Robin, part-song for mixed chorus, March 27, 1884.

(Boston)       Humperdinck: Pilgrimage to Kevlaar. January 13, 1898.

(World)         Hutcheson: Piano Concerto. March 9, 1904. Lang conducted.

(American)  d’Indy: St. Mary Magdalene. February 6, 1906.

(Boston)       Jensen: Brier Rose, May 10, 1888.

(World)         Jones: Up the Hillside, May 5, 1887.

(World)         Lang, B. J.: The Chase, April 12, 1882.

(World)         Lang, B. J.: The King is Dead. January 25 and 26, 1899.

(World)         Lang, B. J.: Sing, Maiden, Sing, February 4, 1886.

(World)         Lang, M. R.: Bonnie Ran the Burnie Down. May 6, 1897.

(World)         Lang, M. R.: In a Garden.  April 30, 1896.

(World)         Lang, M. R.: In a Meadow, February 1, 1889.

(World)         Lang, M. R.: Irish Love Song. February 13, 1896.

(World)         Lang, M. R.: Love Plumes His Wings. January 23 and 25, 1893. Repeated January 16 and 17, 1895.

(Boston)       Lassus: Matona, Lovely Maiden, May 22, 1891.

(Boston)       Loeffler: L’Archet. February 4, 1902. Loeffler played.

(Boston)       Liszt: The Legend of St. Elizabeth, Opus 153, November 18, 1886.

(Boston)       MacCunn: It Was a Lass. January 22, 1891.

(Boston)       MacCunn: Lord Ullin’s Daughter. January 22, 1891.

(Boston)       MacDowell: Barcarolle. May 22, 1890.

(American)  Massenet: Eve, March 27, 1890.

(American?) Massenet: Mary Magdalen, November 20, 1890.

(American)  Massenet: The Promised Land. April 8, 1902.

(Boston)       Mendelssohn: Ave Maria, May 10, 1888.

(Boston for music and World for combined) Mendelssohn: Athalie, January 27, 1887 (First performance of the Racine text and Mendelssohn’s music). Myron Whitney-soloist; Howard M. Ticknor-reader. Boston Orchestral Club (an amateur group usually led by Bernhard Listemann). Also December 6, 8 and 11, 1897-sung in French at Harvard with Mrs. Alice Bates Rich as the principal soloist and Prof. de Sumichrast as the narrator.

(Boston)       Mendelssohn: Camacho’s Wedding, March 19, 1885 (Was not the Second world performance-Johnson lists two American performances before this one, both in 1875, both presented by the Thomas orchestra)(Johnson, First, 257).

(Boston)       Mendelssohn: Forty-third Psalm. (unaccompanied) February 27, 1880.

(Boston)       Mendelssohn: Laudate pueri-motet for female voices. March 16, 1876.

(Boston)       Mendelssohn: The Lorely. March 18, 1875.

(Boston)       Mendelssohn: Motet for solo voices, chorus and organ composed expressly for the nuns of La Trinita, Rome. (Herald (April 3, 1904): 22 ad, GB)

(Boston)       Mendelssohn: 13th. Psalm, May 22, 1890.

(Boston)       Moskowski: Scenes from Faust, March 20, 1896.

(Boston)       Mozart: Te Deum. December 11, 1906.

(World)         Nevin: If She be Made of White and Red. May 11, 1893.

(World)         Nevin: The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, January 31, 1889.

(World)         Nevin: Wynken, Blynken and Nod, May 22, 1890.

(World)         Paine: Azara. April 9, 1907. First complete-in concert form.

(Boston)       Palestrina: Sanctus. May 2, 1894.

(Boston)       Palestrina: Missa Brevis. February 13, 1901.

(Boston)       Parker: Legend of St. Christopher, Opus 43. December 6, 1899. The  world premier had been just the year before. Parker conducted.

(American)  Perosi: The Transfiguration of Christ. April 14 and 26, 1899. The work had been premiered in Italy a year earlier, March 20, 1898.

(Boston)       Pierne: The Children’s Crusade. February 26, 1907.

(American)  Raff: Romeo and Juliet Overture, November 20, 1890.

(Boston)       Rheinberger: Toggenburg. November 25, 1878.

(Boston)       Saint-Saens: Samson and Dalila (Delilah). November 27 and 28, 1894.

(Boston)       Schubert: Miriam’s Song of Triumph. May 14, 1891.

(Boston)       Schubert: 23rd. Psalm. December 27 and 28, 1875.

(Boston)       Schumann: Manfred. April 24, 1880.

(Boston)       Schumann: Mignon’s Requiem, April 12, 1882 (with Piano).

(Boston)       Schumann: Paradise and the Peri. February 18, 1875. With HMA. (First time with orchestra)

(American)  Schumann: Scenes from Faust. March 28, 1881.

(Boston?)     Sgambati: Andante Solenne (Organ and orchestra). March 20, 1896 at a Cecilia Concert.

(Boston)       Stanford: Phandrig Crohoore. March 14, 1900.

(Boston)       Strauss: Taillefer. April 3, 1906.

(Boston)       Thomas: The Swan and the Skylark. January 13, 1898.

(Boston)       Tinel: St. Francis of Assisi (Selections). November 23 and 24, 1893. Second American.

(Boston)       Tchaikovsky: Cherubim Song. January 24, 1900.

(Boston)       Tchaikovsky: Cherubim Song or Vesper Song-neither ad nor review says which one. (Herald (April 3, 1904): 22, GB)

(Boston)       Verdi: Hymn to the Virgin. January 26, 1899.

(American)  Verdi: Stabat Mater. December 5 and 7, 1898.

(American)  Verdi: Te Deum. December 5 and 7, 1898.

(Boston)       Wagner: “Quintet and Chorus” from Die Feen. January 31, 1899.

(Boston)       Wagner: Parsifal (Concert Performance). April 14, 1891 by the Cecilia Society and the Apollo Club with 75 members of the New York Philharmonic. (Johnson, First, 387)

Total: 116.


  • First concert under Lang-September 5, 1871.
    Last concert-May 1, 1901.
  • BMYB: Boston Musical Yearbook and the year.
  • MYBUS: Musical Yearbook of the United States and the year.
  • (1) Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians Vol. 5, American Supplement.
  • (2) Johnson, H. Earle. First Performances in America to 1900-Works with Orchestra.
  • (3) First Boston Performance, The Boston Musical Year Book, Vol. I-IV. 1884-1887 by G. H. Wilson.
  • (1)(2) and (3) were used in 2009 by Herb Zeller, Librarian of the Apollo Club to make up his three lists that form the basic structure of this list which is being made in 2020.
  • Transcript Article: “The Career of B. J. Lang” appeared in the Transcript in 1907 and was an enlarged version of Apthorp’s article on Lang written for the Transcript in 1893. It would have been written, or at least supervised by H. T. Parker.
  • (American)  Bach: Cantata 211-Coffee Cantata. March 21, 1885. Part of the Bach 200th Birthday Celebration. Johnson, First, 14.

(Boston)      Becker, R: A Wood-Morning, for Tenor solo, Quartet and Orchestra, Op. 16. April 30 and May 2, 1884. (1)(3)

(World)        Berlioz: Arrangement of La Marseillaise for double chorus and orchestra. February 4 and 9, 1881. (1)

(Boston)       Brackett: Cavalier’s Song at a concert of “Music by Boston Composers.” He sang bass in the choir at this time. April 29, 1885 and May 4, 1885. (Journal review of April 30, 1885)

(Boston)        Brahms: Rinaldo. December 15, 1883, Charles R. Adams, soloist. (December 5 and 10, 1883. (1)(3)

(Boston)          Brambach: Columbus. February 15 and 20, 1888. Date from program. Johnston Collection. The Club sang it again February 17 and 23, 1892.

(Boston)          Bruch: “Chorus of Vintagers and Sailors” from Loreley. Bass soloist: A. W. Thayer. MYBUS: 1887-88, 14.

(Boston)          Bruch: Frithiof’s Saga, Op. 23. February 4 and 9, 1881. (1) Also March 5, 1893, MYBUS 1892-93, 15.

(Boston)          Bruch: Salamis. April 26, 1882. (Brainard’s Musical World (June 1882): 93). Also known as Roman Song of Triumph or Triumphal Song of the Greeks.

(Boston)          Buck: Annie Laurie (harmonized for TTBB). December 6 and 9, 1889. BMYB 1889-90, 14 lists this piece, but not marked as a premier. (1) The copyright date for the G. Schirmer TTBB arrangement is 1882.

(Boston)          Buck: Chorus of Spirits and Hours for Tenor solo, Male Chorus and piano, flute, string quintet and organ. February 11 and 16, 1885. (3) The phrase “First Time” appears in the program-Johnston Collection.

(Boston)          Buck: King Olaf’s Christmas. December 7 and 12, 1881. Advertiser review mentions that this was the Boston premier. The work was published in 1881.

(World)           Chadwick: Jabberwocky, February 16 and 23, 1887. (3)

(World)           Chadwick: The Viking’s Last Voyage. Chadwick conducted. April 22, 1881. Part of Apollo Club 10th. Anniversary Concert (Lang’s sixty-eighth with the club). Have vocal score.

(Boston)         Cornelius: Scene, “Slumber holds him fast” from the Barber of Bagdad. Tenor- G. J.Parker. February 11 and 16, 1891. MYBUS: 1890-91, 14.

(Boston)         Conradi: Serenade. May 1 and 6, 1889. BMYB: 1888-89, 13.

(American)    Cowen: The Language of Flowers. A Suite for Orchestra. December 5 and 10, 1883. (3)

(Boston)         Debois: Lovely Maiden, Sleep On-translation by Charles W. Sprague. December 3 and 8, 1884. BMYB, 1884-85, Vol. 2, 44.

(Boston)         Dregert: Parting. Tenor- A. Wilkie. November 29 and December 5, 1887. MYBUS: 1887-88, 14

(Boston)         Englesberg: Love Song. December 3 and 8, 1884. BMYB, 1884-85, Vol. 2, 44.

(Boston)         Englesberg: Love, As a Nightingale. February 11 and 16, 1885. BMYB, 1884-85, Vol. 2, 45. The phrase “First Time” appeared in the program. Johnston Collection.

(American)    Esser: Mahomet’s Song-Double chorus and orchestra.  December 3 and 8, 1884.  BMYB, 1884-85, Vol. 2, 44.

(Boston)         Foote: Bedouin Song. November 22, 1893. Not mention as a first performance, but the world premier had been less than a year before, December 1892, in NYC. No Boston premier date is mentioned in Cipolla’s Catalog. The Advertiser review only says: “The Bedouin Song closed the concert which, the ‘Apollos’ may well be proud of.” (Advertiser (November 23, 1893): 4, GB) Also sung May 5, 1897 (Zeller).

(Boston)         Foote: Cavalry Song, April 27 and May 2, 1887. Boston Musical Yearbook 1886-87, 12, 44 and 45. Sung by a Quartet.

(Boston)         Foote: Farewell of Hiawatha. May 12 and 17, 1886. BMYB: 1885-86, 51.

(World)           Foote: If Doughty Deeds My Lady Please. April 29, 1885 and May 4, 1885. BMYB: 1884-85, 45.

(Boston)        Foote: Into the Silent Land, April 27 and May 2, 1887. BMYB: 1886-87, 12, 44 and 45. Sung by quartet. Cipolla Foote Catalog says its premier was as part of the 250th. Anniversary of Harvard, 1636-1886. [Of course, strictly speaking, this was a Cambridge, not Boston performance] Was published by Schmidt in 1886.

(Boston)        Gauby: A Song to Praise thy Beauty. April 30 and May 2, 1884. (1) BMYB 1883-84, 51.

(Boston)       Gericke, Wilhelm: The Autumn Sea. November 22, 1899. Premier mentioned in the November 23, 1899 Advertiser review. NEW, not on lists.

(   ? ?      )       Goldmark: The Flower Net with Piano and Horns. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.” April 30 and May 5, 1884. Listed in BMYB 1883-84, 51, but not as a premier. Repeated April 25 and 30, 1888, Johnston program.

(Boston)       Goetz: Overture, Spring, Opus 15 for Orchestra. May 20, 1880. The BSO played this later on March 28, 1895 and again in 1915. Howe, BSO 1881-1930, 199.

(Boston)       arr. Grieg: Fair Toro, a Norwegian folk-song. March 22, 1899. Premier mentioned in the November 23, 1899 Advertiser  review. NEW, not on lists.

(Boston)      Grieg: Discovery, composed 1872, (Landkjending, Landsighting or Plainsman’s Song) for bass solo, choir and orchestra. . Mentioned an a Premier in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.”   February 14, 1883 (Journal Review), but not mentioned as a first performance.  However, the Schirmer English edition has a copyright date of 1883, and the note, “Orchestra parts always on hand.” So a performance early in 1883 with orchestra would probably be at least a Boston Premier, if not an American Premier.  Again February 16 and 23, 1887 “with organ and orchestra,” BMYB 1886-87, 44 and April 29 and May 4, 1891-(“Could have been heartier”-Elson), and December 2, 1897 (Advertiser review).

(Boston)      Grossbauer: Love, thine eyelids close. February 20 and 25, 1889. MYBUS: 1888-89 15. Also (1)

(World)        Henschel: The King and the Poet. April 26, 1882. Gazette review probably written by B. E. Woolf.

(Boston)        Hiller: Easter Morning with Soprano solo and piano accompaniment. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.” April 25 and 30, 1888. Program-Johnston Collection. This was also sung at Lang’s final concert with the choir

(     ??    )        Hiller: Hope. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.”

(World)         Ingraham, (Robert) George: The Owl and the Pussy Cat. April 27 and May 2, 1887-not noted as a premier in (3-BMYB: 1886-87) nor in the Journal review, but the copyright of the TTBB arrangement (and the original song) is 1866. BMYB: 1888-89 lists other performances on May 1 and 6, 1889. Ingraham may have been the composer who had a ragtime published by (John) Stark Music Co., who was Scott Joplin’s main publisher.

(Boston)       Juengst: Spin, Spin. February 20 and 25, 1889. MYBUS: 1888-89, 13; and April 29 and May 4, 1891. MYBUS: 1890-91, 15.

(Boston)       Kremser: A Venetian Serenade. February 20 and 25, 1884. (1)(3)

(    ??       )       Lachner: Evening. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.”

(    ??       )       Lachner: Warrior’s Prayer. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.”

(Boston)       Lachner: Woodcock Song. December 7 and 12, 1881, mentioned as a Boston premier in the Advertiser review.

(World)         Lang, B. J.: Her I Love, sung by Mr. William J. Winch, March 3, 1874. (1)

(World)         Lang, B. J.: Hi-fe-lin-ke-le, February 20 and 25, 1884; May 12 and 17, 1887; and April 30 and May 5, 1890. (1)

(World)         Lang, B. J.: The Lass of Carlisle, solo for baritone sung by Mr. Hay, April 29, 1885 and May 4, 1885. (Journal and Advertiser reviews) Also at Lang’s final concert with Apollo on May 1, 1901 by Clarence E. Hay, who was on the Music Committee. Hay also sang Lang’s The Chase [originally premiered at the Cecilia concert April 12, 1882]. (Zeller, e-mail, October 15, 2012)

(World)         Lang, B. J.: Nocturne-“Up to her chamber window”  for tenor solo, April 29 and May 4, 1885; April 27 and May 2, 1887; April 29 and May 4, 1891 [Program, Johnston Collection] and May 5, 1897. (1)

(World)         Lang, B. J.: The Two Roses, sung by Mr. William J. Winch, March 3, 1874. (1)

(World)         Lang, B. J.: The Sea-King, duet, June 1, 1874. (1) “Sung by the Brothers Winch.” (Dwight (June 13, 1874): 247) Also March 9, 1880 sung by Dr. Bullard and J. F. Winch. (Dwight (April 10, 1880): 62, GB)

(World)         Lang, B. J.: My True Love Has My Heart, May 12 and 17, 1886. Supported on the 17th. by violins-BMYB: 1885-86.

(World)         Lang, B. J.: Part Song-Who comes so gracefully, gliding along. June 1, 1874. (1)  (Dwight (June 13, 1874): 247) (1) Also March 9, 1875.

(World)         Lang, M. R.: The Boatman’s Hymn. January 18, 1893, MYBUS 1892-93, 15 and May 8, 1895 (Zeller).  “Written for the Club.”

(World)         Lang, M. R.:  The Maiden and the Butterfly. May 1 and 6, 1889. MYBUS: 1888-89, 13 and (1).

(World)         Lang, M. R.: The Jumblies. December 3 and 8, 1890. Date from program-Johnston Collection and MYBUS: 1890-91, 14..

(World)         arr. Lang, M. R., Lacome, Paul: Estudianfina. Premiered December 6 and 9, 1889. Repeated March 5, 1893. Margaret made an orchestral arrangement of the accompaniment for this well known piece.

(Boston)       Lloyd: The Longbeards’ Saga. December 4 and 10, 1888. MYBUS: 1888-89, 12. Also November 22, 1892. MYBUS: 1892-93, 14.

(Boston)       MacDowell: Bonnie Ann, Opus 53, text by Robert Burns (?). March 22, 1899. Premier mentioned in the November 23, 1899 Advertiser  review. NEW, not on lists.

(Boston)       MacDowell: Midsummer Clouds, November 30, 1898. (Advertiser (December 1, 1898): 4, GB)

(Boston)       Massenet, Jules: The Monks and the Pirates. November 22, 1899. Premier mentioned in the November 23, 1899 Advertiser  review. NEW, not on lists.

(Boston)       Mendelssohn: Antigone of Sophocles, Opus 55. At Tremont Temple on June 7, 1877. Soloists: Dr. Bullard, Powers, Wilkie, Lincoln, Babcock, Allen Brown, Aiken; reader-Prof. Churchill; pianist-Arthur Foote. (1)(2)

(Boston)       Mendelssohn: Oedipus in Colonos, Opus 93. At the Music Hall on January 27, 1880 with orchestra, Lang conducting. Reader-Howard M. Ticknor. (1)(2)

(Boston)       Mohr: The Sea-solo by Mr. Hay. February 20 and 25, 1884. BMYB 1883-84, 51.

(Boston)       Mohr: The Thunder Storm. February 11 and 16, 1891. MYBUS: 1890-91, 14

(American) Nicode: Symphony-Ode, The Sea. March 3, 1894. Transcript review.

(World)        Osgood: In Picardie: “Written for the Apollo Club.”  May 3, 1893 (Advertiser (May 4, 1893): 5, GB); May 8, 1895; and May 5, 1897.

(Boston)       Osgood: Proposal. April 29 and May 4, 1885 (Journal review); February 10 and 15, 1886.(1) January 18, 1893, BMYB: 1892-93, 15.

(World)         Paine: Oedipus Tyrannus-Overture and seven numbers for tenor, chorus and semi-chorus interspersed with readings from the play. Harvard, Cambridge, May 17, 1881. “Fourth Chorus” done April 30 and May 5, 1884, BMYB: 1883-84, 51.

(World)         Paine: Radway’s Ready Relief. April 25 and 27, 1883 (Courier review) Repeated February 20 and 25, 1884, BMYB: 1883-84, 51. A note in the program: “Composed 1863.”

(Boston)       Paine: Summons to Love. April 26 and May 2, 1882. (1) (Brainard’s Musical World (June 1882): 93).

(World)         Parker, James Cutler Dunn: The Blind King for baritone solo, male chorus and orchestra. “Written for the Apollo Club.” April 25, 1883. Program-Johnston Collection. Repeated April 29 and May 4, 1885. (Journal review)

(Boston)       Parker, Horatio W.: Three Words. November 22, 1899. Premier mentioned in the November 23, 1899 Advertiser review. NEW, not on lists.

(Boston)       Prout: Damon and Pythias. December 6 and 9, 1889. MYBUS: 1889-90, 14.

(Boston)       Raff: Italian Suite for Orchestra, five movements, one of his “sunniest” works. December 3 and 8, 1884. BPL Reviews.

(    ??      )        Raff: Warder Song. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.” May 3 and 26, 1876. Was the American premier of the English translation made by Charles J. Sprague

(  ??       )         Randegger: The “Forge Scene” from Fridolin. Decembeer 3 and 8, 1884. BMYB, 1884-54, 44.

(Boston)       Rubinstein: Morning. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.”

(Boston)       Schubert: The Almighty. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.” December 4 and 10, 1888. Listed in MYBUS: 1888-89, 12, but not marked as a premier.

(    ??      )        Schubert: Song of the Spirits Over the Water. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.”

(    ??      )       Schumann: Forester’s Chorus. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.”

(Boston)       Saint-Saens: The Soldiers of Gideon, Op. 46, for double chorus. February 11 and 16, 1885. (1) BMYB: 1884-85, 45. Also the phrase “First Time” is in the program-Johnston Collection.

(Boston)       Spicker: The Linden Tree. November 29 and Deccember 5, 1887. MYBUS: 1887-88, 14.

(Boston)       Storch: Home. April 25 and 30, 1888. MYBUS: 1887-88, 14.

(Boston)       Storch: Thy Faithful Comrade-with Horn and Piano. November 29 and December  5, 1887. MYBUS: 1887-88, 14. Used First Horn from the BSO.

(Boston)       Strong, Templeton: The Haunted Mill. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.” For Baritone soloist, Chorus and Orchestra. February 20 and 25, 1889. MYBUS: 1888-89, 15. Repeated February 11 and 16, 1891. MYBUS 1890-91, 14.

(World)         Strong, Templeton: The Knights and the Naiads for Soprano, Alto and Baritone Soloists, Male Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 32. February 19 and 24, 1890. Written for the Club.

(American)  Strong, Templeton: The Trumpeter for tenor (G. J. Parker) and baritone (C. E. Hay) soloists, chorus and orchestra. February 15 and 20, 1888. From the program. Johnston Collection. Also MYBUS: 1887-88, 14.

(World)          Strube, Gustav: Overture for brass and kettledrums. “Dedicated to the Apollo Club.” January 26, 1898. Violinist with BSO: 1890-1913.

(Boston)        Tabor: Cannibal Idyl. February 19 and 24, 1890.  MYBUS, 1889-90, 15. (From Australia)(HAVE COPY IN PREMIERS FOLDER)

(Boston)       Thayer: Heinz von Stein-Drinking Song. April 27 and May 2, 1887. (1)(3) Also May 1 and 6, 1889. MYBUS, 1888-89, 13.  Not available ill.

(Boston)       Thayer: Hymn to Apollo. April 25 and 30, 1888. “Written for the Club.” Journal review and MYBUS: 1887-88, 14. Repeated December 3 and 8, 1890. MBYUS: 1890-91, 14

(World)         Thayer: Sea Greeting. “Composed for the Club.” February 16 and 23, 1887. (1) MYBUS: 1886-87, 44. Not available at Ill.

(Boston)       Wagner: “Chorus of Sailors” from the last act of Flying Dutchman. December 7 and 12, 1881. Advertiser undated review.

(Boston)       Wahlgemuth, Gustav, arranged by: Secret Love. Premier mentioned in the November 23, 1899 Advertiser review. NEW, not on lists.

(Boston)       Weinzierl: Thou Lovliest Maid. November 29 and December 5, 1887. MYBUS: 1887-88, 14.

(World)         Whiting: Free Lances. “Written for the Apollo Club.” April 25, 1883. Program-Johnston Collection. Also February 11 and 16, 1891. MYBUS, 1890-91, 14.

(Boston)       Whiting: Henry of Navarre for tenor solo, male chorus and orchestra. April 29 and May 4, 1885. (1)(3) Also February 19 and 24, 1890: tenor soloist, G. J. Parker. MYBUS, 1889-1890, 15.

(World)         Whiting: March of the Monks of Bangor. April 22, 1881. Tenth Anniversary Concert. Also February 16 and 23, 1887. MYBUS, 1886-87, 44.

(Boston)       Whiting: Overture to The Princess for orchestra. April 30 and May 1884. (BPL Reviews) BMYB, 1883-84, 51.

(Boston)       Williams, C. Lee: Song of the Pedlar. Premier mentioned in the November 23, 1899 Advertiser review. NEW, not on lists.

(Boston)       Zoellner: The Feast of the Vine in Blossom for Quartet, Male Chorus and Orchestra. April 30 and May 5, 1884. (1) BMYB, 1884-85, 51.

(Boston)       Zoellner: Young Siegfried. February 11 and 16, 1885. (1) BMYB, 1884-85, 45. Also the phrase “First Time” appears in the program-Johnston Collection.




Chapter 2: 1858-1871.
Chapter 3: 1871-1881.
Chapter 4: 1881-1891.
Chapter 5: 1891-1901.
Chapter 6: 1901-1909.


(Boston) Bach: Concerto in G minor, No. 7 [BWV 1058] with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club quartet of strings, February 14, 1865. (Dowell, 414)

(American) Bach: Concerto for Four Keyboards and String Accompaniment. Lang Concert at Mechanics’ Hall on April 1, 1880. (Dwight (May 8, 1880): 79)

(Boston) Beethoven: C minor Trio, Opus 1, No. 3 with Mendelssohn Quintette Club (August Fries-violin and Wulf Fries-cello, February 2, 1858. (Dowell, 363). Chickering Saloon, Masonic Temple.

(Boston) Beethoven: Concerto No. 1 with HMA January 16, 1868 (Johnson, First, 46)

(Boston) Beethoven: Concerto No. 2 with HMA, February 1, 1867 (Johnson, First, 46)

(Boston) Beethoven: The Ruins of Athens (Selections), January 24, 1881.

(Boston) Beethoven: Triple Concerto with HMA February 27, 1868 with HMA, Zerrahn conducting, Eichberg-violin and Fries-cello (Johnson, First, 50)

(Probably American) Bennett: Capriccio for Piano and Strings, Friday February 25, 1859 (Dowell, 373) with Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and then with full orchestra at the February 11, 1860 concert of the Philharmonic. (Dwight (February 18, 1860): 374) Somehow Johnson missed this 1860 performance, and lists the “first time in Boston with orchestra” as the January 29, 1874 Music Hall performance with the HMA conducted by Zerrahn and also with Lang as soloist. (Johnson, First, 59) This was not Johnson’s fault as he was only quoting from Dwight’s review of February 7, 1874 on page 174.

(Boston) Bennett: Capriccio in E with HMA January 29, 1874. (Johnson, 59) He had played it in the chamber form before.

(American?) Bennett: Piano Sonata in A Flat, Op. 46-The Maid of Orleans. Mentioned in one Obit-do not know when.

(American) Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Georg Henschel conductor, March 14 and 15, 1884.

(Boston) Brahms: Trio, Opus 40, Kneisel Quartet, February 1887.

(Boston) von Bronsart: Concerto in F-sharp minor with HMA March 25, 1880. (Johnson, 93)

(Boston) von Bronsart: Piano Trio in G Minor, March 20, 1879.

(American) Debussy: Three Nocturnes (with female choir), Chickering Concert, February 10, 1904-Mr. Georges Longy conducted (Herald ad, (January 30, 1904): 10). Was the second piece on the program and then repeated for the final piece.

(Boston) Dussek: Sonata for Piano and Violin in B flat with Edward Schultze, first violinist of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, January 8, 1867. Chickering Hall, Washington Street. (Dowell, 421)

(Boston) Dussek: Quartette for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 41 with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, February 12, 1861. Chickering Hall, Washington Street. (Dowell, 390)

(Boston) Franck: Les Djinns for Piano and Orchestra, Chickering Concert, February 24, 1904-Lang conducted. Soloist-Mrs. Jessie Downey Eaton.

(Boston/American) Glazunov: Symphonic Poem, Opus 13, “Stenka Razin.” Chickering Concerts, March 23, 1904.

(Boston) Goldmark: Pianoforte and String Quintet in B Flat, Opus 30. Lang Concert at Mechanics’ Hall, April 29, 1880. (Dwight, May 8, 1880, 79)

(American) Graedener, Karl Georg Peter: Quintette in G minor, Op. 7 with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, March 19, 1862, Chickering Hall, Washington Street. (Dowell, 399)

(Boston) Hiller: Concerto No. 2 in F-sharp minor with HMA January 14, 1875. (Johnson, 195) But, Dwight review of February 5 says that Miss Mehlig had already played it.

(Salem) Hummel: Concerto in A-minor [No. 2, Opus 85] with HMA February 15, 1867 (Johnson, First, 196) Actually, the Dwight review of this February 15, 1867 concert has J.C.D. Parker as the soloist. Lang had played the work in Salem at “Mr. Lang’s Piano Forte Soiree” on April 13, 1863 with the orchestra part played by Mr. Steele. (Salem Register, (April 13, 1863): 2, GB)

(World?)  MacDowell. Orchestral Fragments. Mentioned in the Transcript article “The Career of B. J. Lang.”

(Boston) Mendelssohn: complete music for a Midsummer Night’s Dream, April 23, 1864, on the Tercentennial of Shakespeare’s birth.

(Boston and or American) Mendelssohn: Eighth Book-Songs Without Words. March 18, 1868. (Dwight (March 28, 1868): 215)

(American) Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K. 482 (1785) with Philharmonic Society, Carl Zerrahn, cadenza by Lang, February 26, 1859. (Johnson, First, 268)

(Boston) Mozart: Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat, K. 365 (1779) with Harvard Musical Association Orchestra, Carl Zerrahn, November 21, 1867. The second pianist was J.C.D. Parker. (Johnson, First, 269)

(Boston)  Paine: Prelude to the Birds of Aristophanies (Paine conducted), March 9, 1904, Chickering Concerts.

(American) Perilhou: Andante in G Major for Violin, Harp and Organ. March 24, 1904 Benefit Concert arranged by Lang for the Berkeley Temple (Congregational) Church. Herald, March 20, 1904, 33.

(American) Raff: Sinfonietta, Op. 188 for ten woodwinds. Tremont Temple, February 24, 1881. Dwight review, March 26, 1881. Herald review February 25, 1881, 4, GB.

(Boston) Rubinstein: Concerto in G major with HMA February 1, 1872. (Johnson, 302)

(Probably Boston, maybe American) Rubinstein: Octet for Piano, Strings and Woodwinds. Tremont Temple Concert, February 24, 1881. Dwight review, March 26, 1881.

(Boston) Rubinstein: Quintet in F Major for Piano and Woodwinds. Tremont Temple Concert, February 24, 1881. Dwight review, March 26, 1881. Herald, February 25, 1881, 4, GB.

(American) Saint-Saens: Concerto No. 2 in G minor with HMA February 3, 1876 (Johnson, 309) He then played it in New York with the Philharmonic Society conducted by Leopold Damrosch ONE DAY after Annette Essipoff had played it’s New York premier on December 8, 1876 with the Thomas Orchestra!

(Boston) Saint-Saens: Sonata for Cello and Piano in c Minor. Fries and Lang at a Lang Concert on April 1, 1880. (Globe Archive, April 2, 1880, 2).

(Boston) Schubert/Liszt orchestration: Wanderer Fantasia with HMA February 1, 1867. (Dwight (February 16, 1867): 398)

(Boston) Schumann: Concertstuck in G-minor (Introduction and Allegro) with HMA, Zerrahn conducting, February 6, 1873. (Johnson, 330)

(Boston) Schumann Piano Concerto. Played by Lang and Otto Dresel on two pianos at a concert in the Music Hall on December 10, 1864. Lang then played part of the concerto at a concert by Mme. Parepa on one evening, and the rest of the work the next evening. Dresel gave the orchestral premier with the HMA orchestra on November 23, 1866. (Johnson, First, 328).

(Boston) Tomasek: Three Ecologues with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club on Tuesday, March 2, 1869. (Dowell, 430)

(Boston)  Wagner: Parsifal (Concert Performance-complete). April 14, 1891. Combined Apollo Club and Cecilia Society and orchestra from New York. (Johnson, First, 387)

(Boston) Weber/Liszt orchestration: E-flat Polonaise with HMA February 8, 1866. (Dwight, February 17, 1866, 191) He played this work again at the HMA “Symphony Concert Extra” given in April 1867. The regular season of nine concerts had been so successful  that this tenth concert was added in celebration. (Dwight (April 27, 1867): 22)



Chapter 2: 1858-1871.
Chapter 3: 1871-1881.
Chapter 4: 1881-1891.
Chapter 5: 1891-1901.

(Boston) Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37. According to Dwight, Alice Dutton was the first to play the entire work. With HMA in February 1870.[xii] Johnson credits J. L. Hatton, pianist with the Musical Fund Society led by George J. Webb on December 8, 1842.[xiii]

(Boston) Dvorak’s Concerto No. 2 in B Minor; on March 25th. Mr. Whelpley played the Boston premier (Herald, March 2, 1890, 9, GB)

(Boston) Godard: Introduction and Allegro, Op. 49 at the B. J. Lang Pianoforte Concerto Concert of April 10, 1888 with Mr. G. W. Sumner as the soloist. (Boston Musical Yearbook 1887-88, 12)

(American) MacDowell: Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 15, B. J. Lang Pianoforte Concerto-Concert” where Lang conducted and his pupil B. J. Whelpley played the solo part, April 3, 1888 (MYB, 1887-88, 12). This would have been the first American performance of the complete work; sections had been played earlier in New York. (Johnson, First, 225)

(Boston) Mendelssohn: Serenade and Allegro Giocoso for Piano, Opus 43. Alice Dutton on March 21, 1866 at the Music Hall, Carl Zerrahn was the conductor. J. C. D. Parker played the same work ONE day later with the Harvard Musical Association Orchestra, also with Carl Zerrahn conducting.[xiv]

(Boston) Mozart: Concerto No. 23 in A, K. 488 (1786) and Concerto No. 12 in A, K. 414 (1782) by Mr. H. G. Tucker with HMA, Music Hall, Zerrahn conducting, December 19, 1878. (Johnson, 268 and 266) Tucker “came in at a day’s warning” as a substitute for a singer. (Dwight (January, 18, 1879): 15)

(Boston) Mozart: Concerto for Three Pianos in F with Miss Ann Gilbreth, Mr. G. W. Sumner and Mr. Arthur Mayo at the B. J. Lang Piano-Concerto Concert on April 1, 1890. (Boston Musical Yearbook-1889-90, 13)

(Boston) Reinecke: Concerto in G-minor, Op. 33. Music Hall, Mr. R. C. Dixey, unnamed orchestra, Lang conducting, April 18, 1872. (Johnson, 292)

(Boston) St.-Saens: Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 17 by Joshua Phippen. (Herald (March 30, 1887): 2, GB)

(American) Saint-Saens: Concerto No. 4 in C-minor, Op. 44 at Music Hall, Mr. John A. Preston, with HMA, Zerrahn conducting, February 14, 1878. (Johnson, 310)

(American) Saint-Saens: Variations for Two Pianofortes on a Theme by Beethoven, Opus 35 at Mechanics’ Hall on March 23, 1876.

(Boston) Schumann: Concert Allegro with Introduction for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 134, Music Hall, Mr. H. G. Tucker, HMA with Zerrahn conducting, February 17, 1876. (Johnson, 330)

(American or Boston) Sgambati: Concerto in G minor, Op. 14 (ca. 1881), with Hiram G. Tucker as soloist at the Music Hall, BSO with Nikisch conducting, October 31, 1890. (Johnson, First, 336).

(Boston) Wagner/Tanzig: Ride of the Walkurea, December 19, 1879. A solo by Mr. H. G. Tucker at the HMA concert where he played Mozart concerti; see above.


Pamela Fox lists these three pieces conducted by Lang as Philadelphia premiers:

(Philadelphia)  Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, Opus 23. December 17, 1875. However, the ad for the concert on this date lists Piano Concerto No. 5, Beethoven and Liszt Fantasie Hon. Academy of Music. Summary of B. J. Lang’ Premiers: Works with Orchestra.-Pamela Fox.

(Philadelphia)   von Henselt, Adolf: Piano Concerto in f minor, Opus 16. December 21, 1875. Academy of Music. (Ibid)

(Philadelphia)   Sterndale Bennett:Overture-The Naiads, Opus 15. December 22, 1875. Acadeny of Music. (Ibid)



(World)           Chadwick: “Introduction and Allegro” (originally called “Overture in B-flat”) which became the First Movement of his Symphony No. 2. Apollo Club concerts of April 29 and May 4, 1885. Chadwick conducted.



RMS ETRURIA. Wikipedia, accessed March 10, 2019.

SS SILESIA. Hamburg American Line. Hammonia class ship. Had both a steam engine and also set of traditional masts holding eleven sails. Two engines drove a single 10 foot screw with 2,200 horsepower making 54 revolutions per minute. Twelve men shoveling coal continuously from four coal bunkers kept her engines running around the clock.

Plans for the SS FRISIA (1872) which were almost the same as those for the SS SILESIA.

The ship was launched in Grenock, Scotland on April 14, 1869 and made her maiden voyage from Hamburg to New York on June 23, 1869. 600 passengers-the bottom line says 100 First Class, 140 Second Class and the rest steerage. All information from the Wikipedia article SS SILESIA (1869) accessed March 15, 2019.


  • 5/2. This means Chapter 5, Section 2. Then there will be a list of Topics within that Section.
  • 1883 World Columbian Exposition.  9/1
  • 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  5/1
  • 70TH. BIRTHDAY FOR B. J. 6/2
  • American Guild of Organists.   5/2
  • Apollo Club-B. J.  Resigns. 5/4
  • APOLLO CLUB SEASON 1872-1873.   3/1                                                                 APOLLO CLUB SEASON 1873-1874.   3/1                                                                 APOLLO CLUB SEASON 1874-1875.  3/2
  • APOLLO CLUB SEASON 1875-1876.  3/2
  • APOLLO CLUB SEASON 1876-1877.   3/3
  • APOLLO CLUB SEASON 1877-1878.   3/3
  • APOLLO CLUB SEASON 1878-1879. 3/4
  • APOLLO CLUB SEASON 1879-1880.  3/4
  • APOLLO CLUB SEASON 1880-1881. 3/4
  • Apollo Club Season 1881-1882. 11th.  4/1
  • Apollo Club Season 1882-1883.  12th. 4/1
  • Apollo Club Season 1883-1884.  13th. 4/2
  • Apollo Club Season 1884-1885.  14th. 4/2
  • Apollo Club Season 1885-1886.  15th. 4/2
  • Apollo Club Season 1886-1887.  16th. 4/3
  • Apollo Club Season 1887-1888.  17th. 4/3
  • Apollo Club Season 1888-1889.  18th. 4/3
  • Apollo Club Season 1889-1890.  19th. 4/4
  • Apollo Club Season 1890-1891.  20th. 4/4
  • Apollo Club Season 1891-1892. 21st.  5/1
  • Apollo Club Season 1893-1894.  23rd. 5/2
  • Apollo Club Season 1894-1895. 24th.  5/2
  • Apollo Club Season 1895-1896. 25th.  5/2
  • Apollo Club Season 1896-1897.  26th. 5/3
  • Apollo Club Season 1897-1898.  27th. 5/3
  • Apollo Club Season 1898-1899. 28th.  5/4
  • Apollo Club Season 1899-1900.  29th. 5/4
  • Apollo Club Season 1900-1901. 30th.  5/4
  • Apollo Sings for the Funeral of John H. Stickney.  5/1
  • APOLLO-SPRING 1881.   3/43
  • Apthorp, William Foster. 2/3
  • Apthorp Lecture.   5/3
  • Artistic Growth-1860’s
  • Attacks on Lang Through Tucker and Foote.  4/2
  • AVERAGE WEEK.   3/3
  • B. J. as a Piano Salesman.   2/1
  • Bach Birthday Concert.   4/2
  • Bach Concerts.   5/3
  • Bayreuth. 5/3
  • Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1-Boston Premier.   2/3
  • “Best concert in its history.”  5/2
  • Bible Songs and Youthful Voices.   1/1
  • Birthday Wishes from the Family for MRL.   10/1
  • Boston: 1850. 1/1
  • Boston Singers (Replaced Boylston Club)  4/4
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra and Lang.  4/1
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra Chorus.  5/1
  • BOYLSTON CLUB.   3/1
  • Brimmer Street House Described.  9/1
  • Brown, Allen A.   4/2
  • BSO 100th. Birthday Celebration.    10/1
  • BSO 1966 Honor.    10/1
  • BSO Subscriber Since 1881, First Concert, to the Present: MRL.   10/1
  • von BULOW. 3/2
  • Burrage Room-see Ruth Burrage Room.
  • Carreno, Teresa.   2/2
  • CECILIA SEASON 1876-1877.  1st. Indep. 3/3
  • CECILIA SEASON 1877-1878.  2nd. Indep. 3/3
  • CECILIA SEASON 1878-1879.  3rd. Indep. 3/3
  • CECILIA SEASON 1879-1880.  4th. Indep. 3/4
  • CECILIA SEASON 1880-1881.  5th. Indep. 3/4
  • Cecilia Season 1881-1882. 6th.  4/1
  • Cecilia Season 1882-1883. 7th.  4/1
  • Cecilia Season 1883-1884. 8th.  4/2
  • Cecilia Season 1884-1885.  9th.  4/2
  • Cecilia Season 1885-1886. 10th. 4/2
  • Cecilia Season 1886-1887. 11th.  4/3
  • Cecilia Season 1887-1888. 12th. 4/3
  • Cecilia Season 1889-1890. 14th. 4/4
  • Cecilia Season 1890-1891. 15th.  4/4
  • Cecilia Season 1891-1892.  16th. 5/1
  • Cecilia Season 1892-1893. 17th.  5/1
  • Cecilia Season 1893-1894.  18th. 5/1
  • Cecilia Season 1894-1895.  19th. 5/2
  • Cecilia Season 1895-1896.  12th. 5/2
  • Cecilia Season 1896-1897.  21st. 5/3
  • Cecilia Season 1897-1898.  22nd. 5/3
  • Cecilia Season 1898-1899.  23rd. 5/3
  • Cecilia Season 1899-1900.  24th. 5/4
  • Cecilia Season 1900-1901.  25th. 5/4
  • CECILIA SEASON 1901-1902.  26th. 6/1
  • CECILIA SEASON 1902-1903.  27th. 6/1. HAVERHILL.
  • CECILIA SEASON 1903-1904.  28th. 6/1
  • CECILIA SEASON 1904-1905.  29th. 6/2
  • CECILIA SEASON 1905-1906.  30th. 6/ 2
  • CECILIA SEASON 1906-1907.  31st. 6/2
  • CENSUS-1880. 3/4
  • Chadwick-Support by Lang.    4/3
  • Chickering Agent.   1/1
  • Chickering piano for Master Lang.   1/1
  • Choral Premiers of Margaret’s.   8/1
  • Choral Training Techniques of Lang.
  • Christmas Season-1864.   2/2
  • Complimentary Concert for B. J., March 1860.   2/1
  • Concert Arias, Three.   9/1
  • Concerto (Piano) Performances Through 1900.  5/4
  • Concert to Help the Patriots of Crete.  2/3
  • Critics of Lang.   5/1
  • Damnation of Faust.    4/1
  • DEATH.  Benjamin Johnson Lang.   6/2
  • Death.  Margaret Ruthven Lang.  10/1
  • Debut as Pianist in Boston.   2/1
  • Diphtheria.   4/1
  • Dixey, R. C.   2/3
  • Dixey, Richard C.   2/2
  • Dramatic Overture and Witichis. 9/1
  • Dramatic Overture and Witichis Reviews. 9/1
  • Dutton, Alice-Early Lang Piano Pupil.   2/2
  • Dwight, John S. 2/1
  • Early Piano Teachers of B. J.’s. 1/1
  • Etude Interview with Lang About his Teaching. 5/3
  • EULOGIES.   6/2
  • European Study for B. J.  Three Years or Not.   1/1
  • EUTERPE.   3/4
  • Ex Governor Wolcott’s funeral.  5/4
  • Fall of 1870.   2/3
  • Family Portraits.  5/3
  • Farm: Second Summer Season-1896.   5/2
  • Farm: Summer Seasons 1897-1901.  5/4
  • Farm: Third Summer Season: 1897.  5/3
  • Father B. and B. J. Music Rooms in Salem.   2/1
  • Father Benjamin and B. J. in a joint concert.   1/1
  • Father Benjamin’s Businesses.   1/1
  • Fidelio.    4/1
  • First Child.   2/2
  • First Lectures.   2/3
  • First Symphony Series.   2/3
  • First Walpurgis Night.   2/1
  • FOOTE, ARTHUR.   3/2
  • Frances’ Singing Lessons.   2/3
  • Frances’ Stand. “Opposing Electrocution.”   9/1
  • Frances Morse Lang-Death 10/1
  • Franz Liszt Dinner.   4/1
  • FUNERAL.   6/2
  • “Genius.” Musical America Article about Margaret.    8/1
  • Gericke, Wilhelm.   4/2
  • Gilmore’s Jubilee.   4/3
  • Gilmore Concert.   2/3
  • Globe Theatre Concerts. 2/3
  • Gottschalk and Lang.   2/1
  • Gottschalk and Lang. II.   2/2
  • HALL OF FAME.   6/2
  • Handel and Haydn 50th. Anniversary.   2/2
  • Handel and Haydn Accompanist-October 1859.  2/1
  • Handel and Haydn Salary.   4/4
  • Handel and Haydn Society.   2/1
  • Handel and Haydn Society-Lang conducts.  “Was the best concert ever.”
  • Hannah Lang letter-1864.  2/2
  • Harvard Musical Association New Home.  5/1
  • Harvard Musical Association Orchestral Concerts. 2/2
  • Haydn’s-The Seasons.   2/2
  • Heavenly Noel, The.   9/1
  • Henschel and the B.S.O.  4/1
  • Henschel: Miss Helen’s Boston Debut Recital.  5/4
  • HENSCHEL, LILLIAN JUNE BAILEY. b. 1860, d. 1901.  3/3
  • Hill Burlingame, Edward.   5/2
  • Hood, Helen  4/1
  • Hook and Hastings Studio Organ.  5/2
  • HOUSE AT 8 OTIS PLACE.   3/1
  • House Warming: Harvard Musical Association    9/1
  • Hymn of Praise for Charity.   4/4
  • Hymn of Praise Premier.   2/1
  • Immaculate Conception Church.   4/2
  • Munich Conservatory Instructors.    8/1
  • Irish Love Song.  9/1
  • Irish Love Song Lives On.   10/1
  • Jaell, Alfred.   1/1
  • Joy, Clara F. Early Lang pupil.   2/3
  • King’s Chapel: Easter and Christmas 1895.  5/2
  • King’s Chapel: Elijah.   5/4
  • King’s Chapel: Vespers. Lang’s Magic as an Organist.  4/4
  • King’s Chapel-Christmas 1890.   4/4
  • Lang’s Home: 1864. With Burrages.  2/2
  • Lang’s Musical Position in Boston. 4/1
  • Lang’s Musical Talks.   5/2
  • Lang’s Works Premiered by the Apollo Club.   4/2
  • Lang as B.S.O. Conductor?
  • LANG AS HANDEL AND HAYDN ORGANIST: Third Triennial Festival.  3/2
  • Lang Assists.   4/3
  • Lang, Benjamin Johnson.  1/1
  • Lang, Margaret Ruthven.  2/3
  • Lang- Musical Dictator of Boston.  5/3
  • Lang on Piano Playing.   5/1
  • Lecture Business-Lang, Chadwick, Paine and Elson.  4/2
  • Lectures on Piano Technique.  4/2
  • Lincoln’s Funeral.   2/2
  • Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation Concert.   2/1
  • Liszt and Lang.  4/3
  • MacDowell, Edward Alexander.  4/3
  • MacDowell, Mrs.   10/1
  • Margaret’s First Performances.   8/1
  • Margaret’s Musical Style.  8/1
  • Margaret Aged 101.  10/1
  • Marriage to Frances Morse Burrage.   2/1
  • Mendelssohn: Son and Stranger.   4/1
  • Mendelssohn-Eighth Book of Songs Without Words.  2/3
  • Mendelssohn Quintette Club Performances-1860 to 1869.   2/3
  • Mercantile Hall Concerts.   2/3
  • Messages From God. 1927-1939. 10/1
  • Missa Solemnis-Beethoven. Cecilia Sings at Symphony Hall Dedication. 5/4  Popular
  • Missing Pieces: MRL.  9/1
  • Missing Symphony: MRL.  9/1
  • More B. J. Solo Appearances.   2/2
  • More MRL Song Performances. 8/1
  • MRL’s Biographies of Early Life. 8/1
  • Munich Conservatory Instructors.    8/1
  • Munich: Margaret begins her studies.  4/2
  • Munich Study-1885.    8/1
  • Murder.   5/4
  • Music Hall Organ Concerts.   2/3
  • Music Hall Organ Dedication.   2/2
  • Music Hall Organ: 1865-66 Season.  2/2
  • Musicians’ Aid Concert.  5/4
  • Nevin, Ethelbert.   4/1
  • New Boston Farm: First Summer Season-1895.   5/2
  • New England Conservatory.   2/2
  • Nikisch, Arthur. 4/4
  • Nikisch, BSO, Play for Margaret’s Instruction.   8/1
  • Ninth Cecilia Season. 1884-1885.   4/2
  • Ojala-1889 Paris World’s Fair.   8/1
  • Ojala-Washington, D. C. Performance.   8/1
  • Old South Organist-1859.   2/1
  • Organ Positions: Early. 1/1
  • Organ Positions: Old South Church. 1859-1864. South Congregational Church. 1864-1888. King’s Chapel. 1888-1909. B. J.’s Studio Organs. 1/1
  • OTHER CHARITABLE EVENTS (1) (2) (3).  6/1
  • Other Concert Groups.   2/2
  • Other Concerts.  2/3
  • PAINE- AZARA.  6/1
  • Parsifal: Second Time.   5/1
  • Parsifal.  4/4
  • PARSIFAL. 6/1
  • Peace Jubilee: 1869. 2/3
  • Personality.  5/3
  • Petersilia, Carlyle and Lang.  2/3
  • Philharmonic Society Soloist. Lang plays Tchaikovsky.  4/1
  • Pianoforte Concerto Concerts-First Series-1887.  4/3
  • Pianoforte Concerto Concerts-Second Series-1888.   4/3
  • Pianoforte Concerto Concerts-Third Series-1890.   4/3
  • Piano Instructor-Lang’s methods.  4/4
  • Pianos: Special Double Piano and Silent Practice Piano.
  • Piano Technique Lectures. 2/3
  • Portraits of Lang Family-see Family Portraits
  • Premiers of Beethoven and Liszt/Schubert.  2/3
  • RAISED $1,000,000+ FOR THE  ENDOWMENT. 6/2
  • Return to Boston-1888.   8/1
  • Rival Pianists of Lang-Perabo and Petersilia.   2/2
  • Royalties: Margaret Contacts Her Publisher.   9/1
  • Ruth Burrage Library of Orchestral Scores.  5/4
  • Salem Academy of Music and Salem Choral Society.   1/1
  • Salem-Amphions.   2/1
  • SALEM CONCERT.   3/2
  • Salem Concert. B. J. as Pianist. 1863.  2/2
  • Salem Concerts. 3: 1866-67. B. J. conducts a “BSO.”   2/3
  • Salem Oratorio Society.   2/3
  • Salem Oratorio Society. 4/4
  • Sargent’s painting of Mrs. Jack Gardner.  4/3
  • Sargent’s painting of Mrs. Louise Inches.  4/3
  • Satter and Lang.   2/1
  • Schumann Piano Works.   4/2
  • Season 1888-1889. 13th.  4/4
  • Shakespeare Birthday Concert.   2/2
  • Ship-Typical Journey.   5/2
  • Singing with the Boston Symphony.   4/4
  • Social Events.   5/1
  • Song Performances.  9/1
  • South Congregational Church-Lang leaves.  4/3
  • South Congregational Church Organist.   2/2
  • St. Botolph Club. Chadwick Describes.  4/2
  • Student Apes the Master.   5/4
  • Student Concerto Concerts.   2/3
  • Summer 1860-Europe.  2/1
  • Summer 1866-Europe.   2/2
  • Summer-1867.  2/3
  • Summer- 1871. Europe.  2/3
  • SUMMER-1875.   3/2
  • Summer-1885.   4/2
  • Summer-1888. Europe.  4/3
  • Summer-1897. Europe.  5/3
  • Summer- 1871. Europe.  2/3
  • Summer-1888. Europe.  4/3
  • Summer-1897. Europe.  5/3
  • Summer-1900.   5/4
  • SUMMER-1904. 6/2
  • TABLE GOSSIP.   6/1
  • Taste in Music: How Can it be Cultivated and Refined?  5/4
  • Tchaikovsky.   4/1
  • Teacher and Pupil.   2/2
  • Teacher of Piano.  2/3
  • The Ditson Fund. 5/3
  • Trip to Europe. 1891.  4/4
  • Tucker, Hiram G.   2/3
  • Tucker, Hiram G., Concert.   5/4
  • VON BULOW. 3/2
  • Wagner: A French Life  of-Lang Preface. 5/1
  • WAGNER AND LANG.   3/3
  • Will-Margaret’s. 10/1
  • WINCH, MR. JOHN F.   3/2
  • Woolf Edward, Benjamin.  2/3
  • YALE DEGREE.   6/1
  • Year In Europe-1869 to 70: Berlin Concert. Rome and Liszt. April. Vienna Concert. June. July. August 12th.  2/3
  • Yet More MRL Song Performances.    9/1
  • Youthful Voices.   2/1
  •  Zerrahn, Carl.   2/1




Selected Songs of M. R. Lang. Promo for first CD.

Irish Love Song. Donald George and Lucy Mauro. Delos promo.

Summer Noon. Donald George and Lucy Mauro. Delos promo.

Songs: Vol. 2.  “New Love Must Rise.”

Donald george-Potsdam recordings.

Irish Love Song. (recorded 1913). Alma Gluck and Efrim Zimbalist.

Irish Love Song. (recorded March 1922) Elizabeth Lennox and orchestra. I new interlude for the orchestra appears between verses 2 and 3.

The Young Lady of Parma.

The Old Man With a Beard.

Story of the poem: The Old Man With a Beard.

The Lady in Blue.

Springtime, Opus 30.

Revery, Opus 31

Spring Idyl, Opus 33

Elegy:The Spirit of the Old House


Recordings of “Irish Love Song” by Dan Beddoe, Mary Garden, Carolina White, Cyrena Van Gordon, Jessica Dragonette, Richard Crooks and Ernestine Schumann-Heink. (From comment on a Youtube recording)



Play the very beginning of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto




For this lecture we will be concerned mainly with MARGARET RUTHVEN LANG, born in 1867, just after the end of the Civil War and who died 104 years later in 1972, and her father, BENJAMIN JOHNSON LANG who was born in 1837 and died in 1909, aged 71. Benjamin Johnson Lang was born in Salem, MA. His father, Benjamin Lang, American born, was of Scottish descent; a piano maker or dealer, (Mathews) music teacher and organist of some prominence in the area. Lang senior found his best pupil in his own son, and by the age of twelve, B.J. was already an accomplished enough musician to perform the A flat Ballade of Chopin. His next teacher was Francis G. Hill of Boston (Hubbard, p. 464). In 1850, aged 13, he was given his first organ lesson at a little church in Danvers. An unsigned interview [from probably c. 1908 just before his death] with B. J. stated “I received my first musical instruction from my father, and at the age of fifteen secured my first appointment as organist. But I desired the career of a pianist primarily, and was in Europe about three years, from 1855 to 1858. There I studied with Jaell, Salter, and afterwards with Liszt. I shall never forget my association with the greatest pianist of his time. He was most generous in his artistic advice, which always was given gratis, and I fear this generosity led many to impose upon his good nature, for their own ends. On my return to America, I began teaching and playing in Boston, and for fifty years I have been active. There was absolutely nothing in the way of a musical atmosphere here in those early days. I was successful from the start, perhaps owing to enthusiasm, with a natural aptitude for doing pioneer work at a time when things were ripe for musical development. My enthusiasm led me to carry through projects to which I had set myself.” (Clippings collected by Gould, HMA) Lang was among the first of over 500 Americans who studied in Europe between the 1850s and 1900. His selection of Berlin may have been influenced by the fact that his piano teacher, Frances G. Hill, “was among the first of Boston young men who went to Germany to study music.” (Dwight, June 1, 1872, 247)

Franz Liszt never gave regular piano lessons to anyone, but he did oversee B.J’s piano studies for some time.” (Ryan) The 1897 entry in The NATIONAL CYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY states that Lang “was so fortunate to have the personal direction of Liszt while studying piano.” (430) The meeting of Liszt and Lang may have occurred over a card game when “One evening, at the whist table, he [Lang] had held all the trumps, and when suspected of being a card sharp found a supporter in Liszt. This was remembered in 1968 by his daughter Margaret. (Boston Globe 100th year article)

She also revalled that “Liszt took father to many concerts.”(Miller-Globe article) “During these years [1855-1858] he [Lang] began a lasting friendship with Franz Liszt and Liszt’s daughter, Cosima. In later years this friendship with Cosima would provide him with an entrée into the circle of luminaries surrounding Richard Wagner.” (Cline, 9) Cosima might also be the link with Hans von Bulow (whom she married in 1857- in 1870 she married Wagner) who hired B. J. as his conductor for concerts in 1875 that included the world premier of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1.

When Lang returned to Boston after his three years of European study, he “made his first public appearance in Boston as a pianist in 1858 at a concert of the Mendelssohn Quintet Club, taking part in Beethoven’s C Minor Trio, Opus 1, No. 3. (its first performance in the city) Thus at his first appearance before a Boston audience, he already gave evidence of a tendency that has since become characteristic of him-a constant desire to introduce new works to the public.” (Apthorp Article in Music, August 1893) John Dwight”s review in his weekly Journal of Music said: “The piano part was played by Mr. B. J. Lang, with a precision, cleanness, and expression that would have done honor to far more experienced artists. We do not remember a more promising debut in this kind.” (Dwight, February 6, 1858, p. 359)

In addition to concert appearances, one of Lang”s main sources of income was piano teaching.”A teacher of incredible activity (when I knew him he was giving regularly lessons from 8.30 to 6).” (Foote, Auto., p. 45) Another source noted that he taught as many as fourteen lessons daily and claimed to have instructed over two hundred concert pianists.” His obituary mentioned that he: “Had Taught 5,000 Pupils.” (Globe, Apr. 5, 1909, p. 1) The building at 6 Newbury St. where he had his studio, is entirely peopled with his former students.” (Ibid) The singer Clara Kathleen Rogers (Clara Doria) wrote that Lang “had an unusually large following of devoted disciples… [His] pupils, one and all, adored him, and only awaited a sign from him to render willing service.” (Rogers, TWO LIVES, p. 146 and 147) As a piano teacher Lang was very well regarded. “His class of private pupils upon the pianoforte belongs to the very elite of Boston.” (Mathews p. 429)

Another important part of Lang’s career was founding and conducting two choral groups which still exist in Boston today. The older of the two, the Apollo Club, a male voice choir, was begun in 1871 with Lang as its first conductor, a post that he held for thirty years, until 1901. “The success of the Apollo, both musically and socially, was so great and so rapid that it soon had imitators all over the country. The general taste of the time was represented by the light part-songs of the lesser German Romantic composers, but B.J. favored larger works with orchestral accompaniment.Lang”s rehearsal methods also were not appreciated by some: Apthorp wrote-“Nothing like such drilling has ever been known before in Boston.His principle was that in chorus singing, as in every sort of musical performance, the indispensable basis is technique; without a solid technique nothing worthwhile can be done, and the technique can only be acquired through severe drilling.That arduous system of drilling to which Gericke subjected the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and which was so much commented on at the time, both favorably and adversely, as something utterly unprecedented by its severity, was really first applied to the Apollo Club and Cecilia by Lang.” (Fox, Lang Papers, p. 7)

In the spring of 1901 an insert in the May 1, 1901 concert program of the Apollo Club (their 171st. concert) noted that Mr. Lang “positively declines a renomination” as conductor. This final program appropriately opened with Sullivan”s The Long Day Closes followed by two choral pieces by Margaret Ruthven Lang, Alastair MacAllistair (Old Scotch Song) and Here”s a Health to One I lo”e Dear (Old Scotch Song) while in the second half, two of Lang”s own solo songs, The Lass of Carlisle and The Chase were sung by Mr. Clarence E. Hay. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 7) Just a short word about Lang as a composer-he regularly preformed his piano pieces in his concerts including concerts in Germany-he also programmed his solo songs and choral pieces with the groups that he conducted. But, except for one short piece, he never allowed his works to be published. In fact, in his will, he instucted his son to destroy all his manuscripts!

The second choral group that Lang founded was a mixed chorus called the Cecilia Society. This was begun in 1874, first as a part of the Harvard Musical Association Orchestral Concerts, but it soon became independent. The music critic Louis Elson wrote “The Cecilia has given more first performances of great works in its own city than any other Boston musical society, and these have extended all the way from Bach’s B minor Mass, to Massenet’s Fall of Jericho and Wagner’s Parsifal”. (Elson: History American Music, p. 82) The group’s internet site states: “It all began when B. J. Lang founded the Cecilia Society. A man of great force of personality, Lang’s boldness set the tone for what Cecilia was to become. He had a passion for ‘firsts,’ and presented the Boston premieres of 105 works that have now become standard choral repertoire, including perennial favorites like Brahms’ Ein deutches Requiem.” ( This represents a massive amount of work: first, getting to know the new works; then deciding when and where they should be programmed; ordering the vocal scores, and then renting the orchestral parts from the individual publishers which would have been spread all over Europe!

Lang also performed as a solo pianist with the Harvard Musical Association and the first seasons of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In fact “It was he (Lang) who first suggested the great series of Harvard Symphony Concerts; it was he who more than any other held the programmes up to their first high level. It was his influence which brought out in Boston for the first time the pianoforte concertos of Bach, and most of those of Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, as well as the works of the newer school of Rubinstein, St. Saens, Bronsart, etc.” (Mus. Ob., 1884)

Another area in which Lang supported these concerts was through pre-concert lectures. Dwight praised him for “assembling a hundred or two of his pupils and their friends on the Thursday preceding that of each concert, and, with the aid of a brother pianist (Mr. Perabo), playing over the entire programme to them with historical and analytic explanations.” December 1868 was the third winter that he had been doing this. (Dwight, December 12, 1868, p. 367)

One of the most notable points in Lang”s career occured when he was asked to conduct the WORLD premier of Tchaikovsky”s First Piano Concerto. The pianist was Hans von Bulow whom Lang had probably met when strudying with Liszt, von Bulow had married Liszts” daughter Cosima (who, incidentally later left him to marry Richard Wagner). The well known New York conductor, Carl Bergmann had been hired to conduct-Dwight had called him the best conductor in America! But von Bulow recorded that “Bergmann had not taken as much interest in the concerts as he had in drinking beer, he had missed two meetings to discuss the concerts which forced Bulow to make suggestions to the orchestra himself, and then, while Bulow was beginning his solo pieces in one of the concerts, Bergmann audibly invited the musicians to ”go get some refreshments,” and brought six of them back half tipsy.” (Lott, p. 251) The Tchaikovsky premier was in the fifth of von Bulow”s series of Boston concerts. Von Bulow”s gratefulness to Lang extended to having him also conduct the sixth concert, and he also asked Lang to conduct the same work in Philadelphia. The recent critic Michael Steinberg mused: “I do wonder, though, what it all sounded like with B. J. Lang”s little orchestra with [just] its four first violins (Steinberg, p. 477)

At his death his estate was worth $600,000. What would that be today?

There are many connections between B. J. Lang in his era and Leonard Bernstein in a more recent era. Both were fine pianists; both were composers; both were educators; both were conductors; and both had a major impact on the musical life of their respective times.

Next we consider B. J.”s most famous child, MARGARET RUTHVEN LANG.

We will begin by hearing her most popular song, Irish Love Song for which she probably also wrote the text. This song uses a simple strophic construction well suited to it”s folk style. The text is addressed to ‘Mavoureen,’ which could be the woman being sung about-the word itself is an Irish Gaelic word meaning ‘my darling’. The popularity if this song is reflected in the number of copies sold. The total U. S. press run for was 120,835 copies, almost 20,000 copies more than for Edward MacDowell”s best-loved song, The Beaming Eyes.”(Cipolla, p. 91)

PERFORM IRISH LOVE SONG (No. 4 on George recording)

Margaret Ruthven Lang, eldest of three surviving children, was born in Boston on November 27, 1867. Her first musical instruction was piano lessons with a student of her father. He, himself later took over her instruction. (Downes, “Boston Post,” August 25, 1907) Her non-musical education was at private schools (Saerchinger, p. 356). “Her environment has been most helpful to artistic growth, for the Lang home is the rendezvous for gifted people and the informal ‘at homes’ very stimulating to higher thought and purpose. When a child of twelve, [1880] Miss Lang used to play ensemble with two friends. It occurred to her to write something for this group, so she launched forth her craft. She humorously relates how her father helped her to ‘paw out’ the consecutive fifths and other startling intruders in well-ordered composition. But he wisely saw that her thought was of more value than its expression.”

In a letter dated May 22, 1893 she wrote: “I first studied harmony in Boston with my father, and the pianoforte and violin under various teachers…During a two years sojurn in Munich, I studied counterpoint and fugue and the violin under two different teachers. On returning to America I studied, in Boston, orchestration with Mr. Chadwick and the pianoforte with my father. During these years I wrote many songs, and after my return from Munich I published the first group of six songs at the advice and under the supervision of Mr. MacDowell.”(Scrapbook 1887-1904)

“Margaret Lang held great respect for her father’s teaching and continued to seek his advice after her career was well-established.”(Cline, p. 11) “Margaret Lang was raised in a cosmopolitan household. Visitors from overseas were welcome and frequently present in the Lang home. In addition, Margaret was accustomed to traveling abroad with her parents, making her first trip to Europe at the age of two. She was present, as a child, in the home of Richard Wagner, and knew the Wagner children as playmates. As she grew older and more aware of her musical surroundings she undoubtedly listened with interest to the music performed at the evening gatherings at Wagner’s home. These soirees, involving musicians of the magnitude of Liszt, Wagner, Von Bulow, Dvorak and Paderewski, certainly contributed to Margaret Lang’s sense of sophistication regarding the work of composition.” (Cline, p. 11)

The first public performances of Margaret’s pieces were given at the second of “Two Song-Recitals” sung by William J. Winch in Boston’s Chickering Hall on December 14, 1887. The reviews were consistently positive. The “Advertiser” singled out Ghosts,” …Mr. Winch has never sung better than in these fairy-like bits of melody which Miss Lang has made so signal.” The spring of 1889 saw the first of her songs published. A newspaper review of May 4, 1889 had particular praise for Ghosts. “Despite its simple character and musical structure, Ghosts was a song that helped establish Lang’s reputation as a composer. It was well received critically and was popular among Boston audiences, being performed many times from 1887 to 1896. Certainly, the song’s simplicity appealed to both the concert-going audience and the music-buying public. The critical response, however, was guided by gendered views. Reviewers notes its ‘sentiments soft, delicate and sweet.’ Rupert Hughes in AMERICAN COMPOSERS describes it as ‘elfin and dainty as snowflakes.’ In fact, he reprinted Ghosts as the only musical example of Lang’s work as a composer, while describing her music as ‘supremely womanly.’ Ghosts was perhaps the perfect example of what critics believed was an outlet for female composers, and hence they praised the work for its simplicity and unpretentiousness at the same time recognizing it as a legitimate art song.” (Blunsom, p. 218)

PLAY GHOSTS (No. 10 on George recording)

To show the growth of Lang as a composer, we will now hear a late song which also is concerned with SNOW. You will hear a much more sophisticated accompaniment and harmonic pallette.

PLAY SNOWFLAKES (No. 20 on George recording)

Soon after, she had first performances at the Manuscript Club which was “Formed in 1888, this club was founded to offer local composers the opportunity to hear their works performed before an intelligent audience. The date was January 19, 1888, and B. J. accompanied William J. Winch. The Manuscript Club performance was held at the home of Isabel Stuart Gardner at 150-152 Beacon Street.A year later, February 28, 1889, the Manuscript Club gave another performance at Mrs. Gardner’s home which included Ojala, sung by Mr. George F. Parker and accompanied by Margaret. It would seem that Mrs. Gardner became a good friend of the family as she gave to “the composer Margaret Ruthven Lang her much-prized harpsichord. The Guest Book of the Lang farm in New Boston, NH records visits from Mrs. Gardner in 1895, 1902, 1903 and 1907. Another indication of the Gardner-Lang friendship is reflected in the fact the Mrs. Gardner was in charge of arranging the floral offerings at B. J. Lang’s funeral in 1909. Locke also cites many letters from Margaret and B. J. to Mrs. Gardner, and suggests that she may have been “a regular sponsor of his several choral societies. (Locke, pp. 120 and 108)

Also in 1889 Margaret”s song Ojala was performed in Paris at the July 12th. concert in the Trocadero during the Paris World”s Fair Exposition. The American composer Edward MacDowell who played his own Second Piano Concerto in this concert, wrote to Margaret:

Dear Miss Lang,

I showed your songs to van der Stucken who says he will put Ojala on his programme. I expect to accompany it myself and hope to bring down the house. Concert is day after tomorrow. All Well. Kind regards to all.

E. A. MacDowell (Scrapbook)

PERFORM OJALA (No. 2 George recording)

This gesture by MacDowell was possibly a thank you to the Lang family for all that B. J. had done for MacDowell. George Chadwick wrote that “MacD really had B. J. to thank for his start, for he produced his Suite (his first work) and his first Pf. Concerto at his concerto concerts and did a lot of talking. Lang also supported MacDowell by teaching his works to his pupils. At the April 3, 1888 ” B. J. Lang Pianoforte Concerto-Concert” where Lang conducted, his pupil B. J. Whelpley played the solo part in MacDowell”s Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 15 which was the first American performance of the complete work. MacDowell was the soloist a year later in a Boston Symphony Orchestra performance led by William Gericke on April 13, 1889.(Johnson, First, pp. 225 and 226) Lang also contibuted to MacDowell”s support by hiring him as a soloist for the December 1888 concerts of the Apollo Club at the Music Hall.
B. J. took advantage of his own connections to benefit Margaret. Within just a few weeks of his arrival in America, Lang had hired Antonin Dvorak to conduct his own Requiem Mass with the Cecilia in November 1892. The composer probably stayed with the Lang family. In Mrs. Lang’s “Diaries” there is also a reference to the composer looking over Margaret’s instrumental compositions. B. J. has wasted no time in making use of Dvorak’s presence in America-he had only just arrived on September 27, 1892!

The “Musical Courier” of January 25, 1893 announced that Margaret Ruthven Lang “will visit New York next month as the guest of Mrs. Winslow Homer, the wife of the well-known painter.It will be remembered that several receptions were given here last year in Miss Lang”s honor, Notably one at Dr. and Mrs. Gerrit Smith”s, at which several of the lady”s works were performed to the delight of all who listened.Similar receptions are being planned for her this season, in order that Miss Lang may meet as many as possible of New York”s prominent musicians and in order that the latter may have an opportunity of becoming acquainted with this gifted and beautiful woman.” (Scrapbook)

Thus, Margaret was, in 1893, a composer well known in here native Boston, and performed regularly in other parts of America and also in Europe. What would be next? Now aged twenty-five, she had her first large orchestral work was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra-the Dramatic Overture, Opus 12 conducted by Nikisch on April 7 and 8, 1893. This was the FIRST TIME THAT AN AMERICAN ORCHESTRA HAD PLAYED A PIECE BY AN FEMALE COMPOSER!! A description of the worked noted: “It has some strong contrasts, especially between the chief theme and the subordinate. The first is grim and medieval, the second tender and human. To place these two in juxtaposition in itself gives something of dramatic power, and the development of both is singularly unconventional.”(Elson:History American Music p. 306) Francis H. Jenks in his “Musical Herald” review described the work as “an ingeniously devised and constructed composition with evidences of thought at every turn.” Philip Hale reported that the overture was applauded, but the attempt to call the composer forward was in vain. Seventy-four years later Miss Lang remembered the incident well: “I crept up to the balcony and hid.” Hale’s specific comments were probably a trial for the young composer. He wrote: “Miss Lang’s overture is perhaps a creditable work for a young student. Whether it deserved a place in a Symphony concert is another question. Although Miss Lang in certain songs has shown in the past a pretty melody, the themes of the overture are not of marked originality or striking effect. There are ingenious passages in the detail, but there is a general lack of definite purpose in the conception and in the carrying out. As a result there is occasional piquancy, and there are pleasing measures, but this dramatic overture is a promise rather than a fulfillment.” (Scrapbook, Musical Courier, April 12, 1893)

In preparing to write her Dramatic Overture, Margaret was able to use her father’s standing in the Boston musical community and his connections for her own benefit. She recalled: “They told me…to take some Grieg to the orchestra (BSO) and hear how it sounded, so I could learn about orchestration. So I went to one of Nikisch’s rehearsals and they played for me. Things were so easy in those days.”(Miller-100th birthday interview) The more relaxed standards of the time are reflected in a story recorded by Leichtentritt. “A scene I witnessed at a rehearsal of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra years later [after his Boston years] showed Nikisch’s habitual practice. A complicated new work by Max Reger was to be rehearsed for the first time. Nikisch stepped to the conductor’s desk with his customary aplomb. When he opened the printed score before him, it turned out to have uncut leaves, a sure proof that he had never looked at it before. He became acquainted with a new work only as he rehearsed it, relying on his amazing musical instinct and his vast experience as a conductor. Studying scores at home as a preparation for the performance did not appeal to him.” (Leichtentritt, p. 368)

As Margaret destroyed all her instrumental works and all her unpublished works, we only have brief descriptions to help us imagine what the piece sounded like. The critic, William Foster Apthorp, who was also writing the Program Notes for the Boston Symphony, sent a letter to Margaret concerning his study of the score in preparation for writing the note. “Where did you get the idea of reinforcing the effect of those jumps from C major to E minor, and E major to A minor, by that Scharfrichter’s rhythm? I don’t know when I have heard that ‘Meyerbeer’ snap of the two short notes and a long one sound so new, and so little as if Meyerbeer had written it. I have also great hopes for the place where the third horn comes in against the twiddle-twiddle in the violins. And how stunning of you to have kept your trombones and trumpets for the preaching, and made your big crashes without them! I hope Nikisch will follow his native bent, and give the final ‘pa-pa-pum——-PUM!’ as it looks in the score. Ever so many thanks, yrs., &c., &c., &c.” (Scrapbook)

Critical judgement of the piece was generally negative. The Courier review of April 9, 1893 said: “The overture while evidently the work of a skillful and refined musician is nevertheless a very characteristic sample of ‘kapelmeistermusik.’” (Unsigned) Another review devoted 75 per cent of its content to the new piece: “Of the composition itself there is not much to be said that is pleasant in the saying. It is creditable as the result of a laudable ambition to essay an important work, and it may be pronounced a promising first attempt; but it is scarcely of a worth to warrant its performance, unless, indeed, to afford the composer an opportunity to hear it, and to profit by the experience.” (Unsigned) But not all reviews were negative. However, another review devoted one-half of its space to Margaret”s work, all of which was complimentary. “Miss Margaret Ruthven Lang”s new dramatic overture was given for the first time at the Symphony last week, the composition by our talented townswoman proving to be of great merit. In the beginning two themes are developed, one sombre and of an antique character,the other passionate and modern treatment, each played against the other and producing a dramatic effect original but melodic. The work received a most flattering reception, and Mr. Nikisch”s orchestra gave a delightful interpretation of the number.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archive)
There is no record of the work ever being performed again by the BSO or any other orchestra. Still Margaret continued to compose large orchestral works. Her Opus 10, Witichis Overture was played at the Chicago Columbian World”s Fair in the summer of 1893, having been chosen by a noted group of musicians including St. Saens, oh, and yes, Margaret”s father was on the committee. She also wrote another overture, Totila, and an orchestra Ballade that was played in Baltimore in 1901. She composed three Concert Arias with orchestral accompaniment. Sappho’s Prayer to Aphrodite for alto was performed in New York on October 24, 1895. Soon after, on January 29, 1896, it was sung by Mrs. H. E. Sawyer at a concert at 265 Beacon Street where the accompanist was Arthur Foote, one of B. J.s star piano pupils. Another performer who quickly learned this aria was Lena Little who sang it at the “Concert in Aid of the Free Hospital for Women” on March 26th. of that year.
A second aria, Armida for soprano was performed by the BSO on January 13, 1896 with Gertrude Franklin as the soloist and Emil Paur conducting. The critic Louis Elson, who was usually very supportive, wrote: “The setting is by no means as dramatic as its poetic subject, and the composer seems to have missed the majestic power of the great death-scene.” Margaret also wrote a third aria for baritone which was entitled Phoebus’ Denunciation of the Furies At His Delphian Shrine that probably was never performed.
However, Margaret”s success in the solo song and choral material continued. Her father”s programming of her work with his groups the Cecilia Society, a mixed voice choir and the Apollo Club, a male voice choir, certainly helped introduce her works, but many were soon taken up by singers and choirs all over America and in Europe.
In 1905 Schmidt published a set of limericks by Edward Lear set to music by Margaret under the title Nonsense Rhymes and Pictures, Opus 42. Two years later a second set was published, Opus 43. The first set contained twelve songs, while the second had ten. As the texts are only four short lines, often Margaret began each setting with a longish piano introduction that sets the mood. In There was an old Man in a Tree the mood-setting introduction is done by the voice doing the sound of a bee buzzing.
PLAY OLD MAN TREE (No. 18 George recording) (1:46))
The success of these songs led Margaret to set a number of them for SATB, SSAA, or TTBB voices. In 1998 Walton Music republished three SSAA settings; earthsongs republished two for SSAA including Old Man in a Tree; Hildegarde Publishing (Theodore Presser) reprinted Opus 42 in 1997. The Library of Congress has slso free downloads of a number of these settings-they also reproduce Lang”s original manuscript of each piece. At the 2009 National ACDA Convention, the High School Honors Choir sang The Old Man With a Beard.
Margaret”s “Scrapbooks” in the Boston Public Library contain many programs were her works were heard. If these were Boston performances, she would try to attend as many as possible. her Christmas Cantata, The Night of the Star: Opus 52 was published in 1913. The following Boston area churches performed the work:

St Paul”s CathedralDec. 2412:10PM

First Church, UnitarianDec. 244:30PM

Harvard Musical ClubDec. 249:30PM

King”s Chapel (B. J.s last church) Dec. 2511AM

A note in the Scrapbook said that Margaret attended all four of these performances!

The previous Sunday six area churches had performed the work.


Margaret stopped composing c. 1920. The musical world was changing-Stravinsky, Schoenberg and even early Copland where far different from her musical style. When asked why she stopped composing, her answer was: “Why did I stop, I had nothing to say.”

Margaret obviously kept up with new musical styles-not only those that she heard at the BSO Friday afternoon concerts, but also such composers as Charles Ives. There are two notes from Margaret in “The Charles Ives Papers” at Yale which thank Ives for sending her copies of his pieces. A card dated 7 March 1921 says that “I shall take great pleasure in playing it through, at the earliest opportunity,” while on 16 August, 1922 Margaret wrote that “Miss Lang begs to thank Mr. Ives for his very interesting + original music so kindly sent, + just received.” (MSS 14, The Charles Ives Papers in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University)

From 1927 until 1939 Margaret self-published from her home at 8 Brimmer Street a series of leaflets entitled Messages from God which she distributed at her own expense. In a biographical note written in 1960 she describes the project thus: “My music writing stopped soon after The Heavenly Noel’s many performances in many places; much-involved housekeeping took place during my mother’s last housebound years. At this time I obeyed a very strong spiritual call, and began to write, print, send forth, and reply to wide requests for spiritual religious messages-to which I gave my time and money-my life’s best work-over many years, anonymously [underlined twice], but with deep devotion; taking form in privately printed paper tracts. They were used by churches, far and wide, in the United States, England, Canada, and even one in Egypt.” (Lang Scrapbooks, Vol. 17) Each one was 8-10 pages.

1927 – Intercession1928 – A Gift for Almighty God1928 – The Communion of Silence

1932 – Our Continuing City1934 – Our Father’s House1939 – Christmas and the Cross

Another aspect of Margaret’s character is reflected in the fact that she “had been raised to visit the sick and the ill, and visited Mass General Hospital every week. She wrote to a World War French war orphan until the end of his life. She was also a very practical person who never signed her birthday or other holiday cards ‘so that you could reuse them again!’” (Amy DuBois Interview)

Miss Lang’s interest in music “as a thankful listener” continued unabated until her death on May 30, 1972 at the age of 104. Members of her family had occupied seat B-1 of the first balcony since Symphony Hall opened in 1900, and she continued to occupy it regularly attending by subway “until three years before her death.” (Fox, Sexual Aesthetics, p. 5) “The woman next to me wants my seat. We chaff about it. But I want to keep the name Lang on the subscriber’s list.”(Miller-Globe article) The Lang”s family friend, Isabella Stewart Gardner had also bought season tickets the first season near to where the Langs sat.
One celebration of her 100th Birthday was on Friday, November 24, 1967 when Erich Leinsdorf conducted the BSO and dedicated some of the pieces to her. Henry B. Cabot, one of the Symphony Trustees, made a personal contribution of $2,500 to the Commemorative Fund so that seat B-1 could be named in her honor. Like a typical Bostonian, even at the age of 100, she used the subway to travel to Symphony Hall. She was described at this time as being “tiny and chipper as a semi-quaver…Dressed in black, with a knotted rope of pearls and rings her adornments.” (Miller-Globe article) The program book for this concert mentioned that “She has a vivacity and alertness that would put many people half her age to shame.” (BSO Program Book for November 24 and 25, p. 455) The Globe Society Editor, Marjorie Sherman wrote that “A brisk figure will emerge from the subway at Symphony Station today with ample time to take her place in a first balcony seat where she has been a familiar sight since the hall was opened in October, 1900…Miss Lang has listened to every conductor since George Henschel in 1881.” (Article courtesy Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives, Boston Globe, November 24, 1967) “At fourteen she attended the first season of the Boston Symphony, in 1881. She has been attending ever since, under all eleven conductors, first in the old Music Hall in downtown Boston, and then in Symphony Hall since 1900. During a recent discussion of future plans for Boston and Symphony Hall, Miss Lang remarked: ”Everything is so interesting. I”d like to live to be 125 so I can see how it all turns out.”” (Scrapbook) An article by John J. Mullins entitled “Composer Margaret Lang, 101, just ‘wants to live forever’ began with quote: “I’d love to see what’s coming. That’s why I want to live forever.” ” Another example of Margaret’s continued interest in the world around her is reflected in Amy DuBois’ remembering that during a visit in 1969, Margaret showed her that she was reading Aldridge Cleaver’s Soul On Ice. (Interview) Another example is that she “was known to correspond with over 60 individuals a month, writing letters in four languages.” (Cline, e-mail July 9, 2008)

With the release of Donald George”s two CDs, both the sounds and the scores for about 50 of her toal of 130 published songs will be available. The first musical CD had a companion CD with all of the scores of the songs so that any interested singer can immediately download the printed music for any piece that they might want to perform. One Doctoral Dissertation has been written about Margaret-“Margaret Ruthven Lang: her life and Songs,” 1993 Washington University, and Margaret is also part of a Brandeis Dissertation completed in 1999 by Laurie K. Blunsom entitled “Gender, Genre and Professionalism: The Songs of Clara Rogers, Helen Hopekirk, Amy Beach, Margaret Lang and Mabel Daniels, 1880-1925.” Another Brandeis work is the a recent Masters Thesis entitled “How to appreciate that which no longer exists: A case study in the life and lost works of Margaret Ruthven Lang.” I also maintain a website on the Lang family which can be found by searching under the name of “Margaret Ruthen Lang.” It is usually the third or fourth entry, and its title is “Margaret Ruthven Lang and Family.” All the information there is available to anyone who might want to use it, and I welcome any enquiries.


001   WELCOME. WC-854  SC


This site exists to serve as a link among those who might be interested in the Lang family of Massachusetts. Benjamin Johnson Lang (1837-1909) could be seen as the Leonard Bernstein of his time-a conductor, a solo pianist, a writer and lecturer, a champion for new music, and a man well acquainted with all the musical schools of his time-a man who influenced the musical growth of his part of the country for over forty years. There is a direct link between these two men; Lang taught Edward Burlingame Hill, and Hill in turn taught Bernstein at Harvard.  “In fact, a history of the life and activities of Mr. Lang for three decades or more would to a considerable extent chronicle the musical life of Boston for the same period.” (Hill, 9) Lang is one who suggested that the Harvard Musical Association present orchestral concerts, and he served on its Program Committee (Mus. Ob., 1884). Louis Elson (quoted by Fox) expressed the same opinion in 1904: “Benjamin Johnson Lang is one of the most typically American figures that we can find in our musical history. He is a man of enterprise beyond European comprehension. Lang is so thoroughly interwoven with musical progress of every kind in the United States that there is scarcely any classification of musicians in which his name would not fitly find place. It is not an exaggeration to state that no man has done more for the educational advance in America in music than B. J. Lang. The time will come when Americans will recognize him as among the very foremost of those who created musical taste among us.” (Fox, Papers, 1)( Elson, 261) “He was an antidote to the conservatism of Dwight and Dresel, introducing many new works to Bostonians.” (Tara, 41) Amy Beach, writing in 1937 to Arthur Foote remembered “the time from 1880 to 1900 was a golden time.” (Block, Amy Beach, 284) Having been criticized for allowing the orchestra to overpower the choir, in his Dvorak Stabat Mater performances by the Cecilia in January 1884, he placed the orchestra behind the choir as Haydn had done in his Creation performances. He also used this same arrangement for Apollo Club performances.

He was the founding conductor of two choral groups that are still active in Boston today. The Cecilia, a mixed voice choir began in 1874 as an adjunct of the Harvard Musical Association Orchestra. In 1876 it became an independent group with 100 singers and 300 subscribing members. Lang conducted the choir for 33 years, retiring just two years before his death in 1909. The group was known for presenting new works-Lang gave first Boston performances to 106, with 12 of these being first American performances and another 12 being world premiers. (Hill, 21-23)

The citation on Lang’s honorary AM Degree of 1908 possibly says it best. “His influence on the development of musical culture in Boston for 50 years has been greater than that of any other individual musician.” (Harvard Graduates’ Magazine Vol. XVII 1908-09): 481)

Many pupils, including his three surviving children  continued his influence, the most notable being his eldest, Margaret Ruthven Lang, (1867-1972) who had many musical “firsts” in her lifetime that stretched for 104 years. As late as 1936 critical opinion still held that “In real depth her compositions are superior to [those of] any other American woman composer,” (Barnes, 10) Music continues to be apart of the lives of the current Lang generation with Anne Hooper (daughter of Malcolm’s daughter, Helen Lang Hooper) being a free-lance violinist in Boston today, and a former Manager of the Boston Pro Arte Orchestra.

The information on this site is provided to those interested for a deeper study of this family. Corrections, additions, comments, etc. are welcomed and will be added and cited. Current material has been added even though it might contradict older material; an example of this is the exact sequence of B. J.’s organ career. It is hoped that those who have done research in this area will be willing to share their findings which will lead to a clear history of this family and ultimately, performances of Margaret’s music. At one point a book was envisioned-this site will be the book-ever growing, ever changing, ever becoming more correct. The first research was done c. 1964 and has continued since then with varying states of intensity. Unfortunately various formats have been used for citations, citations have been changed as the complete site has been moved from program to program and host to host, but the information remains. I hope that it will be of use.

Copies of her works are available on loan.


Studio portrait of B. J. Lang, Boston, Mass., ca. 1862. Courtesy of Historic New England. At this point he would have returned from his time in Europe and his study with Franz Liszt, been appointed organist at the Old South Church, been appointed organist for Boston’s premier choral group-the Handel and Haydn Society, had his debut with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, had assisted Louis Moreau Gottschalk in 20 concerts and he was a year away from being one of the organists who played for the dedication for the Walcker organ at the Boston Music Hall. He was establishing himself very quickly! Oh, and he had been married a year.





First, and foremost to Patricia Minot who has been a continuing help with computer information and acted as an editor, and second, thanks to my sister, Marilee Polmonari for her research efforts; the various librarians over the years in the Music Room of the Boston Public Library and Jean Morrow and Maryalice Perrin-Mohr of the New England Conservatory Library; and Natalie Palme and also the current Librarian of the Harvard Musical Association, Craig W. Hanson. Extensive materials from the BSO Archive were provided by Bridget P. Carr. Thanks are due also to Adrienne Fried Block and Carol Neuls-Bates for their Women In American Music.

Special thanks also to the Inter-Library Loan Division of the Lee County Library and my first point of contact, Sonja Miller. Also thanks to Joyce Crumbo for her research work at the Library of Congress. Many points of information were by family members; primarily these include Fletcher DuBois, Amy DuBois, Anne Hooper Webb and Rozzie Hooper-Hamersley. The research of Pamela Fox, Judith Cline, Laurie K. Blunsom, and most recently Sarah E. Baer amplify what is found on this site (see citations in the Bibliography). Thanks also to Quent and Carolyn Peacock for photos and information about the Lang family farms in New Boston, New Hampshire and Lisa Rothman of the New Boston Historical Society for further information and historical photos. Information about Lang’s early life in Salem has been graciously provided by Meaghan Wright of the Phillips Library.

Please send any additions or corrections by e-mail to: Jim Johnston at




Abel, Ludwig (b. June 14, 1835 – d. August 13, 1895) Pupil of Ferdinand David; member of the Gewandhaus Orchestra at Leipzig, the Weimar Court Orchestra (1835), leader of the Court Orchestra at Munich (1867), teacher in and (1878) Inspector of the Royal Music-School then managed by von Bulow; 1880 Royal Professor; retired on pension, 1894. Violin-virtuoso of high rank, and an excellent orchestra conductor; wrote a good Violin Method, also studies, variations, etc. (Baker-Bio. Dic, p. 2)

Adamowski, Josef. (b. July 4, 1862 in Warsaw, d. Poland-1930) (Bio-Bib, p. 2) He studied first at the Warsaw Conservatory, and then “He went to the Moscow Conservatory and studied ”cello with Fitzenhagen, composition with Tchaikovsky and piano with Pabst. Meanwhile he also entered the University and graduated. In 1883 he began concert-tours in Poland and Germany, and in 1885-87 was professor of ”cello and ensemble playing at the Conservatory of Cracow. Coming to America in 1889, he played in the Boston Symphony orchestra till 1907, and also in the Adamowski Quartet and Adamowski Trio. He had been professor in the New England Conservatory since 1903… In 1896 he married the pianist Antoinette Szumowska.” (Grove”s Am. Sup., 1925, p.109) His finance was “Antoinette Szumowska [1868-1938, Bio-Bib, p. 2], who had come to Boston armed with a letter of introduction from Paderewski to the J. Montgomery Sears”, already devoted friends of his.” (Rogers, Two Lives, p. 191) She “had already begun an international career… She played in Paris in the ”90s… She made no discs, but left some Ampico piano rolls including a [Chopin] Mazurka and three Preludes.” (Methuen-Campbell, p. 102) Josef and his brother joined the BSO during the second season (1885-86) of Gericke”s tenure. The same year Franz Kneisel replaced Listermann as concertmaster and Charles Loeffler replaced Louis Maas. (Ibid, p. 72)

Mathews, p. 293. Also have print with certificate saying published by Theodore Presser in 1900.

Adamowski, Timothie.[Timotheus] (March 24, 1858-?) (Bio-Bib, p. 2) “The artistic violinist of the Boston orchestra is widely known for his beautiful solo playing in various concert organizations, in which he has been a star. His technique is fluent and masterly, and his tone highly musical. His repertoire is very large. Biographical particulars concerning him have not been received. “Mathews, p. 292) Studied at the Warsaw Conservatory and in Paris. Came to America in 1879 “as a violin-virtuoso. He toured with Clara Louise Kellogg, Emma Thursby and Max Strakosch, and finally with his own company. Lang was part of Adamowski”s first Boston concert playing the Sonata for Violin and Piano by Grieg and probably acting as accompanist for the vocal solos by George L. Osgood. Dwight described Adamowski as one “who is fast becoming an established favorite here as a teacher and as virtuoso.” (Dwight, March 26, 1881, p. 53) In 1884-1908 he was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, resigning to become teacher of the advanced violin-classes at the New England Conservatory. In 1890-94 he conducted popular concerts in the summer.” (Grove”s Am. Sup, 1925, p. 109) Lang played piano at the first concert that the Adamowski Quartet presented in Boston. The work was the Brahms Trio in C Minor Opus 101 and it was given on Monday evening November 26, 1888 at Chickering Hall. (BPL Prog., Vol. 5)

Adams, G. Arthur. In 1869, a “young” piano pupil of Lang”s who shared a concert with Mr. Sumner at Chickering Hall on Thursday afternoon, September 30, 1869. Dwight marveled that “We know not what we are coming to: so many young men and women spring up among us, who in a quiet way have in some sense mastered the highest tasks in classical pianoforte music. Here is a still, pale Massachusetts boy, the first we ever knew of whom was hearing him on this occasion actually play with certainty and good aplomb the greatest Concertos, the “Emperor” of Beethoven.” (Dwight, October 9, 1869) This certainly spoke well of Lang”s teaching ability! Adams was also the soloist in the Schumann Piano Concerto at the first of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Second Series of Symphony Concerts” on April 11, 1872 at Mechanic”s Hall, Bedford Street. He was also one of the three soloists in Bach”s Concerto in C Major for three Pianofortes given at the fourth concert of the series on May 2, 1872. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1)

Arlington Club. Conducted by William J. Winch. In July 1881 its President was John D. Long. (Musical Herald, July 1881, p. 162)

Apthorp, Robert E. Member of the HMA committee formed on January 31, 1851 to build a new music hall. The other members were: Charles C. Perkins, J. B. Upham, George Derby and J. S. Dwight. Their report was finished within a month [!], at the February 22, 1851 their “report was made and accepted.” Together with a building plan, an operational plan was also presented which included:

Sources of income:

Concerts &c 100 nights at $50.

Day occupation 50 @ $40

Religious Society (meeting on Sunday nights, led by Rev, Theodore Parker) $1,500

Mercantile Libr. Lectures $500″ (HMA Bulletin No. 6, pp. 3 and 4)

Mrs. Robert E. Apthorp, together with Mrs. Julia Ward Howe organized the “Saturday Morning Club” in 1871, a group, originally of younger women, who met for discussions, had a cooking group, and performed dramatics. Their list of lecturers was quite broad, and among noted musicians included William Foster Apthorp, John Sullivan Dwight, Arthur Foote, Philip Hale, Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Dr. Samuel Langmaid, John Knowles Paine, and Thomas Whitney Surette from a list of hundreds who spoke between 1871 and 1931. (SATURDAY MORNING CLUB, pp. 91-96) In the 1888 “Clark”s Boston Blue Book” Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Apthorp are listed at 158 Mt. Vernon St. (and Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Apthorp at 14 Otis Place) Robert E. Apthorp died on Friday, February 10, 1882. (Methuen Memorial Music Hall website, 11/26/10, p. 3)


Apthorp, William Foster. Home at 2 Otis Place, Boston c. 1857, and still in 1880 (Dwight”s Journal ads). In the 1888 “Clark”s Boston Blue Book” the address is 14 Otis Place. The entry for Apthorp in Theodore Baker”s “A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF MUSICIANS, SECOND EDITION OF 1905” lists his birth date as Oct. 24, 1848. He was the “son of Robert Apthorp and Eliza Hunt. Since before the American Revolution, Apthorp”s ancestors had participated in the mercantile and intellectual life of Boston.” (Saloman, Am. Nat. Biog., Vol. 13, p. 567) He graduated from Harvard in 1869 having taken musical classes with J. K. Paine. He then took piano from B. J. Lang for 7 or 8 years longer. “Coming from an old Boston family whose efforts in the cause of art have always been most intimately linked with its progress in the city, he has won a career not less worthy than any of his line.” (Elson, Supplement, p. 3) Apthorp”s musical tastes were influeneced in part by Dwight”s “Journal” which began when Apthorp was four years old. “Since it is such a significant chronicle of the music scene in America, it would naturally reflect musical tastes of society, especially in Boston, during Apthorp”s formative years. These tastes and convictions would become a permanent ingredient of Apthorp”s personality and musical sense which, in turn, would be reflected in his own criticisms and commentaries.” (Brian, p. 39) He taught “piano and theory at the National College of Music from 1872 to 1873, then taught piano, theory, counterpoint and fugue at the New England Conservatory from 1873 to 1886. He also held classes in aesthetics and the history of music in the College of Music of Boston University until 1886” (Saloman, op. cit.) He wrote musical criticism being with the Atlantic Monthly from 1872-7. “His most remarkable work, however, was for the Boston Evening Transcript, from 1881-1903.” (Nelson, p. vi) He added the job of drama critic a year later. The Boston Evening Transcript was first published on July 24, 1830, and by the 1880s it had assumed the place of “the tea-table paper of Boston, its principal function consisting in presenting the news of the day in a manner specially acceptable in the quiet and refined homes of Boston.” (Nelson, p. 99 quoting the Boston Daily Advertiser) “Apthorp was praised for his open-mindedness, perception, and common sense, and he successfully balanced progressive and conservative viewpoints in his criticisms. He championed new music and American music. Ever mindful that the public was his true audience, his lucid, instructive writing style appealed to everyone.” (Nelson, p. vi) In all he “served as music critic for twenty-two years, from 1881 to 1903.” (Nelson, p. 99) From 1892 he edited the program books for the BSO. (p. 19) also pen and ink drawing. He died in 1913. (Foote-Auto., p. 139)

Rogers, STORY OF TWO LIVES, facing p. 190

  • Born October 24, 1848 in Boston
  • 1856-60-attended schools in Dresden, Berlin and Rome.
  • 1863 began study piano, harmony and counterpoint with Paine and piano study was continued with Lang.
  • 1869 graduated from Harvard-last year was conductor of the Pierian Sodality.
  • 1872-73 taught piano and harmony at the National College of Music.
  • For 13 years taught piano and various branches of theory at New England Conservatory.
  • 1872 began as music editor for “The Atlantic Monthly.”
  • 1876 became music critic for the “Sunday Courier.”
  • 1878 was both musical and dramatic critic for the “Traveler.”
  • 1881 music critic for the “Evening Transcript.” Also did dramatic criticism. Held both jobs until retired in 1903 and moved to Switzerland.
  • 1892-1901 edited program books for the BSO.
  • Died February 19, 1913 in Vevey, Switzerland. (American Music edited by Pratt, pp. 112 and 113)

The entry for Apthorp in Howe”s A HUNDRED YEARS OF MUSIC IN AMERICA of 1889 states that age 12 he was taken to Europe where he studied during the next four years at schools in Dresden, Berlin, and Rome. During these years he also studied art with the intention of becoming a painter. He returned to Boston in 1860, and after preparing for, entered Harvard, graduating in 1869. He had given up art on his return to American, and began piano studies with John K. Paine in 1863 and continued for four years. He then studied with B. J. Lang for six or eight years more. He taught theoretical subjects at the New England Conservatory beginning in 1874 and continuing until 1886.” The entry in DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY gives his age as 8 (the year 1856) when his parents took him to Europe “for the purpose of giving him the best opportunity for studying languages and art, feeling that his latent talents lay in the latter field. In France he attended a day school” with further time in Dresden, Berlin. And Rome. “He studied art also in Florence and was a fellow student of John Singer Sargent. Returning to Boston in 1860, he fitted for college at the school of E. S. Dixwell and was graduated from Harvard in 1869. In his senior year he was conductor of the Pierian Sodality. Soon after his return from Europe, he became increasingly interested in music and in 1863 he gave up painting and studied piano, harmony, and counterpoint with J. K. Paine until 1867, when Paine went to Europe. He then studied piano with B. J. Lang for several years, but his theoretical work was self-directed. He was fully aware that the dream of his devoted parents-that he would become a great painter or a great pianist-would never be realized and he was quite content to take up teaching as a profession.” (DIC. AM. BIOG., p 335) His career as a music critic began in 1872 (aged 24) when he was hired to edit the newly established musical department of the Atlantic Monthly which he continued until December of 1877 when the department was discontinued. (See above for the next assignments) “For the last seven years or so (i.e. from 1881) he has been engaged upon Scribner”s ”Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians,” in the work of critical editor. During the last seven or eight years of the symphony concerts given in Boston by the Harvard Musical Association, he was a member of the concert and programme committees of that society.

Grant gives more about his family background. “Apthorp was the direct descendant of officers of the British Crown; one of his ancestors had been paymaster of the British Navy during the Revolutionary War. As a boy he was taken by his parents all over Europe to be educated-France, Dresden, Berlin, Rome-and as a result was fluent in many languages… His parents had first dreamed of his becoming a great painter; now they saw him as a budding concert pianist. Apthorp himself realized he wasn”t quite good enough and began a teaching career in the early 1870s; for some years he taught piano, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, and theory at New England Conservatory of Music and other Boston colleges, but retired from teaching altogether in 1886, by which time his labors as a writer on music had overtaken all else.” (Grant, p. 69)

“In his criticisms he preferred not to make pronouncements; rather, his aim was to set people thinking.” (Nelson, p. 10)

“Mr. Apthorp is one of the clearest and most satisfactory writers in music that this country has produced. The record above shows, by suggestion at least, how well his work in this capacity has been appreciated by the literary public, for each modification in his way of life has been of the essential nature of a promotion. As he is still comparatively a young man, much may be expected from him in the future.” (Howe, p. 371)

The entry for William Apthorp in the HISTORY OF AMERICAN MUSIC edited by Hubbard states that “William Foster Apthorp is one of the best known of American critics. He was for five years critic of the Atlantic Monthly [beginning in 1872]. In 1876 he became musical critic of the Boston Sunday Courier; in 1878 musical and dramatic editor of the Boston Traveler. And in 1881 he assumed the same position on the Boston Transcript, remaining there until 1903, when he went to live abroad. Mr. Apthorp was for a time the program editor for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has also lectured at the leading American colleges. He is the author of several books, among which may be remembered the Life of Hector Berlioz, Musicians and Music Lovers, and numerous translations.”(Hubbard, p. 306). “His recent [c.1882] lectures on the history of music, in the Lowell Institute, were scholarly efforts, and were repeated in Baltimore, Brooklyn and other cities.” (Elson, Supplement, p. 3) “From 1892 to 1901 he wrote the program notes for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was a lexicographer for Scribner”s Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians.” (Grant, p. 69) “Apthorp wrote the concert notes and the entr”acte column for the BSO Programme book from 14 October 1892 to 4 May 1901. (Brian, p. 161)

Early in November 1880 Dwight recorded: “Mr. Wm. F. Apthorp”s course of six lectures on the History of Music, from the days of St. Ambrose down to Wagner, will commence at the Lowell Institute next Monday evening. The topics of the several lectures are given in the advertisement in the daily papers. We fear we only tantalize too many of our readers, for we learn that about all the tickets were at once taken up. But the lectures might be repeated elsewhere.” (Dwight, November 20, 1880, p. 192)

In his history of the Boston Transcript, Apthorp is described as “an accomplished scholar and linguist, speaking all the leading languages of Europe, including Turkish, and being deeply versed in musical and dramatic literature. It was quite impressive, in the outer room, to hear his conversation in German, French, Italian, or Spanish, in meeting musical geniuses from abroad. Now and then, his criticisms may have appeared somewhat too redolent of erudition.” (Chamberlin, p. 206)

The NATIONAL CYCLOPEDIA article describes Apthorp in the following manner: “Mr. Apthorp”s intelligent appreciation of music and years of study under various masters and in different schools made him a singularly scholarly and vivacious oracle on musical matters. His articles were always interesting. He not only had the power to be serious, but could be witty and whimsical, and even fantastic, and he also had the faculty of fitting the mood to the occasion. He was a delightful master of the art of music criticism, refined but not fastidious, catholic and tolerant but discriminating…He died at la Tour-de-Peil, Vevey, near Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 19, 1913.”(NAT. CYC., pp. 130-131)

Apthorp was an active member of the Harvard Musical Association. For their “special meeting and supper” on May 20, 1886 which was held to celebrate the opening of their new rooms at 11 Park Square, he and Dr. Langmaid and Mr. P. H. Powers sang to the accompaniment of Arthur Foote. (HMA Bulletin No. 11)

“House of W. F. Apthorp” published in the July 5, 1890 issue of the “American Architect and Building News.”
The water to the right of the house is the Charles River, looking west.

Ms. Apthorp


Apthorp married Octavie Loir Iasigi “of Boston, a hospitable, gracious woman and a leader of society. The family resided at 14 Otis Place in Boston and spent their summers at their cottage in Nahant. They had one son, Algernon.” (Nelson, p. 280) However, before they bought the 14 Otis Place house, they lived with his parents at 2 Otis Place. The entry in the 1880 Census listed Robert E. Apthorp, aged 69, in Real estate; Elizabeth, aged 68, keeping house; William F., aged 32, pianist; and Octiva, aged 23, at home. The household was supported by three servants. (1880 Census Form) The song composer Clayton Johns describes the musical household kept by the Apthorps. “Among other interesting houses in the Boston of those days let me not forget that of Mr. and Mrs. Apthorp. For many years their Sunday evenings were unique. Many times during the winter they gave little dinners of six or eight people, usually having some ”high-light” guest like Paderewski, Melba, Sarah Bernhardt, Coquelin, or Salvini. After dinner, special friends were invited to meet the honored guest. Mrs. Gardner and Gericke were always there. Besides, there were members of the younger set-youth and beauty for decoration. Mr. and Mrs. Apthorp were rare entertainers, given to hospitality in its best sense. Later in the evening, beer and cigars lent a Bohemian air to the occasions. Mrs. Apthorp appeared, carrying a large pitcher of beer in one hand, beer mugs hanging from each finger of her other hand. As Blue Laws still obtained, dancing was not allowed until, after midnight, but then it was ”On with the dance.”” (Johns, pp. 71 and 72) The singer Clara Kathleen Rogers (Clara Doria) wrote: “The Apthorps” ”Sunday evenings,” though also informal, were different in kind. Music was only incidental, never prearranged nor indispensable. The evening reception was always preceded by a little dinner party, where the distinguished stranger of the occasiion was entertained…Wiliam F. Apthorp”s position as musical and dramatic critic on the ”Boston Evening Transcript” brought him, naturally, together with many interesting and notable people, who were glad to be entertained in so free and easy a way by a genial host and hostess, under whose roof they were also brought into contact with many of the best and most agreeable people that Boston society could offer.” (Rogers, TWO LIVES, p. 189) Arthur Foote”s daughter Katharine remembered the Sunday evenings at the Apthorps: “There my parents met many more of the great figures of the world of music, art, literature and the stage, among them Ellen Terry and Henry Irving, Sara Bernhardt, the Kendalls-a husband and wife team who were the Lunts of their day, Eleanora Duse, Melba, and many more that I have forbotten.” (Tara, Foote, p. 70) “A connoisseur of culinary delights, he was known to don apron and bonnet de chef and whip up some gourmet cuisine.” (Nelson, p. 282) The Apthorps”s place in the Boston social scene is reflected by the report in the Globe”s “Table Gossip” that “Mr. and Mrs. Wm. F. Apthorp, who will stay abroad some time are now in Dresden, where they will remain a month or two longer.” (Globe, February 3, 1907, p. 50) “A diligent a worker as he was, his social circle was wide. he was a member of the Harvard Musical Association, the St. Botolph Club, the Tavern Club, and the Papyrus Club, where he served a term as president.” (Nelson, p. 282)

A newspaper in Beverly, MA reported on Mrs. Apthorp”s social work in Bar Harbor, ME. “Mrs. William F. Apthorp who has become known as one of the most indefatigable social workers at Bar Harbor, and to whom so much of the success of the recent dress ball was due, was before her marriage a Miss Iasigi of Boston, and a sister of the Misses Iasigi, who have a very handsome cottage at Bar Harbor, says Town Topics. All the Iasigi girls are clever, and they have always been great social pets in Boston. Their father, the late Joseph Iasigi, was one of Boston”s oldest and most respected merchants. He was by birth a Smyrniot Greek. He left an immense fortune, which all the children shared alike, including a son. Mrs. Apthorp resides in the winter with her husband in a pretty artistic house in Otis Place, just off Beacon Street, overlooking the Charles river, where they entertain very delightfully. Mr. Apthorp is one of the cleverest musical critics in Boston, as well as a cultivated musician himself.” (Saturday Morning Citizen, Beverly, MA, September 3, 1887, p. 3)

In February 1876 Hans von Bulow wrote to his former wife, who was then Cosima Wagner, asking her to use her influence with “the New York Tribune” to hire as their American correspondent at Bayreuth, William Apthorp.” He described him as a “serious-minded and excellent young man (a former pupil of Mr. B. J. Lang), of Boston, who speaks (and writes) French, German, and American equally well and is far superior to the Englishman being considered” whom von Bulow described as “a semi-musician, three parts ignorant, who writes English badly.” (Eckart, p.276) Probably Apthorp first became acquainted with von Bulow through Lang.

The “Harvard Musical Review” of March 1913 printed the following: “William Foster Apthorp, ”69. Born at Boston, MA, Oct. 24, 1848 and died at La Tour de Peilz, near Vevey, Switzerland, Feb. 19, 1913. The death of William Foster Apthorp cannot fail to call forth the regret and sympathy of all Harvard men who care for high standards in Music. From his college days he was keenly interested in everything that concerned the progress of music in America. Of an old Boston family, growing up in an atmosphere of cultivation, he eagerly supplemented his naturally keen tastes by long and serious study in Europe. The distinguishing traits of his personality were his remarkable receptivity to the new and the good of all schools, his truly Latin warmth of appreciation, and the breadth of his perceptions in every line of artistic endeavor. His musical criticism was enriched by his through knowledge of painting, literature and the drama at an epoch when most critics were content to write in the critical idiom of their own craft alone. Belonging to a profession in which the ability to enjoy is too often gradually submerged by a growing passion for destructive analysis, he retained his primitive enthusiasms to a remarkable degree, and was able to infuse them spontaneously into his articles. For this reason his criticisms were inspiring, a source of encouragement to performers because of their wholesome recognition of the good, a force making for optimision in the listener because of their faith in the upward tendencies in musical art. His generous appreciation of Berlioz and Wagner (to name two notable instances) at a time when their position was debatable, was characteristic of his interpretation of the critic”s function. His services as an editor were marked by receptivity and efficient breadth. His translations of Berlioz”s writings, his essays ”Musicians and Music Lovers,” ”By the Way-About Music and Musicians,” collected from the program books of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which he edited for nine years, and more especially his brilliant sketch of dramatic developments, ”Opera, Past and Present,” will remain as classics in the literature of American writings on music. In the annals of achievements by Harvard men in the field of music his name will stand out conspicuously for his breadth of cultivation, genial personality, and his indomitable enthusiasm for musical art.” (Harvard Musical Review, p. 1)

“He was undoubtedly one of the greatest critics America has produced. His work was strikingly individual and independent, and always constructive. His intimate acquaintance with the languages and his deep knowledge of literature and philosophy contributed largely to his success as a writer. He was an incessant worker and ceased his labors only because of failing eyesight. He bore this affliction. However, with the greatest fortitude and never lost his contagious humor. Notwithstanding a certain pride of family and position, he was very democratic, though his exceeding diffidence was often misunderstood by those who did not know his natural shyness. He was married in 1876 to Octavie Loir Iasigi. He died in Vevey, Switzerland [1913], whither he had gone in 1903 after giving up active work.” (DIC AM. BIOG., 336) Grant stated that the reason for Apthorp”s retirement was that he was “going blind from all these toils,”-the toils being his BSO program notes, the books that he had written. (Grant, p. 69) “Their spacious arartment, situated high in a hotel of that resort town, overlooked Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps. It was their intenion to return to Boston some day, as they maintained their Boston ties and even left some furniture. When his Boston friends visited they were distressed at his worsening health. He suffered from cataracts, which were successfully corrected with surgery. He was long afflicted with a bronchial cough, which weakened his heart. Apthorp died in Vevey, 19 February 1913, and was burried there.” (Nelson, pp. 281 and 282) In 1911 the Apthorps did return to America. The Journal ran the headline, “APTHORPS TO BE WARMLY WELCOMED-Coming to Nahant Later in Season for First Time in Years.” This was to be “their first appearance here in many seasons since taking up residence in Europe.” (Journal, July 14, 1911, p. 6, GenBank) In the same Society Section written by Dolly Adams, it was mentioned: “Mrs. Oscar Iasigi has arrived at her estate in Stockbridge, ”Clovercliffe,” with her daughter Miss Nora Iasigi, after a trip to Europe, wher Miss Iasigi was presented at court in London” (Ibid)


Dwight recorded: “The readers of the Evening Transcript are to be congratulated on the fact them Mr. William F. Apthorp has undertaken the duties of musical critic in that bright and independent, no longer ”little” paper, succeeding Mr. Clement, who assumes the chair of editor-in-chief. Mr. F. H. Jenks looks after the theatres, etc.” (Dwight, June 18, 1881, p. 1000) “Mr. William F. Apthorp is one of the few young men of active mind and liberal culture who, after graduating at Harvard University, has devoted himself to music as a profession. As a teacher, especially of harmony and composition, and as a critic, he has for some years ranked among the best we have. (Dwight, February 12, 1881, p. 27) Dwight felt that Apthorp”s lectures on the history of music given for the Lowell Institute (and illustrated by a small choir) where worthy of being published. The series of six, first published in The Boston Traveler were offered by Dwight “after a careful revision by the author,” and Dwight felt that it would take at least a dozen numbers of his Journal to present them in full. (Dwight, February 12, 1881, p. 27)

In 1878 The Boston Evening Transcript was described as being “an independent Republican newspaper,” which had been begun in 1830, making it the oldest evening paper in New England. “The present quarters are in a large and handsome building, at the corner of Washington and Milk Streets, erected to replace the office burned by the Great Fire of 1872. It is one of the most commodious and elegant in the city. The Transcript occupies a field practically without a rival. It is the largest daily in New England, is of quarto form, handsomely printed on good paper…It is pre-eminently a family paper, and its circulation is chiefly among the wealthy and intelligent people of Boston and its suburbs. (King, pp. 147 and 148) The terms “quiet and dignified” were used to describes the paper”s comtent and presentation.

During 1886-87 Apthorp delivered a course of six lectures “at the Lowell Institute…repeating four at Hawthorn Rooms.” (MYB 1886-87, p. 50)

An example of Apthorp”s character is found in his letter to Otto Dressel”s widow:

Autograph letter: Collection of J. W. Johnston.

In addition to W. F. Apthorp, the listing for the last monthly social meeting of the Harvard Musical Association on June 7, 1878 also included R. E. Apthorp and H.[Harrison] O.[Otis] Apthorp.

In December 1900 The New York Times printed a story about Mrs. Apthorp:” “WEARS HER HAT IN THEATRES – Mrs. Apthorp of Boston Refuses to Comply with City Ordinance. BOSTON, Dec. 11. Mrs. William F. Apthorp, wife of the musical critic, and sister of Joseph A. Iasigi the former Turkish Consul at this port, who is now at the Massachusetts State prison, is evidently out on a crusade against the theatre hat ordinance, which has been in force in Boston for three years. Mrs. Apthorp is hardly second to Mrs. ”Jack” Gardner as the social queen of Boston, and is very elaborately dressed when she goes out in public. Last evening, with her husband, she occupied an orchestra stall at the Hollis Street Theatre and did not remove her bonnet when the curtain rose. An usher requested her to do so, but Mrs. Apthorp declined to comply. The management was appealed to and the lady was informed that she must either remove her hat or leave the theatre. She chose the latter alternative and went home and wrote a letter about it to The Evening Transcript. This evening Mrs. Apthorp went to the Boston Museum and again refused to remove her bonnet. This time she fared a little differently, Manager Field taking her to his box behind the curtain, while Mr. Apthorp remeined in his seat.” (Internet archive source: The New York Times, December 12, 1900) As late as 1919 the law was still on the books, and thus each BSO program book had the following notice printed on the Programme Page: “City of Boston, revised Regulation of August 5, 1898, – Chapter 3, relating to the covering of the head in places of public amusement. Every licensee shall not, in his place of amusement, allow any person to wear upon the head a covering which obstructs the view of the exhibition or performance in such place of any person seated in any seat therein provided for spectators, it being understood that a low head covering without projection, which does not obstruct such view, may be worn. Attest: J. M. Galvin, City Clerk.” (BSO Program for May 2/3, 1919, p. 1293) A further notice was added by the BSO management: “The ladies of the audience are earnestly requested not to put on hats before the end of the number.” (Ibid)

Arlington Club. Male voice choir first conducted by Mr. W. J. Winch and then by George Whitefield Chadwick had given “a series of concerts during each of the past five years.” (Boston Musical Year Book, Vol. 1 1883-84, p. 57) In the 1884-85 edition of the Boston Musical Year Book, it was reported that “the Arlington Club did not reorganize.” (BMYB 1884-85, p. 56)

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Elson, “Musical Boston,” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

Baermann, Carl. From a long line of musicians; his grandfather, “was one of the most brilliant clarinettists of the world, and was a close friend of Weber and Mendelssohn, both of whom wrote compositions for him.” “Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., p. 287) He appeared as piano soloist with the BSO in 26 programs between 1882 and 1899-this would average about 2 and 1/3rd. appearances per season. (Howe, BSO, p. 245) Born in Bavaria in 1839, he was part of a family that had musical talent passed on for many generations. He began at the Munich Conservatory in 1850, “and in 1857 spent some time with Liszt. A quiet life of teaching followed, and in 1864 he married…In 1867 the Royal School of Music was formed in Munich, and he became one of the teachers of the higher grades of piano playing.” (Elson, Musical Boston, p. 5) Later Elson wrote that Baermann “was one of the pupils of Liszt, not merely in name, but in fact, for he possesses the most laudatory letters from that master, and was literally one of his favorites…In 1881, Professor Baermann received a furlough of two years [from the Royal Music School of Munich] in order that he might visit America. The visit resulted in a permanent residence in this country” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., p. 288) In 1882 he had just made an appearance with the Philharmonic Society in Beethoven”s Fourth Piano Concerto which produced the comment that he was “one of the best pianists it [Boston] had recently heard,” and that the concert had been “one of the most notable moments of the last season.” (Elson, Musical Boston, p. 5) From 1881 “and for almost twenty-five years this teacher and pianist has been a leader in classical piano music in the United States. His pupils represent almost every state in the republic, and many of them have become famous in their own right.” (Elson, Hist., p. 288)



Baptist Church of Boston, First. Rollin Heber Neale, D. D. was the minister from 1837 until 1877. His tenure began at the Third Meeting House (1829-1854). He was described as “an earnest and often eloquent preacher. He had a genius for friendships.” (Wood, p. 332) Five years after he was installed he arranged for a series of revival meetings early in 1842 led by the Rev. Jacob Knapp, “one of the most notable evangelists whom this century has produced.” (Ibid) “The whole city was greatly stirred,” (Ibid) and soon over three hundred new members joined the church. But very quickly the spirit died, and Rev. Neale, during the following ten years was not able to stop the decline. The neighborhood also changed from residential to more a business area, and so the church decided to build a new sanctuary on Somerset Street, its fourth meeting house.


This new building was dedicated on January 11, 1855, and was large enough to seat “one thousand persons.” (Wood, p. 334) The interior was in the Gothic Style, and it had a tall steeple, “which, standing on the summit of Beacon Hill, was one of the landmarks of the city. It was visible for many miles. (Ibid, p. 335) “Its steeple became a landmark, a skyline neighbor to the State House dome, both of them clearly visible from the harbor. The peculiar lines of that steeple led to the humorous nickname, the ”church of the holy asparagus.”…The 1850s were shot through with the fierce national debate over slavery. In 1845 the Southern Baptists, because of the slavery issue, had drawn off and organized separately” (Brush, p. 39) Unfortuneately this new location did not help the church grow. “Families were moving away, and new baptist churches were springing up in other sections of the city.” (Wood, p. 335) Through all of this Neale presided in what was to become a pastorate of forty years. It was at this point, early in the 1850s, that B. J. Lang became connected with this church. In 1877 the congregation merged with the Shawmet Avenue Church (corner of Shawmut Avenue and Rutland Street) [originally organized in 1856 as the Thirteenth Baptist Chuirch)], and “The old meeting-house was afterwards remodeled and used as the home of Boston University. The chapel of the University still [1899] retains the former ceiling, windows, and pulpit furniture oif the room in which Dr. Neale preached from 1855 to 1877.” (Ibid, 338) The church still [1899] possed a painted portrait of Dr. Neale which was done soon after he began at the church in 1837. “He received one thousand two hundred and forty-one members into the church.” (Ibid, p. 340)

Beethoven Hall. New in 1874, it was formally opened on Oct. 6, and it was to “supply the want which has been felt ever since the days of the Melodeon, of a music hall of moderate size, somewhere between a room for chamber music and the great Boston Music Hall.” It was located nearly opposite the Globe Theatre in Washington Street, and it was entered from Gibbons Place. The total seating was 1526 with 885 on the floor and 641 in the balconies. These balconies were descibed as “very wide and rather low” which made one observer wonder what the sound was like in those seats. “The stage, which is partly in an arched recess, has a front of forty feet, and is twenty feet deep…Th seats are of the same comfortable style as those in use in Tremont Temple.” (Dwight, October 17, 1874, p. 319) The Handel and Haydn Society rehearsed here, “but they had n”t got the hang of the school-house” as they referred to it. (Perkins/Dwight, p. 352) It was a concert hall for only four years as it was renovated and re-opened as the Park Theatre in 1879. “The building survived until 1990, when it was razed.” (Wikipedia, May 26, 2014)

Bendix, Max (b. Detroit, 1866 and d.) “Having appeared in public as violinist at eight, before twenty gained orchestral experience under conductors like Thomas, Van der Stucken and Seidl. His training as soloist was chiefly with Jacobsohn [Berlin]. In 1886 he was concertmaster at the Metropolitan Opera House and also concertmaster and assistant-conductor of the Thomas Orchestra, remaining with the latter ten years, during which he was assistant and successor to Thomas at the Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893. Concertizing alone or with the Bendix Quartet occupied the years 1897-1903. He conducted the orchestra at the World”s Fair at St. Louis in 1904. The next season he was concertmaster for the Wagnerian performances at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York… in 1915 he was conductor of the Exposition Orchestra at the Panama-Pacific Exposition at San Francisco. Since then he has devoted himself to teaching in New York.” (Pratt, p. 129)

Upton, MUSICAL MEMORIES, facing p. 54.

Bergmann, Carl. Conductor who was removed as conductor for the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 thus giving B. J. his chance to conduct this von Bulow world premier performance. “The story of Bergmann”s American career begins with the Germania Musical Society of Berlin. This was an orchestra of twenty-five young Germans who came together in 1848 with the conviction that democracy was ”the most complete principle of human society” and with the motto ”One for all, and all for one.” The private orchestras they had manned, and the nobility that owned and enjoyed them, were jeopardized by political turmoil. The Germanians” constitution stipulated self-government, ”equal rights, equal duties, equal rewards.” Naturally, they resolved to set sail for America. In England, where they stopped first, they proved their mettle. They were urged to stay in London, but were set on reaching the New World. In New York, they established new standards. They toured extensively.” (Horowitz, Wagner, p. 39) After their first conductor decided to stay in Baltimore, Bergmann took over. “Eventually, the Germanians gave over nine hundred concerts in the United States. “(Ibid) William Apthorp writing in 1896 remembered hearing the group in the early 1860s. “I can still remember the Germania concerts under Carl Bergmann”s regime, just before he went to New York and was succeeded by Mr. Zerrahn… At one of the afternoon public rehearsals, -for there were afternoon public rehearsals then, as now, -all the seats on the floor of the Music Hall had been taken up [i.e., removed], and the small audience occupied the galleries. There used to be no printed programs at these rehearsals, but Bergmann would announce the several numbers viva voce – and often in the most remarkable English. One of the numbers on the occasion I speak of was the Railroad Galop (composer unknown), during the playing of which a little steam-engine kept scooting about (by clock-work?) on the floor of the hall, with black cotton-wool smoke coming out of its funnel. I have a vague recollection, too, of another rehearsal, at which something nefarious had happened to the heating apparatus, so that the temperature was somewhere in the forties. Dresel played a concerto with his overcoat on, the sleeves partly rolled up and the bright red satin lining flashing in the faces of the audience. Brignoli sang something too, in a black cape that made him look like Don Ottavio?and persisted in singing with his back to the audience. (Apthorp, “Entr”acte,” March 7 and 8 1896 BSO Program Book, p. 593) When the orchestra disbanded in 1854, Bergmann decided to stay in New York. “There he scored the pivotal success of his career on April 21, 1855. Theodore Eisfeld had fallen ill, and Bergmann was enlisted to replace him for a Philharmonic concert at Niblo”s Garden. His rendition of the Tannhauser Overture took musical New York by storm… The Philharmonic”s directors responded by engaging Bergmann to lead all the orchestra”s concerts in 1855-56, commencing a twenty-year relationship…It was Wagner that Bergmann could not program often enough… On April 4, 1859, Bergmann conducted the whole of Tannhauser?the first American staging of a Wagner opera… By 1873, however, his laziness and lager consumption were topics of loud complaint. His mood dipped, his health decayed, his drinking increased. Only the orchestra”s affection for him prolonged his tenure. On March 17, 1876, he could not rehearse. His resignation was requested six days later. Then his wife died. According to the New York Tribune”s obituary of August 14, 1876: ”From that time he rapidly declined in health and spirits, living a solitary and retired life, and shunning the company of his former associates. About a week ago he was obliged to seek refuge at the German Hospital, where he died on Thursday night at 11 o”clock.””(Horowitz, Wagner, p. 43) In America Bergmann had done much to introduce Wagner. As early as 1853 he had presented in Boston excerpts from Lohengrin, which was just three years after Liszt, had conducted the world premier in Weimar. “His 1866 performance of the Tristan Prelude, with the Philharmonic followed by exactly nine months the Tristan premier in Munich,” but in this instance he was only second as Thomas had “already conducted the same work with his orchestra a month before.” (Horowitz, Wagner, pp. 45 and 46) “By the time that Bergmann dies, Theodore Thomas had eclipsed him as an influential proponent of the Music of the Future. Thomas”s Wagner advocacy would peak after 1880. Meanwhile, another advocates helped sustain Wagner”s lively and controversial presence in American musical affairs. The leading Wagner conductor to visit the United States in these years was Hans von Bulow, who had led the premiers of Tristan and Die Meistersinger.” (Ibid, p. 47)

Boston. In 1878 the population of the city of Boston was 375,000, but “Within twelve miles of the City Hall there is a population of about 625,000.” (King, p. 20)

Boston Daily Advertiser– see Newspapers.

The Boston Choral Union. Dwight wrote of a “new oratorio society, the Boston Choral Union, under the direction of Mr. J. C. D. Parker, has plans, we hear, of more enlarged activity.” (Dwight, August 28, 1869, p. 95) On the same page Dwight made mention of the New St. Cecilia Club that he hoped would grow “to rival the excellence of its prototype, the Caecilen-Verein of Frankfort on the Main!” (Ibid) The Boston Choral Union, Mr. Eugene Thayer, conductor, gave a concert at Wait”s Hall, Jan. 31st. [1872]. (Dexter Smith”s, March 1872, p. 53)

Boston Conservatory of Music. “The name of a new music school on a large scale, which went into operation last Monday, after short notice, in the new white marble building upon Tremont Street, partly occupied by Messrs. Mason and Hamlin. Its founder and director is Mr. Julius Eichberg, which is in itself a good guaranty of thorough, scientific teaching and artistic tone and influence… Scarcely was the above announced, when by a sudden coup d” etat a ”New England Conservatory” dropped down from the clouds, captured the Music Hall, flooded Boston with grandiloquent Circulars, created ”Professors” by the score, and, gathering up pupils fast, is ready to open next Monday. It is under the direction of Mr. Eben Tourjee from Providence, and Mr. Robert Goldbeck from New York. Perhaps the more the merrier. But we must pause, observe and think.” (Dwight, February 16, 1867, p. 399) An ad in 1872 noted the address as 154 Tremont Street (Opposite the Common), and that “The rates of instruction are extremely low and as there are but Four Pupils in a Class the most surprising results are attained.” (Dexter Smith”s magazine, February 1872, p. 46) In May 1872 it was reported, “The Boston Conservatory has instructed, since its inauguration in 1862, more than four thousand pupils.” (Folio, May 1872)

Boston Evening Transcript– see Newspapers.

Boston Globe– see Newspapers.

Boston Journal– see Newspapers.

Boston Museum. Opened in 1841, in July 1842 it advertised in the Boston Transcript that “its picture gallery as the coolest room in the city” was the place to be as the temperature that day was 92 degrees.” (Chamberlin, p. 72) “Mr. Julius Eichberg manages the orchestra at the Boston Museum with artistic skill. He loses no time in ”tuning up,” but plays steadily and faithfully from the going down of the curtain until the rising thereof. This selection of operatic and patriotic pieces, as also of polkas and waltzes are in the best taste, and his medleys are often received with marked applause. His own solos are worth the price of admission, when he chooses to introduce them, but the modesty of the man is not less noteworthy than his extraordinary power and finish of execution upon his favorite violin.” (BMT, December 6, 1862, p. 147) “At the Boston Museum, attractive comedies are nightly offered-Early in January, John Wilkes Booth commences an engagement.” (BMT, January 3, 1863, p. 164) However by 1865 the size of the orchestra had been reduced: “The Museum band has always been too small, but it has this season suffered a reduction. So far as we can learn, the cause of this reduction is, that the musicians, who were last year paid fourteen dollars a week, now ask seventeen and a half, – the regular ”Union” price; – and the manager decides to save the addition to the salaries he must pay by discharging several players. With eight instruments, one first violin only, and that the leader”s, and no violincello or horns, – it is impossible to present such music as the patrons of a theatre which claims to stand in the first rank have a right to demand, and it is absurd to try. Mr. Eichberg deserves the warmest sympathy in the exceedingly laborious and unpleasant predicament in which he has been placed by this unaccountably penurious freak of a manager.” (BMT, October 7, 1865, p. 143) This situation probably led to Eichberg”s move to New York the next year.

Clark”s Boston Blue Book, 1888, p. 314. Seating Capacity, 2,397.

Clark”s Boston Blue Book, 1888, p. 315.

Boston Music Hall. 2,397 seats. Now (2007) called the Orpheum Theatre. “This huge building, 130 feet by 78 feet by 65 feet high, sat in the center of a block that sloped downward from Tremont to Washington Street and was between Winter Street on the south and Bromfield on the North. From alleys off Bromfield, the sharp slope of the hill made the hall”s massive block granite foundation appear to be holding up some great medieval fortress, with only the moat missing. Within the hall, two tiers of galleries on each side held three rows each, and two more on the north end were more commodious. An orchestra and organ platform was at the southern extremity facing a flat main floor… Blue and white moreen upholstered chairs, with white ivory numbered tabs at their tops, held an audience of about 2,500 patrons. The Boston Music Hall had three spacious entrances: Bumstead Place and Hamilton Place were off Tremont Street, while Central or Winter Place (later Music Hall Place) was off Winter Street. Wide connecting corridors ran around the auditorium. All lighting came from above; gaslights were installed at ceiling height on windowed cornices, affording indirect illumination” (King, p. 43) “Opened in [November] 1852, the theatre has hosted everything from vaudeville to symphony to movies and is now a rock concert venue. The original entrance was on Washington Street (just down the street from the old Paramount and RKO Keiths/Opera House), in the heart of Boston”s downtown shopping district, but that entrance was turned into a retail store and patrons now must walk down a back alley to get in… Originally it had 3 entrances, the one mentioned on Washington Street, the current one from the alley called (I think) Hamilton Place, and one off Winter Street via the alley called ”Music Hall Place.” The theatre was first a music hall, then had a mezzanine and balconies added by architect Clarence Blakhall… the area at the Music hall Place entrance is now part of the food court for a conglomeration of retail stores called ”The Corner” which replaced Gilchrist”s department store in the 80s.” (Entry for Orpheum Theatre”). “The Boston Music Hall was built in 1852, after a donation of $100,000 was made by the Harvard Musical Association towards its construction. Ten years later, the members of the Association raised an additional $60,000 to install in the hall an organ built in Germany by Walker. It was regarded as the largest organ in the United States, containing 5,474 pipes and 84 registers… The organ is now in the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, in Methuen, Massachusetts.” (Boston Music Hall” entry in This entry has a picture of the room that shows two balconies in the same configuration as Symphony Hall, Boston. Nutter adds that the $100,000 “was raised in the astonishing period of sixty days. The committee [from the Harvard Musical Association] chose the architect, supervised his plans (the plot was of irregular and curious shape, presenting him with problems), attended to every detail. The building rose quickly, watched by an interested and excited populace. When finally erected it could hold over 2,000 persons.” (Nutter, p. 11) A prosperous coach-maker, John Bumstead, owned the plot. “His house was surrounded by a spacious flower garden and his court would permit a vehicular lane to Bromfield Street and one to Winter Street which could be used as exits for the carriages bringing the gentry to the hall.” (Nutter, pp. 10 and 11) The address was called Bumstead Place, and then later Hamilton Place. John Dwight is credited with most of the work on this project. (Nutter, p. 100)

Boston Music School. This school began the fall 1865 term “under the most favorable auspices.” Located in the Fraternity Hall at 524 Washington Street, “the course of instruction pursued at this institution is very through, and as a consequence its graduates are accomplished, theoretical musicians… The price of tuition per term is $36, and this secures an extent and quality of instruction which is not to be obtained elsewhere. The instructors for the new term will be Messrs. B. F. Baker, J. W. Adams, William Shultze, John W. Tufts, George H. Howard, and Wulf Fries, every one of whom is a musical professor.” (BMT, October 7, 1865, p. 145) Both the New England and Boston Conservatories were to open in February 1867.

Boston Musical Times. Feb. 23, 1860-August 1871. “The first and second volumes were issued fortnightly, then it became a monthly review of music, art, and literature… It contained articles, bulletins of publications, correspondence, some original compositions and advertising.” (Ayars, p. 80)

Boston Oratorio Society. Gave Gounod”s Redemption in 1883 with pianoforte and organ accompaniment. (Boston Musical Year Book, Vol. 1 1883-84, p. 57)

Boston Orchestras. GERMANIA.

PHILHARMONIC. “I am under the impression that they were mainly, if not wholly, a private enterprise of Mr. Zerrahn”s. They were subscription concerts, given in the evening, with (I think) a preliminary public rehearsal in the afternoon. They were given in the Music Hall, for the most part, though at times in the Boston Theatre, and were for years the principal orchestral concerts in the city. The orchestra was somewhat larger than of the Orchestral Union. The concerts foundered during the hardest years of the war, a little later the Wednesday afternoon concerts of the Orchestral Union had struck colours; when they stopped, I think the Orchestral Union plucked up courage again, and continued giving concerts until the H. M. A. began.” (Swan-Apthorp, p. 77) ORCHESTRAL UNION (1860s) “The orchestra of the Orchestral Union… had been miserably small. I doubt if any of my generation, certainly of those whose experience did not extend to New York or the other side of the Atlantic, had ever heard a well-balanced orchestra. Our notions of orchestral effect were derived from what we heard. I remember distinctly how impossible it was for me, at the time I speak of [1860-70], to understand what older musicians meant by calling the strings the ”main power” in an orchestra. In all orchestras I had heard, the wood-wind-let alone the brass and percussion-was more powerful dynamically than the often ridiculously small mass of strings; especially as the then wind-players seldom cultivated the art of playing piano.”(Swan-Apthorp, p. 76). “What a time of it that old Orchestral Union had! Their concerts came on Wednesday afternoons, and were well attended at first… But, with the war, the audiences began to drop off, as times grew harder. The orchestra was an exceedingly variable quantity: there were only two horns, and a second bassoon was not to be thought of. The second bassoon-part had to be played on a ”cello; and uninitiated visitors used sometimes to wonder what that solitary ”cello was doing in the midst of the wood-wind. Hamann, the first horn, had little technique, but a good tone, and was moreover an excellent musician; he had a fad of playing the easier Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven horn-parts on a real plain horn, which he had had made to order, and regarded with unconcealed affection. I think there were hardly ever more than six first violins: I certainly remember one performance of Beethoven”s A major symphony with only three first violins and two second. The solitary bassoonist was conspicuous by his singularity, not by his virtuosity.” (Swan-Apthorp, p. 73) Apthorp goes on to say that the special orchestra of almost 100 players that was arranged for the Handel and Haydn demi-centennial festival of 1865 changed this.

Seating Plan: Boston Theatre. From BOSTON MANUAL of 1888. Johnston Collection.

Boston Post– see Newspapers.

Boston Singers” Society– see Osgood.

Boston Theater. Used by Gottschalk in 1863. “The Dress-circle – that is, all of the first balcony behind the first two rows of seats – was cut up into open boxes, the partitions coming up no higher than the arms of the seats. But I could never discover that people ”took a box;” the seats were sold separately, just as if the partitions did not exist. The entrance to the top gallery was fifty cents, though it was afterwards raised to a dollar. The opera orchestras were pretty small, and not of the best quality; but, as the huge modern opera scores had not come in, the parts were generally well enough filled… there were generally four horns.” (Swan-Apthorp, p. 74) Located in Federal Street, it had been opened on June 30, 1846 “with great ceremony, and with public proceedings including a prize poem by Mrs. Frances S. Osgood.” (Chamberlin, p. 209) The new and second Boston Theatre opened on September 11, 1854… The auditorium was 90 feet in diameter, circular yet slightly flattening toward the stage. The distance from the main curtain to the rear of the parquette was 80 feet; ceiling height was 54 feet. A space of 10 to 12 feet on the edge of the parquette, nearly parallel with the front curve of the first tier, was separated from the main seating and slightly raised. The entire parquette floor was constructed in a dishing form varying several feet. First and second balconies rose in horseshoe shape and were topped by the gallery. Hanging in front and a little below the first or dress circle was a light balcony containing two rows of seats. Each tier had 11 boxes in its center, separate from the remainder of its circle. The gallery extended back over the corridors below, affording a greater number of seats… A large ”digital-like” clock was part of the upper proscenium arch… The stage area was below Mason Street level and was 67 feet in depth from main curtain… The theatre covered 26,149 square feet of land and enjoyed a seating capacity of 3,140 as late as 1901.” (King, p. 45)

Boylston Club. Organized in 1873 (Ritter, p. 393) “This society, composed exclusively of gentlemen, was organized in February, 1872. During the ensuing season several pleasant evening entertainments were given, but not until Feb. 21, 1873, that the first real concert occurred. The second season, which was opened with a public rehearsal at Parker Memorial Hall, Nov. 28, 1873, proved a prosperous one, and soon the Club took its place among the recognized and influential musical organizations of Boston. In 1875 Carlyle Petersilea became its pianist, a post which he still [c. 1883] retains. In 1876 it was voted to invite ladies to assist at the concerts, but the membership is still exclusively male. Eben Phinney was its first director, but was soon succeeded by J. B. Sharland. Mr. Sharland resigned his position in 1875, when George L. Osgood became director, a capacity in which he still (Jan., 1883) acts. Under his able leadership the Club not only continued to prosper but improved its high musical standard, so largely due to the efforts of Mr. Sharland. The performances of the Club are of the highest order.” (Jones, p. 17) “Boston has still another male chorus called the Boylston Club, which comprises excellent material. It is destined to occupy a high position.” (Dexter Smith, April 1873, p. 93) “Formed May 1873… rehearsed for a long time privately under Mr. J. B. Sharland… It took a fresh start when Mr. George L. Osgood took the helm… The choir then numbered about a hundred male voices… In 1877 the club mated itself with an equally large and select choir of female voices.” (Dwight, History of Boston, p. 453) Allen A Brown”s “Index” Vol. I lists repertoire from December 22, 1873 to May 18, 1881, but the first program preserved in this volume is for a “Public Rehearsal” held on Thursday May 29, 1873 with the Beethoven Quintette Club as assisting artists?they performed two movements from the Mendelssohn Quintette, Opus 87 and two movements from Rubinstein”s Quartette Opus 17, No. 3; the players were Messrs. Allen, Heindl, Mullaly, and Wulf Fries; no choral conductor is listed, and at the end of the repertoire list the only conductors mentioned were J.B. Sharland and Geo. L Osgood-B. J. Lang is not mentioned! Dwight referred to this group as the “younger rival” of the Apollo Club in his review of June 28, 1873. He attended their May 29th. concert “on one of the hottest evenings of the season… up endless flights of stairs in the spacious and elegant new Odd Fellows Hall, this company of some forty young, fresh voices, under the very efficient conductorship of Mr. Sharland, sang a selection of part-songs by composers most in vogue, with agreeable ensemble of tone, such unity and precision and such well studied light and shade as to give great pleasure to an appreciative audience.” However, he went on to advocate for mixed voices whose repertoire was vastly greater than that of men”s choirs. Like many other singing groups, variety in the program was provided by instrumental movements?in this case the Beethoven Quintette presented selections from a Quintet by Mendelssohn and an Quartet by Rubinstein.”(Dwight, June 28, 1873, p. 47) Dwight again referred to this group in his review of their December 22, 1873 concert given at the Music Hall as the “younger club” in relation to the Apollo Club. He felt that “In fresh, pure vocal ensemble the young club rivals the Apollo; but it is by no means so rich in solo singers, nor is the musical experience of its members as yet such that it may attempt the same high flights.” (Dwight, January 10, 1874, p. 159) The conductor for this concert was Mr. J. B. Sharland and the Beethoven Quintette Club again assisted this time with the Andante from the Quintette in A by Mendelssohn and the Allegretto, Minuet and Trio from Beethoven”s Eighth Symphony.

On January 15, 1875 the choir sang at the Music Hall again under Mr. Sharland, and Dwight felt that “The quality and balance of the voices, and the precision, style and finish of their execution was highly creditable to the singers and their instructor.” (Dwight, January 23, 1875, p. 375) This concert was the first where a conductors name was listed in the program. Jones lists his time as conductor as from the autumn of 1872 until April 1875. (Jones, p. 153) However, soon there was a change. Less than six months later “The Boylston Club sung this time under their new conductor, M. George L. Osgood, who had been with them only a few weeks, so that the results of his training could hardly yet be very marked. In the repetition of the Concert the improvement was decided. There is a fine body of fresh young voices, and they sing with spirit.” In addition to the choral numbers, five male soloists were used, and the accompanist, Mr. Petersilea contributed a solo. (Dwight, June 26, 1875, p. 47) The program for their May 31, 1875 concert is the first to list the members of the choir: there were 16 First Tenors, 17 Second Tenors, 16 First Basses, and 16 Second Basses. In October 1876 Dwight noted that Mr. George W. Sumner was taking over the post of accompanist from Mr. Petersilea, and that the Club “proposes to give five concerts this season, the first about the middle of November, and the repertoire has been enriched with several new and interesting works.” But, as this group was just beginning its rehearsals, the Apollo had already given its “first public rehearsal to its associate members last Tuesday night at Horticultural Hall.” (Dwight, October 14, 1876, p. 319) The Boylston Club concert of December 1876 caused Dwight to comment: “Never have the voices seemed so well balanced, the ensemble so finely blended, and the harmony so pure” of this group which now numbered “very near 100 voices.” But Dwight did note “there is a limit to the charm of mere men”s voices… and we are glad to learn that the Club is taking the initiative in affiliating with itself a chorus of mixed voices.” (Dwight December 23, 1876, p. 359) This change in direction was indicated when Mr. Osgood wrote to the Globe on February 28, 1877 saying that the choir would continue to be of male voices, but that “a disciplined auxiliary chorus of female voices, all fresh and pure” would be formed. “By uniting these two separately-trained choruses, there results a third and complete chorus of mixed voices, known as the Boylston Vocal Society, also having its own separate drill… Many of the programmers in future will consist of two, three, four to eight, and even twelve voiced part songs for both male, female and mixed chorus, glees, catches, madrigals, and occasionally a larger work… The Boylston Club, nevertheless, will continue its own rehearsals as before, and will also, at proper intervals, give concerts with the male voices alone.” (Dwight, March 17, 1877, p. 407) The Club”s concert the following February began with Mendelssohn”s music from Athalie with piano accompaniment by Mr. Petersilia, and “the effect of the choral mass was frequently enhanced by the judicious Organ accompaniment by Mr. G. W. Sumner.” The concert “was as brilliant a success as any vocal Club has ever had in Boston.” Dwight mentioned the “excellent performance of the same work [Athalie] by the Cecilia,” but noted that this performance included spoken portions, and the “reading was of a superior order.” (Dwight, March 2, 1878, p. 191) A year and one-half later the Boylston Club had nearly two hundred voices-this would seem to be the total of male and female voices, with much of the repertoire for the 1878-79 season being for mixed voices. However, the published intension was to still continue programming the “best” of male voice material: “The club has proved beyond a doubt that male part songs are heard at their best when they have the setting of female part-songs and mixed choral work.” (Dwight, December 7, 1878, p. 351) Elson wrote that “In 1875 he [Osgood] assumed the directorship of the Boylston Club, a promising choral organization then in its third year, and soon refined its singing, aroused its enthusiasm, and gave to Boston one of the most noteworthy clubs in its musical history. Under Mr. Osgood”s direction the perfection of its performances became known throughout America.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., p. 252) Vol. 7 of the Musical Year Book reported: “The Boylston Club dissolved. The Boston Singers Society succeeded it.” (MYB 1889-90, p. 26)

The HMA has programs from sixteen seasons of this choir.

Boylston Hall?corner of Boylston and Washington Streets (Elson, National, p. 279)

Brattle Square Church. Used by Lang for two full orchestra concerts in 1881 where he wanted to reproduce “as far as possible, the effect of a very large orchestra in a small place, as in the Gewandhaus at Leipzig and at the Conservatoire in Paris.” It sat about 600.

Ryan, RECOLLECTIONS plate opposite p. 38.

Brown, Allen Augustus. Donated to the Boston Public Library “the largest musical library in the country, – a historical collection consisting not only of numerous scores and a tremendous amount of general musical literature, but also of arranged and classified data regarding musical performances, criticisms, notices, covering the last twenty years [c. 1880-1900]; in short, a unique collection such as must aid not only the general musician, but the musical historian, at every step.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Music, p. 91) Pratt”s entry included the facts that Brown was a businessman, and that the collection began with 7,000 volumes, but then grew by 1910 to 11,00 items, and later [1920] to 15,000 items. “It is rich in many different directions-in scores of every sort, instrumental and vocal, in standard critical editions of the complete works of great composers, in historical, theoretical and critical works about music, in unique collections of programs, etc.” (Pratt, p. 145) The current (2007) entry on the Boston Public Library Website adds that the first gift was made in 1895, and that the original gift of 6,990 volumes “had nearly tripled in size by his death in 1916. The collection continues to grow through purchases from trust funds, including the Allen A. Brown Fund, and now contains more than 40,000 books, scores, and manuscripts… By the terms of the gift, the original collection is housed in a specially designated area, and the books and other materials included in it are restricted to use in the Music Reading Room.” (BPL Website, March 2007) Barbara Duncan, BPL Music Librarian writing in 1941 began her short notice with: “The life of Allen A. Brown was happy and enviable.” She noted that he had been born in Boston, attended Roxbury Latin, and entered Harvard in the class of 1856. In college he began collecting the scores and books that were to become the nucleus of the collection that he presented to the BPL. He was a musical amateur “of more than ordinary attainments” – he played violin and had a fine tenor voice. He sang in church “and in the Foster, Parker, Chickering, Apollo, and Cecilia Societies for many years,” and he was the secretary and librarian of “these singing societies and did an enormous amount of arranging, copying, and translating for them… The unique feature of the collection is the wealth of material with which he grangerized the volumes.” Reviews, ticket stubs, anything related to the event were all included, and all was carefully indexed. “The Brown music library is an interesting example of what can be done with some money, knowledge of the subject, a love of collecting, and prodigious industry.” (Duncan, pp. 12 and 13) Brown “has been one of the most earnest organizers of the Apollo, and his great musical library has always been at the disposal of the club, and has been of material service in many instances.” (Elson, Musical Boston, p. 3) He joined the St. Botolph Club in June 1889. (E-mail from Roger Howlett)

Paderewski, MEMOIRS facing page 104.

Von Bulow, Hans Guido. “Pupil and son-in-law of Liszt, intimate of Wagner (who rewarded his friendship by stealing his wife), Hans von Bulow was equally celebrated in Europe as conductor and pianist. He was perhaps the first of the modern virtuoso conductors, and both on the podium and at the piano he was one of the earliest to perform without a musical score.” “Most of us are aware that he was among Liszt”s most gifted pupils… Many of us know, too, that he prepared and conducted the world premiers of both Wagner”s Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg… During childhood he was discovered to have a photographic memory, this later extending to total recall of even the most elaborate orchestral scores… Bulow”s other gift was his ready wit, his capacity for instant response… He never learned to control his tongue,” but he did say “The New World is to be preferred to the Old in every respect.” (Harrison-review of Walker, pp. 30 and 31)

Von Bulow elected to make his American debut in Boston, where John S. Dwight so welcomed his authoritative interpretations of Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin that he forgave von Bulow his identification with Liszt, Wagner, and ”the Music of the Future.” Dwight even managed to tolerate the ”ultra-modern” music of a ”young professor at the Conservatory at Moscow”: Peter Tchaikovsky”s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, of which von Bulow”s Boston performances were the first anywhere.” (Sablosky, p. 93) Paderewski describes von Bulow as “very sarcastic, and sometimes even unjust on account of his being so witty?that is a quality which is always rather dangerous. He simply could not abstain from making witty remarks about people. He thoroughly enjoyed it.” He was asked about a certain English conductor, and his response was: “He is a bus conductor! ”Why?” Why… because he is always behind!” (Paderewski, p. 123) Another example of von Bulow”s wit was recorded by the soprano Clara Rogers (Clara Doria). When von Bulow “came to visit me at Ashburton Place we could talk freely together and exchange views on matters musical in America, he let himself go in his old sarcastic vein, slashing some of our leading musical lights without mercy, not hesitating to make use of the term ”pig” when irately dispose.” (Rogers, Memories, p. 448) Rogers had studied piano with von Bulow in the late 1850s after she had graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory after a period of three years of study. “In my lessons with him… he allowed me to play only Chopin and Liszt, the latter an entirely new departure for a Leipzig graduate! He encouraged me to play with a freedom that almost amounted to license, and I soon became expert in the use of ”rubato,” an acquisition, by the way, which has since been invaluable to me as a singer. To be able to toy with rhythm, yet never lose the sense of it, is something which every artist must achieve.” Von Bulow told Rogers: “Let me tell you what a very famous old violin player named Rhodes once said: ”It took me one half of my life to learn to play in time, and the other half to learn how to play out of time.”” (Rogers, Memories, pp. 195 and 196)

“Hans Guido von Bulow was considered to be the foremost pianist of the advanced school of pianoforte playing founded by Chopin, and developed by Liszt. While his repertoire included the master works of all styles and schools, and his technique was prodigious, he was distinguished more particularly for his wonderful memory, and it would be difficult to mention any work of importance which he did not at one time or another play in public, and by heart. He was also a remarkable orchestral conductor, a keen critic, and an excellent editor of musical works.” (Lahee, p. 165) At the age of nine he began piano studies with Clara Schumann”s father, but at 18 he began to study law with music taking a secondary position. Two years later “the turning point in his career came about when he witnessed a performance of Lohengrin… He threw over his career as a lawyer, and sought the guidance of Wagner at Zurich. In 1851 he went to Liszt at Weimar, and studied pianoforte playing with him, and in 1853 he made his first concert tour through Germany.” (Lahee, p. 166) After nine years (beginning in 1855) as the main piano teacher at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin he was appointed the Director of the Munich Conservatory and Conductor of the Royal Opera in 1865. After his time in America in 1875-76 he became the opera conductor in Hanover followed by an appointment as Intendant at the Meiningen Court. After 1885 “he devoted himself to large orchestras in many cities, in which he accomplished wonders. Von Bulow married, in 1857, Liszt”s daughter Cosima, but was divorced from her in 1869. She then married his friend Richard Wagner. Bulow died in 1894.” (Lahee, p. 168) “Following his separation and divorce from Cosima, Bulow spent several years in Florence, recuperating, teaching, and escaping from the Germany of Wagner. By 1872 he returned to an active career as a pianist. He had seriously considered an American tour as early as 1866, when his marriage was at a breaking point and his position in Munich seemed temporarily doomed. By the 1870s, his primary goal in such a tour was to earn enough money ”not to die insolvent” and to provide dowries for his three daughters by Cosima, one of whom he did not yet realize (or at least admit) was fathered by Wagner.” (Lott, p. 235)

“A good anecdote of Bulow is told by Mr. Apthorp apropos of the depressing influence of small audiences upon musicians. At one of von Bulow”s recitals in Music Hall, Boston, an auditorium capable of seating nearly three thousand people, the audience amounted to about forty. There was a driving snowstorm during the day and evening, and the streets were almost impassable. When von Bulow appeared, he stepped to the front of the platform, and declared that it was the most flattering experience of his artistic career, to find so many people willing to come to hear music on such a night. ”If you will all please come and sit close together,” he added, ”we shall be able to keep one another and the music warm.” He never played better, and the small audience had a little touch of selfish satisfaction at feeling that they had a particularly delightful evening all to themselves.” (Lathe, p. 170)

In his book on Liszt, Sacheverell Sitwell describes von Bulow as “one of those agile personalities, small in physique, with an enormous aptitude for work, great fires of conviction, deep loyalties, and a nervous system that gets strained beyond endurance. His musical talent was at once recognized by Liszt, who accepted him as a piano-pupil. Within two years he had developed into a pianist of formidable powers, who was likely to overwork himself by the scope and exactitude of an immense repertory.” (Sitwell, p. 203) Soon after he finished studying with von Bulow he was appointed to the Stern Conservatory in his native Berlin. Liszt”s mistress, the Princess Wittgenstein decided von Bulow would be a good host for Liszt”s daughters, Blandine and Cosima. He lived in Berlin, which would put them close to their father in Weimar, and von Bulow”s household was run by his mother! “Cosima wrought havoc in the household from her first arrival.” (Ibid, p. 203) Von Bulow was reduced to a “state of stupefaction, admiration, and even exaltation” by the genius of the two girls, especially the younger, Cosima. This soon led to von Bulow announcing his engagement to Cosima, and they were married on August 14, 1857. (Ibid, p. 204)

In 1872 Amy Fay recorded her impression of von Bulow: “He has the most forcible style I ever heard, and phrases wonderfully. It is like looking through a stereoscope to hear him. All the points of a piece seem to start out vividly before you. He makes me think of Gottschalk a little, for he is full of his airs. His expression is proud and supercilious to the last degree, and he looks all round at his audience when he is playing. He always has two grands on the stage, one facing one way, and one the other, and he plays alternately on both. His face seems to say to the audience, ”You”re all cats and dogs, and I don”t care what you think of my playing.” Sometimes a look of infinite humour comes over it, when he is playing a rondo or anything gay. It is very funny. He has remarkable magnetic power, and you feel that you are under the sway of a tremendous will. Many persons find fault with his playing, because they say it is pure intellect but I think he has too much passion to be called purely intellectual. Still, it is always passion controlled. Beethoven has been the grand study of his life, and he plays his sonatas as no one else does.” (Fay, pp. 176 and 177) In February 1873 she wrote: “I heard two tremendous concerts of Bulow”s lately. Oh, I do hope you”ll hear him some day. He is a colossal artist. I never heard a pianist I like so well. He has such perfect mastery, and yet comprehension and such sympathy.” (Fay, p. 195) In June 1873 she wrote that Liszt had introduced her to von Bulow: “Bulow had just returned from his grand concert tour, and had been in London for the first time. In a few months he had given one hundred and twenty concerts! He is a fascinating creature, too, like all these master artists, but entirely different from Liszt, being small, quick, and airy in his movements, and having one of the boldest and proudest foreheads I ever saw. He looks like strength of will personified. .” (Fay, p. 225) In November 1873 she wrote: “Bulow”s playing is more many-sides, and is chiefly distinguished by its great vigor; there is no end to his nervous energy, and the more he plays, the more the interest increases… He plays Chopin as well as he does Beethoven, and Schumann, too. Although he is a superlative pianist, though by no means unerring in his performance. I”ve heard him get dreadfully mixed up. I think he trusts too much to his memory, and that he does not prepare sufficiently. He plays everything by heart, and such programmes!” (Fay, pp. 274 and 275) “That American could attract such artists as Rubinstein and Bulow in their prime was surely a sign of its musical progress, or at least an indication that the nation was perceived more positively by Europeans.” (Lott, p. 234)

Verlag Hans Dursthoff, Berlin: Johnston Collection.

Also in 1872 John Orth writing from Berlin for Dexter Smith”s magazine described von Bulow as “below the medium height, rather slight, [he] has a peculiar expression of the eye, and his motions are nervous and active. He is very affable and agreeable.” (Dexter Smith”s January 1872, p. 4) The soprano Clara Rogers (Clara Doria) described von Bulow from whom she had taken piano lessons; “There was nothing in his appearance which could be designated as ”commanding,” for he was below middle height and somewhat slight of frame; neither was there anything notable in his features; but the keen, intelligent and masterful expression of his face labelled him at once as a person of distinction. It was the artist within the frame that at once held your attention and exacted your respectful consideration.” (Rogers, Memories, pp. 196 and 197) The German critic Dr. Ferdinand Hiller also described von Bulow”s personality and technique: “Bulow is one of the Generals who divided among themselves the inheritance of Liszt Alexander the Great. For several hours he has kept our audience in a state of such breathless subjugation of all technical difficulties; his really military strength and power of endurance; his nearly infallible certainty; and his memory, in which all the pieces that he played, and who knows how many more that he did not play, appear to be stored as safely as a collection of classics in an oak book case, caused the audience to forget entirely that they had come to a Beethoven entertainment.” (von Bulow, American, p. 7) Hiller also mentioned his physical atributes: “You are to picture to yourself a small man with a thoroughly Prussian look, and, as all fine orchestra leaders, has a military martinet air. His head is that of a soldier more than that of an artist – small, compact, hard-looking as a hickory nut. His eyes are large – a fleur de tete, as the French say. He wears a heavy brown mustache, a little Vandyke beard, which hides the shape of his mouth; his forehead recedes; the crown of his head is a little bald; the ears incline back, adding to the rather sharp, belligerent expression of his keen little head and face. When he takes his place before the orchestra you expect to see him draw his sword, and every musician is ready to charge to the death. It is impossible not to feel the influence of his magnetic presence. He infuses new vitality into the most familiar compositions. His directions are animated with a knowledge that acts like inspiration. We are in the presence of a master spirit.” (Ibid, p. 8)

In addition to the seven American debut concerts given between October 18 and October 30, 1875, von Bulow returned to Boston for a series on six consecutive nights, January 10 through January 15, 1876, and a final set of six consecutive concerts on April 3 through April 8, 1876. (Lott, p. 301) In the middle of the second set he found time to write to Baroness Romaine von Overbeck, “I imagine that as a child you amused yourself by tormenting flies and butterflies, considering that you excel with virtuosity in making me suffer, me who loves you, me who adores you so-superlatively” – letter dated January 12, 1876 from Boston. (Lott, p. 261) Von Bulow continued to visit Boston. He gave a series of three recitals in the Music Hall on March 24, 27 and 31, 1890. (MYB, 1889-90, p. 25)

“The most notable advocate of Chopin”s music in Germany next to Clara Schumann was Hans Guido von Bulow. His reputation was that of a great intellectual, and by playing much of Chopin he saved the composer from denigration as a salon player; Bulow demonstrated that Chopin”s music was worthy of inclusion in a programme alongside that of Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. Severely academic, remote, peppery and sardonic, he was perhaps the first of the modern ”giants” of the pianoforte. Born in 1830 (eleven years after Clara Wieck), he was not perhaps the type of pianist one would immediately associate with Chopin”s music, but he had the intellectual breadth of a Busoni or a Schnabel. He began playing Chopin when still in his teens, and by 1855, shortly before the composer”s death, was already playing a representative proportion of his works in public. Bulow was totally uninterested in Chopin”s music as a vehicle for pianistic display. There was an element of pedantry in his readings that led Moritz Moszkowski to remark, “Rubinstein plays the piano as if it was his wife, Grunfeld as if it was his finacee, but Bulow as if it was his old grandmother!” Very modest about his attainments, he despised personal adulation and, after a highly successful recital, he threatened to play the complete Bach Preludes and Fugues if they did not cease their applause… But despite his importance, Bulow is not remembered as a great Chopin player, probably because he had to consciously interpret the music” (Campbell-Methuen, pp. 159 and 160)

In February 1881 Liszt wrote a letter to the “Gazette de Hongrie” concerning von Bulow.

“Honored Sir and Friend, -You wish to know what impression yesterday”s Bulow Concert made upon me. He belongs to you, he belongs to us all, to the entire intelligent public of Europe. Stated in two words: it was admiration, enthusiasm. Twenty-five years ago Bulow was my pupil in music, just as twenty-five years previously I was the pupil of my highly-honored and dearly-loved master, Czerny. But it has given to Bulow to strive better and more perseveringly than to me. His edition of Beethoven, which is worthy of all admiration, is dedicated to me as the ”Fruit of my teaching.” But here the teacher had to learn from his pupil, and Bulow continues to instruct-as much by his astonishing virtuosity as a pianist as by his incomparable direction of the Meiningen Orchestra. There! You have an example of the musical progress of our times. Heartily yours, FRANZ LISZT.” (Dwight, May 7, 1881, p. 70)


A. Johnson Carter Burrage. Alvah A. Burrage, younger brother of Johnson C., wrote a history of the family which was published in 1877. In it he gave Johnson”s birth date as January 20, 1816. He was named after two friends of his mother-Jonathan Carter and his wife Mary Johnson. At fifteen, his father found a place for him working in a variety store in the center of leominster. He combined this and schooling during the winter months until he was between eighteen and nineteen. After one ternm at Groton Academy he taught school the following winter. In the spring of 1835 his brothers found him a place in a wholesale/retail woollen goods store in Boston. He did so well, that after eighteen months with the company he was give charge of the retail branch. He decided to take a partner, and so just three months shy of his 21st. birthday, the company of Richardson & Burrage was born in October 1836. Johnson C. Burrage and Emeline Brigham were married Nov. 29, 1838 in Groton. [She was born April 18, 1815 and died August 7, 1903] Between 1836 and 1845 the business prospered, but in 1845 they sold a business that they knew well in order to buy the Burlington Woolen Mills in Burlington Vermont. Within four or five years they had lost all the money that they had made in the previous eight or nine years. The company was closed but “they eventually paid all their debts in full” (Burrage, p. 127) There still appeared in April 1846 newspaper ads listing “Richardson, Burrage & Co., Commission Merchants for the sale of American Wollens-Over Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Sewell Block, Milk St” with the three priciples being A. J. Richardsom, J. C. Burrage and O. B. Dorrance. (April 10, 1846, Boston Post, p. 3, GenBank)

Johnson Carter then returned to buying and selling woolen goods and formed a partnership with James M. Beebe. The 1860 Census listed the value of his Real estate-$11,500, and the value of his Personnal Estate-$75,000. After a successful fifteen or sixteen years, this partnership was dissolved in August 1863, and he, with some junior partners, Mr. Amory Leland and Mr. R. W. Kendall founded J. C. Burrage & Co. which continued his success for another seven or eight years. (August 13, 1863, Traveler, p. 2, GenBank) An ad in 1864 said: “J. C. Burrage & Co. are now opening a full assortment of Staple & Men”s Wear.” (March 25, 1864, p. 3, GenBank) In September 1865 his company was called J. C. Burrage & Co., with offices at No. 3 Winthrop Square (New Granite Building). The office of his former partner, James M. Beebe was next door at Nos. 1 and 2 Winthrop Square! The address for Burrage”s New York City store was 5 College Place. (October 10, 1865, Evening Post, NYC, p. 64, GenBank) In 1870 his other partners were R. W. Kendall, G. E. Johnson, J. W. Gannett and E. C. Burrage and the company office was at 184 Devonshire Street with his home at 112 Boylston Street. (1870 Boston Directory, p. 128) The July 19, 1870 Census entry added: The occupations of Johnson and his sons Edward and Herbert as Woolen Jobber. Even though Edward had married four years before this Census, he is still listed as living with his father and no mention is made of his wife. The household now has four servants, and B. J. Lang, his wife and daughter Mary (Margaret) are listed at this address but with the phrase “In Europe.” In April 1870 J. C. was part of the Standing Committee of the Second Church (Unitarian) of Bedford Street. One had to be a “proprietor” to be on this committee, and one of the items talked about at this April meeting was the possibility of the church moving to Back Bay. (April 28, 1870, Traveler, p. 1, GenBank)

In July 1865 the incomes “of citizens of Boston assessed on an income of $10,000 or upwards for the year 1864″ were published. (Traveler, July 18, 1865, p. 2 GB)  Burrage was the 56th. in the list was of Wards 3 and 5 with an income of $54, 990 which is $824,000 in todays money.[2015] Among the first 56 there was only one income higher. Less than a month later another article listed Burrage”s incomes for 1861-$54,000, and 1863-$120,221. (Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, August 5, 1865, p. 29, GB)

In 1866 an article listed the donors to Harvard”s Alumni Hall (Sanders Theater being part of this building). At that time $177,770 had been collected with $122, 420 coming from Alumni and $52,850 coming from community members who had not attended Harvard. Johnson C. Burrage donated $1,000 as did his brother, Alvah A. Burrage. (Traveler, July 30, 1866, p. 1. GB)

The Boston fire of November 9 and 10, 1872 “destroyed about one half of the business portion of the city.” (Burrage G., p. 131) “All of the Burrages doing business in Boston lost heavily… J. C. Burrage & Co. had a stock of about $190,00, which was entirely destroyed. They received from insurance about $140,00, leaving a loss of about $50,000.” (Ibid., p. 132) An ad appeared two days after the fire stating that even though their entire stock had been burned in their 184 Devonshire location, “they continue business without interruption at 322 Washington Street, and are prepared to fill all orders for the popular styles of WOOLENS AND COTTONADES.” (November 13, 1872, Journal, p. 5, GenBank) The scope of their business is shown in that this same ad appeared a week later in the New York Evening Post. (November 26, 1872, NY Evening Post, p. 5, GenBank) He also responded regularly to various donation appeals. In 1862: “Patriotic Donation. Mr. J. C. Burrage, of the firm of J. M. Beebe & Co., has presented one of Short”s patent knapsacks to each member of Co. C, (Capt. J. H. Lombard) 44th. Regiment, at Readville.” (Salem Register, October 27, 1862, p. 2, reprinted from the Boston Journal, GenBank) In 1863 he donated $100 to the “Committee appointed to aid in the Enlistment of Colored Troops,” in 1864 he gave $100 to support the “Soldiers” Thanksgiving Dinner,” in 1865 $100 was given in support of erecting a “Statue of Edward Everett,” and also in $500 was given to the “Children”s  Mission to the Children of the Destitute in the City of Boston and in 1866 he gave $100 to the New England Branch of the “Freedmen”s Union Commission.” Evening Transcript, November 27, 1866, p. 2 GenBank)

Burrage took an active part in both the business and social fabric of Boston. In 1857 he is listed as a member of the Boston Board of Trade, in 1858 he is a Patron of the English and Classical School in West Newton, in 1865 is is one of five Directors of The American Barrel Machine Company, and in 1866 he is listed as a member of the Company of the New York Life Insurance Co. Also listed are the ex-Governor of Vermont, the Cashier of the U. S. Treasury, lawyers, various businessmen, and B. J. Lang, Organist! Possibly B. J.”s father-in-law was helping his daughter”s new family finacially through this connection. (June 6, 1866, Evening Transcript, p. 4, GenBank)

In 1873 illness forced him to retire, but he did so “possessing an ample competeney.” (Ibid., p. 127) Johnson Carter died on April 6, 1881 aged 65 years, 2 months from consumption-his address then was 112 Boylston Street and he had been born in Leominster, MA. His father was listed as Josiah Burrage, born in Leominster and his mother, Ruth, was born in Lunenburg. (Death Certificate) The June 17, 1900 Census listed Mrs. Johnson C. Burrage, a widower living at 50 Highland St., Newton (same street as son Edward C.) with one unmarried daughter, Emma, aged 49, and Marion B. Morse, a widow (see Minnie, above) with two Irish born servants, Annie O”Toole (b. Feb. 1873, age 27, single) and Mary Tyman, maid (b. May 1869, age 31, single). This entry said Johnson had six children, four still alive. Mrs. J. C. Burrage-Emeline died on August 7, 1903 as a widow at Newton, MA aged 88 years, 3 months, 19 days, and was buried at Mt. Auburn; her birthplace was Groton, MA. He father was George Brigham born in Marlboro, MA and her mother was Betsey Morsealso born in Marlboro, MA. (Death Certificate).

In his will he left $1,000 each to the American Unitarian Associatiion, Second Church, of which Rev. Horton is pastor, the YMCA and the Benevolent Fraternity of Churches. $500 each was left to six other charities who helped children and women. (Journal, May 3, 1881, p. 1, GB)

1. Fanny (Frances) Burrage, age 20. “b. Dec. 18, 1839; m. Oct. 10, 1861, Benjamin J. Lang, of Boston, professor of music.” (Burrage Geneol., p. 181)

  • a. Harry Allston Lang, b. Oct. 5, 1864; d. Aug. 7, 1866. (Burrage G., p. 189)
  • b. Margaret Ruthven Lang, b. Nov. 27, 1867. (Ibid) (Burrage was published in 1877)
  • c. Rosamond Lang Galacar. b. February 6, 1878; d. Aug. 11, 1971 (aged 93)
  • d. Malcolm Burrage Lang, b. June 14, 1881; d. Mar. 7, 1972 (aged 90)

2. Edward C. Burrage, age 18. “b. June 13, 1841; m. Jan. 16, 1866, m. Julia L. Severance, [b. c. March 1844] of West Newton.” (Burrage, Geneol., p, 181) He was 24, she 21. His occupation-Merchant. Julia born in Cleveland; her father, Theodore C. Severage; her mother, Caroline M. (Info from Marriage Certificate). Edward had attended public schools in Boston, “graduated from the Quincy Grammar School, a Franklin Medal scholar, in 1855.” He then had several terms of private instruction, and when he was nineteen “he visited Europe, in company with Mr. James Allen; was absent about two years. Upon his reurn, in the autumn of 1861, he entered his father”s store, J. M. Beebe & Co.”s, and was employed there when the pressing urgency for more troops, in the summer of 1862, induced the government to issue a call for the enlistment of men to serve nine months.” (Burrage, G., pp. 151 and 152) He entered as a corporal and rose to sergeant when he “was mustered out of service in June, 1863. After returning from the war he re-entered the store, and subsequently became a partner in the house of J. C. Burrage & Co. When that firm dissolved he went into the wholesale crockery and glassware store of Abram French & Co., and still [1877] remains in that business.” (Op. Cit., pp. 152 and 153) “He was the Treasurer of and sang tenor in the Cecilia in 1903. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8) In 1870 he was a partner in his father”s firm J. C. Burrage & Co., and he (and his wife) lived with his father at 112 Boylston Street. (1870 Boston Directory, p. 128) In 1877 he worked for “Abram French & Co., dealers in crockery and glassware,” and “they live in Newton.” (Burrage, op. cit.) The June 15, 1880 census entry adds: Edward was a dealer in Glassware and V., and that they lived on Highland St. in Newton. Also that Julia”s father had been born in MA and her mother born in N. Y. He is not listed in the 1885 Boston Directory. The June 17, 1900 Census entry adds: address of 72 Highland St., that they own their house; have been married 34 years; he was then 58 and she 56; they had two servants-Mary E. Smith (age 44, born MA), a seamstress and Annie J.Grant (age 29, born Canada), servant; this entry says “mother of two children[?]/two alive”

  • a. Severance [His mother”s maiden name] Burrage, son, born MA. Born July 18, 1868 in West Newton. (Birth Certificate)
  • b. Bessie Burrage, daughter, born MA. “b. Aug. 5, 1870.” (Burrage, Geneol., p. 190)
  • c. [Caroline Severance, b. Nov. 5, 1876. Burrage G., p. 190]
  • d. Emeline, daughter, born MA (see above – born Nov. 5, 1879. Info from Birth Certificate)

Three servants, all Irish born – Bridget Kenney, aged 40; Annie Burns, aged 18;and Ellen Joy, aged 24 (probably sister of John Joy who worked for Herbert Burrage, Edward”s brother – see below)

3. Herbert Emory Burrage, age 16. “b. Dec. 18, 1845; m. June 3, 1868, Ruby Moore Childs of Charlestown.” (Burrage Geneol., p. 181) He was 22, she 20. His occupation-Clerk. Her father, Francis Childs; her mother, Juliet W. (Info from Marriage Certificate) In 1870 he was part (but not a partner) of his father”s firm J. C. Johnson & Co. and his home was at 43 West Cedar Street. (1870 Boston Directory, p. 128) In 1877 “They live at Newton. He is in the store of Abram French & Co.” (Burrage, G., Op. Cit) The 1880 Census entry for this family, then living on Highland St., in Newton, included: Herbert Burrage, age 34 Born Mass.; Ruby M. Burrage, age 31 Born Mass.; Francis J. Burrage, age 9 Born Mass. (b. 1871); Harry L. Burrage, age 8 Born Mass. (b. 1872); Alice Burrage, age 5 Born Mass. (b. Nov. 1874) and servants: Bridget Perkins, age 39 Born Ireland and Teresa Farrell, age 18 Born Mass., parents born in Ireland. The 1885 Boston Directory lists his business adddress as 91 Franklin Street and his home at West Newton-p.176. (Death Certificate) The June 6, 1900 Census entry for Herbert E. Burrage added; he was 54, she 51, they had been married 32 years, they had four children/four still alive; his profession was Crockery salesman; their address was 38 Temple St., Newton and they owned their home; two daughters were still at home – Alice, age 25, a Librarian and Eleanor, age 19, b. April 1881 in MA; one servant-MaryTracey, b. Jan. 1879, age 21, born Ireland. Ruby Moore Burrage died on October 2, 1904 in Newton, MA aged 56 years, 3 months, 10 days having been born in Charlestown, MA of Francis Childs and Juliet Deering, both born in Charlestown, MA. She died before her husband.

  • a. Francis Johnson Burrage. Born 43 West Cedar St., Oct. 30, 1870. Father”s occupation was “Salesman.” (Birth Certificate) Married December 2, 1896, age 26, occupation “Banking Business” to Elenora Mullen, age 25 in St. Louis, MO, which was her hometown. (Marriage Certificate)
  • b. Harry Lang Burrage. Born May 25, 1872 at 43 W. Cedar Street, Boston. Father listed as “Merchant”. (Birth Certificate) Married Marguerite Kimberly March 18, 1896 at the West Newton Unitarian Church by Rev. Julian C. Jaynes. His occupation was [Bank Cashier, the number two position] “Cashier” while she was “At home.” His age was 23 and her age was 21. (Marriage Certificate) She was the niece of Rear Admiral Kimberly whose home provided the site for “a small reception…After May 1 they will receive their friends in their new home on Sterling Street, West Newton.” (Herald, March 22, 1896, p. 27, GenBank) In 1908 he is listed in an ad as the President and one 12 Directors of The Eliot National Bank of Boston, located in the John Hancock Building. “Established 1853. Capital $1,000,000. Surplus Earned and Undivided Profits, $1,275,000.” (Globe, April 11, 1908, p. 7)
  • c. Alice Burrage. Born “Nov. 29, 1874.” (Burrage G., p. 190) Married March 1897 in Ipswich./li>
  • d. Eleanor, b. April 1881 (see Census of 1900 above)
  • e. Dorothy. Born 1896 [who is this?]

4. Helen Burrage, age 14. “b. July 10, 1848; m. Jan. 21, 1874, John W. Carter, of Boston, manufacturer and dealer in ink.” (Burrage G., p. 182). He was 30, she 25. His father, Richard B. Carter; his mother, Lucy L. (Info from Marriage Certificate)

5. Emma Burrage, age 12. “b. Dec. 18, 1850.” (Burrage G., p. 182) Still unmarried and living at home, aged 49, for the 1900 census. Born December 8, 1850 at 36 Edinboro Street, Boston. Father listed as a Merchant. (Birth Certificate)

6. Minnie [Marion] Burrage, age 7. “b. Jan. 18, 1853.” (Burrage G., p. 182) Marion B. Morse was listed as a widow and living with her mother in the 1900 Census. She had married Charles T. Morse, age 33, born in New Haven, Conn. The wedding was on January 12, 1887, Rev. Edward A.Horton officiated and her age at this time was 33 – this was the first marriage for both.(Marriage Certificate)

Servants: Alice Joy, age 24, Domestic Born Ireland; John Joy, age 22, Manservant Born Ireland; Ellen Douglas, age 26, Domestic Born Ireland

Another family. Probably living next door: [1870 Boston Directory and 1878 Clark”s Boston Blue Book has his address as 7 Union Park which would be near South Congregational Church.

B. Alvah Augustus Burrage, b. May 30, 1823, a Woolen Goods Merchant, Value Real estate – $8,000 Value of Personnal estate – $50,000. He married May 17, 1849, Elizabeth Amelia Smith, of Groton,” (Burrage G., p. 171) who had been born at Boston, August 11, 1828. (Groton Vital Records) Alvah died on November 6, 1893 at 282 Newbury Street, Boston aged 70 years, 5 months, 6 days having been born in No. Leominister, MA. His father was Josiah Burrage, born in Leominster and his mother was Ruth Kilburn, also born in Leominster. (Death Certificate) His wife”s maiden name had been Elizabeth Smith and she had been born in Boston. (Jeanie”s Death Certificate)

An 1866 as listed his company as BURRAGE BROTHERS & COMPANY, Importers and Dealers in FOREIGN AND AMERICAN WOOLENS, with offices at 35 Franklin Street, corner of Hawley Street. The partners were Alvar A, Burrage, Chas. Burrage, William Peirce and Henry Warren. (February 20, 1866, Traveler, p. 3, GenBank) The 1885 Boston Directory lists his office at as 47 Arch Street and his home at 282 Newbury Street-p. 176. It also lists a firm of woolen merchants at 47 Arch named “Burrage, Cole, and Weeks” with C. H. Burrage, M. B. Cole, H. K Weeks and A.F. Poole as the main partners. Alvah was a brother of C. H. and had a secondary role in the company. (Boston Directory, p. 176) It also list a Walter L. Burrage as a student living at 282 Newbury Street – possibly another cousin.

1. Ruth. She died at home on April 11, 1872-address: 7 Union Park, Boston, aged 22 years from Peritonitis. Her father, Alvah A. Burrage”s birthplace was Leominster, andher mother, Elizabeth A. was born in Boston. (Death Certificate). She had been born on March 16, 1850 at 24 Oak Street, Boston. (Birth Certificate)

2. Jennie. [Jeanie] died, unmarried, in Newton on August 20, 1891, aged 37 years, 8 months, 25 days. (Death Certificate). She [Jennie] had been born on November 25, 1853 at 24 Oak Street, Boston. (Birth Certificate)

3. Mary, age 2.

Mary Shea, age 30, Domestic Born Ireland, and Ann Flynn, age 20 Domestic Born Massachusetts.

In the 1888 Clark”s Boston Blue Book their address is 282 Newbury St., and a Mrs. J. C. Burrage is listed at “The Kensington.”

Another family.

C. Charles H. Burrage, age 34 Woolen Goods Merchant-brother of Alvah and partner in Burrage Brothers & Co.,, in 1870 located at 35 Franklin Street and his house at 22 Newbury Street-other partners were Wm. Peirce, Henry Warren and E. B. Hall. (1870 Boston Directory, p. 128) Wife – Mary G. Burrage, age 33. Value of Personal estate – $25,000

Joshua P. Blanchard (?), age 77 (possibly the wife”s father). Value of Real estate-$7,500 Value of Personnal estate-$1,700.

Mary C. Blanchard, age 72

Mrs. George Hamg (?) age 69

Anne W. Cotton, age 67. Value of Personnal estate-$16,000.

Catherine McCarthy, age 22 Domestic Born in Ireland and Hannah Tinney, age 17 Domestic Born in Ireland

The 1900 Census entry for Harry L. Burrage had an address in Newton, 14 Sewall St., married for five years (1895):/p>

Harry L. Burrage, age 28 b. May 1872, rented home

Marguerite K. Burrage, age 25 b. December 1874 in Illinois

Dorothy K. Burrage, age 3 b. December 1896

Mary Clark, age 21, Servant-Cook, Born Ireland, November 1878

Frances Walker, age 45, Parlor Maid, Born North Carolina, November 1854

Bumstead Hall-formerly the Lecture Room of the Music Hall. Described by Dwight in 1853 as seating about 900 and in 1870 as below the Music Hall, and as having a “platform down in the centre of the amphitheatre.” (Dwight, December 31, 1870, p. 375) A spring issue of the Boston Musical Times recorded: “The platform in Bumstead Hall has been extended, so as to bring the musicians nearer the audience. This is an undoubted improvement, but the hall is still anything but good in its acoustic qualities. We may not understand the architectural reasons for this; but it appears to us that the heavy pilasters, the pitted wall and ceiling, the low gallery with its massive supports, and the concavity behind the performers, combine to produce the result. The music sounds on the lower floor as if the performers were in an adjoining apartment with open doors. There is no resonance to the tones produced by instrument or voice; but they come dry and hard, with no softness of outline. Artists find it laborious to sing, as if their voices were muffled, and even forcing the voice does not apparently produce more volume. It is right to state, however, that these difficulties are less apparent in the galleries, where the sound has freer play and less obstructions.” (BMT, April 7, 1860, p. 57) In a January 16, 1895 review in the Transcript, the comment was made: “It was good to hear chamber music in Bumstead Hall once more: the delight of the ear goes far towards compensating one for the distress of the eye.” (Scrapbook)

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Campbell, Miss Teresa Carreno. Just as Lang had recognized and helped the career of the pianist Teresa Carreno in 1863 (see next article), in 1880 he played the Chopin Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31 at a Complimentary Concert for the sixteen year old violinist, Miss Teresa Carreno Campbell. Other assisting artists were from the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, the singer Mr. Edward Bowditch, and the pianist, “Miss Mary Campbell [her sister? a Lang pupil?] proved herself an accomplished Pianist.” (Dwight, March 13, 1880, p. 47) Dwight gave a very complimentary review noting that “Lang”s rendering of the Chopin Scherzo was masterly,” and that “The young lady has every reason to feel encouraged by her first concert.” (Ibid)

Lahee, FAMOUS PIANISTS, p. 303

Carreno, Teresa. Paderewski described her as a “strong pianist, even too strong for a woman. Carreno was one of the women pianists who had a very big tone, but it was not a beautiful tone because beautiful tone must include tenderness, and she had none of that, just brilliance.” (Paderewski, p. 121) Born on December 22, 1853 at Caracas, Venezuela where her father was the Minister of Finance, “from him she received her first musical instruction.” “Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) was among her forebearers.” (Mann. p. 236) The family moved to New York City when she was eight years old: “She has spent most of her life in America, and always considers herself an American… At the age of nine she appeared in a benefit concert in New York at the Academy of Music… In New York she attracted the attention of Gottschalk, then at the height of his fame. He was not a regular teacher, but, for the love of his art, gave lessons to several talented children… In 1863 she made her first appearance in Boston, where she created a furore by playing pieces of great difficulty at some orchestral concerts… At the age of twelve she went to Rubinstein, and quickly gained the fullest recognition of her talent in all musical circles. Wherever she went she was received as a fellow artist by the greatest musicians.” her father, Manuel Carreno had come “to the United States with a plan of action that he continued to follow as Carreno”s career blossomed.” (Mann, p. 236) In January 1863 the Boston Musical Times reported: “Miss Teresa Carreno, the wonderful child pianist, who was to make her first appearance in Boston Music Hall, last evening, was nine years old on Monday, December 22nd. last [1862]. All the critics accord to her a prominent niche in the temple of fame.” (BMT, January 3, 1863, p. 163)

Gottschalk took an interest in the Venezuela born Teresa Carreno, who, when he heard her play at age nine said he would teach her whenever she was available. In fact Gottschalk only gave “her six or eight lessons, and nevertheless they were enough to conquer the obstacles that for others would have been insuperable barriers. She belongs to the class of those privileged by Providence, and I have not the slightest doubt that she will be one of the greatest artists of our age.” (Milinowski, p. 52 quoting from Gottschalk) Late in 1862 and early in 1863 she gave five concerts, “and then made her Boston debut on January 2, 1863. It was followed by some twenty concerts in the Boston area, whereupon Carl Zerrahn invited her to play Mendelssohn”s Capriccio Brillante with the Boston Philharmonic Society Orchestra. She accepted, although she had never seen the work, and learned it in three days.” After a summer tour to Cuba and playing for President Lincoln at the White House, she returned to Boston. B. J. obviously recognized her talent and supported her by acting as her accompanist for her tenth birthday recital given on December 22, 1863-she included two of her own compositions in the concert! (Ammer, UNSUNG, CENTURY EDITION, p. 64) Lang was at the organ and Carreno at a Chickering grand piano. In spite of various factors working against her success (an influenza epidemic, the small sound of the piano when compared to the organ), “the young maiden made a fine impression, and won plentiful applause.” Even though her choice of pieces was criticized, “they exhibited her remarkable clearness, firmness, brilliancy and grace of execution.” Lang also was lauded: “Mr. Lang”s organ pieces were played in his usual masterly manner, the Pastoral Symphony and Freyschutz overture being loudly and persistently encored, to which he responded in kind, that is by playing again a part of the same, and not something else.” (Dwight, December 26, 1863, p. 159)

From “Gottschalk”s Illustrated Concert Book.”

Carreno also admired Gottschalk. “Many years later [she[ remembered that his playing was like zephyrs sighing on a poet”s harp, that none approached him in his trill. And that was the opiniion of one whose own trilling left whole audiences gasping with unbelief.” (Milinowshi, p. 28)

Dwight reviewed her first Boston concert given on January 2, 1863. He began: “Little Miss Teresa Carreno is indeed a wonder. We do not care much for ”prodigies,” but this one did interest us. A child of nine years, with fine head and face of intelligence… runs upon the stage of the great Music Hall, has a funny deal of diificulty in getting herself upon the seat before the Grand Piano, runs her fingers over the keyboard like a virtuoso, and then plays a difficult Notturno by Doehler, with octave passages and all, not only clearly and correctly, but with true expression. It would charm you even where she not a child. Off she runs again, fast as the eye can follow, till arrested for an encore… there can be no doubt of real talent here.” Miss Matilda Phillipps. sister of Adelaide, was the assisting artist. (Dwight, January 10, 1863) A week later Dwight reviewed Carreno”s second concert of January 8 which was billed as a Soiree d”Adieu. “Rarely have we seen so intelligent an audience so pleased and so moved. She was the sole performer… Here was indeed a task for a little girl of nine years. The mere physical exertion required in playing through so many pieces of great length, and full of all the modern difficulties of execution, made it a wonder that she should succeed at all. But she has great strength of hand and arm, and her execution, although laboring occasionally, was clear, vbrillinat, facile and precise… What catches you at once, and makes it pleasant to listen to her, is that you feel she has a true musical accent; the chords are struck, the passages are phrased, expresively. There is something in it more than could be taught…The child”s face beams with intelligence and genius; these speak too in her touch, in a certain untaught life that there is in her playing. It is a precious gift.” (Dwight, January 17, 1863, p. 335) Dwight also suggested that too much concertizing would be unhealthy and that she be given time in the next few years to further her general education. “Already the arm appears almost unnaturally large.” (Ibid) Then, Carreno had the idea herself to give a concert for children. 1,200 tickets were given out free “among pupils selected from the Latin, English High, Girls High, Normal, and German Schools. The concert was given two days later, on January 10, and Carreno was the sole performer. The mayor of Boston, J. W. Lincoln led the applause. (Milinowski, p. 41) On the following Tuesday Carreno gave another solo concert in Chickering Hall with ticket prices raised to one dollar-“The place was crowded. For two hours Teresita played with but slight intermission…The father had not feared fatigue for his daughter as much as the effect of an entire piano program on the audience. Teresita herself had no qualms.” and ended her program with a waltz of her own composition. The audience “gave way to the most boisterous and fantastic demonstration. Immaculate ladies left with bonnets awry and gloves split open, forgetting umbrellas and purses.” (Milinowski, pp. 42 and 43) Another great opportunity came with the invitation from Carl Zerrahn to play at the second Philharmonic Concert of the season-but the piece requested, Mendelssohn”s Capriccio Brillante was not in her repertoire, and there were only ten days before the concert. Four days before the concert a copy of the music finally arrived from New York?the first rehearsal was set for Friday and the concert for Saturday. “The only one who did not have a desperate case of nerves in the process was Teresita…She found that the martial theme memorized itself, that the passages lay comfortably for her fingers. The melodies she kept singing to herself, when she was not practicing them… The rehearsals went surprisingly well.” Carl Zerrahn hailed her as “the greatest prodigy which the world has known since the days of Mozart,” and he invited her to appear with the Philharmonic again on January 24, 1863. (Ibid, p. 45) Dwight”s review of this concert included these comments: “But how did charming little Miss Teresa play the difficult and classical Cappriccio, and play for the first time with orchestra? Marvellously well for a child, but less well than with the more familiar tasks before her… The full conception of such music must be beyond her…But she kept good time, and brought out the most of it clearly, firmly, and even gracefully.” (Dwight, January 31, 1863, p. ???) On December 22, 1863 she celebrated her 10th. birthday with a concert at the Music Hall which she shared with B. J. at the organ. She had spent the previous twelve months in Cuba practicing and giving concerts, “the result being that she has gained in physical strength, in musical skill and understanding, and has added largely to her repertoire both classical and of the virtuoso kind.” However, in performing a solo piano recital in such a large hall, and alternating with pieces played on the new, large organ, she was putting herself at a great disadvantage. “If therefore under all those drawbacks the young maiden made a fine impression and won plentiful applause, as indeed she did, it was so much the more to her own credit… Mr. Lang”s organ pieces were played in his usual masterly manner, the Pastoral Symphony [Handel] and Freyschutz Overture being loudly and persistently encored, to which he responded in kind, that is by playing again a part of the same, and not something else.” (BMT, January 2, 1864, pp. 6 and 7)

Fisher, p. 45.

“In regard to her playing, it is of the most impassioned nature. Her enthusiastic temperament sweeps everything before it. In the power of her performance she has been compared to Sophie Menter, and it has been said that these two pianists are the only ones who, in spite of the restrictions laid by nature upon their sex, have been able to overcome the most tremendous difficulties of the pianoforte technique.” (Lahee, p. 308 and 309) Hans von Bulow was forced to confess that she was the only pianist of the fair sex he had ever heard play Beethoven in a satisfactory manner. (Lahee, p. 312) When she was about 15 she learned the soprano role in The Huguenots between Thursday and the following Monday for a performance in Edinburgh for the Queen”s Birthday. “Her success was brilliant.” (Lahee, p. 302-306) “During the 1880s, Carreno resumed operatic singing and also began to champion the piano compositions of Edward MacDowell (1860-1908), whom she had come to know during brief periods of residence in new York. As the dedicatee of his Second Piano Concerto (1889), she became the most vigorous proponent of this work during the composer”s lifetime and beyond. (Amy Beach also dedicated her Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor (1900) to Carreno.” (Mann, p. 239) “Described as ”the Valkyrie of the piano,” her playing was described as having an almost superhuman force even when she was a child. She never regarded herself as being limited by the need to adhere to the composer”s marks, and when she was young, her personality usuallly overwhelmed whatever music she played, whether it was Bach, Beethoven or Chopin. Her growing maturity as an artist was linked with her marriage with d”Albert in 1892, and in her later years she was compared as an equal with such pianists as Sauer, Rosenthal, Hofmann and Rachmaninov.” (Methuen-Campbell, p. 215)

“Carreno”s repertoire was large, and she was devoted to Chopin”s music. Unfortunately she made no discs, but she recorded some piano works for the Welte-Mignon piano roll company, including the G minor and A flat major Ballades, and the C minor Nocturne, Op. 48, No. 1. These demonstrate her technical ability, but she used mannerisms such as spread chords which can be irritating to the modern listener. Her touch is very varied, and there is in her playing evidence of a concentrated musical thought that is always compelling. She could execute many of the most taxing passages of the A flat Ballade with an extraordinary deftness that is at times almost eerie… Carreno enjoyed adulation, and played in public until 1917, the year of her death. No other woman pianist has equalled her as a vituoso, and her playing was far more exciting than that of Clara Schumann.” (Methuen-Campbell, p. 216) A CD of some of these rolls had been issued by Pierian: the Caswell Collection, Vol. 6 – Teresa Carreno. In July 2011, Amazon was selling new copies for $110.51, used for $113.49, but the MP3 Download for the entire recording was only $8.99 with eight of the individual tracks available at $.99 each.

One of Carreno”s pupils was Egon Petri, born in 1881, who came to America in the 1930s and died here in 1962. Among his pupils were John Ogdon, Earl Wild and Gunnar Johansen. (Methuen-Campbell, p. 163) “It was Carreno who encouraged him [Petri] to deveop his technique to a level that set him aside from most other artists of his generation…She used to tell him that a pianist should be able to support a glass of water on the back of his hand while playing. Petri”s high intelligence, discernment, and industry led to his acquiring one of the most powerful virtuoso techniques.” (Ibid)

Carreno c. 1900 (according to source – probably later). Johnston Collection.

Carreno was a soloist with the BSO in 30 different programs during eight seasons between 1887 and 1914 – this would be almost four appearances per season which would equal another pianist, Adele Aus Der Ohe who appeared in 51 different programs during 14 seasons! (Howe, BSO, p. 245 and 247) Carreno had contacted Clara Rogers after reading Rogers” book Philosophy of Singing. Rogers wrote: “She [Carreno] declared [that it] was invaluable to her, a pianist, as much so as to any singer… I think that Carreno was one of the most vital personalities I have ever known. Nothing, – no amount of fatigue – ever checked her flow or spirits. She possessed to an unusual degree that element which we call temperament – the habit of coming up to the mark, of filling all expectations regardless of unfavorable conditions.” (Rogers, Two Lives, pp. 221 and 222)

Mentor Association Print dated 1918. In Zellin this pose is listed as c. 1910. In 1910, Chadwick would have been 56 years old. Johnston Collection.

Chadwick, George W. (b. November 13, 1854 in Lowell, d. April 4, 1931 in Boston) After high school, spent three years in the insurance business with his father (taking organ lessons at the same time from Eugene Thayer), then one year (1876-77) as music instructor at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan, followed by two years of study in Leipzig with Jadassohn and Reineke and another year, 1879-80, with Rheinberger in Munich. Returned to Boston in 1880. Only two years after his return, he was “so well thought of that he was selected for lithographic representation as a member of the pantheon called ”Musical Boston.” His relative youth was emphasized by his clean-shaven face among a score of hirsute dignitaries including B. J. Lang, Carl Zerrahn, John Knowles Paine, Oliver Ditson, and even his erstwhile teacher, Carlyle Patersilea.” (Yellin, p. 43) “He began a career as an organist, teacher, and conductor, and quickly made his mark as a composer in virtually every genre… The presence of such major orchestras as the Boston SO and the Philharmonic Society during the 1880s spurred Chadwick”s contributions to the orchestral medium, in which he was especially at home… By the time the symphony [No. 1] received its first complete performance in 1886, Chadwick was regarded as a masterly composer of lighter movements. But the piece most often performed, the ”overture to an imaginary tragedy” Melpomene (1887), was considered finer simply because the composer was at last writing music deemed entirely ”serious.”… In the Symphony No. 2 he uses in the Scherzo a pentatonic melody resembling Negro songs nine years before Dvorak included the better-known example in his Symphony – From the New World.” (American Grove, 1986, pp. 384 and 387) “As director of the New England Conservatory from 1897 to 1930, Chadwick was crusty, blunt, occasionally mischievous, never the aristocrat. he kept his hair short, was clean shaven save for a modest mustache, and wore wool flannel suits. A colleague once remembered that his most vivid impression of Chadwick was of the eminent composer and pedagogue eating a plate of beans on a tray at the local Hayes-Bickford cafeteria.” (Horowitz, p. 105) “He must have looked like one of those anonymous figures in an Edward Hopper painting, so well did he blend in with the typical American cityscape.” (Yellin, p. 3) Chadwick recorded his being fired from South Congregational Church as Lang had been earlier. “On the 22nd. of March [1892?] I ”resigned” from the So. Congl” Church. The entire choir did the same. For some time I had been suffereing under an incompetent tenor who had been wished on me by John Winch, and under a bass (Gardner Lamson) who sang badly out of tune. This of course I could not help but it did not make our music any better. The bolt which fired me was out of a clear sky as the committee had always professed to admire our music. I had been approached by another church some little while before but had no reason to suspect that a change would be beneficial. Consequently I was rather disgusted to get this jolt, especially as I had the new West Chop house to pay for and the rent of 903 besides. Luckily the other place was still available (it was Dr. Minens Church on Columbus Ave.) and on Apr. 30 I shook off the dust of Hale”s Church for good. I had, at the 2nd. Universalist a better organ, a better quartet, the same salary ($1,000) and no extra services. They were nice old fashioned people, all ready to be pleased. They liked to have me play quite a lot before and after [the] service which I quite enjoyed. Eventually we got together quite a ”star” quartet, in which Mme Louise Homer. the now distinguished artist of the Metropolitan Opera Co. was the (????).”(6466-6467)

On the left hand edge is where West Street enters. That would place the first Chickering Building as the second one on the left. Postcard was printed by the Valentine & Sons of New York and Boston. The postmark was August 19, 1910. Johnston Collection.

Clark”s Boston Blue Book 1888, p. 322.

Section from an 1896 map by Geo. W. Stadlty & Co. Tremont Street is in the lower section (where the word “Subway” is). Th above seating chart was for Chickering Hall as it existed c. 1883-1894 when it was on the second floor of 152 Tremont Street. Previously, 1860-70 Chickering Hall was at 246 Washington Street.

Jonas Chickering from “The Jonas Chickering Centennial Celebration,” 1924.

Chickering Hall. In May 1870, Dwight reported on the closing of Chickering”s Hall at 246 Washington Street after ten years at this location. The building was then leased to Jordan, Marsh & Co. It had been “completed in the fall of 1860 with a formal dedication concert on November 3, 1860.” Lang”s quickly established position within the Boston musical establishment is reflected by his inclusion among the dedicatory musicians. “There was a brilliant audience of musical people present, and Mrs. Harwood, Messrs. Dresel, Lang, Leonhard and Parker, Miss Mary Fay, the Mendelssohn Quintette Club and the Orpheus Club took part in the exercises.” (Dwight, May 21, 1870, p. 247) Three years later Dwight reported on the new hall-“a building beautifully situated, constructed according to their own ideal both of use and taste, and admirable in every way.” Dwight then reprinted specifics from an article in the Advertiser. “It was built on the John Parker estate, next to the Mason and Hamlin building on Tremont Street.” Designed by Peabody & Stearns, it was five stories in height and fronted both on Tremont and Mason Streets.. “In the first story there are two entrances, with a large show window occupying the entire space between them. This window has a single sheet of plate glass, making one of the largest in the city… In the fourth story are three rooms for music teachers, one of which is taken by Mr. B. J. Lang…Chickering & Sons are now turning out nearly three thousand pianos a year.” (Dwight, 1873-75) A later hall was dedicated November 7, 1883, located at 151 and 153 Tremont Street. Had a total of 667 seats on the floor and balcony [above diagram shows 462]. There was an earlier version on Washington Street, near Sumner Street. “The Messrs. Chickering & Sons have moved into their new warerooms, in the elegant building just completed on the corner of Avon Place, Washington St… One of their rooms has been constructed purely for a music room, suitable for choice chamber concerts, music parties, and large enough for three or four hundred persons. It is a very beautiful and attractive hall.” (Dwight, March 31, 1860, p. 7) Later that year Dwight described the room in more detail: “The room itself deserves our first attention by the elegance of its arrangements and decoration, and its general fitness for the purposes for which it is intended. The coloring of the walls and ceiling is of chaste and delicate shades, tastefully and artistically set off and relieved by gilding and some admirably painted panels. The lighting was profuse amd brilliant, giving the finest effect to the details of the architectural decorations. Flowers, too, of the most beautiful, upon the platform, added much to the general effect. The chestnut seats are very comfortable, and graceful in their design. The acoustic properties of this room are excellent, both for the instrumental and vocal music, either losing, so far as we could perceive, any of their due effect.” (Dwight, November 10, 1860, p. 262) The “Boston Musical Times” described the room as having an “admirable acoustic” and decorated with “chaste elegance… Three hundred people can be seated comfortably, and for Chamber Concerts and Soirees, ”Chickering”s Saloon” will again take its position as the most fashionable and beautiful in the city.” (BMT, October 20, 1860, p. 281) In 1872 it was reported: “Chickering”s New Piano Rooms were open to the public April 16th. We venture to say that no rooms, devoted to a similar purpose in the world present a more magnificent appearance. From basement to attic, we find proof of the enterprise and energy of the successful firm.” (Folio, June 1872) The last Chickering Hall was located at 239 Huntington Avenue where the Commemoration of the 80th Birthday of the company was held in 1903.

Chickering Hall, 239 Huntington Avenue, COMMEMORATION, facing p. 88.

Clefs, The. A social club formed on October 31, 1881 which began with sixty members, “(three fourths of that number being professionally connected with music”) who agreed “to spend the third Wednesday evenings of October, November, December, January, February, March and April together… [for] social intercourse, with some refreahmenta and a musical or other entertainment… Each member shall pay a yearly assessment of eight dollars, the same being due October 1, or at the time of election.” (BPL Lang Prog., 6594) At the yearly Annual Meeting eight Masters were elected-their job was to organize the program for each meeting “which should not exceed an hour in length. Said Master shall furnish for our club-room, if we have one, a pianoforte, and such other musical instruments as he may desire for his month; he shall provide such at his own expense, and in every musical detail shall have absolute authority.” Each member was allowed to bring just one guest per meeting at a payment of $1.25. (6595) The Masters chosen for 1882-83 were L. C. Elson, Arthur Foote, John Orth, C. Petersilea, S. B. Whitney and B. J. Lang with two Auxiliaries, William F. Apthorp and Otto Bendix. (6592) The Secretary, Arthur P. Schmidt sent out a printed announcement of the “fifth Social Meeting” of the 1882-83 season to be held at Berkeley Hall, corner of Berkeley and Tremont Streets on Wednesday Evening, March 21, 1883 at 7:30PM. A short article mentioned “an embarrasment of riches at the last meeting” which included performances of which the “most notable morceaux were a Mozart sonata, with accompaniment for a second piano by Grieg” played by Lang and Foote. (Foote Scrapbooks)

Clement, E. H. From 1874-1881 he “had been devoting especial attention, as assistant editor [of the Boston Transcript]… to dramatic and musical subjects.” (Chamberlin, p. 206) In 1881, the paper began a musical and drama department with Apthorp as the head of the department “writing the leading critical articles on both music and the theatre while Mr. Jenks [Francis H. Jenks] did the regular and constructive work of the department, and indeed everything that Mr. Apthorp did not choose to take in hand.” (Ibid)

Cochran, Jessie. She played at the fifth HMA Concert on February 12, 1880 where she was described as “a gifted pupil of Von Bulow and of Mr. Lang.” She played the Piano Concerto by Louis Brassin, never yet heard in this country.” (Dwight, January ??, 1880, p. 4)

Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893. “Two halls were built, Music Hall, a section of the beautiful architectural composite whose dominating feature was the Peristyle bounding the east side of the Court of Honor, and Festival Hall, situated between the Transportation and Horticultural buildings, fronting an arm of the lagoon west of the Wooded Island; the one cost $132,000, the other $90,000.” Musical Year Book, 1892-93, p. XXIV) For the Festival Hall Farrand and Votey of Detroit a large concert organ in the center of the stage. A total of 197 concerts were given during the Exposition:

Pay Concerts

  • 32 Orchestral, by Exposition Orchestra
  • 2 Orchestral Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • 2 Orchestral New York Symphony Orchestra
  • 27 Choral, Exposition Orchestra used
  • 2 Choral given with Orchestra, but after the Exposition Orchestra had disbanded
  • 7 Choral without Orchestra
  • 3 Chamber Concerts, by Kneisel Quartet
  • 62 Organ concerts

137 Concerts with paid admission

Free Concerts

  • 53 orchestral, by Exposition orchestra in Festival and Music Halls
  • 3 orchestral, by Exposition Orchestra in Woman”s Building
  • 2 orchestral, by Exposition Orchestra in Music Pavilion, Exposition Grounds, east
  • 2 Pianoforte Recitals

60 Free Concerts

“One dollar was the usual charge for all seats (reserved) at concerts given with orchestra; 25 cents was the standard admission price to all organ concerts.” (Musical Year Book, 1892-93, p. XXVI)

Critics. “H-T-P” = Henry Taylor Parker who was the music critic of the “Boston Evening Transcript” for thirty years. Formerly a resident of 132 Bowdoin Street, he was in 1935 living at the Hotel Vendome &ndash” “respectable, Puritan, and the excellent haven of neo-elderly ladies.” (McCord, p. 4) “William Aptorp”s writings appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Sunday Courier, the Boston Traveler, and the Boston Evening Trasnscript. Howard Ticknor wrote for the Boston Advertiser, Boston Globe, and Boston Herald, and was assistant editor of the Atlantic Monthly. Louis C. Elson edited the Musical Herald, and appeared in the Boston Courier and Boston Advertiser. Philip Hale contibuted to the Boston Home Journal, Boston Post, the Boston Herald, and Musical Courier, and edited the Musical Record and Musical World. One writer on music, Benjamin Woolf, had been born in England and exercised an extremely retrogressive taste in his writings for the Saturday Evening Gazette and, later, the Herald. He raged at contemporary local American musicians, sometimes including Foote, with ridicule and invective.” (Tara, Foote, p. 112) George H. Wilson, a boyhood friend and schoolmate of George Chadwick, “had been the critic of the Boston Post and for ten years edited the Boston Musical Yearbook.” In 1892 he was the assistant to Theordore Thomas in arranging the music for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. (6462)

Photo from the Orpheus Club of Springfield, MA website. Cutter conducted this male voice choir from 1890-1894.

Cutter, Mr. E. Jr. Listed as the pianist for the Apollo Club concert on Wednesday May 4, 1898 (BPL Prog., Vol. 7) Cutter gave two organ recitals during 1897 and 1898 sponsored by the Twentieth Century Club of Boston who were motivated “by the lack of public appreciation of organ recitals characteristic of that city.” (Elson, p. 274)

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King”s HANDBOOK OF BOSTON, 1878, p. 144.

Daily Advertiser. Daily paper formed in 1813. Described in 1889 as a paper which “has always been the organ of a select constituency among the wealthier and more conservative classes. Its politics are Republican… The afternoon annex of the Advertiser, however, a one-cent paper, The Record, is as frisky and sensational as its parent is sedate, and is a newsy and popular little sheet.” (Grieve, p. 103) . Eleven years earlier, in 1878, The Daily Advertiser on Court Street was described as “the oldest daily in Boston,” and it enjoyed “a substantial prosperity, its circulation being principally among the wealthy and cultivated people of Boston and New England.” It was Republican, and aimed “to represent the advanced and enlightened wing of the party.” The writers gave “to the paper a conservative and cultured tone, which, together with its literary features,” made “it acceptable to a class of readers whose influence was far out of proportion to their numbers.” The Advertiser was “a large folio, well printed on good paper.” (King, p. 144) Louis Elson was the Music Critic from 1886 until his death in 1920.

Daniels, Mabel. b. November 27, 1879 and d. March 10, 1971 [Just over a year before Margaret”s death on May 30, 1972]. Long time friend of Margaret”s who wrote her a letter of introduction to Victor Gluth when she went to Munich in 1903. After returning to America, she “joined the mixed chorus of the Cecilia Society in order to learn more about orchestration and scores, since she herself played no orchestral instrument.” (Ammer, Unsung-Century Edition, p. 108) “Daniels came from a culturally-elite family established by her father in his position as the president of the Handel and Haydn Society.” (Blunsom, p. 33) “Her grandfather, William Daniels, was an organist and member of the Handel and Haydn Society from 1844-1886, and her maternal grandfather was a choir director. Both Daniels” parents sang with the Handel and Haydn Society, and her father was president of that organization from 1899 to 1908 [Just after B. J.”s two years as conductor of that choir]… George Daniels [Mabel”s father] was also a personal friend of B. J. Lang… Aside from [Mabel] Daniels, her parents and grandfather, there were at least eight other members of the Daniels family that belonged to the Handel and Haydn Society.” (Blunsom, p. 65) Margaret, Mrs. Beach and three other women were the judges in a contest for a new Girl Scout Song-a contest that Mabel Daniels won.(Musical America XXVIII/21, 21 Sept. 1918, p. 19 illustrations) Margaret wrote to Mabel on June 27, 1953 that every ten years she reviewed her book collection with the aim of removing items that were no longer of interest. “As always – I fall upon ”American Girl in Munich” saying to myself – ”This must surely go, at last.” Then I sit down to reinforce my decision, after a space of timelessness, I find I have been sitting absorbed in its pages, – & for the subsequent three evenings have read every word from beginning to end, – back it goes on to my shelves with hoarded treasures.” She then mentioned: “This week it has been extremely delightful – because of my mother”s daily journal of our Munich days – dug up by my sister from the past.” (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Mabel Daniels Papers, MC 266) It is probable that the Munich music student experiences of both women were somewhat the same.

Dixey, Mr. Richard C. (b. Nov. 11, 1844, MA) Ellen S[turgis] (b. Newburg, NY on February 11, 1849, MA)(1897 Passport Application). They were married on April 16, 1875 at Marblehead, which was listed as his current residence and place of birth, by the Rev. Chandler Robbins. Her full maiden name was Ellen Sturgis Tappan and her place of birth was Boston. His occupation was listed as Musician.(Marriage Certif.) The 1900 census lists his occupation as “Capitalist” who owned his home at 44 Beacon Street which had five servants, and as of that date, he had been married 25 years and had two children: Arthur Sturgis Dixey, born November 21, 1880 and Rosamond Dixey, born June 10, 1887. (1897 Passport Application)

Mr. Dixey had accompanied the Langs on their European trip of late May until late August of 1866. (Excerpts from Frances” Note Book, p. 1) An ad in the Evening Transcript stated: “Mr. R. C. Dixey, Teacher of Piano-Forte and Organ, Rooms 554 Washington Street. Mr. Dixey will be in Boston and ready to resume his lessons on and after Monday, October 1st.” (Evening Transcript, October 3, 1866, p. 4, GenBank) His Passport Application of May 10, 1866 described him as: age-21; stature-5″ 9 and 1/4″; forehead-high; eyes-hazel; nose-straight; mouth-medium; chin-square; hair-dark; complexion-dark; face-regular, and his birthplace-Marblehead, MA., November 9th., 1844. He also went with Langs to Europe in the fall of 1869, and his Passport Application for that year was witnessed by Hiram G. Tucker. He was then 24. As he was the accompanist for the vocalists at a concert Tuesday evening January 12, 1864 where B. J. Lang was the featured artist, it can be assumed that he studied piano with Lang. The vocalists were Miss J. A. Houston soprano and Mr. H. C. Barnabee bass. This was held at the New Bedford Lyceum (BPL Prog., Vol. 1) Dixie also opened the program at a Lang organized concert at Salem”s Mechanic Hall on Monday evening March 10, 1865. (Ibid) He was an assisting artist in a “Soiree Musicale” in Aid of the Fair for “For Dumb Animals,” organized under the patronage of Mrs. W. M. Appleton, Mrs. R. E. Apthorp, and Mrs. G. J. F. Bryant held at Mechanic Hall on Wednesday evening, November 29, 1871. Dr. Langmaid also assisted along with Miss Alice Lang, a vocalist. The program did not list the specific repertoire that Mr. Dixey played although the selections for the other artists were listed (HMA Program Collection). Mr. Richard C. Dixey presented selections from Wagner”s Lohengrin at Mechanic”s Hall on April 27th., 1872. “We noticed eminent musicians, artists, and literateurs.” Dixey was “assisted by able talent, and [the performance] was one of the most enjoyable [events] of the season.” (Folio, June 1872) Another item in the same issue said: “The musical season in Boston may be said to have closed on April 30th.” (Ibid)

Arthur Sturgis Dixey (son of above, b. November 1880) left a colored drawing in the Lang Family Guest Book dated August 3, 1896. (6767) Ellen Sturgis Dixey, Arthur”s mother, did the same dated June 27, 1897, and under the drawing are also the signatures of Richard C. Dixey and Rosamond Dixey (daughter, b. June 10, 1887 at Boston) (1900 Census). (6770) A Passport Application dated July 12, 1897 was for Mr. Dixey, his wife, and son and daughter, and then projected return date was Autumn 1898. At this point he listed homes in Boston and Lenox, MA, and the describtions now included: chin-square, pointed beard; hair-dark, turning gray. In 1909 Mrs. Dixey was a Patroness of a French Play as was Mrs. B. J. Lang. At one of the performances Mr. Dixey organized a party that included his daughter-Miss Rosamond Dixey. Was that name chosen to honor the connection with the Lang family? (Herald, December 26, 1909, p. 24, Gen Bank)

Arthur S. Dixey died in Seoul, Korea on July 26, 1905. The cause was “heart failure, following an illness of a week, during which he received every attention.” (Herald, July 28, 1905, p. 7, GenBank) He had graduated from Harvard in 1902, then entered Harvard Law School and had passed the bar examination. He spoke and wrote in both French and German, and his posting to Korea was as the secretary to Ambassador Edwin D. Morgan which seemed to indicate a career in the foreign service. He had been in Korea less than a year before his illness. Arthur was responsible for the costumes and scenery for the Hasty Pudding Club musical of 1902 for which Malcolm Lang composed the music.

The 1910 census lists Richard C. Dixey as aged 65 with “Own Income” and his wife, Ellen S. Dixey as 61. Rosamond S. was still living at home, aged 22, and Mary A. Tappan, “Sister-in-law,” single, aged 59, also with “Own Income.” This household of four was supported by a staff of six. (1910 Census)

In January 1915 Richard “threw himself from a third-story window of his home at 44 Beacon Street yesterday and was dead when discovered. Dixey had been suffering from a nervous disorder for some time…Richard C. Dixey was retired. He had lived in the Beacon Street house for nearly 40 years. He was born in Marblehead, and was recognized at one time as a most accomplished pianist…Mr. Dixey had a summer place in Lenox he called ”Tanglewood.”” (Herald, January 20, 1915, p. 2, Genbank) This house had been inherited by his wife and her sister, Miss Mary Tappen. It eventually became the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. While at Tanglewood the previous summer Dixey had been “under the treatment of Dr. Bruce Paddock, and he returned to Boston in November in better health and spirits than on his arrival at his country house. Over 40 years Mr. Dixey had been going to Lenox for resort and recreation.” (Springfield Republican, January 20, 1915, p. 11, GenBank) He was described as “an accomplished musician, dilettante of fine arts, linguist, highly accomplished and well read,” and he “drew abouthim and to Lenox musicians and scholars who made up his group of friends. Several of these guests, including Timothee Adamoski, gave concerts at Tanglewood.” (Ibid) His wife had been one of his piano pupils. (Ibid)

The 1920 Census lists Ellen as a widow, her sister Mary is still living with her, but Rosamond is not listed. Rosamond had married Mr. Gorham C. Brooks who was the Assistant Treasurer of Harvard University. (Herald, January 20, 1915, p. 2, GenBank) There are still six servants. (1920 Census). The building at 44 Beacon Street, four floors, 9,752 square-feet, was built in 1806 for the third mayor of Boston, Harrison Gray Otis for his daughter. In 2010 it was bought by the American Meteorological Society whose headquarters was next door at 45 Beacon Street. (BeaconHillPatch, Internet,v iewed February 11, 2011)

Dolmetsch, Arnold. “During the winter of 1905 Dolmetsch signed a contract with Chickering”s of Boston, America”s leading firm of piano makers, to open a department for the manufacture of early keyboard instruments, viols and lutes. Here he would be his own master, completely in charge of staff and the selection of materials. It is not known exactly how much he earned, but there are still visable signs of the prosperity that the family enjoyed at this, the only time in their lives when they were truly free from financial worry… There is no question that some of his best work was produced in the Chickering factory during the six years of his association with the firm.” (Campbell, pp. 168 and 169) Some he formed a viol concort and gave “intimes in his own home… These evenings usually attracted a few notables such as the Longfellows or the notorious Mrs. Jack Gardner, but they also tempted an occasional member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.” (Ibid, p. 170)

Rogers, Story of Two Lives, facing p. 74.

Dresel, Otto. (b. December 20, 1826 in Germany-d. July 26, 1890, Beverly, MA 1890). “He grew up in a progressive, intellectual home, his father being a sympathizer with the German liberal movement of 1848.” (Dic. Am. Biog., p. 449) He studied piano and composition with Hiller in Cologne and then with Mendelssohn in Leipzig. In 1842 “he was sent to Weimar… for instruction with Franz Liszt.” (Urrows, p. 346) He arrived in America, New York City, in 1848 “and was an intimate friend of Robert Franz.” (Howard, p. 223) Moved to Boston as a piano teacher in 1852, and gave piano recitals every year, perhaps because in New York, as in New Orleans, the opera with its social corollaries was more esteemed than concert music, and he felt his talent would more quickly win recognition in a more conservative city. Nor was he mistaken in his choice; his merit was soon recognized, and for more than fifteen years he held his place as Boston”s foremost resident pianist, whose interpretations of the masterpieces of the classic piano repertoire gave evidence of his taste and technique.” (Dic. Am. Biog., p. 459) “A musician of exceptional cultivation, and influential in introducing German music, he became the leading local [Boston] pianists.” (HMA Bulletin No. 16) He spent forty-two of his sixty-four years in America. “His repertoire was composed of the most interesting works of pianoforte literature, while sometimes he varied programmes by the introduction of piano trios, quartets, and quintets.” (Ritter, p. 333) Composer of “string quartets and in many forms for various purposes; distinguished for his transcriptions for the pianoforte or organ of Handel”s and Bach”s scores.” (Jenks, p.483) “He had collaborated with Robert Franz in supplying accompaniments for the vocal scores of Bach and Handel, and he took special pains to make the Franz songs known. His original compositions include piano pieces, songs, chamber music, an ”Army hymn” for solo, chorus, and orchestra (Boston, Jan. 1, 1863), and a setting of Longfellow”s ”In memoriam,” soprano and orchestra, to commemorate the fiftieth birthday of Louis Agassiz.” (Dic. Am. Biog., p. 450) “Arthur Foote, who knew both men well, specifically called Dresel Dwight”s ”counselor.”” (Urrows, p. 345) Julia Ward Howe “noted that he [Dresel] was ”almost idolized by Mr. Dwight.” (Urrows, p. 351) Dwight described Dresel in 1853 as being “nervous, fastidious, self-exacting, critical, anxiously loyal to an artistic ideal…despising all parade of mere performance, somewhat moody… and with a touch of genius in him…All this charms the like-minded and wins upon the thoughtful, but is apt to prepossess unfavoably those who look to externals.” (Urrows, p. 345) “Whereas New Yorkers did not appreciate a “cerebral player, with contempt for popular tastes… [who] could be caustic and abusive at the slightest provocation… Bostonians readily accepted Dresel, and he immediately became the leading pianist and accompanist in the city during the 1850s and 1860s. Musicians and audiences considered him a highly intellectual performer, even from the very beginning. His concerts were held on Tremont Street in a small hall, which was called ”the upper room” by many in his audience..His word, William Foster Apthorp would later write, was law.” (Urrows, p. 351) Dresel could be caustic about his fellow musicians: Carl Zerrahn, or “the big Z” as Dresel called him. was described as a “perfectly unable leader.” (Urrows, p. 355 and 371) In a letter to Dwight, Dresel complained about William Foster Apthorp who was Dwight”s correspondent in Europe c. 1870, saying that “I was rather more amused than exasperated at that youngster”s trashy letters in your paper; for conceit and silliness they were truly remarkable.” (Urrows, p. 371) Possibly Dresel was upset by Apthorp”s byline: “Young man of the future.” (Urrows, p. 385) In another letter (February 19, 1873) he wrote: “The latest Boston musical production is a rather queer one, it is: Mr. Willie Apthorp, who has entered the ranks of our musical profession, for reasons only intelligible to himself, and who-entre nous-plays the piano-very badly indeed…He teaches it therefore.” (Urrows, p. 386) Of the BSO conductor Arthur Nikisch he wrote: “For after all, little Nikisch is not a man of either much character, nor of fine sense of beauty.” (Urrows, p. 374) Much of the period 1863-1870 Dresel, now married and with two children, was spent in Europe. This probably allowed B. J. Lang to expand his career for Dresel wrote in early 1870: “I dread to go back to Boston; there seems to be little chance for a sphere of action left for me there… others have stepped into my place, and it will be difficult to regain the lost ground.” (Urrows, p. 371) But Arthur Foote spoke well of Dresel, calling him “A man of strong character and felling” who “had deservedly a great influence in musical affairs. He was wise, seemed to me all-knowing, an authority on Bach and Handel… He was certainly one of the best influences in my life.” (HMA Bulletin No. 4, p. 2) In his Autobiography, Foote wrote in somewhat the same vein: “Dresel was a man of thorough knowledge, real talent in composition, a pianist of exquiste taste and feeling, profound convictions as to what was best and what was negligible, and consequently with pretty strong prejudices, as later against Brahms and Wagner (He used to say that he would not sleep in the same room with a Wagner score). Dresel in after years was to be for me an inspiration.” (Foote, Auto., p. 24)

Dunham, Henry M. Born 1853. Studied at NEC and Boston University. Taught organ at NEC. In his LIFE OF A MUSICIAN he mentions B. J. Lang. “Mr. Lang was neither a great pianist nor organist, and yet he was in considerable demand as soloist on both these instruments. For many years he was organist for the Handel and Haydn Society and when finally Carl Zerrahn had to retire because of his rapidly increasing deafness, Mr. Lang succeeded him as its director. On his invitation, I played the organ part to Haydn”s Oratorio The Creation, at one of the concerts of the Society in Music Hall. For many years we dubbed him “The Musical Dictator of Boston,” which in a large degree was true.” (Dunham, p. 77) Dunham recorded another Lang story: he had just played his own Third Organ Sonata at an A. G. O. gathering at Jordan Hall. “Mr. B. J. Lang sat quite near the console and when I passed him after playing he shook me by the hand and said, ”Dunham, I am proud to know you.” Afterwards, while talking things over in the Sinfonia rooms he said. ”What I like about your Sonata is that you do not get there too soon. The climax comes just where it should.” This, from the musical autocrat of Boston whose authority and judgment in things musical were unquestioned, pleased me immensely.”” (Dunham, p. 188)

Dutton, Alice. In early October 1864 the Boston Musical Times reported: “Little Alice Dutton, the child pianist, who is to make her appearance this evening at the Music Hall, is a musical prodigy. We have heard some of her private performances with wonderment, so remarkable a power does she possess for reading music and execution on the piano. We have seen difficult pieces of music, which she had never seen nor heard of, placed before her for the first time, and heard her play them with a facility and skill such as few practiced amateurs could accomplish after careful study of those same pieces. Since she came here she has lived in retirement, and taken finishing lessons in style from Mr. B. J. Lang. We look forward to her performance to-night with confident anticipation of success.” (BMT, October 1, 1864, p. 48) However, Dwight reported that Miss Dutton made her “maiden concert” in October 1865 at Chickering”s rooms. She was then thirteen, and had come “from the West two years ago with a musical talent that had been growing up wild, with no sure direction, and who has been studying with Mr. Lang, and eagerly listening to the best music, is now really an accomplished pianist, in technical facility quite remarkable… Mr. Lang turned over the leaves with anxious and we dare say proud interest in his pupil. The audience was not so large as we could have wished; but it contained some of the most musical persons, and the impression made on critical artists, as well as on friends and willing public, was highly favorable to the young player.” (Dwight, October 28, 1865, p. 127) But Dwight was wrong in saying that this was her debut-he had written in April 1864 that Lang “and his pupil Alice Dutton, a child of 12 years” would would play the Grand Duo Concertante for two pianos on the Gypsey March in Preciosa arranged by Mendelssohn and Moscheles, and that this would be “her first public appearance.” (Dwight, April 16, 1864, p. 223) On December 17th. she returned to her home state of Iowa and gave a recital in Burlington, aprogram that she shared with “Mr. Strasser, an able violinist, who is well known in the West. But few had ever heard of this girl, and many doubted when they saw the programme, that she would be able to sustain her share in it. But they were soon undeceived.” The article went on to tell of her early training which began when she was nine years old with a teacher in Davenport who “instructed her in a course of Clementi”s, Moscheles”, and Czerny”s Studies. She then came to Prof. Lange [sic] in Boston, whose tuition she enjoyed for two years. Now she is giving concerts in order to raise the funds which will enable her to go to one of the conservatories of Europe.” Unfortunately her programs were to heavy for Iowans at that time, and “up to the present, not successful.” (BMT, January 6, 1866, pp. 2 and 3) Returning to Boston, in March of 1866 she soloed with the Orchestral Union playing Mendelssohn”s Serenade and Allegro Giojoso [sic], “and played it wonderfully well for one almost a child. Her hand spans hardly an octave… The girl has talent and the air of being sincerely absorbed in her art.” (Dwight, March 31, 1866, p. 215) On Sunday evening February 3, 1867 Dutton, listed as a pupil of B. J. Lang, appeared as one of eight assisting artists at one of “Gilmore”s Grand Sacred Concerts” at the Music Hall. She played Mendelssohn”s Piano Concerto in G Minor, Opus 25, and a hand-written notation on the program records that B. J. Lang conducted this piece. (BPL Lang Prog., 6250) (Also BPL Prog., Vol. 1) On Monday evening March 4, 1867 Lang arranged a concert at Salem”s Lyceum Hall at which he played the solo part of the Mendelssohn Concerto No. 2 Op. 40 with Alice playing the orchestral reduction. Then she was the soloist in Mendelssohn”s Concerto No. 1 Op. 25 with Lang playing the orchestral part, and the concert ended with Grand Duo on Themes from Norma by Thalberg played by Alice and Lang. (BPL Prog., Vol. 1) Just under a year later another appearance with the Orchestral Union at the eighth and final concert of their Spring 1867 season produced the following in the Boston Musical Times: “Miss Alice Dutton played Weber”s Concertstuck for Piano and Orchestra, and very finely too, with a firm, vigorous execution, joined with remarkable neatness and purity of touch, and good expression. She posseses the right qualities, which, properly developed, will make her a pianist of high rank.” (BMT, May 4, 1867, p. 42) Dwight”s comment was that the Weber had been “Capitally played.” (Dwight, April 27, 1867, p. 23) On Wednesday afternoon February 19, 1868 Alice played the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto in G Minor with the Orchestral Union. Zerrahn was the concert”s conductor, but a handwritten note on the program states that Lang conducted this concerto. (BPL Prog,. Vol. 1) A month later Dwight mentioned that “So successful a reading of the pianoforte part [Beethoven Trio, Op. 97 with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club] by so young a maiden as Miss Alice Dutton was clear proof both of rare native faculty and rare development in so few years in a sound direction. It is clear that she loves the best music, feels it, and conceives it vividly… she has acquired such technical facility and certainty that she now has all the treasures of this fine world open to her.” (Dwight, March 14, 1868, p. 206) In December 1868 she was part of a concert given by the contralto Adelaide Phillipps in which she played the Mendelssohn Serenade and Allegro Gioioso ” with orchestra, “neatly, conscientiously and tastefully, only needing more force, which she will gain with time.” (Dwight, december 19, 1868, p. 367) Lang was the conductor for this concert. In January 1869 she repeated the Weber Concert-Stuck, this time with the Harvard Musical Association Orchestra, and Dwight noted: “Miss Alice Dutton, though yet very young and hardly past the stage of pupilage, has so distinguished herself not only by her talent, but by what with talent is too rare, a true musical spirit.” In the Weber “the swift passages of the Rondo giojoso were beautifully bright and liquid.” (Dwight, Janauary 30, 1869, p. 390) Lang used Miss Dutton as one of the soloists in his series of three Mercantile Hall concerts in April 1869. At the first concert she played the Mendelssohn Serenade and Allegro in B Minor with orchestra, and Dwight commented:”Miss Dutton, as a classical pianist, gains in favor by each effort.” (Dwight, April 24, 1869, p. 23) In the same month she appeared with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club playing Mendelssohn”s Quartet in B Minor, Op. 3. “The early Piano Quartet of Mendelssohn was a fortunate revival showing Miss Alice Dutton”s powers to good advantage.” (Dwight, April 27, 1869, p. 15) She soloed with the HMA Orchestra in February, 1870 in Beethoven”s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37. “The entire C-Minor Concerto of Beethoven had
never been played here before. Mr. Lang, in the second season of the Concerts, played the first movement only, which is certainly the most significant, with the Cadenza by Moscheles. This time his fair pupil, Miss Dutton, allowed us to hear the whole… Miss Dutton won much praise by the performance, showing marked improvement, though the strength flagged a little near the end.” (Dwight, February 12, 1870, p. 191) Now in her early twenties, she advertised to give a “Complimentary Concert” assisted by Miss Adelaide Phillipps, Mr. W. H. Fessenden, Mr. Wulf Fries, Mr. B. J. Lang, and Mr. G. W. Sumner at Mechanics” Hall on Saturday evening, February 14, 1874. Lang”s only part was to provide the “Orchestral accompaniment on a second grand piano” for the opening Concerto [G Minor] by Mendelssohn (HMA Program Collection) Dwight attended this concert which had “a goodly audience, who listened with much interest to the young lady”s clean, forcible, and brilliant execution.” Dwight felt that in the forte passages her “sound was hard and cutting,-too much hammer, so to speak,” but he did suggest that this might have been the fault of the piano used (no brand named). (Dwight, February 21, 1874, p. 183) Dutton and Mr. C. R. Hayden shared the New England Conservatory 376th. Concert. This might imply that she was now a faculty member. “The lady plays very much as formerly, with neat and brilliant execution,” and of Hayden, Dwight wrote: “His tenor voice has certainly improved in power and quality, and in his management of it he has grown less stiff and spasmodic.” (Dwight, October 31, 1874, p. 327)

From a painting by Caroline Cranch, in possession of the Harvard Musical Association.

Cooke, Dwight, page opposite frontispiece.

Ryan, RECOLLECTIONS, plate opposite p. 120.

Dwight, John Sullivan. 1813-93. “The Boston-born son of a Harvard graduate who had himself, too, studied for the ministry only to resign the cloth to become a medical doctor. Young Dwight attended Harvard College, where he played the piano and the clarinet in the campus chamber music groups, the Arionic and Pierian Sodalities, and upon graduation he organized the alumni of the Pierian Society into what became the Harvard Musical Association.” )Grant, p. 39) Louis Elson wrote: “His inveterate optimism, his sunny nature and unspoilable power of enjoyment were contagious. Few men probably ever enjoyed life as he did; to him life was all roses, with never a thorn – save, perhaps, in the (to him) minor matter of Wagner, Liszt & Co. Whether it was a fine day, a fair landscape. A poem, a Beethoven symphony, or a lobster with a bottle of champagne, his enjoyment of it was something wonderful to contemplate.” (Johnson, Hallelujah, p. 159) “Dwight was born in Boston in 1813, and after graduating from Harvard in 1832, he became a Unitarian minister. But his heart was in music and teaching, and after a few years in the ministry, he became a teacher of music and Latin at the Brook Farm community. In 1837, with Henry K. Oliver and two others he founded the Harvard Musical Association, for the purpose of raising the standard of musical taste at the University, preparing the way for a professorship of music, and collecting a library that would contain music and musical literature in all its branches. The aims were all realized, and the association”s soirees, and later its orchestral concerts, were a regular part of musical life in Boston… It was the moral backing of the Harvard Musical Association that led Dwight to establish his Journal of Music in 1852. He was editor, publisher and proprietor for six years. In 1858 the Oliver Ditson Company took it over, and retained Dwight as editor. In 1878 it was sold to other publishers and was discontinued in 1881. Dwight probably never had more than five or six hundred subscribers until he went with Ditson, but he was an influence nevertheless. Musicians read his paper and courted his praises.” (Howard, p. 225) Grant”s number was higher: “The Journal”s collective readership could never have been more than a few thousand, and only as a critic for a daily metropolitan newspaper could Dwight have hoped to have reached great masses of people.” (Grant, p. 52) Apthorp wrote an extended obituary notice for the September 5, 1893 Boston Evening Transcript calling Dwight “one of the most unique figures Boston has ever claimed as her own… Dwight”s artistic gift was of a very general sort. His choice of Music from among the fine arts as his daily companion through life was undoubtedly less owing to any special aptitude than to the extraordinary vividness and intensity with which musical impressions affect almost all artistic natures. Music was the art which could be enjoyed most intensely, immediately, and with the least effort; so he took to Music… Of specifically musical organization he had extremely little; his only native aptitude for the art consisted in what is commonly called ”a fair ear” and general aesthetic sensibility. It may be doubted whether he ever really studied music; his technical knowledge of the art was always slight. He could read notes and work his way through pianoforte scores on that instrument, although he never even began (or tried to begin) to master its technique… His naturally musical ear never developed to more than an average pitch of delicacy; technical slips seldom disturbed him, and ”rough performances” fully satisfied him, if only the right spirit was there… he was irresistibly drawn toward what is pure, noble, and beautiful, and felt these things with infinite keenness; he had an inborn and unconquerable horror of the merely grandiose, of what is big without being great, of the factitiously intense, of the trivial and vulgar. He was an optimist, through and through, and wished all art to be optimistic as himself… Upon the whole, Dwight was a man considerably astray in this nineteenth century of ours, with its hurry, bustle, and fierce struggle for existence… He was never in a hurray, and never could understand why any one should be… Dwight”s specific literary faculty was as fine as that of any born American who ever wrote; his style was at once brilliant, solid, and impeccable… Personally Dwight was the most genial of companions. His inveterate optimism, his sunny nature, and unspoilable power of enjoyment were contagious. Few men probably ever enjoyed life as he did; to him life was all roses, with never a thorn, save perhaps in the (to him) minor matter of Wagner, Liszt & Co… How that benign, intellectual, sunlit face of his will be missed from the seat in the first balcony of the Music Hall, of which he was the almost never-failing occupant for twenty-five years or more! It is fitting that the Music Hall he loved should go with him. May both rest in peace.” (Apthorp, Essays, pp. 277-286) However, with all his natural optimism, at the end of his magazine”s run he had to admit that “Despite his exertions, the American public ”had not been converted en masse to classical music; its tastes for popular music appeared to be undiminished, and the rising music trades were only too happy to pander to it.”” In his final issue of September 3, 1881, Dwight wrote: “The musical papers that live and flourish financially are those… which abound in endless columns of insignificant three-line items of intelligence or news; the slang term ”newsy” is a description they covet. A journal which devotes itself to art for art”s sake, and strives to serve the ends of culture, however earnestly and ably, gets praise and compliments, but not support.” (Grant, p. 52)

A “Complimentary Concert” for Dwight was given at the Music Hall on Thursday December 9, 1880 at 2:30PM with 35 assisting artists plus the HMA Orchestra led by Zerrahn. B. J. Lang opened the second half with Schumann”s Concert-stuck in G Op. 92: Introduction and Allegro Appassionata. (BPL Prog., Vol. 3 – see photo)

In a 1995 lecture to the Harvard Musical Association, Professor Michael Broyles provided details concerning Dwight”s role in founding the Association. “Dwight, by the way, was a much more cagey politician than most give him credit for, as the actual birth of the HARVARD MUSICAL ASSOCIATION demonstrates. In July, 1837 three alumni and former members of the PIERIAN SODALITY, John S. Dwight, Henry Gassett, and Henry Pickering, suggested to the Pierians that a ”General Meeting of Past and Present Members of the Pierian Sodality” be held on graduation day, August 30. A committee was formed to prepare for the meeting. The committee was charged with determining the purpose of the new group. It worked independently of the Pierians as a whole, and on August 28, met with the immediate members and explained the objectives to be presented at the forthcoming general meeting. Dwight was the spokesman. He was the motivating force behind the idea and wrote the document that was ultimately presented. It was a very idealist document, presenting a serious vision of music that contrasted sharply with the fun loving approach of the Pierians. The undergraduates, however, had serious reservations about the general meeting, as the secretary”s minutes confirms. Their chief concern: how on earth could they afford to properly outfit the refreshment room, with tuna and ”…the very, very best wine.” Dwight was astute. He presented a petition with the signatures of fifteen honorary members pledging financial support for the expenses of the general meeting, e.g. refreshments?at the same time he explained the purposes. Needless to say his document met with a very favorable reception. Such is history. For a time the fate of the HMA itself hinged on who brought wine and tuna.” (Broyles, p. 6)

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Mathews, A HUNDRED YEARS, p. 467.


By G. A. Klucken-Wikipedia, June 29, 2024.

Eichberg, Julius (b. Dusseldorff, June 13, 1824 and d. January 18, 1893). Born to a musical family, he “was taught at first by his father, and could play the violin acceptably when he was seven years old. Among his other teachers were… Rietz, who introduced his pupil to Mendelssohn.” (DIC AM BIO, p. 57 and 58) Dwight, writing about Eichberg noted: “As a reminiscence, it may be mentioned that some years ago Mr. B. J. Lang, the eminent pianist of this city, called upon Rietz, and in the course of the conversation the maestro told him that he had one pupil in America of whom he was proud” – Eichberg. (Dwight, July 2, 1881, p. 106) Came to America in 1859 – career as a conductor and educator. Established Boston Conservatory in 1867 – active in Boston from c. 1860, “the first seven of which were passed as leader at the Boston Museum.” In 1862 he presented there his best known operetta, The Doctor of Alcantara, “which has made its way all over the country.” Was also head of music in the Boston Public Schools for many years. (Jenks, p.478-also had photo, taken from the right side) As late as 1930 Howard wrote that his “The Doctor of Alcantara is still a favorite, and the patriotic chorus, To Thee, O Country [written for the annual combined high school choirs concert, and done yearly with an accompaniment of orchestra and organ] is widely sung.” (Howard, p. 224) Dwight describes him as “a person of marked originality of character, strong in reason and understanding, endowed also with rapid and keen perception, a lively sense of the beautiful, a tenacious memory, and resolute, firm will… such is the fertility of his mind, and such his power of illustration, that he is one of the most delightful of companions, a man with whom one can talk until two in the morning.” (Dwight, July 2, 1881, p. 106) “At the age of fourteen, young Eichberg became musical director of the opera at Elberfield, which post he retained for the period of two years, at the expiration of which he went to Brussels… At Brussels he became a pupil of Fetis, for perfection in composition, and of DeBeriot and Meertz on the violin.” (BMT, April 7, 1860, p. 57) After graduation from the Brussels Royal Conservatory with first prizes in violin and composition, he began his career in Geneva-director of an opera troupe, professor in the Conservatory, and director of music in a major church. He stayed eleven years, and then moved to New York in 1857 “with a view of benefiting his health… In 1859 he came to Boston and found a home. He was first engaged as director of music at the Museum… Mr. Eichberg remained at the Museum seven years. After a year of rest he established the Boston Conservatory of Music… Not far from the same time he was appointed general supervisor and director of music in all the high schools of the city.” (Dwight, ibid) Lang may have had something to do with Eichberg coming to Boston. “Some years ago, Mr. B. J. Lang the eminent pianist of this city, called upon Rietz, and in the course of the conversation the maestro told him that he had one pupil in America of whom he was proud.” (Dwight, ibid) “Those who know him will bear willing testimony to his accomplishments as linguist and scholar, and to those Christian graces of the true gentleman-self respect, sweetness of disposition, and unflinching integrity-which justify the declaration that he has not an enemy among men.” (BMT, April 7, 1860, p. 58) In April 1864 Dwight noted: “Tomorrow evening, a ”Sacred Concert,” that is to say a Sunday Concert in the Music Hall by that excellent musician, JULIUS EICHBERG, who has composed for the occasion several pieces for Violin, Violincello, Piano and Organ. Two organ pieces will be played by Mr. Lang; two soprano songs will be sung by Miss Houston, and two baritone songs by Mr. SCHRAUBSTAEDTER.” (Dwight, April, 30, 1864, p. 23) No review appeared in subsequent editions. In September 1866 it was announced that “Boston has lost Julius Eichberg. His powers are appreciated, and remunerated handsomely in New York, and Messrs. Baker and Smith retain him at the New York Theatre where they will give a season of English opera.” (BMT, September 8, 1866, p. 3) “Mr. Eichberg is quite a lion in N. Y. musical circles. He is busily engaged in forming his new opera troupe which will perform at Baker and Smith”s New York Theatre. He will open with the Doctor of Alcantara and follow that with the The Two Cadis, which he considers his best work.” (BMT, October 6, 1866, p. 4) Soon after Eichberg quit as leader of the Boston Museum Orchestra, the Boston Musical Times reported: “The orchestra at the Boston Museum needs reinforcement sadly. It is numerically small and musically flat. From being the best of our city orchestras it has degenerated into the worst. It is to be hoped that the excellent manager of the establishment will institute an immediate reform.” (BMT, October 6, 1866, p. 3) However, things did not go smoothly at the New York Theatre: “Mr. Eichberg has withdrawn from the New York Theatre, and is teaching in New York City.” (BMT, December 1 , 1866, p. 3) He “became Supervisor of Music in the public schools… He is noted especially for establishing the Boston Conservatory of Music, which school was later absorbed by the New England Conservatory of Music. The present Boston Conservatory is a different and later organization.” (HMA Bulletin No. 15)

“He composed much for his instrument, including graceful solos and valuable studies as well as various ensemble numbers. Among the later were an Ave Maria and Reverie for violin, ”cello, piano, and organ, given in the old Music Hall.” (DIC AM BIO, p. 58) B. J. and he often played Eichberg”s Religious Meditation for violin and organ.

Chadwick, in his Diary, described Eichberg as “another rare soul whose genial though pungent wit and most lavable personality eneared him, Jew though he was, to every one who knew him.” (6353)


Johnston Collection.

C. 1910. Johnston Collection.

Inscription: “Your teacher and friend, Louis C. Elson.” A photo card glued into the front of Elson”s The History of American Music, 1904, owned by his pupil Ralph Howard Pendleton of Philadelphia, PA. Johnston collection.

Elson, Louis Charles. 1848-1920. “Was active from 1882, a Boston-born, Leipzig-educated pedant, head of theoretical instruction at the New England Conservatory. While ardent and analytical enough to please the most exacting listener, Elson was no great assist to the cause of ”the newness” as the era of the ”eighties was called.” (Johnson, HALLELUJAH, p. 158) The NEW GROVE DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN MUSIC entry adds: born in Boston-April 17, 1848 and died there, February 14, 1920. He studied music in Boston and at the Leipzig Conservatory. “It was as a critic, lecturer, and writer on music that he was most important.” (AM GROVE 1986, p. 43) He returned from Leipzig in 1877, and “became associated with several leading music journals, including Vox Humana and the Musical Herald, both of which he eventually edited. He was music editor of the Boston Courier and then of the Boston Daily Advertiser from 1886 until his death.” Henry Dunham, organ instructor of the New England Conservatory felt that Elson was “too affable, too anxious to say nothing unkind to become great as a critic; always interesting however, and very much read; his fund of general information was prodigious.” (Dunham, p. 220) Also see article on Daily Advertiser.

He taught theory at the New England Conservatory beginning in 1880, and became head of the department in 1882 upon the death of Stephen Emery. (Green, p. 212) “In 1945 his widow established a memorial fund at the Library of Congress for the presentation of lectures on music. His son was the writer Arthur Elson [1848-1920].” (AM GROVE 1986, p. 44) The 1986 AM GROVE article lists 15 books that he wrote or edited. His last book was published in 1918 – WOMEN IN MUSIC. “He has acted as choral director on various occasions in Boston, notably a festival in 1886, the programs including music selected all the way from the medieval beginnings of the art up to the present time. As a composer, his work is mostly in the smaller forms, including several piano-pieces, three operettas, and other songs. He has also made translations and arrangements of a great number of French, English and Italian songs, and of operas… As a vocalist, he has been connected with several of the leading choirs of Boston… Mr. Elson”s diction is concise, often humorous, and reveals in every line broad and genuine culture fused with the specialized knowledge of the trained and experienced musician. His distinguished contemporary, W. S. B. Mathews speaks of it as a ”ripe and finished literary style, rarely found outside the ranks of professional authors.”” (Green, p. 212) “In this field [musical criticism] he led the way to a more detailed and thorough estimate of musical works and performances than had been customary in the United States, and incidentally treated all artists under his review with courtesy, even when adverse comment proved necessary… In 1873 he married Bertha Lissnere, who survived him with their son, Arthur Elson. A memorial tablet was placed in the New England Conservatory of Music, where he served so long and faithfully, teaching up to the very day of his death” (Dic. Am. Bio., C. A. W., pp.199 and 120). Elson also “holds the dubious distinction of being the American critic with the most citations in Slonimsky”s Lexicon of Musical Invective… A singer and composer of modest attainments, Elson was not university trained but studied privately in Leipzig before returning to his native Boston in 1877 to begin a career of musical journalism on various magazines and newspapers.” (Grant, p. 94) His reviews “reflect a man who, while obsessed with correcting what he saw as bad musical grammar, had the discernment to report clearly what he heard… Unlike some of his contemporaries, Elson found even Debussy cacophonous. Pedantic references to theory and harmony abound in his critiques. Ravel and the Sibelius Fourth Symphony were too much for him, let alone Schoenberg.” (Ibid, pp. 95 and 96)

Elson, Arthur. “Is a well-known musical critic and writer. His books, Women”s Work in Music, Orchestral Instruments and Their Use, A Critical History of Opera, Modern Composers of Europe, and frequent contributions to musical periodicals, have added to the luster of the family name. The two, father [Louis] and son, deserve especial mention as representative of the best modern thought concerning the future of the woman musician. They are truly American in their fair-minded recognition of her ability to do more than she has been permitted to do by the foreigner.” (Green, p. 212)


Mathews, A HUNDRED YEARS, p. 655.

Dunham, THE LIFE OF A MUSICIAN, p. 51.

Emery, Stephen Albert. Born Paris, Maine 1841, son of a distinguished lawyer and judge. After one year of Colby College, he left because of ill health and impaired sight, and “then as a pastime, took up the study of piano and harmony.” (Howe-One Hundred, p. 656) He spent 1862 to 1864 studying music in Leipzig and Dresden, returned to Portland for two years and then moved to Boston after the Great Fire in 1866. He quickly obtained positions at the New England Conservatory and the Boston University College of Music. “Many of the younger American composers have been indebted to Mr. S. A. Emery for their instruction in the art of composition, and he stands in the front rank of American theorists.” (Howe-One Hundred, p. 656) In 1889 he was credited with composing about one hundred and fifty published pieces.

Dunham, THE LIFE OF A MUSICIAN, p. 51.

Essipoff, Madame. Born: February 12, 1851 (St. Petersburg, Russia). Died: August 18, 1914 , aged 63 (St. Petersburg, Russia) (Wikipedia article, 7/1/11). One-time wife of Leschetizky, Paderewski mentioned that “there were several Mesdames Leschetizky-all musical-all charming!” (Paderewski, p. 120) He further stated that “her playing in many ways was perfect, except when it came to strong, effective pieces-then she was lacking in real force, as women pianists usually are… She was very feminine in her playing, and small poetic pieces she could play admirably. She was an intelligent woman with evident culture, attractive to look at, and with a very pleasing personality altogether, which was a great asset to her on the concert platform.” Ibid, p. 121) In fact she played the world premier of Paderewski”s Piano Concerto as the composer “had not studied the concerto sufficiently for a great public performance.” (Ibid, p. 121) Later in his career Paderewski met Madame Essipoff again. “She was already divorced from Leschetizky and was professor of music at the Conservatory at St. Petersburg. Madame Essipof was no longer young, but she was still fine-looking and always brilliant, and enjoyed a great success there as a professor. She had already stopped her career as a pianist.” (Paderewski, p. 298)

She was born at St. Petersburg in 1851. First taught by her father who was “an enthusiastic amateur musician,” at 14 she entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory where she “became a pupil of Theodore Leschetitsky, who had adopted her and who found her as headstrong as she was talented.” Rubinstein thought that she should study the voice, but “Leschetitsky was equally urgent that she should make the pianoforte her life study. She decided on the pianoforte, and in 1876-77 she carried off the prize not only for execution but also for sight-playing. Her public career began somewhat before this time. For she appeared in Vienna in 1874 and scored a triumph, as she did also in England in the same year. A letter written at that time describes her as ”far more able than Von Bulow and not nearly so incorrect.” She played Chopin better than anybody. Many critics placed her higher as a pianist than Rubinstein or Madame Schumann, in fact second only to Liszt. She was considered a wonder. After having traveled far and wide for eight years and established a great reputation, she married her former teacher, Leschetitsky, in 1880. Madame Essipoff made a tour in America in 1877, but notwithstanding her remarkable talent, her success was small… In 1893 she separated from her husband, though her admiration for him as a musician and a teacher was as great as ever. Leschetitsky, on his part, showed his regard for her by using his influence to secure her his own former position as pianoforte instructor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, a position which she resigned early in 1900.” (Lahee, p. 299-301) In 1874 Dwight published an account of her English appearances: “At the morning concert of Saturday May 16, a new pianiste, Madame Essipoff, made her debut in England, choosing for the occasion Chopin”s Concerto in E Minor. This accomplished lady, a native of Russia, fully realized in all that Rubenstein, Auer, Henselt, and more recently Dr. Von Bulow, had affirmed respecting her truly marvelous talents. Madame Essipoff four years ago, at the Conservatoire of St. Petersburgh, carried off the prize not only for execution, but for sight-reading, the great test of musical competency. In Vienna last winter her performance at the Philharmonic concert was a great triumph; and at three concerts given by Mdme. Essipoff on her own account, she created a legitimate ”sensation”, particularly in the music of Chopin, manifestly her forte.” (Dwight, June 13, 1874, p. 245) “Essipov was acclaimed as one of the finest pianists of her time, though opinions differed about her appearance: some said she looked masculine, others described her as ”attractive.” She had very small hands, and Paderewski wrote that her playing was very feminine, contrasting her with Teresa Carreno, whom he thought ”a strong pianist, even too strong for a woman.” Essipov, whose only fault was that she was always hungry, could play with great delicacy of feeling, and her conceptions were emotionally moving. Her extraordinary clarity of technique added to the effect of simplicity and directness in her playing, and she was widely cultured and a good teacher… Schnabel also had lessons with her.” (Methuen-Campbell, p, 60) Essipov was “one of the first pianists to devote recitals entirely to Chopin”s music. She was not afraid of presenting a programme which would defeat most pianists today: all twenty-seven Etudes and all twenty-four Preludes. She played vitually the whole of Chopin”s oeuvre, and made her first important appearance at the Salzburg Mozarteum in 1869 with his E Minor Piano Concerto. Her interest in Chopin”s works increased when she went to study with Leschetizky in St. Pertersburg.” (Ibid) “It is interesting that Rachmaninov and Essipov, two of the greatest technicians of all time, used a great deal of slow practice.” (Op. Cit., p. 116)

Euterpe, The. “This society, though young, has a strong board of officers and occupies a prominent position. It was organized Dec. 13, 1878, and gave its first concert on the 15th. of January following. Its object is the encouragement of chamber music and the production of the best compositions in this line. The number of members is 150, and all money received is expended on the concerts, after allowing for the necessary running expenses. Connected with the society are some of Boston”s most prominent musicians, among whom are C. C. Perkins (president), B. J. Lang (vice-president), W. F. Apthorp (treasurer), Julius Eichberg, John Orth, S. B. Whitney, J. C. D. Parker, etc. F. H. Jenks is (Dec. 1882) secretary.” (Jones, p. 18) During their 8th. Season, 1885-86 the group presented only string quartet concerts which were held at the Apollo Hall, 151 Tremont Street. B. J. was listed as the Vice President with his address at 152 Tremont Street. In Vol. 7 of the Musical Year Book it was reported: “The Euterpe concerts were suspended.” (MYB 1889-90, p. 26)

Evening Transcript, Boston. Founded in 1830, “The Transcript is Republican, but it is elevated and independent in its views on all matters of public interest. It is a genuine type of the high-toned literary journal, and has a large circulation among the very best class of cultivated, disinterested, and clean citizens. It is the standard journal of art and literary criticism, while its news columns cover the wants of its rather select and cultured constituency.” (Grieve, p. 105) William Foster Apthorp was the Music Critic from 1881-1903.

Evening Traveller, Boston. Begun in 1845, it was “the first two cent evening paper in Boston.” It also had weekly and semi-weekly editions. “It was formerly a leading exponent of Republicanism, and is still patronized quite largely by Republicans and Prohibitionists. It is intended to be an elevated family paper, advocating the cause of temperance, education, and moral reform. It is published at the head of State Street, where for more than a century papers have been issued… Its politics [are] straight Republican.” (Grieve, p. 105) “Its news-departments are well sustained. The review of the week, long a feature of the Saturday edition, ably conducted by C. C. Hazewell, is valuable for filing as a record of passing events.” (King, p. 148)

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Fay, Abby B., Miss. Vocalist active in Boston in the late 1850s. B. J. and the Mendelssohn Quintette Club “assisted” her in a concert given to benefit “An Invalid” at the Melodean Theatre on Saturday March 27, 1858 (Dwight, March 26, 1858, p. 413). Early in 1861 the Boston Musical Times reprinted an item from the Florence correspondent of the New Orleans Picayune which reported “At the last Philharmonic Concert, Nov. 17th, Miss Abby Fay, of Boston, made her second appearance before a Florentine audience, and met with a most flattering success… Her voice of pure soprano register, is true and sweet, and she is capable of executing the most difficult music. She has made very great progress within six months… She is now prepared to accept an engagement for Sonnambula, and other operas of that genre, and I am confident that she will be successful in light and brilliant music.” (BMT, January 26, 1861, p. 392)


Fay, Amy. Born on a plantation in Bayou Goula, Louisiana on May 21, 1844 to Rev. Dr. Charles Fay and Charlotte Emily, daughter of an Episcopal Bishop, she died “in 1928, at the age of 83, in a nursing home in Salem [MA].” (Fay, xiv) “The families were musical on both sides, but Mrs. Fay was a veritable musical genius, and although she had no musical instruction after her tenth year, she kept up her practice herself, and after her marriage she learned the great concert pieces of Thalberg and de Meyer, the pianists of the day, and always extemporized on any given air in a remarkable manner… Amy was the third of a family of seven children (six girls and one boy), all of whom were gifted musically… Amy was made to learn Latin and Greek, German, and French, as a child.” (Mathew, pp. 137 and 138) At nineteen she moved to Cambridge where she studied with Prof. Paine at Harvard and attended classes with Otto Dresel at NEC. Lang used her in his May 3, 1862 performance of First Walpurgis Night where she and Lang played Thalberg”s Grand Duo on Themes from Norma. “Upon the advice of John Knowles Paine (1839-1906), later known as the dean of American composers, with whom she studied Bach, Amy Fay went to Europe to refine her musical taste and improve her technique.” (Fay, p. ix) At the age of 25 she went to Europe studying with Tausig in Berlin for one year, and then Dr. Kullak for three years. In all she spend the five years, early November 1869 until 1875 in Germany. In the summer of 1873 she studied with Liszt. “Franz Liszt seems to have been the only teacher in Europe who championed no specific technical approach, yet he conveyed the most to his piano classes.” (Fay, xi) Tausig was said to be “a young man who plays the piano like forty thousand devils.” (Fay, x) He had been a pupil of Liszt, and he was described as “an eccentric, impatient man possessing an easily triggered, high-powered temper. An unhappy misanthrope, he loathed piano teaching. Nevertheless, his conservatory had one of the highest enrollments.” (Ibid) “Tausig has such a little hand that I wonder he has been able to acquire his immense virtuosity. He is only thirty years old, and is much younger than Rubinstein or Bulow.” (Fay p. 39) Beginning in the fall of 1870 she began lessons with Kullak – “He looks about fifty and is charming. I am enchanted with him. he plays magnificently, and is a splendid teacher, but he gives me immensely much to do, and I feel as if a mountain of music were all the time pressing on my head. He is so occupied that I have to take my lesson from seven to eight in the evening.” (Fay, p. 100) Fay then changed to Deppe who had made a study of the technique of piano playing. Whereas Kullak said: “Practice always Fraulein. Time will do it for you some day. Hold your hand any way that is easiest for you. You can do it in this way-or in that way-showing me different positions of the hand in playing the troublesome passage-or you can play it with the back of the hand if that will help you,” Deppe showed her exactly how to conquer each difficulty. “In short, he makes the technique and the conception identical, as of course they ought to be, but i never had any other master who trained his pupils to attempt it.” (Fay, p. 319) “The positive bebefits of Deppe”s approach convinced Amt to base her future playing and teaching on Deppe”s principles, as did the eminent pianists and teachers William Sherwood, Donald Francis Tovey (1875-1940) and Emil von Sauer (1862-1942).” (Dumm and Shaffer, p. 7) “She returned to Boston and “was at once pronounced an artist by the press, and played with Theodore Thomas” orchestra at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, and at the Worcester, Mass. Musical Festival [Beethoven”s B-flat Major Concerto with the Germaina Orchestra conducted by Carl Zerrahn][Dumm and Shaffer, p. 7]. She was the first pianist to introduce the playing of piano concertos at these festivals, which has been done ever since.” “On her return to the United States, Amy gave her first concert in New York”s Chickering Hall in December 1875… Amy”s recitals in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she made her home in 1876-78, were attended by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a close personal friend, and the American critic John Sullivan Dwight.” (Dumm and Shaffer, p. 7) After three years in Boston she moved to Chicago in 1878 where she remained. “Liszt has included Miss Fay”s name in the roll of his best pupils, in a list made out by himself.” (Mathews, pp. 138, 140 and 141) Her book “Music Study in Germany” is well known even today: it is a collection of letters written to her elder sister “Melusina (”Zina”) (1836-1923), Amy”s surrogate mother, who recognized their historic value and arranged their publication.” (Dumm and Shaffer, p. 4)

Fay, Miss Mary A. (or Miss Mary Neilson Fay, Jones, p. 155) “Born at Williamsburg, N. Y., about 1855. She studied under Wm. Mason, Richard Hoffman, Gustav Satter, and for a short time with Rubinstein during his stay in this country. Upon advice of the latter she went to Berlin and placed herself under the instruction of Kullak. After her marriage with Mr. Sherwood in the autumn of 1874, she accompanied him on his travels, and assisted him at his last concert in Berlin. Since returning to the United States, she was frequently taken a part in her husband”s recitals, and is well-known everywhere. Besides being one of the finest lady pianists of our time, she is very successful as a teacher.” (Jones, p. 155) She had been an assisting artist in the January 14, 1859 concert given by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club at the Mercantile Hall (entrance on Summer Street) playing Beethoven”s Piano Trio in B Flat, op. 97 (“Archduke”) (Dowell, p. 370) This was her first Boston concert appearance. (Dwight, January 8, 1859, p. 327) However Dwight felt that as “a very youthful debutante, whose extraordinary ease and fluency of execution of the most difficult piano-forte music, especially modern music, has for a year or two past been a theme of admiration in the houses of her friends” had been unwisely counseled in attempting the Beethoven… Miss F. has a nice touch,” but “such a work requires far more than execution; it requires imagination, soul, passion, deep experience, grasp of mind.” (Dwight, January 22, 1859, p. 342) Based on the dozen or so times that Dwight had heard this piece in Boston, this performance just did not measure up to his standard. On Saturday evening March 3, 1860 Miss Fay appeared at the Philharmonic Concert at the Music Hall conducted by Carl Zerrahn performing Mendelssohn”a Concerto in G Minor and the Romanze and Rondo from the Concerto in E Minor by Chopin. The program noted that she “will make her first appearance on this occasion.” (HMA Program Collection) Dwight”s review mentioned “The exquisitely delicate, dreamy and poetic Romanza, and the bright Rondo from Chopin”s E Minor Concerto – one of the most difficult of piano pieces as to mere execution, and demanding fine musical feeling and perception besides. It certainly was a bold attempt for a young girl of twenty… Two years ago, at a Mendelssohn Quintet Concert, she astonished by her brilliant execution in a Trio by Beethoven. Since then she has studied earnestly, severely, under the best direction, and this time her triumph was complete. Such clear, distinct, even, sustained, brilliant, graceful pianism, is seldom heard. Not a note was lost, even in that large hall… In Mendelssohn”s G Minor Concerto Miss Fay sustained herself at the height already won, well at home apparently with the orchestra, and proving herself quite equal to the performance of so formidable a work in public.” (Dwight, March 10, 1860, p. ???) In November 1860 she was part of the Opening Soiree of Chickering”s new Music Room where she played Mendelssohn”s Variations Serieueses which prompted Dwight to say that “Miss Fay, excited a positive entusiasm by her brilliant execution, showing the rarest natural capacity and most delicate and facile touch, combined with a vigor and power rarely found in a lady executant. In the duet played by her with Mr. Dresel [Duet for Two Pianos on the March from Weber”s Preciosa], she showed herself a worthy pupil of an accomplished instructor.” (Dwight, November 19, 1860, p. 262) In a January 1861 notice of one of “Miss Fay”s Soirees” the reviewer mentioned: “In the more sedate music of Beethoven and Schumann, while there is no lack of technical ability, there seems to be a want of soulful expression in Miss Fay”s playing; but the compositions mentioned above [Hiller Bolero and Chopin Polonaise in A flat, Op. 53), and others of the same class. she plays with a vigor and clearness quite remarkable.” Within days of this solo performance, Miss Fay was also part of the Philharmonic Concert conducted by Mr. Zerrahn. (BMT, January 25, 1861, p. 261) The Boston Musical Times reprinted a notice from the New York Weekly Programme which reported that “Miss Mary Fay gives a concert in Boston soon, in which she, with Mr. Lang, will play Thalberg”s Grand Fantasia on Themes from Norma.” (BMT, March 9, 1861, p. 22) On April 20, 1861 she presented a “Matinee” at Chickering”s Hall when she was assisted by Lang, Eichberg and Fries. Included in the program was Mendelssohn”s Second Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 49, the Grand Fantasie on Norma for Two Pianos arranged by Thalberg, and the final piece was the Fantasie on Moses in Egypt also arranged by Thalberg. Dwight had not attended and only printed the program. (Dwight, April 27, 1861, p. 30) In January 1862 Dwight printed that Miss Fay would present four concerts at Chickering”s Rooms.” (Dwight, January 18, 1862, p. 335) Dwight praised the one of her solo pieces in the first concert saying: “Hiller”s difficult and brilliant Bolero was well suited to the powers of Miss Fay, and she distinguished herself in it,” but he was not impressed by the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto played with just piano accompaniment. (Dwight, January 25, 1862, pp. ???) B. J. joined her in the final number of her second Soiree given on Saturday, January 25, 1862 playing the Fantasie on Norma for two pianos by Thalberg; on the same program she also was assisted by Mr. F. Suck and Mr. Henry Suck. Based on the repertoire listed, Mr. F. Suck and Mr. Henry Suck both played violin. Dwight did not attend, but noted that the “second Soiree did take place, we understand, on Saturday evening, in spite of the worst weather ever known. Some forty persons listened.” (Dwight, February 1, 1862, p. 351) This concert was part of a series of four-“Sets of For Tickets, $3; Single Tickets, $1 each; to be had at the music stores.” (HMA Program Collection) For the third Soiree she “had a good audience and a pleased one” which again included the two Sucks and W. Fries. (Dwight, Febraury 15, 1862, p. 367) All in all this was a major understaking for such a young artist. Fay was also an assisting artist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club during 1861-62 season. (Dowell, p. 21) She appeared again with the Philharmonic on Saturday February 1, 1862 playing the Capriccio in B Major for Piano and Orchestra by Mendelsson, and the Introduction and Variations on the Barcarole from L”Elisire d”amore by Thalberg. On the same program Jules Eichberg was the soloist in his own Violin Concerto. (Ibid) During January and February 1862 she presented four “Soirees.” (Ibid) According to the DIC. AM. BIOG, she had been born in Williamsburg, N. Y., and she married William Hall Sherwood in 1874 while they were both students of Liszt, “and Liszt stood godfather to their first child. In the course of years, incompatibility of temperament was discovered and a divorce followed.” (Lahee, p. 202) In a June 2, 1876 Mu
sic Hall program, she is listed as Mrs. Sherwood, formerly Miss Mary A. Fay. (BPL Music Hall Prog., Vol. 1) Mrs. Sherwood was the soloist with the HMA on Novemebr 9, 1876 playing Mendelssohn”s Concerto in G Minor. Dwight wrote: “Mrs. Wm. H. Sherwood, whom many remember as Miss Mary Fay, of Boston, a pupil eighteen or twenty yeras ago of Otto Dressel, and who even in her girlhood excited admiration by the ease and brilliancy of her performances in public. Returning now from studies in Germany, the wife of of a gifted pianist, she brings musical experience, a rich repertoire, and more maturity of musical character and culture… Hearty applause followed all her efforts.” (Dwight, November 25, 1876, p. 342)

Fenollosa, William F. He assisted Lang in a series of five concerts of the complete piano works of Schumann. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 4)

Grove, “American Supplement-1920,” p. 206.

Foote, Arthur (b. March 5, 1853 at Salem, MA and d. April 8, 1937 at Boston, MA). Lang piano pupil from age 14. In 1870 he began at Harvard having “the good fortune to find John K. Paine there. His coming in 1869 marked the beginning of real musical instruction and of the development of a Depatment of Music… There were naturally few students for Paine at that time; in fugue I was the only one, taking my lessons at his house. He was college organist as well, and I had sense enough to appreciate the beautiful improvisations which I heard at chapel. I owe a great deal to him, not only for the excellent teaching but also for the important influence which he had on me at a time when it was sadly needed.” (HMA Bulletin No.4, p. 1) Graduated Harvard 1874-had organ lesson from Lang that summer-Lang convinced him to continue his music study. Graduated Harvard with the first MA in music 1875. Opened piano studio next door to the Harvard Musical Association, and became a member then. Appointed organist Church of the Disciples 1876, then 1878 at First Unitarian Church, Boston where he stayed until 1910. Attended first Bayreuth Festival in 1876 and the premier of the complete Ring of the Nibelungen (Ciplolla, Am Nat Bio, Vol.13, p. 190) – made eight trips abroad over a twenty year span. Married 1880 – only child, Katharine born 1881. On Wednesday April 22, 1891 Foote led “The Ladies” Vocal Club of Salem” at the Cadet Armory Hall in one of three “Popular Concerts” sponsored by the “Salem Oratorio Society” whose conductor was Carl Zerrahn. In addition to the vocal numbers, piano pieces included Lang playing the Etude, Opus 25, No. 7 by Chopin and “Scherzo” from Sonata, Opus 31, No. 3 by Beethoven; Lang and Foote playing the Variations on a theme from Beethoven by Saint-Saens: and the piano quartet of Lang, Foote, Phippen and Fenollosa playing the “First Movement” from Mendelssohn”s Italian Symphony and Les Contrastes by Moscheles. Foote taught at NEC from 1921 until his death in 1937. (Cipolla, p. 150) “Though he lived to 1937, Foote absorbed no twentieth-century styles. He was not a bigot, like Dwight. Rather, he acknowledged his timidity with typical equanimity: ”My influence from the beginning, as well as my predilection, were ultra-conservative”. Foote”s failure to grow was typical of Boston: like the writers he knew and admired, he was both supported and stifled by a benign cultural environment.” (Horowitz, p. 99) Following the lead of his teacher B. J. Lang, Foote presented a series of eight chamber music concerts “on every Saturday evening in February and March.” [1881] at the Chicking Hall, 156 Tremont Street. (BPL Music Hall Prog., Vol. 3) Another series was presented in 1882.

Franklin, Miss Gertrude. A review by Dwight in 1880 made mention that she “has good voice and training… Her forte, as we have since learned, is the florid kind, like ”Rejoice Greatly,” or the ”Jewel Aria” in Faust.” (Dwight, April 10, 1880, p. 62) In a March 1881 review of Schumann”s Faust with the Cecilia, the writer noted: “her voice lost nothing of its sweetness and beauty even when pushed to a force that threw the voices of the amateaur vocalists upon the stage in the background.” (Cecilia Programs, Vol. 1) In May 1881 it was announced that she would be the soprano in the quartet for the Roxbury Universalist Church. (Musical Herald, May 1881, p. 104) She is listed in 1886 as the soprano in King”s Chapel Choir ?B. J. became organist there in 1888. Lang was the accompanist at her Saturday February 16, 1889 concert at Chickering Hall. (BPL Lang Prog. Vol. 5) In an 1890 review of Cecilia”s Haydn Seasons concert, Hale praised Franklin: “Her musical nature was seen in little details often despised and ignored by singers… Her phrasing and her technique were alike worthy of high praise.” (BPL Hale Crit., Vol. 1) She also appeared with the Handel and Haydn Society: March 31, 1893 in Bach”s St. Matthew Passion. (History-1911, p. 30) On January 6, 1893 she was part of the concert given during a ladies night at the Harvard Musical Association where she performed two songs by Brahms and Near Thee by Roff. Franklin was a soloist with the BSO in its Third Season (1883-84:Henschel), Fourth Season (1884-85: Gericke), Fifth Season (1885-86: Gericke), Sixth Season (1886-87: Gericke), Seventh Season (1887-88: Gericke), Eighth Season (1888-89: Gericke), Ninth Season (1889-90: Nikisch), Fourteen Season (1894-95: Paur) and Fifteenth Season (1895-96: Paur). (BSO Programs 1881-96)

Site of Miss Gertrude Franklin”s apartment/teaching studio. Johnston Collection.

Ryan, facing p. 26.

Fries, Auguste. “I begin with Auguste Fries. He was a good, genuine violinist, especially in quartette, he played with deep sentiment, was painstaking, and no rehearsals were too long for him. He was the broadest man, had the oldest head, of the organization, and was altogether a good leader. In social character he was full of geniality, could be the life and spirit of every party, and he thus endeared himself to a very large number of personal friends…. He was very firm in purpose and set in his ways; he could not accommodate himself to some things; but sterling integrity was the main point in his make-up. He was an excellent man for younger people to start with.” (Ryan, pp. 106 and 107) After ten years with the group he returned to Bergen, Norway where he spent the rest of his life except for one season when he returned to Boston to be concertmaster with the HMA Orchestra. However, Dwight reported the return of Fries in October 1873 saying that after working for fifteen years in Norway, his return would “be warmly greeted by the older generation of our music-lovers,” (Dwight, October 18, 1873, p. 111)

Fries, Wulf Christian Julius. 1825-1902. (Bio-Bib., p. 135) Cellist, “Born at Garbeck, a village of Holstein, in Germany, Jan., 10, 1825. He began his favorite instrument when only nine years old, and at twelve had his first and only lessons from a local player.” (Jones, p. 60) As his father could not pay for lessons, he sent Wulf to a neighboring city where he learned on the job, playing in various municipal groups. “What he learned in the art of playing was chiefly through hearing the soloists who gave concerts while passing through the city…. In September, 1847 he came to America and settled in Boston, which has since been and still is (May, 1885) his home. About 1849 he organized assisted by his brother, August, three years his senior, the ”Mendelssohn Qunintet Club,” the immediate occasion of which was the performance at a private house of Mendelssohn”s Quintet in A. The original members of the club, with which he was connected for twenty-three years were August Fries, 1st. violin; Herr Gerloff, 2nd. violin; Theodor Lehman, 1st. viola; Oscar Greiner, 2nd. viola; and Wulf Fries, ”cello. August Fries was leader for ten years, when his place was taken by William Schulze… He is also professor of the violincello at the Boston and New England Conservatories of music, and an esteemed musician.” (Ibid) Mathews credits the clarinetist Thomas Ryan, then aged 22, as the founder of the Club, and lists the original members as: August Fries, Francis Riha, Edward Lehmann, Thomas Ryan and Wulf Fries, and describes their first consrt as being given “at the piano warerooms of Jonas Chickering, Mr. Ryan playing a clarinet concerto by F. Berr, and also the viola parts in quintettes by Mendelssohn and Beethoven…Naturally the personnel has been frequently changed…For fortyyears Mr. Ryan has been the leading spirit of the organization, and now he is the only one of the members who was at the foundation of the society.” (Mathews, p. 294) He left the Mendelssohn Quintette Club in 1872, and “was a founding member of the Beethoven Quartet in the following year. He belonged to the Musical Fund Society and played (sometimes as soloist) with the Harvard Musical Association, and then with the Boston SO (1881-2). He taught in Boston at the New England Conservatory (1869), Carlyle Petersilea”s Music School (1871), and the Boston Conservatory of Music (1889)… Papers and music from his estate are in the collection of the Harvard Musical Association.” (Am. Grove, p. 170) Fries played with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club for twenty-two years. In 1880 Dwight reported on a “Tribute to Wulf Fries, suggested and arranged by a number of the most musical ladies of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, etc., in whose families the favorite artist had been for years esteemed and loved as teacher and companion in the parlor practice of classical trio and sonata music.” This “took the form of a beautiful Chamber Concert at Horticultural Hall on Saturday evening, December 4, 1880. The audience was very large and sympathetic, the programme very rich and choice.” B. J. Lang and Arthur Foote contributed the Saint-Saens Variations for Two Pianos on a Theme of Beethoven, Op. 35., and Lang was probably the pianist in the Schumann Quintet for Piano and Strings, Op. 44. (Dwight, December 18, 1880, p. 207)

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Gardner, Isabella Stewart. April 14, 1840-July 17, 1924 (Palffy, p. 263). Good friend of the Lang family-visitor to the family farm in New Hampshire; in charge of arranging the flowers at B. J.”s funeral; among the “first visitors at Beverly Farms [in 1895] were… B. J. Lang” – the summer home of the Gardner”s – they had just returned from a almost a year in Europe. (Carter, p. 154) At the January 6, 1893 “Ladies Night” of the Harvard Musical Association she “was warmly welcomed home as one of the hostess, with Mrs. Henry M. Rogers, Mrs. Arthur Whiting, and Miss Lang… Mrs. Gardner in simple black, looking very fresh and young after her voyage.” (HMA Bulletin No. 11)

Mrs. Gardner was known for her good works. Among the young men in her circle was the composer Clayton Johns who had taken a young piano student, Heinrich Gebhard under his tutalege. Johns had Gebhard play for Paderewski who was on tour in America-the suggestion was that Gebhard should study with Leschetizky. “However, before I left for Vienna, Mr. Johns wanted to present me to the Boston public as his pupil. So in April, 1896, a concert was arranged in Copley Hall, where I played before a large representative audience a program [that included] the Schumann Concerto accompanied by sixty-five players of the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of Franz Kneisel. Mrs. Jack Gardner, that wonderful and brilliant woman, who so often was a benefactor to young promising talents, in her great generosity footed the bill for this expensive concert.” (HMA Bulletin No.13)

“The Foote”s were frequently to be seen at the Gardner home.” (Tara, Foote, p. 71) In fact Mrs. Gardner was the Godmother to their only child, Katharine. “Mrs. Jack insisted they go with her to the Copley Society”s costume ball. She dressed Arthur and his wife Kate in elaborate Korean costumes, which greatly impressed Katherine ”when they let me see them before they left. Mrs. Gardner was such a wonderful Godmother to me, and such a good friend to Papa and Mama.”” (Ibid) Mrs. Gardner help Arthur Foote in many other ways. “Throughout her life she remained a staunch and encouraging friend of his family. She introduced Foote to men and women who could bebfit him, whether at her home or during travels in Europe. Her summer home in Beverly, Massachusetts, was at his disposal for vacations and peaceful seclusion so that he could compose music. Foote was asked to play at her musical evenings before distinguished gatherings.” (Tara, Foote, p. 111)


John Singer Sargent, 1888.

This portrait was first displayed at the St. Botolph Club, but her husband, John Gardner found it so offensive that it had it removed. It now hangs in Fenway Court, but she did not allow it to be shown to the public until after her death.

Anders Zorn: “Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice,” 1894.

She did not always attract attention to herself; the “Table Gossip” column of the Boston Globe of February 3, 1907 noted that “Mrs. John L. Gardner herself was much in evidence at Fenway Court during the hours when it was open to the public this week, although the majority of the visitors were unaware of the identity of the short, slim figure in black, wearing a flat black hat and carrying a gold filigree bag.” (Globe, p. 50) But, Arthur Foote wrote “that Boston began its greatest musical growth soon after he started living there. He arrtributes much of this growth to the local women and their clubs… The preeminent example of a woman dedicated to the arts was the wealthy Isabella Stewart Gardner, Foote”s kindly friend and patron. She gave moral and monetary support to musical performers, composers, painters, and sculptors… She exerted herself in helping musicians to establish the Boston Composers” Manuscript Society. Its aim was to give local composers a hearing.” (Tara, Foote, p. 57) Gardner”s biographer, Morris Carter was quoted as saying: “Whether a social renaissance was created or not may be a question, but ”the Brimmer set, which represents the old Puritan aristocracy,” and ”the Apthorp set, which represents the new Bohemianism,” did meet in her house on a common ground.” (Ibid)

“Mrs. Jack Gardner”s Palace.” Message is dated Christmas 1906, and so this is how it appeared to B. J. Lang. (Johnston Collection)

On one occasion when Mrs. Gardner visited Malcolm”s home, she noted the two candlesticks on his table and said, “How wonderful, I have the other four,” but Malcolm did not take the hint and present them to her. (Amy DuBois Interview)


Rogers, STORY OF TWO LIVES, facing p. 74.

Gericke, Wilhelm. b. April 18, 1845 in Graz, Austria, and d. October 27, 1925 in Vienna. Studied at the Vienna Conservatorium 1862-65: began conducting career in Linz; then in 1874 offered second conductorship of the Hofoper in Vienna?there became associated with Hans Richter; took over the Vienna Singverein in 1880; 1884 appointed to the BSO and stayed five years, resigning due to health issues; returned to Vienna for three years, and then reappointed to the BSO “whose great efficiency is largely due to his indefatigableness and skill as a drill-master, his conscientious devotion to high ideals, and his remarkable sense of euphony and tonal balance.” (GROVES DICTIONARY, 1921, Vol. II, p. 159.) “Mr. Higginson brought Mr. Wilhelm Gericke from Vienna to take his [Henschel] place. Gericke was a rigid disciplinarian, a musical purist, and a devotee of two more B”s than Henschel [whose B. had been Beethoven]. Namely Bach and Brahms. He made several changes in the personnel of the orchestra, and introduced reforms which unquestionably heightened its excellence; but meanwhile he was not currying favor with the people. He made his programmes extremely severe, and rigidly excluded popular music from them, besides unnecessarily antagonizing American composers; and as the outcome of it all he fell victim to the populace, intellectual and orthodox in taste as it claims to be. As the result of his policy, however, when the new leader Mr. Arthur Nikisch, came, he found an orchestra already drilled and disciplined, and abounding in excellent material.” (Upton, “Musical Societies,” p. 81) Gericke “undertook the difficult but needed reform of replacing a number of old musicians, formerly prominent in the city”s musical life, who were holding their posts in the orchestra principally through courtesy, with younger musicians from Europe. That he accomplished this successfully and built up an orchestra in which perhaps fewer changes were later made than in any other in the world during a period of twenty years or more, is proof that Gericke possessed wonderful tact, judgment and executive ability. These qualities, combined with musical insight and tireless energy, have made the Boston Symphony Orchestra his debtor for its international position and comparative financial independence. For five years Gericke remained at the head of this organization, at the end of which time he returned to Germany and resumed the leadership of the Concert Society in Vienna, which he conducted until 1895. Then followed a period of three years” freedom from professional activities, and in 1898 Gericke was again engaged to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For eight years longer Gericke directed the body of musicians which he had brought to its present perfection of ensemble; then, in the season of 1905 and 1906 resigned his post, and in the latter year returned to Vienna… Gericke is said to have forwarded the cause of music in America more than any other one man, with the possible exception of Theodore Thomas. Elson speaks of him as the finest drillmaster among conductors… His reading of scores is considered remarkable” (Green, p. 283) “He was assistant conductor at the Vienna Hofoper when Henry Lee Higginson heard him conduct a performance of Aida in October 1883 and invited him to replace George Henschel as conductor of the Boston SO… He was a stern drillmaster, and after his first season dismissed 20 members of the orchestra and replaced them with young European players. At first there were complaints in Boston about this procedure, but most observers soon agreed that the orchestra”s improvement justified it… Gericke”s programs were thoroughly ”serious,” in contrast to those of Henschel, who had customarily opened with a symphony and filled the rest of the program with miscellaneous lighter pieces; Gericke also broke with a long-standing tradition by offering concerts without guest soloists. As a friend or personal acquaintance of Wagner, Brahms, Bruckner, and Liszt, he included a great deal of their music and introduced new European works, as well as compositions by” American composers such as Chadwick, Beach, Converse, and Foote. “Gericke”s tenure saw the orchestra”s first concerts in New York (1887), and the construction of Symphony Hall for its permanent home.” (New Am. Grove, p. 198) Gericke conducted the BSO from 1884 until 1889 and from 1898 until 1906.

His salary for his first year 1884-85 was $7,500, and he was at time thirty-nine years old. “He was a bachelor, short and stocky, with a dark beard and handlebar mustache, both neatly trimmed. He was a vivacious conversationalist. He looked more like a shoe dealer or bank cashier than a musician.” (Horowitz, p. 50) “But he was not unhappy when he was settled in well-appointed bachelor quarters at 5 Mt. Vernon Place, near the crest of Beacon Hill. He would walk across the Common on a fine day, no doubt well-tailored and gloved, to have his dinner at the ”Tavern Club.”” (Burk, p. 173) Among the new musicians that he hired for his second season was the twenty-year-old concertmaster, Franz Kneisel, and “numerous other new members to replace ”old” and ”overworked” musicians ”no longer fit for the demands of modern and more difficult orchestral ensemble.” he subdued the brass in order to perfect the balance and tone of the ensemble. he insisted on rehearsals conditions never imposed by Henschel or Carl Zerrahn. He disciplined musicians who took the stage intoxicated, in some cases repeatedly… His repertoire, stressing beethoven, was less adventurous than Thomas” in New York, less conservative than has been dwight”s and the Harvard Musical Association”s. As he disciplined his orchestra, Gericke disciplined his audience, and not by insisting on more ”serious” programs. Latecomers were not admitted except during pauses. Encores were discouraged… Gericke himself called his Boston listeners ”one of the most cultivated and best understanding musical publics I Know…Henschel had adopted the formulas of ”lightening heavier programmes;” Gericke had not. But Gericke supported the notion of a summer season modeled after the garden concerts of Germany and Austria. As it happened, the initial summer ”Promenade” season materialized in 1885, near the beginning of Gericke”s tenure… For the Promenade concerts the Music hall”s downstairs seats were removed and replaced with tables and shrubs. Light alcoholic beverages were served (a breach of public morals requiring a special annual permit). On opening night Boston”s highest social circles turned out in force and there were not enough tables and waiters to meet the demand.” (Horowitz, pp. 50-52)

Hale, in reviewing Nikisch”s first BSO concert reminded his readers what Gericke had achieved. “In applauding Mr. Nikisch, the patient and abiding work of Mr. Gericke should not be forgotten. He gave the orchestra technique. He taught it precision, he called attention to detail. Without the noble rage of the born conductor, he gave a cold and finished reading of whatever work was on his desk. He seemed to abhor contrasts; he shrank from great effects; he appeared at times to entertain contempt for brass instruments. Gorgeous and daring coloring was not so dear to him as a pale monochrome. So the orchestra became under his leadership an admirable machine, which one looked at and admired. Not without reason, then, did an irreverent New Yorker dub it, ”The Boston Music Box.”” (Swan, p. 88) Gericke replaced many players. “The axe had fallen, twenty players were dropped, and as many new ones, mostly young men from Central Europe or France, were brought over to take their places. These included a new concertmaster, Franz Kneisel. Kneisel was conspicuously young, like many of the newcomers, very much younger than Bernard Listermann, whom he replaced. The orchestra was being swept of the cobwebs of antique custom and provincialism… Civic pride was aroused, comparisons began to be made. Gericke”s name was mentioned with that of Theodore Thomas, the only other symphonic conductor America had known of strictly the first standing.” (Burk, p. 175) “The continued growth of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the seasons following was consistent with Gericke”s beginnings. A certain amount of niggling opposition continued, and continued to be overborne by a widening respect for a tireless conductor. As his fifth season was drawing to a close, Gericke decided he would need a rest of ”at least a year.” Perhaps his fatique was as much mental as physical… Higginison said in a farewell speech at the Tavern Club: ”Mr. Gericke made our orchestra.” (Burk, p. 176)

Gericke returned to the BSO in 1898, nine years after his departure. The situation was “far different from the one he had faced in 1884. There was no longer now a provincial orchestra and audience, but an orchestra at least as expert as the one he had left, and a public seasoned by acquaintance with two not inconsiderable conductors. They had experienced the Hungarian ardors of the romanticist Nikisch and the vigorous onslaughts of Paur. Paur had been insistently up-to-date in his programs. By now Brahms was loudly applauded… He had brought a handful of new (and choice) players with him, including the oboist from the Lamoureux Orchestra in Paris-Georges Longy. (Burk, pp. 179 and 180) It fell to Gericke to conduct the opening concert on October 15, 1900 at the new Symphony Hall on Huntington Avenue. “In the end, what the Boston Symphony”s new home most resembled was its old home. In size and feel, if not in proportionate dimensions, it was the Music Hall, not the Gewandhaus, that proved Higginson”s inescapable model. Like the Boston Music hall, Symphony hall was a simple rectangle whose shallow balconies had no bad seats. Like Music hall, it secured a special bonding of music, auditors, and venue, a feeling of cultural community sealed by its town-0meeting plainness… Henry Higginson had built a house as bold and obdurate, severe and warm as the gentleman himself.” (Horowitz, p. 75) The main piece at this concert was Beethoven”s Missa Solemnis. Lang and the Cecilia Society using members of the BSO had presented the first Boston performance of this work only three years before, on March 12, 1897. (Johnson, First, p. 55) It was Gericke”s BSO that Richard Strauss called the “most marvelous in the world.” (Horowitz, p. 75) In 1906 “Gericke announced he would not come back the following fall.” (Ibid)

Germania Orchestra. In 1848 a group of young musicians in New York who had recently emigrated from Europe organized themselves into an orchestra, but they made Boston their headquarters and chose Carl Lenschow as their first conductor. “They were young men, friends, who had been drawn together in a little social orchestra in Berlin. This was in 1848, the year of social revolution. By much playing together they had grown expert in the interpretation, or at least the expressive outlining, of the master compositions; they were at home in Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Spohr, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Gade, and even Liszt, Berlioz, and Wagner.” (Dwight, History of Boston, p. 429) “They made their first appearance in Boston April 14, 1849, where they gave twenty-two concerts in the Melodeon in six weeks. The effect was magical. The Midsummer Night”s Dream Overture had to be repeated thirty-nine times, such was the exquiste precision, delicacy, and poetic beauty of the reading. Yet they only numbered twenty-three musicians; they had but pairs of violins, violas, basses, as of reeds and flutes, and but a single violincello… In three winter seasons they performed here nearly all the great orchestral compositions. In one season they gave more than twenty concerts, besides filling the Music Hall, mostly with young ladies, by their public afternoon rehearsals.” (Dwight, History of Boston, p. 430) “When in 1850 their conductor, Carl Lenschow, chose to remain in Baltimore to head the Gesangverein, Carl Bergmann, then a cellist with the orchestra took his place… Under Bergmann [then in his late twenties], the Germania Society acquired a more dynamic approach to interpretation, as well as a braver repertoire. Bergmann championed Wagner and Liszt. He also programmed quantities of beethoven and mendelssohn. Eventually the germanians gave over nine hundred concerts in the United States.” (Horowitz, Wagner, p. 39) “In 1850 the orchestra consisted of twenty-three musicians, with Carl Bergmann at its head. Among the band was a tall young flute-player, named Carl Zerrahn, who subsequently was made director. This orchestra may be called the first organization which gave satisfactory performances of the great symphonies in America. The orchestra soon grew to fifty members and even the greatest works, Beethoven”s Ninth Symphony for example, were interpreted. The Germania dissolved in 1854; in five seasons it had given nearly ninety concerts in Boston and had made a succession of tours to New York and to other cities, giving Americans the first true model of orchestral work in the classical forms.” (Elson, National, p. 289 and 290). But “in 1853 the Germania”s Boston premier of Beethoven”s Ninth drew over three thousand listeners. Overflowing audiences, with others turned away, were excited reported in Dwight”s Journal.” (Horowitz, p. 31)

“In the eighty or ninety concerts which they gave here [Boston], the little orchestra was sometimes doubled by the addition of the best resident musicians. In the United States the Germania gave over seven hundred orchestral concrts, besides about one hundred concerts of chamber music, sonatas, trios, quartets, etc.” (Dwight, History of Boston, p. 430) “Most of its members would remain in the Boston area and generate other important musical endeavors. For a few tantalizing years [1848-1854], these Germans had given Bostonians a sample of what it was like to have a truly competent resident group of players entertain them with the finest in musical literature.” (Tara, PSALM, pp. 96 and 97) Their first flute player, Carl Zerrahn “immediately after the dissolution of the Germania in 1855, established the Philharmonic Orchestra with fifty-four men. He and the orchestra would continue to give regular concerts until 1863, when the Civil War forced a stoppage.” (Ryan, p. 97) “In New York, Carl Bergmann, an incipient Wagnerite, was made conductor of the Philharmonic.” (Horowitz, p. 31)

Globe, Boston. See Newspapers.

Seating diagram from BOSTON MANUAL of 1888 showing the 1874 building. Johnston Collection.

Globe Theater. Site of B. J.”s chamber music concerts in 1872. Opened in 1867 as Selwyn”s Theatre, its “entrance at 364 Washington Street, a lobby ran 93 feet back to a 68-foot-wide auditorium rear. To the left was the parquet floor, with its circle slightly raised, and six boxes in the rear. Above were stacked two balconies called dress and family circle, while six boxes fronted the proscenium. Walls were blue-paneled on an amber background. Parquet seats were covered in crimson satin, while upper seats were done in Bismark damask. Some 50 feet above was a dome beautifully frescoed with panels of amber, blue and scrollwork of the Muses, and in its center blazed a gas burning Frink”s reflector chandelier, producing light and ventilation. The heat from these huge gas chandeliers was vented by a shaft to the roof, pulling fresh air into the auditorium from various outside vents, doors and windows. Selwyn”s proscenium arch was 36 feet square, its stage 65 feet deep and 63 feet wide. The new theatre boasted 118 sunken footlights, having three color reflectors of white, red, and green; 196 border lights hung above the stage. All of the gas lamps were controlled from the prompter”s desk. Architect B. F. Dwight provided an iron roof, brick division walls, and ample ingress and egress; a second entrance from Essex Street to parquet rear was 12 feet wide by 60 feet long” (King, p, 56) In 1870 this theatre was sold to Arthur Cheney who changed its name to the Globe Theatre. (Ibid, p. 59) On May 30, 1873 this building was destroyed by fire, but “plans were immediately drawn for a larger and finer replacement.” (Ibid, p. 60) “The new Globe Theatre opened on December 4, 1874… The new Globe was larger than its predecessor: its parquet was 74 feet long by 72 1/2 feet wide, and height to the dome was 65 feet. The house used an innovation in seating arrangements: a row of boxes separated the first balcony from the second, and a family circle was above the latter. Capacity was 825 in the parquet, 475 in the balcony, 650 in the second balcony and family for a total seating of 2,180.” (King, p. 63)

Gluth, Victor. Teacher and composer; (b. Pilsen, May 6, 1852). Teacher at the Kgl. Akademie der Tonkunst in Munich. Has composed the operas Der Trentajager (Munich, 1885; rewritten, Munich, 1911), Hornad und Hilde (prod. Munich); Et Resurrexit (not yet produced). Address: Schackstrasse 6, Munich, Germany. (Entry from Saerchinger, p. 227) Gluth would have been in his early thirties when Margaret studied with him.



Page from a Musical Biographical Dictionary. Johnston Collection.

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau. “He died worn out by excessive exertion.” Amy Fay wrote: “I was dreadfully sorry to hear of poor Gottschalk”s death. He had a golden touch, and equal to any in the world, I think. But what a romantic way to die!-to fall senseless at his instrument, while he was playing La Morte. It was very strange. If anything more is in the papers about him you must send it to me, for the infatuation that I and 99,999 other American girls once felt for him, still lingers in my breast!” (Fay, p. 42) b. New Orleans, La., May 8, 1829; d. Rio de Janeiro, December 18, 1869. “The eldest of seven children. His father, Edward Gottschalk, was a wealthy and cultured English broker born in London, but not of Jewish ancestry, as has been generally stated. He emigrated to America at the age of 25 and settled in New Orleans where he married Aimee Marie de Brusle, a Creole of rare charm and beauty… Her family., of noble French lineage, had migrated from the island of Santo Domingo, where her grandfather had been governor of the northern province.” (Dic. Am. Bio. pp. 441 and 442) He studied in Paris 1841-46, and after his brilliant debut in Paris in 1845, he played concerts throughout Europe. “His triumphs were repeated in the U. S. beginning in New Orleans, he traversed the length and breadth of the land, playing his own pf.-works, and conducting his orchestral works at grand festivals.” (Baker, p. 226) “On 2 April 1845, shortly before his 16th. birthday, he gave a highly successful recital in the Salle Pleyel at which Chopin predicted that the young man would become ”the king of pianists”… Gottschalk made his formal debut as a professional pianist in the Salle Pleyel on 17 April 1849, in a recital including a group of his ”Creole” compositions, then the rage of Paris… During the summer of 1850 he toured Switzerland and the French provinces with spectacular success… Later in 1851 he decided to try his luck in Spain where he quickly won the enthusiastic approval of Isabella II.” (New Am. Grove, p. 262) “On his return to Paris in 1852 [he] created a genuine furore by his unexampled performances on the piano, both his own compositions and those of the great masters. On his leaving for New York early in 1853, Berlioz wrote of him, Feb. 4 of that year: ”Gottschalk is one of the very small number who possess all the different elements of a consummate pianist-all the faculties which surround him with an irresistible prestige, and give him a sovereign power. His is an accomplished musicians – he knows just how far fancy may be indulged in expression. He knows the limits beyond which any liberties taken with the rhythm produce only confusion and discord, and upon these limits he never encroaches. There is an exquisite grace in his manner of phrasing sweet melodies and throwing off light touches from the higher keys. The boldness and brilliancy and originality of his play at once dazzle and astonish… thus the success of M. Gottschalk before an audience of musical cultivation is immense.”” (Mathews, pp. 637 and 638) “He gave his first American concert at Niblo”s on February 11, 1853, and met with a flattering reception. In October of that year he gave a concert in the Music Hall, Boston, but was coldly received, and met with unfair treatment from the critics, who at that time could see nothing of merit that was not of German origin.” (Mathews, p. 638) “Although he was unfavorably received in Boston, his playing was so popular in New York that in the winter of 1855-56 he gave eighty concerts there (Dic. Am. Bio., p. 442). From 1853 until 1856 he toured America with a “long interlude in Cuba (1854),” but on February 7, 1857 he sailed to Havana with the young Adelina Patti. For the next five years he traveled all over the Caribbean area and South America returning to America in February of 1862. “In four and a half months Gottschalk traveled 15,000 miles by rail and gave 85 recitals, a brutal pace which he maintained for more than three years. By the time he arrived in California for a far-western tour in April 1865, he estimated that he had given some 1,100 American recitals and traveled some 95,000 miles.” (New Am. Grove, p. 262) In September 1865 an affair with a young student forced him to flee to South America-he never returned to America.

“As a pianist, he was one of the greatest of his period; he was decidedly the best American performer. He had a brilliant technique and an appealing quality of tone, tinged with deep melancholy. Undoubtedly his fascinating performance of his own compositions, which he always featured, contributed greatly to their popularity. Though he was a notable interpreter of Beethoven, he seldom performed this master”s works, choosing to please rather than to educate an unsophisticated public. He was endowed with a most lovable personality. He was modest and generous almost to extravagance, and possessed an ingratiating presence. Like his father, he was a proficient linguist, speaking five languages fluently. Though English was his mother tongue, he thought and wrote in French and nearly all of his compositions bore French titles” (Dic. Am. Bio., p. 442).

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Johnston collection.

Johnston collection.

Winslow, facing p. 34.

Hale, Edward Everett. Born Apr. 3, 1822 and died June 10, 1909. He “was born in Boston, the fourth of his parents” eight children, and died, at eighty-seven, in the house, in the Roxbury district of Boston, in which he had lived for forty years.” (Dic Am Biog., p. 99) “He was no prodigy, but was warmly sandwiched between six brothers and sisters; having the middle place, he was protected from those external influences which may affect the oldest or the youngest, protected, yet set in keen competition with a bright family, and having to keep his end up or go under.” (Winslow, p. 84) His father bought the Boston Daily Advertiser in 1814 and was the editor for nearly fifty years. E. E. entered Harvard at the age of thirteen and graduated aged seventeen in 1839, second in his class. “It was always taken for granted that he would enter the Unitarian ministry,” (Ibid) but first he taught at Boston Latin School while studying theology “under private guidance.” In “April 1846 [he] was ordained minister of the Church of the Unity in Worcester, Mass. Ten years later he became minister of the South Congregational Church in Boston?his only other parish for the forty-three ensuing years through which he was to continue his active ministry,” (Ibid) In a June 1857 issue of the Boston Transcript this church was described as “the centre of Boston bourgeois society.” (Chamberlin, p. 119) Hale”s “literary work has been stupendous, reaching to fifty volumes, and ten times fifty volumes in uncollected articles, studies, and sermons. He has caught the popular fancy, as few purely literary men have done, with ”My Double, and How He Undid Me” and ”The Man Without a Country.”” (Winslow. Pp. 37 and 38)

Hale, Irene (Baumgras). “American composer; born at Syracuse, New York. Studied piano at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, taking the Springer gold medal in 1881. Later studied in Berlin under Moskowski and Oscar Raif. Was married in Berlin, in 1884, to Philip Hale, the distinguished Boston musical critic. Her health was undermined and she was obliged to give up her wok. After her marriage she became a resident of Boston, and has produced a number of songs and piano works, the latter under the pseudonym of Victor Rene.” Green, p. 343)

Hale, Philip. Born in Norwich, Vermont in Mar. 5, 1854 to a family that had first arrived in Massachusetts in 1638 (“eighth in line of descent from Thomas Hale,” Horowitz, p. 63), he was organist at the Unitarian church in Northampton, Mass. at fourteen, studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, “where he also had a private tutor,” (Ibid, p. 63) and then graduated from Yale in 1876. After graduation studied organ with Dudley Buck; then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1880; practiced for two years in Albany; then spent five years in Dresden and Berlin studying music followed by a time in Paris with Guilmant; returned to Albany in 1887 for two years where he began writing music criticism; fall of 1889 went as director of music to the First Unitarian Church of Roxbury, MA (where he stayed for 17 years)[Church of the First Religious Society, Roxbury (Universalist)] and while there did criticism to supplement his income. (NAT BIO., p. 462) Grant adds that his piano study was with Xavier Scharwenka, and that his study with Rheinberger and Guilmant was in the area of composition (Grant, p. 74). “Hale early acquired a formidable breadth of learning, lightly worn. The breezy aplomb of his worldly prose set him apart from other Boston writers.” (Horowitz, p. 63)

“In the summer of 1884, while studying in Berlin, he was married to Irene Baumgras of Washington, D. C.” (DIC. AM. BIOG., p. 369)

“A man of the world, good-natured and affable, full of wisdom, love of life and social graces was Philip Hale, music and dramatic editor of the Boston Herald from 1903 until his death, November 30, 1934… Hale, who looked like a noble old Roman in his latter years, was born in Norwich, Vt. He could have become a professor at his alma mater, Yale, but all he asked of life was to let him remain a newspaperman. Symphony lovers will always remember him as a music critic in the flesh, with a flowing bow tie of red or black, sitting in his accustomed seat in the third row, right, second balcony, Symphony Hall… The busy Mr. Hale found time to edit his own humorous Herald column, “As The World Wags,” and to write editorials on any subject, with delightful obscurities raked out of his fertile mind as illustrations. In the course of his comic sallies, Philip Hale invented a foil for himself called Herkimer Johnson, the Clamport philosopher. To many, Herkimer, with his preposterous dissertations, seemed as real as Philip Hale. And the latter was as close to genius as any man in the history of Boston journalism… He died at 80.” (Herald article on the BSO, December 15, 1940)

His fellow critic Huneker “bestowed the ultimate accolade ”an artist in prose.” (Grant, p. 74) Lawrence Gilman, music critic of the New York Herald Tribune wrote of Hale: “He never hesitated to lighten musical instruction with diversion and with wit,” while Grant wrote that “A dry understated humor was a steady weapon in Hale”s armamentarium,” and that “his acidic tendencies were feared by musicians.” (Grant, p. 78)

Hale was organist of the Albany, N. Y, Unitarian Church in 1889. He gave a recital on January 28, 1889 that included Fugue in G Minor by Guilmant which had been dedicated to Hale. (Hale Crits., Vol. 1)

“Philip Hale is another eminent eastern critic. From 1889 to 1891 he was musical critic of the Boston Home Journal. In 1890 he accepted a position as critic for the Boston Post, and in 1891 went to the Boston Journal in the same capacity (he remained with the Journal for 12 years and resigned in May 1903 to take a position on the staff of the Boston Herald, to which he contributed, besides musical criticism and editorials, a special column on ”Men and Things.” Since 1908 he has had charge of both music and drama for the Herald.”(NAT. BIO., p. 462) Grant stated that, “Settling in Boston, Hale started writing music reviews for the Boston Post in 1890 and the next year moved to the Boston Journal, where he quickly became a colorful presence, writing not only music criticism but also a daily column called ”Talk of the Town,” that covered a broad human canvas. When in 1903 he moved over to the rival Herald, he wrote a similar column titled ”As the World Wags,” which retailed the exploits of such fictitious characters as Herkimer Johnson… and Halliday Witherspoon, a pseudonymous travel correspondent. He also for a few years in the 1890s wrote for the Musical Courier, edited the Boston Musical Record, and was music and drama critic for thirty years for the Herald (1903-1933).” (Grant, pp. 74 and 75) “Since 1897 he has been editor of the Boston Musical Record and was for some years correspondent of the Musical Courier. He has lectured throughout the country on musical subjects. Mr. Hale is known as one of the most brilliant and forceful writers in the interest of music connected with the American press. His articles are fair and judicious and also tinged with unique humor.” (Hubbard-p. 305) Saerchinger (p. 252) adds dates for the Boston Musical Record of 1897-1901 and editorship of The Musical World of 1901-1903, and mentions that Hale began writing the program notes for the Boston Symphony Program Books in 1901.

The NAT. BIO. entry states “Mr. Hale is one of a small group of brilliant writers identified with musical criticism in America who command respect quite as much for the literary quality of their work as for their special knowledge upon which their observation and verdicts are based. He is conspicuous among critics by reason of his pronounced individuality and he extended range of his information. His influence on musical art bids fair to be as permanent as that of any of his contemporaries in criticism, because the force and pungent flavor of his utterance fix them in the memory, and because, beneath the wit that illuminates his dicta, and beneath the occasional outbursts of contempt for mediocrity and humbug, there is manifest devotion to the high ideals that should, and often does, stimulate those who write temporarily under his lashing to stern endeavor toward improvement.” (Nat. Bio., p.463) Johnson wrote: “After 1889 Philip Hale was on hand to touch with surest wit and perceptiveness every musical and theatrical event. Trained in Germany, he also studied with Guilmant in Paris and lived there during an exciting period of artistic Impressionism. Hale”s writing was accurate, learned, brilliant in expression and lively in satire and humor.” (Johnson, HALLELUJAH, p. 160) Leichtentritt noted Hale among the early writers of the “Historical and Descriptive” notes in the BSO programs. “During the season of 1890-91 and a part of 1891-92 [these notes] were written by G. H. Wilson. On December 18, 1891, his name vanished and that of Philip Hale, destined to become the most famous of the Boston commentators appeared for the first time. From January 1892 to the end of the season, however, no author is given at all. Is Hale hidden behind the anonymity? In the two seasons of 1892-94 William F. Apthorp wrote the notes.” (Leichtentritt, p. 367) These seasons included Margaret”s April 1893 premier of Opus 12, Dramatic Overture. Apthorp was still doing the notes in 1896 as he wrote them for Margaret”s Opus 24 Armida premiered in January of that year.

From 1892 until 1903 he was the music critic of the Boston Home Journal – he also wrote a daily column entitled “The Talk of the Town.”[or “Taverner” Swan, p. 87] In May of 1903 he joined the editorial staff of the The Boston Herald began a daily column “As the World Wags.” The Langs were mentioned in both of these columns. (DIC. AM. BIOG., pp. 269 and 270) “When he moved to The Boston Herald in 1903, he was a securely established critical power in the city; however, the thirty years at the Herald were truly the years of ”Philip the Great” (or ”the Terrible,” depending upon one”s point of view). In those decades Boston could boast of two critics, Hale and Parker, with international reputations at least equal to those of the powerful New York critics of the day (Krehbiel, Finck, Henderson, Aldrich).” (Swan, p. 87) In 1878 The Boston Herald was described as “the most successful of the local papers. Its first number appeared in 1846 as an evening daily, neutral in politics. It was a small paper, issued at one cent a copy, containing four pages of five columns each. The edition was 2,000 copies.” (King, p. 145) The paper grew to morning and evening editions, and increased in copies produced so that a special edition giving the election returns in 1876 sold 223,256 copies. In 1878 the paper was located at 255 Washington Street. “It is said that The Herald presses can print more papers in any given time than the presses of all other Boston dailies combined.” (King, p. 146)

Hale was certainly a man of his own convictions. “He had no fear of the Olympian gods of music who had been placed by great critics upon heights of Parnassus. He could be derisive when he spoke of Wagner and Brahms, and in a lesser scale he could pour his scorn upon Sir Edward Elgar and others. Among his idols was Debussy.” (DIC AM. BIOG., p. 370) In the June 1, 1899 issue of the Boston Musical Record he wrote: “We heard lately in Boston the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven. The performance was technically most admirable. But is not the worship paid this Symphony mere fetishism?. Is not the famous Scherzo insufferably long-winded? The Finale is to me for the most part dull and ugly. I admit the grandeur of the passage ”und der Cherub steht vor Gott,” and the effect of ”Seid unschlungen Millionen!” But oh, the pages of stupid and hopelessly vular music. The unspeakable cheapness of the chief tune, ”Freude, Freude”! Do you believe way down in the bottom of your heart that if this music had been written by Mr. John L. Tarbox, now living in Sandown, N. H., any conductor here or in Europe could be persuaded to put it in rehearsal?” (Grant, p. 78) “A dry understated humor was a steady weapon in Hale”s armamentarium… His acidic tendencies were feared by musicians…Hale? who, persisted in waering a loose black tie on all occasions into the Roaring Twenties, looked by that time like a creature from a yester era… Hale also was far less moralistic and puritanical than his predecessor Apthorp… He was modest enough to reverse earlier negative opinions upon later hearings, as with his opinion of much Strauss… He never learned to like Brahms and is apocryphally credited with punning, when Symphony Hall was opened in Boston, that the fire exits should be marked ”Exit in case of Brahms.” (Ibid. pp. 78 and 79) He once summed up his total life”s work by saying: “Mere collections of passing opinions, citicisms that prove stale in a day-whether they be signed by Reichardt in 1792, Hanslick in the Eighties or Krehbiel in 1908 – those are tolerable neither to gods nor men.” (Ibid, p. 80)

Lawrece Gilman of the New York Herald Tribune wrote that Hale “never hestitated to lighten musical instruction with diversion and with wit. He knew much besides music; and he was able to peptonize for the reader his vast and curious erudition. He could tell you about the maceration of oriental women, and what action is described by the word ”tutupomponeyer,” and who invented the first chess-playing automaton, and how locomotives engines are classified, and what Pliny said concerning the bird called penelope… [Hale”s] amazing annotations, traversing all history and the ceaseless tragi-comedy of life, assure us that a programme note may sometimes, if an artist has contrived it, be more rewarding than the music that occasioned it. Philip Hale transformed the writing of programme notes from an arid and depressing form of musical pedagogy into an exhilarating variety of literary art.” (Grant, p. 75)

However he had his very particlular views. He “denounced the influence of Dvorak the ”negrophile.” In 1910-fully six years after Dvorak”s death-Hale was still contesting the New York view that the composer had struck an American chord. ”The negro,” he wrote, was ”not inherently musical.” His ”folk-songs” were founded on ”sentimental ballads sung by the white women of the plantation, or on camp-meeting tunes.” It would be ”absurd,” Hale concluded, ”to characterize a school of music based on such a foundation as an ”American school.”” (Horowitz)

The obit notice in Time Magazine of December 10, 1934 said: “For thirty years his shrewd scholarly criticisms made him Boston”s oracle on music and the theatre. He wore bright Windsor ties, carried a big umbrella and a green felt hat. Last week”s Symphony audience stood to show its respect for wise Philip Hale.” “He was a man of distinguished though unconventional appearance. He wore a loose black silk tie and, even in an era when the facial adornment was fast disappearing, he continued to wear a large mustache.” (DIC. AM. BIOG., P. 370) Grant”s description was: “Hale?who, persisting in wearing a loose black silk tie on all occasions into the Roaring Twenties, looked by that time like a creature from a yester era.” (Grant, pp. 78 and 79) “Hale was tall and elegantly trim; his sartorial signature was a loose black silk tie; for the opera, he always wore white tie and tails. His courtly manner was also caustic. Nothing more inflamed his pen than the influence of German music, language, and mores.” (Horowitz, p. 64)

The scholarly view of the 1980s is reflected in the following: “Hale is best known for his program notes for the Boston SO; written between 1901 and 1934, these are scholarly, witty, and ample, and became the model for American program annotators. His insistence on evaluating each work as it appeared to him, and the quotability of his negative opinions (he once said of Beethoven”s Fifth Piano Concerto that ”the finale, with the endless repetitions of a Kangaroo theme, leads one to long for the end”) have caused him to be represented as a crabbed reactionary, cringing at Brahms. In reality he was a fair-minded and forward-looking critic, one of the first American champions of Debussy and an often shrewd evaluator of later music.” (Shirley, p. 307)

Around 1900 it was written that “Hale is known as one of the most forceful and brilliant writers for the American musical press; his articles in the Looker-on, Musical Review, Music Herald, etc., are valuable contributions to musical literature, as well as being interesting for the humor they contain.” (Green, p. 343)

Comments from Eaton: “”Philip the Great,” occasionally ”Philip the Terrible,” and more intimately, ”Phil.”” Hale and Parker were opposites in many ways. Hale with private prep school, Yale, music study in Germany and Paris, professional work as an organist and choir director verses Parker with early schooling in England, Harvard, but “he was virtually a musical illiterate, unable, for example, to tell the difference between a major and minor chord and certainly lacking the ability to read notes.” Both died in 1934. Hale had retired the year before and moved, with his wife, into the “staid Hotel Vendome… This hostelry had been dubbed by the more irreverent set as ”God”s Waiting Room,” because so many of Boston”s more or less affluent elders choose it as an antechamber to Heaven.” Their writing styles were also different: “Hale used one word to his colleague”s five, yet matched him in consumed space for his more varied output.” Olin Downes, forever his disciple and later the main critic of the New York Times wrote: “If only one work could be saved from the English literature on music, we would vote for the preservation of the thirty-odd volumes of program notes which Mr. Hale has compiled.” In addition to his musical and dramatic writings, he also was “the anonymous author of a column called ”As the World Wags,” [in which] he let his fancy roam over the world… Bostonians waited eagerly for the adventures of Herkimer Johnson, an alter ego Hale created to comment on men and affairs… His humor, clean and bright, seldom curdled to satire, but he could demolish a fledgling pianist, who should never been allowed at the starting point, with four words: ”She consumed valuable time.”” Hale was offered the higher paying position at the New York Times, but he refused “believing that Boston air nourished the individualist as New York”s tended to submerge him.” Hale had a particular style of dress: “Hale”s personal badge, a flowing bow tie of either red or black, in later years occasionally enlivened by polka dots (some said depending on his charitable or uncharitable mood).” For attending the opera he wore “white tie and tails, a slim, tall figure, reminding his young assistant of a grand duke.” While H. T. Parker sat in the first row of the first balcony at Symphony Hall, usually alone, “Hale, usually accompanied by his wife, occasionally by a crony, reigned serenely a few rows behind.” All critics have their prejudices, but “Hale”s Germanophobia extended beyond Wagner even to Bach, whose music he described as ”counterpoint by the yard-you can begin anywhere and end anywhere; a sausage factory.” He was, of course, known for suggesting a sign in Symphony Hall to read: ”Exit in Case of Brahms.” Later in life he mellowed somewhat and must be credited with warm and perceptive reviews of Richard Strauss” Salome and Electra at a time when other pens dripped horror and vitriol.” Hale”s writing style was described as being an “open progression of thought and brevity of sentence. Hale”s mind clearly worked through his lean, pointed prose. ”Terse, idiomatic sentences were characteristic of the clarity of his thinking and the quick and penetrating processes of his mind,” Downes wrote after his death.” To sum it up: “Equally lofty on a pinnacle of scholarship, genuine humanity, and sheer musical competence, the proud Hale, twice honored by academia with honorary degrees, selected for a scholarship award of Sigma Delta Chi, professional journalistic fraternity, dubbed by Carl Engle, the musicologist and editor of Musical Quarterly, the ”Eaglet of Seventy” in 1924, flew banners brilliantly in to the third decade of the century.” (pp. 102-111)

Paderewski had met Hale many times, and he described Hale as “a highly educated man of great culture and he knew many things besides music. But his criticisms were sometimes – I would not say adverse, but so sardonic, in their suggestion as to be unmistakable. There was always some little personal remark. He was witty, and wit is a very dangerous weapon in a critic, and in any one practically, because witty people cannot refrain from making witty remarks, and witty remarks are not always amusing when they are a little bit ironical. There was something in me though, which always shocked him-I cannot find another word for it?and that was my hair! He apparently could never get used to it. I must confess it was always a question in my mind whether Hale was envious of my hair, or simply disturbed by the sight of it. At any rate he always had to overcome to a certain extent his feeling and his annoyance, though it often trickled through into some rather caustic remarks in his notices, which was natural enough, feeling as he did.” (Paderewski, pp. 200 and 201)

Henry Dunham, organ instructor of the New England Conservatory wrote: “we looked upon Hale as a pupil of Wolf [sic]. They were seen almost always together at the concerts and his style and even opinion seemed more or less influenced by the older man. After a few years, Wolf disappeared from the scene and Philip Hale continued on to become the famous critic he is today, and I am sure none the less so from his intimacy with B. E. Wolf.” (Dunham, p. 229)

Handel and Haydn Society. It would seem that the early 1870s were a difficult period for the group. “The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston is about played out. Its white headed members are beginning to grow famous by their squeaky, husky voices-and they ought to know it. They wouldn”t think of retiring in the background, or of admitting young voices and fresh talent into their exclusive ranks. They have grown old-fogyish in their notions, and can”t give a respectable concert without outside assistance. Their day is past; and our hopes now centre in the rising Apollo Club, from which the public is led to expect many wonderful successes.” (Folio, February 1872)


Henschel, Georg. Born February 18, 1850 in Breslau of Polish descent – “He was the only son of his mother, though there were three other children by his father”s first marriage.” (Henschel, H., p. 9) He died September 10, 1934 in Aviemore, Scotland at his holiday-home “Alltnacriche.” At the age of twelve he played the piano solo in Weber”s Concertstuck “at a new music school which his professor had just started in Berlin.” (Ibid, p. 10). In 1867, aged seventeen, he went to study at the Conservatory in Leipzig where his favorite piano teacher was Ignace Moscheles. He studied voice with Goetze whom he felt gave him “the solid foundations of a vocal structure of great simplicity, inteneded for duration rather than show.” (Ibid, p. 11) Henschel”s daughter remarked that “this instinct was fully justified, as anyone will realize who heard my father broadcast on his eighty-fourth birthday or who is familiar with the records he made just before he was eighty.” (Ibid) At about this time he met Liszt who invited him to his Weimar home. At one of Liszt”s Sunday mornings “at-home” Henschel was part of a group that included Anton Rubinstein, Carl Tausig, Hans von Bulow and Liszt. At this occasion Wagner”s Valkyrie was played from the recently published score?Henschel was then just eighteen, and it made a great impression on him. In 1870 Henschel transferred to Berlin to study at the High School of Music headed by Joseph Joachim, and Professor Schulze was his vocal teacher. “During his stay in Berlin he met Madame Schumann, the Joachims, and most of the other great musicians living there.” (Ibid, p. 13) In 1874 Henschel first met Brahms. Henschel”s first appearance in England was at “a Monday ”Pop” in St. James” Hall on February 19th., 1879, the day after his twenty-ninth birthday.” (Ibid, p. 14) First conductor of the BSO, “Henschel made a strong impression in Boston, not only as a singer and composer, but also, at a concert of the Harvard Musical Association, as a conductor. In a surprise appearance, he led the orchestra in his own Concert Overture, and even John S. Dwight was struck by ”the revelation (from the very first measures of the work) of that rara avis, a born conductor.” Higginson evidently was impressed too: that concert took place March 3, 1881; within the month he had conceived a new orchestra and engaged Henschel as its conductor.” The opera singer Clara Rogers recorded: “Georg Henschel, who had come to America in July, 1880, with his bride-elect, Lillian Bailey, offered both his and Lillian”s services as soloists for the last symphony concert of the [HMA] season, with the understanding that he should conduct an overture of his own composition. The orchestra, roused to unwonted effort by the magnetism of Henschel”s ardent and highstrung temperament, fairly outdid itself… They played with a vim and spirit as unusual and startling as the vivid tone colour displayed in their performance. Mr. Higginson was quick to recognize his man at once. No further search for a conductor was necessary.” (Rogers, Two Lives, p. 69) Henschel recorded in a letter : “I engaged the members of the orchestra, selecting them, at Mr. Higginson”s very wise suggestion, as nearly possible from those of the old Harvard Society and among other local players.” (Henschel, H. p. 31) The BSO “numbered at the outset sixty-seven musicians, and its first conductor was Mr. George Henschel, who prior to that time had been better known as a song-writer and pianist of exceptional ability. He remained as conductor until 1884. He was an ardent devotee of Beethoven. His concerts began with The Dedication of the House, and each season closed with the Ninth Symphony. All the nine symphonies were played during his administration, but his work was not confined to Beethoven, for the classical and modern composers had a fair representation on his programmes, and he gave considerable attention to American compositions. Notwithstanding his ability he did not succeed, however, and in 1884 Mr. Higginson brought Mr. Wilhelm Gericke from Vienna to take his place.” (Upton, “Musical Societies,” p. 80) “There was some criticism of the selection at first, partly because Henschel”s appointment was deemed a slight to local conductors and partly because his multiple talents aroused suspicion as to his competence in any one area, but he came to be regarded as a fine musician, if not a stern drillmaster… At Higginson”s suggestion, his first season included all the nine Beethoven symphonies played in chronological order; the Ninth was performed at the last concert of the season with a volunteer chorus of subscribers and others.” (Am Grove, p. 372) “The early days of the orchestra were not by any means peaceful. The Press, for some reason, were almost unanimous in trying to kill the new venture… Fortunately, they seem to have had no effect on public opinion.” (Henschel, H., p. 31) Henschel was “a young German singer-composer who came to the United States in 1880 to appear in concerts as soloist and in company with his fiancee, Lillian Bailey, a gifted soprano who had grown up in Boston. The couple had met in London, where Henschel was well launched on a career when Bailey arrived from studies in Paris.” (Sablosky, p.249) “While in Boston before their wedding, they performed several recitals and appeared as Mephistopheles and Gretchen in B. J. Lang”s performance of Berlioz”s La damnation de Faust (1880).” (Am. Grove, p. 372) After leaving the Boston Symphony Orchestra Henschel did return to Boston on various occasions. “Mr. and Mrs. Georg Henschel gave four vocal recitals in the Meionaon, Tremont Temple, March 21, 23, 28, 30. Only Mr. Henschel”s compositions were sung at the concert of the 30th., at which Miss Gertrude Edmands, Contralto, and Mr. G. J. Parker, tenor, assisted.” (MYB, 1888-89, p. 24)

He first appeared in England (1877) as singer; engagements during the following years included those with the Bach Choir (1878) and at London Philharmonic (1879), where he sang a duet with the American soprano Lillian June Bailey (1860-1901)(her London debut), who became his pupil and later his wife (1881). At Henschel”s “Second Vocal Recital” held at Tremont Temple on January 31, 1881, Lang and Miss Lillian Bailey were listed as assiting artists. Lang and Henschel played the Hommage a Handel by Moscheles for two pianos. Whether Henschel accompanied himself and Miss Bailey is not clear from the program. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3) At the fourth concert in the 1881-82 “Season of Mr. and Mrs. Georg Henschel”s Vocal Recitals” held at the Meionaon on Monday January 9, 1882 Lang was an assisting artist along with three other performers-two singers and a pianist (Miss Lamson, probably a Lang pupil). Lang did two solos, and he and Lamson accompanied selections from Op. 52 and 65 Liebeslieder Waltzes by Brahms. (BPL Prog., Vol. 3) Lang had also taken part in the earlier three concerts in the series. For the first on December 6, 1881 he played two solos and was probably the accompanist. For the second on December 16, 1881 he played three short solos, and for the third on December 27, 1881 he played two Bach pieces as arranged by St. Saens. (BPL Prog., Vol. 4)

After three years as a conductor of the Boston Symphony (1881-84), Henschel made his home in England, where he succeeded Jenny Lind as professor of singing at Royal College of Music (1886-88); he established London Symphony concerts; appeared in Britain and on Continent as both conductor and singer. (Sablosky, pp. 297-98) “At his final concert [with the BSO] on March 22, 1884, Henschel gave the downbeat for Schumann”s Manfred Overture only to see the entire orchestra rise and begin playing Auld Lang Syne. At this, the audience stood and proceeded to sing along. he was too much moved to speak.” (Horowitz, p. 50)

Portrait by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1879. Wikipedia article, downloaded February 28, 2010.
“Henschel at the piano of Alma-Tadema, Townshend House”

Henschel returned to Boston as a singer and composer in 1892. “A friend of Brahms and Joachim, [he] was distinguished in many fields and highly honored in London, where he had finally settled. On April 14, 1892, the Boston Symphony Orchestra performed his Opus 50, Suite from the Music to Shakespeare”s Hamlet, under his direction. In the same concert his wife, a former pupil of his, sang arias by Handel and Massenet. In March and April 1892 they gave four vocal recitals, classed among the finest of the season. At another concert Henschel”s ballad for contralto and orchestra, here Was An Ancient King, was sung; and Arthur Foote included five vocal quartets by him in his concert of April 13, 1893, in which oboe pieces and a piano suite by Foote were performed.” (Leichtentritt, p. 380)

“He brought out many of the newer compositions and revised [revived?] forgotten works of excellence. From 1893-1895 [he] conducted the Scottish Orchestra in Glasgow and gave a command performance at Windsor Castle. His compositions include a suite in canon form for stringed orchestra, the 130th. Psalm for chorus and orchestra, a serenade for chorus and orchestra, and several part-songs.” (Green, p. 370) The Cecilia Society performed his “Missa pro defunctis, composed in memory of his wife, in which he and his daughter Helen took the leading vocal parts.” (Am Grove, p. 372) Ledbetter”s list of compositions includes “two operas, a number of sacred choral works, about 20 piano pieces, and many songs and duets. Besides his book of memoirs, he published Personal Recollections of J. Brahms (1907) and Articulation in Singing (1918).” (Am. Grove, p. 372) “To do justice to Henschel”s personal character would need many words. Suffice it to say that he was a man of great physical and mental vitality, of outstanding intellect, and of notable charm and kindness.” (Musical Times, Oct. 1934, p. 895)

Lillian and Georg Henschel. Boston Symphony Archive.

Henschel, Lillian June. “1860-1901. Lillian Bailey, a gifted soprano, was born in Ohio. Her first teachers were her uncle, C. Haydn, and Mme. Rudersdorff. When but sixteen years old she made her first pubic appearance in Boston, and met with much success. In 1878 she went to Paris and became a pupil of Mme. Viardot-Garcia. It was while singing at the Philharmonic in London that she met Georg Henschel. Later she became his pupil, and in 1881 they were married in Boston. Wherever Mrs. Henschel sang she met with success; her method was excellent and her voice possessed a charm which merited the applause given her. She appeared with her husband in song recitals in most of the largest cities in America, and delighted most critical audiences, as well as the pubic at large. She died in London in 1901.” (Green, p.370) Her “first public performance” referred to above may have been a concert that she presented at the Revere House on Friday evening, April 7, 1876 where B. J. Lang was among the seven assisting artists. In this concert she only sang three songs with the majority of the concert being provided by the guest instrumentalists and vocalists (HMA Program Collection) Arthur Foote referred to this concert: “In 1876 I assisted at two of Lang”s concerts in Boston… In these concerts a wonderful young girl, Lillian Bailey, afterwards Mrs. George Henschel, made her first appearance: a lovely voice and most beautiful singing-one of the finest artists I have known. She, her mother, brother, and uncle (Charles R. Hayden), lived at the top of Hotel Pelham (where the Little Building now stands), and I was a frequent visitor, making music there with her.” (Foote, Auto., p. 44) On February 10, 1877 she presented a concert at Union Hall which was “appreciated by a large and cultivated crowd. This gifted lady, yet in her teens, shows a remarkable improvement since her first semi-private appearance a year ago. Her fresh, sweet, penetrating voice has develped into larger volume and capacity of various expression… For she has intellectual talent likewise, and seems to be prompted by a genuine musical entusiasm… Miss Bailey”s teacher, Mr. C. R. Hayden, [her uncle] to whose judicious training the young maiden bore such testimony” also sang. Lang students Sumner and Foote were the accompanists. (Dwight, March 3, 1877, p. 399) Fifteen months before Mr. C. R. Hayden had been called “one of the best tenors of our concert rooms” when he took part in the 452nd. recital of NEC. (Dwight, December 11, 1875, p. 142) In December 1877 Miss Bailey was the soloist at the Second Harvard Musical Association Orchestra Concert singing both with orchestra and piano accompaniment. Dwight wrote: “Miss Lillian Bailey, with her delicate, sweet, fresh voice, her charming naturalness of manner, and her artistic, earnest feeling and expression, sang to great accetance. She has gained much in power and style within a year, and, being very young, she will gain more. But it is already a rare treat to listen to her.” (Dwight, December 8, 1877, p. 142) A month later she presented herself in a concert that “was very agreeable and lively. The audience, which filled Union Hall, was of as select and flattering a character as a young artist could be honored with.” Her uncle also sang and Mr. Dresel was the vocal accompanist. (Dwight, February 2, 1878, p. 175) Later that spring she appeared again at Union Hall at a “testimonial concert tendered to the favorite young Soprano by the Second Church Young People”s Fraternity.” It was a great success: “Union Hall was crowded: Miss Bailey sang her best.” Again her uncle was part of the performance, and Lang served as accompanist and piano soloist playing the Nocturne in C Minor and Etude in E Flat Major by Chopin and the “Introduction and Scherzo” from the G Minor Piano Concerto by Satint-Saens. (Dwight, May 11, 1878, p. 231) In October she sang the soprano solos in Messiah for the Handel and Haydn Socity. “Miss Bailey, who sang here for the first time since her studies in Paris, and her successful career in England, took the soprano solos; and, considering her youth, and the yet juvenile though much improved quality of her voice in firmness, evenness and fullness, acquitted herself most creditably… The young lady”s tones are pure and clear as a bird, her intonation faultless, and all the exacting arias were well studied and agreeably sustained with good style and expression.” (Dwight, October 23, 1880, p. 174) A month later it was noted that she was “affianced to George Henschel. (Dwight, November 20, 1880, p. 191) Two months later Bailey and Henschel were sharing recital programs where he “splendidly played all the accompaniments.” Lang and Henschel played the Moscheles Homage a Handel, a duet for two pianos to finish their January 31, 1881 concert at the Tremont Temple. (Dwight, February 26, 1881, p. 37) Twenty-five years later, on Saturday March 13, 1901 3PM at the Association Hall, Lang and Foote repeated the St. Saens”s Variations on a Theme of Beethoven for two pianos which they had performed at Lillian”s Boston debut (which this 1901 program said had happened on March 13, 1876 “at Mr. Lang”s concert”), but this time the concert”s featured artist was Lillian and Georg Henschel”s daughter, Helen Henschel. This 1901 concert was a family affair, for part of the program was a group of duets sung by mother and daughter, accompanied by father. (BPL Lang Prog, 6665) Helen, the Henschel”s daughter, recorded the remarks of Edith Hipkins who remembered that in 1879 Georg”s London debut been “like a great wind, with his glorius voice, his flashing eyes and his splendid vitality. He was invited everywhere at once, and appeared even to be everywhere at once… As for your mother, she was too charming for words. And how jealous we all were when your father got engaged to her. That this glorious creature should be going to marry a very young and unknown singer from America seemed unbearable! But quite understandable, too. How pretty she was. So gentle and amusing. And she sang like a little bird.” (Henschel, H. p. 14)

Herald, Boston. Started in 1846. Considered in 1889 as one of “two popular newspapers, of the modern ”hustling” order,” the other being the Globe… For several years the Herald had no rival as a two-cent people”s newspaper. Its circulation was as large as its enterprise, and it had its particular field all to itself. It is a Republican-Independent paper, or as a latterly coined word expresses it?”Mugwump”.” (Grieve, p. 104)

Higginson, Major Henry Lee. After Boston Latin School, Higginson attended Harvard, but poor eyesight ended his studies there after only a few months. The next few years were spent mainly in Europe, ending in Vienna aged twenty-three, where he began a two-year period of music study. He arose each day at 6:30AM and followed a regimen of nine music lessons and two lectures per week. At the end of this intensive period he determined that he “had no special talent for music,” and returned in 1861 to Boston. (Horowitz, pp. 70 and 71) he fought in the Civil War until he was wounded in June 1863. After marrying the daughter of the Harvard anthropologist, and then having suffered several failing business projects, he was taken into his father”s banking firm. Here he made his mark and was able to “amass a sufficient fortune to undertake his true lifework. The Boston Symphony, on which he expended nearly one million dollars in deficit relief alone, was the most generous of his many philanthropies.” (Ibid, p. 72) George Henschel wrote of Mrs. Higginson: “[She], a daughter of the great scienist, Louis Agazziz, was one of a small circle of ladies who held what in France they call a ”salon,” at whose afternoon teas the representatives-resident or transitory-of art and science, music and literature, used to meet and discuss the events and questions of the day. These highly cultured women, among whom I recall with delight dear old Mrs. Julia Ward Howe… Mrs. George D. Howe, with Mrs. Bell and her sister Mrs. Pratt, Mrs. John L.?familiarly Mrs. Jack-Gardner, were the leaders of what certainly was society in the highest and best meaning of the word.” (Quoted by Tara, Foote, p. 110) Higginson died in Boston on Friday, November 14, 1919 at the age of 84. (Methuen Memorial Music Hall website, 11/26/10, p. 5)

Hill, Francis G. “The sudden death of Mr. Francis G. Hill, which occurred a week ago at his residence in Newtonville, was a painful blow to very many musical and other friends of the deceased, who, by his sweet and kindly disposition, his rare modesty, his sincere interest in Art and fellow artists, and his zeal for their success, more almost than his own, had become attached to him. Mr. Hill was among the first of Boston young men who went to Germany to study music. He returned a really accomplished pianist, but his extreme modesty, ever inclined to underrate his own abilities, kept him from public performance. As a teacher he was faithful and successful, and as a friend all who have come within his quiet sphere have valued him.” (Dwight, June 1, 1872, p. 247) The short notice in the Folio mentioned that his death “on May 24th, resulting from an overdose of chloral, will not only carry sadness to the hearts of many who knew him, but ought to serve a severe lesson to those like addicted.” (Folio, July 1872) Chloral was first discovered in 1832 by Justus von Liebig, and “Its sedative properties were first published in 1869… It was widely used recreationally and misprescribed in the late 19th. century.” (Wikipedia “Chloral hydrate,” May 7, 2010) Mixed with alcohol it becomes a “Mickey Finn,”” and “it has been speculated that it contributed to” the death of Marilyn Monroe. (Ibid) James Bond was drugged by it, and in “Russia With Love” it was used to knock out Tatiana Romanava. (Ibid) The brief notice in Dexter Smith”s noted: “In the death of Mr. Francis G. Hill, the musical profession lost a zealous worker, and his many friends parted with one whose modest worth will be held dear as long as memory shall preserve to us the remembrance of his kindly heart and open hand.” (Dexter Smith”s, July 1872, p. 154) In the spring issues of the Boston Musical Times he had advertised himself as a “Teacher of the Piano-Forte” with an address of 21 LaGrange Place. (BMT, March 24, 1860) A short notice in the Boston Musical Times listed Hill”s teachers as Dreyschock and Ch. Mayer who is described as “a modest gentleman, and a teacher of experience and ability. During the past ten years [1853-63] Mr. Hill has numbered among his pupils a large number of the most accomplished amateurs who have obtained recognition in our city; and his style as well as his thoroughness in whatever pianism he undertakes, commend him to the consideration of all who doubt as to whom they had best employ teach their children. So much testimony we bear in common justice to Mr. Hill, without his solicitation or knowledge.” (BMT, April 4, 1863, p. 22)

Homer, Louise. Soloist with the HMA Orchestra in January 1880. (Dwight, January ??, 1880, p. 4)

Homer, Sidney. “Husband of our great opera singer” was an organ pupil of George Whitefield Chadwick in the mid 1880s. (6392)

Homer, Winslow. 1936-1910. In the Portland Maine Museum of Art is a pencil sketch of Lang made in 1895. It was given to the Museum in 1991 by William D. Hamill. The card under the drawing records: “Winslow Homer shared confidences with his sister-in-law Martha, known as Mattie. Married to Homer”s brother Charles, Mattie preserved their correspondence, thus providing a glimpse at the artists”s social life at Prouts Neck, Boston, and in New York. This rare portrait is of Mattie”s great friend Benjamin Johnson Lang and, when combined with Homer”s letter to Mattie, serves as a document of the tight-knit Homer family. Lang – a prominenet Boston symphony conductor, pianist, and organist – sat for Homer on April 19, 1895, in the musician”s studio on Newbury Street in Boston. Homer sent the sketch to Mattie the following day as a token of his affection, along with a detailed letter describing the fidgety sitter.” (Portland Museum, item 1991.19.3) The Portland Museum also has a short note dated November 29, 1884 from Homer to Mrs. Lang acknowleding her invitation to him and his father.

Hopekirk, Helen. (b. Edinburgh, May 20, 1856 and d. Cambridge, MA, November 19, 1945). When Helen returned to Scotland in 1919, she was given a “silver bowl-among the donors” names engraved on that bowl was M. R. Lang, so presumably Margaret Lang and Helen Hopekirk were good friends.” (Ammer, UNSUNG, CENTURY EDITION, p. 112)

Print from the lower first page of “Harper”s Weekly”, April 13, 1867. Johnston Collection.

Clark”s Boston Blue Book 1888, p. 320.

 James Henry Stark, Stranger”s Guide to Boston, 1883. Wikipedia, August 8, 2013.

Horticultural Hall (c. 1871) “In 1865 Horticultural Hall moved again to the building at Tremont and Bromfield Streets the site of the first Boston Museum, opposite the Studio Building.” (King, p. 56-he has a photo from the 1870s provided by the BPL Print Department) “Stores were on the ground floor, and the auditorium was on the second floor. In 1882, the new Dime Museum took over the first floor.” (Ibid, p. 57) “A plan by G. J. F. Bryant and A. Gilman was adopted, the design being in accordance with that in the modern public buildings in France. The building, which is constructed of white Concord granite, fronts on Tremont Street, and covers the lot between Bramfield Street and Montgomery Place. The lower floor is devoted to stores, and the second story contains a hall 51 by 57 feet and 17 feet high, withy various apartments for the use of the Society. The third story contains a grand Exhibition Hall, 50 by 77 feet, and 26 feet high… The exterior of the building is ornamented by three large statues in white granite… The material used was white granite from Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, and it presented great difficulties in the mechanical execution.” (Harper”s Weekly, p. 1)

Houston, Miss J. E. Soprano-Was one of the assisting artists in Lang”s “Sacred Concert” given at the Music Hall in February 1864 (the organ had just been opened the November before). Lang presented solo organ pieces, and other artists included the violinist, Mr. Eichberg and the organist, Mr. Willcox. In 1861 she had been an assisting artist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club at a concert in Jamaica Plain where she was listed as a member “of the Old South choir,” and the evaluation was that she “sang two songs to great acceptance.” (Dwight, March 23, 1861, p. 415) Perhaps Lang introduced her to the Club.

Hughes, Rupert. 1872-1956. “Among the brightest of the younger writers on musical topics in America, yet not permanently attached to any of the great dailies, is Rupert Hughes. He is a Westerner, having been born in Lancaster, Missouri, January 31, 1872.” Educated in Iowa, he graduated from Western Reserve University, and began work in New York City. After his early work (c.1900) centered on American composers, he turned from “the compilation of popular volumes on music to fiction, an early example of which is Zal (1905), a study in the psychology of the concert pianist.” (Lueders, p. 145) A writer of fiction, verse, essays and criticism, he wrote a number of books on music. “Mr. Hughes is an indefatigable student of facts, yet one of the liveliest and wittiest of American authors.” (Elson, p. 327) Grant describes him as a “millionaire novelist and screenwriter who also wrote a biography of George Washington.” (Grant, pp. xx and xxi) Grant also cites him as “the only classical music critic to become millionaire and Hollywood celebrity.” (Grant, p. 208) He began “as a quiet journeyman classical music critic and appreciation book writer. He ended up the author of fifty books of fiction and nonfiction (one of which helped influence the creation of the observance of Mother”s Day); prolific screenwriter; silent movie director whose films are even today generating a cult among cinephiles; soldier under Pershing in the 1916 Mexican expedition to catch Pancho Villa; radio commentator; controversial George Washington biographer; publicly declared agnostic; and Hollywood chum of the stars. He was also the uncle of billionaire Howard Hughes, but Uncle Rupert earned his own fortune, thank you.” (Grant, p. 208) As a writer, “So far ahead of his time was he that he even included a chapter on ”Women Composers” in his 1900 book on composers; Hughes was a staunch advocate of women”s rights in those suffragist days.” (Grant, p. 209)

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Ipsem, Mrs. L. S. Wife of the designer of the programs for the Apollo Club, she performed as a singer with Lang in various concerts in the mid-1870s. She would often include a group of Norwegian songs. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 2)

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Jaell, Alfred. Born Trieste-March 5, 1832 and died in Paris-February 27, 1882. “Began his career [1843] at eleven years old as a prodigy, and seems to have acquired his great skill by constant performance in public.” In 1844 [aged 12] “he was taken to Moscheles, who called him a Wunderknabe.” (Lahee, p. 144) After his debut in Venice, he then appeared in Vienna in 1844, and in Brussels 1845-46. After the French Revolution in 1848, “he went to America for some years. In 1854 he returned to Europe. In 1862 he played at the Musical Union in London… from that time he played frequently in England… Her always showed himself anxious to bring forward new compositions; and played the concertos of Brahms and of Raff at the Philharmonic, at a time when they were unknown to that audience.” (Grove-Dictionary-1921, p. 524) Lahee notes “the revolution of 1848 appears to have been of direct benefit musically to the United States, for many excellent musicians sought these shores and made America their permanent home. Others merely remained until the difficulties had passed, and Jaell was one of those who found the United States a resort convenient and lucrative for a time. He is described by one who heard him in the sixties as a short, rotund man, with a countenance beaming with good humour, and, in spite of his unwieldiness, full of life and energy. A drawback to his playing was the constant staccato of short fat hands, which made legato, such as was common in the playing of Henselt, Thalberg, and Liszt, impossible to him. But his tone was round, full, yet sweet and penetrating – the very biggest, fullest pianoforte tone to be heard at the time. Jaell married in 1866 Mademoiselle Marie Trautman, also a distinguished pianist.” (Lahee, p. 144) Baker, BIO. DIC. p. 293 adds: Pupil for violin and piano of his father, Eduard J.; pianistic debut at Venice, 1843, after which time his almost continual concert-tours earned him the title of “le pianiste-voyageur.” From 1852-54 he traveled in America; after this he made Paris, Brussels, or Leipzig his temporary home… He was made court-pianist to the King of Hanover in 1856. His playing was remarkable rather for suave elegance and refinement than forceful energy… He wrote many extremely effective transcriptions from Wagner, Schumann, Mendelssohn, etc. (Baker BIO DIC. p. 293) The Chicago critic George P. Upton described Jaell as “a showy, brilliant player in the Thalberg manner, and a charming, likeable man, whose greatest delight, moved perhaps like von Bulow, by sense of rhythm, was to beat the bass drum when the Germania drummer had a night off.” (Upton, p. 83) While in Boston he was an assisting artist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club. (Dowell, p. 39) Alfred Jaell, a virtuoso whose highest honor in life, perhaps, was the offer once made him to become director of the Leipzig Conservatory. (Boston Transcript, Apr. 5, 1909) Lang had probably heard Jaell who had been the soloist in the Boston premier of Mendelssohn”s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 40 with the Germania Musical Society at the Melodeon Theatre on February 19, 1852 conducted by Carl Bergmann. Early in 1853 Dwight wrote: “Alfred Jaell is now, we suppose, generally acknowledged the foremost pianist who has visited this country. Evident to any one, who once hears him play, in whatever music, is the brilliancy of his touch, the liquid purity and smoothness and consummate finish of his passages, the well-conceived, clear, elegant rendering of the whole piece, with just regard to light and shade and fair proportion, and full bringing out of every point, and above all, the happy certainty and ease with which he does it… He certainly possesses the genius of execution. It is not any possible method or amount of practice that could place another by his side, unless equally gifted… In the two winters he has spent in Boston, he has interpreted to us a pretty long list of compositions of the nobler masters… [Describing his performance of the Symphony Concerto by Littolf Dwight noted] It was Jaell”s crowning triumph in the way of execution; octave passages of incredible rapidity, lightening-like leaps from bass to treble, and all sorts of difficulties were achieved, with only a little more air of determined concentration, but with his usual success… Mr. Jaell”s audience, though the Music Hall had capacity for many more, was very large – at least fifteen hundred persons – which proved the high estimation in which he is held, seeing that he can be heard at every Wednesday afternoon rehearsal of the Germanians for an almost nominal price.” (Dwight, January 22, 1853, pp. 124 and 125) In June 1861 it was reported: “Alfred Jaell, the young pet, some years ago, of our whole public, young and old, the caressed of the young ladies, the feted of the young men, has taken a position in Europe which his early abilities promised. he has been giving concerts in Paris during the last winter, and the best journals of the city speak warmly of his powers… It seems that Jaell has all the versatility which characterized him in this country, when he would go from a Chopin concerto to his own concert polkas, and thence to a Beethoven sonata with equal power and beauty in all… We are pleased to record all this, for Alfred Jaell has always remained in our memory and affections as among the very noblest of the pianists who have visited this country.” (BMT, June 15, 1861, p. 133) Six months later the same newspaper reported: “Alfred Jaell is at Zurich. After making a professional tour through Switzerland, he will proceed to Northern Germany, and give concerts in Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden , Leipzig, etc. The papers don”t add that he will go to America next. The papers may be right in not doing so. We only wish they were not. What a treat it would be to hear the dapper little pianist once more.” (BMT, December 28, 1861, p. 243) Under “Musical Gossip” the Boston Musical Times reported that: “Mr. Aldred Jaell, formerly a distinguished teacher of the piano in this city, has recently given a brilliant concert in London, which, the World says, netted him a large amount of money. Mr. Jaell is as popular as he is able.” (BMT, October 1, 1864, p. 147) In 1866 Jaell was married was married to Mlle. Marie Trautmann. “A wedding like this has happy auspices. Not only is the prospective bridegroom a pianist of incontestable and universal ability, but the lady is a brilliant executant on the same instrument, such as the present day has rarely witnessed.” (BMT, September 8, 1866, p. 3) Unfortuneately Jaell died “quite suddenly in 1882, aged only 49, leaving Marie a 35-year old widow.” (Wikipedia, March 9, 2009)

Jenks, Francis H. Assistant to Apthorp at the Boston Transcript from 1881 whose function was to do “the regular and constructive work of the department, and indeed everything that Mr. Apthorp did not chose to take in hand.” (Chamberlin, p. 206)

Johns, Clayton. See another photo in “Lang”s Social Circuit.”


Pratt, AMERICAN MUSIC AND MUSICIANS, 1920, p. facing 258.

Mathews, p. 125.

Joseffy, Raphael. 1852[or 1853]-1915. “Born in 1852, at Muskolcz, Hungary. He first studied under Moscheles at Leipsic and then under Thalberg. Dilligent application combined with a great degree of natural talent ensured him rapid progress, and he soon began to astonish the people of Vienna with his wonderful playing… Two or three years ago (1879 or 1880) he came to this country, and has regularly appeared in the principal cities of the Union with great success. As a player he has a marvelous technique, noted not only for brilliancy but also for softness and elasticity.” (Jones, p. 80) More details were provided in 1981: “The son of a rabbi, Joseffy began his studies in Budapest with Brauer, who had been the teacher of Stephen Heller. When he was fourteen he entered the Leipzig Conservatory, where he had lessons with Reinecke and Moscheles, followed by two years of study with Tausig in Berlin. He was a pupil of Liszt in the summers of 1870 and 1871.” (Ibid, pp. 179 and 180) “His technique. while equal to every possible demand of modern pianoforte composers, is nevertheless remarkable chiefly for its delicacy and finish. For this reason it has been frequently denied of him, by critics, that he possesses anything of the fire of artistic genius; this, however, is entirely unjust. Many of his interpretations are masterly, and notwithstanding the delicacy of his playing, at times he calls out the entire force of the Steinway pianos, upon which he invariably plays… In person Mr. Joseffy is short, inclining to stoutness. His manners are singularly quiet, but he is witty and, upon occasion, very sarcastic,” (Mathews, p. 126) The Chicago critic George P. Upton described Joseffy as “a most graceful, polished player, who was a great favorite for many years.” (Upton, p. 83) Lang conducted the orchestra for three performances of a concert featuring Joseffy, “The Piano Virtuoso” at Horticultural Hall on Thursday evening October 30, Friday Evening October 31 and Saturday Matinee November 1, 1879. Dwight wrote: “On the first evening Joseffy was accompanied in two pieces by a very small but select orchestra, under the able direction of Mr. B. J. Lang.” (Dwight, November 8, 1879, p. 182) There were two orchestral selections-an opening overture, Prometheus by Beethoven and the “Allegro” from the Italian Symphony by Mendelssohn. Joseffy played three solos and was the soloist in Chopin”s Concerto in E Minor and the concert ended with Liszt”s Hungarian Fantasie. “The two purely orchestral selections were nicely suited to the occasion, and were played with spirit and refinement, as was also the long and pregnant introduction to the Chopin Concerto. A very few bars sufficed to convince the audience of the marvelous touch of the pianist, as well as of a perfect technique… Indeed, we dare not say that we have ever heard in any artists (Rubinstein, Von Bulow, Essipoff, included) a more near approach to absolute perfection in every element of technique and execution… That concert was a fresh sensation and surprise, even to old concert-goers. The result of it was the general feeling that here is a man who unites all the qualities of a complete pianist, with no weakness, no flaw anywhere.” (Ibid) Tickets, from A. P. Schmidt 146 Tremont Street were $1 with reserved seats for an additional 50 cents. (BPL Lang Prog., 6562) Lang assisted Joseffy in St. Saens Variations on a Theme by Beethoven on Saturday afternoon, May 22, 1880 at 2:30PM at the Music Hall. The rest of the concert was solo material. This was advertised as Joseffy”s “Farewell Paino Concert (Positively his last appearance in Boston), and tickets were $1 with reserved seats 25 cents extra, available from the Music Hall. (BPL Lang Prog., 6572) However in 1882 he did three concerts in Boston (the second with orchestra conducted by Zerrahn) which were also advertised as “his last appearance in Boston.” (BPL Music Hall Prog., Vol. 3) Joseffy was born in Hungary, July 3, 1853; sent as a child to be a pupil of Moscheles and then “to the greater Tausig;” debut in Vienna followed by concert tours around the world; came to America in 1879; “for over five years [1879-1884] he disappeared from the concert platform, studying most zealously during that time; then a new Joseffy came back, – an earnest and powerful musician who strove for the best in art, not for immediate success. He has given his best work to America. As a teacher (in the National Conservatory of New York)[1888-1904], Joseffy has done much for piano playing with us.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus, p. 289) “Of all Liszt”s pupils, Sauer and Joseffy were the most refined, and also the most concerned with presenting Chopin”s style without unnecessay subjectivism.” (Methuen-Campbell, p. 52) “I incline to the view that of all Liszt”s pupils, the Chopin of Sauer, Joseffy and Rosenthal was probably the most convincing and natural. The three of them played a vast cross-section of Chopin”s works and they appear to have grasped something of the essence of Liszt”s genius as a pianist?this genius was the ability to re-create a piece anew at each performance.” (Ibid, p. 58) Although Joseffy did make occasional appearances, he was an exceptionally shy man, who cared very little for the applause of an audience. Once his playing had reached maturity, it was beyond criticism. Albert Parsons, an American who had studied with Tausig at the same time, contrasted Joseffy”s playing with that of their teacher as being ”like the multi-coloured mist that encircles a mighty mountain; but beautiful.” James Huneker, who was his assistant for ten years… believed that Joseffy”s playing had greater intellect and greater brilliance than that of Anton Ruinstein.” (Ibid, p. 180)

Journal, Boston. Started in 1833. “Since 1860 it has been published from 264 Washington Street… In many respects an excellently edited paper… Its features are all arranged in departments… and it corresponds to its constituency, which is largely made up of systematic merchants and families of the old school… It still [1889] adheres to the old four page ”blanket sheet” form, with a supplement when an overflow of matter calls for it…It publishes morning and evening editions.” (Grieve, pp. 103 and 104) “It has attained a firm foothold among thrifty middle-class Republicans; its special strongholds being in Maine, New Hampshire, and the country towns of Massachusetts… It aims to secure full, prompt, and reliable intelligence from all quarters of the world. The local news columns are full and fresh, there being a large and active staff of reporters. No attempt is made at fine writing; and the paper has a practical, business-like tone, which is suited to the tastes of its constituency. The Journal is a large folio sheet, and sells for 3 cents a copy.” (King, p. 148)

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Elson, “Musical Boston,” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection

Kreissmann, August. 1823-1879. “Born in 1823 at Frankenhausen, Germany. He studied singing at Dresden, Vienna, and Milan, and about 1849 came to the United States, settling in Boston… His singing was expressive and intelligent, and his voice, a tenor, full, sweet and sympathetic. On account of failing health, he returned to Germany in 1876, and died at Gera, March 12, 1879. He was of a kindly nature, and highly esteemed by all who knew him.” (Jones, p. 83) Director of the “Orpheus Musical Society” c. 1864-1870s. (BPL Music Hall Prog., Vol. 4) “There was also a German society, the Orpheus (male chorus), which, at the time when Kreissmann was the conductor, enjoyed quite a good reputation.” (Ritter, p. 393) On June 13, 1879 the Orpheus Society held a memorial service at their club rooms in memory of their first conductor. One of the members, F. H. Underwood gave a detailed address of over four columns when it was printed by Dwight. Underwood noted that Kreissmann became friendly with Boston”s leading musical families: “The Chickerings, in particular, were his ardent supporters; and the Dwights, Schlesingers, Dressels, Uphams, Apthorps, Lorings, and many more, were constant and devoted to him… Boston was his heart”s home…He was largely occupied with church music… For a considerable period, he led the choir at the Rev. Edward E. Hale”s church. This situation he resigned on account of ill health. Subsequently he sang at St. Mark”s, and later at Brookline.” He specialized in conducting male voice choirs. In 1854, all the eligible members [of previous groups] were brought together under the name of Orpheus… The Orpheus was the first among societies of the kind in America. Now every city boasts its club, all modeled after their prototype. Kreissmann was leader and the first tenor.” Underwood mentioned that the success of later groups such as the Apollo Club was due in part to the pioneering work done by Kreissmann. (Dwight, August 2, 1879, pp. 123 and 124)

Kneisel Quartet. During their 1886-86 Season at Chickering Hall Lang played the first Boston performance of the Brahms Horn Trio Opus 40. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 5) Then on Monday December 17, 1888 he played the Rubinstein Trio Opus 52 for piano, Violin and Cello. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 5) Helen Henschel described the members of the group: “Kneisel himself, leader of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, was a sensitive and charming person; Otto Roth, the second violin, a crazy and lovable buffoon… Otto Roth was always known to his friends as Utter Rot… Then there was Svecenski, gentle, enigmatic, very Slavonic in temperament, playing the viola like an angel; and Alwin Schroder the cellist, I think one of the finest cellists I ever heard in a quartet. He was also rather a quiet person, but crammed with humour which manifested itself in a delightful sort of deprecatory manner, and was quite irresistible… I have always envied Mr. Montgomery Sears of Boston, who in his beautiful music room, on Commonwealth Avenue, used to have the Kneisels to play to him and a dozen or so friends every Tuesday evening after dinner.” (Henschel, H., p. 67)

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Lang, Benjamin. Father of B. J. Lang. Hannah B. Lang (maiden name, Learock).

July 20, 1860 census entry: age 43; born MA; resident of Ward 5, Salem; wife Hannah B. Lang, age 42; his profession-pianoforte Dealer; one daughter at home, Harriet, born in MA, age 18; one servant, Ann McKinnon, age 23, born Nova Scotia.

June 23, 1870 Census entry: age 54; Traveling Agent; born MA; wife Hannah, age 52, born MA; living in Ward 10 of Boston; five lodgers-N. W. Osborne, no occupation, age 29 and Kate Harding, no occupation, age 53 and Herbert Harding (Kate”s son ?), no occupation, age 18 and Herbert Wesson, bookkeeper, age 23 and James Wesson, bookkeeper, age 25-all lodgers were born in MA; two domestic servants, both from Ireland-May Hurley, age 25 and Hellen Griscole, age 24. Benjamin Lang”s real estate was worth $10,500 and his personal worth was $800.

Hannah B. Lang died on September 25, 1874 from cancer, aged 57 years, 7 months at her home, 93 Waltham Street, Boston. Her birthplace was listed as Salem as were the birthplaces of her father, John Learock and her mother, Hannah. (Death Certificate)

June 10, 1880 Census entry: age 64, widower; residence at 93 Waltham St., Boston; both of parents were born in MA; mentions that he is sick with kidney trouble; occupation, Music Teacher; six boarders-Samuel Gray, married, age 52, born N. H., Ticket Agent and his wife Sarah E. Gray, age 44, born N. H. and Charles Bacon, single, age 24, born in N. Y.,Dealer in Glassware and Julia Bacon, widow (mother of Charles ?), age 55, born in MA, at home and Eliza W. Sweet, widow, age 42, born MA, at home and Clara E. Wardell, single, age 36, born MA, at home; two servants, both single-Mary Deady, age 28, born Ireland and Jane Freer, abe 26, born Prince Edward Island.

The 1885 Boston Directory lists Benjamin Lang as having a home at 93 Waltham Street, but boarding at 112 Boylston Street which was the home of Mrs. Johnson C. Burrage. (1885 Boston Directory, p. 643)

Benjamin”s Death Certificate lists the date of death as December 11, 1909, age 93, eight months after his son B. J. had died. The immediate cause of death was pneumonia, but he had been at Worcester State Hospital suffering from senile dementia for the previous twenty years. He was listed as a widower and the place of birth for his father, also a Benjamin Lang, was listed as Scotland-the place of birth of his mother was listed as unknown. His birthplace was listed as “?, ME.” (Death Certificate)

The Library of Congress has a copy of a Harvest Waltz by B. Lang published c. 1850 by Oliver Ditson. In the second section, in the relative minor, he uses the “Scottish Snap” which may be a reflection of his heritage.

Lang, Miss Alice. A vocalist who sang two operatic solos and a duet with Dr. Langmaid at a charity concert in aid of “Our Dumb Animals” held November 29, 1871 (see also Mr. Dixey) (HMA Program Collection).

Langmaid, Dr. Samuel Wood. Graduated Harvard 1859. Became member of the Harvard Musical Association in 1860 and was its President from 1902-1912. “Has during the past half-century given much of his time and much of his talent as a tenor singer in the interest of the organization. In the records of dinners, Dr. Langmaid and Arthur Foote, ”74, are frequently spoken of as having furnished delightful entertainment. Dr. Langmaid is president, also, of the Harvard Alumni Chorus.” (Darling, p. 31) “Born in Boston in 1837… Graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1864… His speciality was throat and nose troubles… He attained widespread fame as a throat specialist and many of the world”s most noted singers, and actors as well, were his patients… He was a singer of ability and sang tenor in the quartet of Trinity Church for over twenty-five years. He belonged to various musical organizations: the old-time Chickering Club, the old Parker Club, the Boylston Club, the Apollo, and the Cecilia.” (HMA Bulletin No. 11) At the annual dinner held at the Parker House on January 22, 1877 Langmaid sang Hidalgo “with splendid voice and spirit” accompanied by Lang. He was then asked for an Italian song, but he demurred and the President then said “Since we can”t have the Langmaid, let us have (what we were sure to insist on sooner or later) the Lang without the maid. Great laughter. Lang retired ”to get his music” – but failed to come back!!” (HMA Bulletin No. 10) In the 1888 “Clark”s Boston Blue Book” their address is 129 Boyston St.

Leichtentritt, Hugo. B. Poland, Jan. 1, 1874, D. Cambridge, MA, Nov. 13, 1951. Sent to America at the age of 15 where he studied liberal arts at Harvard and music with John Knowles Paine graduating with a BA in 1894. He returned to Europe for further study: music during 1894-5 in Paris and 1895-8 in Berlin at the Hochschule fur Musik, and liberal arts at the Berlin University, 1898-1901 where he received a doctorate. After teaching in Berlin until 1933, he returned to Harvard as an instructor in music until he retired in 1940. His early years in Boston would have been 1889-1894, and he recounted them in an article “Music in Boston in the ”Nineties”” published in the December 1946 issue of “More Books” which was “The Bulletin of the Boston Public Library.”

Leonhard, Hugo. d. 1879. Arrived in Boston in 1856, had studied in Leipzig; “has done much here to inspire an interest in the works of Beethoven and the other great ones, but especially of Schumann; but, alas! as it was with Schumann, so it was finally with his enthusiastic follower; his reason was beclouded, and his too short career was closed in the autumn of 1879.” (Dwight, History of Boston, p. 442) He often performed with Lang. In the spring of 1860 he advertised as a teacher in the “Boston Musical Times” with an address of his residence at No. 14 Hudson Street. (BMT, March 24, 1860) Whereas Lang often received special mention in the Boston Musical Times when he appeared as an assisting artist, in a review in that paper of the soirees given by Messrs. Kreissmann, Leonhard, and Eichberg, the pianist”s contribution was that “Mr. Leonhard has rendered efficient assistance at the piano.” (BMT, January 2, 1864, p. 21) Leonhard “often contributed to” Dwight”s “Journal of Music.” (Elson, Hist. Am. M., p. 314) In 1882 Leonhard was described by Elson as someone “whose piano playing was not of the greatest virtuosity of today, but was poetic and thoroughly artistic. He introduced the modern school of piano playing to Boston, and first planted the seed which bore such abundant fruit; that was the triumvirate which first led Boston to its eminence in the modern school of music – Dresel, Kreissmann and Leonhard, of whom the first only is alive now.” (Elson, “Musical Boston, p. 2) Leonhard was not able to play at his “Last Piano Matinee” on Friday December 1, 1876 at 3:30PM because of his Doctor”s orders, and so five of his pianist friends stepped in. The concert opened and closed with Bach Concerti for Three Pianos: the first was the Concerto in D Minor played by Lang, Perabo and Parker with Dresel playing the orchestral reduction, and the second was the Concerto in C Major played by the same personnel. Lang and Foote played the St. Saens Variations on a Theme of Beethoven for two pianos in the middle of the program, and Miss Nita Gaetano offered two groups of songs. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2)

Leschetitzky. Paderewski was his star pupil. “Since the success of Paderewski, which was phenomenal, Leschetitsky has, in a large measure, held the position which Liszt occupied in Europe, and his influence has enabled many pianists of more or less celebrity to obtain their real start in life, – but few of them have been as well prepared by life”s great lesson as Paderewski… No teacher has suffered more from misrepresentation. The ”Leschetitsky method” is talked and advertised by hundreds of his pupils who have become teachers, and each one has a different method. This can only be explained by the fact that Leschetitsky studies his pupils. He is quick to notice their deficiencies, and he applies to each some remedy for his special case. Each pupil then goes forth into the world calling that particular treatment the ”Leschetitsky method,” and applies it indiscriminately to all pupils. Leschetitsky”s method is that of common sense, and is based upon keen analytical faculties… His career as a concert pianist ended with the advent of Annette Essipoff, for whose advancement he used all his influence. That influence was exercised with equal readiness after their marriage was dissolved, and he had married Eugenie Donimierska.” (Lahee, p. 218-220)

Liebling, Mr. S. In 1877 he was listed as a teacher at the Boston Conservatory. (BPL Music Hall Prog., Vol. 1) On Friday evening March 2, 1879 at 8PM at the Union hall, Liebling and Lang performed the Boston premier of Raff”s Grand Fantasie for Two Pianos Opus 207. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2) He often included some of his own piano compositions in his recitals. In 1880 a program listed him as “Herr” S. Liebling.

Elson, “Musical Boston,” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

Listemann, Bernhard. B. August 28, 1841 in Germany, and died in Chicago, February 11, 1917. Trained as a violin soloist in Germany with David (1856-57), Vieuxtemps (1861) and Joachim (1862), came to America with his brother in 1867 – spent two years in Boston – 1871-74 was concertmaster of the Theodore Thomas orchestra, and 1881-85 concertmaster of the newly formed BSO. “In 1875-79 he was leader of the Philharmonic Club of Boston, in 1879-81 of the Philharmonic Orchestra which succeeded it, and in 1881-85 of the Listemann String Quartet, of all of which he was founder and moving spirit. In 1885-93 he taught in Boston, but also kept up tours with the Listemann Concert Company. From 1893 he worked in Chicago… Before his retirement in 1911 he once lived more for two years in Boston.” (Grove, AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT, p. 272)

Liszt, Franz. During the summer of 1873 Amy Fay had lessons with Liszt which were probably much like the lessons that B. J. had 15 years before. She describes Liszt as “the most interesting and striking looking man imaginable. Tall and slight, with deep-set eyes, shaggy eyebrows, and long iron-gray hair, which he wears parted in the middle. His mouth turns up at the corners, which gives him a most crafty and Mephistophelean expression when he smiles, and his whole appearance and manner have a sort of Jesuitical elegance and ease. His hands are very narrow, with long and slender fingers that look as if they had twice as many joints as other people”s. They are so flexible and supple that it makes you nervous to look at them… But the most extraordinary thing about Liszt is his wonderful variety of expression and the play of feature. One moment his face will look dreamy, shadowy, tragic. The next he will be insinuating, amiable, ironical, sardonic; but always the same captivating grace of manner.” (Fay, pp. 205 and 206) In May 1873 she wrote: “He gives no paid lessons whatever, as he is much too grand for that, but if one has talent enough, or pleases him, he lets one come to him and play to him. I go to him every other day, but I don”t play more than twice a week, as I cannot prepare so much, but I listen to the others. Up to this point there have been only four in the class besides myself, and I am the only new one. From four to six P.M. is the time when he receives his scholars.” (Fay, pp. 210 and 211) Fay described her lessons: “Liszt generally walks about and smokes, and mutters (he can never be said to talk), and calls upon one or other of us to play. from time to time he will sit down and play himself where a passage does not suit him, and when he is in good spirits he makes little jests all the time. His playing was a complete revelation to me, and has given me an entirely new insight into music. You cannot conceive, without hearing him, how poetic he is, or the thousand nuances that he can throw into the simplest thing, and he is equally great on all sides… You can never ask him to play anything for you, no matter how much you”re dying to hear it. if he is in the mood he will play, if not, you must content yourself with a few remarks. You cannot even offer to play yourself. You lay your notes on the table, so he can see that you want to play, and sit down. He takes a turn up and down the room, looks at the music, and if a piece interests him, he will call upon you. We bring the same piece to him but once, and but once play it through.” (Fay, pp. 219 and 220)

Little, Lena. “A socially correct and also beautiful girl of about eighteen [c. 1880] – a fine contralto… Lena Little became the second of Mrs. Gardner”s close women friends.” (Tharp, MRS. JACK, p. 112). “Miss Little is one of Mrs. Jack”s favorites and through this lady”s friendship has become the accepted concert singer for that ultra swell coterie.” (Ibid, p. 195) She appeared as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on March 21, 1891 singing an aria by Gluck and songs by Brahms, Secchi and Hiller. (Musical Year Book, 1890-91, p. 11) She also appeared often with the Handel and Haydn Society: December 20, 1891 in Messiah; April 14, 1895. (History-1911)

Pratt, American Music and Musicians, p. 272.

Loeffler, Charles Martin (1861-1935). Born Alsace, American by adoption. One of Joachim”s favorite pupils. Came to America, aged 20; spend remaining 54 years here. From1881-1903 first desk player with BSO, then composer “and recluse on his Massachusetts farm.” (Friedberg, p. 25) He “came to Boston in 1882 not as a composer but as a professional immigrant musician to be the new assistant concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra… Loeffler played in the Boston Symphony for twenty-one years. From 1883 until his retirement in 1903, he was featured each season as a soloist and was continually praised for his technique, musicality, and modern repertoire (including the introduction of many French works. His public debut as a composer did not come until November 1891, when he played his own work, Les veillees de l”Ukraine, with the BSO under Nikisch.” (Fox, Rebellious Tradition, pp. 226 and 227)

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Grove”s 1921, Vol. “M-P” facing p. 4.

MacDowell, Edward Alexander. Born in New York City December 18, 1861. “As a boy he studied the pianoforte with Juan Buitrago, a South American, and Pablo Desvernine, a Cuban, and for a brief span with Teresa Carreno, a native of Venezuela.” (Grove, 1921, p. 4) Beginning in 1876 he studied in Europe?he studied piano for three years at the Paris Conservatory, then with various teachers in Germany. He started his teaching career in Darmstadt followed by a time in Frankfort as a private teacher not attached to any music school. He gave up teaching settling in Wiesbaden for four years through 1877 where his chief work was composition. He then returned to America and “settled in Boston, taught and gave concerts, producing his two pianoforte concertos with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Boston, and the Theodore Thomas Orchestra in New York… In 1896 he was called to Columbia University in New York to fill the chair of music, a new foundation… He remained professor at the institution until January 1904, when he resigned the post because of a disagreement with the faculty touching the proper footing of music and the fine arts in the curriculum… Mr. MacDowell”s career ended in the spring of 1905, when overwork and insomnia, the consequence of morbid worry over disagreeable experiences, brought on what eminent medical specialists pronounced to be a hopeless case of cerebral collapse.” (Grove, 1921, p 4 and 5) According to Chadwick “B. J. Lang found him [MacDowell] very ”difficile” although I was sure his efforts were meant in all kindness. With me, MacD was very frank & companionable for a time. He and Mrs. often came to our house and we had many long walks, rides and talks together. Of others he was suspicious and shy. It was difficult to get him to commit himself on any subject except publishers and royalties. From [?] these he was absolutely convinced that we were all getting a raw deal. He disliked some of our friends, especially Arthur Whiting who was a bit too witty for him. He had a subtle vein of irony of his own, but he was very careful of its use among strangers.” (6442) MacDowell had rented a small house on West Cedar Street “and at once became the fashion as a piano teacher.” (Ibid) Chadwick remembered that “we would not go out among people if he could help it and was very ill at ease when he did so. It was for this reason that he resented Lang”s good offices. He [Lang] tried to ”arrange” functions for him and MacD thought he wanted to pose as his discoverer. MacD really had B. J. to thank for his start for he produced his Suite (his first work) and his first Pf. Concerto at his concerto concerts and did a lot of talking. MacDowell must have cut into Lang”s piano teaching more or less for he was a very facile, brilliant player and an interesting figure on the stage. At his first appearance (at a Kneisel concert) he stumbled a little as he came on stage which at once evoked the sympathy of the audience. Playing with orchestra he was rather unsteady, lacking repose, and his fingers sometimes ran away with him. I think he had not played much with orchestra before he came to America. He always hated public performance and eventually confined his programs almost entirely to his own works.” (6443-44) Lang supported MacDowell by teaching his works to his pupils. At the April 3, 1888 “B. J. Lang Pianoforte Concerto-Concert” where Lang conducted an orchestra of 33, his pupil B. J. Whelpley played the solo part in MacDowell”s Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 15. (MYB, 1887-88, p. 12) This would have been the first American performance of the complete work; Movements 2 and 3 had been played at a “Novelty Concert” in New York City on March 30, 1885, conducted by Frank Van der Stucken, Adele Margulies, pianist. MacDowell was the soloist a year later in a Boston Symphony Orchestra performance led by William Gericke on April 13, 1889.(Johnson, Firfst, pp. 225 and 226) Lang also contibuted to MacDowell”s support by hiring him as a soloist for the December 4 and 10, 1888 concerts of the Apollo Club at the Music Hall where MacDowell played Berceuse – Chopin, Rhapsody No. 14 – Liszt, and his own composition, Hexentanz. (MYB 1888-89, p. 13)

Mathews, p. 127. Also have print with certificate saying published by Theodore presser, 1900..

Maas, Louis

Mason and Hamlin building. 154 Tremont Street. Warren Devenport, vocal instructor had a studio there. (Ditson, Musical Record, September 1878). The Boston Conservatory of Music led by Julius Eichberg was also located there at this time. (Ibid)

Masonic Temple. Used by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club for their concerts in the early 1850s. It was located at the corner “of Tremont Street and Tremont Place,” it had three stories, and “consisted of school rooms, a Masonic Hall and a 900-seat chapel.” (Dowell, p. 33)

Mechanics” Hall. Part of the building of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics” Association. Site of B. J.”s chamber music concerts Spring 1874. “Around the 1860s and 1870s, the association”s building, known as Mechanics Hall, was located at Bedford Street and Chancey Street. A new building, Mechanics Hall, was constructed for the association in 1881, on Huntington Avenue, at West Newton Street, near Copley Square… Like its predecessor, the new Mechanics Building featured an auditorium, sometimes referred to as the Grand Hall. The building was demolished in 1959.” Wikepedia, February 27, 2010) Mechanics” Hall “was formerly much used for chamber concerts, but is now [1878] principally devoted to the purposes of the association.” (King, p. 231) The hall must have had an organ: “The concert at Mechanic”s Hall, on Dec. 22nd, proved successful, and the entertainment was very enjoyable. Mr. Thayer presided at the organ.” (Folio, February 1872)

Meionaon, The. A small hall suitable for chamber music built at the lower level of the new Tremont Temple at 78 to 86 Tremont Street. Julius Eichberg, cellist and Hugo Leonhard, pianist presented a series of concerts here in 1859, a year after Eichberg had moved from New York to Boston. (Dowell, p. 22)

Melodeon Theater at 365 Washington Street, (Dowell says 361 Washington Street, formerly the Lion Theatre, p. 25) between West and Avery Streets (Elson, National, p. 279) Site of the 1862 Gottschalk concerts that included B. J. “Melodeon Hall, where Keith”s Theatre now [1899] stands, next door to the Boston Theatre.” (Ryan, p. 50) This hall was “admirable for sound.” (Ryan, p. 51) The Harvard Musical Association leased a room here for it”s library in the 1840s. (HMA Bulletin No. 10) In 1860 it was owned by Hon. Charles Francis Adams who had leased it for a number of years to Mr. John P. Ordway “who is determined to maintain for it an unexceptionable name and character, by introducing only first class entertainments. The Melodeon is 40 feet in height, 66 feet wide, and 86 feet in length, admirably lighted in the day by four large and twelve small windows, and in the evening by one hundred and thirty-two gas-burners; the clearest atmosphere is preserved, even when the hall is crowed, by means of four of Emerson”s ventilators; and some ides of its acoustic properties may be gained when we state that even the slightest whisper may be distinctly heard in the remotest corners. the plan of seats is excellent, the aisles being sufficiently broad for two persons to walk abreast without inconvenience, while the seats themselves are wide, spacious, liberally stuffed and covered with enameled leather, the frame-work being of black walnut. The floor is carpeted with a thick matting. the size of the stage is 32 x 22, which, together with the dressing rooms, etc., is admirably fitted and furnished in every respect. (BMT, April 7, 1860, p. 58) Ryan gave the seating as 900, while Dwight claimed 1,200. (Dowell, p. 25) “In 1860 the Melodeon had a churchlike flat floor auditorium, and its balcony, which ran around three sides of the auditorium, was squared. At the back of its stage, which was more like a platform, was a large organ whose pipes surround it.” (King, p. 51) However, things change: “The Melodeon, one of the prettiest and best adapted concert-halls in Boston, is about to be converted into a billiard-saloon.” (BMT, September 8, 1866, p. 3) “The Melodeon had drifted along with sporadic minstrel shows and exhibitions until its closing in 1863 for repairs. From 1867 to 1878 it was the Melodeon Billiard Hall.” (King, p. 56)


Ryan, facing p. 94.

Mendelssohn Quintet Club. Begun in the winter of 1849-1850, “The formation of this club for public performances was the result of a chance suggestion. The original members used to meet for private practice and enjoyment of chamber-music, when a lover of classical music pointed out to them the great benefit they might confer on many musical amateurs by giving public performances. Acting up to this suggestion they gave their first public concert at Boston in the piano-rooms of Jonas Chickering, Dec. 4, 1849, when the following program was presented:

Quintet, Op. 8 – Mendelssohn
Solo, Violin, “La melancolie” – Prume
Concertant for flute, violin, and cello – Kalliwoda
Concert for clarinet – Berr
Quintet, Op. 4 – Beethoven

The five original members of the club were:

August Fries, first violin
Francis Riha, second violin
Edward Lehman, viola and flute
Thomas Ryan, viola and clarinet
Wulf Fries, violoncello

During its long existence changes in the membership took place. Thus after the first year Riha retired, and was replaced by Carl Meisel; and, later, August Fries was replaced by William Schultze.” (Ritter, pp. 332 and 333) “No winter passed for many years without from six to ten concerts at Cochituate Hall, at the Masonic temple, at Chickering”s tasteful little hall, at the Meionaon, and other convenient places.” This period was from 1849 to 1858. “Admitting that it was mostly the exclusive priviledge of the few, an audience seldom exceeding two hundred persons, and sometimes not half that number, yet was not the good influence sure to make itself felt in ever widening circles?” (Dwight, History of Boston, pp. 431 and 432)

Melodean(Melodeon). located next to the “Boston Theatre,” on Washington St. between West and Avery Streets. (Elson, National Music, p. 279) “In 1860 the Melodeon had a churchlike flat floor auditorium, and its balcony, which ran around three sides of the auditorium, was squared. At the back of its stage, which was more like a platform, was a large organ whose pipes surround it.” (King, p. 51)

“Mercantile Library, Summer Street, Boston.”

From “Ballou”s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion.” Collection of James W. Johnston.

Mendelsson Choral Society. Dwight recorded that this choir elected Mr. Thomas Ryan of the Quintette Club as the conductor “of their exercises this summer.” The work to be rehearsed was Beethoven”s Mass in C  in Latin. “We trust that ere long they will give us a public hearing of the same with orchestra.” (Dwight, May 6, 1854, p. 39)

Mercantile Hall. Located at 32 Summer Street, Boston. (HMA Program Collection) The Mendelssohn Quintette Club concerts in the spring of 1859 were held here. (Dwight, March 5, 1859)

Monthly Musical Record (1878-1898) and Musical Record (1898+). Established by Oliver Ditson “in place of Dwight”s Journal of Music… A high class magazine” which was edited by Philip Hale October 1897 until December 1900. In 1901 it was combined with the Music Review, which had begun in 1898 as a bulletin to announce new Ditson publications – the new magazine was called the Musical Record & Review. (Ayars, p. 81)

The Mozart Club. Begun “along 1860, lived a short but by no means second rate life. The personnel was composed entirely of amateurs, the concerts were semi-private, no tickets were sold and attendance was by invitation. Carl Zerrahn was the conductor.” (HMA Bulletin No.15)

Winslow, facing p. 84.

Moulton, Louise Chandler. Boston poet?one of the few poets that Margaret set more than once. “For many years the centre of literary Boston has been located in the drawing-room in Mrs. Louise Chandler Moulton”s house in Rutland Square. Rutland Square is in Boston”s unfashionable South End, and is one of the quiet, shaded places, with the typical Boston swell-front houses, ivy-clad… She has remained steadfast in her loyalty to the home which she has occupied since the time when the South End was the fashionable quarter, before the Back Bay had been reclaimed from water and marsh… She still remains at No. 28 Rutland Square, a house that is world-famous. Thither all the best of the town, those who have achieved anything worth while in letters, in art, in science… turn their steps every Friday afternoon of the winter, for she keeps open house then. In London, where Mrs. Moulton spends every summer, she receives as she does at home… She is quite as fully appreciated over there as in her own Boston, and from a literary standpoint, even more highly rated?if that be possible?than she is in her native land… Her weekly receptions in Grosvenor Square call together all the great literary world of London… It is said of her that she has maintained on both sides of the water the nearest approach to the literary salon that is now in existence… At fourteen her first poem was accepted and printed… The name by which the public first knew her was not Louise Chandler Moulton, but Ellen Louise Chandler, although the name under which her poems and stories appeared was simply ”Ellen Louise.”” (Winslow, pp. 77-85)

           File:Boston music hall.jpg

Wikipedia-public domain: June 12, 2010.

View from the stage. James Henry Stark, Stranger”s Guide to Boston, 1883.  Wikipedia, August 8, 2013.

                                                                                             Walker”s 1883 Map of Boston. Wikipedia, August 8. 2103.     


 Music Hall. Stood in Hamilton Place where Loew”s Orpheum Theater is now (1955)(Baker, p. 10) – see entry for Orpheum Theatre. “The Boston Music Hall was built in 1852, after a donation of $100,000 was made by the Harvard Musical Association towards its construction. Ten years later, the members of the Association raised an additional $60,000 to install in the hall an organ built in Germany by Walker. It was regarded as the largest organ in the United States, containing 5,474 pipes and 84 registers… The organ is now in the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, in Methuen, Massachusetts.” (“Boston Music Hall” entry in This entry has a picture of the room that shows two balconies in the same configuration as Symphony Hall, Boston. Dwight printed a “Letter to the Editor” signed by “E” giving more of the history of the building. He mentioned that the idea was presented at the January 1851 annual supper of the Harvard Musical Association, and that a committee was formed that night that within four weeks presented a Report that included six possible locations-the Bumstead estate being selected. He continued with a description: “The Music Hall is to be 130 feet long, 78 wide and 65 high. The lower floor level, and 78 feet square… two balconies are carried along the sides of the Hall, projecting 8 feet 6 inches from the walls… It is estimated that nearly 3,000 persons can be comfortably accommodated in this Hall-none of whom will be so placed that they cannot both hear and see the orchestra, or easily leave the Hall by some adjacent door leading into the corridors.” (Dwight, April 10, 1852) Further details were printed in July, just before the opening of the Hall. Mention was made of “The corridors, which traverse the entire length of the two sides of the hall, on the three stories, giving forty-two doors of entrance to the hall.” (Dwight, July 17. 1852) In November Dwight detailed the earlier efforts at building a concert hall for Boston – “The first public action taken upon the subject was at a meeting of the Council of Advice of the Boston Musical Fund Society, held at their rooms, in the old Tremont Temple, on the 27th. Day of September, 1850.” Dr. J. B. Upham had requested the meeting, and a Committee of five was formed to consider the idea, but after “many meetings” where the group “had labored assiduously at their duties,” their final report was negative, and “the whole matter slumbered for a time.” A few months later, Dr. Upham then presented the idea to the Harvard Musical Association, whose committee presented a favorable report within a month”s time. And raised the amount of $100,000 within sixty days! “About one-fourth part of this sum was given by members of this Association. Foremost in these subscriptions will long be remembered the names of Perkins, Curtis, Chickering and Apthorp, whose munificent aid, at a critical period of the work, ensured its success… Perhaps a third part of the whole was subscribed in large sums by a few persons; for the rest, there is scarcely a professional musician or amateur in Boston, who could command a spare hundred dollars (the price of a share) who is not the owner of one or more shares in our new Music Hall.” (Dwight, November 13, 1852, pp. 45 and 46) A week later Dwight added that eight builders had been invited to bid on the project, but six refused when they were told that the project must be completed with in one hundred and fifty days. However, two bids were submitted, and the lower, by Mr. F. W. R. Emery was accepted, and “Mr. Emery has conducted the various works in his department with such excellent management, that they were finished in a highly satisfactory manner thirty days earlier than the appointed period.” (Dwight, November 20, 1852, p. 54) The next issue had details of the Grand Opening: “The opening drew an audience of near 2500, not quite filling all the seats. Many waited, more attracted by the promise of the second night. Having easily found our way, by ample corridor and stair-case, to our seats in the first end balcony, opposite the stage, our marvel at the general beauty of the scene was not greater than that at seeing how the well-dressed multitude around us and below us kept silently and mysteriously increasing at every point, through the forty doors of floor and balconies, like spring water softly rising in its basis.” Six columns of details about every aspect of decoration and then details about the music heard followed. The big choral numbers sung by a choir of 500 sounded wonderful, but the orchestral sections had less impact. However, when Alboni sang, “her large and luscious tones told upon every ear with roundness and distinctness; and certainly it cost her but the smallest effort, for she appeared more nonchalant, if possible, than is her wont… On the next (Sunday) morning, the Rev. Theodore Parker, whose voice is by no means a very strong one, was distinctly heard in every corner of the hall by an overflowing audience.” Dwight ended his report: “The audience seemed delighted with the feast, of ear, and eye and soul; and, lingering in parties here and there to take a last look of the magic scene, the crowds mysteriously melted away through all the forty doors aforesaid. Commonly three minutes would suffice to empty the main hall of any crowd it could contain. We understand that about $1,000 were realized, over, expenses, to go toward an organ fund.” (Dwight, November 27, 1852, pp 61-63)


Collection of James W. Johnston.

Henry M. Dunham, THE LIFE OF A MUSICIAN, p. 31.

The 1861 annual meeting of the stockholders of the Music Hall was held early in June. Receipts for the year were $10,106.98 with expenditures of $7,298.92, thus showing a profit of $2,808.06 “The old Board of Directors was re-elected as follows: J. Baxter Upham, E. D. Brigham, Eben Dale, George Derby, J. M. Fessenden, H. W. Pickering and J. P. Putnam. The President stated that the organ intended for the hall was completed, and that it would be ready to be shipped from Rotterdam next month. After discussion, it was voted to allow the Directors to bring it over at the present time or delay till next year, at their discretion.” (BMT, June 15, 1861, p. 135)

Musical Fund Concerts. Ran from November 1847 until April 1855. With the addition of “that refined and classical musician Mr. George J. Webb… the great symphonies” were added to the repertoire which had mainly been lighter compositions. The concerts “were commonly given in the old Tremont Temple, then the largest hall in Boston. Public rehearsals, too, were given at a low price of admission, placing such music within the reach of all who cared for it… These Fund Concerts must have contributed essentially to the creation of a taste among our people for the music of the masters. They were continued through eight seasons; the last of which we find mention was in April, 1855, and in the new Boston Music Hall.” (Dwight, History of Boston, pp. 428 and 429)

Musical Record, The. “A weekly paper of sixteen pages devoted to the interests of music in general. It is published at Boston by O. Ditson & Co., and edited by Dexter Smith. It has recently [c. 1883] been changed to a 36-page monthly, under the same management and editorship. Subscription price, $1.00 per annum. Established in 1878. Circulation, upwards of 5,000.” (Jones, p. 106)

Musical Herald. “A monthly magazine of forty pages devoted to the advancement of music in all its branches, especially church music. The first number appeared in January, 1880. It is edited by Dr. E. Tourjee, assisted by Louis C. Elson, Stephen A. Emery, W. F. Sherwin and G. E. Whiting. Published by the Musical Herald Co., Boston. Subscription price, $1 per year. Circulation about 10,000. It is one of the most ably conducted journals in this country.” (Jones, p. 105)

Musicians Club. “Members were some of the best known musical people of the city, including the critic William Foster Apthorp; Louis Elson… the composers Arthur Foote and John Knowles Paine; the conductor B. J. Lang; and Arthur P. Schmidt, the music publisher who brought to the world most of the best works by the Boston School.” (Yellin, p. 45)

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National College of Music. According to Dwight”s article of October 5, 1872, this college was founded by Thomas Ryan and located within the Tremont Temple. It”s opening recital, September 24, 1872 included Lang, as a professor, playing Liszt”s transcription of Weber”s Polonaise in E minor, and Lang presenting three of his students, Messrs. Adams, Sumner, and Tucker in Bach”s Concerto for Three Pianos in C major, with an accompaniment of string quartet. Sumner had opened the recital with the Last Movement from Mendelssohn”s First Organ Sonata. This notice had appeared in Dwight”s June 15, 1872 issue: “MUSICAL EDUCATION. The Mendelssohn Quintette, with Mr. B. J. Lang, and other good musicians and teachers, will open in September, here in Boston, a new ”National College of Music.” During the coming weeks, while the city is full of musical visitors, the Directors will be present at their rooms in Tremont Temple, every day, from 11 to 1 o”clock, to answer questions. A notice in the September Folio also noted: “Another marked feature of this college will be the new vocal teacher, Mr. Cirillo, secured through the agency of Mr. Howard Ticknor, who writes of him pleasantly.” (Folio, September 1872) Ticknor”s remarks centered on how difficult it was to find good vocalists, even in Italy. Ticknor felt that “He is upon the whole the best vocal teacher I have ever met, and he is the man of men whom I would like to bestow on Boston… If he could work in Boston for one year, I”ll stake all my critical reputation that even the unskillful in such matters will recognize his rare merits.” (Ibid) He then mentioned his eight years of journalism “to support the development of good taste.” (Ibid) On April 15, 1873, the college gave “its first Exhibition Concert of the Pupils, closing the Spring term… The most remarkable performance of the afternoon was that of the difficult Schumann Concerto, by Miss Barton, a young pupil of Mr. Lang, whose rendering of the first movement was highly satisfactory… It was a most arduous undertaking for a young girl, and such a measure of success seems full of promise. There was al least the merit of adhering to true time in all the movements; one could trust her teacher for that, who sat at a second piano, helping out the quintet accompaniment.” (Dwight, May 3, 1873, p. 14) Apthorp, a teacher of the school described its organization: “The teachers in each department look to some one definite head for guidance in the management of their various classes. The head teacher in each department [Lang in piano] has been brought up in the same school of playing or singing as the other teachers under his direction, many of whom have for some years been his own pupils and coworkers [George W. Sumner, Hiram Tucker, William Apthorp, Mr. Dixie, and J. Q. Adams- (Ryan, p. 172)], so that a pupil may begin at the lowest grade in any department and successively pass on to higher and higher grades, without being forced to adopt a new system at each successive step.” (Musselman, p. 101) Unfortunately the great Boston Fire of 1872 happened just a month after the school had opened, and this forced many students to withdraw which in turn affected the financial condition of the institution which then closed at the end of its first year. (Ryan, pp. 172-173) The school did present an “Exhibition Concert of the Pupils” which represented the closing of the Spring Term on Tuesday afternoon, April 15, 1873 at Tremont Temple. The students were assited by their teachers and the Mendelssohn Quintette Club. A Summer Term was advertised to begin April 21, 1873 with a “Corps of Artist Teachers” including Harmony and Composition taught by W. F. Apthorp; the voice instructors were Sig. Vincenzo Cirillo (from the Royal College of Music, Naples), Mr. Charles R. Hayden, and the Director of the school, Mr. Thomas Ryan; the piano faculty were Lang and his pupils G. W. Sumner (who was also the organ instructor). H. G. Tucker. W. F. Apthorp, and R. C. Dixey together with the members of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club: Violin, William H. Schultze and Carl Hamm; Flute and Viola, Edward Heindl; Clarinette and Viola, Thomas Ryan; and Violoncello, Rudolph Hennig. Another page of the program gave further information about the faculty. “The vocal department is so crowded with pupils that the services of two teachers additional to Signor Cirillo have become a necessity… Mr. C. R. Hayden, tenor singer, recently a graduate from Leipsic [sic] Conservatory, and for two years afterwards a student under the best singing masters in Naples, has just commenced his labors in the college… The celebrates Tosti, known throughout Italy as a finishing teacher for the opera, in Rome and Naples, has been secured, and may be expected next term (HMA Program Collection).

Henry M. Dunham, THE LIFE OF A MUSICIAN, p. 41.

Eben Tourjee
Elson, “Musical Boston,” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

From KING”S HANDBOOK OF BOSTON, 1878, p. 47.
The Conservatory took over this building in 1882.

“Franklin Square House, Hotel for Young Women.” Hugh C. Leighton Co., Portland, Me. Made in Germany.
Johnston Collection.

It was first built in 1868 as the elegant Saint James Hotel “with four hundred rooms and a steam-powered elevator. Seven stories in height, with a domed center pavilion and flanking wings with corner quoining;” later it later became the New England Conservatory, and later still “was remodeled for the Franklin Square House, a non-profit women”s residence, after the Conservatory moved to Back Bay. Today, [1998] the Franklin Square House is a senior citizens” apartment building.” (Sammarco, p. 55)

New England Conservatory. “On Monday, February 18, 1867, the New England Conservatory of Music opened its first classes in the Music Hall building, Boston. [Wiki article of 11/3/11 says the school “consisted of seven rooms rented above Music Hall off Tremont Street in downtown Boston]: Its directors were Messrs. Eben Tourjee, who had previously used the class system of instruction in music at the East Greenwich Musical Institute, and at the Musical Institute in Providence, R. I.; and Robert Goldbeck, a New York pianist and composer. In 1868 Mr. Goldbeck went to Chicago, and the directorship was assumed by Dr. Tourjee alone. The instructors were announced as follows: Pianoforte, Otto Dresel, B. J. Lang, Ernst Perabo, S. A. Emery, Robert Goldbeck; harmony and composition, Messrs. Goldbeck and Emery; instrumentation, Carl Zerrahn; vocal culture, Signor Dama, Messrs. Zerrahn and Tourjee; organ, S. P. Tuckerman, G. E. Whiting; violin, W. H. Schultze; violincello, Wulf Fries; contrabass, August Stein. Opening thus with a faculty composed of foremost musicians of the day, and offering advantages which the directors intended to be equal in rank with those of the renowned conservatories of Leipsic, Paris, Stuttgart, Prague, and others, the new institution at once secured a large enrollment of pupils. In 1870 it was duly incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts. In that year the first class was graduated… In 1882, the Conservatory having outgrown its quarters in Music Hall, the St. James Hotel in Franklin Square was purchased and converted to the uses of a music school. Dr. Tourjee died in 1891, and was succeeded in the directorship by Carl Faelten.” (Goodrich, p. 89) A year later, the February 1868 Catalog listed eleven piano instructors-two from the previous year had left and eight new instructors had joined the department. the February 1869 catalog listed all of the current pupils among whom were Jeanie Burrage and Ruth Burrage-their instructors were not listed. This same catalog listed the “Whole Number of Pupils for the year ending February 15, 1868″ as 1414,” while the “Whole Number of Pupils for the year ending February 10, 1869” was 1827. This gave a “Total attendance at the Conservatory in two years” of 3241. (NEC Catalogs, BPL) By 1877 Lang pupils William F. Apthorp, Arthur W. Foote, Hiram G. Tucker (and possible pupil Fred. H. Lewis) had joined as piano instructors in a department which now numbered twenty-one teachers. By 1901 nither Lang nor his pupils were connected with NEC. The tuition at that time was: $10 for a class of four, two lessons per week, per term of nine or ten weeks, elementary level; $20 for a class of three, intermediate level; $27 for a class of three, advanced level; other studies, Conducting Composition, harmony, Score Reading, etc. had extra charges of from to $25 per term. (Ibid)

1878 edition. Johnston Collection.

Piano information from booklet above.

Mathews, p. 159.

In a program from the Boston Music Hall of September 1869 the following was was advertised: “The Fall term of the New England Conservatory of Music (located in this building) begins Sept. 13th, 14th and 15th. Pupils received and classified on and after Aug. 30th. Tuition $10 or $15 per quarter of ten weeks, according to study and grade.” (HMA Program Collection-Sept. 11, 1869 Lang Organ recital) Henry Dunham described the Conservatory as occupying “the three upper floors of the western side of the Music Hall building. The entrance to the Music Hall and the Conservatory were side by side at the end of an alleyway extending for some little distance off Winter Street.” (Dunham, p. 49) Another source stated that the school “consisted of seven rooms rented above” the Music Hall…”In 1870 it moved to the former St. James Hotel in Franklin Square in the South End.” (Wiki. article, August 22, 2011) A one page ad in a program from the Music Hall of 1872 called the Conservatory “THE LARGEST MUSIC SCHOOL IN THE WORLD.” The ad went on to say that it was “Established upon identical principles with the celebrated Conservatories of Europe, and in many respects offering even greater advantages than they, receives beginners and pupils in every stage of proficiency, and affords the instructions of the most eminent masters at less rates of tuition than any similar institution in this country… A beautiful three-manual Pipe Organ has been constructed with special reference to the requirements of its classes, by Messrs. E. & G. G. Hook and Hastings. Organ practice free.” The ad also noted that there were “Frequent Concerts by leading artists, orchestral and organ Recitals, Lectures, Instruction in Singing and in harmony, and the use of a fine Musical Library, are among the many advantages enjoyed by its pupils, without extra charge.” There were four terms per year: “FALL TERM open Monday, September 16, 1872. WINTER TERM open Monday, November 25, 1872. SPRING TERM opens Monday, February 10, 1873. SUMMER TERM opens Monday, April 21, 1873 (HMA Program Collection). Among the concerts were faculty recitals. “Perhaps [one of] the most attractive features of the conservatory here, as well as among the most improving to the pupils, are the private concerts given by the teachers. Yesterday was given what was numbered as the thirty-first concert of the New England Conservatory, at Chickering”s Hall. The performers were Messrs. Lang and Fries, and Miss Annie M. Granger; the entertainment, short as it was, was peculiarly interesting and artistic. The gentlemen played Mendelssohn”s Sonata in D for piano and violincello, with great spirit and delicacy of rendering. Mr. Lang gave with the same finish a scherzo of Chopin; and, instead of three as the programme indicated, one caprice of his own composition. If the suppressed two are as attractive as the one performed, it was a pity the audience should have been deprived of them.” (Boston Daily Advertiser, Saturday Morning, January 30, 1869. p. 1) In the fall of 1878 the Conservatory was advertising that it was the “Largest Music School in the World” having taught 18,000 pupils since its beginning eleven years ago in 1867. Tourjee still headed the school and it was still located in the Boston Music Hall. (Ditson, Musical Record, September 7, 1878) Chadwick recorded when Carl Faelten was named Director [1891?], “at first everything went along well but before long trouble began to develop which culminated in 1897 [when Chadwick was named Director].” (6461) Faelten joined the St. Botolph Club on Novemeber 30, 1894, and was still a member in 1905. (1905 membership List, p. 32)

Newspaper and magazine critics.

Atlantic Monthly – William Foster Apthorp: 1872-1877

Boston Daily Advertiser. Began 1813 – ceased 1929. 20 Court Street (Wikipedia, June 5, 2010)

File:2351554954 Advertiser Boston.jpg

Wikipedia, June 12, 2010: Daily Advertiser Building (20 Court Street ) c. 1870s?

File:Boston Advertiser Building cir 1872.png

Wikipedia, June 12, 2010: Boston Advertiser building c. 1872 from Edward Stanwood, Boston Illustrated. 1872.

File:Boston Advertiser Building.png

Wikipedia, June 12, 2010: Edward Stanwood, Boston Illustrated, 1886.

       In January of 1869 The Boston Daily Advertiser was a paper of four pages which cost four cents per issue. Each page was nine columns wide (23 inches) and 32 inches high. When the paper was opened to read the two inner pages, the reader was holding a sheet 46 inches wide! The entertainment ads were found on the first page, left a hand column, and these usually filled the entire column. Any comments or reviews were found in the column beside, usually beginning about half way down the page. E. H. Clement probably did the music reviews, although they were unsigned. (Johnston Collection)

Boston Evening Transcript (Boston) – Founded in July 1830 – ceased publication April 30, 1941. William Foster Apthorp: 1881-1903.

The Boston Transcript building rebuilt and enlarged after the Great Fire of 1872.
Wikipedia, June 12, 2010: King”s Handbook of Boston, 1881.

Courier (Boston) – William Foster Apthorp

Boston Globe – Originally begun in 1872 “as an independent four-cent morning paper, aiming at a high literary character,” it was reorganized in 1878 and became a two-cent paper with Morning, Evening, and Sunday editions. Within six years the circulation went from under 10,000 to 50,000, and by 1889 “the figures for the daily edition were 147,382, and the Sunday 143,592… Throwing off all conservatism of the older papers, the Globe has hesitated at no legitimate and proper scheme to interest and please the masses.” (Grieve, pp. 104 and 105) Its building at “Nos. 236 and 238 Washington Street,is large and unpretentious, extending through to Devonshire Street. It was formerly occupied by The Boston Transcript… It has a large corps of special correspondents throughout New England, and at leading centres throughout the United States.” (King, p. 149)

File:Old Boston Globe Building.png

Wikipedia, June 13, 2010: Illustrated Boston, the Metropolis of New England, 1889.

Boston Herald – Began in 1846.

File:Old Boston Herald Building.png

Wikipedia, June 13, 2010. Building at 255 Washington Street, built 1878. From King”s Handbook of Boston, 1881.

Boston Journal. Began 1833 – merged with the Boston Herald October 1917. 264 Washington Street.

File:Boston Journal Building.png

Wikipedia, June 11, 2010-Stanwood, Edward (1886) Boston Illustrated, p. 102.

Boston Post. Founded in 1831, by the 1930s it “had grown to be one of the largest newspapers in the country, with a circulation of well over a million readers.” It closed in 1956. The music critic Olin Downes wrote for this paper. (Wikipedia, June 5, 2010)

Boston Post Building, 15-17 Milk Street, King”s Handbook of Boston, 1881, p. 146.

Journal of Music: John Sullivan Dwight

c. 1900 GG Co. #2307: Johnston Collection.

Postcard of an autographed photo done by Dreyfoos in New York – the card was printed in Germany. Johnston Collection.

Nikisch, Arthur. Leichtentritt described the BSO audience of the early 1890s as being “Boston”s most exclusive society, the residents of Back Bay, with additional forces from Brookline and Cambridge [who] set the tone. In this festive assembly of dignified ladies and gentlemen, the socially unimportant little music lovers in the second balcony and the standing room [of which, as an undergraduate at Harvard, he was one] only served to heighten by contrast the general picture of rank, wealth, and proud self-consciousness. Arthur Nikisch, the conductor, seemed to be especially created for this Boston Symphony audience. The handsome man with his raven-black hair and artistically shaped beard, the pallor that made his face even more romantic, his slim figure with its perfectly tailored dress suit, was elegance itself. As he raised his fine hand, overshadowed by broad snow-white cuffs, with an inimitable wave and the most graceful bend of the wrist, with a nonchalantly protruding little finger crowned by a sparkling diamond ring, and as his long, tapering baton gave the sign for the orchestra, one could feel in the air the pent-up admiration of the ladies – one almost expected a loud acclamation of bravos and enthusiastic applause. The faux-pas was, however, averted at the last moment by the sounds emanating from the orchestra. So far Nikisch might have been taken for a Hungarian count, a fascinating hero of the salon. But as his baton seemed to draw the music out of the instruments – now caressing, now beseeching, now commanding – he was transformed into a true artist, a musician filled with the ecstasy of the creator, and at the grand climaxes he carried the orchestra away to an irresistibly brilliant dash, a frenzy of passion that never missed in its effect on the audience. With his wonderfully keen sense of orchestral color Nikisch often produced real marvels of sound. Later in Berlin I heard him conduct for more than twenty years and became well acquainted with his art; he did everything with his admirable musical instinct, not with an effort of intellectual insight. His performances were not the result of carefully prepared study – he was notoriously lazy – but were improvised on the spur of the moment.” (Leichtentritt, p. 368) When “Mr. Arthur Nikisch came [to the BSO] he found an orchestra already drilled and disciplined, and abounding in excellent material [the results of the work of Wilhelm Gericke]. The new conductor is a Hungarian by birth, with all that nationality”s characteristics of temperament, though at the conductor”s desk he is seemingly as impassive as the sphinx. His greatest success has been won in his readings of the modern school rather than of the classic, and while unquestionably there are some who may regret the absence of the intellectual interpretations of the Gericke regime, still the work of the orchestra has been more popular since Mr. Nikisch took the baton.” (Upton, “Musical Societies,” p. 81) He was thirty-three years old when he came to Boston. “Nikisch was hypnotic, a poised Svengali with fathomless eyes. ”He does not really conduct,” Tchaikovsky later testified. ”He resigns himself to a magical enchantment. ”…In America, Nikisch”s significance was instantly appreciated. W. J. Henderson of the New York Times traveled to Boston to attend his American debut, on October 11, 1889. Henderson”s first impressions confirm precisely with the great reputation Nikisch would later establish in Berlin.” (Horowitz, pp. 56 and 57). Whereas all of the New York critics were enthusiastic about Nikisch, in Boston, the critical opinion was divided. Concerning a performance of Beethoven”s Fifth Symphony, Philip Hale and William Apthorp, although coming from differing critical camps, both found points of interest in the new conductor”s performance whereas Warren Davenport, writing in the Boston Herald found the performance “peculiar,” without “repose,” and generally a “vulgar display of noise.” (Horowitz, pp. 58 and 59) George Chadwick recorded: “In the fall of 1889 Arthur Nikisch came to Boston to conduct the Symphony concerts. He had exchanged 8,000 Marks as first Capellmeister in Leipzig for $8,000 in Boston. He brought his family with him and settled in Mrs. Scully”s house on High Street in Brookline. He was pleased with everything, very amiable and gracious to everybody, complimentary to the orchestra and everybody thought he would be an improvement on the humdrum Gericke. At the first concert his magnetic, personal control of the orchestra was at once demonstrated. Besides his uncanny repose, his carefully disordered hair, and his expansive cuffs, proclaimed at once to the susceptible the man of genius. The new broom swept very clean for a little while, but before very long we began to hear some queer tempi in familiar classic works, inner parts of small importance inflated to twice their natural size, and other innovations which made things different but not better. He instituted the custom of having a ”general probe” on Wednesday mornings at which only reading of new works was done. The orchestra began to suspect, that with his marvelous memory this saved a good deal of study on his part…But when he was in the mood Nikisch could be a worse martinet than Gericke. His free and easy methods never prevented his giv[ing] a great performance when he was interested or in the mood, and the orchestra was very quick to catch his spirit.. To the Boston composers he was amiability itself but he never put any of their works on the program until he had played them through.” [Seems like a good policy] (6446-6647) “In subsequent seasons Nikisch continued to split Boston opinion. Many an Apthorp review conveyed the thrill of new experience… But Nikisch”s special enthusiasms-for Liszt, Wagner, Tchaikovsky-were not those of Philip Hale… Nikisch departed Boston after four years-one season before the expiration of his contract” to a further career as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestras (Horowitz, pp. 60 and 61) Chadwick felt that Hale had “fairly summed up” Nikisch”s conducting style in an article in the “Musical Year Book.” Hale had written: “As a conductor he was a man of emotional nature, and his emotion was dangerously near hysteria. In the reading on compositions of the so called classical school he would sweep brilliantly before him, but was apt to include the music in his sweeping. The orchestra under his direction lost in precision, elegance in detail and there was seldom present an idea of reserve force,” and to this Chadwick added, “but they did gain in elasticity and brilliancy whenever Nikisch took it in his head to require it.” (6450) A newspaper article of the time reported: “Many rumors have gone abroad regarding the cause of Mr. Nikisch”s resignation. Among them is one that the music critics of Boston had made the position irksome to him, by reason of their unfavorable attitude towards his eccentricities as a conductor, and that he could bear it no longer. this of course, is absurd, for he has proclaimed that he has no time to read criticisms, that he is ignorant of what they may say of him, and consequently cannot be either pained or pleased by them.” (Undated and unsigned article, courtesy of the Boston Symphony orchestra Archive”) Artur Foote wrote of the “remarkable memory of Nikisch. When he first came to Boston he conducted everything without score: later, with twenty-four different programs each season, he gave this up. In 1891 he conducted from memory a MS. suite of mine, and probably never thought of it again. But when I called on him in London, four years later, he said, ”You remember that suite we played?” and, sitting down at the paino, went through the first movement. I could hardly have played four measures of it. An extraordinarily gifted man he was: at [the] sight of me the tune came right into his head.” (Foot
e, Auto., p. 111)

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Odd Fellows” Building. 515 Tremont Street. Eugene Thayer”s organ studio in this building contained “one of the finest Church organs in American. Terms from $40 to $60 per Quarter, with advantages never before offered to Organ Students [?].” Another note in the same issue said that “Organists visiting Boston will always find a pleasant welcome at the elegant studio of Eugene Thayer, Tremont, corner of Berkeley Street.” (Ditson. Musical Record, Fall 1878)

Orchestras – “According to W. S. B. Mathews, the first real symphonic ensemble in America to play great music of European composers regularly was that formed in Boston by the German oboist Gottlieb Graupner in 1810 and lasting to 1824, a ”Philharmonic Society,” (a generic title given to innumerable short-lived groups in various cities during those times). Graupner had played in Haydn”s orchestra in London, and the Bostonians, primarily European emigres like himself, played mostly Haydn symphonies (Beethoven was as yet a more advanced taste)… Graupner, together with Thomas Smith Webb and Asa Peabody, also organized America”s first enduring performing ensemble, the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, founded in 1815, and still going strong.” (Grant, pp.33 and 34) See The Musical Fund Concerts: Nov. 1847-Apr. 1855. George J. Webb.


Philharmonic Society gave its first concert on December 9 (or 19), 1843 conducted by J. G. Jones. Two conductors followed until Carl Zerrahn took over on November 24, 1855. The last concert by this group was probably on April 11, 1863.

Boston Musical Fund Society, F. Suck conductor (also C. C. Perkins and J. C. D. Parker), first concert at Tremont Temple on Vov. 27, 1847 conducted by C. H. Mueller, and concerts at the Boston Music Hall as late as April 21, 1855. The orchestra numbered 55 which was all the talent then available in Boston.

Orchestra Union, Carl Zerrahn conductor, first concert Boston Music Hall, Nov. 22, 1854. 30 members. Their last concert seems to have been on March 4, 1868 and George Sumner made his first public appearance playing the Capriccio in B minor for piano and orchestra. Organists often played solos among the orchestra pieces. In January and February 1864 five different local organists played.

Harvard Musical Association Orchestra, Carl Zerrahn was the conductor from December 28, 1865 to March 9, 1882.

The Philharmonic Society of Boston, Bernard Listemann conductor, gave concerts in the Boston Music Hall from October 24, 1879 to May 5, 1881. Then Listemann became the Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Philharmonic continued for one season under Dr. Lois Maas from November 10, 1881 until April 13, 1882. They began again with Carl Zerrahn as conductor on November 29, 1882 and ended for good on April 4, 1883.

Boston Philharmonic Orchestra gave concerts at the Boston Theatre and Tremont Temple in the early 1890”s conducted by Mr. Listermann, who, at this point was no longer Concertmaster of the BSO.

Obviously the name of Carl Zerrahn was connected to many of these groups. Orchestral Union: November 22, 1854 until March 4, 1868. Philharmonic Society: November 24, 1855 until April 11, 1863.  Harvard Musical Association Orchestra: December 28, 1865 until March 9, 1882. The Philharmonic Society of Boston: November 29, 1882 until April 4, 1883. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Philharmonic Society. This group gave its “first concert December 9, 1843, under the leadership of J. G. Jones, presented for several seasons popular music but nothing better.” (HMA Bulletin No. 7, p. 6)

Philharmonic Orchestra: 1855-1863 54 members. Carl Zerrahn (flutist with Germania). Dwight says these concerts began in 1857, and that they kept “alive the interest in classical symphony-music, relieved by lighter or more brilliant works, and introducing not a little that was new. To him we were indebted for our best privileges in this kind, almost steadily until the spring of 1863. Then the nation was in the middle of the great war, and subscriptions naturally fell off.” (Dwight, History of Bostron, p. 440) Lang was the soloist in the third concert of the 1860 season playing W. S. Bennett”s Capriccio for piano and orchestra and the piano part in Beethoven”s Choral Fantasia. Dwight wrote that “The Capriccio, which Mr. Lang played, and played so well, is of this chacter; graceful, fluent, florid, pervaded by a shadowy beauty; much finer as heard now with the orchestra, than last year with quartet accompaniment, but still not greatly impressive; a delicate leaf from the album of an artistic quietist.” (Dwight, February 18, 1860, p. 374) Of the Beethoven Dwight recorded that the performance “made a most delightful impression; and the choral portion, finely given by the Handel and Haydn, had to be repeated… Mr. Lang acquitted himself of his difficult and delicate task at the piano most successfully; he had remarkable ease and skill of execution already; he has gained greatly in artistic feeling and fine apppreciation of his [this] composer.” (Op. cit., p. 375) In March 1860 Dwight wrote that “this fourth Concert of the season would be Mr. Zerrahn”s last attempt to provide great orchestral music for a so-called ”musical” city, which has so poorly patronized these opportunities for three or four years past… The Symphony [Beethoven”s Seventh] was rendered with the usual excellence by the orchestra of forty-not perfectly, to be sure…but with much verve and spirit; and there was every evidence that it was enjoyed particularly well.” Dwight, March 10, 1860, p. ???) However, this was not to be the Philharmonic”s last performance; it was reorganized in June 1860 under the name of “A Boston Philharmonic Society” with Thomas Ryan as President. (Dwight, June 9, 1860, p. 86) But, by early 1862 the effects of the Civil War had thinned the ranks of the group, and Dwight thanked “Carl Zerrahn for gathering up such forces as were left, and organizing them to such good purpose, so that we still may not altogether lack the refreshment of orchestral music, nor forget the sound of Beethoven and Mozart… Our conductor had collected not so bad an orchestra after all. It numbered thirty-five or forty instruments; with six first and six second violins-the seconds, however, by no means relatively so efficient as the first. There was but one bassoon, and he a new one, with a violoncello for his mate. The other wind parts were reasonably well filled; some of them very well.” (Dwight, January 18, 1862, p. 334) In Dwight”s “Review of the Season” 1861-62, he mentioned that the Philharmonic “has necessarily been small, though scarcely smaller than during several past years. Forty instruments has been the complement of the Philharmonic band;-too weak in quantity of strings for the full effect of a Beethoven Symphony, but yet so fair in quality as to recall those works to us with no small edification.” (Dwight, June 14, 1862, p. 86) Dwight was unhappy with a Philharmonic concert early in 1863 that did not include a symphony, but instead featured a “wonder child,” Teresa Carreno. “The accustomed Symphony-about as indispensable to a Philharmonic concert as the altar at the junction of the nave and transept to a cathedral-was pushed out.” However, Dwight did have to admit that this program drew a large audience, and Carreno played “marvelously well for a child.” (Dwight, January 31, 1863, p. 350)

Harvard Musical Association. The HMA sponsored a chamber music series beginning in 1844. R. E. Apthorp was part of the group that “were authorized to ”make such arrangements as they might deem necessary for carrying into effect the proposed plan for a series of Chamber Concerts to be given under the patronage of the Association”… The concerts were given in the ”music room” of Jonas Chickering at 334 Washington Street [provided by him without charge], the dates being November 13, 26, December 10, 31, 1844.” The programs balanced pieces which would appeal to the “popular as well as to cultivated taste.” A string quartet played these four programs for a total cost of $124 (which included extra payments for those who had played solos. 150 sets of tickets (these seating of the concert room) were sold at $2.00 for the series, and they made a profit which led to offering another series in January and February of the next year, 1845. A final series was given in December 1849, this time at Cochituate Hall, opposite Kings Chapel, which seated 300. (HMA Bulletin No. 7, pp. 6 through 10)

Orchestral Union. c. 1861-1873. Ryan wrote: “The orchestral Union was made up from our best musicians – about forty in number – Carl Zerrahn being the director. The concerts were held in the Music Hall on Wednesday afternoons only. The entrance fee was modest. Programmes were of mixed music: an overture, symphony, waltz, characteristic pieces, and opera selections. The great organ in Music Hall was built about the time the Union began their concerts. Our best organists were invited in turn to play organ solos at each concert. The Union existed about ten years, then ended its life for lack of support.” (Ryan, recollections, p. 102) In 1859 Dwight mentioned that the size of this orchestra “was about one half of the Saturday evenings [Philharmonic-fifty instruments: Dwight, same issue]-but quite an efficient one-four first violins, four second, two bassos, and so on:” both groups were conducted by Zerrahn. (Dwight, February 12, 1859, p. 366) In April 1860 the “Boston Musical Times” reported that “The twenty-second of the Afternoon Concerts, by the orchestral Union, was given on Wednesday afternoon. Their success grows greater as the season advances. Why can”t they be continued throughout the summer?” (BMT, April 7, 1860, p. 55) Also in April 1860 Dwight recorded that the Orchestral Union had just played their “twenty-fourth and last of the Wednesday Afternoon Concerts… These concerts have done us one great service this winter… The audience this time was very large, so that late comers could not drop into seats without some searching. This would seem to show that the ”Union” are leaving off just as the tide is turning in their favor.” (Dwight, April 21, 1860, p. 31) A typical program is reflected in the selections chosen for the First Concert of their Seventh Season of Concerts at the Music Hall held on February 27, 1861:

Overture Fra Diavolo – Auber, Two-Part Song arr. for two cornet-a-pistons – Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 1 – Beethoven. INTERMISSION.

Overture Tannhauser – Wagner, New Waltz Forget Me Not – Zerrahn, Miserere from Il Trovatore – Verdi, and Gallop Marseillaise – Lumbye.

“A new and happy feature in these programmes is the place assigned the Symphony-at the end of the first part. We trust this satisfied both those who cavil at playing the Symphony first, on account of the interruption caused by the slamming of doors of late comers, (and late comers are not the only door-slammers), and that other few whose classical ears are offended by a genial, flowing waltz of Strauss, or a clever potpourri of operatic selections, and therefore cannot sit through their performance and wait for the Symphony at the end of the concert. The orchestra is composed of about the same performers as last season, under the direction of Mr. Zerrahn. (BMT, March 9, 1861, p. 21) Tickets were 25 cents each on the day, or packages of six tickets could be bought for $1 and used “at pleasure.” (BMT, February 23, 1861, p. 12) On Wednesday, March 27, 1861, “Mr. B. J. Lang, the distinguished Pianist, who will perform a Grand Concerto by Mozart,” the Concerto in E flat which ended the first half of this afternoon concert. (HMA, Program Collection) Later that same year the Union joined with the Germania Band to give Saturday Evening Concerts, but after the second attempt proved to be a “disastrous failure, pecuniarily,” the effort was discontinued. “It is impossible to get the public to listen arrectis auribus to anything of a symphonic character now-a-days, so that our city musicians are compelled to enlist in the regimental bands, if they have not been fortunate enough to lay by something for a rainy day. We hope better times are in store for them.” (BMT, June 15, 1861, p. 135) However, less than nine months later it was reported that “The ”Union” has been on the crest of the wave of success for nine weeks, and the crest exhibits no signs of breaking yet.” The hall was full; but there was still too much “buzzing of busy tongues” of the young girls; however, “the programmes are unusually excellent;”… “May a Union affording so much happiness [during this time of war], and doing so much musical good, ever be preserved.” (BMT, April 5, 1862) A month later it was reported that the season was drawing to a close. Fourteen performances had been given by this “small but clever orchestra” with two more remaining, but before those last concerts, the Music Hall would be taken over by a “horse tamer… We made some reference to this turning the Music Hall into a stable a year ago, and it is unnecessary to reiterate our sentiments then expressed.” The article ended with a plea to have these concerts held “all the year round.” (BMT, May 3, 1862, p. 39) A final notice concerning the season of sixteen concerts rated them “all good-hardly a choice between any one or two or three-though the last equaled any earlier one.” The comment was made that several regular players were missing due to visits to the fatherland or having to take part in various military bands-this being the time of the Civil War. “But we are very sure that the familiar faces will return, and that another season will bring the same pleasant concert, (with the increasing quiet, we may hope), and the good instruction and love of good music they inculcate.” (BMT, June 7, 1862, p. 55) An effort to have summer Promenade Concerts was begun on July 12, 1862 at the Music Hall with Carl Zerrahn conducting an orchestra where the “Germania Band” formed the nucleus. Popular music of the Jullien School will have full exposition, and this with the Operatic Pot-pourris and military music, for which the Germanias are celebrated, cannot fail to attract large and brilliant audiences.” (BMT, June 7, 1862, p. 55) This orchestra must have had a large segment of Orchestral Union players, as a notice from early September referred to the Promenade Concerts of the Orchestral Union. In the end these concerts did not prove to be popular, and the musicians “did not care to ”pipe for nothing” any longer… The orchestra was composed of the best of the musicians now in the city, and the programmes were happily selected.” But few people were willing to promenade – “A few couple would sail round the hall once or twice, and then, as if frightened at their own boldness, relapse into the galleries… But it is one of the unaccountable things of this world why the Germania Band of the Orchestral Union are less successful, pecuniarily, with promenade concerts, than other organizations with more clap-trap and less merit.” (BMT, September 6, 1862, pp. 101 and 102) However, six months later the report was that the Wednesday afternoon concerts at the “Music Hall are more interesting than ever… The orchestra plays with all that delicacy and precision which is a characteristic of their performances, and in which they cannot be excelled by any company of musicians in America.” (BMT, January 3, 1863, p. 166) The audience was attentive as “the army has absorbed a multitude of the young and thoughtless who, in years gone by, have made themselves so conspicuous, and the passage of the corridors so perilous,” (Ibid) In April the end of the season was reported: the concerts “have provided a delightful series of entertainments, have been liberally patronized and have heightened the musical culture of our city. Inexpensive, admirably planned, judiciously carried out and popularized by a variety of combined influences, it is not strange that a general regret should prevail upon their retirement for the season, and a general desire spring up that they may institute Summer evening entertainments.” (BMT, April 4, 1863, p. 21) This season of concerts had been given at the Boston Theatre. At the final concert, “the house was crowded from top to bottom, and hundreds were forced to stand in the lobbies and aisles. The occasion being musical, and the price of admission trifling, many who have thought it wrong to go to the theatre embraced their first opportunity for seeing the interior of the building.” (BMT, May 2, 1863, p. 37)

Early in January 1864 a new season [10th.] was announced for the Music Hall, and as an added feature the new “Great Organ is [to be] employed at each concert, and skillful artists succeed each other in displaying its powers. Owing to the increased cost of all musical material, the price of tickets has been raised to fifty cents.” (BMT, January 2, 1864, p. 21) In April of that year it was reported: “The Wednesday Afternoon Concerts of the Orchestral Union have succeeded, even at the advanced prices, beyond their most sanguine expectations. Indeed they have always drawn full houses. The programmes are very well selected, though the general public would fancy a trifle more of lighter music. The audiences have been extremely mannerly and quiet this season, the change in the back balcony precluding noisy running, flirting and the like on the part of those who go for other objects beside the enjoyment of good music. Our best organists, Lang, Willcox, Thayer, Tuckerman, Parker, Mrs. Frohock, and the rest, take turns in officiating at these concerts.” (BMT, April 2, 1864, pp. 3 and 4) On January 20, 1864 Lang”s organ solos were – Fugue on Bach by Schumann and the “Andante” from Mendelssohn”s Third Sonata. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1) On February 17, 1864 his solos were – Prelude and Fugue by Bach and the “Adagio and Allegretto” from Rink”s Flute Concerto. (Ibid) On March 30, 1864 he played Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite by Handel and “Selections” from The Hymn of Praise by Mendelssohn. (Ibid) For this concert Dwight felt that “Mr. Lang was especially happy in the treatment of his organ pieces; the great instrument has never been made more expressive for such subjects. His choice of stops in the Mendelssohn selections came closer to the idea than ever. He prefaced the grand final chorus of Samson with the Minuet from the overture, charmingly rendered with soft stops.” (Dwight, April 2, 1864, p. 215) Dwight listed the major pieces performed that spring noting that the concerts were “Afternoon (Rehearsal) Concerts,” and that the orchestra “rarely exceeded 25 instruments.” Lang was a soloist in the following: Hummel”s Introduction and Rondo in B flat, Op. 98, Mendelssohn”s Concerto in D minor (twice), and Lang and a pupil played Mendelssohn and Moscheles Duo Concertante for two pianos on the March in ”Preciosa.”” (Dwight, June 25, 1864, p. 263) A report of the Spring 1866 series of Wednesday Afternoon Concerts said that they “are, as usual, well attended by young ladies and gentlemen who like to flirt through the heavy symphonies, and to listen to the light waltzes and redorras, which they play so gracefully well. The programmes are evenly balanced, and the season promises to be very successful.” (BMT, February 3, 1866, p. 21) But “Mr. Apthorp, reviewing at a much later date… gives a correct and dismal picture of the state of orchestral music. ”…the war had well nigh killed music in Boston. The earnest nut more futile efforts of Mr. Zerrahn and the Orchestral Union to keep music alive… Those were troublous times… a second bassoon was an unheard of luxury… the Seventh Symphony in the Music Hall was given with three first and two second violins… At last things came to such a pass that it was evident that Mr. Zerrahn and the Union could bear their burden no longer and, unless stronger power stepped in, orchestral music in Boston would die outright of sheer inanition.” The stronger power was at hand and ready to step in. It was the Harvard Musical Association.” (HMA Bulletin No. 15) In 1896 Apthorp remembered: “What a time that old Orchestral Union had! Their concerts came on Wednesday afternoons, and were at first very well attended. But, with the war, audiences began to drop off as the times grew harder. The orchestra was a variable quantity: there were only two horns, and a second bassoon was not to be thought of. The second bassoon-part had to be played on a ”cello; and uninitiated visitors used sometimes to wonder what that solitary ”cello was doing in the midst of the wood-wind. Hamann, the first horn, had little technique, but a good tone, and was moreover an excellent musician; he had a fad of playing the easier Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven horn-parts on a real plain horn, which he had had made to order and viewed with unconcealed affection. I don”t think there were ever more than six first violins; I certainly remember one performance of the seventh symphony with only three first violins and two second. The solitary bassoonist was conspicuous by his singularity, not by his virtuosity. I remember a benefit concert tendered to Mr. Zerrahn, at which a small picked ”chorus of young ladies” sang the ”Lift thine eyes” terzet from Elijah; the few measures of introductory tenor recitative were played as a bassoon solo, and the hapless bassoonist got most of the notes wrong. I don”t think I have ever heard such a tremulous tone issue from any other wind instrument.” (Apthrop, BSO Program March 6 and 7, 1896, pp. 594 and 595) Lang soloed with this group on “Fast Day Afternoon,” Thursday, April 2, 1868. He played the Liszt orchestration on Weber”s Grand Polonaise in E Major. Julius Eichberg was the Leader of the Orchestra at that time, and the conductor was Carl Zerrahn. Tickets were 50 cents. (BPL Lang Prog., 6260) Lang also appeared with the group as organist for a performance of Mendelssohn”s Saint Paul on April 2, 1868. The choir was a combination of the Worcester Mozart and the Beethoven Choral Union. (Ibid) A program [probably 1880] dated Wednesday January 24 3PM of the “Tenth Afternoon Concert” noted at the bottom of the program that “The Orchestral Union, [is] composed of members of the Germania Musical Society, Musical Fund Society, Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and the Serenade Band.” They gave “concerts every Wednesday at 3 o”clock during the season. Packets of six tickets, $1.00, single tickets, 25 cents.” (BPL Music Hall prog., Vol. 4)

Germania Musical Society: Apr. 1849-1854. Carl Lenschow, then Carl Bergmann. See separate entry.

Small Occasional Orchestra: “Was made up by some of the musicians (”the cream of the Musical Fund,” several of the disbanded Germania, and the Mendelssohn Quintette Club), which gave cheap afternoon concerts, combining symphony and lighter things in fair proportions. These concerts, easily given, inexpensive, very moderately remunerative to the musicians, were kept alive through periods when all else failed. Indeed, a series of them was given every year down to the spring of 1868.” (Dwight, History of Boston, p. 440)

Boston Mozart Club. Dwight recorded the founding of this amateur group in January 1861 noting that the officers were “names well known in the community… The Club meets every Monday evening at the Piano Warerooms of Messrs. Hallett & Cumston, 339 Washington Street.” (Dwight, January 12, 1861, p. 335) On Monday evening, April 23, 1862 at the “Fourth and Last Social orchestral Entertainment” presented “To the Associate and Honorary Members” at Mercantile Hall on Summer Street, this group, conducted by Carl Zerrahn performed the Symphony in D Major by Mozart together with two vocal solos by “A Lady Amateur.” (HMA Program Collection) This group existed from 1860-1864. (Boston Musical Year Book, Vol. 1, 1883-84, p. 57)

Harvard Musical Association Orchestra: 1866-1882. Carl Zerrahn. First proposed at the January 1865 annual dinner of the Association.

The Boston Orchestra Club. Through the efforts of Mr. Percival Gassett, this group was organized in October 1884 “to furnish amateurs and young professionals of both sexes opportunity for the practice of orchestral music. Mr. Bernard Listemann conducted the weekly rehearsal and the three concerts given before its associate members.” (BMYB, 1884-85, p. 56) Mr. Gassett was a member of the First Violin Section.

Philharmonic Orchestra: 1879 became the Philharmonic Society in 1880. The program for the opening concert on October 24, 1879 had a one-page introduction of this new group. “THE BOSTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA has been recently organized to meet the wants of a permanent Orchestra in Boston – a want too generally admitted to call for further comment. The new organization has for its conductor BERNARD LISTEMANN, and counts among its members the very best performers of the HARVARD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. The plans of the new organization for the coming season include a series of five popular Symphony Concerts, at Boston Music Hall, on the evenings of Friday, October 24th, November 7th and 21st, and December 5th, and Saturday afternoon, December 13th. Subscription tickets, with reserved seats for the five concerts, @.50 each; single reserved seats for each concert, 75 cents; admission tickets, 50 cents, and packages of five admission tickets, $2.00. The programme of these concerts, though of a popular character, will be made up with a view of presenting a good variety of compositions, in which modern works of acknowledged ability will find a prominent position… Accomplished Vocal and Instrumental Soloists will contribute to each programme. The Orchestra is open for Concerts, and other engagements, for the coming season, and further particulars can be had upon inquiry at the Music Hall office, where a subscription sheet for the Concerts is now open” (HMA Program Collection). The debut concert on Friday evening, October 24, 1879 presented a group of only “32 instruments-4 first violins, 2 ”cellos and 2 basses.” (Dwight, November 8, 1879, p. 181) Dwight”s review of the “second of these concerts” [second season] given at the newly opened Tremont Temple on Tuesday, October 12, 1880 mentions an orchestra “of forty instruments.” (Dwight, October 23, 1880, p. 174) A month later Dwight wrote of “Listerman”s thoroughly drilled and excellent orchestra” who play to an audience that was “large and evidently well pleased.” (Dwight, November 20, 1880, p. 190) Bernhard Listemann had been the former concertmaster of the Thomas Orchestra.

In April 1881 The Musical Herald reported the formation of the “Philharmonic Society of Boston” which was incorporated to “procure the best performances of orchestral music.” J. K. Paine was the President, Oliver Ames the Treasurer, and there were 12 corporators. (Musical Herald, April 1881, p. 79) In July 1881 the officers were Luther H. Wightman-Clerk, Oliver Ames-Treasurer, and among the 23 directors were J. K. Paine, George L. Osgood, Julius Eichberg, John Orth, B. E. Woolf, S. A. Emery, W. J. Winch, G. W. Chadwick, in order words many well known men of musical and business background. This new orchestra gave its first concert on March 10, 1881 with a program that was “a rather heavy feast for the genral public, but highly interesting for musicians. The orchestra did not differ much from that of the Harvard Association, and was composed of some members of the old Philharmonic, with some notable additions to the strings. The orchestral work was excellent, the effect of the rehearsals being very apparent. (Musical Herald, April 1881, p. 78) However, “In January 1882, the Boston Philharmonic Society offered its baton to Theodore Thomas, but Thomas elected to relinquish Boston to Higginson: he would no longer tour New England. The Philharmonic Society folded. The Harvard Musical Association terminated its concerts.” (Horowitz, p. 50) The 1883-84 Boston Musical Year Book noted that “The ”Philharmonic Society” gave three seasons of symphony concerts from 1880-81, under conductors Mr. B. Listermann, Dr. Louis Maas, and Mr. Carl Zerrahn. During the season preceding the establishment of the Philharmonic Society, Mr. Listermann gave a series of Symphony Concerts with an orchestra called the ”Philharmonic.”” (BMYB Vol 1, p. 58) On December 19, 1882 Lang was the soloist with the Philharmonic Society of Boston, conducted by Carl Zerrahn in the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. For the 1890-91 Season “The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (sixty players), Mr. B. Listemann, Conductor; Ch. C. Parkyn, Manager, gave seventeen Sunday-evening concerts at the Boston Theatre.” Ten works were given for the first time in Boston, but only one was by an America composer – Gavotte for Strings by Arthur Bird. (MYB 1890-91, pp. 23 and 24)

Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. In the Boston Daily Advertiser of Saturday Morning, January 10, 1891 both the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra were advertising their concerts. The BSO had Nikisch as its conductor and its concertmaster, Timothie Adamowski as the soloist in Wieniaski”s Concerto in D Minor, while the BPO”s conductor was Bernard Listermann and the soloists were Miss May A. Bosley, contralto and Mr. William Sherman, pianist. The ad said: both “will have solo numbers.” (Johnston Collection) The BSO played on Frafternoon and Saturday night at the Music Hall while the BPO played Sunday night at the Boston Theatre.

Boston Symphony Orchestra: Feb. 1881. Chadwick wrote: “The new Symphony orchestra under Mr. Henschel was really our same old H. M. A. orchestra with local additions. They had plenty of time to rehearse carefully but had been playing so long in the old domestic, happy go lucky (or unhappy) was without any real standard that no conductor could have made them into anything but a mediocre organization. Certainly not Henschel who, though very enthusiastic, had no idea of orchestral discipline. Further than to get notes right, it did not take long for the old stagers to find this out, with the result that Georg was in hot water most of the time…He was a good a good program maker of the classic type. He drew the line at dance music but played several of the overtures by Auber. There was plenty of Wagner, Liszt and Berlioz, and of course Brahms, but otherwise not many novelties… Tchaikovsky and Franck had not yet made their appearance.” (6357 and 58) Elson in 1900 wrote: “The highest standard, however, which America ever attained, has been achieved by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, an organiazation which may well compare with any of the orchestras of Europe…It began its labours in 1881. In order not to antagonise the orchestras then existing in Boston, its generous founder, Mr. Henry L. Higginson, took the off-night of the week for his concerts. The old Puritans considered Saturday night as the beginning of the Sabbath; long after this religious idea has passed away, Boston still held Saturday night sacred as regards theatre or public performances; up to the last quarter of the nineteenth century the oldest theatre of the city, the Boston Museum, closed its doors on Saturday night. It was this unused night whichb the Symphony Orchestra chose for its concerts, and Saturday, Oct. 22, 1881, the Boston Symphony concerts were begun.” (Elson, National Music, p. 300 and 301) After the first three seasons under Henschel, William Gericke was hired and was given latitude to remold the Symphony. “In the ranks were many old musicians who had passed the zenith of their powers, but were kept on for sentimental reasons…Great was the indignation when the new broom began to sweep! Especially harsh seemed the replacing of the great violinist, the musical pioneer, the leader of the orchestra (concert-meister), Bernhard Listemann,–by a breadless young Roumanian. [Franz Kneisel]” (Op. Cit., pp. 304 and 305) However, with the personnel changes made by Gericke, the orchestra became a younger ensemble which then with few changes through 1900 “rehearsed together thousands of times.” (Op. Cit. pp. 305 and 306)

Orpheus Club. This choir “was never in so flourishing a condition as at present. Its director is Mr. Carl Zerrahn, who conducts the rehearsals with as much precision as if each were the immediate precursor of public performance. The Club is numerous, enterprising, and full of spirit. They are engaged to give concerts in several of the leading cities and towns of Massachusetts during the present winter, and we learn that preparations are making by them [?] for a grand masquerade ball at Music Hall, to be given on a scale of magnificence never surpassed in this city.” (BMT, December 2, 1865, p. 177) “The Orpheus Musical Society gave a concert to a crowed audience at Tremont Temple, Feb . 9th. Under the baton of Mr. C. Gloggner Castelli, this society is winning new laurels.” (Dexter Smith”s, March 1872, p. 53)

Elson, “Musical Boston,” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.


Osgood, George Laurie. Born April 3, 1844 in Chelsea, Mass., Di-December 12, 1922 in Godalming, England. Elson describes Osgood as “a lineal descendant of John Osgood, the Puritan, who landed in Salem in 1632.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., p. 252) “A descendant of John Osgood who emigrated to Massachusetts in 1638. As a child he showed an acute sense of pitch, and was given every musical advantage from his earliest years. At Harvard, where he was graduated in 1866, after studying composition and the organ under John Knowles Paine, he directed the college glee club and orchestra for three successive years. After graduation he went to Germany, where he remained three years studying singing in Berlin… German song and choral music with Robert Franz. He then went to Italy for three years of further study at Milan under Francesco Lamperti, after which he made a successful concert tour of Germany. As a result Theodore Thomas engaged him in 1872 for a winter tour of the United States with his orchestra as tenor soloist. One newspaper printed: “Mr. Geo. L. Osgood has been engaged to appear at all of Mr. Theodore Thomas” concerts next season. This is most welcome news.” (Dexter Smith, September 1872, p. 204) For some thirty years thereafter Osgood played a leading part in Boston”s musical life. He was very popular as a teacher and brought out a number of successful singers. He also directed an annual series of chamber-music concerts of a high quality, and completely transformed the Boylston Club of Boston, of which he was conductor from 1875 to 1893, from a male chorus into a mixed choral organization of two hundred voices. Under the name of the Boston Singers” Society (1890), he established its reputation for brilliant performance of difficult pieces.” (DIC. AM. BIO., p. 78) In the spring of 1872 it was reported: “Mr. Geo. L. Osgood, of Chelsea, who has been studying in Europe for several years, is now creating a great sensation in Vienna. The Germans pronounce him the most perfect interpreter of the songs of Schubert and Robert Franz. Welcome home, George!” (Folio, May 1872) The next issue announced that he would be sailing home from Liverpool at the last of May. (Folio, June 1872) “Mr. George L. Osgood has returned from Europe to his home in Boston. He has declined several very handsome offers of engagement to sing in opera. He will probably give a series of concerts in the principal cities next season, commencing in Boston. We have a rare treat in store.” (Dexter Smith”s, July 1872) Once he first returned to America, in the Fall of 1872 he was “tendered a complimentary concert” by the citizens of his hometown, Chelsea, on September 19th. Assisting in the program was the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and also the bass, M. W. Whitney, who had also just returned from Europe. “The Academy of Music was well-nigh filled, and among the audience we noticed the faces of several of our well-known Boston critics… It is noticeable that Mr. M. W. Whitney made this his first appearance since his return from the Continent.” (Folio, November 1872, p. 132) However, not all of his concerts were so well received. Just three months later a review of Osgood”s appearance with the Thomas Orchestra published in the Rochester, N. Y. Musical Times recorded: “Mr. Osgood disappointed every one. His voice is only an ordinary baritone tenor, tolerably well cultivated. His toilet attracted more attention than his singing, although the latter was pleasing, yet far below many tenors that have sung in this city.” (Folio, December 1872, p. 170) Composer of “songs and part-songs; many of the latter (including madrigals, glees, carols, and other forms of choral work) have been sung at the Boylston Club concerts.” (Jenks, p. 483) On Wednesday evening, May 7, 1879 Osgood presented a concert “at Mechanic”s Hall [which] was one of the most interesting and unique that we have had. Indeed, it was full of most charming matter charmingly interpreted.” The pianist was B. J. Lang who not only accompanied the soloist, but also played a Liszt solo, Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude, and was the pianist in St. Saens”s Quartet in B Flat for piano and strings – “Mr. Lang played the piano part superbly.” (Dwight, May 24, 1879, p. 85) “After 1903 he made his home in Europe, first in Geneva, and later, in Godalming, England, where he had a large country estate and where he dies.” (DIC. AM. BIO., p. 78) He seems to have kept some Boston connections-in 1905 he is listed as an “Absent member” of the St. Botolph Club which he had joined on January 3, 1880, being one of the Charter members. (1905 Members List) He published a “Guide in the Art of Singing,” a work of 200 pages which went through eight editions, and he also published “anthems, choruses, part-songs, and over 50 songs.” (Pratt, p. 428) Over thirty of his published compositions are preserved in the Library of Congress collection, “Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-1885.” Among his SSAA compositions published by the Boston Music Company are Song of the South (martial hymn), The Rock-A-By-Lady (Eugene Field), and his arrangement of Ethelbert Nevin”s Wynken, Blyken and Nod. It would seem that the Theodore Thomas Orchestra was trying to create a local connection by announcing that “Mr. Geo. L. Osgood has been engaged at all of Mr. Theodore Thomas” concerts next season. This is most welcome news.” This would seem to be a most unusual artistic decision to have the same soloist for every program throughout the season. Osgood is also credited with being one of the originators of “One of the largest collections of choral music in the world… the Harvard Glee Club Library… There is a wonderful story connected with the largest single addition to this collection. Many years ago, (this was written in 1952) Dr. Davison was poking around in the newspaper files on Floor D of the basement of Widener Library. In the semi-darkness he stumbled upon a stack of choral sheet music which turned out to be the complete private library of George L. Osgood, ”66, Boston choral conductor, member of the Harvard Musical Association and composer. With the volunteer assistance of members of the Harvard Glee Club and the Radcliffe Choral Society, the entire collection was sorted out and catalogued, and now resides permanently in the choral library of the Department of Music.” (HMA Bulletin No. 20, pp. 12 and 13)

Vol. 7 of the Musical Year Book reported: “The Boyston Club dissolved. The Boston Singers Society succeeded it.” (MYB 1889-90, p. 26)

The first season, 1889-90, of the Boston Singers” Society opened on December 27 and January 3 with concerts for supporters, and then the program was repeated on January 6 for the general public with an admission fee. The pieces were piano accompanied, or unaccompanied, and were grouped by Mixed Voice, Male Voice and Female Voice selections. A second concert on February 27, 1890 used an orchestra of 44 and programmed four longer works, while the final concerts on April 23 and 25 used an orchestra of 26 but consisted of many shorter pieces, again arranged by Mixed Voice, Male Voice and Female Voice groupings. (MYB 1889-90, pp. 16, 17 and 18) Miss Gertrude Franklin was one of the soloists in the second concert.

The 1890-91 Season of the Boston Singers” Society with 190 members (its second season) consisted of three concerts. Osgood was the Conductor, F. H. Ratcliffe the Secretary and Clayton Johns, the Accompanist. A miscellaneous program on December 13, 1890 was followed on February 18, 1891 by a concert accompanied by an orchestra of forty-four, and the final program, given on May 6 and 9 was entitled a “Historical Program” which ranged from a Palestrina motet to a madrigal by the Boston critic, B. E. Woolf entitled Hark, the Lark. (MYB 1890-91, pp. 17 and 18)

In the fall of 1891 the Boston Singers” Society, which Osgood directed, was invited to “consolidate” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Philip Hale had constantly praised the group the previous season. “Two choral works of large dimensions will be given in the series of concerts.” (Hale Crit., Vol. 1) The question is – did this union only last two years? Hale noted in May 1893 that the Boston Symphony Chorus “is now dead and buried. It dug its own grave and then killed itself, and it thus won loud applause… This unhappy chorus made two appearances in the Ninth Symphony, and in a double bill that included Brahms” A Song of Destiny and Foote”s Skeleton in Armor.” (Ibid) The Foote was a “First Boston Performance” and the concert dates were February 3-4, 1893. The world performance had been on April 28, 1892 in New York by the American Composers Choral Association conducted by Emilio Agramonte. (Cipolla, p. 45)

“Ottoman Quartet.” Boston had “for pianoforte playing – what was sometimes jokingly called the ”Ottoman Quartet.” The four leading resident pianists – Otto Dresel, B. J. Lang, Hugo Leonhard, and J. C. D. Parker – were fond of playing pieces for right hands (a otto mani) in public, now and then; hence the nickname.” (Apthorp, Entr”acte, March 6 and 7, 1896 BSO Program Book, p. 594) For the Opening Soiree of Chickering”s New Music Room in 1860, the eight hands opened the concert with Fugue for Two Pianos, Eight Hands by Moschelles. (Dwight, November 10, 1860, p. 262)

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               Spy cartoon (Leslie M. Ward) from 1899-part of a panal of three printed in 1915.

                                                             Johnston Collection. 


Paderewski. George Chadwick recorded that Paderewski came to America in the fall of 1891, and after an appearance in New York, he played his own Concerto in A Minor with the BSO “and made a great hit. Probably none of us had heard the piano played with such diabolical recklessness as he put into that last movement.” Chadwick also noted that he had attended an orchestra only rehearsal of the concerto where “not the smallest detail escaped” Nikisch”s notice… Paderewski speedily became very much at home in Boston. He liked the Tavern Club very much (both Adamowskis were then members) and spent a good deal of time there when he was in Boston. Especially he loved to be with us at our Christmas celebrations and sometimes put himself out a good deal to get there! On one memorable occasion he played the piano for Tim and Joe [Adamowski] to dance the Polish sword dance. It was well worth seeing and hearing.”(6456-6457) Arthur Foote”s daughter Katharine recalled that “when Paderewski first came to America [1891-93] he hardly knew anyone. There Footes befriended him. The lonely Paderewski constantly visited the Footes when in Boston: ”I remember the first time he came to dinner he was TWO hours late. He never acquired any sense of time. He was a delightful companion, played endlessly for us and even played Papa”s duets with me! Later he had many friends and we saw little of him. But he always played papa”s Study in 3rds, which he liked very much, wherever he went.” The piece was one of the Nine Pianoforte Studies for Musical Expression and Technical Development, Op. 27 which Foote composed in the summer of 1891 and Arthur P. Schmidt published in 1892.” (Tara, Foote, p. 71) Henry Dunham, organ instructor of the New England Conservatory remembered attending “a recital there [Blumstead Hall, the amphitheater under the Music Hall] by Paderewski, which was the gift solely of Mrs. Jack Gardner to the musicians of Boston, she standing at the door giving out the programs. A remarkable woman was ”Mrs. Jack,” a real live wire in musical Boston. Unfortunately her type is very rare.” (Dunham, p. 49) Helen Henschel described Paderewski: “He had a truly astonishing complexion, a skin of almost transparent whiteness, which heightened the expressiveness of his smoldering and rather melancholy eyes, and a great aureole of bright red-gold hair.” (Henschel, H., p. 87)

Elson, HISTORY OF AMERICAN MUSIC, p. facing 338, Plate XII.

Paine, John K.

Papyrus Club. Geroge Chadwick mentions c. 1883 that “at that time [the club was] largely made up of St. Botolph men. Their monthly meetings at the Revere House in Bodoin Square were celebrations for the wits and wags that gathered… Great dinners were these, somewhat too convivial at times. One night we had Theo Fordt as a guest with the result that he had to stay in bed all the next day and could hardly get up to sing at the H & H concert in the evening!.” (6382-83)

Parker, George J. A tenor member of the Apollo Club who joined in 1877 and was active in the group through the 1890s, he was also often a soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society. At the Easter Sunday, April 14, 1895 performance, he “carried off the honors of the occasion.” (History-1911, p. 51) He had sung in the Bach Passion given on Good Friday, April 15, 1892. (Op. Cit., p. 19)

Parker Hall.

Parker Hall, Boston Blue Book, 1909.


Parker, James Cutler Dunn. Born in Boston on June 2, 1828 and died in Brookline, Massachusetts aged eighty-eight on November 27, 1916 (aged eighty-nine). “His grandfather was successively rector of Trinity Church and bishop of Massachusetts. His father was long senior warden of Trinity. James attended the Boston Latin School and Harvard College. Graduated in 1848, he studied law for three years, but a taste for music, pronounced in boyhood, led him to become as his friend John S. Dwight phrased it, ”the first son of Harvard to forsake a dry profession [the law] and follow the ruling passion of his life.”” (DIC AM BIO., p. 228) One article phrased it that he was born in Boston “where he spent his early years, and where he had a large family connection.” (NEC Mag-Review, Dec 1916-Jan. 1917, p. 45) He studied music in Leipzig 1851-4 under Moscheles, Richter, and Hauptmann and Plaidy. “Organ playing he studied with Schneider.” (Ibid, p. 46) “In September 1854 Parker returned to Boston for a life-time of playing, composing, and teaching for which his through professional training and social standing admirably fitted him. He was always the gentleman, courteous, unassuming, and scholarly. In 1864 he was chosen organist of Trinity Church. He held this position at the old edifice, destroyed by fire in 1872, and for many years at the new church in Copley Square under its celebrated rector, Phillips Brooks, for whose consecration as Bishop and also at whose funeral he played. His church programs were conservative, as were his own compositions.” (Ibid 228 and 229) He served Trinity Church as organist and choirmaster until 1891, a total of twenty-seven years, and for many years organist of the Handel and Haydn Society (? – when)… Translated Richter”s Manual of Harmony; published an original Manual of Harmony (1855) and Theoretical and Practical Harmony (1870). (Baker-BIO. DIC, p.437-38) He was also a soloist in Harvard Musical Association concerts, and at his death was its oldest member. “Early invited by Dr. Eben Tourjee to teach at the New England Conservatory of Music, Parker was a member of its faculty for thirty-seven years, teaching piano-forte and theory.” (DIC. AM. BIO., p. 229) “The Blind King, his only secular composition of importance, was written for the Apollo Club.” (Ibid-p. 229) His Redemption Hymn first was performed by the Handel and Haydn Society in 1877 and was described as a “national property, and is held in universal favor.” [And was programmed by Lang during his second season as conductor of the H and H] Parker “has been long a quiet but active agent in the elevation of musical taste in Boston. The pianoforte, the organ, the church choir, and the choral society have been the means with which he has wrought, employing in their guidance scholarly powers and exquisite taste. Some of us remember gratefully the little club of singers which gave us in Chickering Hall – then on Washington Street, near Summer Street – our first hearings of cantatas of Gade, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Schumann, and others, through several seasons, beginning in 1862. The Parker Club, as it was called, included nearly every singer of real merit living in the city; indeed, it was a distinction to be a member of this select body.” (Jenks, p. 480) The Parker Club gave many Boston first performances, although only with piano accompaniment, among which were “Comata of Gade, the Walpurgis Night of Mendelssohn, the Flight into Egypt of Berlioz, Schumann”s Paradise and the Peri and Pilgrimage of the Rose.” In 1867 this mixed choir was being referred to as the “only club of its kind in Boston,” and as such could easily “double the number of concerts” that it might give.” (BMT, May 4, 1867, p. 42) Lang was not to found the Cecilia Society until 1874.

Parker, Henry Taylor. b. Boston 1867, d. 1934. “A Boston native and Harvard dropout” who spent a number of “vagabond years in Europe… [he was] not even able to read music… He eventually returned to Boston and after several years as a journalist in various jobs succeeded Apthorp as the music and drama critic for the Boston Evening Transcript in 1905… Owlish-looking and bespectacled, short of stature, a life-long bachelor, a man of polymorphous curiosity, he sometimes wrote on politics and world affairs and was also a dance critic and drama critic… A legendary workaholic and eccentric in journalism circles who avoided all social contact with actors and musicians, Parker had some affectations: applauding by the continental method of stamping his cane on the floor… What he lacked in musical booklearning H. T. Parker made up for in intuitive discernment and a sensitive, poetic prose” (Grant, p. 96) From 1892 a journalist, his “pen often drew blood.” Horowitz noted that “his signatures included a fedora, a huge bamboo walking stick, [and] a German cavalry overcoat… A learned Harvard dropout, he could not read music but keenly adored it. One object of his adoration was Muck and his ”incomparable orchestra of the world,” at ”the apogee of its attainment.”” (Horowitz, p. 79) Johnson quotes David McCord: “Since late in another century, when he first became an harmonies initial, he has been known, read, feared, damned, and praised as H. T. P. In Boston, these letters as insidious as G. B. S.; and many a New York manager”s complexion has suddenly paled or freshened at what was abundantly said in type above them. It is hardly enough in two fields to call him dean of American critics. One can be dean and intellectually dead. Parker was never more alive.” (Johnson, Hallelujah, p. 160) Resident in New York at the Murray Hill Hotel; in Boston, first at 132 Bowdoin Street, and later at the Hotel Vendome; and in London at the Hotel Lanham in Portland Place. “Thirty years of the Transcript: A column and a quarter to a two column daily review, a daily page to edit, two pages of magazine material for Saturdays, monthly ventures to New York, and a vast amount of consequent reading have left him, in the season, time for nothing but more work… Friends who are interested once calculated that in these thirty years he has written and printed the equivalent of 300 full sized novels; or close to a novel a month” (McCord, p. 5, 7 and 8) “If you should dare to address him, he will answer briefly, cigarette in mouth, his head bobbing emphatic emphasis behind a cloud of volcanic ash. His manner does not suggest long interviews,” (Ibid, p. 140) “At the symphony his seats are in the first row of the first balcony, just to the right and above the orchestra, where he perches, a small and bitter gargoyle above the Brahmin sea. He has a Continental method, and rather objectionable, of applauding by bringing his cane into sharp contact with the floor. An accurate myth relates that once he brought it down on the toes of Mrs. Jack Gardner, with whom he was sharing a box. The fireworks that followed will likely survive them both.” (Ibid. pp. 15 and 16) His career included 1899 as the London correspondent of the Globe and Transcript. In 1902 he was the New York correspondent for the Transcript. By 1905 he was at the Boston headquarters of the Transcript. “Every summer he goes to Europe, gives up cigarettes, and smokes a pipe… Festivals of music, a week of ballet, Salzburg, Weimar, and the great art centres, are annual flames to his annual moth.” (Ibid, p. 23) His only published book was entitled EIGHT NOTES, and he felt that “impermanence” was the best quality of a newspaper article – “The more daily a paper is, the better.” (Ibid, p. 24) From pp. 102-111 in “Two Scribes” in Eaton”s THE BOSTON OPERA COMPANY. “Parker”s initials were inevitably expanded to ”Hell-to-Pay,” which doubtless gratified him in certain moods.” McCord wrote that Parker”s days “were confounded it seems between New England where he was born, England, where he went to school, Harvard, where he ranked with the class of 1890, New York, where he began as a critic, Boston, where he lives, and Germany, where he intends to die.” His professional musical training was slight: “It has been said of H. T. P., even by his stoutest admirers, that he was virtually a musical illiterate, unable, for example, to tell the difference between a major and minor chord and certainly lacking the ability to read notes. Still he knew music ”from the outside, if not from the in,” acquiring a corpulent body of information. Furthermore, his instincts were sound, more so than Hale”s, and he labored under fewer blind spots.” “Parker could fill three twenty-inch columns of closely set seven- or eight-point type with an opera review and still count on a column for concerts or theater… McCord estimated that H. T. P. through thirty years had turned out (and seen printed!) the equivalent of three hundred full-sized novels, or close to a novel a month.” Whereas Hale also wrote a separate society column, “Parker”s was the only description of the ”social” side of Boston life the Transcript permitted. This mirror of all that was good, true, pure, and beautiful in Boston never demeaned itself to the ”social column” level, subscribing to-or perhaps having promulgated-the tenet that a real lady”s name appeared in the public press only three times: at birth, on her wedding, and after her death.” Parker “displayed more idiosyncrasies in manner and dress [than Hale]- McCord described him as a ”small, fierce-eyed individual, of graying mustache and adequate age, tweedish clothing, Habig fedora, huge bent bamboo cane, and a German cavalry overcoat made for him with belt and saddle-split by a military tailor in Wiesbaden” who “perched like ”a small and bitter gargoyle above the Brahmin sea”” from his seat in the first row of the first balcony at Symphony Hall where he “almost invariably [sat] alone in one of the conventional pair of critic”s seats.” Whereas Hale did not appreciate much of the modern music, especially upon first hearing, “Parker, on the contrary, appreciated even the exalted intricacies of Bruckner and Mahler, and was one of the first honorary members of the Bruckner Society.” McCord summarized Parker thus: “The bon vivant, the traveler who ”by synthetic accident of foreign clothes, tri-lingual facility, and the Continental manner is assumed in London to be a Frenchman, in Paris a German, and in Berlin an Englishman,” who journeyed alone and the faster for it into legend, Parker remains unique.” McCord predicted: “Not until one tries to fill his shoes will Boston realize the cosmic particle she harbors.” When Apthorp was working for the Boston Evening Transcript, its average size was “ten to twelve pages,” but “by 1913, the tenth anniversary of Parker”s term, the newspaper had mushroomed to three and even four times its former size. Where columns had been just that-columns-they were now pages… With space limitation no longer an important factor, his [Parker”s] writings were quite long. Whereas Apthorp utilized a column or two to report on a concert, Parker took a whole page. He did not take advantage of the additional space, unfortunately, to include more detail. He simply was more expansive in his prose…Regarding the conductor, Parker seems to have belonged to the ”Admiration Society for Conductors of Esteemed Boston Musical Aggregations,” for he never failed to give conductors of the Boston Symphony orches
tra, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Cecilia Club, or the Boston Opera House the highest praise he could muster… Regarding content, Parker began his reviews with an introductory paragraph highlighting who did what… Seldom was much said of the music itself; instead, the articles focused on the key figures and the performance. There were few musical terms used, no mention was made of arias, movements, expressive markings, etc. Parker”s writing style was completely different from what the Transcript had witnessed previously. He had a knack for describing the music without really saying very much about it. After reading a paragraph, some readers might still wonder what his point was… Parker was adept at portraying for his readers a general impression of what the music felt like, as had John S. Wright.” (Nelson, pp. 111-115) “There was such a local cult around Parker in Boston that when he died the Transcript ran articles, letters, reminiscences, and photographs of him almost daily for an entire month.” (Grant, p. 97) Parker, “critic of music and drama for the Boston Transcript from 1905 until his death, March 30, 1934, was crusty and feared, an arrant individualist, full of prejudices explosively announced. He had love and sentiment, but both were hidden. Only those close to him – and they were few – knew his humanity… He prided himself on his knowledge of Rhine wines and smoked cigars which shot out embers like Fourth of July sparklers. His seat was in the first row right of the first balcony, near Mrs. Jack Gardner”s. Sometimes he thumped his walking stick on the floor when sour notes came from the stage. Once, legend says, he brought the bamboo stick down on the toes of Mrs. Gardner and got a look which would have killed the leopard with which she once walked down Tremont Street. Enemies said H. T. P. was tone-deaf – but they could never catch him at it. He died at 66.” (Herald article on the BSO, December 15, 1940)

Parker Memorial Hall. Seating capacity 800.

Paur, Emil. BSO conductor from 1893 to 1898. “Emil Paur programmed too much Richard Strauss for Higginson”s liking, and was not in a class with Gericke and Nikisch in any case. Higginson deposed him after five seasons and in 1898 got Gericke back.” (Horowitz, p. 73) However Paur then moved to New York as the conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and a year later, in 1899, he succeeded Dvorak as Director of the National Conservatory. He held both positions until 1902, and then he returned to Europe. A year later he was back in American as conductor of the Pittsburgh Orchestra until it disbanded in 1910. (Amer. Grove, III, p. 490)

Mathews, p. 157.

Elson, “Musical Boston” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

Perabo, Johann Ernst. November 14, 1845 – October 29, 1920. “Pianist, teacher, and composer, was born in Wiesbaden, Germany… The father was a school teacher and, according to German requirements, also an organist, pianist, and violinist, hence he was well qualified to train his nine children, all of whom became musicians. Ernst… proved to be the most gifted, and he began the study of piano with his father when he was five years old. In 1852 the family emigrated to America, settling first in New York, where they remained for two years. He knew Bach”s Well-Tempered Clavichord by heart at eight years of age.” (Elson, Musical Boston, p. 5) After short periods in Boston and Chicago, in 1858 [aged 13] Ernst was sent back to Germany for four years, “but he had to struggle against ill health, which prevented serious music study. In 1862 he entered the Leipzig Conservatory,” returning to America in 1865.” In 1864 Dwight gave a different account of Perabo”s time in Germany: “He has been gone nearly six years, the greater part of which time has been wisely spent in laying the foundation of his general education, which had been neglected too much in favor of music. He has only been a couple of years at Leipzig… Many of our readers in Boston will remember Master Perabo, who resided here, with his parents, some seven years ago, and who, at that time, being not twelve years old, used to play (by heart) a score or two of Bach”s fugues, sonatas of Beethoven, etc. Once we heard him play prelude and fugue by Mendelssohn at sight… A subscription was raised among musical persons in New York and Boston, Mr. Scharfenburg taking the lead, to send the boy to Germany for his education.” (Dwight, June 11, 1864, p. 255) “He established first himself in New York, as a teacher and pianist, and gave a number of concerts that were so successful that he decided to give a series of matinees, at which he performed the sonatas of Schubert… In 1866 he transferred his residence to Boston and remained there until his death. He never gave concerts on a grand scale but devoted himself to teaching, in which he was most successful. For many years he played annually at the Harvard concerts at which he gave many works unknown at that time in America… He was a zealous conservative, but he approached new works in a spirit of open-mindedness.” (DIC. AM. BIO., pp. 457 and 458) “Ernest Perabo, just out of boyhood, returned from study in Leipsic in 1866, and made a brilliant impression in the closing concert of the first symphony season; since which day he has always held his own among the ablest interpreters of great piano music.” (Dwight, History of Boston, p. 454) “Pianist of a super-sensitive nature who could give expression to a five-finger exercise.” (HMA Bulletin No. 11) he was “one of the foremost musicians and pianists in Boston. Of a retiring and modest nature, an almost super-sensitive musician, an inspiring teacher, and a pianist of unusual skill in execution and interpretation.” (HMA Bulletin No. 16) “After some hesitation, he in March, 1866, settled in Boston. He was invited to play at the last concert of the season given by the Harvard Musical Association, which occurred April 21st.” (Jones, p. 132) In 1866 Perabo gave two “Matinees” at Chickering Hall: for the second, on Wednesday afternoon, May 9, 1866 at 3:30PM, the Assisting Artists were Miss Clara M. Loring, Soprano (her first appearance in public), Mr. B. J. Lang, Pianist, Mr. Henry Suck, Violinist, and Mr. Howard M. Dow, Accompanist. Lang and Perabo played the Diversions (for four hands) Opus 17 by Bennett, and the Rondo (for two pianos) Opus 73 in C Major by Chopin (HMA Program Collection). Tickets were “One Dollar Each;” rather expensive in light of Wednesday afternoon concerts by the “Orchestral Union” at the Music Hall were offered at 50 cents that same year (HMA Program Collection). Lang was also an Assisting Artist at Perabo”s “Fourth Schubert Piano Matinee” at Chickering”s Hall on Thursday afternoon January 31, 1867 where Lang and Perabo performed the Rondo in E Minor Opus 84, No. 2 by Schubert, and the Fantasie in F Minor Opus 103 also by Schubert (HMA Program Collection). Since his arrival in Boston in 1866, “he has regularly appeared at one or more concerts” of the HMA. “He has also given every season a series of recitals and matinees of his own, which are of the highest order. Among other things he has played the whole of Schubert”s piano sonatas in public. His repertoire includes the best works, and he is particularly happy as an interpreter of Beethoven. As a teacher of the piano he is surpassed by few, and he always has a large number of pupils.” (Jones, p. 132) “He has published several piano compositions both here and in Germany, and is one of the best interpreters of Beethoven that Boston has possessed.” (Elson, Musical Boston, p. 5)  In 1869 “after a year”s rest from concert playing,” Perabo announced two sets of chamber soncerts. The first, of four concerts, was in the fall of 1869 and a highlight was to be “a number of the rarely heard Sonatas of Beethoven”s latest period.” The second series, of eight concerts once a fortnight, began in January 1870 and were “Historical.”(Dwight, September 25, 2869, p. 111)  Not all comments were complimentary: “Mr. Perabo”s Matinee on the 5th was not so good as we had expected. For the hundredth time, we refer to his marked fault in piano-playing. His execution cannot be surpassed. Otherwise, he performs as if a river of ice was drowning every sentiment of sympathy and expression in his soul.” (Folio, February 1872) In the fall of 1879 Dwight reported: “Ernst Perabo has returned, after a second residence in Leipzig, not in such good health as his many friends had hoped to see him.” The report continued that while he was in Germany he “was not idle,” and he published there a number of “brilliant and interesting works of a high order of merit, thoughtful and musicianly in treatment, and of value to students both an artistic and technical point of view.” (Dwight, Nov. 8, 1979, p. 184)

Elson, “Musical Boston” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.

First published in 1900 by Theodore Presser. Johnston Collection.

Petersilea, Carlyle. “Boston born in 1844, pianist who attained high eminence in music; he studied abroad; established the Petersilea Academy of Music (1871-1886); later joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.” (HMA Bulletin No. 16) The 1886-87 “Musical Yearbook of the United States” reported: “The Petersilea Academy is dissolved, Mr. Petersilea joining the staff of the New England Conservatory.” (MYB 1886-87, p. 50) An 1872 ad for his school promised that “This institution offers to those wishing to acquire a MUSICAL EDUCATION advantages unequalled by any Conservatory or Music School in the world [!]. It is conducted on an entirely new and Original Method, which will advance pupils to a higher degree of perfection with Less Time and Labor than any plan of instruction heretofore employed. Every department, Vocal and Instrumental, is in charge of thoroughly competent Teachers, and all of the pupils are under the direct personal supervision of MR. PETERSILEA. All branches are taught at VERY MODERATE TERMS, the rates of tuition for beginners on the Piano-Forte being especially low. The Petersilea System for the Piano-forte, by which such phenomenal results have been attained, will be exclusively in this school… Applications can be made at all times to CARLYE PETERSILEA, Director, 238 Washington Street, Boston.” (Dexter Smith”s, February 1872, p. 46) In 1872 B. J. Lang did not advertise in this magazine. In September 1872 the same magazine reported: “Carlyle Petersilea”s popular Music School has been removed from 1 Central Court to 339 [ad said 238] Washington Street, where enlarged and improved accommodations will enable the eminent Principal and his efficient board of teachers to impart the most thorough instruction. The Fall Term commences Sept. 16th.” (Dexter Smith”s, September 1872, 204) Another publication noted: “It gives us pleasure to note the gratifying success attending Mr. Carlyle Petersilea”s Music School. Although but a short time in existence, it has already risen to high rank, and we can recommend it to any one of our friends in search of a thorough, practical musical education.” (Folio, February 1872)

Philharmonic Orchestra. The Musical Fund Society, which existed from 1847 until 1855 sponsored a Philharmonic Society that “eventually numbered from fifty to sixty instrumentalists, all of them professionals and committed to playing the best music. The musicians shared in the proceeds from the concerts. The performances started off at the Melodeon, which seated nine hundred. The orchestra got a reputation for rather decent playing, as compared with the previous academy and Philharmonic orchestras, and soon had a sizeable subscription audience. Two years later, the Musical Fund orchestra moved to the Tremont Theater (later renamed the Tremont Temple), which seated fifteen hundred. Directed first by Thomas Comer, an Irish musician, and later by George Webb, the Music Fund Society played symphonies by Pleyel, Haydn, Mozart, Kalliwoda, and early Beethoven. Regrettably for it, after a few years the audience shrank, and despite some small donations and a gift of one thousand dollars from Jenny Lind, it was headed toward extinction. One wintry evening, fate decided the issue. Owing to the freezing rain and dangerous ice conditions of the street, the instrumentalists left their instruments at the Temple building after the Saturday night concert. A fire broke out that night and destroyed music, instruments, and other properties of the society. It never recovered from the disaster.” (Tara, PSALM, pp. 94 and 95). This would have been about 1858. Ryan describes Thomas Comer “as originally an actor. He had a passion for music-could compose a little, played the violin tolerably well, was leader of an orchestra in the Boston Museum for many years, and afterwards in the Boston Theatre. He was just the man for the times-popular on all sides, ”hand and glove” with every one, as the old saying went.” (Ryan, p. 52) Ryan also said that the “Germania Musical Society, which had been in Boston for two seasons, really gave the coup de grace to the Musical Fund Society by its fine orchestra and its superior performances.” (Ryan, p. 52) “From 1855 to 1863 a Philharmonic Orchestra under Carl Zerrahn existed.” (Elson, NATIONAL, p. 291) Zerrahn had been the first flute of the Germania Orchestra that had folded in September of 1854. This Philharmonic had “fifty-four men,” and Zerrahn “and the orchestra would continue to give regular concerts until 1863, when the Civil War forced a stoppage. Sad to relate, the quality of its playing was not the equal of that of the Germania Society, although it was certainly better than that of the other ensembles previously mentioned. Writing about concerts he had heard around 1860, William Apthorp said: ”The orchestra was an exceedingly variable quantity: there were only two horns, and a second bassoon was not to be thought of. The second-bassoon part had to be played on a ”cello; and uninitiated visitors used sometimes to wonder what the solitary ”cello was doing in the midst of the wood-wind. Hamann, the first horn, had little technique, but a good tone… I think there were hardly ever more than six first violins: I certainly remember one performance of Beethoven”s A major symphony with only three first violins and two second. The solitary bassoonist was conspicuous by his singularity, not by his virtuosity.”” (Tara, PSALM, p. 97) Zerrahn announced in February 1860 that the Fourth Philharmonic Concert would be the last in the series, and “the last subscription series he will ever undertake on his own responsibility in this city. For five years he has labored with unremitting diligence to supply the most refined taste of the community with that entertainment which it craved… For five years he has expended time, disbursed money, and neglected his private interests, to accomplish this noble purpose, each year holding out to him promises of future success which have never been fulfilled.” (BMT, February 25. 1850, p. 6) The program for this concert described the orchestra as “Perfectly complete in all its details, [and] will consist of FIFTY of the best Boston musicians.” (HMA Program Collection) Just a few weeks later his fellow Boston artists organized a Benefit Concert for April 14, 1860 “in order to repair the losses he has sustained in his effort to provide entertainment for the highest musical tastes of our community.” (BMT, March 24, 1860) The program for this concert said “The Grand Orchestra is composed of FORTY of the best resident musicians. (HMA Program Collection) Early sales at fifty cents per ticket were good, and in addition to the full orchestra volunteering their services, Miss Fay, Mrs. Harwood, and Miss Washburn volunteered their talents also.

Zerrahn kept trying! In June 1860 it was reported that thirty-four “prominent professors of instrumental music” had formed a committee and “signed a truly admirable constitution” which would create the “Boston Philharmonic Society.” Thomas Ryan of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club was the President, and Carl Zerrahn was one of the three Associates. “Concerts will only be given when a sufficient sum shall have been secured to cover all expenses, and guarantee to each of those who may perform at a particular concert (and only those who do perform can receive compensation), the sum of twelve dollars. By way of preparation for each concert, four rehearsals will be given, of which two will be public.” (BMT, June 2, 1860, pp. 120 and 121) Further details emerged throughout the fall – “They propose to give six concerts to subscribers, for two dollars and a half for the series, a price which will put the entertainments within the means of all who desire to listen to such music as they will produce. Subscription lists are left at all music stores, and one thousand names will be required before the concerts can be given. No runners will be sent round to solicit signatures (a procedure which we heartily commend) for it is thought that those who are ready to support these concerts will be interested enough to apply personally for the means of admission.” (BMT, December 1, 1860, p. 330) However, almost a year later the goal was reduced to 800 subscribers, and without that number “under no circumstances can the concerts be given… We cannot believe that Boston music lovers will consent to allow two seasons in succession to pass without what has come to be almost a necessity, and have no doubt but that Mr. Zerrahn”s undertaking will prove eminently successful.” (BMT, November 30, 1861, p. 229) Finally enough support was found so that “Mr. Zerrahn has decided to give a series of Philharmonic Concerts, the first of which will take place Jan. 11th. [1862]… The programmes will be more varied than strictly classical concert might admit; but we are willing to leave this matter to Mr. Zerrahn”s discretion. We only wish to bespeak for him a patronage from non-subscribers commensurate with his former efforts to afford them and us a high degree of musical gratification.” (BMT, December 28, 1861, p. 246) The season began “most auspiciously,” and the second concert, held at the end of January included Miss Mary Fay as a soloist, “Beethoven”s Fifth Symphony, Wagner”s overture to Faust, Schindelmeisser”s overture to Uriel Acosta, and Julius Eichberg (who plays a Concerto of his own).” (BMT, January 25, 1861, p. 261) The success of these Winter Concerts led to a second series in the Spring, but “the result of the second attempt was a pecuniary failure, which forced him to discontinue the concerts. The truth is that the number of people who really understand, and thoroughly enjoy, the highest grade of orchestral performances is not sufficiently large to repay one for undertaking them.” The reviewer mentioned the Germania ensemble concerts-when they first there were great crowds, but “afterwards this affection faded away… Every season the lovers of orchestral concerts make strenuous efforts to establish them on some permanent basis; but the attempt has never yet succeeded.” It seems that the audience of this era was ready for the “Boston Pops” as reflected in the offerings of the Orchestral Union, but not yet ready for the “Boston Symphony Orchestra” which would appear twenty years later.

In January 1863 it was announced that “Mr. Carl Zerrahn has at length received sufficient encouragement from the musical public to warrant him in commencing a new series of these admirable entertainments [Philharmonic Concerts]. There will be six concerts on alternate Saturday evenings, commencing January 10th. A grand symphony will introduce each performance, and much other new and artistic music will be given. Mr. Zerrahn”s orchestra was never so large or effective, and we anticipate a decided success for this enterprise.” (BMT, January 3, 1863, p. 166) But, it seems that the series did not go well. In fact “Mr. Carl Zerrahn”s sixth and last Philharmonic Concert will be given at the Boston Theatre on the evening of Saturday April 11th., and will take the form of a benefit to himself… The experience of the last concert, two weeks ago, has taught Mr. Zerrahn, what the Boston press have labored in vain to teach him, that a fearfully heavy selection, unrelieved by anything of a generally attractive nature, may win the applause of half a dozen severe intellects, but will invariably have the effect of frightening away the masses upon whom most dependence must be placed by public servants for support.” (BMT, April 4, 1863, p. 22) Tickets were advertised at 50 cents, 25 cents for the Family Circle, and Private Boxes at $6. (HMA Program Collection) At the same time that he was presenting his Philharmonic Concert Series, Zerrahn was also conducting the concerts of the Boston Mozart Club. This was a group of “ardent amateurs” who presented “Social Orchestral Entertainments” to “their also ardent friends and associate members.” They performed at Mercantile Hall and the “creditable” program of March 23, 1863 would seem to be typical. (BMT, April 4, 1863, p. 21)

Overture – Cosi fan tutte – Mozart

Grand Symphony, No. 19 in D major – Haydn

Allegretto from 7th Symphony – Beethoven

Concert March – Kunze

Serenade for select orchestra – Eislodt

Overture – Barber of Seville – Rossini

The Mozart Club gave their “third Social Orchestral Entertainment on Monday, March 14th., at Mercantile Hall which was filled by a refined and cultivated audience of invited listeners. The performance, led by Zerrahn was good.” The program included a Mozart symphony, overtures by Mendelssohn and Mozart, and an orchestral Romance for English horn and flute by Halevy. (BMT, April 2, 1864, p. 4)

There were few regular orchestral concerts in Boston from 1863 until 1866 when the Harvard Musical Association took up the task-their series lasted until 1882. However, another Philharmonic Orchestra (the third use of this name in Boston) was begun in 1879 and reorganized into a Philharmonic Society in 1880. The successive conductors of this group were Bernhard Listemann, Louis Maas, and Carl Zerrahn. “The Harvard Musical Association represented musical conservatism, the Philharmonic Society was identified with radicalism of the most decided type.” (Elson, NATIONAL, pp. 293 and 294) A one-page introduction was printed in the opening program of October 24, 1879. “The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra has been recently organized to meet the wants of a permanent Orchestra in Boston-a want too generally admitted to call for further comment. The new organization has for its conductor BERNARD LISTEMANN, and counts among its members the very best performers of the Harvard Symphony Orchestra. The plans of the new organization for the coming season include a series of five popular Symphony Concerts, at Boston Music Hall” during November and December 1879. “Subscription tickets, with reserved seats for the five Concerts, $2.50 each; single reserved seats for each concert, 75 cents; admission tickets, 50 cents, and packages of five admission tickets, $2.00. The programmes of these concerts, though of a popular character, will be made up with a view of presenting a good variety of compositions, in which modern works of acknowledged ability will find a prominent position. The great composers will be represented by the following works:”then followed a list of c. 35 works… “Accomplished Vocal and Instrumental Soloists will contribute to each programme.” (HMA Program Collection) Elson remarked that both groups, the HMA Symphony and the new Philharmonic suffered from the lack of patronage, which led to too few rehearsals of musicians whose main income, came from other musical pursuits, and thus “could not give more than a perfunctory attention to the symphonic task.” (Elson, NATIONAL, p. 294) Tara”s description was that “Bernard Listemann organized another Philharmonic in 1880, in direct competition with the [Harvard] association orchestra. Previously, Listemann had acted as concertmaster in the Thomas orchestra. The Philharmonic played no better than its rival and succeeded only in dividing the relatively small audience, so that both ensembles operated at a loss. The quietus was given to both ensembles when the Boston Symphony orchestra began life in 1881.” (Tara, FROM PSALM, p. 99) But, from the Introduction to the first concert, printed above, it would seem that competition between the groups was not seen at that time especially as the new Philharmonic printed that their concerts were of a “popular” style, and the orchestra had among its membership the “very best performers of the Harvard Symphony Orchestra.” This new Philharmonic presented concerts at the Music Hall from October 24, 1879 until May 5, 1881. At that point Listermann became the concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but the Philharmonic Society was reborn again conducted by Dr. Louis Maas and functioned from November 10, 1881 until April 13, 1882.[see next paragraph about the orchestra that Dwight mentioned in February 1881] They began yet again on November 28, 1882 under Carl Zerrahn, but lasted only until April 4, 1883. In the early 1890s a Boston Philharmonic Orchestra led again by Bernard Listemann gave concerts on Thursday afternoons at 2:30PM at the Boston Theater and the Tremont Theater. (HMA Program Collection). 1891-92 was listed as their Second Season-each program had notes about the pieces and included ads. During this season Edward A. MacDowell played his Piano Concerto No. 2 at their December 31, 1891 concert, and then repeated it at the concert of January 14, 1892. (HMA Program Collection) Lang was the soloist in the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto on Tuesday afternoon December 19, 1882 at 2:30PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

All that changed in 1881 with the founding of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by Henry L. Higginson. Dwight announced yet another “New Orchestral Club” in his February 12, 1881 issue-called a club because it”s main support would be from a group of supporters and associate members. Controlled by a Board of 25 members with Prof. J. K. Paine as its first President, “over six hundred persons have already signed as associate members, and the secretary reports that twice that number could be obtained if desired. The expense of five concerts proposed for the first year is thus already guaranteed. No tickets will be sold for the evening concerts, each member being entitled to four; rehearsals will, however, probably be given in the afternoon, for which tickets can be purchased.” After giving a long history of other orchestras in Boston, Dwight ended with the thought: “Can a city which hardly sustains one set of concerts [Harvard Musical Association] do any better for two?” (Dwight, February 12, 1881, p. 28)

Phillipps, Adelaide. B. 1833 in Bristol, England and died in 1882 at Carlsbad, Bohemia [Jones says in southern France, p. 137]. She was a contralto who grew up in Boston and made her stage debut there at the age of nine. “After studies in London with Manuel Garcia (1852-53) made debut in Italy. Returned to U.S. (1855); made debut at New York”s Academy of Music (1856)… sang with Maretzek company in Havana; returned to Europe; appeared in U.S. with Parepa-Rosa company (1867-71); was heard widely in concert. Oratorio, operetta (1879-81).” (Sablosky. p. 302) In October 1858 Dwight described her voice: “The rich contralto voice seemed even to have gained in mellowness and fullness, as well as in clear and equal development throughtout its compass. She has, in a great measure, overcome what seemed an organic difficulty, a certain thickness in her sounds. There is more of artistic finish; more of sustained purity of artistic finish; more of sustained purity of tone and finished phrasing; more of flexibility-indeed, quite enough for any but a high soprano voice-while good taste and genuine sentiment restrain her from false ornament, from overstrained effect, and keep her within the bounds of chaste, pure style. It is a great pleasure to listen to the singing of Miss Phillipps.” (Dwight, October 30, 1858, p. 247) In August 1862 Dwight published a number of clippings from her reviews in Belgium: “Her voice, which is a rich contralto, is fresh, sonorous and even in every tone.” Another said: “Her voice, of perfect evenness and of most sympathetic quality, is of great compass; it is an admirable instrument, which she manages with perfect art and exquisite taste.” A paper in Liege wrote: “Miss Phillips is the star of the troupe. She is a skillful singer, possessing a beautiful contralto voice, flexible and of great compass. Her acting is full of energy and feeling… Her reputation is fully established with dilettanti, owing to her triumphs in America, at Les Italiens in Paris, and later, at the Theatre Royal in Madrid.” One final report: “In the name of the Associated Press of the City of Liege; and by a committee chosen for this express purpose, and in which every newspaper was represented, a crown was offered to Miss Phillips, and the audience by its prolonged bravos, signified its approbation of this demonstration by the Press of Liege.” (Dwight, August 2, 1862, p. 143) In the spring of 1863 it was reported in Boston that “she has been singing for some time in Amsterdam, and seems to have created a grand furore. Her voice and acting are described as most admirable.” (BMT, April 4, 1863, p. 20) On Saturday evening, April 30, 1864, “Miss Adelaide Phillipps gave her first concert in four years at Music Hall. She is not only recognized as one of the world”s best contraltos, but as an excellent and estimable lady in all social and domestic relations, and her popularity in Boston is immense. She was assisted by Mme. Guerrabella (with whom she has been singing in Havana); by her own sister, Miss M[athilde] Phillipps, a pupil of Bendelari; by Mr. B. J. Lang who played the D Minor Concerto of Mendelssohn; and by Mr. Zerrahn”s orchestra. Of course the house was crowded. Miss Phillipps never looked or sang to better advantage.” (BMT, May 7, 1864, p. 68) An article in 1865 described her voice as “rich, round and fresh, the supply is always equal to the demands on it. Moreover, she knows how to sing. What nature could not do, art has accomplished. Her style is the purest Italian, her execution exceedingly fine, and her versatility unusual, for she is equally at home in dramatic, comic, and sacred music… And Miss Phillips is a fine actress as well as a singer.” (BMT, June 3, 1865, p. 86) She was the soloist at the May 1867 concert that B. J. conducted in Salem to raise funds for a new concert hall. “Adelaide Phillipps was as much a regular operatic stand-by in those days as Brignoli himself [one of the few operatic singers who appeared with regularity in Boston-most lasted just 2 or 3 seasons]. She began as a dancer at the Boston Museum, but soon developed a rich, luscious contralto voice, which she had admirably trained… She was a grand singer and one of the best actresses of the day on the lyric boards.” (Swan-Apthorp, p. 75) Amy Fay wrote: “I am doubt whether indeed the Germans know what the best singing is. They have most wonderful choruses, but when it comes to soloists they have none that are really great-like Parepa and Adelaide Phillips.” (Fay, p. 34) In the summer of 1868 Miss Phillipps visited Europe, and to raise funds for this a “Complimentary Concert” was given at the Music Hall on Thursday evening June 4th. The assisting artists were madame Camilla Urso-violin, Mr. Carlyle Petersilea-piano, Mr. Wm. Macdonald-vocalist and a “Full Orchestra” conducted by B. J. Lang. The concert began and ended with orchestral pieces, and Cailla Urso played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto while Mr. Petersilea played two movements from the Chopin Piano Concert in E Minor. Miss Phillips sang three different times during the concert. Tickets were $1. After her return from Europe that summer, Miss Phillips presented another major concert on December 12, 1868 at the Music Hall using six assisting artists and a “Grand Orchestra” again conducted by B. J. Lang. Lang”s pupil, Alice Dutton, was one of the guest soloists playing in the first half Mendelssohn”s Serenade and Allegro for Piano and Orchestra and also a Liszt solo in the second half. (HMA Program Collection) Tickets were also $1 for this event. (BPL Lang Prog., 6259) To open the concert Lang conducted the orchestra in the “Allegro Vivace” movement from Mendelssohn”s Fourth Symphony and to close, Beethoven”s Prometheus Overture. Her voice was described as “a pure, rich contralto with a compass of 21/2 octaves, ranging up to B flat in alt. She was not only a fine artist, but a kind-hearted, noble woman, and her death was lamented by a very large circle of friends.” (Jones, p. 137)

Phippen, Joshua. Piano pupil of Lang and composer of “pianoforte pieces; sonata for pianoforte and violin.” (Jenks, p. 483) He was the “Curator of Music” at the Essex Institute of Salem as reflected by a program dated December 26, 1881 which opened with a Trio in E Flat by Mozart played by Chas. N. Allen, Wulf Fries and A. W. Foote. (Program, Foote, Scrapbooks) He was one of the assisting artists in Lang”s series of five recitals of the complete piano works of Schumann in 1883. (BPL Lang Prog., 4) He also served as pianist for the Apollo Club as reflected in their May 12, 1887 (???) program where he played two piano solos, (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 7) and the November 29/December 5 1887 concerts were he also accompanied a horn solo. Philip Hale”s review of Phippen”s early 1890 recital said: “Mr. Phippen was not so fortunate in the selections and arrangement of his program [as Arthur Whiting”s had been]. Our old friend the Bach-Tausig arrangement was heard again, and the eight pieces of D”Albert seemed at one hearing singularly uninteresting. Mr. Phippen showed earnestness and the results of long and patient study.” (BPL Hale Crit., Vol. 1) During the 1889-90 Season Phippen gave a series of three recitals on December 20, 1889, January 17, 1890 and February 14, 1890. (MYB, 1889-90, p. 24) Phippen won the Piano Concerto section of the competition sponsored by the National Conservatory of Music in NYC in honor of Dvorak being named head of that institution.The piece was played at the Madison Square Garden Concert Hall with the composer as the soloist and the orchestra led by Dvorak. The NY Times felt that the winners in the Symphony, Piano Concerto and Suite sections of the competition were all “extremely crude…Mr. Phippen”s piano concerto was sadly deficient in thematic material, but such melodies as the composer had were fairly well divided between orchestra and solo instrument. There were some passages of good contrapuntal writing also.” The article had noted that Phippen, born in Salem, had studied piano with Lang and harmony with C. J. Capen. “In harmony he is self-taught.” (NY Times, March 31, 1893, p. 4)

Post, Boston. Started in 1831… Its building stands on the site of Franklin”s birth-place on Milk Street. In its palmy days under Colonel Green the Post was one of the ablest democratic journals in the country. It was for many years the standard paper for commercial news, and this, together with its editorial ability, made it a recognized authority among business men. Around 1875 it had financial problems, but it was reorganized in 1885 and then “displayed much of its old time vigor and ability… The Post is still Democratic, but not actively partisan.” (Grieve, p. 103) Arthur Weld was the critic before the fall of 1890 when Phillip Hale took over.

Preston, John Aiken Jr. Pupil of B. J.; (May 31, 1856-1902 Passport Application or May 1855-1900 Census) in Manchester, MA (1900 Census)? – 1914) Editor, teacher, pianist and publisher. (Ellinwood, p.302); part of a group “messrs. G. W. Sumner, G. A. Adams, H. G. Tucker, Arthur Foote, and J. A. Preston, all of whom give concerts and recitals of their own programmes of great interest, and rank as excellent pianists.” (Dwight, History of Boston, p. 455) Listed among Lang”s pupils who “deserve mention because of musical prominence,” Preston “has appeared in the leading symphony concerts of Boston, and is recognized as a prominent musician.” (Elson, Supplement, p. 3) Preston soloed with the HMA Orchestra in February 1878 in the first Boston performance of St. Saen”s Piano Concerto No. 4 in C Minor. “Mr. Preston, one of the youngest of our concert pianists, a pupil successively of Mr. Parker and of Mr. Lang, proved himself easily equal to all the rare difficulties of the new Concerto by Saint-Saens. He has great aplomb, remarkably sure, firm execution, a good touch, great facility and smoothness in running passages, even rapid ones in sixths and fourths. He plays too with considerable expression, and with good conception of the intentions of the composition and its capabilities of effect. His manner is modest, quiet, and yet resolute. Of the Concerto itself there are various opinions… We found its power and beauty growing on us.” (Dwight, March 2, 1878, p. 191) In April 1876 Preston played the Chopin Concerto in E Minor with the orchestral reduction at a second piano as part of a pupils” of J. C. D. Parker concert given at the College of Music of Boston University. (Dwight, April 15, 1876, p. 214) At a Boylston Club concert in September 1878 given “for the relief of the sufferers at the South,” Preston was the accompanist for the vocal soloist Miss Fanny Kellogg and his performance was described as “well accompanied.” (Dwight, September 28, 1878, p. 311) In February 1879 he presented a solo recital at Mechanics” Hall “which was alike remarkable for the ambitious tasks which he essayed and for the success with which he acquitted himself in them… It was Mr. Preston”s second public appearance only before a Boston audience as solo pianist; his first was in a Symphony Concert last year, when he made his mark in a Concerto by Saint-Saens… His look and manner are those of a very serious artist; he takes all in earnest, and never trifles with his work.” (Dwight, March 15, 1879, p. 46) Over a year later Preston again soloed at Mechanics” Hall where he played to a “goodly number of appreciative listeners.” In this concert Mr. William J. Winch was an assisting artist. In reviewing his performance of Kreisleriana by Schumann, Dwight was “astonished not only by the technical excellence, the clearness and finish, the sustained poise, ease and freedom of Mr. Preston”s execution, but still more by a mental grasp and an interpretation of the work which left nothing vague or dull, but took strong hold of the attention and held it to the end. It would be hard to name his superior among our young pianists.” (Dwight, June 19, 1880, p. 102) Lang saved a notice advertising three organ recitals at new organ of the Tremont Temple that Preston gave in October 1880. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 3) Dwight found the selections of the first concert “interesting” and noted that Mr. George Chadwick would join Preston during the second concert for the Fantasia for Four Hands by Adolf Hesse. (Dwight, November 6, 1880, p. 176) After the third organ recital, Wednesday noon, October 27, Dwight wrote: “We are glad to see, [that this concert] was better attended than the previous one.” He ended with the comment: “The gifted young pianist has certainly made his mark also as an organist by these three concerts.” (Dwight, November 6, 1880, p. 182) Preston”s growing importance in the Boston musical world was furthered when he joined the St. Botolph Club on June 1, 1880, just six months after it was founded. (1905 List of Members, p. 40) In the 1880 Census Preston”s address is listed as 149 Tremont Street: his occupation as music teacher: his age as 24, and that he was single.[see below about children] Preston made just one solo appearance during the first fifteen years of the BSO-it was during the First Season (1881-82:Henschel) (BSO Programs 1881-96) The BPL has three pieces that he edited, all published by B. F. Wood: Arenski: Valse, Op. 36, Liszt: Consolations 1-6 and 3 Liebestraume, and Napravnik: Melancolie. (BPL Music Room Catalog) The 1900 census lists his profession as “Music Publisher,” his address as 311 Fairmount Ave., Hyde Park, MA, two children: Carleton E. Preston (single, aged 21-born November 1878) and daughter, Louise Preston (married, aged 27-born April 1873). John A. Preston”s Passport Application of 1879 described him as: age-22, stature- 5″ 10″; forehead-medium; eyes-hazel; nose-regular; mouth-small; chin-medium; hair-very dark brown; face-oval, and having been born in Dorchester, MA. Another Passport Application of 1887 for John (then aged 30) and his wife, Susan W. Preston (aged 28) and her maid servant Agnes Lynch (aged about 20 years) lists his birthplace as Dorchester, MA. The only additional information was: complexion-dark. A third Passport Application of 1899 added that his father is a native citizen of the United States, and that he, John did “not follow any occupation.”

Proctor, George. One of the musicians that Mrs. Gardner supported. “From the moment she had first seen Proctor, as a boy chorister at the Church of the Messiah, and later when at fifteen he was organist at the Church of the Redeemer in South Boston, Mrs. Jack had been charmed by his Byronesque features and girlish dimples. For the rest of her life, she took the keenest interest in his happiness. Johns thought well of his talent, as did William [sic] Gericke, and when Paderewski endorsed their opinion, she sent Proctor to study under Leschetizsky in Vienna…” Palffy, p. 142) His record of fifteen appearances with the Boston Symphony between the 1896 and 1914 compares favorably with William Sherwood”s record of seven appearances during the period 1881 to 1893 or the three appearances during the period of 1883 to 1886 of Arthur Foote. Lang played seven times-once on organ in 1883 and six times on piano between 1883 and 1889. (Howe, BSO, pp. 249, 253, 257 and 258)

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Reese, Lizette Woodworth. Poet of many of Margaret”s songs. “A well-respected American poet… Reese”s clear and concise style is believed by many scholars to have had a significant influence on many poets of the early twentieth century.” (Blunsom, p. 196) Born January 9, 1856 in Waverly, Maryland and died December 17, 1935, she was a schoolteacher from 1873 until 1918. “During the 1920s, she became a prominent literary figure, receiving critical praise and recognition, in particular from H. L. Menchen, himself from Baltimore. She has been cited as an influence on younger women poets and has been compared to Emily Dickinson.” Her earliest collections of poems were “A Branch of May (1887),” “A Handful of Lavender (1891),” and “A Quiet Road (1896),” followed in 1909 by “A Wayside Lute.” (Wikipedia article, August 10, 2008) Others have seen that both Teasdale and Millay were deeply indebted to her. The fact that she “was a professional, independent woman from the time that she left high school in 1873” may have resonated with Margaret. (

Rogers, Clara. Born in Cheltenham, England on January 14, 1844 to the English opera composer John Barnett (1802-1890), her earliest musical instruction was from her parents, and then she attended the Leipzig Conservatory from 1857-1860 (the same time that B. J.Lang was doing his German study). She discovered “upon her arrival that she was too young to attend the conservatory. She was eventually allowed to enroll because of the extraordinary talent she showed in her audition, and because of the director”s sympathy for her family”s situation. When she began to study, Clara was the youngest student ever admitted to the conservatory… At the conservatory, Clara”s first area of concentration was the piano. After three years of lessons with Louis Plaidy and Ignaz Moscheles, she was invited to play Chopin”s Concerto in E Minor in the graduation recital… At the age of fifteen Clara was admitted to vocal study and her progress led to her to choose opera singing as a career.” (Radell and Malitsky, Keyboard, p. 131 and 132) Further study in Italy led to her operatic debut in Turin, and she sang major roles in various Italian companies from 1863-1867. Her stage name was “Clara Doria.” (Ibid) She then returned to England for four years “before joining the Parepa-Rosa Opera Company on their American tour. This company was “formed by two Leipzig colleagues, Carl Rosa and Euphrosyne Parepa-Rosa. Her Boston performances were enthusiastically reviewed, and she returned to that city the following year with the Max Maretzak Company.” (Ibid) After settling in Boston she sang professionally at Trinity Church and performed frequently at the Harvard Symphony Concerts. “Following her marriage to the prominent attorney Henry Munroe Rogers, Clara gave up public performing but continued to teach and compose… She joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory in 1902… Since she had been denied a place in the composition classes at the Leipzig Conservatory because of her gender, she felt most confident writing in the smaller forms… Between 1882 and 1906 Rogers published fifty-seven songs… Rogers”s first set [of songs] Op. 10, was published in 1882″ by Arthgur P. Schmidt. (Radell and Matitsky, Vocal, p. 300) During a “career that spanned nearly sixty years, Rogers collaborated with the successive conductors of the newly formed Boston Symphony Orchestra, taught at the New England Conservatory, and shared manuscripts with her fellow composers, who are known collectively as the Second New England School.” (Radell and Malitsky, Keyboard, p. 131) “Henry Rogers was a source of support for her, both personally and professionally, and together they shared a circle of friends that included some of the most important people in Boston, as well as artists, actors, and writers of international reputation.” (Radell and Malistsky, Keyboard, p.133) Rogers “…claims she was one of the first to hold weekly musical evenings in her home. One of her objectives was to bring together fledgling instrumentalists and vocalists, established composers, other noted musicians, music critics, and patrons. When not listening to music, they could enter into discussions and exchange views. Those who attended included the composers Foote, MacDowell, and Chadwick, conductors of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, B. J. Lang, the music writers Dwight and Apthorp, and friends like Julia Ward Howe.” (Tawa, Foote, p. 110) The respect shown by the Lang”s is reflected in the letters by both B. J. and Margaret written after the performance of Roger”s Sonata Dramatico at the first concert of the Boston Manuscript Club in 1888 which also included songs by Margaret. (Radell and Malitsky, Keyboard, p. 133) Roger”s Romanza, op. 31 for piano was published in 1894 in the same volume, Half-Hours with the Best Composers which included two piano pieces by Margaret. (Radell and Malitsky, Keyboard, p. 134)

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Salem, Massachusetts Musical Groups.

The Essex Institute sponsored concerts. In 1877, the second program was given by a female vocal quartet with Arthur Foote as the accompanist, and as solos he presented the Liszt Fifth Hungarian Rhapsody, Nocturne Op. 32, No. 1 by Chopin and melody by Rubinstein. In the third concert, January 8, 1877, Lang “and his pupil Miss Grace Sampson” played Schumann”s Variations for Two Pianofortes Op. 46, Mozart”s Sonata in D Major for two pianofortes, and the concert ended with the Saint-Saens Concerto in G Minor, Op. 22 – the soloist was not named. George Sumner was the pianist in the fourth program given January 22, 1877. (Dwight, February 17, 1877, pp. 391 and 392). The next year the concerts were given “once a fortnight.” In the January 14, 1878 program Arthur Foote and Mr. Tucker shared a program with Wulf Fries and the singer, Mrs. J. W. Weston. Piano duo pieces were Two Marches. Op. 18 by Gade, “Serenade and Scherzo” from Suite in D by Saint-Saens, and the Bridal Music (two numbers) by Adolf Jensen. As solos, Tucker performed Two Ecossaises by Chopin and Liszt”s Study in D Flat Major – Foote gave no solos. (Dwight, February 16, 1878, pp. 183 and 184)

The Salem Oratorio Society. Begun in the fall of 1868 – Carl Zerrahn, conductor – two hundred singers at the first rehearsal-first concert was Haydn”s Creation on Thursday evening February 11, 1869 with soloists from Boston and the Mendelssohn Quintet Club who “assisted as orchestra” – in June 1869, two hundred and sixty members of the choir took part in the National Peace Jubilee in Boston-John S. Dwight reviewed their Elijah performance of May 1870 very favorably. “There were about 250 fresh voices-nearly all of them young people, at least in the Soprano and Alto,-remarkably well balanced… You knew that there were no dummies… Particularly were we struck by the perfection of the rendering of several of those rapid choruses… The performance as a whole, of course, had not the massiveness of our Handel and Haydn presentation of such works. But, until we shall hear better (which we do not expect to do very soon), we shall have to point to Salem for a model of good, true chorus-singing.” (Dwight, May 21, 1870, p. 247) By 1871 “there were four hundred and two members.” (Whipple, p. 124) This group performed Mendelssohn”s St. Paul at Mechanic Hall with Boston soloists, the Germania Orchestra and B. J. Lang playing the “New Concert Organ.” The choir numbered about four-hundred voices for this performance. (Dwight?) For most concerts Boston soloists were used: among them, Mr. Whitney (bass), Dr. Langmaid (tenor), Miss Houston (soprano, later Mrs. Houston-West); W. J. Winch (tenor) and J. F. Winch (bass).

The Salem Schubert Club. Organized May 3, 1878 – number of singing members limited to sixty-associate members limited to one hundred and fifty – Wm. J. Winch first Musical Director, and remained with the group until his departure for Europe in October, 1883 – George W. Chadwick conducted in 1883 and 1884 – followed by Arthur Foote in 1885 and 1886 – repertoire was “cantatas, part-songs and music of like character… The Salem Schubert Club has done some very creditable work and given many admirable performances. It has given the people of Salem an opportunity of hearing the better class of cantatas, part-songs and glees, performed by a well-drilled chorus with the best solo assistance, Mr. and Mrs. George Henschel, Wm. J. Winch, Dr. S. W. Langmaid, Mrs. Humphrey Allen and others.” (Whipple, pp. 127, 128 and 129)

Satter, Gustave. Born February 12, 1832 in Yugoslavia. According to “recurrent statements in the press, Gustave Satter surpassed them all by the quality of his musicianship. He was a fluent technician, imbued with the spirit of the new music by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Chopin. Satter first played in New York on February 20, 1855 at a Quartet soiree of Theodore Eisfeld, beginning in the Schubert Trio, Op. 100.” (Johnson, Satter, p. 61) Satter then appeared with the New York Philharmonic Society conducted by Henry C. Timm at Niblo”s Rooms on March 10, 1855 in the New York premier of Beethoven”s Emperor Concerto (Johnson, p. 48). Then Boston heard him with the Mendelssohn Quintet Club on April 2, 1855 at Chickering Hall again playing the Schubert Trio. It would seem that Dwight”s personal description of Satter in his April 7, 1855 issue is the only one available. “He is a fresh, youthful-looking person, with an air of decision and at the same time a good-humoured Austrian bon-hommie about him… Mr. Satter is yet a very young man, exuberant in power and enterprising ready of talent, ambitious too to take a high and really artistic stand, and a zealous student of the real character of Art; but it would be too much to expect of him all that earnest depth of feeling and of inward experience which should leave nothing to be desired.” (Johnson, Satter, p. 62) Satter”s professional position is reflected by Johnson”s statement – “According to recurrent statements in the press, Gustave Satter surpassed them all [eleven previously cited artists who had come from Europe to America to better their professional lot during the years 1832 through 1852] by the quality of his musicianship. He was a fluent technician, imbued with the spirit of the new music by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Chopin.” Johnson then quotes the New York correspondent of Dwight”s Journal of Music as saying that “His playing is, in my opinion, beyond anything that we have yet heard here… His style is that of Liszt… combining immense force, astonishing fluency, great sweetness and expression where it is needed, and the art of making the notes sing, and often sound out and vibrate like those of an organ.” (Johnson, pp. 62 and 63) Satter assisted the Mendelssohn Quintette Club in their subscription concerts during the springs of 1855 and 1856. (Dowell, p. 21) Satter stayed in Boston two years [1855-57], teaching and performing, but he felt that he had to defend himself for programming his own fantasias on national airs such as Yankee Doodle and Hail Columbia. After spending the summer and fall of 1858 in Philadelphia, he returned to Boston where he again programmed mainly his own works, but also achieved great success with a performance of Beethoven”s Concerto in G Major on January 25, 1859. The Boston Musical Times reported that Satter and S. B. Mills would be playing a concert in Providence “on Tuesday next”, and also that “Mr. Gustav Satter is engaged to be married to Miss Lillie S. McClelan, only daughter of the late Hon. Judge McClelan, of the Supreme Court of Edinburgh, Scotland. Miss McClelan is an American by birth.” (BMT, December 1, 1860, p. 328) By 1861 Satter was back in Paris and during the next twelve years he traveled throughout Europe, but by 1875 he was back in America. In 1865, while he was in Dresden, the rumors circulating through the city about him led him to write a letter “To my Enemies” in which he threatens to take them to court! The writer in the Boston Musical Times wrote: “This individual, whose excellence as a musician, and impudence [immodesty-shamelessness] as a man, are well remembered here, has been talked about in Dresden as he was in New York and Boston. Thinking himself ”whiter than snow, and purer than gold,” he objects to” the rumors…Alas, poor Satter.” (BMT, December 2, 1865, p. 179) “He stayed in the New York vicinity until 1877, when he went South… It is believed he died in 1879 at the age of forty-seven in a place unknown to us.” (Johnson, Satter, p. 69) “A Biographical Sketch” published in Savannah, Georgia in 1879 was probably autobiographical. Baker gives a different birthday: “Gustav Satter (b. Dec. 2, 1832 in Rann, Slovenia and d. (?) Savannah, Georgia, 1879) Pianist; trained as an amateur in Vienna, then in Paris, whither he had gone to study medicine. He threw over the latter profession, toured the United States and Brazil with much success in 1854-60, and returned to Paris, where Berlioz warmly praised his compositions; he resided successively in Vienna, Dresden, Hanover, Gothenburg, and Stockholm, later revisiting America.” (Baker, BIO. DIC. p. 511) Satter had played the New York premiere of Beethoven”s Emperor Concerto with the Philharmonic on March 10, 1855.

Saturday Evening Gazette. Established in 1813. “It is [1889] a large four-page sheet, devoted to the higher walks of literature and education. It is Republican in politics, and is largely read in the old families of Boston.” (Grieve, p. 105)

Scharwenka, Xaver. b. 1850, and d. 1924. “Played in Boston for the first time on February 6, 1891… This strikingly handsome man of Polish-German extraction was one of the most brilliant virtuosi of his time. Every piano-maltreating miss in America had, of course, played his Polish Dance in E flat minor, one of the most popular pieces of piano literature… Among the mass of piano works published by Scharwenka, his first piano concerto in B flat minor acquired special celebrity and was frequently played by him and by others. He made his Boston debut most impressively with this concerto. At that time Scharwenka had already been conducting the New York branch of his conservatory for two years.” (Leichtentritt, pp. 373 and 374)

Henry M. Dunham, THE LIFE OF A MUSICIAN, p. 67.

Schmidt, Arthur Paul. April 1, 1846-May 5 1921. Born at Altona, Germany. Worked for ten years as a clerk for a music store in Boston. “In October 1876 he began a prosperous and valuable career as a publisher and importer of music (chiefly at first as a gent of the well-known Litolff edition), with branches later at Leipzig and New York. The publications listed in the catalogue in 1932 reached the number of nearly fifteen thousand… A chief interest with him from the first was the encouragement of American composers… Most important, he was a pioneer in the publication of works in larger forms (orchestral scores and parts, for example) that had no possibility of being commercially successful. The first score of an important composition of the kind in the United States was the second symphony, Im Fruhling, of John Knowles Paine, published in 1880 by subscription.” During the forty years 1880-1920 he published major works by many of the New England School. “The encouragement he thus gave to composers cannot be overestimated; in a period of remarkable development in American music he made a note-worthy contribution.” (A. F., p. 440) “He was the first to recognize the gifts of Arthur Foote, George Chadwick, Henry Hadley, Mrs. H. H. A. Beach and many other leading American composers. ”He also appreciated the genius of Edward MacDowell when he returned in 1889 from Europe with his reputation entirely European and could find no New York publisher for his manuscripts.”” (Ayars, p. 39) Schmidt, Arthur Paul. April 1, 1846-May 5 1921. Born at Altona, Germany. Worked for ten years as a clerk for a music store in Boston. “In October 1876 he began a prosperous and valuable career as a publisher and importer of music (chiefly at first as a gent of the well-known Litolff edition), with branches later at Leipzig and New York. The publications listed in the catalogue in 1932 reached the number of nearly fifteen thousand… A chief interest with him from the first was the encouragement of American composers… Most important, he was a pioneer in the publication of works in larger forms (orchestral scores and parts, for example) that had no possibility of being commercially successful. The first score of an important composition of the kind in the United States was the second symphony, Im Fruhling, of John Knowles Paine, published in 1880 by subscription.” During the forty years 1880-1920 he published major works by many of the New England School. “The encouragement he thus gave to composers cannot be overestimated; in a period of remarkable development in American music he made a note-worthy contribution.” (A. F., p. 440) “He was the first to recognize the gifts of Arthur Foote, George Chadwick, Henry Hadley, Mrs. H. H. A. Beach and many other leading American composers. ”He also appreciated the genius of Edward MacDowell when he returned in 1889 from Europe with his reputation entirely European and could find no New York publisher for his manuscripts.”” (Ayars, p. 39)


Seidl, Anton. b. May 7, 1850 in Pest, Hungary, d. New York City, March 28, 1898. “His death left a gap in the operatic forces of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, and Covent Garden, London; robbed the Philharmonic Society of New York of a conductor under whom it enjoyed six seasons of unexampled prosperity; weakened the artistic props of the Wagner Festivals at Bayreuth… orphaned a number of undertakings which looked to the edification and entertainment of the people of the United States and Canada in the course of coming seasons… Mr. Seidl”s activities in New York compassed twelve seasons. He came in the fall of 1885, to be the first conductor of the German opera, then domiciled at the Metropolitan Opera House, and he remained at the head of that notable institution until… 1891. (Krehbiel, p. 757) “He became an American citizen, believing that this country the best in which to work out his ideals.” (Dic. Am Bio., p. 311) When Theodore Thomas left the Philharmonic for Chicago in 1891, Seidl became his successor beginning in the fall of that year. “During the entire period of his American residence, he conducted a vast majority of the orchestral concerts given under other auspices than those of the institutions mentioned, and he was extending his activities more and more widely with each year, so that it may correctly be said that, had he lived to carry out the plans which he had laid down for the next season here and abroad, he would have been unique among the world”s conductors in the variety and extent of his labors and the reach of his influence…” (Krehbiel, p. 758)

“The most important musician ever to visit the United States and stay, he became an American citizen, bought a country house in the Catskills, and would not be addressed as ”Herr.” His ”America-mania” included a fondness for mixed drinks and excited approbation of the prospective Spanish-American War. He befriended Edward MacDowell, and-in an excess of partisanship for the Wagner cause he extolled-called the American composer greater than Brahms.” (Horowitz in Beckerman, pp. 92 and 93)

Seidl began his study at the Leipzig Conservatorium in the fall of 1870, and early “in 1872 he went to Bayreuth, and was employed by Wagner to make the first copy of the score of the Nibelungen trilogy [aged 21]. He also assisted at the festival in 1876. In 1879, through Wagner”s recommendation, he obtained the post of conductor at the Leipzig Opera-House, and remained there until 1882. After touring Europe conducting Angelo Neumann”s “Nibelungen” opera troupe, he was appointed conductor of the Bremen Opera House. In 1885 he married [the singer, Augusta Krauss], and in September of that year he began his work at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.” (Grove, Third Edition, p. 709) “He conducted many American premieres of Wagner operas, and with his traditions and the years he had spent with Wagner he was able to produce absolutely authentic performances and interpretations. In 1893 he also conducted the American premiere of the ”New World” symphony by Anton Dvorak, who was his intimate friend.” (Howard, p. 562) Howard”s article also quotes H. T. Finck as the source of the fact that “None of the printed accounts of his life gives the names of his parents, and by some it was supposed that he was the natural son of Franz Liszt.” (Howard, p. 561)

Sharland, John. B. Conductor of the choir below, which began as the Boylston Club, “but that has been only a small part of his labors. He is an organist of much ability, and as a teacher of music in the public schools is doing great work.” (Elson, Musical Boston, p. 5 ) Sharland-b. Halifax, 1837-d. Boston, 1909. “Was early in Chickering”s piano-factory, but turned to piano-playing and conducting, led many choral societies in or near Boston, and from 1870 was music-supervisor in the schools.” (Grove, Am. Supp, p. 27) In 1861 he was organist of the West Church in Boston (built in 1806) whose congregation was “numerous, influential and wealthy, as may be inferred from the fact that during the past season [1861]-universally conceded to be the most trying and stringent in financial affairs ever experienced in this country-they have had a new organ erected, at the expense of about $5,000, which is entirely paid for.” The choral music was supplied by a double quartet “arranged somewhat upon the antiphonal plan with four voices on each side.” His wife was one of the altos. For hymn singing each side alternated verses with all eight voices joining for the final verse. “Mr. Sharland, who has been an amateur musician for many years, has now adopted it as a profession… He has considerable experience as an organist, and for the past six or seven years has officiated in this capacity at the West Church.” (Dwight, October 12, 1861, p. 223)

Sharland Chorus. Another mixed choir in Boston whose membership in 1876 was c. 300 voices. It was part of the first Boston performance of Bach”s Magnificat in D (1723) given at the Music Hall on March 1, 1876 together with the Thomas orchestra. The soloists were Mrs. H. M. Smith, Flora Barry, G. H. Oakes, William J. and John F. Winch with John Knowles Paine as the organist. (Johnson, p. 15)

Elson, “Musical Boston,” Supplement to “Music and Drama,” June 3, 1882. HMA Collection.


Sherwood, William Hall. Born Lyons, New York, January 31, 1854. First teacher was his father, the Rev. L. H. Sherwood who had established “the Lyons Musical Academy at Lyons, N. Y. in 1854-the year which Mr. Sherwood was born. At an early age young Sherwood commenced the study of music under his father”s instruction. In 1871 Mr. Sherwood went to Europe, where he studied with several eminent teachers, among them the illustrious Liszt.” (Elson, Musical Boston, p. 5) His second American teacher was Dr. William Mason. Amy Fay wrote in 1872 – “There is a young fellow named Sherwood, who is only seventeen years old, and he not only plays splendidly but composes beautifully, also.” (Fay, p. 170) “Sherwood is Kullak”s pet and pride, and indeed, since his advent in the conservatory Kullak has shut up entirely on the subject of American want of talent.” (Fay, p. 187) Fay further recorded: “Sherwood is going ahead like a young giant. Today Kullak said that Sherwood played Beethoven”s E flat major concerto (the hardest of all Beethoven”s concertos) with a perfection that he had rarely heard equaled. So much for being a genius, for he is still under twenty [Feb. 1873], and has only been abroad a year or two. But he studied with our best American master, William Mason, and played like an artist before he came. But, then, Sherwood has one enormous advantage that no master on earth can bestow, and that is, perfect confidence in himself.” (Fay, pp. 192 and 193) Dwight reported: Mr. and Mrs. William Sherwood. “Both Americans, (the latter will be pleasantly remembered in this city as Miss Mary Fay) have lately given a concert in the Sing-Akademie in Berlin, of which the entire press there speaks in terms of highest praise.” (Dwight, April 29, 1876, p. 223) Fay referred to Mrs. Sherwood as Mrs. Wrisley of Boston saying that she and Mrs. Wrisley left Kullak to study with Deppe at the same time. After successful concerts in Germany, Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood returned to America in 1876. After a “large and brilliant concert tour” of the States, they settled in Boston and began teaching. He “taught for a few years in the New England Conservatory, Boston, and then moved to New York” (Dic. Am. Bio., p. 103). In 1878 Mr. Sherwood gave ten piano recitals at his music rooms, No. 21 West Street, Boston, on Fridays at 3:30PM. Mrs. Sherwood played the orchestral reductions. These concerts were repeated on Monday evenings at 8PM. (HMA Program Collection) The soloists in the first Boston performance of the Bach”s Concerto for Four Claviers in A Minor were “Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood, J. C. D. Parker, and Benjamin J. Lang.” (Johnson, First, p. 10) This was presented at Mechanics Hall on April 1, 1880. “Since 1889 his chief work has been in the West, where his teaching… has made Chicago a centre for piano music… His concert tours have extended everywhere, north, southeast, and west. Canada and Mexico have heard him, as well as the United States. Every great symphonic orchestra in the country has had his services at one time or another. All together, it is not too much to say that the first American piano virtuoso is (and has been for many years) William H. Sherwood.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., p. 285) “He was the first to play the Grieg concerto in America, and was the first soloist to appear with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under George Henschel… he possessed a flawless technique, delicacy and refinement of expression, and through musicianship. He rarely gave a recital without including one American composition… He had a large following as a teacher, especially through his summer courses at Chautauqua, N. Y., where for twenty-two years, from 1899 until his death, he was head of the piano department… He possessed a lovable nature, very affable, simple, and unpretentious. His first wife, Mary [Nielson] Fay, of Williamsburg, N. Y., to whom he was married in 1874 while a student in Berlin, was also a gifted student of Kullak, and they often played together successfully. His second wife, Estelle [Estella] F. Abrams… to whom he was married in 1887, was his student in Boston. He had three daughters by the first marriage, and two by the second” (Dic. Am. Bio., p. 104). In January and February 1876 Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood presented five piano concerts with assisting artists, George L. Osgood and members of the Boston Philharmonic Club. (HMA Program Collection) Mr. Sherwood played on seven different programs with the BSO during the seasons ”81, ”83, ”84, ”92, and ”93 (which was equal to Lang”s piano and organ appearances with the Symphony). (Howe, BSO, p. 258) Alfred Hollins mentions that during the 1888 tour of America the Principal of his College, Mr. Campbell discovered “an appliance called the Technicon, used for developing the muscles of the arms, hands, and fingers.” (Hollins, p. 178) William Sherwood, “one of Boston”s leading pianists and musicians “had been “keenly interested” in this device, and Campbell set Hollins to using it for an hour each day. (Ibid) However, Hollins had no patience for the device.

St. Botolph Club. “St. Botolph was founded in a golden epoch of the City of Boston. Arts, literature, music, architecture, clubs and public affairs, as well as the vast commercial, shipping and professional empires that supported them, were all experiencing a great flowering. Many of the eminent individuals connected with all these were original members of our Club. A ”Committee of Ten” had sent out invitations to several hundred friends and colleagues, and upon receiving an enthusiastic response, founded the Club on January 3rd., 1880.” [Massachusetts Historical says January 10, 1880] First location “at 87 Boylston Street.” (Williams, p. 32) “Members drawn from Boston”s upper class… John Quincy Adams, Philips Brooks, Francis Parkman,[First President] William Dean Howells and Henry Cabot Lodge, H. H. A. Beach” and among musicians, “William Apthorp, George Chadwick, Philip Hale, and B. J. Lang… The St. Botolph Club, in particular, had artistic intensions from its inception… Concerts were also encouraged, and to that end they bought in 1882 a Chickering grand piano.” (Blunsom, pp. 134 and 135) “The Club was to be inexpensive, with dues of not more than thirty dollars,” (Williams, op. cit.) and there was to be no restaurant. Arthur Foote and George Parker (both members) performed Margaret”s Deserted at a club function. (Blunsom. op. cit.) B. J. was “a Resident and Founding Member of the St. Botolph Club (January 1880).” (Howlett, e-mail, November 30, 2009) Other members of the Lang circle and their dates of joining include: Arthur Foote-January 1887; Philip Hale-May 1890; William F. Apthorp-1880, but William Foster Apthorp-March 1896 [?]; Allen Augustus Brown-June 1889; George Laurie Osgood was a founding member, January 1880; G. W. Sumner-1880; William Johnson Winch-1883. (Howlett, e-mail, January 4, 2010) In 1889 it was “situated on Newbury Street, and was modeled after the plan of the Century Club in New York. Its particular feature is its Saturday evening and monthly meetings, to which men eminent in literature and art are invited. Its gallery contains a choice collection of sculptures and pictures. It is noted for its musicales, “smoke talks” and theatricals. On Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons a stringed quartette not only plays a choice repertory, but also compositions by members of the club. These concerts are very popular and are one of the features of this peculiarly artistic club, whose membership is limited to men of literary and aesthetic tastes and pursuits,” (Grieve, p.100) William Foster Apthorp sang the part of “Prof. J. Bolingbroke Smythe” in the musical farce “The Aesthetic Barber” presented at the Club on December 23, 1881. Dr. S. W. Langmaid sang “Charles Chestnut” and Mr. H. G. Pickering sang “Columbus Bunker. ” (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) After a few years the club moved to larger quarters at 4 Newbury Street, “the site which is now the parking lot of the Ritz Carlton Hotel. It was just what they wanted; and they lived in it happily, if with increasing worries about financing it, for fifty-five years.” (Williams, p. 33) This new location allowed for a new art gallery, and then a kitchen and dining room were added. In 1941 the Club moved to smaller quarters at 115 Commonwealth Avenue, on the “sunny side” of the street. A final move was made to 199 Commonwealth Avenue in 1972. (Club Website) The Club presented “John Singer Sargent”s first one-man show in America in 1888. Works by Claude Monet were displayed in 1892, 1895, and 1899. Monet”s first show in the United States was held in February 1891 at the Union Club in New York.” (St. Botolph Club Records: Guide to the Collection, pp. 1 and 2. Massachusetts Historical Society)


Frank Van der Stucken was born in Texas Oct.15, 1858 and when he was eight years old (1869 his parents took him to Antwerp where he studies with Peter Benoit in Antwerp; during 1876-78 resided primarily in Leipzig where he studied with Carl Reinecke, Grieg and Langer; later traveled in Europe; was active in Paris 1880-81; 1881-82 was engaged as kapellmeister at the Breslau Stadt Theater; in 1883 met Liszt (to whom he had been introduced by Grieg) at Weimar who arranged for him to present a concert solely of his own works; moved to New York in 1884 where he succeeded Leopold Damrosch as conductor of the Arion Society, a male chorus, which he conducted until 1895; gave a concert with this group during the 1884-85 season devoted exclusively to American works; during the 1887-88 season he gave a series of five concerts devoted entirely to American composers; at the July 12, 1889 concert at the Paris Exposition included songs of Margaret. “Upon the whole, it is not too much to say what (sic) at the present time of writing Mr. Van der Stucken is the most promising young conductor in this country.” (Mathews-One Hundred, p. 694) He served as conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 1895-1907; from 1906-1912 he conducted the biennial Cincinnati Music Festival, returning every two years from Europe where he went to live in 1908. (Mus. Am. Article, Nov. 25, 1922) He then spent most of his time in Europe until his death in Hamburg in 1929. He did return to the United States to conduct the May Festival in 1923 and then served as its Music Director in 1925 and 1927. The Mus Am article says that he returned to America in 1917.

Suck, Mr. F. A violinst active in Boston in the 1850s. (Dowell, p. 22)

Ryan, RECOLLECTIONS, plate opposite p. 262.

Sumner, George William. Born 1848-Died 1890. In 1876 listed as organist of the Arlington Street Church (Cong. Unit,) (Dwight, May 27, 1876, p. 240) Sumner was the soloist with the Orchestral Union in Mendelssohn”s Capriccio in B Minor for Piano and Orchestra on Wednesday afternoon March 4, 1868. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1) However Dwight recorded that Sumner made his debut at the Music Hall organ in the fall of 1869 “winning praise from those who know what organ playing should be.” Sumner and another Lang pupil, Mr. G. Arthur Adams presented a concert at the Chickering Hall on September 30, 1869 where Lang provided a second piano accompaniment to the Concerto No. 5 by Beethoven with Adams as the soloist, and the Chopin Concerto in E minor, Op. 11 with Sumner as the soloist. Adams was described as: “Here is a still, pale Massachusetts boy, the first we ever knew of whom was hearing him on this occasion actually play with certainty and power and good aplomb the greatest of Concertos, the ”Emperor” of Beethoven.” Sumner”s performance was “even greater in respect to musical feeling… The whole air of both the young men was quiet, self-possessed, ingenuous and modest.” (Dwight, October 9, 1869, p. 118) On December 26, 1872 Sumner was the soloist with the HMA Orchestra at the Music Hall in Chopin”s Piano Concerto in F Minor, Op. 21. Even though this day “came with the great snow-storm of the winter….The orchestra was full and well prepared; the programme one to charm away all thought of ”winter and rough weather.”” (Dwight, January 11, 1873, p. 366) Dwight felt that Sumner was well prepared, but that the work really did not suit him. “The only mistake was in the selection of the work…There is too much good stuff in him, to let this discourage him.” (Ibid) By 1874 Sumner had connected with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club. Dwight recorded that he had accompanied Thomas Ryan in Schumann”s Romances for Piano and Clarinet, Op. 94. At some point Sumner married Ryan”s daughter. (Dwight, March 7, 1874, p. 191)

Thomas Ryan wrote: “My acquaintance with Mr. Sumner began when I was searching for good pianoforte teachers for the National College of Music. Inquiries made among the older artists usually brought out strong recommendations of ”young Sumner.” He therefore became one of our teachers, and it was not long before he married my oldest daughter.” Ryan then reprinted from the Boston Transcript of August, 1890: “Mr. George W. Sumner was born of a musical family in Spencer, Mass., in 1848. He early showed his musical proclivities, and while still a child displayed enough talent to warrant his exhibition in public.” His father, a music teacher and dealer in Worcester got his son the best teachers, the last being B. J. Lang. He soloed with the Harvard and Boston Symphony orchestras, played in chamber music, was organ/piano accompanist for the Handel and Haydn Society, the Cecilia, Apollo and Boylston clubs, and he served as Director of Music at Arlington Street Church for eighteen years. “Personally, he was a man of genial temperament, unaffected and sincere. He left a widow, the daughter of Mr. Thomas Ryan, and a young daughter.”

Sumner conducted his Orpheus Club on the second evening of the May 1890 Hampden County Musical Association [Springfield, MA]. The main work was “Grieg”s brilliant Discovery, in which Gardner L. Lamsom of Boston” sang the baritone solo. George Chadwick was the “drill-master of the chorus rehearsals,” and also “conductor-in-chief of the concerts.” Victor Herbert was his assistant. The management of the Festival assured the public the “irruption of bad manners and polygot vocalization” of the previous year would not be part of the 1890 event. (Springfield Republican, March 1, 1890, p. 4, GenBank) This was to be his last Festival. “Mr. E. Cutler, Jr., of the Apollo Club has been elected director of the Springfield Orpheus Club.” (Herald, September 21, 1890, p. 19, GenBank) Thus Lang”s influence was continued in this group.

Sumner died in August of 1890 and his funeral was held at Arlington Street Church. His Springfield choir sent a floral tribute: “It will be in the form of an antique harp, and it will stand five feet high…and on a scroll attached to the harp will appear four bars of music written in G clef.” (Worcester Spy, August 19, 1890, p. 8, GenBank) The church, except for the galleries, was completely filled with friends and pupils. Lang played the organ, “his playing demonstrating rare feeling. He rendered two selections: an improvisation as the church was entered and at the close a solemn march from Beethoven”s Third Symphony.” Lang also sent “a wreath of ivy and wheat.” Three of the bearers were his pianist friends, Arthur Foote, Joshua Phippin and Hiram Tucker, while the other three were members of the Springfield Orpheus Club. “There were also large delegations from musical societies throughout New England.” (Springfield Republican, August 20, 1890, p. 7, GenBank) The Worcester Spy published an article drawing from various other papers. The Springfield Republican mentioned that he had published none of his own compositions, and that they were “chiefly settings of hymns and anthems and arrangements for his Boston choir.[Shades of Lang here] The Boston Post mentioned that Sumner had been a member of a quartet of pianists who had studied at about the same time with Lang-W. F. Apthorp, Arthur Foote and Hiram Tucker. Sumner had been a member of the Harvard Musical Association and the St. Botolph Club-probably in both cases his sponsor had been B. J. The Boston Transcript wrote: “Mr. Sumner”s musical tastes, though refined and exacting, were broad and comprehensive. Personally he was a man of genial temperament, unaffected and sincere.” (Worcester Spy, August 18, 1890, p. 8, GenBank) A Memorial Vesper Service was given at Arlington Street Churhc on Sunday, October 19, 1890. Three of his own pieces were included, but the titles were not given. “In one of Mr. Sumner”s compositions was included a beautiful solo for Miss Edmands, and this was reverently and delightfully sung.” The Pastor spoke of how Sumner was really a Minister of music, and that he was willing to practice that calling whenever needed. “If he was needed in the Sunday School, or at a Lenten Service, he was always there, ready for any work that he could be called upon.” (Journal, October 20, 1890, p. 4, GenBank)

Dwight wrote for the Transcript about the November 25th. 1890 Memorial Concert for Sumner held at the Music Hall. “The great Hall was at least two-thirds filled with sympathetic, serious listeners. Nearly all the leading singers, pianists, teachers, composers, and high-class musicians of our city, lent their aid most heartily to the carrying out of a significant and worthy programme.” B. J. was among them (Ryan, Recollections, pp. 264-266) Among the 32 musicians listed as giving “their services for this occasion” were Carl Baermann, George W. Chadwick, Arthur Foote, Miss Gertrude Franklin, Edward A. MacDowell, Ethelbert Nevin, Arthur Nikisch, Ernst Perabo, Joshua Phippen, H. G. Tucker, B. L. Whelpley, Arthur Whiting and William J. Winch. Tickets were three dollars. (BPL Lang Prog., 6642) Lang”s contribution to this event was as part of a quartet of pianists at two pianos who played Les Contrastes, Opus 115 by Moscheles; the other three pianists were Baermann, Nikisch and Perabo. (6643) The Bach Concerto in C Minor for Two Pianos was played by Mr. Foote and Mr. Tucker with Mr. Whelpley playing Dresel”s arrangement of the string accompaniment. (MYB 1890-91, p. 24) This great number of performers in the concert reflects on Sumner”s honored position in Boston”s musical life.

In the early 1870s Sumner was the organist for many of the Salem Oratorio Society concerts which was led by Carl Zerrahn, and his contribution was acknowledged in most reviews.

In February 1874 Lang was part of a “Pianoforte recital” at the Worcester County Music School where Sumner was listed as a teacher, playing the solo part in Mendelssohn”s Concerto in G Minor together with two solos, Nocturne in C Minor, Opus 48 by Chopin and Lang”s own Caprice in C Major. Lang finished the concert with Liszt”s transcription of Weber”s Polonaise in E Minor. (6544) In December 1875 Sumner joined “Mr. B. D. Allen of Worcester, one of the teachers” at NEC in performing Schubert”s Divertissement as one of the musical illustrations that Allen gave in a lecture about Schubert. (Dwight, December 11, 1875, p. 142) Sumner soloed with the HMA Orchestra in the fall of 1877. “Mr. Sumner played the brilliant, piquant, Krakowiak [Op. 14] of Chopin very neatly and distinctly, showing a thorough study and a right conception of it, and bringing out many of its quaint melodic motives and great vividness and fineness. The only failure was of strength of touch; there was a lack of resonance for so large a space [Music Hall].” (Dwight, December 8, 1877, p. 142) In December 1878 Sumner presented “one of the most delightful of the smaller concerts of the season at Mechanics” Hall on Monday evening, December 16.” He was assisted by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and his piano solos included “Tausig”s extremely difficult arrangement of the Toccata and Fugue in G Minor by Bach, which showed a remarkable development of his powers as a pianist-now taking rank among our foremost ones.” (Dwight, January 18, 1979, p. 15)

B. J. probably proposed Sumner for membership in the Harvard Musical Association where he seems to have taken an active part as a performer. The report for the March 1, 1878 social meeting has him performing duets with his fellow Lang pupil, Tucker, twice in the program: “Two short 4-hand pieces by Heinrich Hoffman,” and a Grotesque Chinese Overture to Turandot by Weber (HMA Bulletin No. 11). An announcement dated August 1, 1872 listed Sumner as the accompanist for a “Grand Musical Combination” which was formed by the “celebrated English soprano, Madame Erminia Rudersdorff” who had come to Boston the year before as a soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society and then with the “Great Peace Jubilee.” She and her husband, a “barytone,” and a contralto also from England were the vocalists, and the ensemble also included a violinist. “In the case of societies wishing to give Oratorios, and requiring a first-class tenor singer, Mr. G. L. Osgood, who has just returned from Europe, may be engaged upon special additional terms with Madame Rudersdorff”s party.” Mr. Sumner was also listed as the conductor in the various sample programs that were provided: “Ballad Concert, German repertoire, Sacred Selection, and Operatic ” (HMA Program Collection). Listed among the Lang pupils “who deserve mention because of musical prominence,” Sumner was described as “a teacher and pianist of much capability.” (Elson, Supplement, p. 3) Lang may also have sponsored Sumner”s membership in the St. Botolph Club which he joined in 1880, remaining a member until his death in 1890. (1905 membership List, p. 58) Sumner received a very good notice in an article written by Elson in March 1884, probably for the Musical Courier. “At Mr. Sumner”s concert I had barely an opportunity to hear the Rubinstein Sonata, Op. 18, for cello and piano, in which Mr. Giese proved again that he is probably the greatest violoncellist in America, and was ably seconded by the power and breadth of Mr. Sumner”s playing.” (Cecilia Programs, Vol. 2)

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Tavern Club. Founded 1884. Musician members included “Frederick Converse, Timothee Adamowski, Arthur Foote and Charles Loeffler.” (Blunsom, p. 134) “One of Boston”s most novel clubs is the Tavern Club, on Boylston Place. It was started in behalf of good cookery by a few professional men… Its members are mostly lawyers, doctors, bankers, and literary men. At its famous dinners all stiffness is put aside, and boyish good humor is the prevailing spirit… This club has a sort of international character, and has entertained some of the leading professional men of Europe… Its frolics are never made public, though they are all of a clean and elevated character.” (Grieve, p. 101) There are two legends concerning the formation of this club. The first is that “the Club owed its formation to a man who ate with his toes” while the second was “that the man who proposed the idea of forming such a club was not himself admitted to membership. There is some truth behind these legends. A group of young men – doctors, painters, and others of like bent – had formed the habit of dining together at restaurants in the neighborhood of Park Square. On one occasion, so it is said, a troupe of vaudeville freaks invaded the place, and the armless wonder fed himself with his toes. This was too much for the founding Taverners and they determined to find themselves their own table in their own private room. The second legend centered around an Italian teacher who proposed the idea of the club but whom the others didn”t especially care for. So when the Tavern was founded this man was left out.” (Williams, p. 39) Another explanation was; “A few clever men found the Somerset Club too smart and the Union Club too dull.” (Ibid) The Somerset Club had the movers and shakers while the Union Club members were those who managed the money of the Somerset members. “The Tavern started, like so many others, as a dining club of youthful and congenial spirits. They soon came to roost in rooms at No. 1 Park Square under the friendly studio of Frederick Porter Vinton… In the first fall months of 1884 they gave dinners in honor of Gericke, conductor of the Boston Symphony, Edmund Gosse, the author, and Henry Irving, the actor. All this was to set the pattern for the future. Within three years they bought and moved into the house at 4 Boylston Place… there, in expanded quarters and despite a severe fire in 1956, they still [1970] hold forth… Mr. Howe records a visiting Englishman saying: ”I had been told that American clubs were rather informal – but my word!” This may have been the same Englishman who is supposed to have reported to a circle at the Somerset Club the spectacle of a half-naked, tattooed member lunching at the Tavern. He is said to have received the reply: ”What, only one?”” (Williams, pp. 40 and 41)

Taylor, Deems. “Was once a vaudeville comic.” (Grant, p. xx) Also his “first wife later had an affair with Gilbert Seldes, then married a Spanish fascist and became the Nazi counterpoint of Tokyo Rose, making Axis broadcasts from Berlin as the infamous ”Georgia Peach.”” (Grant, p. xxi)

Elson, HISTORY OF AMERICAN MUSIC, frontispiece.

Upton, MUSICAL MEMORIES, published 1908, facing p. 182.

Thomas, Theodore. “b. Oct. 11, 1835 in Esens, Hanover; d. January 5, 1905 in Chicago. See biography by Charles Edward Russell, The American Orchestra and Theodore Thomas (New York, 1927).” (Sablosky, p. 304) Thomas conducted Margaret”s Witichis Overture at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago; he also had lent to B. J. from his Chicago orchestra the bells he needed for the 1891 performance of Parsifal.

“Not merely the first American conductor, Theodore Thomas was without doubt the most important pioneer of the symphony orchestra in the United States… Thomas was a dynamo, a born leader, and when he decided in 1862 ”to form an orchestra for concert purposes,” the history of the American symphony orchestra began.”

“Thomas came to New York from Germany at age ten, and in his teens, largely self-taught, was already earning his way as a violinist. He played in Jullien”s orchestra in 1853, gained membership in the New York Philharmonic Society… Impatient with the Philharmonic Society”s narrow scope, Thomas determined, at twenty-seven to organize an orchestra of his own and to devote his energies ”to the cultivation of the public taste for orchestral music.” …His concerts were an immediate and unqualified success. But the hoped-for benefactor did not soon appear. For nearly thirty years Thomas strove to realize his goal of the permanent, independent orchestra; it was a heroic struggle that culminated in the founding of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1891, under Thomas” leadership and according to his plan.” (Sablosky, p. 71) “He traveled on horseback and carried a pistol… Busy though it was, the Thomas Orchestra could not offer steady employment unless it toured, and so it did. Thomas” core itinerary of twenty-eight cities in twelve states became known as the ”Thomas Highway.” Performing in sundry auditoriums, railroad stations, and churches, Thomas offered overtures and dances as an enticement for symphonic masterworks, doled out one movement at a time… The showman in Theodore Thomas owed something to the examples of Jullien and Gilmore. Thomas had been one of Jullien”s first violins… Beethoven and Wagner were the ”pillars” of Thomas” programs… Thomas” orchestra was a model of Germanic discipline and polish.” Anton Rubinstein said that “I know of but one orchestra that can compare with that of Theodore Thomas, and that is the orchestra of the national conservatory of Paris… In Thomas, the conductor, catholic program-maker, and educator were a unity.” (Horowitz, pp. 34-36) “Thomas organized his own professional orchestra in New York in December of 1864. As a pioneer in the art of building an entire program in which each piece bore some relationship to the others on the concert, Thomas was very successful… Thomas tried to achieve a balance between giving the public popular music and introducing new and difficult works. He was not adverse to programming light music,” but he also championed Wagner, “when that composer was virtually unknown in this country. For example, in 1870, Thomas”s orchestra preformed the Ride of the Valkyies for the first time in the United States. (Tischler, p. 51) Thomas commissioned Wagner at a fee of $5,000 for a Grand Inaugural March for the concert series he planned for the 1876 Exposition in Philadelphia. These concerts financed privately with Thomas taking much of the risk. The Wagner work was a dud, and Thomas”s concert series “lost so much money… that his entire music library, including scores, books, and arrangements, even his music stand and baton, were sold at a sheriff”s auction.” (Op. cit., p. 56) However “there was some small help forthcoming. Dr. Franz Zinzer of New York purchased Thomas”s entire collection at the auction for $1,400. In 1878 he presented it to Mrs. Thomas for her husband”s use… Thomas began almost immediately to reorganize his orchestra and to give concerts throughout the United States..” (Ibid) For the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago the funding for concerts was part of the overall budget and Thomas was paid to be the overall Director of Music. Thomas conducted the Exposition Festival orchestra “which ranged in size from 100 to 150 players” in three different concert series during the six months of the event. A “festival Hall Series of twenty-seven concerts between May 22 and August 5 appealed to popular tastes. There were numerous choral concerts… Orchestral music by Richard Wagner occupied an important place on the programs in this series, as, by 1893, the American audience was beginning to develop a fondness for the music of the genius of Bayreuth, thanks in part to the earlier efforts of Theodore Thomas” and also B. J. Lang. “In general, American composers were only modestly represented on this series… But there was considerably more music by American composers on the programs of the Popular orchestra Sweries of fifty-three concerts between May 3 and August 11.” Margaret”s Overture Witichis was presented on July 29 at this series. (Op. cit., p. 61) “Performances of Thomas”s orchestra were supplemented by guest appearances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Symphony Society, and the Cincinnati Festival Orchestra in this thirty-six concert series… On August 4 Thomas and his orchestra presented three compositions that had been submitted to the examining committee chosen to review works in answer to the call for music that Thomas had issued in late 1892 [B. J. Lang was a member of this Committee]. Margaret Ruthven Lang”s Witichis was part of that concert.” (Op. cit., p. 62)

Ticknor, Howard Malcolm. Assistant editor of the Atlantic Monthly under James Russell Lowell, the poet, who was the Atlantic”s first editor. Ticknor doubled at the same time as music critic for three different Boston papers. In January 1866 he “retired from the musical department of the ”Advertiser,” and became the critic of the Saturday Evening ”Gazette.”” (BMT, January 6, 1866, p. 4)

Tremont Street.


Was advertised as being c. 1910, and the comment was made about no cars in the picture, only horse drawn vehicles. First complete building on the right has the sign “Weber Pianos” on both the two windows at the second floor level. The next building has “Estey Organs” on the two windows at the third level. After the third complete building is the entrance to the Tremont Theater, which is the last building in that block. The buildings to the left foreground are the entrances to the Boylston Station Underground-the intersection of Tremont and Boylston being just behind the back of the viewer as this photo was taken. Johnston Collection.

Another view-the Tremont Theatre is just beyond the pink awning. Weber Pianos awning can be seen, incomplete, in the very lower right. Johnston Collection.

Postmarked 1909. First floor: “Tremont Theatre” facing the street, and Show title: “Klaw & Erlancer, Advanced Vaudeville” facing the side walk. Sign facing the side walk at the third floor adversising “Dance Academy-Social, Classes, Private Lessons Daily.” Sign on the roof repeating thetitle of the current show. Johnston Collection.

Tremont Temple. 

Top half of a postcard showing the same view of Tremont Street in 1843 and 1907. (1843 obviously taken from the painting below) Tremont Temple, on the right is quite different from the 1896 building that stands today. This building was opened September 24, 1827 as the Tremont Theatre, but during its 16 year use for entertainment it never turned a profit. It was designed by the architect Isaiah Rogers in the Greek Revival style. On December 28, 1843 the Free Church Baptists bought the building and renamed the building the Tremont Temple. There were fires in 1852, 1879 and 1893.(Wikipedia, September 8, 2013) Johnston Collection.

“Tremont Temple” c. 1843, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Painted by Philip Harry, an American, born in England. Note the front of King”s Chapel just two more buildings away. Wikipedia article on the “Tremont Theatre.” September 8, 2013.

   Tremont Temple c. 1851. In George Adams, “The Boston Directory For the Year 1851,” p. 68. Note  the “Boston Musical Gazette” had an office here.

King”s HANDBOOK OF BOSTON, 1878, p. 229. This building burned in 1879. “The main hall, 120 feet long, 72 feet wide, and 50 feet high, has deep galleries, and is capable of seating about 2,000 people. Beneath it is a smaller hall, called Meionaon, with seats for 800 people.” (King”s, p. 229)

       King”s Handbook of Boston, 4th. Edition, 1881. Wikipedia, August 7, 2013. This instrument (above) is the 1880 E. & G. G. Hook and Hastings instrument, IV/51 stops, Opus 975 which was destroyed in the fire of 1893. The current pipe organ (non functioning) is a Casavant, Opus 937 4-manual which was installed in 1923 within the Woodberry case.(below)

       There have been four buildings on this same Tremont Street site: The first three had large Hook & Hastings organs, and all burned down. The first was “Hook #64, 1845, 3m, 36 speaking stops; burned in 1852.” The second was “Hook #149, 1853, 4m, 53 speaking stops; burned in 1879.” The third was “Hook and Hastings #975, 4m, 51 speaking stops; burned in 1893.” (Barbara Owen, e-mail Oct. 23, 2013) Lang was one of four organists who dedicated the 1853 instrument, and he and Whitney “each played half a program for the opening of the 1880 one.” (Ibid)

Johnston Collection. Postcard postmarked 1910. The organ console is one the right side in the choir loft.

Johnston Collection. Postcard mailed in 1947. The description on the back states: “The present building, the fourth to be erected upon this site, was dedicated in 1896 and contains one of the largest and most beautiful church auditoriums in New England, having a capacity of more than 2500. Among its attractions is the Casavant organ, so constructed with echoes and attachments that it is possible for a player to duplicate the tones of many instruments.” It looks like there is a grand piano to the left, under the first balcony, and at the same level as the rostrum chairs.

Johnston Collection. No postmark. The description on the back mentions “The famous D. L. Moody described the church ”as the pulpit of America.”” Converse Hall, shown here, is one of the largest and most beautiful auditoriums in New England. The great 96 stop Casavant organ is seen in the center of the picture.

Close view of the very ornate ceiling. Copyright 1898.

1907 magazine picture of the building at 82 Tremont Street that replaced an earlier Temple after its 1893 fire. This building was opened in May 1896. Johnston Collection.

BOSTON MANUAL, 1888. p. 18
This would be the arrangement after the 1872 remodeling and before the 1893 fire.

Clark”s Boston Blue Book, 1888, p. 316. Seating Capacity – 2,528.

Clark”s Boston Blue Book, 1888, p. 317.

Tremont Temple. The first building at 88 Tremont Street was a playhouse built by a group of wealthy Bostonians. It was designed by Isaiah Rogers in the Greek Revival style, and opened on September 24, 1827. Even though big-name performers appeared, it never was profitable for its 16 years as a theatre. The Free Church Baptists bought the building in late 1843 and renamed it the Tremont Temple, and it was used primarily by the church, but was also let out for other functions. It suffered from fires in 1852, 1879 and 1893 when it was rebuilt in its present form which opened in 1896. “Designed by architect Clarence Blackall, it was intended to be a church with an auditorium suitable for business purposes. The building originally had stores on the ground floor and commercial offices on the upper floors. Revenue from business rents and rental of the auditorium for concerts enabled the church to continue to provide free seats to all worshipers. At various times films were exhibited at Tremont Temple, though commercial leasing ended in 1956.” (These first sentences from the Wikipedia article downloaded on December 28, 2009)

“Boston has six theaters and three concert halls, two of which can seat thirty-five hundred persons. It is in one of these, the Tremont, that I gave my concerts. It is in my opinion the best for hearing and the most magnificent concert hall in the world.”-Quote from Gottschalk dated February 26, 1864. (Tawa, From Psalm, p. 112) In the fall of 1872 it was noted: “Tremont Temple is being thoroughly remodeled. Opera chairs are being substituted for the settees, and other changes are making it a most elegant and comfortable-as it is commodious-music hall. Its fine organ is being put in excellent condition, and will be furnished with the Hydraulic Motor and Meter Association”s improved Organ Blower. T. P. Ryder is the organist…We wish, while the improvements are being made, that the stage could be reconstructed so as to admit of scenery being put in, for operatic performances. The Temple would make an admirable opera-house.” (Dexter Smith, September 1872, p. 204) “Tremont Temple will be re-opened, Sept. 24th [1872] with a grand concert by the Mendelssohn Quintet Club, assisted by Miss Edith Abell – her first appearance since her return from Europe-; Sig. Vincenzo Cirillo, – his debut in America; Mr. W. Whitney-first appearance since his return from London-; Mr. B. J. Lang; Mr. Charles Hamm and Mr. Rudolph Hennig.” (Dexter Smith, October 1872, p. 232) In his October 5, 1872 issue Dwight wrote: “Tremont Temple, clean and bright with fresh paint and ornament, casting off its old gloomy aspect, and much more comfortable as to seating, was reopened on Tuesday evening, September 24, with a concert on the part of the new ”National College of Music,” just established within the walls of the Temple, Mr. Thomas Ryan, Director.” (Dwight, October 5, 1872, p. 318) This building replaced an older building that had burned on the night of March 31, 1852. Very soon after the fire, a new hall was begun with “an average of 75 hands or more being constantly employed on it… the new Temple is an immense structure… the building covers an area of 94 feet front by 136 feet deep, and is 75 feet high in the front… The building, as may be supposed from its immense size, contains most extensive accommodations for both public and private uses. In the first place, there is the principal hall, or Temple, which… will have seats for nearly 2,500 persons. Next, there is a smaller hall, or temple, capable of seating from 800 to 1,000 persons; and, adjacent to this, is a third hall, designed for… 300 persons… the grand hall, or temple – This is to be a noble room… 124 feet long, 72 feet wide, and 50 feet high. It has a gallery on three sides of it, but one that projects over the seats only about seven feet; and being entirely supported by trusses, there is nothing to obstruct the view of the platform from any part of the hall… Back of the stage, in a recess, is to be placed a noble organ, one of the largest, if not the largest ever built in the United States. The Messrs, Hooks are the builders… the floor of the main hall is to rise from about the center, so as to afford every person in the hall an unobstructed view of the platform… The seats on the floor are to be placed in a semi-circular form from the front of the platform, so as to bring every face towards the speaker or singer. The seats, which are all to be numbered, are to be the most convenient and comfortable kind, each slip capable of holding ten or twelve persons, with an aisle at each end, and open through from end to end.” (Dwight, February 26, 1853, pp. 162 and 163) Nineteen years later the building was remodeled. “Tremont Temple is being thoroughly remodeled. Opera chairs are being substituted for the settees, and other changes are making it a most elegant and comfortable-as it is commodious-music hall. Its fine organ is being put in excellent condition, and will be furnished with the Hydraulic Motor and Meter Association”s improved Organ Blower. T. P. Ryder is the organist… We wish, while the improvements are being made, that the stage could be reconstructed so as to admit of scenery being put in, for operatic performances. The Temple would make an admirable opera-house.” (Dexter Smith”s, September 1872, p.l 204) “Tremont Temple will be re-opened, Sept. 24th., with a grand concert by the Mendelssohn Quintette, assisted by Miss Edith Abell-her first appearance since her return from Europe-; Sig. Vincenzo Cirillo,-his debut in America; Mr. W. Whitney-first appearance since his return from London; Mr. B. J. Lang; Mr. Charles Hamm and Mr. Rudolph Henning.” (Dexter Smith”s, October 1872, p. 232) “During the summer of 1879 that hall was destroyed by fire and the Cecilia was driven for the next season to the Music Hall.” (Cecilia Program Clippings) The organ building firm of Hook and Hastings “erected in 1880” an instrument of “4 manuals, 65 stops, and 3,442 pipes, beside 10 pedal movements, including a grand cresendo, like that in the Music Hall organ, Cincinnati. In size it is excelled by several organs in this country, but in artistic completeness and perfection it is second to none.” (Jones, p. 76) Lang and Mr. S. B. Whitney demonstrated the instrument in a “private exhibition, numerously attended, on Friday evening, October 8, 1880.” Lang opened the concert with “that grand, full-flowing, five-part Fantasia in G Major of Bach, with its sparkling prelude, which Mr. Lang used to play some years ago on the great organ of the Music Hall,” and the “was followed by an exquisitely sweet and tender movement from Bach”s Pastorale in F. The former showed the full organ…the latter was played upon a stop so soft, and delicate, that, with some noise around, we found it difficult to hear parts of it. Then came one of Schumann”s fugues on the letters of Bach”s name.” It was left to Whitney to display the “Stentorphone” and “Tuba Mirabilis” “which he casually let loose,” and whose tones were “of startling solidity and loudness, such as might wake the dead.” (Dwight, October 23, 1880, p. 174) In an another article in the same issue Dwight mentioned that this new instrument was the fourth built by Messrs. E. & G. G. Hook and Hastings for the Temple. “The two large ones which preceeded it in 1846 and 1853 having been burned in 1852 and 1879 respectively… In the matter of size it is exceeded by several in the city”, but “in thoroughness of constrcution, it is outranked by none… It bears a strong resemblence to the most famous French instruments, and it will be found especially adapted for the performance of transcriptions of orchestral compositions… As for its sound, we can safely say that it gave great satisfaction to those who take most delight in brilliancy.” (Dwight, October 23, 1880, p. 175)

Tucker, Hiram G. November 11, 1851 in Cambridge (Birth Certif.)-October 5, 1932. He went with the Langs to Europe in November 1869. In 1871 he was described as “an accomplished pupil of Mr. Lang” when he played at the 145th. concert given by the New England Conservatory at Wesleyan Association Hall in Bromfield Street. (Dwight, March 25, 1871, p. 423) At the Dedication of a new concert hall at 409 Washington Street on December 3, 1870 Lang played the solo in Mendelssohn”s Concerto in G Minor Opus 25 with Tucker providing the orchestral reduction. (BPL Lang Prog Vol. 1) In May 1875 “Mr. H. G. Tucker”s Concert at Mechanics Hall (Wednesday evening May 6) was an occasion of considerable interest… Mr. Tucker, well known as one of the most accomplished pupils of Mr. Lang, gave ample evidence of steadfast improvement in all these various renderings. He is an earnest student, and quite unaffected; and his great strength, which serves him so well, is accompanied by great self-possession, and is becoming also more refined into as delicacy of style resembling his master”s. His execution is indeed quite remarkable, and often brilliant.” (Dwight, May 29, 1875, p. ??)

On December 7, 1875 the Rev. Edward E. Hale married Tucker (aged 24) and Jeannie Donaldson (aged 20). (Marriage certif.)

Tucker and Arthur Foote shared a concert at Mechanic”s Hall on May 3, 1876 which Dwight did not attend, but “which we learn was very successful.” Together they played the Variations on a Theme of Beethoven by Saint-Saens “which was introduced in Mr. Lang”s concert,” and he soloed in the Introduction and Allegro, Op. 154 by Schumann, “which he had played before with orchestra in one of the last Harvard Concerts.” Possibly at the suggestion of B. J. Lang, “Miss Lillian Bailey sang.” (Dwight, May 13, 1876, p. 231) Mr. and Mrs. Tucker again went to Europe with the Langs in 1876. In a “Benefit Concert for the sufferers from yellow fever at Savannah and other Southern cities” given at the Music Hall on Monday evening, October 16, 1876, Tucker was one of the assisting artists who gave their services for free.” (Dwight, October 14, 1876, p. 319) Tucker was listed as the conductor of the Newton Musical Association”s performance of Haydn”s Creation on December 16, 1878. Fellow Lang student John A. Preston was the pianist, and Dr. S. W. Langmaid and John F. Winch were among the soloists. (BPL Music Hall Prog., Vol. 2) For the Harvard Musical Association Orchestra concert on December 19, 1879, Tucker, “who came in at a day”s warning when the committee was disappointed by a singer, generously sacrificed himself in some degree to give us the not too common pleasure of hearing a Mozart Concerto. This one in A major is very beautiful [No. 23, K. 488, Johnson, p. 268]… The brilliant, strong, young virtuoso did not seem to feel quite in his element… taken as a whole it is a rich and beautiful Concerto. Mr. Tucker had his chance for strength and brilliancy in Tansig”s transcription of the ”Ride of the Walkuren.”” (Dwight, January 18, 1879, p. 15) The Mozart concerto and the Wagner-Tausig were both Boston premiers. (Ibid) So it would seem that when Lang himself was not presenting premiers, he was preparing his students to do so! Tucker continued to present a recital each spring. On Thursday afternoon, May 20, 1880 he played at Mechanics” Hall assisted by the tenor Mr. Charles R. Adams. He began with the “the novelty of the occasion,” the Rubinstein Sonata in A Minor, Op. 100, which was “three quarters of an hour,-a length seldom reached by a grand Symphony.” Dwight missed the first two movements, but of the final two movements, he reported: “It offered a plenty of difficulties, and called for great strength and endurance in the interpreter, to which Mr. Tucker proved himself abundantly equal.” Of the Chopin pieces Dwight wrote: “In the two Chopin Preludes, [E Flat Major and E major] Mr. Tucker showed more of grace and delicacy than was his wont. The Concert Allegro in A Major of Chopin was played with great brilliancy and freedom. ” (Dwight, June 19, 1880, p. 102) On Friday evening April 1, 1881 the venue was Chickering Hall at 156 Tremont Street; and on Monday evening March 20, 1882 again at Chickering Hall. In each of these three recitals one vocalist appeared as an assisting artist. (BPL Music Hall Prog, Vol. 5) Dwight”s comment of the 1881 concert was: “Mr. H. G. Tucker, the strong and brilliant young pianist, never appeared to better advantage than in the concert which he gave at Chickering”s on Friday, April 1.” (Dwight, April 23, 1881, p. 69) Tucker gave two performances at 152 Tremont Street on March 31 and April 7, 1884. Assisting artists were Mr. Wulf Fries, Mr. Edward Schorman and Mr. De Ribas. The programs were all chamber works-Tucker played no piano solos. (Program, Foote Scrapbooks)

Tucker was soloist with the BSO during the Second Season (1882-83: Henschel), during the Sixth Season (1886-87: Gericke), and during the tenth Season (1890-91: Nikisch) (BSO Programs 1881-96) At a Boston Art Club concert on Monday evening March 4, 1889 Tucker and Lang played An der Nixenquelle Opus 29 for two pianos by Templeton-Strong, and they finished the concert with the Variations on a Theme of Beethoven by St. Saens. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) Tucker advanced to being a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra when he played the Sgambati Concerto for Piano in G Minor, Op. 15 on November 1, 1890 conducted by Arthur Nikisch during the Symphony”s Tenth Season. (Musical Year Book, 1890-91, p. 9) Lang had prepared Tucker for this appearance by having him play the work the previous March 10, 1890 at the opening concert of Lang”s Third Season of “Piano-Concerto Concerts” at Chickering Hall. (Musical Year Book, 1889-90, p. 13)

Probably Lang proposed him for membership in the Harvard Musical Association. In the report of the March 1, 1878 social meeting of the club, Tucker joined fellow Lang pupil in piano duets: “Two short pieces by Heinrich Hoffmann, and a “Grotesque Chinese Overture to Turandot” by Weber. (HMA Bulletin No. 11) At the Friday, December 17th. meeting he played piano solos and joined with Arthur Foote in works for four-hands. (Ibid) During the 1889 season he performed with Wulf Fries, the cellist. (Ibid) Listed among Lang”s pupils “who deserve mention because of musical prominence,” was Tucker “whose excellent work we have recently [c. 1882] recorded in the columns of this journal.” (Elson, Supplement, p. 3) At some point he also soloed with the HMA orchestra. (HMA Bulletin No. 5, p. 6) In early March 1890 Tucker played the solo part to the Concerto in G Minor Opus 15 by Sgambati in one of Lang”s “Concerto Concerts,” and this led to his appearance with the BSO in late October of the same year playing the same piece. However Hale felt: “It is a thankless work for the player, as severe a task for him to play as for the audience to hear.” (Hale Crit., Vol. 1) Tucker was the pianist for the 1895-96 season of the Handel and Haydn Society-Lang”s first year as conductor. (6656-Annual Meeting Address, May 25, 1896) But, he had also appeared with the Society during the 1894-95 Season as pianist in the April 12, 1895 performance of Bach”s Passion Music with Lang as the organist. One assumes that his role was as the continuo player. (History-1911, p. 49) Before this he had “played the pianoforte accompaniments to the recitatives with admirable judgment in the March 31, 1893 performance of Bach”s St. Matthew Passion.” (History-1911, p. 31) Just a few days later, on April 2, 1893 he was the pianist for Handel”s Samson with Lang as organist and an orchestra of 57. (Ibid) This may be the same H. G. Tucker who founded a singing club in 1900, which then became the “Boston Singing Club” in 1901 which “was a mixed chorus for the performance of music of all schools, including modern choral works, oratorios, and a cappella music of the 16th and 17th centuries, but without attempt to reproduce conditions of older times. It is supported by associate memberships, and the sale of tickets, and gives three concerts annually, each preceded by public rehearsals for music students.” (Grove”s, 1921, p. 369) Louis Elson felt that his solo recital February 1895 in Bumstead  Hall was too long. “At all events it served to show the popular pianist in many moods and proved him to be of versatile attainments.” (Advertiser, February 16, 1895, p. 5, GB) His technique was praised, but Elson felt that poetry was missing. The recital attrcted a large audience, and there was much applause throughout the evening.

Tucker”s obituary provides more information. He was head of the music department at Wheaton College for 45 years. He was 71 when he died. His education was at Chauncey Hall School and then with Zerrahn and Lang; no college is mentioned, but among clubs that he belonged to was the Harvard Club. He was survived by his wife, son-Donald, and three granchildren. “He conducted numerous musical events of high order, and appeared a number of times as soloist with the Boston Symphony orchestra.” (Herald, October 6, 1922, p. 6, GB)

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Union Hall. 18 Boylston Street; but the Boston Blue Book of 1909 says the address was 48 Boylston and that the seating capacity was 502. This was a recital hall that was part of the Christian Union Building. The rental rates were: For all day or evening, without scenery – $30. For morning or afternoon, without scenery – $20.


Upton, George Putnam. 1834-1919. “Celebrated critic of the Chicago Tribune was born at Roxbury, Mass., October 25, 1834. He graduated at Brown University.” NAT. BIOG says he graduated from Brown University in 1854 and taught school for a year in Plymouth, MA. He then moved to Chicago [1855] and began a career in journalism. “From 1856 to 1862 he was city editor of the Evening Journal, and during this period he started the first distinctive musical column that had appeared in any of the Chicago papers… In 1862 Mr. Upton took the post of city editor of the Chicago Tribune, and also performed the duties of musical critic… This latter department he gradually enlarged, and commenced printing musical intelligence from abroad. He remained in this capacity until about 1882.” One of major works was WOMEN IN MUSIC. (Mathews, A Hundred Years, pp. 371 and 372) “In 1862 he went south as war correspondent. He was the first president of the Apollo Musical Club, which was founded after the fire of 1872… Among his writings are… STANDARD ORATORIOS, STANDARD CANTATAS, and THE LIFE OF THEODORE THOMAS.” (Nat. Bio., p. 419) “Upton was a total musical amateur who did not even play an instrument, but he was a booster and activist for local performing ensembles… As a music critic Upton wrote under the pseudonym ”Peregrine Pickle”.” (Grant, p. 73)


Ryan, facing p. 164.

Urso, Camilla. Born 1842 in Nantes, France; died New York, January 20, 1902; child prodigy; age seven became the first girl admitted to the Paris Conservatoire; came to USA in 1852 at the age of ten; toured with the Germania Musical Society; 1855 stopped concertizing and retired to Nashvile to practice; resumed career in 1863 (Am. Grove, Vol. 4, p. 439). She was the soloist in a Philharmonic concert early in February 1863. “The Music Hall was very nearly filled; the return of the lady violinist, Camilla Urso, for the first time since her child triumphs here in 1853 and 1854, proving as great an attraction to the many, as the Beethoven Symphony was to more than a few.” Dwight noted the “exceeding purity and finesse of Camilla”s playing, which constituted a positive artistic pleasure in itself,” and he described “her pale, serious, intellectual face, beautiful and childlike still when seen in front and at some distance, the melancholy dark eyes, the calm dignity of pose and manner, the beautiful movement of her bow arm, and the perfect truth and purity of every tone, assured you, in the first three or four bars, of a real, finished artist, and from that moment to the end of her playing the whole great audience listened with a silence that is itself a remarkable sensation… It was a great treat to hear Camilla Urso again, and a particular satisfaction to find for once the promise of a ”wonder-child” so finely realized in artist womanhood.” (Dwight, February 14, 1863, pp. 366 and 367) On the following Wednesday Urso appeared with the Orchestral Union playing the same material that she had played with the Philharmonic with the result that “every corner of the house was filled.” (Dwight, February 14, 1863, p. 367) Lang was one of the assisting artists when Urso gave her Farewell Concert on Saturday, May 16, 1863 before leaving for Europe. “It will certainly be an occasion of great interest, being the last chance we shall have to hear her for at least several years.” (Dwight, May 16, 1863, p. 31) Dwight”s review of this concert mentioned that “Mr. Lang”s aid was most efficient in the brilliant Duos; and he made admirable choice in the three pieces that he interpreted alone [Prelude in E Minor – Mendelssohn, Fugue in E Minor – Handel and Rondo Capriccio, Op. 44 – Mendelssohn].” Dwight wrote that the purpose of Urso”s European stay was to “hear and learn as much new music as possible for several years to come, and then return to us with a rich repertoire of classical as well as merely concert music. (Dwight, May 30, 1863, p. 39) It was reported in 1865: “Camilla Urso, the admired violinist, was recently reported in London, and has gone to Germany, intending to study some time with Vieuxtemps in Frankfort and then make the tour of Europe.” (BMT, November 4, 1865, p. 162) In 1866: “Camilla Urso has won triumphs in Paris surpassing any of her successes here. For her performances of classical music, she has received the congratulations of such great characters as Gounod, Rossini, Auber, Liszt, Sivori, Leopold de Meyer, Vieuxtemps, and others. She has played before the Emperor and Empress at the court concerts.” (BMT, June 2, 1866, p. 83) The Chicago critic, George Upton recorded: “She began playing the violin in her sixth year. I think when I first met and heard her she was about fourteen, and she appeared on the stage as if born to it. Even as a child Camilla Urso was an extraordinary player, with a remarkable technic as well as purity of tone. I next heard her in 1866, when she played in a Philharmonic concert in Chicago, and again in 1867, when she appeared with the old Boston Mendelssohn Quintet Club, then in all its glory. She was then in her twenty-fourth year, but still had that same pale, serious, inscrutable face, the same dark, lustrous, melancholy eyes, and the same calm but gracious dignity of manner.” (Upton, p. 71) On January 24, 1869 a testimonial concert was given for Madame Urso by “the Musical Fraternity of Boston” which “was remarkable in many ways, and was peculiar in respect of the programme presented to the audience. It does not often happen that a full orchestra-if not a ”grand orchestra of sixty”-and a brass band, [Hall”s Boston Brass Band-BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1] and choruses of male voices, and of female voices, and of mixed voices, join in the performance at a single concert. And when to these are added solo singing by a soprano, and piano-forte and violin playing by eminent artists, it is safe to say of the resultant programme both that it will not be homogeneous and that it will be sure to hit the tastes of all in one way or another… The Music Hall was literally packed with auditors, and the performance was generally of a very high order of excellence… The other numbers of most musical interest were Mendelssohn”s B minor Caprice for the piano-forte, performed by Mr. Lang… Mr. Lang rendered the airy and graceful Caprice by Mendelssohn with neatness and delicacy.” (Boston Daily Advertiser, Monday Morning, January 25, 1869, p. 1) Reserved seats were $1.(BPL Lang Prog., 6261) At the second of “Concerts Classiques” presented by Urso at Horticultural Hall dated March 2, 1874, Lang was one of the assisting artists when he played the accompaniment to the Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 69, No. 1 by Dussek. Other assisting artists in this concert were three members of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club (Second Violin, Viola, and Cello), and Miss Clara Doria, Soprano. There were four different pianists and four different vocalists at each of the concerts. Tickets were $1 each, or $3 for the series of four (HMA Program Collection). At a March 1875 performance Lang joined Urso in “the great Schumann Quintet” with piano in the second concert of her series that year “for which the audience was very large.” (Dwight March 7, 1874, p. 191) In December of that same year Dwight published a short article concerning Urso”s “method of practice. Every day she takes an hour for slow and patient practice in making long-sustained notes. This is to obtain a strong, pure tone. Then she plays scales and finger exercises of all kinds for two or more hours, and then such sonatas and other works as she uses in her concerts. In all this she never hurries, never gives any particular expression to her music, and seldom plays up to full time in which the piece is written. Everything is played slowly and thoughtfully. When the long practice hours are over and she comes upon the stage to play, all thoughtful effort is abandoned, and her emotions control the music. The practicing was mere mental and technical work-the performance the blooming of a great genius in music.” (Dwight, December 12, 1874, p. 352)

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Wesleyan Hall. Bromfield Street. In an 1880 review of a “Piano-forte Matinee” given by Ernst Perabo, Dwight referred to this hall as “that hot, close, gloomy, noisy little hall in Bromfield Street.” (Dwight, April 10, 1880, p. 62)

Whelpley, Benjamin Lincoln. Whelpley was one of the soloists at Lang”s “Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” on March 22, 1887 where he played Chopin”s Grand Fantasie Sur des air Polonais Opus 13. (BPL Lang Prog.,Vol. 5) The following year he and Lang were assisting artists at a “Vocal Duet Concert” on Wednesday evening November 14, 1888 at 8:15PM. They played Dance of the Elfs for two pianos by Templeton-Strong and Reinecke”s Fantasie on a Theme from Schumann”s “Manfred” also for two pianos. One review called the first work “a light, graceful” work which was played “with great effect,” while the second work was not mentioned. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) Phillip Hale”s April 11, 1891 review of a Whelpley recital began: “Mr. Whelpley has good fingers and many excellent musical ideas. He is careful and conscientious in his work, and there are many things to be admired and praised in his playing. He belongs to a certain school of pianists [Lang”s], a prominent school in this city; and this is unfortunate, and it hampers his artistic development. For the members of this family do not pay sufficient attention to tone production and gradation of tone; the legato is so slighted by them, and the use of pedals is so imperfectly understood that song-passages are not sung; and these players are deficient in appreciation of rhythm and rhythmic effects. And when any one of this school plays in public, the hearer is at once aware of the fact that the pianoforte is a percussion instrument.” After getting this off his chest, Hale continued, “Not that Mr. Whelpley pounds.” (BPL Hale Crit., Vol. 1) On Monday April 16, 1894 at 3:30PM Whelpley presented himself in recital at Bumstead Hall, and Lang played the orchestral reduction for the final piece of the program, Russian Fantasie by E. Napravnik. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 6) Whelpley was the organist for the Cecilia concert Wednesday evening April 27, 1898. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 7) He was also the organist for the Monday evening, April 2, 1906 performance by The Cecilia Society of La Vie du Poete (The Life of the Poet) by Gustave Charpentier for solo voices, chorus and three orchestras and organ, and Richard Strauss”s Taillefer, a Ballade for chorus, solo voices and orchestra. (Program, Johnston Collection) Boston Music Co. advertised Seven Piano Pieces, Op. 20, Grade 2c on the back of a composition with a opyright date of 1919.

Whiting, George Elbridge. Born Holliston, Massachusetts September 14, 1842; first public organ performance at age thirteen; at sixteen succeeded Dudley Buck at the North Congregational Church in Hartford; studied in England with Best of Liverpool; moved to Boston, briefly organist at King”s Chapel; then further study in Berlin; returned to Boston and taught organ at NEC until 1898; for many years organist and music director at the Church of the Immaculate Conception; “He is the best organ composer of America”, also composed for choral forces including the March of the Monks of Bangor for the Apollo Club.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., pp. 265 and 266) Probably his best pupil was Henry Morton Dunham, who in turn taught Wallace Goodrich. (Ibid) Lang often took part in special services organized by Whiting at Immaculate Conception.

Myron W. Whitney from Mathews, p. 215.

Upton, MUSICAL MEMORIES, published 1908, facing p. 132.

Whitney, Myron W. “Considered by many to be the greatest among American-born basses.” (Baker, p. 100) “Born in Ashby, Massachusetts, became one of the most famous singers of his time, first in Boston, then in Europe. No festival in America was properly given without Whitney to sing with taste and feeling all the great bass roles of oratorio, often under the direction of Theodore Thomas.” (Johnson, Hallelujah, p. 102) Sablosky records: “b. 1836 in Ashby, Mass; d. 1910 in Sandwich, Mass. Bass. “At the age of sixteen he went to Boston and studied with E. H. Frost.” (Jones, p. 174) After his Boston debut in Messiah (1856), sang in oratorio and concert in U.S. for ten years, but was “dissatisfied with his attainments” (Ibid); went to Florence and studied for some time with Luigi Vennucini. He then studied in London oratorio literature with Randegger. After singing successfully in Great Britain, returned to U.S.; appeared prominently in concert, oratorio and opera.” (Sablosky, p. 305) Dwight reported on a Complimentary Concert given Whitney on his return from Europe. He “has certainly made the most of his short period of study in Milan and London… His tones, always grand and manly, have grown more round and musical throughout their compass, especially in the upper range, and he does all with more artistic certainty and ease.” Miss Alice Dutton”s contribution was the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody, “which she played even better than before, and on the ”New Orchestral Grand” of Messrs. Hallet, Davis & Co., which is certainly an instrument of great power and richness.” The “brothers Winch contributed a duet… but the most remarkable thing in its perfection, and the most enjoyable, was the male part-singing of the ”Chickering Club,” who came out from their privacy in compliment to Mr. Whitney, who is a fellow member.” (Dwight, May 8, 1869, pp. 30 and 31) Early in 1872 it was reported: “Mr. M. W. Whitney has had very great success thus far; and competent musical critics allege that if Mr. W. will establish himself here, there is no question of his taking the first rank as basso.” (Folio, January 1872), while six months later an additional report stated: “Mr. Whitney, the Boston basso, is meeting with most wonderful success in England. His efforts are widely appreciated.” (Folio, June 1872) Late in 1872 it was reported: “Mr. M. W. Whitney is engaged as basso at Christ Church, New York, at a salary of three thousand dollars per annum. He goes to that city Saturday nights, returning home on Mondays.” (Dexter Smith, November 1872, p. 255) A critic for the Haverhill, Massachusetts Publisher wrote: “Mr. Myron W. Whitney, who has traveled in foreign climes, and who was the pet of St. Petersburg and the envy of Edinburg (sic); Whitney of the herculean frame and the ponderous voice; who delights to be a ”Bold Buccaneer” and ”roam o”er the broad blue sea,” and who can growl among the leger lines below till Gyles Kimball”s double bass viol hangs its head in despair!” (Dexter Smith, April 1873, p. 94) Late in 1873 Whitney soloed with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra in a series of concerts, “appearing in every concert. His manner is more finished and even, his delivery more impressive and his voice grander and deeper (if possible) than ever.” (Dwight, December 27, 1873, p. 151) “Since 1876 he has refused all offers from abroad and remained in his native country… As an oratorio singer he has few equals. he is in every way a great artist, and possesses a magnificent bass voice of nearly three octaves compass, extending from B flat below the staff upwards.” (Jones, op. cit.) In May 1881 he had an impossible schedule: “During the week of the New York Festival, [he] will sing on alternate days at New York and Philadelphia; and the following week, at Brooklyn on Monday evening; Boston, Tuesday evening; Brooklyn, Wednesday; Boston, Thursday; Brooklyn, Friday aand Saturday; thus living on trains between times.” (Musical Herald, May 1881, p. 104) Whitney appeared as soloist with the BSO in four programs during the seasons ”04, ”06, and 09. (Howe. BSO, p. 261)

Wilson, George H. First writer of program notes for the BSO. He had sung in the 1872 Second World Peace Jubilee in 1872, “and he was a member of the Apollo Club and the Handel and Haydn Society.” He was also the editor/publisher of “The Musical Year-book of the United States… In 1892 Wilson left Boston for Chicago, where he continued his musical activities. His departure left open the editorship of the program notes for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the task fell to William Foster Apthrop. He passed the work to Philip Hale nine years later.” (Brian, pp. 163 and 164)

Winch, William Johnson (tenor) and John F. Winch (bass). “Boston merchants, whose part-time careers as tenor and bass ranked them only a little lower than the angels.” (Johnson, Hallelujah, p. 135) “The Winch brothers, tenor and bass, illustrate a difference in temperaments. John F. Winch, the bass, was direct and positive in his acceptance of engagements. William J. took a long time to make up his mind whether or not he was available, whether or not he wanted to sing the role offered, or whether or not the price was acceptable, with or without expenses of hotels and travel. Inasmuch as he was the best tenor for the music of Bach, some patience was needed to obtain a definite commitment.” (Johnson, Hallelujah, p. 133) Both Winch brothers were just beginning their professional careers in 1866 sining Messiah for the Handel and Haydn Society.. Dwight noted: “Mr. Wm. J. Winch, a fresh young tenor, whose voice and style raised high hopes at the rehearsal, and for basso Mr. J. F. Winch, of whom the like may also be said.” (Dwight, December 22, 1866, p. 367) Dwight”s review of the Winchs” Messiah noted: “The younger Mr. Winch (Wm. J.) has a beautiflul, clear tenor voice, of good power, not yet developed, and sings with so good a method, in so classic a style, and with so much intelligence that it was to us a great pleasure to hear him, [more so] than we find in many more experienced and would-be impassioned tenors. The performance was somewhat cold and dry, but seemed to warrent high hopes. The new basso, Mr. J. F. Winch, has a capital deep voice and sings as if more study and experience would make him a superior oratorio singer.” (Dwight, Saturday January 5, 1867, p. 375)

Easter Sunday 1874 the Handel and Haydn Society presented Mendelssohn”s Elijah. “The new point of interest was the rendering of the Prophet”s part by Mr. J. F. Winch whose rich, elastic quality of voice gave unusual life to all the music. And he improved as he went on; rarely anywhere have we heard the beauty and deep pathos of ”It is enough,” or the emphatic energy of ”Is not the word” more satisfactorily brought out.” (Dwight, April 18, 1874, p. 215) W. J. Winch led a performance of Gade”s Crusaders with the Salem Schubert Club December 30, 1879 at Plummer Hall; the soloists were Miss Clara L. Emilio, soprano, Dr. S. W. Langmaid, tenor, and Mr. Clarence E. Hay, baritone. (Dwight, January 31, 1880, p. 16) Winch appeared as soloist with the BSO on nine programs during the seasons ”85, ”89, ”90, ”91 and ”92. (Howe, BSO, p. 261) The 1892 appearance was as the tenor soloist in Beethoven”s Ninth Symphony. (MYB, 1892-93, p. 10) When Chadwich and his wife returned from their summer in Europe (1888) they “went by previous arrangement to Wm. Winch”s in Brookline, to stay until we found a place to settle down. His house was on Longwood Ave. next to the present No. 124 which was then a vacant lot… We had a delightful time at the Winchs, with fun and music every night and we made many new acquaintances among the nice people who live in that neighborhood. One night uncle Joseph, the eldest of the three Winch Bros. was at the house. We coaxed him to sing ”Every Valley” which he did in remarkable style for a man of seventy.” (6432) Clara Rogers described William Winch: “the ever genial and witty, and who had, happily, remained immune from tenor-itis… overflowing with fun, as usual.” (Rogers, Two Lives, p. 191)

Woolf, Benjamin Edward (London: February 16, 1836 – Boston: February 7, 1901). “Born in London, multifaceted, was a composer, violinist, and libretto writer who married an actress, joined the Boston Globe in 1870 and the following year the Saturday Evening Gazette, [a weekly] for which he wrote music and drama reviews; in the 1890s he left the Gazette for the Herald. The American organist Henry M. Dunham wrote in his memoirs of Woolf”s criticism, ”We disliked him extremely because of his rough and uncompromising style. He had almost no concession to offer for anyone”s short-comings, and on that very account what he had to say carried additional weight with the artist he was criticizing.” [Dunham, Life, p. 220] on the other hand, Philip Hale, Woolf”s Herald successor, asserted that Woolf had been caustic only toward ”incompetence, shams, humbugs, snobs and snobbery in art,” and noted that when Woolf began to write in the Gazette, music criticism in Boston was mere ”honey daubing” of local favorites. Hale added that toward ”really promising beginners,” Woolf was never severe but gave personal advice and often financial aid.” (Grant, p. 68) He was the leader of the orchestra at the Boston Museum [conducted by Julius Eichberg] from 1859 until 1864. He then lead orchestras “in Philadelphia and New Orleans. He married Josephine Orton, an actress, [of the Boston Museum Stock Company, Dic. Am. Bio, p. 514] on 15 April 1867, and then returned to Boston, where Woolf became editor of the Saturday Evening Gazette in 1871… He created or collaborated in six operettas, including The Doctor of Alcantara (1862), music by Julius Eichberg. As a critic he was a musical conservative with exacting standards and a caustic pen, but his breadth of knowledge and his musical skill did much to elevate the quality of American criticism. Throughout his career Woolf”s versatility was his greatest asset, but it was also a limitation: ”His labor.” the Herald observed in its obituary, ”might have been concentrated upon fewer objects with better effect.”” (Am. Grove, Vol. 4, p. 561) Arthur Foote described Woolf, when he was writing for the Saturday Evening Gazette as “a musically well equipped critic, who was more feared than loved. How he did delight to pitch into John S. Dwight and B. J. Lang. He could never find any good in either.” (HMA Bulletin No. 4, p. 2) “He became music critic of the Boston Herald, and for it he wrote reviews notable for their clarity and severity.” (Dic. Am Bio., p. 514) In reviewing a H & H Society Bach St. Matthew Passion performance in the spring of 1876, Dwight felt that John Winch was in fine voice: “Bach evidently has begun to gain possession of,” and of his brother, the tenor William J. Winch who had the “most difficult” parts, he sang “admirably… with sweet, clear voice.” (Brian, p. 80) Apthrop felt: “[John] Winch was more successful in the recitatives than in the more orchestral airs.” (Brian, p.81)

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Carl Zerrahn from, Elson, p. 35.


Grove”s 1921 Vol. T – Z, p. 594.

Pratt”s entry includes the following:

Zerrahn, Carl (July 28, 1826, Malchow, Germany: Dec. 29, 1909, Milton, Mass.). His first lessons, at twelve were in Rostock, and later he studied in Hanover and Berlin… In 1855-63 he conducted one of the several orchestras in Boston known by the name Philharmonia, and was practically the only leader of the concerts of the Harvard Musical Association in 1865-82. Besides his work as conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society (elected conductor in August 1854) and of the Worcester Festivals, he was for many years in charge of the Salem Oratorio Society and other smaller organizations. At the second Peace Jubilee (1872) he led the chorus of 20,000. He was also a teacher of singing, harmony and composition at the New England Conservatory. In all these ways he left a significant impress upon the development of American choral music.” (Pratt, pp. 410-11) Sablosky (p. 306) adds that he taught at the New England Conservatory until 1898, and that his tenure with the Worcester Festival was from 1866-1897. Ryan wrote, “Taking Mr. Zerrahn in all points, he was and is still a rare man. He has filled a long life with honor to (of a week long festival) as he was at the first.”(Ryan, pp. 81-82) The 1914 entry in THE ART OF MUSIC adds that Carl Zerrahn was one of the German musicians “who had come to America during the revolutionary troubles of 1848” (Mason, Art of Music, p. 189). He was a flute player in “The Germanic” orchestra, a traveling orchestra that gave the majority of its concerts in Boston. He was described at that period as a “tall young flute-player.” (Elson, National Music, p. 289) The germain dissolved in 1854. (Op. Cit., p. 290) In 1855 he founded an orchestra which became known as the Philharmonic – this group gave regular concerts in Boston until 1863. In 1866 he began his association with the orchestra of the Harvard Musical Association. “This was really the first permanent orchestra of value that greater Boston possessed, and during the twenty years of its existence it clung with remarkable consistency to the highest musical ideals.” (Mason, p. 189) However its conservative programming policy led to the formation in 1879 of the Philharmonic Orchestra (a name used htree times in Boston”s musical history) which became the Philharmonic Society in 1880. “The conductorship of this orchestra was held successively by Bernhard Listemann, Louis Maas, and Carl Zerrahn.” (Elson, National Music, P. 293) That orchestra in turn was superseded by the Boston Symphony begun in 1881 with it”s first conductor, George Henschel.

“But nothing could fluster Mr. Zerrahn; I never saw him lose his head, nor any performance come to grief under his baton. And, with the orchestral material and few rehearsals of those days, things were on the verge of coming to grief pretty often.” (Swan-Apthorp, p. 73) Apthorp continued with examples. “At one of the Handel and Haydn festivals (I think the first one, the demi-centennial), the then famous boy soprano, Richard Coker, sang Meyerbeer”s ”Robert, toi que j”aime” at an afternoon concert. He was accompanied on the pianoforte by his father. When the air was about half through, Coker Sr. discovered to his dismay that the remaining sheets of the music were missing; Mr. Zerrahn immediately sprang to the conductor”s desk, waved his baton, and the rest of the air was accompanied from memory by the orchestra. I remember another instance of Mr. Zerrahn”s presence of mind. It was at a performance of Mendelssohn”s Hymn of Praise by the Handel and Haydn. The tenor had just finished that air with the incomprehensible words, ending with the oft-repeated question: ”Watchman, will the night soon pass?” In reply to this, the soprano should strike in unaccompanied in D major, with ”The night is departing,” twice repeated, the wood-wind coming in piano on the second ”departing,” and the whole orchestra fortissimo on the last syllable. On this occasion, the soprano was standing a little farther forward on the stage than Mr. Zerrahn; so she could not see his beat without turning her head. She struck in bravely with her ”The night is departing,” but unfortunately not in D major-it was fairly and squarely in C major, a whole tone flat. A shutter ran through the orchestra and a good part of the audience; what was Mr. Zerrahn to do with the ensuing D major? His mind was made up in a second; he motioned to the wood-wind not to come in with their chords, and patiently waited for the hapless soprano to finish her phrase, and then let the orchestra come in with its D major fortissimo afterwards, instead of on the last syllable. But now came one of the most comical tugs of war I have ever witnessed between singer and conductor. Of course the soprano was entirely unconscious of having made a mistake; so, not hearing the usual 6-4 chord on her second ”departing,” she evidently thought the wind-players had counted their rests wrong, and held her high G (which ought to have been an A) with a persistency worthy of a better cause, to give them a chance to catch up with her. She held that G on and on, looking as if she would burst; but still no 6-4 chord. Mr. Zerrahn waited imperturbably with his baton expectantly raised. At last-it seemed like hours-human lungs could hold out no longer, and the breathless soprano landed panting with her final ”ting” on C-natural, amid a deathlike silence of orchestra and chorus. You could have heard a pin drop. Just as she was turning round to see why she had been thus left in the lurch by the accompaniment, Mr. Zerrahn”s baton came down with a swish, and the orchestra thundered out its D major.” (Apthorp, BSO Program March 6 and 7, 1896, pp. 595-598)

Zerrahn conducted part of the 1872 Jubilee Concert Series, but he had to sue “the Executive Committee for payment for services in conducting the chorus.” (Dexter Smith”s, December 1872, p. 284)



Word Count-18,542.

       Before promoting his own concerts, B. J. was a featured artist with many Boston groups. Soon after returning from his three years of European study, he appeared in the fourth and last orchestral concert conducted by Carl Zerrahn at the Music Hall. Dwight felt that the orchestra of only thirty players was too small to realize the “grand conceptions” of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Lang was the soloist in Mendelssohn’s Concerto in D Minor –Dwight’s review was not overly complimentary. (Dwight  (March 6, 1858): 390) Lang also was part of the vocalist Mrs. Long’s Annual Concert where he, with the brothers Fries, “renewed the delightful impression of a part of Beethoven’s early Trio in C Minor, namely the Theme with variations and Scherzo. The same young pianist also proved his skill and tact in the nice matter of accompanying some of the vocal pieces” (Ibid)-Lang’s Boston premier had been with the Beethoven.

      On Saturday evening, February 11, 1860 B. J. was the soloist at the Third Philharmonic Concert at the Music Hall led by Carl Zerrahn in W. S. Bennett’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra [recording available on Hyperion CDA67595 “The Romantic Piano Concerto No. 43 with Howard Shelley and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra] and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia with the choir being the Handel and Haydn Society. A year before, March 12, postponed to March 14. Lang had performed this piece with only the accompaniment of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club at a “Grand Complimentary Concert” for the sing Elisa Biscaccianti-in the second half of this concert he performed as a solo, Fantasie from “Il Puritani” arranged by Prudent.[?]. (HMA Program Collection) Late in February, 1860 Lang was part of a Mendelssohn Quintette Club concert “in the pleasant new hall in Bumstead Place, with [a] large audience, and, for the most part, excellent programme.” Lang’s contributions were in the Mendelssohn Sonata Duo for Piano and Violoncello, Op. 58 where he “displayed his fine crisp qualities of easy execution to fine advantage” together with cellist Wulf Fries.As a solo he performed the Chopin Ballade in A Flat, Op. 47 which “was played with facile brilliancy; and yet there was a lack of life in it; one missed the aura of Chopin.” This concert was the sixth in the series for the Club. (Dwight (March 3, 1860): 390) A month later, March 1860, he arranged a “Compliment Concert” to raise funds for his European stay the following summer. “The new Hall in Bumstead Place was fuller than it has ever been.” Assisting artists were the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, vocalists Mrs. Long and Mr. Wetherbee, and pianists Dresel, Parker, and Leonard.Highlights of the concert included the “Adagio and Scherzo” from Mendelssohn’s Sonata in D for Piano and Violoncello with Wulf Fries and two eight-hand arrangements for the four pianists. “Mr. Lang was rich in audience and in programme, rich in the friendly aid of other artists, in his own strength, and particularly rich in pianos; since there were two of those superb Erard-like Grands, just manufactured by the Messrs. Chickering.” (Dwight (March 31, 1860): 6) Dwight mentioned in this review a mannerism which he had observed in Lang-“With all the excellencies of this rapidly rising young pianist, it is but friendly justice to him to make him aware of this one little unartistic habit which he has of running his fingers unmeaningly over the instrument when he sits down to play something. It is not preluding: it does not express a mind full of the music and the meaning coming; it is just an idle or a nervous physical outbreak of the fingers; and often, we have noticed, even fails to modulate into the key in which the piece commences. Mr. Lang will not find such things done in Germany.  is such crudities which make it desirable for a young native musician, be he ever so facile and brilliant an executant, to pass some time in a musical atmosphere like Germany, and get imbued with the artistic tone.” (Dwight (March 31, 1860): 7) Dwight also mentioned that Lang was to receive another “Complimentary Concert” in his hometown of Salem.

      On November 30, 1861 at a “Private Concert” held at Old South Church the musicians included a vocal quartet of Miss Houston, Mrs. Macfarland, Mr. Downs and Mr. Weterbee with Mr. Bancroft as pianist [Bancroft-organist of Emmanuel Church?] (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1) Three days before Lang had been an assiting artist for the opening concert of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club”s Thirteenth Season when, on Wednesday November 27, 1861 he played the Mendelssohn Second Piano Trio with Schultze and Fries at Chickering Hall. (BPL, Lang Prog., Vol. 1)

      Lang appeared in the closing concert, the eighth of their thirteenth season, in March of 1862 with two movements from the same Mendelssohn work again, and Chickering Hall “had scarcely standing room for all who came on Wednesday night.”He also was part of the American premier of the Graedener Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 7-the composer lived then in Hamburg and was seen as a follower of Schumann. (Dwight (March 22, 1862): 407) Lang was an assisting artist for Mr. Eichberg’s Soiree at Chickering Hall in February 14, 1863 where he was the pianist in the Mendelssohn Trio in D Minor, accompanied Eichberg in Beethoven’s “Variations and Finale” from Sonata Op. 47, and offered three piano solos. Tickets were 75 cents each or two for $1.00 (HMA Program Collection). Dwight’s opinion of the evening was it “was a success, and, for lovers of good classical music, who filled the hall, one of the pleasantest musical offerings of the season.” (Dwight (February 21, 1863): 374) The previous month Lang had assited at Mary Fay’s Soiree on Saturday January 25, 1862 at Chickering Hall where he joined Fay in the Fantasie on Norma for two pianos. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1)

“Mr. B. J. Lang gave recently a concert in Salem, his old home, with so excellent a programme, that, even at this late hour, we wish to record it.

Grand Sonata, Op. 22 Beethoven

“Jerusalem” from St. Paul Mendelssohn

Scherzo, Op. 31 Chopin

Andante for two Pianos Schumann

Song of Spring Mendelssohn

Rondo Capp. Op. 14 Mendelssohn

Prelude in E Minor Mendelssohn

Fugue Handel

The Mother’s Song Kucken

Concerto, acc’p’t by 2nd. Piano Hummel

Mazurka, F Sharp Minor Chopin

Impromptu Mason

Mr. G. W. Steele played the second piano, and Miss J. E. Houston was the vocalist. The Salem people do not often have so fine a treat.” (Dwight (May 16, 1863): 32)

At the February 4, 1864 concert by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club Lang played two solos, Agitato in A minor, Op. 15 by Schulhoff and Slumber Song in D flat, Op. 81 by Heller, and Dwight noted that “Mr. Lang’s brace of piano-forte pieces were nicely rendered and very acceptable, especially the charming Slumber Song by Heller, which had to be repeated.”Lang also was part of the Mendelssohn Quartet in B minor for Piano and Strings that Dwight noted was Opus Three by the composer, written two years before the Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture. “Truly a wonderful work for a boy; as full of charming and surprising thoughts, and skillful, genial mastery of means, as it is of difficulties of execution. These were admirably surmounted by Mr. Lang and his associates, and the whole work produced a fine impression.” (Dwight (February 20, 1864): 190) Within days Lang was also appearing with the Orchestral Union in their Fifth Concert of the season where he “played a good sterling Prelude and Fugue in C, by Bach, one which we have not had before, and played it well and won applause…The rest of the programme consisted of the “Adagio and Allegretto” from Rink’s Organ Concerto in F (with flute solo); the Turkish March from a Sonata by Mozart, arranged for orchestra by Thomas Ryan; and the Faust potpourri as usual.” This was a program that resembled those of the Boston Pops one hundred years later under Arthur Fiedler.

Within the same week, Sunday evening, February 7, 1864 at 7:30PM, Lang presented at the Music Hall a “Grand Sacred Concert” to be given with “The Great Organ” and with the assisting artists, Miss J. E. Houston (vocalist), Mr. Julius Eichberg (cellist), and Mr. J. H. Willcox (Pianist). Lang opened and closed the concert with major organ solos, Miss Houston sang twice, the second being the aria “In Praise of the Organ” from Handel’s Ode to St. Cecilia, and Eichberg and Lang performed Eichberg”s Religious Meditation for organ and violin. Tickets were 50 cents. (BPL Lang Prog.) The same format was used for “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Grand Sacred Concert” at the Music Hall on Sunday evening March 6, 1864. The three soloists used before returned with the addition of Mr. J. C. D. Parker and Mr. S. A. Bancroft. Parker and Lang played the “Overture” to Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise, Eichberg’s Religious Meditation was repeated and Mr. Bancroft was featured in one organ solo, the Grande Offertoire in F Major by Lefebure-Wely. Miss Houston sang three different selections spread throughout the program and Lang again opened and closed the concert. (BPL Lang Prog.)

The next month, March 1863, Lang was an assisting artist at the inaugural concert given on the “New Organ at the Church of the Immaculate Conception” where J. H. Willcox was the organist. The builders of the instrument, Messrs. Hook described the organ as “the most complete and effective Organ ever built in America…As a well balanced. full and admirably constructed organ it is without an equal among our largest and very best instruments.” Lang and Willcox played solos and the church choir and soloists completed the program. Bach’s Concerto No. 1 in G: Allegro, Grave, and Presto and Bird Song by Willmers, arranged for organ were B. J.’s contributions. (BMT (March 5, 1863): 38)

       On March 12, 1864 Lang was the soloist in Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Piano in D minor at the second and last of “Mr. Julius Eichberg’s Orchestral Soirees” which took place at Chickerings’Hall. “The audience was large and discriminating” for a program that began with Mozart”s “Overture” to Cosi fan tutte, continued with two movements from Mozart’s Symphony No. 4 (Jupiter), then the piano concerto, and ended with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8.” There was no critical comment about the concert, only a final sentence: “Mr. Eichberg has commenced a good work, which we hope he may continue in future seasons.” (BMT (April 2, 1864): 3) As Eichberg left Boston for New York City two years later, things must not have continued successfully, but my appearing in concerts put on by other musicians, Lang was getting a good education in concert management.

       On the tercentennial of Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23, 1864 Lang conducted the first Boston performance of Mendelssohn’s complete music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Dwight announced the event as follows: “Next Saturday, the 23rd.of April, is the great Tricentennial, or Ter-centenary (as they call it in London-either name is awkward enough and well enough) anniversary of the birth of SHAKESPEARE (great type of all that there is genial in human life); and Mr. B. J. Lang announces a musical celebration thereof, to consist of the music to the “Mid-summer Night’s Dream,” to be followed by ”The First Walpurgis Night,” both by Mendelssohn. It will be given in the Music Hall, with the combined force of the best quartet choirs hereabouts, and four principal singers: Miss Houston, Mrs. J. S. Cary, Miss Annie L. Cary, probably Mr. Wm. Schraubstaedter (just returned from California) for tenor, Schraubstaedter frere, baritone, and Mr. Ryder, basso. Mr. Lang is bestowing careful pains on the rehearsals, and all musical lovers of Shakespeare and of Mendelssohn will look out in season to secure the privilege of listening.” (Dwight (April 16, 1864): 223). Dwight then reported: “It was fit that music should bear a part in the honor paid to Shakespeare in the world-wide observance of the three-hundredth anniversary of his birthday.” He then noted because of the effects of the Civil War, the observance was rather unorganized, but Lang’s concert was called “notable…Mr. Lang made the best choice possible in his selection of music. First the Midsummer Night’s Dream” music entire…the choruses were sung by a large choir of the freshest and best voices in the city, and the Orchestra, under Carl Zerrahn, played with more than usual delicacy and spirit, to the credit of themselves and of Mr. Lang’s conductorship.” The second half of the concert was Mendelssohn’s First Walpurgis Night, “so admirably brought out by Mr. Lang two years ago…The audience was immense, and the enthusiasm great, and Mr. Lang”s good services will be remembered.” (Dwight (April 30, 1864): 23) The Boston Musical Times review began: “The Music Hall was filled on Saturday evening, April 23rd. by one of the most intelligent and appreciative audiences that Boston can assemble to listen to music…Mr. Lang deserves and certainly receives, the applause of everybody for the artistic and well arranged entertainment which he conducted…Altogether the entertainment was a delightful one; one that is eminently in Mr. Lang’s sphere of musical thought and ability. No one understands or more thoroughly loves Mendelssohn than he, or is better to bring out his beauties.” (BMT (May 7, 1863): 68) Between the two Mendelssohn choral works, the orchestra played Beethoven’s Overture to Coriolanus. (BPL Lang Prog.)

       On December 10, 1864 Lang was an assisting artist at the “Third Piano-Forte Concert” given by Otto Dresel at Chickerings’ Rooms. In addition to Lang, Hugo Leonhard and J. C. D. Parker were assisting artists. The opening piece was Bach’s Concerto for Three Pianos in C Major in three movements with “The stringed Quartette Accompaniment arranged for a Fourth.” The program does not state who played the solo parts and who played the orchestral reduction. It also does not show who played the other pieces for multiple pianos. Tickets were $1.50, and at the bottom of the program was the notice: “To prevent annoyance to the listener, Mr. Dresel respectfully desires that persons will refrain, as far as possible, from entering or leaving the hall, during the performance of a piece” (HMA Program Collection). Johnson records that the Schumann Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54 was also part of this concert-Dresel played the solo part and Lang played the orchestral reduction. Dressel would give the Boston premier of the work two years later on November 23, 1866 with the Harvard Musical Association Orchestra conducted by Carl Zerrahn. But, between the 1864 and 1866 performqnces, Lang played “part of the work at a concert by Mme. Parepa on one evening and the other half the next evening in 1865.” (Johnson, First, 328)

       Lang also was active as an accompanist. Early in 1865 Dwight reported on various performances of the Messiah “in smaller cities…In Worcester, it was given on Tuesday evening by the ”Mozart Society” without orchestra, Mr. Lang accompanying on the great Worcester Organ, and Mr. B. D. Allen conducting.” (Dwight (January 7, 1865): 373) Two months latrer Lang was agin in Worchester for a Friday evening concert on March 10, 1865 where he opened the Worchester Mozart Society concert with an “Organ Improvisation.” The rest of the program was the choral work The Transient and the Eternal by Romberg. Only a pianist and Lang were listed-probably they shared the accompaniment of the choral work. Tickets were 25 cents. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1)

       In March of 1865 Lang was part of a “Boston Musicians’ Union” Concert played “by the united forces of the orchestras and bands…of from 90 to 95 musicians, many of them accomplished…The Boston Theatre was crowed to excess the first time, making the repetition on last Sunday evening imperative. The charitable, or, what is better, the fraternal object of the concerts must have been largely furthered, and a substantial nucleus formed for a mutual Benefit Fund for sick and needy musicians…Mr. Lang played the Andante and Capriccio Op. 22 of Mendelssohn very beautifully on a Chickering Grand Piano of remarkable power, as well as pure, sweet, musical quality, or the performance would have been lost in that place.” The musicians presented the conductor, Mr. Zerrahn in appreciation for his work in the concert.(Dwight (March 18, 1865): 414 and 415)

       On Saturday, March 24, 1866 Lang presented for the first time in Boston Haydn’s The Seasons at the Music Hall with Miss J. E. Houston, George Simpson (from New York), and J. Rudolphsen as the soloists and “a full orchestra.” (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1)Johnson describes this concert as “in part only. The Handel and Haydn Society did not sing this work entire until 28 March 1875.” (Johnson, First, 190)A full orchestra accompanied the “Select Chorus.” All tickets were $1 with all seats reserved. Dwight reported: “Mr. B. J. Lang deserves well of the republic for having given us, for the first time in Boston, a hearing of all four parts of Father Haydn’s genial and delightful Cantata, Pastoral, or whatever it may be called. He had gathered together a crowd of heartily interested singers, some 250 voices, fresh and telling, and drilled them well; a full orchestra for the rich and graphic instrumentation; and secured competent vocal artists for the three characters that individualize a large part of the poetry, which follows mainly in the beaten track of Thomson. The performance last Saturday evening was extremely interesting; the Music Hall almost crowed, in spite of the east Wind…On the whole, the work was very fairly rendered for a first time, considering too that the fear of its great length must have made the conductor somewhat nervous…Mr. Lang should feel rewarded for this brave effort, and we trust the ‘Seasons’ will come round again.” (Dwight (March 31, 1866): 215)

       Lang appeared in two concerts in May 1866-a hand written notation records that his solos were encored. At the May 21, 1866 Concert at Chickering Hall given by Mrs. H. F. Dupree vocalist, Lang played the “Andante” from Rondo Capriccio in E Minor by Mendelssohn and Liszt’s transcriptipon of Weber’s Polonaise in E major-both were encored, but nothing elso in the program was encored. Earlier in the month at the Saturday evening May 5, 1866 Benefit Concert for Miss Annie Cary his Liszt/Weber performance was doubly encored!. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol 1)

       Lang continued to appear with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club. At a concert presented in Providence during November 1866, the Providence Journal went “into ecstasies over Mr. Lang’s pianism, thusly: ”We have heretofore expressed our admiration of Mr. Lang’s piano-forte playing. There is something not only in his taste in selecting and his style of rendering music, but in his very looks and manner, as it seems to us, that indicates the presence of the truly conscientious and high-minded musician, who has a perfect sense of the dignity and worth of his art. Last evening he gave us some superb specimens of genuine piano-forte music and playing. The polonaise by Liszt was exceedingly rich, but what shall we say of the Mendelssohn trio?…To Mr. Lang must surely be accorded the honor of playing here the greatest and best piano-forte compositions to which our citizens have ever listened.”” (BMT (December 1, 1866): 5 and 6) Lang had appeared with the Club in Boston earlier in the year: “The last of the series of Chamber Concerts by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, will be given at Chickerings’ Hall on Tuesday evening next, March 8th., when Mr. Lang will be the pianist. The programme is one of great merit, and we shall anticipate a large attendance.” (BMT (March 3, 1866): 37) The Times didn’t later print a review-during this period, 1865-66, the Boston Musical Times carried few detailed reviews.

       The Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 was again played at the Club’s concert at Chickerings’ Hall on Tuesday, January 8, 1867-it was the second concert in the series. “The Piano Trio, in D minor was wonderfully well played; each performer exerting himself to the utmost to do justice to his part in this most beautiful creation of the tone-poet, Mendelssohn. Mr. Lang’s interpretation of the piano part, in particular, was as chaste and finished a performance as we have ever had of this portion of the composition; we do not remember, ever, to have heard it better played than on this occasion.” Lang also played the first Boston performance of Dussek’s Sonata for Piano and Violin in B flat. The reviewer didn’t think this piece was at the same level as the rest of the program, but “the manner in which it was played” made amends “for whatever there was found wanting in the music.” (BMT (February 2, 1867): 14) By 1867 the Boston Musical Times was back to including full reviews of a number of concerts in each issue-however, only one piece of music was included per issue whereas in earlier years there had sometimes been three pieces in each musical supplement.

       Lang and the vocalist Miss Clara M Loring were the assisting artists at the “Fourth Schubert Matinee” presented by the pianist Mr. Perabo on January 31, 1867. The repertoire was all by Schubert. “The Rondo (in E minor) in which Mr. Lang played the Primo, and Mr. Perabo the Seconda part, was most brilliantly executed, and in exact time, there being no apparent unevenness in the tempi of the two performers. It is a charming composition and at once found favor with the audience. The Fantasia (in F minor) created a profound impression; it is one of those compositions of Schubert which the musician must ever delight to study. Greater interest seems to be attached to it than to many of the other works by the same composer. This time Mr. Perabo played the Primo and Mr. Lang the Seconda parts; the sight of two such artists, working together with but one object in view, and that was to do honor to the music of one of Germany’s greatest composers, was indeed gratifying…It certainly was one of the finest instances of piano duet playing that we have ever had…On the whole it was as fine a concert as Mr. Perabo has yet offered. The hall was full and the audience of the most appreciative kind.” (BMT (March 2, 1867): 19)

       While Perabo was featuring Schubert, Carlyle Petersilia was presenting Schumann. The “Second Schumann Soiree” was performed “on Saturday evening, January 26, [1867 at] Chickerings’ Hall [which] was filled by an audience of music-lovers eager to hear the performance of a programme which, in point of magnitude, and contrast of subjects. is unequalled in our annals of piano concerts”. Lang took part in three of the four major pieces; a vocalist, Miss Edith Abel sang four songs scattered throughout the program. Petersilia performed the solo parts to the last two movements of Chopin’ Concerto in E minor and Schumann”s Piano Concerto in A minor with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniments at a second piano “with nicety of execution and truthful conception, thereby adding greatly to the performance.” The final number of the concert was Schumann’s Variations for Two Pianos where “Messrs. Lang and Petersilia completely electrified the audience.” (BMT (February 2, 1867): 15 and 16)

       Just over two weeks later, on Monday, February 18, 1867 the Harvard Musical Association arranged a benefit concert to aid “the exiled and starving women and children of the Cretan patriots, fighting for liberty against the Turks.”The Music Hall was sold out with many standing for the performance, and all the musicians donated their talents.Lang, together with Messrs. Dresel, Leonard, and Perabo performed the Duet for Two Pianos-Les Contrastes by Moscheles; Lang had included this same piece in his “Complimentary Concert” during the spring of 1860.The piece “was made very effective, however, in the execution; for four masters were united in it, and it was done with a power, a precision, a perfect unity and aplomb which could not fail to make an impression.” (Dwight (March 2, 1867): 407)

       Lang returned to his hometown of Salem and arranged a concert for Monday evening, March 4, 1867 at Lyceum Hall. He opened as the soloist in Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Opus 40 with his student, Alice Dutton playing the orchestral accompaniment. After a song by Miss Sarah W. Barton, Miss Dutton was the soloist in Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 25 with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniment. Miss Barton sang two other solos, Lang played Liszt’s Transcription of Weber’s Polonaise in E, Opus 72 and the program ended with Lang and Dutton playing the Grand Duo on themes from Norma by Thalberg. (BPL Lang Prog.) The success of this concert may have led to the following orchestral concert.

       In an article headed “Salem, Mass,” Dwight noted that “Last Monday evening [May 20, 1867] this old town rejoiced in its first ‘Symphony Concert,’ given by Mr. M. S. Downs, with the aid of Miss Adelaide Phillipps and ‘the Boston Symphony Orchestra,’ under the direction of Mr. B. J. Lang. The object was to raise funds towards the erection of a new music hall, which Salem surely ought to have, for it is now a city, and has some very musical people, sending quite a delegation always to our Oratorios and Symphony Concerts in Boston.The occasion is said to have been in every sense most successful.This was the programme:

Symphony No. 5, Op. 57 Beethoven

“Oh mio Fernando” from Favorita Donizetti *

Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream Mendelssohn

Cuban Song Gradyer *

Concert Waltz The Village SwallowsJ. Strauss

Brindisi Galathes Masse *

Wedding March Mendelssohn

(Dwight, May 25, 1867, p. 39)

* = solos by Miss Phillipps (BPL Lang Prog.)

       On Saturday afternoon, October 26, 1867 Lang presented a lecture on the piano at Chickerings’ Hall primarily to pupils of the New England Conservatory, but other interested parties attended.“Mr. Lang spoke about three-quarters of an hour in an off-hand and rather pleasant manner.The merit of his lecture was in the practical suggestions he threw out, which were evolved from his own experience as a teacher.He promised at the state that he should be crude, and he was a little so, but the information imparted was more than an offset.Some of his anecdotes were a little musty and not always apropos, but he gave on the whole satisfaction to his hears.For a first attempt it was fair.But it is no injustice to Mr. Lang to say that he plays better than he preaches.”Among his comments: he preferred “Uprights” over “Squares;” there are too many that attempt to learn the piano-“Mere practice, however long continued, will not make a player unless there is an original capacity [talent] for it;” in his travel abroad, he found the best piano in Spain and the worst in Ireland; “A Boston piano, made by Boston mechanics, is good enough;” regular chairs were better than piano stools; “He thought ladies were naturally better players and teachers than men, as they have a power to easily acquire and impart.”The article had originally appeared in the Post. (Dwight (November 9, 1867): 136) The Boston Musical Times also used the Post article, noting, in addition to what Dwight reported, that “Mr. Lang’s views with regard to popular musical entertainments are exceedingly severe, and do not accord with those of a vast majority of the people; but he deserves credit for frankness…Mr. Lang gave much good and practical advice as to learning and teaching the piano. He uttered some pretty severer things against the music of the day, and regarded miscellaneous concerts as crude and unsatisfactory. Entertainments in which a whole symphony is given he regards as something worth while to listen to. In this connection he commended the concerts of the Harvard Musical Association and Orchestral Union…Some of the English peculiarities of playing the piano were adverted to, and their absurdities pointed out. The English have their way in the matter of piano playing just as they do in some other things, and stick to it whether good or bad. As to the art of playing and the manner, he said he could not state it. It defied language to express. it was a thing to hear, not to describe…The merit of his lecture was in the practical suggestions he threw out, which were evolved from his own experience as a teacher. He promised at the start that he should be crude, and he was a little so, but the information imparted was more than an offset.” (BMT (November 2, 1867): 87)

       On February 5, 1868 Lang took part in a “Complimentary Concert, Given in Honor of the Members of the Commercial Convention” and sponsored by the “Boston Board of Trade.” Lang appeared three times in the first half of the concert. First he played two organ solos, Fantasia in G by Bach and a “Chorus” from Elijah displaying the “Vox Humana stop,” and then he joined with the Julius Eichberg in Eichberg’s Religious Meditation for Violin and Organ, and the first half ended with the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria sung by Mrs. Smith with Eichberg on violin, Lang probably on piano, and Dr. J. H. Willcox on organ(HMA Program Collection). An interesting mix of classic and popular for this convention of tradesmen. Part two of the concert was presented by Gilmore’s Band!

        In March 1868 “Mr. B. J. Lang had ‘the pleasure’ he so courteously craved ‘of introducing to the musical public of Boston’ the Eight Book of Songs Without Words (first brought to light so recently) by his favorite composer. (Mendelssohn) He must have had that pleasure in a high degree, introducing them to an audience so select, so large, and so much gratified as that assembled in Chickering Hall on the afternoon of March 18.” The concert opened with Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 22 and ended with Mendelssohn’s Sonata Op. 58 for Cello and Piano. “ We did not think Mr. Lang quite so happy in his interpretation of the Beethoven Sonata as he is with Mendelssohn; but the Sonata Duo, with Wulf Fries, went splendidly and was worth the whole.” (Dwight (March 28, 1868): 215) In Langs annoucement of this concert he mentioned that these Mendelssohn pieces had been “published for the first time last month and just received from Europe.” It would seem that this was another Boston or American first performance by Lang. Tickets were $1. (BPL Lang Prog.)

       John S. Dwight-“He had found in Dwight’s Journal of Music an ideal medium through which to propagate his vision of music. The extent of Dwight’s influence, however, is unclear. The precise circulation of the journal has never been ascertained. And Dwight himself was becoming isolated. His purist, Germanic view of music never really reflected the tastes of the Boston public. As his views hardened, he became increasingly distanced from the reality of Boston concert life.

Dwight nevertheless remained a powerful figure in Boston musical circles. His power base came from his connection to elite society, which was centered in two organizations: the Saturday Club and the Harvard Musical Association. As a member of the Saturday Club Dwight was admitted into the inner sanctum of the elite. The club joined literature and power; its membership included some of the richest, most prominent men in Boston, such as Thomas G. Appleton, Charles Francis Adams, and James Elliot Cabot, as well as some of the age’s, most important literary figures, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry W. Longfellow, and Nathaniel Hawthorne…

His (Dwight’s) friendship with Emerson and Parker, his principal entrée into intellectual society, had been forged when his work in German literature far outweighed his musical accomplishments. No other musician was a member of the Saturday Club, although by the 1880s there were other potential candidates in Boston, such as William Mason and B. J. Lang. No painter, sculptor, or other visual artist was a member.” (Broyles, 306 and 307)

Dwight’s support of Lang as a new member of the Boston musical community is shown through his printing of Lang’s program for a solo piano concert given at the Town Hall in Milton even though “other engagements, we are sorry to say, prevented us from hearing it.

Benediction de Dieu Dans la Solitude:    Liszt

Rondo Cappriccioso [sic] in E minor. Op. 12:    Mendelssohn

Etude in D flat major-Cradle Song:    Heller

Caprice in C major:    Lang

Caprice in A flat major:    Lang

Fantasie in A minor:    Mendelssohn

Fantasie in E minor:    Mendelssohn

Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31:    Chopin

Transcription of Themes from a Polonaise by Weber:   Liszt.”

(Dwight (October 10, 1868): 326)

       The programs for the 1869 “Mr. B. J. Lang’s Symphony Concerts at Mercantile Hall” were:

       Tuesday April 6, 18693:30PM

Overture to Prometheus:    Beethoven

Symphony # 3 in E Flat:    Mozart

Serenade and Allegro in B Minor:    Mendelssohn

                    Miss Alice Dutton

Symphony # 4 (Italian):    Mendelssohn

       Tuesday April 13

Symphony # 8:    Beethoven

Overture: Calm Sea…:   Mendelssohn

Piano Concerto # 4:    Beethoven

                       Mr. Hugo Leonard

Overture: The Naiads Sterndale Bennett

       Tuesday April 20

Symphony # 6:    Beethoven

Overture: The Hebrides:    Mendelssohn

Violin Concerto:    Beethoven

                        Mr. Bernhard Listemann

Symphony # 7 in G Major:   Haydn (BPL Lang Prog.)

The brochure announcing the series had a slightly different order of pieces, and the location was listed as Chickering Hall. A second brochure reflects the program as listed above and the location to be the Mercantile Hall (both in the HMA Program Collection). Dwight referred to them as a “short after-summer [season]” following “The close of the great season, with the last Symphony Concert and the Easter Oratorios…Mr. Lang’s very successful experiment is over for the present.Mercantile Hall has been crowded each time, and with the best kind of audience…The only drawback to the full enjoyment of those orchestral performances was in the character of the hall, which neither has a musical and cheerful aspect, nor very good acoustic qualities.To all but the remotest listeners the sounds were hard and dry, the fortissimos more striking than inspiring; the timpani, for instance, in the storm part of the Pastoral Symphony, dealt something more like blows than sounds upon our tympanum…Mr. Lang is rapidly making himself at home in his new function as Conductor, and he does wisely to take a small and modest house at first,-a picked orchestra of a few more than thirty instruments (six first violins); capable and faithful with a few, he may yet be ruler over many…Mr. Lang has made many thankful for this fine little after-season of symphonic life and sunshine” (Dwight (April 24, 1869): 22 and 23)

        The fall of 1869 and winter/spring of 1869-70 saw Lang in Europe where he gave a number of solo piano recitals. At the Hotel de Rome in Berlin on December 28, 1869 he played Beethoven’s Sonata Opus 22, Chopin”s Scherzo Opus 31, two works by Bach, Mendelssohn’s Caprice in E Opus 16, and ended with Liszt’s arrangement of Weber’s Polonaise. (BPL Lang Prog.) On Friday March 11, 1870 Lang played at the “Saale des Herrn Hof-Pianofortefabrikant Ronisch in Dresden.” The program was much the same as in Berlin, but he included Mendelssohn’s Concerto in G Opus 25 (no mention of who played the orchestral part) and two pieces, Phantasien in A dur and in C dur of his own composition. (BPL Lang Prog.) A concert in Vienna on Friday, May 13, 1870 at Bosendorfer’s Hall included the Mendelssohn Concerto, the Liszt/Weber and four songs by Lang sung by Carl Adams of the Opera House: their titles were Spring, Spinning, Love and Lied-Psalm 86. (BPL Lang Prog.)

       Lang continued to appear the concerts promoted by others. On Saturday evening, December 3, 1870 Mr. J. W. Brackett invited listeners to the opening of “his new Music Hall, No. 409 Washington St.,” and the program included Lang playing Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto in G Minor, Op. 25 with the orchestral accompaniment played art “a second Piano Forte by Mr. H. G. Tucker [his pupil]” (HMA Program Collection).

       Dwight announced that “Mr. B. J. Lang has made arrangements to give four concerts at the Globe Theatre on Thursday afternoons, beginning Jan. 19 [1871], and alternating with the Harvard Symphony concerts.There will be a piano trio, a piano concerto and a string quartet at each concert.” (Dwight (December 31, 1870): 375) “The Programmes [see next page] have been made up with special consideration for the younger class of Concert goers.” The series cost $5, or single tickets were $1.50.(BPL Lang Prog.) The first was given on Thursday afternoon, January 19 and “drew a very choice and (for a chamber concert) a large audience. There were at least three hundred good listeners, seated mostly in the parquette of the handsome theatre, in comfortable seats with everything cozy and harmonious about them.” The Mendelssohn Quintette Club also participated in Mozart’s Quintett Opus 108, Beethoven’s Trio in C Minor Opus 1, No. 4, and formed the accompaniment, with the addition of a double bass, for the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto in G minor, Opus 25 for which “Mr. Lang’s was a very fervent, carefully studied, finished and intelligent performance.” As a solo he played the Chopin Scherzo in B flat minor, Opus 31, “and conveyed it to his hearers so well that one scarcely thought of the masterly ease of execution it involved.” The end of the review listed the works for the second concert: Beethoven-String Quartet in A, Beethoven-Piano Concerto No. 1, Chopin-Ballade in A flat, and Mendelssohn- Trio in C minor. Dwight’s final comment was that “These concerts come in pleasant alternation with the Harvard Symphony Concerts.” (Dwight, January 28, 1871)

       In fact, this second concert on Thursday afternoon February 1, 1872 at 3:30PM opened with Schubert’s String Quintet in C, Opus 163 in place of the advertised Beethoven Quartett in A Major Opus 18. Again using the Mendelssohn Quintette Club as the accompaniment for the Beethoven First Piano Concerto Opus 15, Dwight felt that “with only the shadow of an orchestra (string quartet with double-bass) it sounded to us more dry and tame than” when Lang had played it with full orchestra three years previously. However he ended with: “We are thankful for the too rare chance of hearing such a work.” The comment on B. J.’s contribution as a pianist was: “Mr. Lang had ample sphere for all his fine, clear, finished technique, and tasteful phrasing.” This probably referred to his performance of Chopin’s Ballade in A Flat major Opus 49. The concert ended with Mendelssohn’s Trio in C Minor Opus 66.

       This third concert of the series on Thursday afternoon February 16, 1872 again using the Mendelssohn Quintette Club as assisting artists presented the repertoire as previously advertised. It began with the Haydn-Quartet No. 67, continued withtwo piano solos: Capriccio, Opus 22 by Sterndale Bennett and Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude by Liszt, and ended with“the great B-flat Trio [Opus 97] of Beethoven.” (Dwight, February 11, 1871) Dwight’s felt that the Liszt piece’s “inspiration had all faded out before the end,” but that “Mr. Lang played it, however, con amore and devoutly, with much expression, and had the close (no doubt with many the sympathetic) attention of the audience throughout.” (Dwight (February 25, 1871): 406 and 407)

        The fourth and last concert of this chamber music series was given Tuesday afternoon, March 2 to “an uncommonly large and cultivated audience.” The program was:

Quintet in B Flat major, Op. 87 Mendelssohn

Concerto in C Major for Three Pianofortes Bach

Pianoforte Pieces Lang

Pianoforte Concerto in D Minor, Op. 40 Mendelssohn

Messrs. Lang, Leonhard, and Parker played the Bach with an accompaniment of string quartet plus double bass. Dwight commented on Lang’s pieces: “For piano solos, Mr. Lang played a couple of very graceful, airy, finished little fancies of his own, which were much enjoyed, and, in answer to an encore, another, not (we should think) from the same source, which seemed a little tame.” Dwight continued: “The D-minor Concerto of Mendelssohn, was, if we remember rightly, first introduced to a Boston public by Mr. Lang, with orchestra, more than a dozen years ago. It is needless to say that he plays it very finely now; but the Quintet abridgement feebly supplied the place of the orchestra. And so the pleasant company dispersed, rather reluctantly at thinking that no more such feasts remained.”(Dwight (March 11, 1871): 415)

       Later, that same spring (1871) Lang presented a series of four piano concerts given on successive Monday afternoons during April in Bumstead Hall featuring his pupils.Mr. G. W. Sumner, Mr. W. F. Apthorp, Mr. G. A. Adams, and Mr. H. G. Tucker performed solo works, duets, and concertos “before large and cultivated audiences… The young knights summon witnesses to see that their spurs are well won, for they shrink not from the highest tasks.It must be acknowledged that so far they have acquitted themselves with honor…Mr. Lang himself (teacher and ”head centre” of the group) outlined the orchestral parts upon another piano.” (Dwight, April 22, 1871, p. 14)

On Friday evening October 27, 1871 Lang was one of the assisting artists in “Mr. Peck”s Popular Concerts” at the Music Hall. He played the solo version of Liszt”s Grand Fantasie on Weber”s Polonasie in E Major. Among the other guest artists were Mrs. Frohock who opened the concert with an organ solo (un-named) and Miss Phillipps. Gerneral admission was 25 cents with reserved tickets at 50 cents. (BPL Lang Prog., 6272) Lang played in another Peck concert on Thursday evening December 28, 1871. His solo was Liszt”s Fantasie on La Charitie. This concert opened with an organ introduction played by Mr. Eugene Thayer. Miss Adelaide Phillipps was also among the assisting artists for this event as she was for similar concert advertised for Saturday afternoon December 30, 1871 and Sunday evening december 31, 1871. (BPL Lang Prog., 6273)

“Mr. B. J. Lang began his second series of four Concerts, at the Globe Theatre again, on Thursday, February 14, [1872] at 3 P.M.The attendance was flattering both in character and numbers; the social and artistic atmosphere and the surroundings very pleasant.”The Mendelssohn Quintette Club shared the program, and opened with Mozart”s String Quartet No. 8 in F major.Then Lang played two Chopin pieces-the Nocturne in C Minor, Opus 48, and then, “to eke out its brevity he also played one of the most admired of Chopin’s Ballades with rare grace and finesse.”The final piece was the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat, Opus 19 with the accompaniment played by a second piano (Mr. Sumner), string quintet and flute.The work had only been played in Boston once before: January 16, 1868 by the Harvard Musical Association with Lang as soloist.Dwight’s review of the first performance mentioned that “There is abundant opportunity for the player to show his good taste, ease, and reserve power, the subjection of deft, thoroughly practiced hands to expression, all of which Mr. Lang eminently did show.It was a most elegant and happy rendering of a charming composition with which all were glad to have made acquaintance.” (Johnson, p. 46)In evaluation of this second performance, Dwight wrote: “It was an admirable rendering throughout.”The review ended with the program for the second concert to be held on Thursday, February 29-Beethoven String Quartet No. 7 in F Minor, four Nocturnes Opus 23 by Schumann, and the Mendelssohn Sonata for Cello and Piano, Opus 58. The review for this concert began: “The charming little theatre has been fuller each time…Instead of the four Nocturnes, however, Mr. Lang played only the first, -so interesting in itself, so well interpreted, that one could not be quite resigned to the withholding of its promised three companions.”The reason for this change was that the Beethoven Piano Concerto in B flat was repeated from the first concert.Also, the Beethoven Quartet was No. 11, rather than No. 7.The March 14 third concert included a Concerto by Bach for two violins; a four-hand composition by Mr. Bradlee, an accomplished amateur of our city; Chopin’s Etude in C sharp minor, Opus 25; and a Trio in B flat by Rubinstein.Lang and Mr. Perabo played the Bradlee work which led to an encore of the first movement of Rubinstein’s Ocean Symphony which prepared the audience for the Rubinstein Trio which was “played con amore and with great life and spirit, [and] charmed the audience, unfolding richer and richer as it went on.”Lang’s Chopin solo was mentioned: “As a technical etude it presents great difficulties; but these the hearer was not allowed to think of, so fully was he made to feel the charm and meaning of the piece.”The final concert on March 28 was advertised as having the Bach Concerto in D minor for Three Pianos, two movements of a Quintet in C by Lachner, and the Third Piano Concerto by Beethoven. (Dwight, March 23, 1872, p. 207)

Lang presented a series of four concerts on Monday afternoons at 3:30PM beginning with April 10, 1871. These featured his pupils Mr. G. A. Adams, Mr. William F. Apthorp, Mr. G. W. Sumner, and Mr. Tucker. The first concert included:

          Prelude in C (Well tempered Clavichord, No.1 – Bach (Adams)

          Fugue in E Minor, Fourth Suite – Handel (Adams)

          Three Diversions, Piano Four hands, Opus 17 – Sterndale Bennett

          Concerto in F Minor Opus 21 – Chopin (Sumner)

          “Festspiel und Brautlied” from Wagner’s Lohengrin – Liszt (Tucker)

The second concert on Monday April 17 included:

           Concerto in E Flat Opus 73 – Beethoven (Adams)

           Fantasia Cromatica e Fuga in D Minor – Bach (Sumner)

           Concertstuck in F Opus 79 – Weber (6275) (Tucker)

The third concert on Monday April 24 included:

           Ballade in A Flat Opus 53 – Chopin (Sumner)

           Concerto in A Minor Opus 54 – Schumann (Tucker)

           “Arioso (Tristan’s Vision)” from Die Walkure – Wagner (Apthorp accompanist for Dr. Langmaid)

            Rondo in C for Two Pianos, Opus 73 – Chopin (Sumner & Adams)

The fourth and final concert on may 1 included:

            Andante, Spianato and Polonaise Brillante Opus 22 – Chopin (Adams)

            “Slow Movement” from Fantasia Opus 17 – Schumann (Sumner)

             Ballade in A Flat Opus 20 – Reinecke (Tucker)

             Concerto in C Minor for thee pianosBach (6276)(Adams, Sumner,and Tucker with Apthorp playing the orchestral part)(Citations from                   BPL LangProg., 6293-4)

Lang gave another series of four Globe Theatre Concerts on Thursday afternoons at 3PM in 1872. The program for the fourth concert included:

              String Quintette in B Flat – Mendelssohn

              Piano Concerto No. 3 – Beethoven

              Grand Trio in B Flat major – Rubinstein

              Concerto for Three Pianofortes – Bach

A second series of Thursday afternoon 3PM orchestral concerts was performed April 11, 18, 25 and May 2, 1872 at Mechanics’ Hall, Bedford Street. Lang’s announcement stated: “Mr. Lang begs leave to remind his friends of the Symphony Concerts which he once gave at Mercantile Hall, of the Bumstead Hall Pianoforte Concerts of last Spring, and to announce that he now proposes to give a series of Symphony Concerts, at Mechanics Hall (Bedford St.) on Thursday Afternoons. ” (BPL Lang Prog.) Season tickets were $4, single tickets were $1.25. An appreciation of Lang’s concert giving activities is reflected in an announcement printed in the Folio: “The public will learn, with no small degrees of pleasure, that our talented pianists, Mr. B. J. Lang, proposes to give a second series of Symphony Concerts, at Mechanic’s Hall, beginning on Thursday afternoon, April 11th, at three o’clock. There will be four concerts in the series. We need offer no remarks relative to the great worth and importance of these classical entertainments.” (Folio, May 1872) The critic William F. Apthorp was one of the soloists, and the announcement for the series reminded patrons of the Bumstead Hall Pianoforte Concerts held last spring. The first concert on April 11, 1872 featured Mr. G. A. Adams as the soloist in Schumann’s Concerto in A Minor Opus 51. (BPL Lang Prog.) Dwight reviewed the second and third of “these attractive ”Thursday Afternoons” (which) have shown improvement in the orchestral performance and increase of interest.”The second program included Beethoven’s, Symphony No. 7, Reinecke’s Concertstuck, Opus 33 played by B. J.’s pupil, Mr. R. C. Dixey, the “Aria and Gavotte” from Bach’s Suite in D Minor, the “Barcarole” from Sterndale Bennett’s Piano Concerto No. 4 playd by Mr. William F. Apthorp, and the finale was the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “Beethoven’s Seventh was rather a large Symphony for an orchestra of thirty; yet for the most part it was remarkably well rendered and appreciated…Mr. Dixey was received with warm signs of favor…Mr. Apthorp’s selection was of a less pretentious and altogether graceful, pleasing character…Not demanding any high degree of execution, -except that it grows a little tasking toward the end, -it showed the taste and musical intelligence and feeling of the ardent young interpreter to good advantage.” The review for the third concert of April 25 praised the playing of B. J.’s young pupil, Mr. H. G. Tucker in Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto.” (BPL Lang Prog.) These concerts at Mechanics Hall were seen to be “supplementing in some sense, in a smaller hall, the larger Symphony Season.Dwight ended his review by mentioning Lang’s fourth and final concert in the series which “passes fairly over into the domain of Chamber Music, dispensing with full orchestra and offering the flowing selections: Hummel’s Pianoforte Septet (played by Mr. G. W. Sumner); Beethoven’s Septet; Concerto for Three Pianofortes in C, Bach, (played by Mr. G. A. Adams, Mr. G. W. Sumner, and Mr. H. G. Tucker)” with presumably B. J. playing the orchestral part on a fourth piano. (Dwight (May 4, 1872): 230 and 231) Dwight’s review of the fourth concert was rather brief and ended with compliments to the three pianists: “It was a sweet and wholesome ending to a choice and enjoyable little after-series of concerts. With the accession of all these able young pianists Boston may feel rich indeed in that department.” (Dwight (May 18, 1872): 239)

The Great Boston Fire began in the evening of November 9, 1872, and it was not until the following Sunday at 2PM that it was put under control. Sixty-five acres were destroyed which included 776 buildings. The total cost of personal property and mechandise lost was “estimated at close to $7 billion in today”s dollars.” (Puleo, 178) Lang’s former church, Old South was threatened but saved. “Flames licked at the venerable church’s door, even as crews poured streams of water on its walls and several brave firefighters climbed the roof to sweep away sparks. Even Burt [Postmaster General who had advocated blowing up buildings to stop the fire] resisted demands that Old South be blown up. The battle to save the church raged through the night, and when the steeple clock struck 6:00AM, one bystander said, ”Dear old church, I’m afriad we shall never hear that bell again.” But at the last moment, a steam engine from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, arrived; it had been loaded on a flatbed train with the Portsmouth fire company and taken to Boston. Fresh firefighters and equipment turned the tide; the fire was stopped at Washington Street and Old South survived.” (Puleo, 181)

      In presenting concerts, Lang not only had the effects of the Great Boston Fire to be contend with, but also the safety of his concert goers. The Boston musical paper publishd by Dexter Smith reported in December 1872: “Boston is now the most unsafe city in the Union, as regards life and property. Nearly every day brings its murder or robbery, and the victim is not allowed a choice between being shot down in his own doorway (like a dog), or cut up, packed in barrels and thrown into the river. A ”committee of safety” is being talked of by the citizens, and we hope it will result in something more than talk. A little old-fashioned hanging would be a good thing now.” (Dexter Smith‘s (December 1872): 284)

      Even in these difficult times Lang was able to continue his career. Early in 1873 he conducted a performance of the “Boston Choral Union.” Held at Wait’s Hall on January 9, 1873, there were five assisting vocalists and Mr. G. W. Sumner as the accompanist. Tickets were 50 cents. Strangely the composers names were not listed after the choral selections-they only sang six pieces. (BPL Lang Prog.)

       In 1873 B. J. gave a series of four concerts at Mechanics’ Hall: March 6 and 20 and April 3 and 17 at three o”clock. No orchestra was mentioned. Season tickets were $4. (BPL Lang Prog. (The first concert, given to a completely filled hall, “a large and fashionable audience,” (Folio, April 1873): 104) included Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto, which “was rendered by Mr. Lang with delicacy and refinement,” (Ibid) (Mr. Sumner supplied the outline of the orchestral accompaniment effectively on a second grand piano), three songs by Mendelssohn sung by Mr. Charles R. Hayden, the Cello Sonata, Opus 69 by Beethoven, played by Mr. Wulf Fries who “sustained his usual good reputation,” (Ibid) Six Pieces for piano Opus 72 by Mendelssohn, and the Mozart Sonata for Two Pianos, Opus 53 “which was admirably rendered by Mr. J. C. D. Parker and B. J. Lang.” (Ibid) Dwight reported: “Mozart’s Sonata for two pianos was a most acceptable novelty, full of the truest Mozart life and charm throughout, and the performance by Mr. Parker and Mr. Lang was all that could be wished. The six little Kinderstucke by Mendelssohn were a pleasant offering gracefully presented.” (Dwight (March 22, 1873): 406 and 407) The second concert which “was even more interesting than the first,” featured Bach’s Concerto for Two Pianos in C major played by Lang and Mr. Otto Dresel with string quartet accompaniment-“Even more beautiful than that for three pianos.” Lang played two solo pieces by Bach and Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48, and the concert concluded with Schumann’s Quintet for Piano and Strings which “was given with great spirit and triumphant mastery, as if the whole thing were the inspiration of the moment.” (Dwight (April 5, 1873): 414)(BPL Lang Prog.) The third concert had the following program:
img_5602smallHMA Program Collection

The third concert included solo piano works, Schumann’s Sonata for Violin and Piano Op. 105, “and then, having forgotten to bring the notes of a Beethoven Rondo promised in the programme, he repeated, to the delight of all, the wonderful Nocturne in C Minor by Chopin, op. 48, in a masterly manner. Chopin’s Rondo in C, op. 73, for two pianos, very finely played by Mr. Hugo Leonhard and Mr. Lang, brought the concert grandly to a close.”The fourth and final concert, given on April 17 included two piano concertos (Beethoven Concerto in C Minor Opus 15 and Mendelssohn’s Concerto in D Minor Opus 40) played by B. J. with orchestral parts played by Mr. G. W. Sumner, songs by Beethoven and five of his piano Bagatelles, and Schumann’s Andante and Variations, op. 46 for two pianos with Mr. Ernst Perabo.(Dwight (May 3, 1873): 14)

      Lang conducted another concert by the “Boston Choral Union” on Thursday evening April 17, 1873 at Phillips Church, South Boston. The work was Mendelssohn’s Elijah and the accompaniment was by Mr. H. G. Tucker at the piano and Mr. G. W. Sumner at the organ. Among the soloists were Mrs. Julia Houston West, Mr. W. J. Winch and mr. John F. Winch. Tickets were 50 cents. (BPL Lang Prog.)

      Lang continued in appear as soloist in concerts of other organizations. The “First Grand Concert” by the “Boston Orchestral Club,” an orchestra of forty-five, presented a concert at the Music Hall on Sunday evening April 19, 1874 with Frederic F. Ford and Lang as soloist in the Second Part of the concert performing Capriccio in B Minor for Piano and Orchestra by Mendelssohn. Lang was only one of five other assisting artists plus a Horn Quartette! (HMA Program Collection)(BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2) Tickets were fifty cents.

      From c. 1874 until 1884 Lang gave “a series of pianoforte concerts, the present season (1884) forming the only exception. He has given five different sets of symphony concerts, and in these has always followed the good German idea of a large orchestra in a small hall, so that no possible effect should be lost.” (Mus. Ob., 1884)

       The 1874 series of Thursday afternoon 3:30 to 5PM Chamber Music Concerts at Mechanics’ Hall began on February 19, 1874 with a program opening with Beethoven’s Sonata in C minor, Op. 30 for Violin and Piano and closing with the Fantasie in form of a Sonata, Op. 5 by Saran which “Mr. Lang played with unflagging spirit and great brilliancy…to the delight of the whole company” except for Dwight who felt that there was just too much expression even though he did have to admit that the title did allow “more or less of moody freedom in this regard.” (Dwight (March 7, 1874): 190)A review by Dwight did not always guarantee a positive evaluation of Lang.The second concert “offered to a crowed audience” included Mendelssohn’s youthful Piano and String Quartet in B minor, Op. 5 with three members of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club “which he composed over two years before the Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture…Mr. Lang showed an easy mastery of its great difficulties, and the work went well as a whole.”Songs by Schubert and Beethoven were sung by Mr. George L. Osgood, and Lang played Chopin’s Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49, but not to the best review: “We have had [it] better played in concerts of Mr. Dresel and, more recently, of Rubenstein.Mr. Lang was not at his best in it, -at least not so happy as in his rendering of some other not less trying works of Chopin.”The concert ended with Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44-no critical comment was made. (Dwight (March 21, 1874): 178 and 179) On March 12, which was the third in the series, Mendelssohn’s Trio in C Minor was played by Lang and the brothers August and Wulf Fries.” Mr. Lang repeated the Fantasie Sonata by Saran, with the same brilliancy and clearness as before, and, to our feeling, much more satisfactorily with regard to evenness of tempo and chaste simplicity of expression.The concert closed with an admirable performance, by himself and Wulf Fries, of the Introduction and Polonaise, Op. 3 for piano and cello, by Chopin.”A tenor, Mr. Charles R. Hayden also took part. (Dwight (April 4, 1874): 206 and 207) The final concert in that year’s series was given on March 26: it “was a remarkably attractive one, -at all events Mechanics’ Hall was thronged. The great feature was the Trio in B flat, Opus 52, [for piano, violin and cello] by Rubinstein, a fiery, strange, effective work, bristling with difficulties from which many a deft and staunch pianist might well shrink; but Mr. Lang seemed in his element while resolutely, gracefully surmounting them, and came out loudly cheered…Mr. Lang’s piano solos came all together in a series of six pieces in the middle of the concert…finally, again by Chopin, that ever welcome great Nocturne in C minor (opus 48), for which we have several times expressed our indebtedness to Mr. Lang, who played it con amore.” (Dwight (April 18, 1874): 214) The vocalist Clara Doria also took part. Wiliam F. Apthrop gave a very favorable review of the series; “Mr. Lang’s series of concerts at Mechanic’s Hall closed March 26. They have been decided favorities with the lovers of classical music, every concert being largely attended. With able assistants, Mr. Lang presented on each occasion good selections, and rendered them in a manner worthy of his high reputation as a musical artist.” (Brian, 59: original in Folio (May 1874): 148) Of couse this was written by a former pupil of Lang’s.

       In addition to promoting his own concerts, B. J. appeared in those organized by others.After the headline “Boston Philharmonic Club” Dwight wrote: “The first Classical Matinee of Mr. Bernard Listemann and his accomplished associates, took place Nov. 30th., in Mechanics Hall, before a very appreciative audience. And it was one of the finest chamber concerts we have heard for many a day.”After the String Quartet in D minor, Opus 77 by Raff, and a French Horn solo, “The piano selections were interpreted by Mr. Lang; that happy little, bright Allegro from Handel, with which he pleased so much last year, was played more exquisitely than ever; and that almost impossible Etude of Chopin, with the wide arpeggio chords, kept up unflaggingly, all came out clearly and effectively.” The concert ended with Beethoven’s Trio Opus 87 for Piano, Violin, and Cello. (Dwight (December 12, 1874) “The Boston Philharmonic Club” was organized much like the Mendelssohn Quintette Club in that it was a combination of string and wind players. The players in 1874 were: Bernard Listemann, violin; Fritz Listemann, violin; Emil Gramm, viola and violin; Adolph Hartdegen, cello; Eugene Weiner, flute, and Adolph Belz, horn and viola. The piano accompanists listed were E. Gramm. A. Belz, and F. Listemann (HMA Program Collection).

       “Mr. B. J. Lang gave the first of two concerts, at Mechanics’ Hall, last Thursday afternoon (April 22, 1875), which drew the large audience which his concerts always command; and it was a concert full of interest.” Two artists assisted: Miss Grace Sampson, one of his pupils, played Mozart’s Sonata in D for Two Pianos” with her teacher; the two giving us a very finished and artistic rendering…Miss Sampson’s touch is nice, her execution clean and even, and her whole performance had not a little of the fineness as well as the vigor of her master’s.” Miss Ita Welsh, not in the best of voice, sang four songs to Lang’s accompaniment, and his solos included Chopin’s Impromptu in F Sharp Minor, Handel’s Bourree in G, and the concert ended with Schumann’s Concertstuck in G, Op. 92 with Lang as soloist and his pupil playing the orchestral accompaniment. Dwight mentioned that Lang had played this work twice before with orchestra. (Dwight (May 1, 1875): 15) The second concert on April 29 used the same three performers and the same program arrangement. At this concert Miss Ita Welsh was in fine voice earning and encore, “and in all her songs she succeeded admirably.” (Dwight (May 29, 1875): 30)

       The two 3PM chamber music concerts held in the spring of 1876 were given on Thursday afternoons March 23 and 30, again at Mechanics’ Hall. “His programmes were unique, the distinctive feature being the great prominence given to the French composer who has excited so much interest here of late, Camille Saint-Saens…On his visit to Europe last summer Mr. Lang was commissioned by the Harvard Musical Association to procure, for its Library and its Concerts, some of the principal compositions of Saint-Saens.” For the March 23 concert Lang and Arthur Foote opened with the American premier [Foote, Auto., 44] of Saint-Saens’ Variations for Two Pianofortes on a Theme by Beethoven, Opus 35 which had just been composed and published only two years before in 1874. “These were the days when St. Saens” music came to us as a stunning novelty.” (Ibid) About twenty-five years later the Bostonian Mabel Daniels, who was a music student in Munich at that time (1902) recorded that she played this piece with her teacher. “I think it is great, especially the big fugue at the end.” (Daniels, Am. Girl, 258) It would be interesting to know if she had previously heard the work in Boston. In the same concert Miss Ita Welsh sang two songs, Lang played four short Bach pieces as transcribed by Saint-Saes and the concert ended with Lang as the soloist and Foote providing the orchestra parts in Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 2 in G Minor.Lang had played the American premier of this work two months before with Carl Zerrahn conducting the Harvard Musical Association at the Music Hall. Lang was able to play the work with orchestra again at the end of the year. He performed with The New York Philharmonic Society led by Leopold Damrosch on December 9, 1876, but the New York premier of the work had been done only one day before with the Thomas Orchestra at Steinway Hall with Annette Essipoff, piano! The program of the second chamber music concert again followed


the outline of the first. The Trio in F Major for Piano, Violin, and Cello by St. Saens playd by Lang and the two Wulf brothers opened the concert, followed by two songs, this time sung by Miss Lillian Bailey were separated by four Bach/Saint-Saens transcriptions, and the concert ended with Lang as the soloist in the Tschaikowsky (sic) Piano Concerto in B Flat Minor and the orchestral part played by Arthur Foote. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2) This was Miss Bailey’s debut: ” She is a bright, enthusiastic maiden of sixteen, with a soprano voice of singular purity and sweetness, and of a sympathetic quality.For one so young she seems to have made careful studies, as well as to possess intelligence beyond her years.” Dwight did not enjoy the Tchaikovsky: “The Russian Concerto suffered peculiarly by being deprived of its orchestral background; for it is a work conceived in the extreme modern style, dependent upon brilliant accessories and color contrast for its full effect…Mr. Lang had mastered its immense technical difficulties surprisingly well; but it did seem as if, in putting off the gala dress, the soul had also faded from the features. How much of the pretentious music of today can bear this test? But Beethoven is Beethoven if you only feel his shadow pass you in the twilight!” (Dwight (April 15, 1876): 213 and 214) Lang had been the conductor of the world premier of the Tchaikovsky concerto with Hans von Bulow as soloist only six months before (October 25, 1875). The opera singer Clara Rogers was also present at Bailey’s debut, and she noted: “Her singing at that time was almost amusingly unbridled, but her fresh, young voice and musical instinct had a charm of their own. She had not then the remotest idea how to adapt the spoken sentence to the musical phrase; good diction was an unknown quantity to her! I mention this because it was precisely the timely acquisition of good diction in her studies abroad that made her a finished artist; the dintinguishing feature of her delightful singing being her faultlessly clear enunciation of every word.” (Rogers, Two Lives, 70 and 71)

       Lang presented two concerts at Mechanics Hall late in March 1876. Dwight noted that the “distinctive feature” was preponderance of music by Sait-saens, “organist at the Madeline in Paris, a musicician thoroughtly trained in the best classical school, at home in Bach [important to Dwight], and with a streak of genius in him…On his visit to Europe last summer Mr. Lang was commissioned by the Harvard Musical Association to procure, for its Library and its Concerts, some of the principal compositions of Saint-Saens.” HMA performed the Second Piano Concerto with Lang as the solists, the Concerto for Cello with Mr. Wulf Fries and the symphonic poem, Phaeton. For Lang’s first concert on March 23rd. he  and Arthur Foote opened with the Variations for Two Pianos on a Theme by Beethoven, Op 35 and the concert ended with Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22 by Saint-Saens with Lang as soloist and Foote providing the orchestral reduction. Lang also included four Bach transcriptions for solo piano as arranged by Saint-Saens. The second concert on March 30 opened with Trio in F Major, Op. 18 by Saint-Saens, included four more Saint-Saens solo piano transcriptions from Bach, then the Andante from the First Piano Concerto, Op. 17 by Saint-Saens, and ended with the Tschaikowsky First Piano Concerto in B Flat Minor, Op. 23. “The Russian Concerto suffered peculiarly by being deprived of its orchestral background; for it is a work conceived in the extreme modern style, dependent upon brilliant accessories and color contrasts for its effect.” Then Dwight weighed in with his critical comment on the work. “Without these, what intrinsically remains, with all its ingenuity and brilliancy, seems poor and uninspired and dull. Mr. Lang had mastered its immense technical difficulties surpriseingly well…How much of the pretentious music of today can bear this test? But Beethoven is Beethoven if you only feel his shadow pass you in the twilight.” Dwight also remarked on the vocalist: “A fresh and interesting feature of this concert was the singing of Miss Lillian Bailey,-her first public effort, we believe. She is a bright, enthusiastic maiden of sixteen, with a soprano voice of singular purity and sweetness. For one so young she seems to have made careful studies, as well as to possess intelligence beyound her years, and we should say a decidedly musical nature.” Lang seems to have found and helped yet another young talent. (Dwight (April 15, 1876): 213 and 214)

      On Friday evening, April 7, 1876 Lang was one of the assisting artists at a concert given by Miss Lillian Bailey at the Revere House. Early in the program Lang made his only appearance, playing three solos: Allegro in C Major by Handel, his own Spinning Song in A Major, and the Caprice in E Minor by Mendelssohn. The concert ended with Mendelssohn’s Trio in D Minor Op. 49, a work often played by Lang, but in this case the piano part was taken by his pupil G. W. Sumner (HMA Program Collection). Foote described Bailey as having “a lovely voice and most beautiful singing-one of the finest artists I have known. She, her mother, brother, and uncle (Charles R. Hayden), lived at the top of Hotel Pelham (where the Little Building noiw stands).” (Foote, Auto., 44)

       In May of 1876 Lang presented the operetta Son and Stranger (Heimkehr aus der fremde) by Mendelssohn at the new hall of the Young Men’s Christian Union on Boylston Street “before a very large and cultivated audience who had purchased tickets privately under the double inducement of artistic pleasure and of sympathy for want.”…The performers were amateurs and volunteering artists, Mr. Lang conducting, under whose direction the performance had been most carefully prepared, so that the representation of the work, both musically and scenically, was complete.”The overture was arranged for two pianos, eight hands and played by Lang, Mr. Parker, Mr. Leonard, and Mr. Sumner.The critic, Mr. Wm. F. Apthorp “was capitally made up for the respectable old German Mayor, and sang his one note in the Trio doubtless quite as well as the composer’s brother-in-law, the painter Hensel, for whom the part was written… Altogether the performance was a great success…The accompaniments were beautifully played by Mr. Lang, Mr. Leonhard assisting him again in the interlude (“Night and Morning’).” (Dwight (May 13, 1876): 231) Mendelssohn had written this work in 1829 for the silver wedding anniversay of his parents. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2) Clara Rogers (Clara Doria) wrote: “A group of my friends, in which Mrs. James Lodge, Mrs. George Howe [Mrs. Lodge and Mrs. Howe were sisters], Mrs. [Leslie] Codman, the [Ellerton] Pratts, and Mr. Richard S. Fay were prominent, got it up to raise a goodly sum for a deserving benevolence. It was in the character of an amateur performance, though some professional musicians took part in it, the direction of the music being in charge of B. J. Lang…The cast was as follows: Lisbeth-Clara Doria; Ursula-Ita Welsh; the Mayor-William Apthorp; Hermann-Nat Childs; Hans-Doctor C. E. Bullard; Martin-A. S. Dabney…The rehearsals took place for the most part in my music room…It was a great success, a large proportion of Boston Brahmins turning out for the occasion, and a handsome sum being raised for the charity.” (Rogers, Memories, 448)

       On Saturday evening, November 4, 1876 Lang was one of five assisting artist in a concert given by Miss Ita Welsh, soprano, at Mechanics Hall. Lang accompanied August Fries in Grieg’s Sonata in F Major Op. 3 for violin and piano, and near the end of the program played three solos, Prelude by Bach, Caprice by Widor, and Gavotte by Bach as arranged by Saint-Saens (HMA Program Collection).

       Lang was part of another Complimentary Concert on Saturday evening, April 28, 1877 at Union Hall, 18 Boylston Street. Given for Miss Louie A. Homer, Lang and Wulf Fries opened the program with the “Allegro” from Mendelssohn”s Sonata in D Major for Cello and Piano. They also played a Polonaise for Cello and Piano by Chopin, and Lang presented three solos: Nocturne in C Minor by Chopin, his own Spinning Song in A Major, and Caprice in E Minor by Mendelssohn-these last two pieces being the same repertoire as he had presented on April 7, 1876 (HMA Program Collection).

       “Mr. B. J. Lang’s two concerts at Mechanics’ Hall, on Thursday afternoons, March 6 and 20, were choice and somewhat unique in character. Both were very fully attended, especially the last, and by the most refined, appreciative sort of audience.” (Dwight (March 29, 1879): 54) The first concert opened with Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, Opus 81 played by Miss Jessie Cochrane, continued with eight songs sung by Mr. W. J. Winch including B. J.’s The Two Roses, and finished with Rubinstein’s Concerto No. 3, Opus 45 with B. J. as the soloist. Miss Cochrane was a pupil of Lang’s and she had also studied in Europe with von Bulow. Lang had played the Rubinstein with orchestra seven years ago-this time the accompaniment was at a second piano played by Mr. W. S. Fenollosa. “It gave full scope for all the vigor, fire, and finished, brilliant virtuosity of Mr. Lang, who, we are sure, brought out all the soul and all the interesting detail of it…Mr. Lang’s mastery of its exacting difficulties was supreme.” (Ibid) Lang’s own song was “a graceful, dainty fancy, [and] was heartily appreciated.” (Ibid)  The second concert opened with the first Boston performance of a Trio in G Minor with piano by Hans von Bronsart, then active in Leipzig. “Mr. Lang was at his best in it.” (Ibid) Mr. Winch offered another set of songs including Lang”s Absense and Her I Love, but neither was mentioned in Dwight’s review. Beethoven’s Grand Trio, Opus 97 completed the concert.

       Early in 1879 Lang was involved in the founding of a new performing group-Euterpe. For each concert a different four-person committee chose the music. For the first concert held on Wednesday evening January 15, 1879 the committee included charles C. Perkins, J. C. D. Parker, George L. Osgood and Jules Eichberg. The committee for the Second Concert included B/ J. Lang, John Orth, J. K. Paine and W. S. Fenollosa while the third group included W. F. Apthorp and H. G. Tucker (both Lang pupils), and Lang was again part of the fourth committee. The season was one concert per month; January through April 1879. For the Second Season five concerts were schedules running December 1879 through April 1880. Committees were not named, but instead F. H. Jenks was listed as the Secretary on the Season Announcement. The Third season 1880-81 also included five concerts on Wednesday nights at 7:45PM performed at the Meionaon (part of Tremont Temple), and the repertoire was mainly string quartets. The Fourth Season of four concerts, November 9, 1881 through February 1, 1882 were all preformed by the Beethoven Quartet, and the first two concerts used Camilla Urso as the First Violin player. In June 1882 the officers were: President, Charles C. Perkins; Vice-President, B. J. Lang; Secretay, F. H. Jenks; Treasurer, Wm. F. Apthorp; Directors, Julius Eichberg, A. A. Brown, John Orth, W. Burr Jr., Hamilton Osgood, S. B. Whitney, J. C. D. Parker, and H. G. Tucker. “It is an understood thing that all of the money collected shall be expended on concerts-or as nearly as practical-allowing for outside expenses.” (Elson, Musical Boston, p. 4) For the Sixth Season of four concerts, December 12, 1883 until March 12, 1884 performed at Apollo Hall, 151 Tremont Street, two were played by the Campanari Quartet and the other two by the Beethoven Club. The Seventh Season of four concerts was also performed at the Apollo Hall and ran from January 7, 1885 until March 25, 1885. For the Eight Season 1885-86 a subscription was sold for $7 which gave you three tickets for each concert. For this season B. J. Lang was listed as Vice-President, W. F. Apthorp as Treasurer, and F. H. Jenks continued as Secretary. (HMA Program Collection)

I       n April 1880 Lang presented another group of two performances at Mechanics’ Hall at 3PM. On Thursday April 1, 1880, at the first of two concerts. Lang included the premier of Saint-Saens Sonata Opus 32 for cello and piano played by lang and Mr. Wulf Fries. Dwight didn’t find the Saint-Saens exciting.”But what woke us all up to new life, dispelling all possibility of doubt about its genial excellence and beauty, was the Concerto for Four Pianofortes [by Bach] with string accompaniment,[eight additional players were listed on the program] given for the first time in America. It consists of three short movements: Moderato, Largo, and Allegro.The four pianos were played by Mr. And Mrs. Sherwood, Mr. J. C. D. Parker, and Mr. Lang; and they did it con amore. Dwight enthused: “It is wonderfully interesting, not merely for its contrapuntal skill and learning, but for its fresh ideal beauty.” (Dwight (May 8, 1880): 79) The concert opened with “a repetition of the Trio in G minor by Hans von Bronsart, which excited so much interest last year…The interpretation lacked nothing of spirit or discrimination, and the impression which the work before made of nerve, originality and power was confirmed.” (Ibid) George L. Osgood performed ten songs as part of this program. The second programme, on Thursday afternoon April 29 at 3PM, opened with a Quartet by Raff, followed by ten songs sung by Mr. William J. Winch who was “in excellent voice and sang with fervor, with artistic finish, and with fine expression.” (Ibid) The concert ended with the Boston premier of Goldmark”s Pianoforte and String Quintet in B Flat Opus 30. (Ibid)(BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3) Lang discovered this work very quickly as it had only been published in Europe the year before, 1879. (Program notes, CPO recording) Dwight wanted to hear this piece again before recording his impressions. Tickets for the season were three dollars available from Chickering”s Pianoforte Warerooms. (BPL Lang Prog.)

       Fox writes, “Support for French music did come from other corners, however [in addition to that supplied by Loeffler].Benjamin Johnson Lang, for example gave the American premieres of the Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Harvard Musical Association on 3 February 1876, the Saint-Saens Rhapsodie d’Auverge, op. 13 (1 January 1886), and Massenet’s Eve (27 March 1890), as well as a the Boston premier of the Berlioz Requiem (12 February 1882).” (Fox, Rebellious Tradition, 240) She does not mention the next, very important work.

       On Friday evening, May 14, 1880 at the Music Hall, Lang presented, as his own private undertaking, the first Boston performance of La Damnation de Faust by Berlioz. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 6) Early in May , Dwight reported that this first performance had been postponed from a previous date, “and after fresh rehearsal, it cannot fail to be a success.” (Dwight (May 8, 1880):  79) Dwight praised Lang”s “great zeal and energy in bringing out” this work, and reported that the evening was “crowned with success.The means employed were adequate: an excellent orchestra of sixty (Mr. Listemann at their head), a select, well-trained, efficient chorus, of two hundred and twenty mixed voices, and four good solo singers.The rehearsals had been through, the reports from New York had excited eager interest in advance, and the Music Hall was crowded with the best kind of an audience.The result was in the main most satisfactory.Hundreds came away convinced of the inventive genius and originality, the many sided power, the rare musicianship and learning, the consummate savoir faire of Berlioz…Mr. Lang had orchestra and chorus well in hand, and all was complete except that the two harps were replaced by two pianos.The only drawback of importance was, that the orchestra too frequently covered up the voices.” [well that is a change] (Dwight (May 22, 1880): 87 and 88) The importance that Lang attached to this event is reflected in the chorus announcement of March 4th. which stressed that every singer “must have attended every rehearsal of his or her part. This condition will be secured by the distribution at each rehearsal of a new entrance ticket, good only for the following rehearsal.” There were four male sectional rehearsals and three female women”s rehearsals followed by three combined rehearsals.The choral announcement ended with” N.B.-Persons who are not quite sure of being able to attend every rehearsal, will do Mr. Lang a favor by declining this invitation.” (BPL Lang Prog.) The sectional rehearsals were held in March at the “Apollo Rooms,”and the combined rehearsals were scheduled for April 5, 7, and 13 at Bumstead Hall for a performance date originally advertised as Thursday, April 15. Apthorp gave further details: “Since his performance of Haydn’s Seasons in 1864 he had mounted no large choral work on his own account, his conducting having been confined to his own occasional courses of orchestral concerts and to those of the Cecilia and the Apollo Club.The time was singularly propitious: he was at the height of his popularity with the Boston public and still continually before the public.But the task was an arduous one.None of the singers available for choral productions in Boston had ever grappled with an important work of the advanced French school; they had never sung anything bristling with such trying rhythmic complications as this work of Berlioz’s, and were moreover unaccustomed to the peculiar distribution of the voices in his choruses.Instead of the familiar soprano, alto, tenor and bass of the German choral writers, the choruses in Berlioz’s Faust are for the most part written, for male chorus with first and second soprani ripieni, the female voice seldom having independent parts to sing…But in spite of the unusual difficulties of the music, the Damnation of Faust was triumphantly brought out with Mrs. E. Humphrey-Allen, Mr. William J. Winch, Mr. Clarence E. Hay, and Mr. Sebastian B. Schlesinger in the solo parts.The performance was one of the most brilliant successes Lang had ever had, and the work was repeated several times, later with the Henschels and others, and afterwards by the Cecilia.” (Apthorp, 358 and 359)

      concerning the second performance of the Berlioz on Friday, November 12, 1880 at the Music Hall, Dwight recorded that “we can only say, at present, that it was a great improvement on the first presentation here last spring, both as regards choruses, male and female, orchestra, and solo singers, and that the interest and fascination of the strange, weird, in parts extremely beautiful music grow upon one as he becomes more familiar with it…The chorus of 200 male and 100 female voices had the charm of careful, critical selection, beautiful ensemble of tone quality, as well as of precise, well-shaded, and finely effective execution.”(Dwight (November 20, 1880):  191) An additional attraction in this performance was the appearance of George Henschel as Mephistopheles, “in which he has made [a] very great success in Europe.” (BPL Lang Prog.) The other soloists were Lillian Bailey, William J. Winch and Mr. C. E. Hay. (BPL Lang Prog.)

       On November 30, 1880 “Lang gave his third presentation of the Damnation of Faust, this time at the Tremont Temple; and it must be admitted that all the details of the music, all its greatest and its least effects, came out with a remarkable distinctness, and with satisfactory intensity of sound.It was an even better rendering, under, in some sense, better acoustical conditions, than the two before…The orchestra was remarkably complete and satisfactory, from violins, oboes and bassoons, to cymbals, gong, and all the kitchen utensils.The Racockzky March created a furore.” (Dwight (December 18, 1880): 207) The soloists were the same except that Mr. Jules Jordan replaced William J. Winch. Margaret lists other performances of this piece on May 14, 1885, May 25, 1887, March 15, 1899, December 2, 1903, July of 1903 for a Teachers’ convention, and finally on December 13, 1904. (“Facts In the Life of B. J. Lang” by Margaret-Scrapbooks) Obviously this was a work that B. J. believed in deeply. He also presented the work with the Cecilia in 1894. The singer Clara Kathleen Rogers (Clara Doria) also mentioned the Cecila performance, but gave the date as 1885 “on which occasion Mrs. Humphrey Allen was the Margherite.” She then mentions further performances by Lang “in 1887, 1888, and 1889, when Melba sang the Margherite music.” (Rogers, Two Lives, 147)

       These performances may have inspired Theodore Thomas to do the same!. Just two months after Lang’s third performance, “Theodore Thomas” Unrivalled Orchestra” and “The Thomas Choral Society,” J. B. Sharland Chorus-Master presented two performances at the Music Hall on Friday evening, January 28 and Saturday afternoon, January 29, 1881 using a “Complete and Newly Revised Translation.” Thomas used some of Lang’s soloists: Georg Henschel sang Mephistopheles and Clarence E. Hay sang Brander. The other soloists were Miss Fanny Kellogg as Marguerite and W. C. Tower as Faust. (Program advertised on E-Bay, November 2010)

       Lang was one of thirty-five Boston musicians who volunteered their talents for a “Complimentary Concert for Mr. John S. Dwight” held on Thursday afternoon, December 9, 1880 at 2:30PM. “The Boston Music Hall Assoiciation has given the use of the Music Hall for this occasion, without charge, and Mr. Peck, the Superintendent, his assistant, the ticket sellers, doorkeepers and ushers also contribute their services.” The orchestra was “of the Harvard Symphony Concerts,” Mr. Berhard Listermann, leader and Mr. Carl Zerrahn, conductor. (BPL Lang Prog.)

       Not all criticism was positive.”A letter printed in the Philharmonic Journal sometime during the winter of 1880-1881 identifies ”the powers” controlling music in Boston.Named were Dwight, the ”educated music critic,” Otto Dresel, B. J. Lang, J. C. D. Parker, Chickering, and institutions like the Handel and Haydn Society, the Apollo Club, and the Cecilia Club.It declares Lang to be the head of ”this clique.”Benjamin Edward Woolf, an English-born and exceedingly right-wing musician who wrote mainly for the Saturday Evening Gazette, launched constant attacks on Lang. Woolf found Lang”s musical tastes too radical and his dominance too insidious.” (Tara, 42)

       Lang promoted two chamber music concerts on Thursday afternoons at 3PM, February 24 and March 10, 1881 at the Tremont Temple; it was announced that only the floor and first balcony of the hall would be used. Dwight’s announcement also mentioned that “Mr. Lang will have assistance of the Philharmonic and Beethoven clubs, and of Messrs. G. W. Sumner, A. W. Foote and J. A. Preston, pianists; as well as of Mrs. Humphrey Allen and Mr. F. Korbay of New York, vocalists.” (Dwight (February 12, 1881): 28) The February 24th. concert featured woodwinds, opening with Rubinstein’s Quintet in F major, Opus 55 for piano and four winds, and concluding with Raff’s Sinfonietta, Opus 188 for ten winds. “The Rubinstein Quintet alone brought Mr. Lang’s excellent pianoforte-playing into requisition, but all the instruments seemed to be equal in importance.” (Dwight (March 26, 1881): 52)Between these works five songs were sung by Mr. Korbay who performed his own accompaniments. The March 10th. concert included vocal solos and an Octet in D Minor, Opus 60 by Rubinstein for piano, strings, and winds-“It can hardly be called an octet in the strictest sense of the word, as it partakes more of the character of a pianoforte concerto with a septet accompaniment.” (Dwight (March 26, 1881): 52) The announcement had originally listed Rubinstein’s Quintette, Opus 53 for piano and four winds instead of his Octet (BPL Lang Prog.) Also performed were Mendelssohn’s Octet and Bach’s Concerto for Four Pianos with G. W. Summer, Arthur Foote, J. A. Preston, and B. J. as the soloists with an accompaniment of an octet of strings. The eight strings were from the Philharmonic Club-B. Listermann, F. Listermann, J. C. Mullaly and H. Heindl and from the Beethoven Club- C. N. Allen, G. Dannreuther, J. Ackeroyd and Wulf Fries. (Ibid) Mr. Lang is to be thanked for these two instructive concerts, and for the opportunities he afforded for hearing new works of such importance as the quintet and octet of Rubinstein, and the sinfonietta of Raff.” (Dwight (March 26, 1881): 52)

       For 1881 Lang moved concert locations for his orchestral concerts, and presented them on the two Sunday evenings after Easter-April 24 and May 1. One unannotated report mentioned that “An orchestra that has been formed on a basis of fifteen first violins-nearly double our usual number of strings…The acoustic properties of the church are particularly favorable for music,” and the church was chosen “For the purpose of reproducing, so far as possible, the effect of a very large orchestra in a small place, as in the Gewandhaus at Leipzig and at the Conservatoire in Paris…As the expenses must [not] exceed the receipts, there can be no complimentary tickets.” The series of two concerts cost $4. (BPL Lang Prog.) Dwight, in his April 23, 1881 issue gave good advance publicity for this new series. “Mr. Lang’s first concert at the new Brattle Square Church, which seats about six hundred, with a grand orchestra of seventy-five, will take place tomorrow Sunday (evening). He will give the Overture to St. Paul, the Pastoral Symphony of Beethoven, and the first movement of Rubinstein’s Ocean Symphony. Mrs. Allen will sing ”Angels ever bright and fair,” and Mendelssohn’s ”Jerusalem.” The occasion is one of novel and especial interest. —On Sunday evening, May 1, Mr. Lang’s orchestra will play the great Schubert Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Overture: Becalmed at Sea, and Prosperous Voyage, and Beethoven’s Coriolanus Overture. Mr. Henschel and Mr. John F. Winch will sing.” (Dwight (April 23, 1881): 69) Dwight also in the same issue reprinted a notice about the concerts that had appeared in the Advertiser which included additional information that he had not mentioned.Mr. Lang will give two remarkable orchestral concerts in the church formerly occupied by Dr. Lothrop’s parish on the evenings of the first and second Sundays after Easter. The orchestra will number about seventy-five performers, including fifteen first violins, as many second violins, eight violoncellos, and eight double basses. The programmes will be of the noblest character, that of the first concert opening with the overture to Mendelssohn”s St. Paul, including selections of sacred vocal music, sung by Mr. Henschel, and ending with Schubert’ ‘s great symphony in C. The programme of the second concert will be of the same sort, and will include one of the great Beethoven symphonies, probably the fifth. There will be thorough and numerous rehearsals in advance. Two-thirds of the tickets have already been taken; the remainder may be subscribed for at Chickering’ ‘s, the price being $4 for both concerts. –Advertiser.” (Dwight (April 23, 1881): 62) Dwight further supported these concerts by reviewing them two weeks later. “Mr. B. J. Lang’s concerts of orchestral music in the new ”Brattle Square” Church (Commonwealth Avenue) on the last two Sunday evenings, were of exceptional interest, not only as good renderings of good programmes, but also as illustrations of his special object, which was to show the superior sonority, intensity of tone, and more effective ensemble of music given by a large orchestra in a comparatively small hall.For this end he prepared two capital selections, good intrinsically, well contrasted, and almost more than reasonably short, neither concert lasting over one hour and a half.” The church sat about six hundred people, and had a Gothic ceiling like the Music Hall. “It was found a bad place for the speaking voice, and hence abandoned as a church. For music, at all events for an orchestra, it seems very good.” Dwight noted that the ensemble consisted of a total of seventy-five instrumentalists-fifty-four strings to the usual twenty winds; “and it is not yet proved that such an orchestra would not sound as well or better in the great Music Hall.” (Dwight (May 7, 1881): 77)

       Another special event during the spring of 1881 was Lang’s conducting of Mendelssohn’s youthful operetta, The Son and Stranger (Heimkehr aus der Fremde) at the Boston Museum. This performance was to benefit the proposed “Hospital for Convalescents” [as part of the Mass. General Hospital-Boston Herald] and it attracted a full house. “A notable company of soloists, a large chorus and an orchestra of from 30 to 40 musicians” performed. (Herald, (May 13, 1881): 4)

       In 1882 an article written by Louis Elson summed up B. J.’s position in Musical Boston. “B. J. Lang has been mentioned before in this short [short!-six pages, three columns per page, very fine print] chronicle, in connection with the Handel and Haydn Society. His influence at their concerts for the last twenty-two years has been an important and influencal one. His power in Boston’s music has always been exerted for good, and even in the days of Dresel, Kreissmann and Leonhard was felt in the counsels which preceded every important movement. It was he who first suggested the great series of Harvard Symphony Concerts, which we have alluded to above; it was he who more than any other held the programs up to their first high level; he has also been one of the leading subscribers since the beginning of the series. it was his influence which brought out in Boston for the first time the great pianoforte concertos of Bach, and most of those of Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, as well as the works of the newer school, the concertos of Rubinstein, St. Saens, Bronsart, etc. For the past ten years he has been in the habit of giving a series of pianoforte concerts, the present season forming the only exception. He has given five different sets of symphony concerts, and in these has always followed the good German idea of a large orchestra in a small hall, so that no possible effect should be lost. he is one of the very few American musicians who have given concerts abroad with success. he has appeared as pianist in berlin, Dresden and Vienna. His interest in the Bayreuth Festival, the Franz benefit concert. the Dwight testimonial, the Liszt celebration, in short, in every memorable musical occasion has been earnest, thorough and, above all, practical. he has been honored with the personal friendship of the greatest composers of Europe, and his studies of the works of Wagner have been made with the assistance of the great composer himself. He has, like every earnest, original and competent worker, formed for himself a set of followers. pupils and disciples. It is impossible to enumerate these since the number of his pupils who have become concert soloists is over sixty. The work of the Cecilia Club is wholly due to Mr. Lang; that of the Apollo and Euterpe societies largely so. therefore, in the articles on these subjects, the reader will find a continuation of his too brief personal sketch. Mr. Lang, although he has composed some very fine works, has, as yet, published nothing. As a musician he is armed at all points; he is one of the very surest of ensemble players and never loses his head. We can personally recall many instances where his calmness has saved careless or nervous players from disaster. He is a good organizer and a very efficient leader. At a time when no one else dared undertake playing with, or directing for, the belligerent Von Bulow or the meteoric Joseffy, he did both-and well. He is one of the surest of score-readers and, though not a virtuoso, is one of the best types of true musician. He has long been the organist of a leading Unitarian church. Of his Boston pupils we may mention Mr. Arthur Foote…Mr. W. F. Apthorp is another of Mr. Lang’s eminent pupils.” (Elson, Musical Boston, 3)

       On Wednesday evening, March 28, 1882 at 7:45PM Lang presented a concert performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio with full chorus and orchestra. Among the six soloists, the most notable was Georg Henschel although Miss Dora Henninger was brought from Cincinnati to make her first Boston appearance. (Concert ad, Herald (March 25, 1882): 3) There was also a “Public Rehearsal” the afternoon before at 2:30 with admission for 50 cents; Lang, the businessman was making as much money from this event as he could! (Ibid) The Herald reviewer felt  that Miss Henninger should continue her vocal studies, but change teachers, as she had abilities but not learned to breathe properly, phrase correctly, “and her execution is amateurish in every way.” (Ibid) She had beeen strongly endorsed by the officials of the Cincinnati College of Music as one of their most successful   pupils. Mr. Henschel had the greatest success of the evening with the Pizarro aria. “The rarely beautiful instrumental work of of the orchestral score was admirably well played throughout, especially the overture, No. 1, and the “Leonore, ” No. 2.  A very large audience attended, and much enthusiasm was manifested over the more successful numbers of the performance.” (Ibid)(BPL Lang Prog.)

       In 1883 Lang announced a series of three lectures “upon pianoforte playing” for May 1, 5 and 8 at Chickering Hall at 2:30PM. The three lecture titles were: “Taeching the Art of Playing the Pianoforte,” “Mr. Lang”s System of Modern Piano-forte Technics,” and “The higher development of the Musical Senses.” Tickets were Three Dollars for the series and individual lectures could be bought at for $1.50 if seats were available. (BPL Lang Prog.) This announcement inspired a lengthy article “Mr. Lang’s Lectures” in support of this presentation. “Mr. B. J. Lang is one of those artists whose personality and whose work are best enjoyed when one can come close to them. Thoughtful, delicate and sensitive, his temperament is inclined to shrink from those larger and more public tests of professional accomplishment…when he has to stand out alone before a great public, something of the freesom is at times lost, and those who have only heard and known him on such occasions, have not fully heard him and known him…He has studied and taught the pianoforte for many years, to many pupils of various minds and dispositions. Such experience brings much to a man who thinks, and we were glad when Mr. Lang began modestly to tell something of his experiences and his thoughts a few months ago. Since that time he has arranged what he wants to say into three lectures upon pianoforte playing as he understands and teaches it, and upon that awakening and development of the artistic sense, which are as essential in music as in painting. If we may judge the future by the past, these conferences (for they will be more such tahn mere bald lectures) will have interest for many other persons than students of the pianoforte, and will shall hope that Chickering Hall will be filled with an audience so interested and sympathetic that Mr. Lang will speak as brightly and suggestively as he often does to a single friend.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives) Another article, unsigned and without title also referred to Lang’s series of lectures. “It was a characteristic idea of Mr. Lang to set an unusual hour for his lectures on pianoforte playing, and to ask so high price for the tickets, and then to follow it up by his subsequent action. When the audience has assembled for the first lecture, he confessed that he had felt a great curiosity to know if any one in town cared enough for the matter to pay a big price and submit to an inconvenient hour, for the sake of what he might have to say. His ruse had proved successful, and he should therefore make the audience his guests, and their ticket money should be returned to them the day of the second lecture.” (Courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives)

        1883 saw yet another presentation of Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust, this time “for the benefit of the Associated Charities of Boston.” Held on Monday evening March 24th at the Music Hall, the soloists were “Mrs. Henschel, Mr. Charles R. Adams, Mr. Henschel and Mr. Sebastian Schlesinger” and “an orchestral of unusual size.” There were fewer sectional rehearsals for the chorus this time: only one for the ladies (March 19th.) and three for the men (Monday the 17th., Tuesday the 18th., and Wednesday the 19th.) with two full orchestral/choir/soloists rehearsals. “It is thought that with the rehearsals so near together, an exceptionally good performance could be given by singers who already know the music.” (BPL Lang Prog. )

       In 1883 B. J. presented a series of five recitals playing the complete piano works of Robert Schumann.Presented on March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 on Thursday afternoons at 2:30PM at the Bijou Theater, each recital was advertised to be about two hours in length. “For these recitals Mr. Lang has chosen the Bijou Theatre on account of its fine acostics, which must be conspicuous on these occasions, when audiences of but three or four hundred are assembled.” (BPL Lang Prog.) Mr. Lang begs his audience to assemble promptly at half-past two o”clock”. Each piece had a short explanation printed in the program. Other pianists and vocalists also took part: Madame Schiller, H. G. Tucker, George L. Osgood, John A. Preston, W. F. Fenollosa, Joshua Phippen, Arthur Foote and G. W. Sumner were the assiting keyboards artists-“The names of the singers will be announced later.” Single tickets were $1.50 and season tichets, $5 from A. P. Schmidt’s Music Store. (BPL Lang Prog.) For the first program Mrs. J. E. Tippett was the vocalist; for the third, Mr. George L. Osgood; and for the fourth, Mrs. Georg Henschel.

       “The 1885 concert mounted by B. J. Lang for the celebration of J. S. Bach’s 200th. birthday was ‘almost certainly the first time in sixty years or more that a harpsichord had been heard in public concert in Boston.’” (Fox, Rebellious Tradition, 244 quoting from Larry Palmer, The Harpsichord In America. 172, n. 5) “It appears, from research by the writer,[William Lyman Johnson] that there was only one harpsichord in Boston in 1885 in playable condition. It was the property of Mr. Morris Steinert, founder of the house of M. Steinert and Sons. Mr. B. J. Lang, who did much for enlarging the horizon of music in Boston, organized a festival for the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bach, born March 21, 1685. In Bach’s Coffee Cantata there is the need of a harpsichord, and Mr. Steinert’s instrument was played by Mr. Lang. This was probably the first time for a period of sixty years that a harpsichord had been used in a public concert in Boston.” (HMA Bulletin No. 14) Other reports mention that the harpsichord used was built by Chickering, but as Arthur Dolmetsch did not come to America until 1899, this is probably incorrect. (Ibid) The concert on Saturday afternoon, March 21, 1885 at 2:30PM was held at Chickering Hall. The first piece was the Concerto in C Minor for Two Pianofortes with Arthur Foote and Lang as soloists; next was the Concerto in A Major for One Harpsichord “played upon a harpsichord like those of Bach”s time;” then the Concerto in C Major for Three Pianofortes with Arthur Foote, H. G. Tucker and Lang as soloists; then the Coffee Cantata with Miss Louise Gage, Mr. W. J. Winch and Mr. J. F. Winch as the soloists; and finally the Concerto in A Minor for Four Pianofortes with W. S. Fenollosa, G. W. Sumner, H. G. Tucker and Lang as soloists. One part of the annoucement noted:”the original instrumental accompaniments will be played throughout this programme.” (BPL Lang Prog.)

       In addition to producing his own concerts, Lang continued to be an assisting artist with other groups. On Monday February 1, 1886 Lang and Mr. Fritz Giese, cellist were presented as the 7th. Monday Afternoon Chamber Concert at Bumstead Hall. Lang played the solo part in Edward Napravnik’s Pianoforte Concerto Symphonique with the orchestral part played by G. W.Sumner. Then came three piano solos including Lang’s own Spinning Song in A Major, and the concert ended with Mendelssohn’s Sonata for Pianoforte and Violoncello in D Major, Opus 58. The Kneisel Quartette was advertised for the next concert in the series, two week later. In the 1886-87 season of six concerts given at Chickering Hall by the Kneisel Quartet, he played the first Boston performance of the Brahms Trio Opus 40. (Lang had given the Boston premier of the Brahms cantata for male voices Rinaldo with the Apollo Club on December 15, 1883; then been soloist in the Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Boston Symphony under George Henschel on March 15, 1884.He also was to give the Boston premiers of the Brahms German Requiem with the Cecilia Society in December 1888 and Nanie on May 22, 1890).

       On March 1, 1887 Lang presented the first of four “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” at Chickering Hall. For these 2:30PM afternoon concerts B. J. conducted and featured a variety of vocal and instrumental soloists. For the first concert, four soloists were used; at the second concert on March 8 Ethelbert Nevin was the soloist in Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 1, and the final two concerts on March 22 and 29 both used four soloists each.

       George Whitefield Chadwick noted in his Diary that during the 1887-88 season “B. J. Lang gave four concerts of concertos which his pupils played. He made them sell (and buy) the tickets too!”

       Chadwich made an interesting observation about the 1888-89 musical scene in Boston. After listing the great variety of concerts presented, he noted: “Does not this show that Boston was a more musical place in 1889 than at the present time? Most of these concerts were home made and as a rule well supported. Now adays we depend almost entirely, with the exception of a few young pianists and singers, on artists and companies from N. Y. or Europe and they take the money away with them. Choral societies cannot pay their way. We have no chamber music + no opera,. But a star even of the 2nd. or 3rd. magnitude can fill Symphony Hall on Sunday afternoon, especially if he or she is a Jew.”

       In March 1890 Lang presented his advanced pupils in two “Concerto Concerts” which used orchestral accompaniment. Early in the month Mr. Tucker played the Concerto in G Minor Opus 15 by Sgambati; Mrs. March played Mendelssohn’s Capriccio Brilliant Opus 22; Mr. Phippen played Chopin”s Concerto No. 2 in F Minor. For the second concert late in the month Mr. Whelply played Dvorak’s Concerto No. 2 in B Minor; Mr. Foote p[layed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor; and Miss Louise May played Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 in G Minor Opus 37. (Hale Crit., Vol. 1)

       On Monday evening March 16, 1891 8PM at the Music Hall was given a “Concert under the Direction of Mr. B. J. Lang, for the benefit of the AURAL DEPARTMENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS CHARITABLE EYE AND EAR INFIRMARY.” Members of the BSO generously gave their services, and Arthur Nikisch conducted the opening Overture to Leonore No. 3 by Beethoven, Mrs. Nikisch sang three songs in German, and the major work was Massenet’s Eve with the Cecilia Society and orchestra conducted by Lang. The full English text of this work was printed in the program book. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 6)

       On December 1, 1898 and January 12, 1899 Lang arranged two Bach Concerto Concerts performing on an Erard harpsichord imported from Paris (Grove-American-Ledbetter-p.10) This was done “by the kindness of Messrs. Chickering and Sons,’ who had brought the instrument “from Paris for these occasions.” (BPL Lang Prog.) The purpose of these concerts which were held at the Association Hall at three o”clock was the “enlarging of the Ruth Burrage Library by the addition of full orchestral scores for the home use of Musicians.” (Ibid) At the first concert Lang and Madame Hopekirk played the Concerto in C Major for two keyboards, Lang played the Concerto in D Minor on the harpsichord, and Lang, Mr. Foote, and Mr. Proctor played the Concerto in C major for three keyboards. At the second concert Lang and Madame Szumowska played the Concerto in C Minor for two keyboards, Lang played the Concerto in F Major on the harpsichord, and the concert ended with Lang, Mr. Baermann, and the BSO conductor, Mr. Gericke performing the Concerto in D Minor for three keyborads. The accompaniment for all the concerti was provided by an orchestra under Mr. Kneisel. (Ibid)

       These early music performances were not the first for B. J. At a concert at Bumstead Hall on Sunday April 12, 1896 he included the Bach Concerto in C Major for Three Pianos which he followed with the Prelude in C Major by Bach and the Allegro in C Major by Handel which were performed on a harpsichord built by the Boston keyboard maker, Chickering. The concert finished with Bach’s Coffee Cantata using members of the Handel and Haydn Society. A note at the end of the program stated “except in some portions of the cantata, for which Mr. Lang will play accompaniments from Bach’s figured bass, the original instruments will be used.”

       Parsifal was again presented by Lang in a “Private Performance” on Tuesday January 6, 1903, this time at the new Symphony Hall on Huntington Avenue. The principal soloists were:

Mme. Kirkby Lunn- Kundry

Herr Gerhauser- Parsifal

Herr Van Rooy -Amfortas

Herr Blass -Gurnemanz

Herr Muhlmann- Klingsor and Titurel

Mr. Wilhelm Heinrich- Esquire

       “The best possible soloists have been engaged for the six flower-maidens, knights, and unseen chorus; there will also be male and female choruses, and an orchestra of seventy players. Owing to the restrictions on the production of Parsifal, there can be neither public sale nor advertisement of the tickets. Those who wish to hear this performance should fill out and send the enclosed blank to Mr. Byrne, 100 Chestnut Street, receiving, in return, directions for the selection and payments of seats…The tickets are five dollars each.” (Lang Prog.) Mr. and Mrs. J. Montgomery Sears held a lavish reception after the performance for which “Society Turn[ed] Out in Force.” This took the place of their regular Tuesday musicales.

       Lang’s continued prominent place within the Boston musical community is reflected in his role as a featured performer in the Tuesday evening, April 14, 1903 Concert commemorating the founding of the House of Chickering & Sons eighty years before in 1823.“On opposite sides of the stage…were placed the first piano made by Jonas Chickering and a modern Concert Grand.” (Commemoration, 14).The concert consisted of five songs sung by Miss Mary Ogilvie accompanied by Mrs. S. B. Field which included Margaret’s My True Love Lies Asleep followed by an address by Dr. Edward Everett Hale with a conclusion of two pieces played by B. J.First he played The Battle of Prague by Kotzwara that was “a piece of music greatly in favor about 1823,” and then a portion of La benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude by Liszt, “a composition in vogue at the present time.” (Commemoration, 14 and 15)

       Lang produced La Damnation de Faust by Berlioz again on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, July 7 and 9, 1903 at Symphony Hall for the “National Educational Association Convention at Boston.” the soloists were:

Madame Louise Homer-Marguerite

Mr. Joseph Sheehan-Faust

Mr. Gwilym Miles-Mephistopheles

Mr. Leverett B. Merrill-Brander

Mrs/ Bertha Cushing Child-Heavenly Voice.

       About 2/3rds of the chorus was from the Cecila Society, with another 42 members, mainly men from the Handel and Haydn Society, an additional 24 male voices from the Apollo Club, ten more male voices from the Amphion Club, and a final 61 voices “From other organizations of Boston and Vicinity.” (Lang Prog.) Lang was the Chairman of the “Music Committee” for the event which included among its 12 other members – Allen A. Brown, G. W. Chadwick, Carl Faelten, Arthur Foote, Wilhelm Gericke, Henry L. Higginson and John K. Paine. Certainly a very impressive group! (Ibid)

       B. J.’s interests of orchestral conducting and introducing new music continued even late in life. The Chickering Piano Company asked Frederick S. Converse, Arthur Foote, Charles M. Loeffler and B. J. as Chairman to form a committee to “arrange a series of concerts in Chickering Hall…February 10, 24 and March 9 and 22, 1904…The purpose of these concerts is to give the public an opportunity to hear new and interesting compositions in a hall of moderate size…the orchestra will number between fifty and sixty.” B. J. was to be the conductor. G. W. Chadwick’s name was also listed as a committee member on the “Chickering Orchestral Concerts” stationary, but his named was crossed off on letters sent from Lang to Chadwick. At the first concert the American premier of Debussy’s Three Nocturnes (with female choir) was given as the second item of the concert and also repeated as the final number-the same procedure that he had followed forty years earlier in introducing new works. The concert opened with the Overture to La vie pour le Czar by Glinka, and also included a scene from L’Enfante du Christ (Le Repos de la Saint Familie) by Berlioz.

The program of second concert included:

Overture to Iphigenia in Aulis – Gluck (arr. Wagner)

Concerto in D Minor for Three Pianos – Bach with George Proctor, Heinrich Gebhardt and Felix Fox as soloists

L”Apres d un Faune – Debussey

Les Djinns for Piano and Orchestra – Franck (Boston premier)

Four Songs – Faure sung by Mrs. Jessie Downey Eaton

Overture-Joyeuse – David Stanley Smith (conducted by the composer)

The Third Concert on March 9, 1904 included:

Prelude from the Birds of Aristopanes – John K. Paine (world premier, conducted by the composer)

Concerto for Piano – Ernest Hutcheson (world premier, the composer as soloist)

Two Fragments: The Saracens and The Beautiful Alda – E. A. MacDowell

Rhapsody for Baritone and Orchestra: Cahal Mor of the Wine Red Hand – Horatio Parker with StephenTownsend as the soloist

Suite Algerienne – St. Saens

The Fourth Concert on March 23, 1904 included:

Suite from Castor and Pollux – Rameau (arr. Gevaert)

Symphonic Sketches – Chadwick (conducted by the composer) (In a letter dated ??? 16th to Chadwick asking him to conduct these pieces, Lang referred to them as “three pieces of yours that Mollenhauer once played on a tour.” (NEC Collection)

Aria for Mezzo-Soprano – Strube with Miss Josephine Knight

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op. 26 – Bruch with Miss Nina Fletcher

Poem Symphonique Op. 13 – Glasounow

The second Season (1905-06) was very different; there were at least twelve concerts, but they were all of chamber groups, and the Artistic Director was H. G. Tucker (who was one of Lang’s piano pupils). Mr. A. de Voto was the pianist in the seventh concert – December 17, 1905.

During the Third Season (1906-07) two songs by Margaret were performed – The Sea Sobs Low [never published ?]and Spring sung by Bertha Cushing Child, contralto accompanied by Arthur Colburn. During the next season Summer Noon was sung on January 6, 1907 by Miss Mary Desmond, “the English Contralto” with Mr. A. de Voto as accompanist. At the January 10, 1909 concert Arnold Dolmetsch used a harpsichord and Clavichord built by Chickering

Mathews, One Hundred, 427 (Probably about 1889)

at the time of this photo (circa 1889) Lang was described as “hale and hearty, a young man, (though he was then in his early fifties) albeit somewhat thinly thatched with white and gray upon the top of his well rounded skull…He is happily married and lives in elegance.”(Howe-One Hundred, 429)




Word Count- 5,687. 01/01/2020.

Although Lang composed in many forms, he destroyed all of his manuscripts. Mathews writes: “Mr. Lang’s compositions are mostly in manuscript. His chief work is an oratorio of David. It is of decided interest. The form is essentially original. The story of David is told mainly in recitative, with accompanying orchestral description, and the psalms or parts of them supposed to have been written at the time are then treated as choruses, quartette, or in other appropriate lyric forms. The events thus go on in chronological order, the first part ending with the chant of the old-time church, and the second or last part, with a great chorus set to one of the Messianic psalms. It is not altogether to the credit of Boston that a work of this magnitude, by a local composer, should have been left so long unheard, (this was written in 1889) but this very likely may be due to the composer’s modesty.” (Mathews, 429) B. J.’s wife noted in her Diary in 1871, “Lel has been working on his Oratorio.” (Diary-2, 1871)

In 1904 Louis Elson wrote: “As a composer we cannot speak of this remarkable musician, for although he has written much, he has not printed anything, and very seldom allows any of his works to be heard. The present writer has, long since, had a few auditions of some of the smaller compositions of Mr. Lang, and they were fluent, graceful, and musicianly. But it is evident that this veteran conductor does not wish to be considered as a composer. Both he and Mr. Thomas have, in letters, declined the composer’s title, yet their work for music in America has gone far beyond the creation of a symphony or an opera, for they have taught the public how to appreciate the best music, and have made it familiar with the modern masterpieces.” (Elson, 261)

       The 1921 Groves article stated that B.J. also wrote “symphonies, overtures, chamber music, pieces for the pianoforte, church music, and many songs.” (Grove, 632) This was probably based on an 1889 music dictionary entry: “His works, which are as yet are in MS., comprise an Oratorio, David; several symphonies and overtures for orchestra; and a large number of compositions in almost every form of church, chamber, and pianoforte music, besides many songs. Of these about one hundred and fifty works of church music (Te Deum, Anthems, etc), and a few songs and fugitive pieces have been performed.” (Chaplin/Apthorp, 420 and 421) The list below gives a detailed record of performances-there are no David performances, although Frances made reference to it; no symphonic works at all, and with the various symphonic concerts that Lang organized throughout his career, he certainly the opportunity to program such works if they existed; no chamber works, and again in his chamber music concerts such works could have appeared; and, the number of church works does not relate to reality. Lang’s pupil and friend, William Foster Apthorp was the “Critical Editor” of this musical cyclopedia; it is strange that he allowed so much false information to appear, some of which continues to reappear today. In a letter to Upton dated April 10, 1925, Margaret wrote, “He was never willing to publish anything! So it is now impossible to lay hold upon any of his music whatever.”

      Margaret was not quite correct in that last statement. Before he went to study in Europe, Lang “harmonized” a book of Bible Songs written by Marion Dix Sullivan. It was published in Boston with a date of 1856, and Lang is listed as “Mr. J. B. [sic] Lang, Organist, Salem, Mass.” Then, after he had returned from Europe, he again worked with Ms. Sullivan on a new, larger collection of “Hymns and Tunes” called Youthful Voices. This was also published in Boston, but by a larger publishing house, Oliver Ditson & Co. in 1862. One of his male partsongs, HI-FI-LIN-KE-LE was published by the Apollo Club; separate choral scores for T I and II and Bass I and II are in the Boston Public Library Music Division Collection, but the piano accompaniment is missing. Arthur Foote said that “The only thing in his musical career to regret is his steady refusal to bring his compositions before the public; there is no doubt that a genuine loss to American composition was the result.” (Foote quoted in Grove-American-Ledbetter, 10-11)

       In 1854, when he was 16 , B. J. mentions in his Diary for September 23, 1854: “Wrote more on a piece I am composing.” Thirteen day later: “Finished a Fantasia which I shall play at Adam’s concert.” The next day: “Father and I copied some of my Fantasia.” (Diary 1 entries, September 10, 1854, September 23, 1854 and September 24, 1854) A week later he “saw Hill at 12 and we went to Lange’s [who would this be?] to show him my first composition; he said it was quite good.” (Diary 1, October 4, 1854)

An ad in the Traveler of March 21, 1856, p. 3 showed him as an assisting artist for a performance of “Dramatic Recitations” by William Hawes. This concert, at the Hall of the Mercantile Library Association on Summer Street had Lang performing solos and duets with the violinist W. H. Schultze. One of Lang’s solos was an original piece, “Fantastic Original.”

      The first mention of a mature Lang composition probably is the performance of his song Breath of Spring which was sung by Mrs. J. H. Long at a Mendelssohn Quintette Club concert on Friday, January 28, 1859 where Lang served only as accompanist for two songs. This was Lang’s fourth appearance with the club-his first had been less than a year before, on February 2, 1858. (Dowell, 363 and 371) Dwight devoted about one-quarter of his review to Lang’s song. “Mr. Lang’s setting of the little ”Spring” song which we translated from the German in one of our numbers of last April:

                             O’er the garden hear the voices!

                                Birds of passage on their flight!

                             Spring is coming, earth rejoices,

                                Grass is springing all the night, etc.,

struck us as very felicitous. Truly a charming song and true to the spirit of the lines; a clear, simple, natural melody, if not marked by any rare individuality. The figures of the accompaniment, lying so natural to the easy play of the pianist composer’s figures [fingers?], were quite suggestive.” (Dwight (February 5, 1850): 358)

       In Worcester, on February 7, 1861 he played his own Impromptu at a concert where he acted as accompanist for Giorgio Stignelli. (Program, GB)

      At a 1862 concert “In Aid of Sick and Wounded Soldiers” B. J. accompanied, played the works of other composers, and included his own Impromptu–he also played “Concert Variations on America,” and as no composer was listed, one would assume that he was the composer, or he improvised the piece; this piece was also included in his August 29, 1869 concert at Hancock Hall in Ellsworth Maine. 1862 also saw the inclusion of his Impromptu in A Flat in a recital in New Bedford, MA.

      In addition to the improvisations that he included in most of his Boston Music Hall organ recitals, on August 13, 1864 he played his own Berceuse. Dwight’s review said that it was “but a breath, fine-drawn and delicate, truly melodious.Such breezy pine-tree murmurs are surpassingly rendered by the Dolce in the Swell of this instrument.” (Dwight (August 20, 1864): 295)

      For a concert at South Church, Salem on February 19, 1866, the quartet choir opened the second half with Lang’s Te Deum Laudamus #2 in E flat. He probably accompanied as he played other pieces in this concert. Also in 1866 at an appearance at the New Bedford Lyceum, he played his arrangement of the Slumber Song by Weber and his own Fantasie in A flat, while at performances in Providence and Salem he repeated the Weber and performed his own Fantasie in E flat. At a “Grand organ Concert” at North Church, Haverhill on Friday evening December 14, 1866, Lang played Eichberg’s Romance in F for violin and organ with Mr. Suck, and as a solo, his own Fantasia Upon Danish and Holland Airs. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol 1)

      A February 14, 1868 concert at the South Congregational Church, Union Park Street included the Lang song Bow Down Thine Ear sung by Mr. James Whitney. Programs played at Hingham and Milton MA in 1868 included Caprices in C Major and A Flat Major. Three Caprices are listed in a January 1869 New England Conservatory concert held at Chickering Hall, and the Caprices in C and A Flat were repeated at another New England Conservatory Concert in May of the same year. A review of January 30 mentions these three Caprices. “Instead of three as the programme indicated, one caprice of his own [was played]. If the suppressed two are as attractive as the one performed, it was a pity the audience should have been deprived of them.” (Boston Daily Advertiser (Saturday morning, January 30, 1869): 1) At a concert at the Church of the Good Samaritan, Gloucester Place, on Wednesday evening, December 30, 1868, Lang played Chopin’s’ Scherzo in B Flat Opus 31 and Fantasia on Themes by Weber arranged by Liszt. In the same program Lang’s song The Violet was sung by Miss Rametti for whom it was composed. G. W. Sumner was the accompanist for this concert. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 1)

      The third Caprice would seem to be one in C Minor that was part of a concert given in March 1869. A June 12, 1869 recital by B. J. at the South Congregational Church, Union Park Street included his song Have Mercy, O Lord. European concerts dating from December 1869 through May of 1870 show an extended period spent abroad. A December 28, 1869 solo piano concert was given at the Hotel de Rome in Berlin with pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, Bach (2), Mendelssohn, and Liszt’s transcription of a work by Weber. Almost the same program was given on March 11, 1870 in Dresden, but also included were the Phantasien in A dur and C dur. A review from a Dresden paper described these works as “cleverly invented and particularly distinguished by enchaining modulation.” (Dwight (April 8. 1870): 224) At the May 13, 1870 concert in Vienna, B. J. had a guest artist from the Vienna Opera who sang his Spring, Spinning Song, Love, and The 86th Psalm. A January 1869 New England Conservatory concert program listed that B. J. would play three of his own Caprices; he only played one. “If the suppressed two are as attractive as the one performed, it was a pity the audience should have been deprived of them. (Advertiser (January 30, 1969): 1) On December 9, 1870, Lang included his Christmas Song at another New England Conservatory concert.

      The Thursday evening, April 4, 1871 concert at Mechanics Hall, corner of Bedford and Chancey Streets which was in aid of the “Horticultural School for Women” included his Spinning Song in A Major and Caprice in C Major for piano and his vocal solos Christmas Song, The Two Roses, and Her I Love. (BPL Lang Programs, Vol. 1) At a concert to benefit “Robert Collyer and Family” given by the quartet-choir of South Congregational Church on Saturday October 21, 1871, B. J. improvised and his songs Mary Stood the Cross Beside and Bow Down Thine Ear; the quartet included Mrs. Julia Houston-West-soprano, Mrs. John F. Winch-contralto, Mr. William J. Winch-tenor, and Mr. John F. Winch-bass (William and John Winch were to appear often as soloists with the Handel and Haydn Society).

        Among the pieces for the Eater service at South Congregational Church in 1873 were these by Lang: The World Itself Keeps Easter Day, Gloria, Hymn, Easter Carol and Te Deum in E flat.

      At an organ concert at the Chapel of the Second Church on February 7, 1874, B. J. included his Spinning Song and Caprice in A Major. The Spinning Song in A Major was repeated at the April 16, 1874 recital at the Essex Institute Hall in Salem, MA together with the Caprice in C Major. The Apollo Club program of March 3, 1874 included two of his solo songs: The Two Roses and Her I Love sung by W. J. Winch, and these were repeated at a private concert at the home of Charles Wood of Commonwealth Avenue three days later. During the mid-1870s Lang would often include in his solo recitals two or three of his own compositions spread throughout the program. (BPL Lang Programs, Vol. 2)

      The Apollo Club presented his setting of The Sea King (“Come sing, come sing, of the great Sea-King, And the fame that now hang’s o’er him” etc.)  at their March 9, 1880 concert; it had also been sung previously at their June 1, 1874 concert. There it was listed as a duet for baritones, and in 1874 it was performed as a duet by the brothers Winch, and Dwight’s review described the piece as “in rather an old English bravura style, full of roulades, which showed their voices and their execution to advantage.” (Dwight (June 13, 1874): 247) Dwight’s review of 1880 commented: “Mr. Lang’s Sea King duet is in the rollicking old English bravura style, with plenty of ”go” in it, and made a lively effect as sung by the two basses [Dr. Bullard and Mr. J. F. Winch].” (Dwight (April 10, 1880): 62) Another part song, Who Comes So Gracefully (“Who comes so gracefully, gliding along, While the blue rivulet sleeps to her song” etc.) was sung by the Apollo Club on June 1, 1874 and again on March 9, 1875. Dwight called it “a romantic, graceful partsong.” (Dwight, Op. cit., 247)

      At his self-promoted concerts at Mechanic’s Hall on March 6 and 20, 1879, B. J. included his songs The Two Roses (March 6), Absence, and Here I Love (March 20). Dwight mentioned that “Mr. Lang’s Two Roses, a graceful, dainty fancy, was heartily appreciated.” (Dwight (March ??, 1879): 54) no mention was made of the two songs in the March 20 concert. Mr. J. F. Winch performed Ho! Pretty Page at the May 15, 1879 concert, and the Courier of May 15, 1879 reported: “Mr. Lang’s song created the only genuine enthusiasm of the evening.It fully deserved the heartiness of its reception, being an expressive piece of vocal writing with a stirring accompaniment, the effect of which, however, would be lost if instructed to less skillful hands than Mr. Lang’s. Mr. Winch sang it with evident appreciation of its beauties, but not without his accustomed distinctness of enunciation.”The Transcript said: A charming new composition by Mr. B. J. Lang was sung by Mr. Winch and warmly encored.”It was the only encore of the evening. (Scrapbook) Dwight’s “Journal” noted: “Mr. Lang’s setting of Thackeray’s ”Ho, pretty page,” catches and reproduces the fine pathetic humor of the verses, and is a fresh, genial, fascinating bit of music. As sung by Mr. Winch it took the audience almost off their feet, and had to be repeated.” (Dwight (May 24, 1879): 86)

      The Sea King, a duet for baritones was included in the March 9, 1880 performance. The “Advertiser” reported:”Mr. Lang’s The Sea King, a superb song, in which musical form and poetic thought are welded together with intense imaginative heat, was sung by Dr. Ballard and Mr. John F. Winch in an interesting way, though the difficulties of the number demanded the first freshness of their voices and not that modicum which remained after an evening of hard vocal work.” (Scrapbook) At an 1880 concert at the Town Hall in Groton, MA Spinning Song in A Major and Diversion in C Major were included. At the May 1890 concert by the Cecilia, three songs by Lang were performed by Mr. W. J. Winch, tenor to “loud applause.” However, Philip Hale felt that “the first two of which perhaps suffer from exuberant piano accompaniments, though in the setting of Lowell the richness of the piano part seems not out of place.” (BPL, Hale Crit, Vol. 1)

       For “An Evening With Prof. Longfellow” in 1881, Lang composed The Hymn of the Moravian Nuns. The Cecilia gave premier performances of B.J.’s The Chase (Apr. 12, 1882), Sing Maiden, Sing (Feb. 4, 1886), and the first Boston performance of his The King Is Dead.(Hill, 22) John F. Winch sang The Chase, with a two stanza poem by C. Kingsley, and the Sixth Annual Report by the President of Cecilia said that the song “achieved a remarkable success for the brilliancy of the composition, the spirited rendering by Mr. John Winch, and the effective accompaniment by the composer.” “The only encore of the concert was gained by Mr. J. F. Winch in a hunting song by Mr. Lang. It is bright, dashing composition, with the usual empty fifths, etc. Mr. Winch sang it with spirit, but without any especial shading.” Another reviewer noted that “Mr. Lang’s original compositions are so rarely heard, but invariably with such pleasure, that his new song, The Chase, was awaited with an interest that was much more than curiosity. His setting of Kingsley’s exhilarating lines, by its hearty directness of utterance and spontaneity, as well as by the delicate suggestion of its melody, is full of the oxygen of out-door life as intensified and concentrated by exciting sport. The piano accompaniment (played by Mr. Lang) pictures brilliantly the dash and the impetuous rush of the riders to be ”in at the death.” Mr. Winch’s singing of the song was most effective, and he was compelled by the applause to repeat the closing lines.” The Courier reviewer felt that “The chief fault of his work was that there was no lightness in the repetition of the opening phrase.” (Cecilia Program Clippings) It must also be noted that this reviewer found something negative in most everything that was presented. Mr. Winch repeated The Chase during a February 27, 1884 concert given for the Boston Art Club.

 The Apollo concerts of February 20 and 25, 1884 included Lang’s setting of the Swedish folk-song, Hi-fe-lin-ke-le. At Miss Elene Buffington Kebow’s Concert at Chickering Hall on May 28, 1885, B. J. included his Nocturne. At the February 4, 1886 concert of the Cecilia, Miss Bockus (a member of the Club) sang Sing, Maiden, Sing. (Yearbook, Vol. 3, p. 52) On May 12 and 17, 1886, the Apollo premiered B. J’s My True Love Hath My Heart (poem by Sir Philip Sidney, 1580)(on May  17 “Supported by violins”- Wilson Yearbook, 1885-86, 51) and repeated his Hi-fe-lin-ke-le; both pieces had been written for the group. Lang composed two solo songs for the Apollo concerts of April 29/May 4, 1885 which included only works of Boston composers. The first was entitled Nocturne (poem by T. B. Aldrich) for tenor, which was premiered by Mr. George J. Parker. This piece was also programmed at the Apollo Club concerts of April 27 and May 2, 1887 and again on April 29 and May 4, 1891. The second solo song was The Lass of Carlisle which was sung by Mr. C. E. Hay. Both of these soloists were members of the Apollo Club, and both appeared as soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society during this period. (Boston Musical Year Book, Vol. 2 1884-85, 45)

               From Knickerbocker Magazine, 1851. Researched by Herb Zeller, Historian of the Apollo Club.

At a December 2, 1887 Lang was still playing his Spinning Song and Diversion in C Major, pieces written twenty years earlier. Indeed, the Diversion in C Major was played at a Wheaton Seminary concert on December 14, 1892 and for the Boston Tea Party Chapter of the DAR in late 1895.

      For the Cecilia concert on May 22, 1890, Mr. W. J. Winch sang songs by Handel and Raff and three songs by B. J. Lang. Aladdin’s Lamp, Sing, Maiden Sing and Cradle Song were performed to Lang’s accompaniment. (Yearbook, Vol. 8, p. 16)

        Aladdin’s Lamp.  James Russell Lowell.

       When I was a beggarly boy, And lived in a cellar damp, I had not a friend or a toy, But I had Aladdin’s lamp.

       When I could not sleep for cold, I had fire enough in my brain; And builded with roof of gold My beautiful castles in Spain.

       Since then I have toiled day and night, I have money and power good store, But I’d give all my lamps silver bright For the one that is mine no more.

       Take, Fortune, whatever you choose; You gave, and may snatch again; I’ve nothing ‘twould pain me to lose, For I’ve no more castles in Spain.

       Sing, Maiden, Sing.  Barry Cornwall.

       Sing, maiden, sing; mouths were made for singing. Listen! Songs thou’lt hear through the wide world ringing; songs from the birds; songs from seas and streams; even from sweet flowers.

       Hearest thou the rain, how it gently falleth? Hearest thou the bird, who from forest calleth? Hearest thou the bee o’er the sunflower ringing? Tell us, maiden, now shouldst thou not be singing?

       Hearest thou the breeze round the rose-bud sighing? And the small sweet rose love to love replying? So shouldst thou reply to the prayer we’re bringing: so that bud, thy mouth, should burst forth in singing.

       Cradle Song.  Words from the German by Charles T. Brooks.

       Evening is balmy and cool in the west, lulling the golden bright meadows to rest. Twinkle like silver stars in the skies, greeting the two slumbering eyes. Now all the flowers are gone to repose, all the sweet odor-cups peacefully close. Blossoms rock’d lightly on evening’s mild breeze, drowsily, dreamily swing the trees. Sweetly sleep! Sweetly sleep! Thy watch the good angels in Paradise keep. Sweetly sleep.

       Wise little elves by the light of the moon, sing to my darling a lullaby soon. Rise from your cells in the cups of the flowers, weave him a golden dream all the night hours. Sleep till the flowers are opening once more, sleep till the lark in the morning shall soar, sleep till the golden bells” heavenly chime festively welcomes the morning’s prime, Sweetly sleep! Sweetly sleep! Thy watch the good angels in Paradise keep. Sweetly sleep!

      A Te Deum Laudamus in F was performed as part of the 165th. Anniversary of the birth of George Washington that was held in King’s Chapel in 1893. A Grand March from David ended his organ recital at Second Church, Copley Square on January 31, 1894, and a Caprice in C Major for piano that he played as early as February 1874 (at six concerts that year) he was still playing on December 9, 1895. Pieces entitled Spinning Song in A Major and Diversion in C Major often appear. The use of generic titles and the extensive use of C Major point to improvisations as the original source of these compositions. That this was also among his talents is reflected in his organ programs where “Improvisation” is often found. In the many concerts that he gave at the Boston Music Hall for the few years after it’s opening, “Improvisation” was included on almost every program and this was notably missing from the other performers’ programs.

      Before the Te Deum noted above, Lang wrote another setting in D flat major for the 1896 Easter Service at King’s Chapel. (Herald (April4, 1896): 7, GB) Frances wrote in her Diary for the summer of 1902: “Lel spends the P.M.s mostly at the Crows Nest [at the Farm].” He was possibly composing there, as the second entry later is: “Lel has written 2 Te Deums.” (Diary 2, Summer 1902)

      At the April 5, 1897 concert of the Apollo Club B. J. again included his Nocturne. At an April 3, 1899 Chickering Hall recital B. J.’s Easter Carol-The World Itself Keeps Easter Day for contralto and chorus was performed while just a few days later on April 10. 1899 at the first American Guild of Organists Public Service in Boston at the Central Church, corner of Berkeley and Newbury Streets, B. J.’s Prelude was included. At the May 1, 1901 concert of the Apollo Club B. J.’s The Lass of Carlisle and The Chase were programmed.

       Lang wrote a hymn for the funeral of ex-Governor Wolcott in December of 1900. The text was: “With Silence as Their Only Benediction.” (Herald (December 23, 1900): 9, GB)

Mr. George Edmund Dwight gave a song recital on April 22, 1903 at 3PM at “small”(?) Chickering Hall. His program included a new cycle by Atkinson, and new songs by Mr. Foote, Mrs. Beach, Mr. Henschel and Mr. Lang. MISTER Lang! If the song(s) were by Margaret, how did “Miss” get changed into “Mr.”? They got “Mrs.” for Amy Beach correct. As B. J. was no longer doing the Apollo Club, did he now have time to do some composing? (Herald (April 12, 1903): 31, GB)

      Only one published work is found, and it is really only a fragment. George Chadwick, in his “Drei Walzer fur das Pianoforte” in f minor, E major, and A flat major, where the Third Waltz has the heading “Motive by B. J. L.” which Hughes described as a “dreamy, tender work on a theme, by ‘B.J.L.’, which refers, I presume to Mr. B. J. Lang.” (Hughes: Contemporary American Composers,  212) Schmidt published this in 1890 and the holograph is at the Library of Congress. Hughes thought well enough of this piece to include it as one of only two examples in his article on Chadwick in the February 1896 issue of Godey’s’ Magazine-he reproduced the full first page of the work. The pianist, Peter Kairoff, who recorded a complete CD of Chadwick’s piano works describes this work as “serenely joyful.” The third also has a fascinating hemiola in the right hand, which much of the time plays in a different meter than the left.” (CD “American Character”-Albany Troy 745 program notes.)


ABSENCE. Self-promoted concert at Mechanics Hall on March 20, 1879.

AGATHA AT THE GATE. November 20, 1873, Boston.

ALADDIN’S LAMP. Cecilia concert, May 22, 1890 sung by W. J. Winch. (Yearbook, Vol. 8, 16)

AMERICA-CONCERT VARIATIONS-1862. “Concert In Aid of Sick and Wounded Soldiers.” Also August 29, 1869 at Hancock Hall, Ellsworth, Maine.

BERCEUSE (for organ). Music Hall: August 13, 1864.

BIBLE SONGS, harmonized by “Mr. J. B.[sic] Lang, Organist. Salem, Mass.” Published by Nathan Richardson, at the Musical Exchange, 282 Washington Street, Boston, 1856. The composer of the songs was Marion Dix Sullivan. Copy at the Library of Congress. M 2117. S94B4.

BOW DOWN THINE EAR. Song sung at South Congregational Church, February 14, 1868 and October 21, 1871.

BREATH OF SPRING. Sung on Friday, January 28, 1859 by Mrs. J. H. Long as part of a Mendelssohn Quintette Club concert.

CAPRICES IN C MAJOR AND A FLAT MAJOR. Hingham and Milton, 1868; also at NEC concert January 1869; February 11, 1874, Worcester County Music School (C Major only); February 21, 1874; January 18, 1876 in New Bedford; August 29, 1879 in Hingham.

CAPRICES, THREE. New England Conservatory concert, January 1869-the third one was probably in C Minor which was given at a concert in March 1869.

CAPRICE IN A MAJOR. Organ concert at the Chapel of Second Church, February 7, 1874.

CAPRICE IN C MAJOR. August 24, 1872, Westerly, R. I.; played at six concerts in 1874; April 16, 1874 Salem where it was listed in the program as Opus 46; May 24, 1878 Andover; August 29, 1879 Hingham; November 5, 1879 Newburyport; June 20, 1879 at Springfield, MA; and he was still playing the piece December 9, 1895.

THE CHASE. Solo song, Cecilia concerts April 12, 1882 and February 27, 1884 at the Boston Art Club; Lang’s last concert with the Apollo Club concert May 1, 1901, Mr. Clarence E. Hay, soloist. (Herb Zeller e-mail, October 15, 2012)

CHRISTMAS SONG. Song sung at the New England Conservatory concert on December 9, 1870; April 4, 1871 at Mechanics Hall, corner Bedford and Chancey Streets. Also King’s Chapel,  Christmas day 1890 (Advertiser (December 26, 1890): 2, GB)

CHRISTMAS CAROL. Christmas day at King’s Chapel, 1895. (Herald (December 26, 1895) 6, GB)

CRADLE SONG. Cecilia concert May 22, 1890 sung by W. J. Winch. (Yearbook, Vol. 8,  16)

DAVID. An oratorio mentioned by Mathews. B. J. ended his January 31, 1894 concert at Second Church, Copley Square with A GRAND MARCH FROM DAVID. Frances mentioned in a September 1871 entry in her Diary: “Lel has been working on his oratorio.” (Diary 2-Rosamond)

DIVERSION IN C MAJOR. August 7, 1873, Swampscott; April 16, 1874 Salem; October 1874 Lawrence; January 30, 1875 NEC recital; May 17, 1875 at Madame Bishop’s concert; March 4, 1877 Wellesley College; May 31, 1876; December 2, 1887 Boston Art Club; June 25, 1888 Groton; Groton 1880; December 2, 1887; Wheaton Seminary December 14, 1892; DAR 1895.

EASTER CAROL. Easter 1873 at South Congregational Church. Easter Sunday, April 14, 1895, King’s Chapel. (Herald (April 12, 1895): 7, GB) Again on April 5, 1896, King’s Chapel. (Herald (April 4, 1896): 7, GB)

EASTER HYMN. “People who were lucky enough on Easter Sundays in King’s’ Chapel to hear the beauty of his Easter Hymn, never forgot it.” (Robbins, p. 70) A different or earlier version of this Hymn was performed on Easter Sunday, 1873 at South Congregational Church. (Dwight (April 19, 1873): 7 and 8)

              FANTASIA. (Called Fantasie in October 9, 1854 Diary entry. The piece may have been a duet as he wrote in this entry: “Played duets with Breed; my Fantasie) Written in 1854 for a concert given by Mr. Adams, a  leader of singing classes in the Salem area, for whom B. J. was sometimes the accompanist. There are many entries in B. J.’s Diary about singing classes given by Mr. Adams and also by B. J.’s father.


FANTASIE IN A FLAT. New Bedford Lyceum, 1866; Thursday evening January 1, 1866 at Mechanic Hall, Salem.

FANTASIE IN E FLAT. Salem and Providence, 1866. These two were performed by Lang in his German concerts in the spring of 1870.

             FANTASTIC ORIGINAL. One of Lang’s solo pieces that was part of a      concert of “Dramatic Recitations” given by William Hawes on March 21,   1856. Lang also acted as accompanist for the violinist W. H. Schultze who was also featured at this concert.

            FOUR PSALMS. “Lel showed us his music for 4 Psalms.” (June 1870,    Diary-2) The Lang’s were in Switzerland.

GLORIA. Easter 1873 at South Congregational Church. (see Easter Hymn)

HAVE MERCY, O LORD. Song sung at South Congregational Church, June 12, 1869.

HER I LOVE. Sung at an 1871 concert; also at Apollo Club concerts on February 21 and March 3, 1874 sung by William J. Winch, tenor; also at self-promoted concert at Mechanics Hall on March 20, 1879, also sung by Winch.

HIFI-LIN-KE-LE. Choral piece. Apollo concerts in February 1884, May 1886 and May 1897 (Herald (May 16, 1897): 13, GB) with description of the piece. The text is a translation of “a little Swedish song” which appeared in the New York monthly magazine, The Knickerbocker, February 1851. A comment in the magazine said: “It would be a pleasant thing to hear JENNY LIND warble it in some of her forthcoming concerts.”

HO! PRETTY PAGE. Sung by Mr. J. F. Winch May 15, 1879. Program-Johnston Collection.

HYMN. Easter 1873 at South Congregational Church.

HYMN OF THE MORAVIAN NUNS, THE. 1881 concert-“An Evening with Prof. Longfellow.”

            HYMNS OF WHITTIER. For the funeral of Ruth Burrage, B. J. “played    music he had written to Hymns of Whittier.” (Diary 2, Spring 1872)

             HYMN, HALLELUJAH. Easter 1896-King’s Chapel. Choir: Misses Torrey and Little and Messrs. Winch and Heinrich. (Herald (April 4, 1896): 7, GB)

THE KING IS DEAD. Cecilia February 4, 1886.

IMPROMPTU. Concert in Worcester, February 7, 1861.

IMPROMPTU. 1862 “Concert in Aid of Sick and Wounded Soldiers;” also Ellsworth Maine August 29, 1869.

IMPROMPTU IN C MAJOR. August 24, 1872 Westerly, R. I.

IMPROMPTU IN A FLAT. New Bedford piano recital, 1862

IMPROVISATION. B. J. included an improvisation in almost every organ recital that he gave at the Boston Music Hall.

THE LASS OF CARLISLE. Baritone solo. Sung at Apollo concerts on April 29 and May 4, 1885 by Mr.Clarence E. Hay; and at Lang’s last concert with the Apollo Club on May 1, 1901 [also by Mr. Hay. Herb Zeller, e-mail October 15, 2012]

LIED-PSALM 86. Sung Vienna May 13, 1870. Frances wrote in her Diary the reaction of the Vienna audience to this piece: “which everyone was wild over.” Had been sung by Adams. (Diary 2-Rosamond)

A LITTLE CHILD DWELT BY THE FLOWING SEA. November 20, 1873 Boston. Frances mentions in her Diary for 1866 that B. J. had written “a lovely song to the words…..A Little Child.” (Diary 2-Rosamond)

LOVE. Sung at Vienna May 13, 1870.

MARY STOOD THE CROSS BESIDE. Song sung at South Congregational Church October 21, 1871.

MY TRUE LOVE HAS MY HEART. Apollo concerts in May 1886.

NOCTURNE. Solo for tenor. Premiered at the Apollo concerts April 27 and May 4, 1885. Programmed again April 27 and May 2, 1887; April 29 and May 4, 1891; also at Miss Buffington Kebow’s concert on May 28, 1885; Apollo Club April 5, 1897. Text by Aldrich-“Up to her Chamber Window.” “The song is a gem. Its graceful contrasts of major and minor, and its dainty figure treatment, are very effective.” Louis C. Elson-(Advertiser (May 5, 1891): 4, GB)

PRELUDE. AGO service April 10, 1899


THE SEA KING. Sung by the Apollo Club June 1, 1874 and again on March 9, 1880. Listed as a duet for baritones, it  was sung by the two Winch brothers in 1874. At the Apollo Club March 9, 1880 performance of this piece, it was sung by Dr. Ballard and Mr. John F. Winch.

SING MAIDEN SING. Cecilia February 4, 1886 (Miss Bockus, a member of the Club)(Yearbook, Vol. 3, 52) and May 22, 1890 (Mr. W. J. Winch).

            SONG(S)-1903. Recital of George Edmund Dwight on April 22, 1903 at        “small” Chickering Hall.

SPINNING SONG. Sung at Vienna May 13, 1870.

SPINNING SONG IN A MAJOR for piano. 1871 concert; August 24, 1872 Westerly, R. I.; April 7, 1873 Swampscott; also at an organ concert at the Chapel of the Second Church on February 7, 1874; April 16, 1874 in Salem, MA; October 1874 Lawrence; NEC January 8, 1876 and April 7, 1876; March 31, 1876 Wellesley College; April 16, 1877 Chickering Hall; January 23, 1878 Bradford; May 24, 1878 Andover; November 5, 1879 Newburyport; NEC July 30, 1879; June 20, 1879 in Springfield, MA; June 25, 1880 Groton; December 17, 1883 Boston; February 1, 1886 Bumstead Hall; December 2, 1887 Boston Art Club.

SPRING. Sung at Vienna May 13, 1870.

TE DEUM LAUDAMUS #2 IN E FLAT. South Church, Salem, February 19, 1866. Miss Houston, Miss Cary, Mr. Rudolphsen and Mr. Downs. Te Deum in E flat with no number was part of the Easter services in 1873 at South Congregational Church.

TE DEUM LAUDAMUS IN F. King’s Chapel, Christmas day, 1890 (Advertiser (December 26, 1890): 2, GB) and 1893 at a service for the 165th. Anniversary of the Birth of George Washington.

TE DEUM IN G FLAT MAJOR. King’s Chapel Easter Service, April 14, 1895. The choir was listed as: Mrs. Josslyn, Miss Lena Little, Mr. W. J. Winch, Mr. Max Heinrich. While “G FLAT MAJOR” is certainly possible, since the “G” key is just above the “B” key, this might be a mis-print. (Herald (April 12, 1895) 7, GB)

TE DEUM IN D MAJOR. King’s Chapel, December 25, 1895. (Herald (December 26, 1895): 6, GB)

             TE DEUM IN D FLAT MAJOR. King’s Chapel, Easter 1896.   Choir:            Misses Torrey and Little and Messrs. Winch and Heinrich. (Herald (April 4, 1896): 7, GB)

             TE DEUMS (2). “Lel has written 2 Te Deums.” (Diary 2, Summer 1902)

TEACH ME THY WAYS. Song sung by W. J. Winch, tenor, on October 5, 1890 as part of an organ recital.

THE 86th. PSALM-sung at Vienna May 13, 1870.

THE TWO ROSES. Sung at an 1871 concert; also at an Apollo Club concerts on February 21 and March 3, 1874 by the tenor William J. Winch; also at self-promoted concert at Mechanic Hall on March 6, 1879, also sung by Winch. Sung at a Lang Concert at Gill’s Hall in Springfield, MA by Miss Louise Homer on Friday, June 20, 1879. She had just returned from Paris where she had studied with Mme. Garcia. (Springfield Republican (June 20, 1879): 6, GB)

THE VIOLET. December 30, 1868.

WHO COMES SO GRACEFULLY (Partsong). Apollo Club on June 1, 1874 and again on March 9, 1875.

WITH SILENCE AS THEIR ONLY BENEDICTION. A hymn sung at Ex. Governor Wolcott’s funeral at King’s Chapel late in December 1900. Words by Whittier. (Herald (December 23, 1900): 9, GB) In 1872 Frances recorded that B. J. had written music for the funeral of Ruth Burrage to “Hymns of Whittier.” (Diary 2-Rosamond) might they be the same piece?

THE WORLD ITSELF KEEPS EASTER DAY for contralto and chorus. April 3, 1899 sung by Miss Lena Little-also on April 27, 1904. Also listed earlier for the Easter services in 1873 at the South Congregational Church.

There also exist compositions by B. J.’s father,  “B. Lang.” A Harvest Waltz is in the collection of the Library of Congress. It was “Composed and dedicated to his PUPILS.” It was published by Oliver Ditson in Boston sometime in the 1850s. [Have copy of the front page only as LC would not allow the music to be opened] The University of California, Berkley also has a copy-a microfilm of its five pages would cost $40 (2010) Another piece, a strophic song with chorus entitled Merry Sailor Boy with words by E. Jocelyn Esq. and music by Benjamin Lang was published by Oliver Ditson in 1852. [Have a copy from “The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music” at John Hopkins University].