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, 2)
Adamowski, Josef. (b. July 4, 1862 in Warsaw, d. Poland-1930) (Bio-Bib, 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, 109) His finance was “Antoinette Szumowska [1868-1938, Bio-Bib, 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, 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, 102) Josef and his brother joined the BSO during the second season (1885-86) of Gericke’s tenure. The same year Franz Kneisel replaced Listemann as concertmaster and Charles Loeffler replaced Louis Maas. (Ibid, 72)
Mathews, 293. Also have print with a certificate saying published by Theodore Presser in 1900.
Adamowski, Timothie.[Timotheus] (March 24, 1858-?) (Bio-Bib, 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.” 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 a virtuoso.” (Dwight (March 26, 1881): 53) In 1884-1908 he was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, resigning to become a 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, 109)
HMA Program Collection.
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) Adamowski was a favorite of Isabella Stewart Gardner. He was twenty-six when he joined the BSO. He was “tall, blond and handsome in the pattern Mrs. Jack found so pleasing. More given to flattery than her other musical young men, he was not her favorite, perhaps for this reason. He became the conductor of the Boston Symphony’s Pops Concert and not a little of the popularity of this summer series was the result of his personal charm.” (Tharp, 117) He made it a point to dress well-for the first rehearsal of the 1895-1896 Season he arrived “accoutered in a long Polack frock coast and sparrow-hued trousers. (Tharp, 194) That year Mrs. Gardner bought a Stradivarius which she first lent to another of her favorites, Charles Loeffler. Adamowski “approached Loeffler ‘with a curiously unfriendly gleam in his eyes’ and reminded him that he had ‘Mrs. Gardner’s violin only for the year coming’; but Adamowski, when it was his turn, did not take good care of the instrument.” (Tharp, 248)
Adams, C. A. As a teenager, one of B.J.’s jobs was to meet the train from Lynn where Adams lived and then to take Adams and B. J.’s father to Danvers where they both had singing schools. Adams’ most famous pupil was Lyman Warren Wheeler whom he taught for four years, beginning at the age of ten. “At this time young Wheeler possessed an alto voice of remarkable sweetness and unusual compass, singing three octaves without any difficulty.” (Mathews, One Hundred, 192) Wheeler eventually studied in Europe and then returned to Boston to teach, being one of the first vocal teachers at the New England Conservatory.” He has graduated some of the best singers that America has produced, many of the famous artists of the day having obtained the foundation of their success under his guidance.” (Op. cit., 193)
Adams, Charles R. Vienna: April 1870. At one of Lang’s concerts here, “Adams sang 3 of Lel’s songs, also his 86th. Psalm, which everyone was wild about.” (Diary Excerpts, 5) Born in Charlestown on February 9, 1834, his talent was discovered at an early age. In Boston he studied first with Mme. Arnoult and then Professor Mulder. Lang was very lucky to have Adams as part of a “very celebrated quartet” when he was briefly organist/choirmaster at the First Baptist Church in Boston. (B. J. Diary, January 18, 1855) Adams’ first professional appearance was the Handel and Haydn 1856 performance of Haydn’s Creation. (Am. Grove, Vol. 1, 4) His last appearance was December 30, 1860 for the annual Messiah. (H & H Hist., Vol. 1, 196) European study in Vienna with Barbiere was next. Progress was swift and after only three years he was given a contract as first tenor in the Royal Opera House, Berlin followed by nine years as first tenor at the Imperial Opera House in Vienna. After appearances at the major houses of Europe and singing on tour in America, he settled in Boston in 1879 as a teacher and soloist. He is known as a Wagnerian and a fine actor. His Greatest roles were in Tannhauser and Lohengrin. (Ibid) “He has been one of the finest tenors of the present generation.” (Mathews, 218) His most famous pupil was Nellie Melba. He died on July 4, 1900.
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)
Adams House Restaurant. 533-535 Washington Street.
Advertiser. See Newspapers.
Arlington Club. Conducted by William J. Winch. In July 1881 its President was John D. Long. (Musical Herald, July 1881, 162) “Mr. George W. Chadwick has been engaged as conductor of the Arlington Club.” (Herald (October 22, 1882): 8, GB)
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 [!], and at the February 22, 1851, meeting 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, 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, 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, 3)
William Foster Apthorp, Baker, A Biographical Dictionary of Music, 19
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, 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, 3) Apthorp’s musical tastes were influenced 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, 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 Evening Transcript, from 1881-1903.” (Nelson, 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 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, vi) In all he “served as music critic for twenty-two years, from 1881 to 1903.” (Nelson, 99) From 1892 he edited the program books for the BSO. (Op. cit.,19) also pen and ink drawing. He died in 1913. (Foote, Auto., 139)
Rogers, Story of Two Lives, facing 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.
- 1872-77 music editor for The Atlantic Monthly.
- 1876 became music critic for the Sunday Courier.
- 1878 was both musical and dramatic critic for the Traveler.
- 1881-1903 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, 112 and 113)
The entry for Apthorp in Howe’s A Hundred Years of Music in America of 1889 states that at 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 Bibliography 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. Bio., 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 a 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.
New York Public Library Digital Library.
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, 69)
“In his criticisms, he preferred not to make pronouncements; rather, his aim was to set people thinking.” (Nelson, 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, 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 Traveler. And in 1881 he assumed the same position on the 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 192)
In his history of the 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, 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., 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.
The house in 201Google photo.
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, 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” guests 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, 71 and 72) The singer Clara Kathleen Rogers (Clara Doria) wrote: “The Apthorp’s ”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 occasion was entertained…William 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, 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 forgotten.” (Tara, Foote, 70) “A connoisseur of culinary delights, he was known to don apron and bonnet de chef and whip up some gourmet cuisine.” (Nelson, 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): 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, 282)
Mrs. William F[oster] Apthorp
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): 3)
The Harvard Musical review of March 1913 printed the following: “William Foster Apthorp, ’69. Born in Boston, MA, Oct. 24, 1848 and died 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 thorough 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, 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 , 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 apartment, situated high in a hotel of that resort town, overlooked Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps. It was their intention to return to Boston someday, 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 buried there.” (Nelson, 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): 6, GB) 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, where Miss Iasigi was presented at court in London” (Ibid)
Mathews, A Hundred Years, 369.
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): 100) “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): 27) Dwight felt that Apthorp’s lectures on the history of music given for the Lowell Institute (and illustrated by a small choir) were 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): 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, 147 and 148) The terms “quiet and dignified” were used to describes the paper’s content and presentation.
During 1886-87 Apthorp delivered a course of six lectures “at the Lowell Institute…repeating four at Hawthorn Rooms.” (MYB 1886-87, 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 remained 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, 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, 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, 56)
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 clarinetists of the world, and was a close friend of Weber and Mendelssohn, both of whom wrote compositions for him.” (Elson, Hist. Am. Mus., 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, 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,” 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., 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,” 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. Am. Mus., 288)
Elson, History of American Music, 288.
Bailey, Lillian June. b. 1860 Columbus, Ohio; d. 1901 London. Pupil first of her uncle, Charles R. Hayden and then after coming to Boston in 1876, she studied with Hermine Rudersdoff. In March 1877 she made her debut at a concert in Boston arranged by Lang, and then went on to sing in Boston, Philadelphia and New York. In 1878 she went to Paris to study with Pauline Viardot, and then in 1879, she became a pupil of Georg Henschel in London. Their meeting was unusual. She had been hired to sing at a drawing-room “informal musicale.” The repertoire, in his honor, was a group of his songs. “He was seen to be visibly affected by the execution.” (BPL clipping) Her debut there was at a Philharmonic Society concert in April 1879. In 1880 she returned to America and was a soloist at the Worcester Festival. In 1881 she married Henschel, and the same year he became the first conductor of the BSO. (Sablosky, 291)(BPL clipping, inter alia) After his term as BSO conductor they returned to London, but during the next fifteen years made several trips to Boston. During the last, she was the soloist in her husband’s Stabat Mater given by the Cecilia Society in Symphony Hall. The date was one day shy of when she first sang in Lang’s concert. “The timbre of her voice was peculiarly penetrating and appealing.. It was trained to perfection. Her artistic phrasing made a veritable tone-picture of a song.” (BPL clipping) The following year the Cecilia Society sang Henschel’s setting of the Requiem, Op. 59 which he began the three days after her funeral. The soprano soloist was the Henschel’s daughter, Helen Henschel, and Henschel, himself conducted. [December 2, 1902] It was later sung in Leipzig conducted by Nikisch, other places in Germany, and also other places in the States. “Their recitals together…became a famous and unique musical feature all through Europe and the United States. With my father at the piano, accompanying-by hear-as only he could, the songs and duets of infinite variety which they sang-by heart-as only they could,-indeed was the ideal ensemble.” (BPL, Requiem Program Note by Helen Henschel)
Wood, The History of the First Baptist Church of Boston, 1899, facing 331.
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, 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.
Wood, The History of the First Baptist Church of Boston, 1899, facing 334.
This new building was dedicated on January 11, 1855, and was large enough to seat “one thousand persons.” (Wood, 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, 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, 39) Unfortunately 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, 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 Church)], and “The old meeting-house was afterward remodeled and used as the home of Boston University. The chapel of the University still  retains the former ceiling, windows, and pulpit furniture of the room in which Dr. Neale preached from 1855 to 1877.” (Ibid, 338) The church still  had 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, 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. [619-621 Washington St. near Boylston St. Now (2019) is the site of the Cathey Bank] The total seating was 1526 with 885 on the floor and 641 in the balconies. These balconies were described 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…The seats are of the same comfortable style as those in use in Tremont Temple.” (Dwight (October 17, 1874): 319) It was “pleasant in appearance, with good lighting, tasteful decoration, and well ventilated, comfortable, disposing one to musical enjoyment.” (Ibid) It never had an organ. The Handel and Haydn Society rehearsed here, “but they hadn’t got the hang of the school-house” as they referred to it. (Perkins/Dwight, 352) It was a concert hall for only four years as it was renovated and re-opened as the Park Theatre in 1879.
October 29, 1874.
December 2, 1876.
January 24, 1877.
The above ads show the diversity of productions offered at this Hall. From “Category: Beethoven Hall (Boston),” Wikipedia, accessed May 29, 2019.
In addition to the events shown above, the hall also hosted “Annie De Montford, Great English Mesmerist,” in her “Amusing Entertainment of Psychology, ” “Buckley’s Serenaders-Minstrel Troupe,” Wild Bill among others. (Ibid) “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 a violinist at eight, before twenty gained orchestral experience under conductors like Thomas, Van der Stucken and Seidl. His training as a 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, 129)
Upton, Musical Memories, facing 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 premiere 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, 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, 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 orchestras 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, 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 premiere in Weimar. “His 1866 performance of the Tristan Prelude, with the Philharmonic, followed by exactly nine months the Tristan premiere 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, 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, other 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, 47)
Biscaccianti, Eliza (nee Ostinelli). b. Boston 1825; d. Paris. Early vocal training at the Naples Conservatory-one of the first Americans to study music abroad; at one time she was one of the prominent prima donnas of Europe. She married the Count Biscaccianti, a cellist (Howard, Our Am. Mus., 181); 1849 sang in New York, then returned to Europe and appeared In Paris, Milan, St. Petersburg and London; 1852 performed in San Francisco and then toured South America; returned to San Francisco in 1859; fell on hard times; 1865 to Peru, revived career in South America for ten years; taught in Milan; bad marriage; died in poverty at Fondation Rossini, a home for artists and musicians. (Sablosky, 292) During the period of “hard times,” she performed in Boston at a “Grand CombinationConcert” at the Music Hall with Miss Juliana may. Among the assisting artists were B. J. Lang, the Mendelssohn Quintette Club and her husband the cellist.
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, 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): 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)
In May 1870 the Union closed its third and most successful season with a social evening. The conductor, Eugene Thayer was presented an elegant marble and bronze clock in recognition of having led the choir in four concerts that included Farmer’s Mass in B flat and Thayer’s own Mass No. 1. The group was looked upon by members and friends “as a formidable rival to other musical organizations.” (Traveler (May 30, 1870): 2, GB)
The Union took part in “Four Grand Concerts” at the Music Hall featuring a “Grand Chorus of 1,000 Voices” given as part of the Annual Convention of the National Musical Congress in late June 1871. One concert combined just the Boston Chorus, Chelsea Choral Society and the Boston Choral Union together with “eminent Vocal and Instrumental soloists and the Great Organ.” (Herald (June 21, 1871): 1, GB) The final concert used the Chorus of 1,000 Voices performing Haydn’s Creation, conducted by Carl Zerrahn and P. S. Gilmore. The repertoire was mainly selected from the “Peace Jubilee” pieces sung in 1869, “and it is believed that the thousand voices will have a greater effect in the Music Hall than ten times the number had in the Coliseum.” (Ibid) This concert was held instead of another “10,000 voice event”-it was deemed too soon to hold another event of that size. However, in order to keep the “Jubilee” spirit alive, smaller festivals were organized all over New England. This was the first, and Gilmore shared the conducting with the “best known local conductor,” Carl Zerrahn. The following week a similar festival was to be held in New Bedford; then in September, a festival in Lynn; then festivals in all areas which had sent singers to the 1869 “Peace Jubilee.” It was a brilliant plan on Gilmore’s part.
“The Boston Choral Union, Mr. Eugene Thayer, conductor, gave a concert at Wait’s Hall, Jan. 31st. .” (Dexter Smith’s, (March 1872): 53)
The remainder of that spring may have been spent preparing for “The International Peace Jubilee”; the Union was the 11th. choir to enroll. A total of ten-thousand singers were expected with three-thousand being the “united choruses of Boston.” (Traveler (February 21, 1872): 4, GB) In fact, interest was so high among choral groups throughout the country, that “two choruses of twenty thousand each could be readily organized!” (Ibid)
The Annual Meeting was held on Wednesday, October 2, 1872 at the Phillips Church in South Boston. Elections were held for all offices, and it was announced that the society “has nearly six hundred members.” (Advertiser (October 3, 1872): 1, GB)
At some point, Lang was elected conductor. This January concert shown below used the soloists more than the choir. Possibly Lang had only recently been appointed. Strangely, while the solo numbers had their composers listed, no names were listed for the choral pieces. The concert opened with the choir singing, See, the conquering hero comes, probably by Handel. After a solo, the choir sang Soldier’s Farewell, which was followed by another song and the first half ended with the choir singing Thanks be to God, again probably by Handel. In the second half, the chorus sang the solo and chorus, Nazareth, Gounod (?), Abide with me and the finale was the solo and chorus, Damascus.
BPL, Lang Program Collection.
In April the “Full Chorus, Organ and Piano” performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Omitting some unimportant choruses) at Phillips Church. The Winch brothers were among the soloists and Mr. G. W. Sumner was the organist and Mr. H. G. Tucker the pianist. Among the major Boston papers, only the Traveler made mention of this concert before the event, and no paper reviewed it afterward.(Traveler (April 16, 1873): 2, GB)
It would seem that Lang conducted this group for only one season. The Spring 1874 concert included Bennett’s May Queen and Rice’s Morning, and it was conducted by Mr. G. W. Dudley with accompaniments by the pianist Miss Mary Underwood and the Beethoven Quintette. (Advertiser (April 9, 1874): 2, GB)
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): 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 (February 1872): 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, 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): 147) “At the Boston Museum, attractive comedies are nightly offered-Early in January, John Wilkes Booth commences an engagement.” (BMT (January 3, 1863): 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 violoncello 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): 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, 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, 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 Wikipedia.org). 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, 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, 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, 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 thorough, 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, 80)
Boston Oratorio Society. Gave Gounod’s Redemption in 1883 with pianoforte and organ accompaniment. (Boston Musical Year Book, Vol. 1 1883-84, 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, 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 the piano.”(Swan, Op. cit., 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 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 seconds. The solitary bassoonist was conspicuous by his singularity, not by his virtuosity.” (Swan, Op. cit., 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 the 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 afterward 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, 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, 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 a 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 the main curtain… The theatre covered 26,149 square feet of land and enjoyed a seating capacity of 3,140 as late as 1901.” (King, 45)
Boylston Club. Organized in 1873 (Ritter, 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, 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) 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, 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 a Quartet by Rubinstein.”(Dwight (June 28, 1873): 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, 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): 375) This concert was the first where a conductors name was as listed in the program. Jones lists his time as the conductor as from the autumn of 1872 until April 1875. (Jones, 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): 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) 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) 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): 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): 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 intention 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): 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., 252) Vol. 7 of the Musical Year Book reported: “The Boylston Club dissolved. The Boston Singers Society succeeded it.” (MYB 1889-90, 26)
The HMA has programs from sixteen seasons of this choir.
Boylston Hall. Corner of Boylston and Washington Streets (Elson, National, 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. It had been built in 1873 on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Clarendon Street, and was a “stone edifice in the form of a Greek Cross, with its imposing and massive tower.” (Bacon’s Dictionary, p. 68) H. H. Richardson was the architect and this was his first Romanesque church (he later designed Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston). The 176-foot tower which “strongly resembles some of the beautiful towers of Florence in its outline, but it is quite unique from the frieze of bas-reliefs boldly sculptured upon the four sides near the summit.” (Ibid) In fact it the tower was probably designed by a young draughtsman in Richardson’s office named Stanford White who was to go on to design the McKim Building of the Boston Public Library. The church was used for just over ten years before the declining size of the congregation, the burden of the mortgage used to build the Chruch and the effects of the economic downturn caused by the 1873 financial panic forced the church to be dissolved. The last services were in October of 1875. Mr. J. Mongomery Sears bought the building at public auction in 1881 to save it from being demolished, and in the winter of 1881-1882, The First Baptist Society bought it. Lang used the building for two concerts in 1881. The building stands today.
The friezes were designed by Federic Auguste Batholdi (who designed the Statue of Liberty) and were carved in situ by Italian stonecutters. “Featured on the friezes are images of notable personages of the 1800s including Abraham Lincoln, Henry W. Longfellow, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Bartholdi, Ralph W. Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and John LaFarge.” (First Baptist Church of Boston Restoration Project, accessed September 15, 2017) Both illustrations from the First Baptist Church of Boston Website.
Ryan, Recollections, plate opposite 38.
Brown, Allen Augustus. (1835-1916) 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, 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  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, 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 were 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, 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, 3) He joined the St. Botolph Club in June 1889. (E-mail from Roger Howlett) He was even known in Worcester: “Mr. Allen…is known as a gentleman who has for a number of years received a large salary in a quartet choir at one of the leading Boston churches.” (Worcester Spy (November 18,1880): 4,GB)
Handel and Haydn History, Vol. 2-No. 3, 50. c. 1910.
His translations for shorter choral works were well known, but in 1876 Brown translated from the German the complete romantic cantata Kalanus by Gade. This was done for one of the groups mentioned above, the Foster Club; “Mr. Allen A. Brown is associated with Mr. Geroge Foster in the direction of the club.” (Advertiser (May 17, 1876): 1, GB) Mr. George E. Whiting conducted and the solo parts were entrusted to Drs. Langmaid and Bullard and Mrs. Julia A. Howard, all well-known performers of that time.
A Mr. “Allen A. Brown” bought “one undivided half of estate corner of Berkeley and Cortes Streets” in 1871. (Journal (July 27, 1871): 2, GB) This could be the musical Brown or the Allen A. Brown who was a stationer and account book manufacturer at 48 Congress. (Commercial Bulletin (August 8, 1863): 3, GB) Today that lot is just adjacent to the Mass Pike Extension.
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 a 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, 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, 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, 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 disposed.” (Rogers, Memories, 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, 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 masterworks 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 203) Soon after he finished studying with von Bulow he was appointed to the Stern Conservatory in his native Berlin. Liszt’s mistress, 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) 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, 204)
von. Bulow “with attitude” in 1870. NYPL Digital File.
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, 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 someday. 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, 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, 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, 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, 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): 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 labeled 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, 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 bookcase, caused the audience to forget entirely that they had come to a Beethoven entertainment.” (von Bulow, American, 7) Hiller also mentioned his physical attributes: “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, 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, 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, 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, 25)
von Bulow could be rude. Frances records that during the Thursday January 13, 1876 recital he “was in a very irratable sate of mind and scolded Mr. Chickering and made faces right in the Concer-he was [frightfully?] cross-he did not like the piano and nothing went right.” (Diary Jan. entry) At the reception at the Lang’s after the concert. von Bulow’s mood had not changed. “He evn scolded Luther [the Lang’s man servant] when he passed thro- the ante-room. When the ladies went to speank to him he barely said good evening and began at Mr. Chickering and was so [violent?] that they all left the room.” (Ibid)
“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 fiancee, 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, 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): 70)
A. Johnson Carter Burrage. (b. January 20, 1816, d. April 6, 1881) 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. Johnson C’s father was Capt. Josiah Burrage (b. August 16, 1770, Lynn, MA and d. November 5, 1856, Leominster, MA), and his mother was Ruth Kilburn (they married November 29, 1838 at Groton, MA) (Ancestry Public Member Trees)
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 term at Groton Academy, he taught school the following winter. In the spring of 1835, his brothers found him a place in a wholesale/retail woolen goods store in Boston. He did so well, that after eighteen months the company he was given 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, 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 principals being A. J. Richardson, J. C. Burrage and O. B. Dorrance. (Post (April 10, 1846): 3, GB)
Johnson Carter Burrage. Family Tree: Lynn MacDonald.
J. C. Burrage’s 1869 Passport Application gave his height as 5 feet, 6 and 1/2 inches; eyes-light hazel; hair-dark brown; and face-full.
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 Personal 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. (Traveler (August 13, 1863): 2, GB) An ad in 1864 said: “J. C. Burrage & Co. are now opening a full assortment of Staple & Men’s Wear.” (March 25, 1864): 3, GB) 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. (Evening Post, NYC (October 10, 1865): 64, GB) 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, 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. (Traveler (April 28, 1870): 1, GB)
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): 2, GB) Burrage was the 56th. in the list was of Wards 3 and 5 with an income of $51, 990 which is $824,000 in today’s money. 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): 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): 1, GB)
The Boston fire of November 9 and 10, 1872 “destroyed about one half of the business portion of the city.” (Burrage G., 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., 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.” (Journal (November 13, 1872): 5, GB) 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 (November 26, 1872): 5, GB) 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): 2, reprinted from the Boston Journal, GB) 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): 2, GB)
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 financially through this connection. (Transcript (June 6, 1866): 4, GB)):
In 1873 illness forced him to retire, but he did so “possessing an ample competency.” (Ibid., 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) In his will he left a number of public bequests; three were at $1,000 and seven for $500. (Journal (May 3, 1881): 1)
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. His father was George Brigham born in Marlboro, MA and her mother was Betsey Morse, also born in Marlboro, MA. (Death Certificate).
In his will, he left $1,000 each to the American Unitarian Association, 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): 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., 181) Died October 15, 1934, aged 94. Attended Lawrence Academy in Groton as did her brother, Edward.
- a. Harry Allston Lang, b. Oct. 5, 1864; d. Aug. 7, 1866. (Burrage G., 189)
- b. Margaret Ruthven Lang, b. Nov. 27, 1867. (Ibid) (Burrage was published in 1877): d. May 30, 1972 (aged 104)
- 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 Carter Burrage, age 18. “b. June 13, 1841; m. Jan. 16, 1866, m. Julia Long Severance, [b. March 8, 1844 in Cleveland-d. March 4, 1915, Newton] of West Newton.” (Burrage, Geneol., 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 return, 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., 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  remains in that business.” (Op. cit., 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, 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., 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., 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, 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: (Father) Herbert Burrage, age 34 Born Mass.; (Mother)Ruby M. Burrage, age 31 Born Mass.; Children) (1)Francis J. Burrage, age 9 Born Mass. (b. 1871); (2) Harry L. Burrage, age 8 Born Mass. (b. 1872); (3) 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 address 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-Mary Tracey, 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): 27, GB) 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): 7)
- c. Alice Burrage. Born “Nov. 29, 1874.” (Burrage, G., 190) Married March 1897 in Ipswich.
- d. Eleanor, b. April 1881 (see Census of 1900 above)
Helen Burrage. Family Tree. Lynn MacDonald.
4. Helen Burrage, “b. July 10, 1848, Boston; m. Jan. 21, 1874, John W. Carter, of Boston, manufacturer and dealer in ink. [founder of the Carter Ink Company], d. Feb. 12, 1934,” (Burrage, G., 182). He was 30, she 25. His father, Richard B. Carter; his mother, Lucy L. (Info from Marriage Certificate) She died in 1934 at the age of 84. Soon after she was married, the couple moved to West Newton where for nearly 60 years she was active in civic and welfare organizations. She was survived by two married daughters and two sons, both of whom were involved in the family ink business. (Herald (February 13, 1934): 11, GB)
5. Emma Burrage, “b. Dec. 18, 1850.” (Burrage, G., 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) Died August 11, 1931.
6. Minnie [Marion] Burrage, “b. Jan. 18, 1853.” (Burrage, G., 182) Marion B. Morse was listed as a widow and living with her mother in the 1900 Census. She had married Charles Theodore Morse, (1853-1889) 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) She died on December 7, 1927. 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 Personal estate – $50,000. He married May 17, 1849, Elizabeth Amelia Smith, of Groton,” (Burrage, Gen., 171) who had been born in 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. Leominster, 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)
In 1866, 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. (Traveler (February 20, 1866): 3, GB) The 1885 Boston Directory lists his office as at 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, 176) It also lists 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, and her 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.
Servants: 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.”
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, 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 Personal estate-$1,700.
Mary C. Blanchard, age 72
Mrs. George Hamg (?) age 69
Anne W. Cotton, age 67. Value of Personal 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): 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): 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)
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): 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, 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, 121) Born on December 22, 1853 at Caracas, Venezuela where her father was the Minister of Finance and a member of one of the most distinguished Spanish families of that country, “from him she received her first musical instruction.” (Dwight (January 24, 1863): 343) “Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) was among her forebearers.” (Mann, 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 furor 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, 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 . All the critics accord to her a prominent niche in the temple of fame.” (BMT (January 3, 1863): 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, 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, 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): 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 opinion of one whose own trilling left whole audiences gasping with unbelief.” (Milinowshi, 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 difficultly 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, brilliant, 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, excessively. 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): 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, 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, 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, 45) Dwight’s review of this concert included these comments: “But how did charming little Miss Teresa play the difficult and classical Capriccio, and play for the first time with orchestra? Marvelously 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): 6 and 7)
“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, 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, 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, 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, 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 usually 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, 215) d’Albert was her third husband, and after one of her concerts one clever critic wrote: “Frau Carreno, yesterday played for the first time the second concerto of her third husband in the fourth Philharmonic Concert.” (Creativekeyboard.com, accessed June 27, 2011)
“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 equaled her as a virtuoso, and her playing was far more exciting than that of Clara Schumann.” (Methuen-Campbell, 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, 163) “It was Carreno who encouraged him [Petri] to develop 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) Claudio Arrau heard Carreno perform twice; once in Berlin when he was a boy and again when he was a teenager in New York. In Berlin he remembered her great physical freedom; he recalled watching the “muscles on her arms ripple as she exerted her vast powers.” Later, in New York, he saw he play with the Philharmonic Orchestra where she entered wearing a “marvelous” plumed hat. “Hat and all she burned up the stage.” (The Maud Powell Signature, Pamela Blevins, June 2008, 83)
Carreno c. 1900 (according to a source – probably later). Johnston Collection.
Elson, Arthur. Women’s Work in Music, facing 232
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, 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): 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, 43) One of his first posts was as conductor of the choir, the Arlington Club, which he took over in October 1882. (Herald (October 22, 1882): 8, GB) “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, 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, 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, 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 suffering 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)
CHELSEA CHORAL SOCIETY.
1869-John W. Tufts (Organist of King’s Chapel) 1870- 1871- 1872-Mr. L. H. Southard (Feb) Fall: 1872 through Winter: 1873-B. J. Lang Fall: 1873 through Winter: 1874-B. J. Lang Fall: 1874 (November) through Winter/Spring 1875-George L. Osgood. Fall: 1875 (October) through Winter/Spring 1876-George L. Osgood. See February 1876 Annual Meeting results at the end of this entry.
The Chelsea Choral Society took part in P. S. Gilmore’s 1869 Peace Jubilee; in fact, they were one of the first choirs to volunteer. John W. Tufts [organist of King’s Chapel 1875-1886] was listed as the conductor and there were 505 singers just from this one choir; 173 sopranos, 143 altos, 73 tenors, 116 basses. (Gilmore, History, 747) Another group that Lang was to be connected to, the Boston Choral Union, conductor J. C. P. Parker [organist of Trinity Church 1864-1891], provided 291 singers. Both of these groups were part of the 1872 “International” Peace Jubilee. (Traveler (February 21, 1872): 4, GB)
“…last concert this season on Thursday next, at City Hall. Rossini’s Stabat Mater...Also the duet and chorus “I Waited For the Lord” from Hymn of Praise...besides some miscellaneous music. The tickets have been taken rapidly and a full house is consequently expected.” (Traveler (May 11, 1870): 2. GB)
Within a month the choir was part of this Festival which was a follow-up to the Peace Jubilee of the previous year. A story about the various rehearsals for this event mentioned that Mr. J. W. Tufts was the regular conductor of the Chelsea Choral Society and Mr. Eugene Thayer conducted the Boston Choral Union [of South Boston]. (Journal (June 1, 1870): 4, GB) The Boston Chorus “was made up of from Boston singers called together by Dr. Tourjee at the time of the [Peace] Jubilee.” (Journal (June 4, 1870): 1. GB) Another story mentioned that “the different organizations are holding rehearsals nearly every night.” (Traveler (June 3, 1870): 4, GB) The repertoire was mainly selected from the “Peace Jubilee” pieces sung in 1869, “and it is believed that the thousand voices will have a greater effect in the Music Hall than ten times the number had in the Coliseum.” (Ibid) This concert was held instead of another 10,000 voice event-it was deemed too soon to hold another event of that size. However, in order to keep the “Jubilee” spirit alive, smaller festivals were organized all over New England. This was the first and Gilmore shared the conducting with the “best known local conductor,” Carl Zerrahn. The following week a similar festival was to be held in New Bedford; then in September, a festival in Lynn; then festivals in all areas which had sent singers to the 1869 “Peace Jubilee.” It was a brilliant plan on Gilmore’s part.
(Traveler (May 30, 1870): 3, GB)
The Society took part in “Four Grand Concerts” at the Music Hall featuring a “Grand Chorus of 1,000 Voices” given as part of the Annual Convention of the National Musical Congress in late June 1871. One concert combined just the Boston Chorus, Chelsea Choral Society and the Boston Choral Union together with “eminent Vocal and Instrumental soloists and the Great Organ.” (Herald (June 21, 1871): 1, GB) The final concert used the Chorus of 1,000 Voices performing Haydn’s Creation, conducted by Carl Zerrahn and P. S. Gilmore.
The “Academy of Music, Chelsea” was opened on February 14, 1872 with a “Grand Dedicatory Concert” presented by the Chelsea Choral Society and the Haydn Musical Association. There were four vocal soloists including Lang’s friend J. F. Winch, but the conductor listed was Mr. L. H. Southard. (Traveler (February 9, 1872): 3, GB) “The Programme is made up of miscellaneous selections, and selections from The Messiah.” (Traveler (February 14, 1872): 1. GB) In this notice, after Southard’s name is that of Mr. M. H. Russell; was he the conductor of the Haydn Musical Association? The remainder of that spring may have been spent preparing for “The International Peace Jubilee”; the Society was the 4th. choir to enroll. A total of ten-thousand singers were expected with three-thousand being the “united choruses of Boston.” (Traveler (February 21, 1872): 4, GB) In fact, interest was so high among choral groups throughout the country, that “two choruses of twenty thousand each could be readily organized!” (Ibid)
The December 1873 issue of the Folio recorded that Lang had been re-elected as conductor of the Chelsea Choral Society (Folio (December 1873): 164). therefore he had done the Fall:1872-Spring:1873 Season and was now to do the 1873-1874 Season.
“…began its rehearsals last night (Monday, November 9) with George L. Osgood for conductor and Miss Mary Greeley for pianist.” (Advertiser (November 10, 1874): 1. GB) The “first concert this season in the new Broadway Hall, the performance being mostly of a choral sort, and including, besides part-songs and glees, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer and Schumann’s Gypsy Life.” (Advertiser (March 17, 1875): 4. GB) “The audience was large…The society, numbering over two hundred voices, occupied the entire stage…The choruses, with scarcely an exception, were well rendered…Mr. Osgood, as conductor, has succeeded in bringing the society to a higher standard than they have ever reached before. ” (Advertiser (March 18, 1875): 1, GB)
“…commences its rehearsals this evening, under the direction of Mr. George L. Osgood.” (Traveler (October 18, 1875): 2, GB)
The February 1876 Annual Meeting of the chorus reported 258 members, gross income of $885.63, expenses of $775.28, and an ending balance in the treasury of $119.15. (Traveler (February 29, 1876): 1, GB)
Formed in 1865 by George Harvey Chickering (1830-1899), son of Jonas (1798-1853) who founded the piano company. Originally of eight singers, later it was fifteen. A room in the factory was designated as Chickering Hall and used for their concerts. The club was active from 1865 until 1876 when it disbanded. There is a manuscript collection at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Ma. made by the club’s secretary, Charles James Sprague, which details its meetings, rehearsals, concerts, socializing around the punch bowl, and street serenades under gaslamps. Programs and invitations are included together with a photo from 1870 with the signatures of the fifteen members. (AAS Collection description, 9 September 1975)
There were 378 seats on the main floor, and 84 in a small gallery at the west end. The Apollo Club’s hall was on the floor above, at the front of the building.
Clark’s Boston Blue Book 1888, 322.
Section from an 1896 map by Geo. W. Stadlty & Co. Tremont Street is in the lower section (where the word “Subway” is). The 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 had been at 246 Washington Street.
Tremont Street in the 1870’s. (BPL Fine Arts Dept, Historical Preservation Application-1980). The official address for Chickering Hall was 151 Tremont Street, but from the map above, the third building was assigned numbers 151 to 153. Many music teachers had studios in the first building to the left and used the address 149a. These included Lang’s piano pupils G. W. Sumner and John A. Preston and vocalists Wm. J. Winch, George L. Osgood and T. P. Currier. The organist at Trinity, J. C. D. Parker also taught here. At this time the Boston Conservatory occupied the upper floors of the next building, #154, which was the Mason and Hamlin Organ and Piano Company. #148-49 was rebuilt in 1912 as an eleven-story limestone Renaissance Revival office building and #150 had already been rebuilt in 1903 as a ten-story brick pier and spandrel Commercial Style “skyscraper” for the Oliver Ditson music publishers. (Ibid)
Jonas Chickering from “The Jonas Chickering Centennial Celebration,” 1924.
Ryan, Recollections, facing 110.
Engraved by Nathan Richardson-1854. HMA.
The present-day building as it looked c. 1904. Commemoration, 70a.
The present-day building as it looked in the 1960s(?)
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): 247), GB) 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.” [Corner of Avon Place and Washington 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].
334 Washington Street. Four shops on the ground floor of their building with the fourth one to the right belonging to Amos Cummings. The first shop to the right is a tailor. Commemoration, 46a.
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): 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 and 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):6 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): 281) On September 30th. the Handel and Haydn Society rehearsals “began in the beautiful hall of the new and spacious warerooms of Messrs. Chickering & Son, on the corner of Avon Place and Washington Street, made free to the Society with the characteristic liberality of the proprietors. (H & H History, Vol. 1, 195 and 196)
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 Boston Chickering Hall was located at 239 Huntington Avenue where the Commemoration of the 80th Birthday of the company was held on April 14, 1903. This was a “family affair” as only employees and their families were invited. On one side of the stage was the first piano made by Jonas Chickering and on the other side a modern Concert Grand. The concert began with five songs, one of which was by Margaret Ruthven Lang: My True Love Lies Asleep. Then Dr. Edward Everett Hale gave a Short Address (which goes on for nine pages in its printed form) telling what Boston was like eighty years ago. The finale used the two pianos with B. J. Lang playing The Battle of Prague by Kotzwara, a piece in favor when Chickering’s first piano was built in 1823, followed by a portion of La Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude by Liszt on the modern Concert Grand. (Chickering Commemoration, inter alia)
Chickering Hall, 239 Huntington Avenue, Commemoration, facing 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 refreshments 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.) 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. (Ibid) 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 7:30 PM. A short article mentioned, “an embarrassment 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) The May 7, 1882 meeting of 60 members was held at Young’s Hotel-“Mr. A. P. Schmidt [the music publisher] presided and Max Bruch [who was in Boston to conduct the Handel and Haydn Society in his Arminius which was part of the Society’s Sixth Triennial Festival, May 1 to May 6 (Perkins, History Vol. 1, 434)] was the official guest of the club.” (Herald (May 8, 1883): 4, GB) The December 17, 1884 meeting of 50 members “and their friends” was at the Quincy House. After dinner, the Master of the Evening, Arthur Foote presided over a program that was enjoyed by all present.” (Journal (December 18, 1884): 1, GB)The January 21, 1885 was organized by C. W. Allen, and all “had a notable time…Two real novelties were produced, one a string quartet by M. Klamayer based on a Bohemian Volkslieder, and the other a burlesque trio for three violins…Each number was given with the freedom and sparkle which easily belongs to the musician ‘off duty,’ and there were very pleasant surprises to those who listened.” If this were not enough, “an added enjoyment was the result of Leland T. Powers’s recitations.” (Ibid) The April 28, 1886 meeting was held at the Revere House (Herald (April 29, 1886): 5, GB) while an extra meeting of 60 members and friends was held the next month with Mr. G. W. Chadwick was the Master. (Herald (May 20, 1886): 8, GB) In the fall the November 1886 meeting was at Parker’s with Mr. O. B. Brown as master, [he was the current Chairman] and Parker’s was still being used a year later for a special meeting and then the Annual Meeting on October 19, 1887. Brown was elected Chairman, A. P. Schmidt as Secretary and C. W. Sanderson as Master for the first social. (Herald (October 20, 1887): 2, GB) This first social was held on Wednesday evening November 16 at the Tremont House. B. J. Lang and Professor Mahr from the New England Conservatory provided the entertainment. “The following Masters were elected for succeeding meetings-Messrs. B. J. Lang, A. W. Swan, John W. Tufts, Howard M. Tickner and S. B. Whiting; Auxiliary Masters-Arthur Schmidt and Charles F. Webber.” (Journal (November 17, 1887): 3, GB) The evening ended with members guessing the author of a four-line poem that appeared under a drawing, “A November Day,” done by the evening’s Master, Mr. Sanderson. Over a half dozen old English poets were suggested before someone caught on that Mr. Sanderson had produced the drawing… and the poetry. (Advertiser (November 23, 1887): 4, GB) The “entertainment” for the December 1887 meeting was a discussion on “Music in the public schools.” B. J. Lang, C. F. Webber and the Chair, Mr. Brown were the panel. There was such interest that “the discussion was continued until the next meeting.” (Advertiser (December 22, 1887): 4, GB) One of the topics covered was the need for a state Normal School of Music whose graduates would then provide a consistent level of traing and a unified ciriculum throughout the state’s schools. This had been proposed that year in the Massachusetts legislature, but defeated. (Advertiser (December 24, 1887): not shown, GB) The fourth meeting of the 1887-88 season was held on February 15, 1888, again at the Tremont House. The usual 60 members were present and E. C. Carrigan was the Master. After narrated scenes of Alaska “illustrated by stereopticon,” Capt. Jack Crawford, “The Poet Scout,” “convulsed the Clefs with imromptu verses.” After the meeting he entertained members until a late hour with stories of wild West legends. Mr. Louis C. Elson and Mr. Weld “earned frequent recalls” for their musical part of the evening. “The meeting was one of the most enjoyable ones of the season.” (Herald (February 16, 1888): 2, GB) Mr. A. W. Swan presided at the March meeting, again held at the Tremont House, and after dinner “there was music and singing by the members.” (Advertiser (March 22, 1888): 8, GB) The April meeting, with M. S. B. Whitney as Master entertained about 50 members at the Tremont House. (Herald (April 19, 1888): 8, GB) For this meeting a Glee Club sang, Mr. Ring “gave some selections on the piano and Mr. Deutsch played on the violin.” (Advertiser (April 19, 1888): 8, GB) I could find no later reports of the group.
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, 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): 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, 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:
- 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
- 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, 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-respectable, Puritan, and the excellent haven of neo-elderly ladies.” (McCord, 4) “William Apthorp’s writings appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Sunday Courier, the Boston Traveler, and the Boston Evening Transcript. Howard Ticknor wrote for the Boston Globe, and Boston Herald, and “whose erudition is seen daily in the columns of the Advertiser.” He was also an assistant editor of the Atlantic Monthly. Louis C. Elson edited the Musical Herald and appeared in the Boston Courier and Boston Advertiser. Philip Hale contributed 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, 112) (see the entry on Woolf) 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 Theodore Thomas in arranging the music for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. (BPL Clippings) Mr. C. L. Capen of the Home Journal (around 1881) “was a practical musician and composer” who had studied in Germany with Richter, “and has become conspicuous for fearsome honesty in journalism,” (Music and Drama-Supplement, 1881) Mr. E. H. Clement, the present editor of the Transcript, “has also been a musical critic of good culture and musical appreciation.”(Ibis) He preceded Apthorp. Mr. Clapp of the Advertiser, “has also been known as a musical critic of great natural taste and refinement.” (Ibid) He was followed in the mid-1800s by Elson.
Crombie Church. 7 Crombie Street, Salem, Ma. In the 1846 list of members, B. J.’s mother is listed. For a time B. J. was the organist of this church. The church was organized in 1852 and took over and remodeled a building that had been built as the Salem Theatre-it had closed in 1850. In recent history, the church had been part of the United Church of Christ (Congregational) denomination. It was closed as a church and remodeled as condos, but the original facade remains with its date stone of 1832 installed by the church as its opening.
Crombie Street Church, 7 Crombie Street, Salem.
E. Cutter, Jr., photo from the 50th. Anniversary Concert Program Book posted by Laurel O’Donnell. Cutter was the third conductor of this male voice choir from 1890-1894.
Cutter, Mr. E. Jr. Cutter followed George W. Sumner as conductor of the Springfield, MA Orpheus Club in the fall of 1890. For his first season, he included a larger orchestra than normal which allowed the Melusina by Hofmann to be performed; he probably heard it at an Apollo Club concert. Cutter served until the middle of 1894 when he resigned due to ill health. The choir had grown and was now “a star of the first magnitude in the musical world.” (Information about Springfield years taken from the 50th. Anniversary Concert Program-downloaded August 14, 2016) He was 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 was motivated “by the lack of public appreciation of organ recitals characteristic of that city.” (Elson, 274)
“He was born in Woburn in 1859, son of Ephraim and Rebecca (Smith) Cutter. He was married to Cora Fletcher Bradbury in 1879, but by 1910, was living on his own.” (Cindy Bates, e-mail August 10, 2016) From 1910 until 1918 he lived in a two-family house now called the Melone Homestead, 27 Crescent Street in Weston (Ibid, August 15, 2016) From July 1897 until October 1914 Cutter was the Director of Music for First Parish in Weston. He died April 6, 1923 in his 64th. year and one obit mentioned that he had conducted the Amphion Club of Melrose for 25 years and that at one point he had been organist at the Park Street Church [1909-1911, e-mail Jon Blumhofer, April 16, 2020] in Boston. (Globe, E-mail, Cindy Bates, April 11, 2020)
Cutter was an active composer with a number of published songs. A beginning search of the Inter-Library Loan Catalog shows that his song, Just As I Am I was included in A Collection of Sacred Songs for Medium Voice, published by Schmidt in 1906 and also in a High Voice collection published in 1915. Four of his songs from around 1891 are bound together, but they were first published separately-Song of Home (Longfellow) for tenor solo, mixed choir and orchestra, I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, Op. 8, No. 1., Jack Horner Op. 4, No. 2 and Beautiful Moonlight.
King’s Handbook of Boston, 1878, 144.
Daily Advertiser. Daily paper formed in 1813. Described in 1889 as a paper
Library of Congress, undated.
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, 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, 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, 65) After returning from her study in Munich in 1903, she joined the Cecilia “to develop her sensitivity to choral and instrumental writing and to become familiar with new compositional sounds and techniques.” (McCabe, 30) 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): 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): 4, GB) 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 the projected return date was Autumn 1898. At this point, he listed homes in Boston and Lenox, MA, and the descriptions 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): 24, GB) 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): 7, GB) 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 for 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): 2, GB) 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): 11, GB) He was described as “an accomplished musician, dilettante of fine arts, linguist, highly accomplished and well-read,” and he “drew about him 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): 2, GB) 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, viewed 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 visible 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, 168 and 169) Some he formed a viol consort 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, 170)
Downing Block. Numbers 173-175-177 on Essex Street Salem, originally built in 1858 as a dry-goods store for Thomas and John Downing. It is considered “the most outstanding structure of its period and type (Italian Revival) surviving in Salem.” (Tolles, Architecture, 80) The building was “beautifully restored” in 1973-74. There is a two-story building to its right, #179, which was built c. 1865 and also used by the Downings. The front facade of this building was restored in 1980-81. (Ibid)
Rogers, Story of Two Lives, facing 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., 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, 346) He arrived in America, New York City, in 1848 “and was an intimate friend of Robert Franz.” (Howard, 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., 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, 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, 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., 450) “Arthur Foote, who knew both men well, specifically called Dresel Dwight’s ”counselor.”” (Urrows, 345) Julia Ward Howe “noted that he [Dresel] was ”almost idolized by Mr. Dwight.” (Urrows, 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 unfavorably those who look to externals.” (Urrows, 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, 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, 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, 371) Possibly Dresel was upset by Apthorp’s byline: “Young man of the future.” (Ibid. 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, 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.” (Ibid, 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.” (Ibid, 371) But Arthur Foote spoke well of Dresel, calling him “A man of strong character and feeling” 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, 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 exquisite 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., 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 a 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, 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, 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): 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): 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 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): 223) On December 17th. she returned to her home state of Iowa and gave a recital in Burlington, a program 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 too heavy for Iowans at that time, and “up to the present, not successful.” (BMT (January 6, 1866): 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): 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., ) (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 possesses the right qualities, which, properly developed, will make her a pianist of high rank.” (BMT (May 4, 1867): 42) Dwight’s comment was that the Weber had been “Capitally played.” (Dwight (April 27, 1867): 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): 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): 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 (January 30, 1869): 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): 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): 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): 327)
From a painting by Caroline Cranch, in possession of the Harvard Musical Association.
Cooke, Dwight, page opposite frontispiece.
Ryan, Recollections, plate opposite 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, 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, 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, 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, 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 of 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 facetiously 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 hurry, and never could understand why anyone 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, 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, 52)
A “Complimentary Concert” for Dwight was given at the Music Hall on Thursday, December 9, 1880 at 2:30 PM 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)
The Harvard Musical Association provided Dwight a home for the rest of his life. In 1886 the Association moved to 11 Park Square where the janitor and his family took care of Dwight’s daily needs. Then in 1892, the Association bought the building at No. 1 West Cedar Street, which is still their headquarters today (2017). Dwight made the move to this new location, but enjoyed the location with “Chater’s headquarters for muffins [is just] around the corner.” In August 1893 he suffered an acute illness which led to his death on September 5, 1893. (Cooke, Dwight, 291-295)
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, 6)