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LANG”S PUPILS: CONCERT ARTISTS

G. A. Adams: Schumann-Piano Concerto. April 11, 1872 (BPL Lang Prog., 6277)

     Bach Concerto for Three Pianos. May 2, 1872 and September 24, 1872. (Dwight ??)

J. Warren Andrews. Mentioned in Hamilton C. MacDougall”s column “The Free Lance,” July 1943. (The Diapason, July 1, 1943, p. 13).

William F. Apthorp: “Barcarole” Bennett”s Concerto No. 4. April 18, 1872. (Dwight ???) At the 1000th. concert (1867-1882) presented by NEC on Wednesday May 27, 1882 at 2PM the Bach Concerto in C Major for Three Pianos was played by Lang, Otto Bendix, J. C. D. Parker with William F. Apthorp playing the orchestral reduction. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

Miss Mertena Louise Bancroft: On Tuesday evening May 6, 1902 Lang played the orchestral part for Miss Bancroft”s performance of the St. Saens Concerto No. 1 in D Major at the Small Chickering Hall, 153 Tremont Street. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8)

Miss Barton: Schumann-Piano Concerto. Dwight reported on the National College of Music”s first “Exhibition Concert of Pupils” held on April 15, 1873, “The solo singing all gave evidence of talent and of excellent instruction,” but “The most remarkable performance of the afternoon was that of the difficult Schumann Concerto by Miss Barton, a young pupil of Mr. Lang, whose rendering of the first movement was highly satisfactory…It was a most arduous undertaking for a young girl, and such a measure of success seems full of promise.” (Dwight, May 3, 1873, p. 14)

Arthur J. Bassett. From the Worcester area, he studied with Hiram G. Tucker in Boston and then with B. J. “whose recent lectures in Boston on ”piano touch” have caused such wide spread comment in the different music journals all over the country. Mr. Lang chose Mr. Bassett from a wide field of musicians to be the regular pianist of the ”Apollo Club,” a male chorus of great reputation and merit, second to none in the United States. He has also been prominently connected with the ”Cecilia,” also an organization of much renown.” (Worcester Daily Spy, September 4, 1894, p. 8, GenBank)

Miss Brainard, the popular lady teacher of St. Louis is in Boston, taking lessons of Mr. Z. W. Wheeler and Mr. B. J. Lang.” (Folio, February 1872)

Miss Jesse Cochrane: Beethoven-Sonata Opus 81. March 6, 1879. (Dwight March 29, 1879, p. 54)

     Cochrane had studied with Lang and then in Europe with von Bulow.

E. Cutter, Jr. see “People and Places.” As he was used by Lang as a choral accompanist in the 1890s, we can assume that he was a Lang pupil.

R. C. Dixey: Reinecke-Concertstuck, Op. 33. April 18, 1872. (Dwight ??)

Alice Dutton-see own entry under “People and Places.”

Miss Alma L. Faunce presented a recital at the Wesleyan Hall on Thursday evening May 18, 1883 playing the solo part of Beethoven”s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniment. (BPL Prog., Vol. 4) On March 8, 1887 she played Chopin”s Concerto in E Minor Op. 11 at Lang”s “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert (Second of the series).” She was now married-Mrs. Alma Faunce Smith. (BPL Prog., Vol. 5)

Harry Fay: Sterndale Bennett-Allegro Giojozo. (Globe, April 2, 1890, p.2)The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall.  Mr. Harry Fay played Chopin”s Andante Spianato and Polonaise, Opus 22. A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30PM.  A third concert in the “Fourth Series” was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30PM with the Allegro Giojoso in E Major Opus 22 by Sterndale Bennett played by Mr. Harry Fay. (6639)

 Miss Annie Fisher played Mendelssohn”s Concerto in D Minor, No. 2 on Tuesday March 22, 1887 at Lang”s Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert at Chickering Hall 2:30PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) The Herald noted only that her performance “showed evidence of a very conscientious study of the score.”  (Herald, March 23, 1887, p. 3, GenBank)

Arthur Foote: The fourth concert of the 1888 series was held on April 24 and included Hiller”s Concerto Opus 69 in F Sharp Minor played by Foote. (6636) A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30PM.  The second concert on Tuesday March 25, 1890 included Mozart”s Concerto No. 3 in D Minor played by Mr. Arthur Foote. (6639)

Mr. S. H. Gerrish. Raff Concerto, Op. 135 on March 1, 1887 first of concert in a series of four “Concerto Concerts.”

Miss Ann Gilbreth: Mozart-Concerrto for Three Pianos. April 2, 1890. (Globe, April 2, 1890, p. 2)  A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30PM with the Mozart Concerto No. 7 in F Major for three pianofortes being played by Miss Ann Gilbreth, Mr. G. W. Tucker and Mr. Ethelbert Nevin. (6639)

Two years before MacDowell arrived in Boston, on January 18, 1886, Lang played the orchestra part of MacDowell”s Piano Concerto in A Minor Opus 15 with his student, Mr. S. H. Gerrish as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4. On Tuesday afternoon March 1, 1887 2:30PM at Chickering Hall Lang conducted the first of a series of “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts,” and Mr. S. H. Gerrish soloed in Raff”s Concerto Opus 185: Andante-Allegro.

Mr. Hiram Hall was one of two organists at Cecilia concert on March 28, 1889 of the Dvorak Stabat Mater.

Miss Laura Hawkins: On February 26, 1904 at 8:15PM at Potter Hall, 177 Huntington Avenue, Lang played the orchestral reduction of the St. Saens Concerto No. 5 with Miss Hawkins as the soloist. This was billed as a first performance. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8) Johnson (First Perf. p. 303) has the Boston premier given by Madeline Schiller with the Thomas Orchestra on January 26, 1876 at the Boston Music Hall.

On Tuesday April 27, 1897 3:30PM Lang played the orchestral part for Beethoven”s Concerto Opus 58 at Chickering Hall with Edward B[urlingame] Hill as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 7) Hill had graduated from Harvard in 1894, spent the next two years studying piano in New York City with Arthur Whiting, and then spent part of 1898 in Paris studying composition with Widor. Based on this Boston appearance, he seems to have spent 1897-98 in Boston.(Kaufman-Am. Grove, Vol. 2, p. 385) Hill was a guest at Lang”s summer home in New Boston, New Hampshire——————————

Mrs. J. M. Hernandez: On March 31, 1881 Lang played the orchestral part of Beethoven”s Piano Concerto No. 4 Hernandez as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

Mr. Alfred Hollins: During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall. The third concert on April 17 included Beethoven”s Concerto No. 5 Opus 73 in E Flat Major (Emperor) Hollins. (Lang Prog., 6637)  Another connection between Lang and Hollins was that Hollins had studied piano with Hans von Bulow in Berlin. “While in Germany Hollins gave a series of concerts – at one time playing three concerti in the one evening – The Liszt Eb, the Schumann A minor and the Emperor.” (Wikipedia article 9/16/2010)

Helen Hood. Born in Chelsea, MA, “she pursued her piano studies under Benjamin J. Lang, and subsequently under Moszkowski in Berlin. Her teacher of composition was George W. Chadwick. (Elson, p. 306) Her career emphasis was composition.

On Monday evening April 23, 1883 Lang played the orchestra part of Schumann”s Piano Concerto at the Chickering Hall, 156 Tremont Street with Mr. S. W. Jamieson as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) Two years later, on March 4, 1885, Lang opened a concert of Jamieson”s with the Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D Minor. (Ibid) Then on Friday March 5, 1886 Lang played the orchestra part for Jamieson”s performance of Chopin ”s Concerto Opus 11.(Ibid) Jamieson was one of the soloists in Lang”s “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” held on March 8, 1887 playing Weber”s Concertstuck in F Minor Opus 78. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) Back in 1881 he was engaged to be the pianist “for the season of Mortimer”s Mysteries” which began at the Boston Museum on June 6. In the announcement it was mentioned that he was a pupilof Mr. B. J. Lang. (Journal, May 25, 1881, p. 4, GB)

Miss Clara F. Joy performed Chopin”s piano solos Andante Spianato and Polonaise at a concert given by the Orchestral Union on April 10, 1867. Dwight wrote that she played “in a really artistic manner, at least for a pupil.” (Dwight, April 13, 1867, p. 15). This was Miss Joy”s debut, and the Journal felt that she played “with most excellent effect. To an easy and gracefull execution she unites power and distinctness, together with an intelligent rendering which marks the true artist. Her performance made a spendid impression and was greatly applauded.” (Journal, April 11, 1867, p. 4, GenBank) Miss Joy was one of 13 artists taking part at Mr. A. P. Peck”s ANNUAL BENEFIT CONCERT on Saturday evening, May 25, 1867 at the Music Hall. In the ad for this concert, she is listed as “a pupil of Mr. B. J. Lang.” (Traveler, May 25, 1867, p. 3. GenBank)

Frederick H. Lewis (Lang pupil?) played the Schumann Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54 with the HMA Orchestra in late January, 1881. (Program, Foote Scrapbooks) Elson (History Am.) states that he studied with J. C. D. Parker (p. 230), and Mathews (100 Years) repeats this. (p. 700)

Hamilton C. MacDougall studied for two seasons and acted as accompanist for the Apollo Club for one season. (The Diapson, July 1, 1943, p. 13)

Mrs. Elizabeth May Marsh On Saturday evening April 25, 1885 at 8PM Lang played the orchestral reduction to Beethoven”s Piano Concerto No. 3 Opus 37 at Chickering Hall with Marsh as the soloist. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 4). On Tuesday afternoon March 1, 1887 2:30PM at Chickering Hall Lang conducted the first of a series of “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts,” Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Chopin”s Krakowiak. Mrs. E. M. Marsh of Boston was the dedicatee of Chadwick”s Drie Walzer, published in 1890, the third of which is based on a “Motive by B. J. L.” The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall. On April 3 Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Mozart”s Concerto No. 4 in B Flat major. Mrs. Marsh appeared at the April 30, 1890 concert of the Apollo Club as the accompanist for the assisting artist, the violinist Miss Maud Powell. (Program-Johnston Collection) A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall was begun on March 10 [1890] at 2:30PM. Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Mendelssohn”s Capriccio Brillant in B Major Opus 22. (6639) In 1895 Mrs. Marsh presented two concerts at Chickering Hall that were “the most brilliant of similar affairs this season…Mrs. Marsh, who is one of Mr. Lang”s most promising pupils [after ten years of instruction, she should be] was very attractive in black and green silk, with [a] broad collar of whilte lace…In the large and fashionable audience were noticed…Mr. and Mrs. B. J. Lang,” etc., etc. (Herald, December 15, 1895, p. 9, GenBank)

Miss Louise May played Beethoven”s Concerto No. 3 on May 9, 1889 at Apollo Hall with Lang playing the orchestra part. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30PM.  The second concert on Tuesday March 25, 1890 included Beethoven”s Concerto No. 3 in C Minor Opus 37 (Allego and Cadenza) played by Miss Louise May. (6639)

 Arthur D. Mayo was the soloist in Mendelssohn”s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor Opus 40 with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniment on Friday April 29, 1887 at 8PM at Chickering Hall. Mayo was again the soloist on Wednesday evening December 10, 1890 playing Mozart”s Concerto in D Minor, again with Lang providing the orchestra accompaniment. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) He repeated the Mendelssohn in 1890-Mendelssohn-Concerto No. 2. (Globe, April 2, 1890, p. 2) A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30PM.  A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30PM with  Mendelssohn”s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor Opus 40 played by Mayo (6639)

For a concert with Marion Arletta Mitchell as the soloist, Lang played the orchestral reduction of Weber”s Concert-stuck Opus 79 on Wednesday, January 28, 1903. The soloist had opened the program with the Rhapsody in E Minor by Margaret Ruthven Lang. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8)

Miss Marion Ward Mosher: On Wednesday evening April 16, 1879 Lang played the orchestral reduction for Mendelssohn”s Piano Concerto in G Opus 25 Minor with Mosher as the soloist in a concert she presented in Providence, R. I. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2) The fourth concert of the 1888 series was held on April 24 and included the Rhapsodie d”Auvergne Opus 73 by St. Saens played by Miss Marian [or Marion] Mosher. (6636)

Ethelbert Nevin: Mozart-Concerto for Three Pianos. April 2, 1890. (Globe, April 2, 1890, p. 2) A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30PM with the Mozart Concerto No. 7 in F Major for three pianofortes being played by Miss Ann Gilbreth, Mr. G. W. Tucker and Mr. Ethelbert Nevin. (6639)

On Thursday April 17, 1879 Lang played the orchestral part for Lottie A. Pearson”s performance of Schumann”s Piano Concerto Opus 54 in A Minor at the Apollo Hall, 151 Tremont Street. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2)

Joshua Phippen: During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall. The second program on April 10 included  Mr. Joshua Phippen playing St. Saens Concerto in D Minor Opus 17 Chopin. (Lang Prog., 6635) Also Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, March 1890 (Hale Crit., Vol. 1)A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall was begun on March 10 [1890] at 2:30PM. Mr. Joshua Phippen played Chopin”s Concerto No. 2 in F Minor Opus 22. (6639)

Miss Caroline L. Pond: On Wednesday evening April 22, 1885 Lang played the orchestra part of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 Opus 58 Pond as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall. The third concert on April 17 was Brassin”s Concerto in C Major played by Miss Caroline Pond. (Lang Prog., 6637)

Miss Fanny Richter: Bach-Italian Concerto, May 11, 1893. (Globe, May 12, 1893, p. 8)

The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall,  The second program on April 10 included Madame Eugenie de Roode playing Rubinstein”s Concerto No. 4 in D Minor. (Lang Prog., 6635)

Miss Mary H. Russell was the soloist in the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 Opus 19 with Lang playing the orchestra part on Wednesday evening April 1, 1885. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4)

Miss Grace Sampson: Mozart-Sonata in D for Two Pianos.April 22 and 29, 1875. (Dwight May 1, 1875, p. 15      and May 29, 1875, p. 30). At a concert at the Essex Institute in Salem on Monday evening January 8, 1877, Lang and Grace Simpson played the Schumann Variations for Two Pianos Opus 46 to open the concert and the St. Saens Concerto in G Opus 22 to close. In the middle they played the Mozart Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos. A vocalist was also part of the concert. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 2) [Simpson or Sampson]

Mrs. Chas. W. Scott listed herself as a Lang pupil. (Springfield Republican, June 17, 1902, p. 11, GenBank)

Miss May Shepard played the solo part of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 on Friday evening May 27, 1887 8PM with Lang playing the orchestral accompaniment. This concert was at Chickering Hall. (BPL Prog., Vol. 5)

Mr. G. W. Steele: played orchestral reduction of a Hummel Piano Concerto with Lang as soloist in Salem, May 1863. (Dwight, May 16, 1863, p. 32). Steele had been a student at Oberlin College, and after a period of German study and his time in Boston, he returned there to be one of the first piano instructors (c. 1865). (Mathews, 100 Years, p. 517)

Miss Minnie A. Stowell:  A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30PM.  A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30PM with Schumann”s Concerto in A Minor played by Miss Minnie A. Stowell. (BPL Lang Prog., 6641)(Globe, April 2, 1890, p. 2)

G. W. Sumner: Bach-Concerto for Three Pianos. May 2, 1872 and September 24, 1872. (Dwight ??)

During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall. The second program on April 10 included , Mr. G. W. Sumner playing Introduction and Allegro Opus 49 by Godard. (Lang Prog., 6635)

Miss Georgie T. Towne advertised in the Beverly MA Saturday Morning Citizen that she was a teacher of Piano and Singing, and among her three references was B. J. Lang. She charged $12 for 24 lessons. This would have made her an early pupil. (Saturday Morning Citizen, April 1, 1865, p. 1, GenBank)

Mr. Hiram G. Tucker: Beethoven-Concerto No. 5. April 25, 1873. (BPL Lang Prog., 6280)

     Bach-Concerto for Three Pianos. May 2, 1872 and September 24, 1872. (Dwight ??)

     April 1, 1881 Tucker presented a concert at Chickering Hall, 156 Tremont Street with Mrs. E. Humphrey Allen as the assisting artist-she sang four songs. Tickets were one dollar from A. P. Schmidt at 146 Tremont Street. He played seven pieces, beginninng with the Schubert Sonata in D Major and ending with the Bach-St. Saens Largo and the Rubinstein Etude in C Major. (Program from Foote Scrapbooks)

     On March 31 and April 7, 1884 Tucker gave two recitals at 152 Tremont Street with Wulf Fries, Edward Schorman and De Ribas as the assiting artists. All the works were chamber pieces except for two Schubert Piano Sonatas: Sonata in A Major, Op. 120 in the first program and Sonata In A Minor, Op. 143 in the second. (Program Foote Scrapbooks)

     During April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday        afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall. The third concert on April 17 included Bronsart”s Concerto in F Sharp Minor played by Mr. H. G. Tucker. (Lang Prog., 6637)

     Sgambati-Concerto in G Minor, Opus 15, March 1890 (Hale crit, Vol. 1) at a “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall was begun on March 10 [1890] at 2:30PM.

      A third concert in the “Fourth Series” [or Third Series] was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1, 1890 at 2:30PM with the Mozart Concerto No. 7 in F Major for three pianofortes being played by Miss Ann Gilbreth, Mr. G. W. Tucker and Mr. Ethelbert Nevin. (6639) (Globe, April 2, 1890, p.2)

Mary B. Webster: (Fox, Papers, p. 4) On Tuesday March 22, 1887 Miss Mary Webster playing Schumann”s Concerto in A Minor Opus 54 at Lang”s Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert at Chickering Hall 2:30PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) (Lang Prog., 6624) “She displayed a full appreciation of its many beauties, and her clear limpid touch and the musical feeling shown in her playing gave just the effect demanded for an enjoyable perfromance of this composition.” (Herlad, March 23, 1887, p. 3, GenBank)

James T. Whelen: On Tuesday afternoon March 1, 1887 2:30PM at Chickering Hall Lang conducted the first of a series of “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts.” For this concert Whelan played Beethoven”s Concerto No. 4, Opus 58 in G major. The fourth concert of the 1888 series was held on April 24 and included Grieg”s Concerto Opus 16 in A Minor played by Whelan. (6636) Whelen presented a concert at Chickering Hall on March 12, 1894 where he was the soloist in Beethoven”s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Lang providing the orchestra part. Whelen had played this same work in 1887 at one of Lang”s “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts.” (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 6)

Whelpley: Dvorak-Concerto No. 2 in B Minor, March 1890 (Hale Crit., Vol. 1) On Tuesday March 22, 1887 Chopin”s Grand Fantasie Opus 13 “Sur des airs Polonais” was played by Mr. B. L. Whelpley at Lang”s Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert at Chickering Hall 2:30PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5)(Lang Prog., 6624)Mr. B. L. Whelpley played the Grand Fantasie on Polish Airs, Op. 13 by Chopin. It was “the most notable number of the afternoon, the brilliant interpretation of the pianoforte score creating quite a sensation, and winning for the pianist an entusiatic recognition of his thoroughly good artistic work.” (Herald, March 23, 1887, p. 3, GenBank) The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall,  Mr. B. L. Whelpley played MacDowell”s Concerto in A Minor Opus 15. (Lang Prog., 34) A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB, 1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall at 2:30PM.  The second concert on Tuesday March 25, 1890 included Dvorak”s Concerto No. 2 in G Minor Opus 33 played by Mr. B. L. Whelpley.

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“Had Taught 5000 Pupils” was part of the headline on the front page of the Boston Globe of April 5, 1909.

“Mr. Lang”s reputation as a teacher is national, and perhaps few instructors have so many pupils before the public today in concert work as he. He began with full classes and his days are always crowded. When a mere boy in Salem, his father being taken suddenly ill, young Lang was at a moment”s notice obligued to take so many pupils that every day and every hour were devoted to teaching.” (Globe, December 22, 1907, p. ??)

“A teacher of incredible activity (when I knew him he was giving regularly lessons from 8.30 to 6).” (Foote, Auto., p. 45)

Lang “considered teaching to be one of the great professions.” (Cecilia Program, December 2, 1909)

The singer Clara Kathleen Rogers (Clara Doria) wrote that Lang”s “had an unusually large following of devoted disciples… [His] pupils, one and all, adored him, and only awaited a sign from him to render willing service. One sometimes wondered what was the secret of his magnetism. I fancy, however, that it lay largely in the subtle, inferential admiration which his manner conveyed. (Rogers, TWO LIVES, p. 146 and 147)

As a piano teacher Lang was very well regarded. “His class of private pupils upon the pianoforte belongs to the very elite of Boston, and is as distinguished for talent as for style-a combination peculiarly Bostonian.” (Mathews p. 429) Another source from c.1886 said that “He is highly esteemed as a teacher, and of his many pupils over sixty are concert soloists. Though not a virtuoso in the strictest sense of the word, he is a fine player, and above all a thoroughly educated and sound musician.” (Jones) Fox states that his “pedagogical dedication was indeed remarkable, since he taught as many as fourteen lessons daily and claimed to have instructed over two hundred concert pianists.” (Fox, Papers, p. 4) His obituary in the Globe was headlined: “B. J. Lang Dies of Pneumonia-Half a Century One of Boston’s Foremost Musicians-Noted as Conductor and Organist and Had Taught 5,000 Pupils.” (Globe, Apr. 5, 1909, p. 1) The article listed among his most well known pupils, “Arthur Foote, J. A. Preston, H. G. Tucker, and the late G. W. Sumner. The building at 6 Newbury St. where he had his studio, is entirely peopled with his former students.” (Ibid) The musical press even reported on his more important pupils: “Miss Brainard, the popular lady teacher of St. Louis is in Boston, taking lessons of Mr. Z. W. Wheeler and Mr. B. J. Lang.” (Folio, February 1872)

       He had quickly established himself among his peers, for in late December 1860 his name was used in an ad for the “New Modern School for the Piano-Forte” published by the Boston firm of Russell & Tolman. “We give the names of a few among the many hundreds of artists and professors of music who have given the highest testimonials of the intrinsic merits of the ”Modern School.”” Other names listed included B. J”s teacher, Francis G. Hill; S. Thalberg; Alfred Jaell; Lowell Mason; J. C. D. Parker; Otto Dresel; and thirty-three others. (BMT, December 15, 1860, p. 355) Russell & Tolman were also the publishers of the magazine, the “Boston Musical Times.” Each issue contained at least one page of small two or three line “Teacher Cards.” Francis G. Hill, J. C. D. Parker, Hugo Leonard, Otto Dresel, and John K. Paine all had ads in the issues of 1862-but B. J. Lang never seems to have advertised in this publication. However, in the January 1872 issue of the Folio under the section called “Cards,” is the listing: “B. J. Lang, 635 Washington Street (sept tf).” No description-just the name!

       Early in his teaching career he was connected with the “National College of Music” which had been established by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club with its clarinetist, Thomas Ryan as the Director in September of 1872. But, at the same time it was printed that: “Mr. B. J. Lang, the eminent musician, says: ”I am happy to recommend the New England Conservatory Method for the Piano-forte.” This popular work is published by Messrs. G. D. Russell & Company, 126 Tremont St., Boston, who will freely send full particulars to any address.” (Dexter Smith”s, November 1872, p. 255) Dwight had announced in his June 15, 1872 issue that, “The Mendelssohn Quintette, with Mr. B. J. Lang, and other good musicians and teachers, will open in September, here in Boston a new ”National College of Music.””The article mentioned that the Directors would be present “at their rooms in Tremont Temple, every day, from 11 to 1 o”clock, to answer inquires.”(Dwight, June 15, 1872, p. 255) “The assistant piano teachers were all brilliant young men whom Lang had taught and developed, namely: Mr. Geo. W. Sumner, well known and beloved organist for seventeen years at the Arlington Street Church, Mr. Hiram Tucker, Mr. W. F. Apthorp, Mr. Dixie, and Mr. J. Q. Adams. All these men would naturally teach according to the Lang method, and that certainly was a commendable system…Our plans were all right, and we started off with goodly numbers, -not far from two hundred pupils. In October, just one month later, the great Boston fire occurred; and it made everybody poor. The majority of the pupils were from the city or neighborhood, and over one half of them were forced to notify us that they could not continue their attendance another term. The fire really killed our school. We worried along to the end of the year, met our losses as best we could, and returned to our old system of traveling.” (Ryan, pp. 172 and 173)   Dwight reported on the school’s first “Exhibition Concert of Pupils” held on April 15, 1873, “The solo singing all gave evidence of talent and of excellent instruction,” but “The most remarkable performance of the afternoon was that of the difficult Schumann Concerto by Miss Barton, a young pupil of Mr. Lang, whose rendering of the first movement was highly satisfactory…It was a most arduous undertaking for a young girl, and such a measure of success seems full of promise.” (Dwight, May 3, 1873, p. 14)

       Lang”s assoociation with the National School of Music lasted just the one year of its existence. In the summer of 1873, he published a notice to his students saying that he was resuming his “connection with New England Conservatory of Music (Music Hall), and that all class teaching he may do in the future, will be in that institution. ” He then reccommended that school to his students as he had been connected “with the school during its entire existence, excepting last year.” [i.e. 1872-1873 when he taught at the National School of Music] (BPL, Lang Prog., Vol. 1)

       His best-known pupils were Arthur Foote, Ethelbert Nevin (a pupil for two years: Hughes-Contemporary American Composers), William F. Apthorp, and own children, Margaret and Malcolm. Arthur Foote had graduated from Harvard in 1874 and decided that during the summer he would study the organ with Lang. This was not the first time that Foote and Lang had met as Foote, at age fourteen, had been taken by his teacher, Miss Fanny Paine (herself a Lang pupil) to play for Lang.” Foote had begun his piano strudies with Miss Paine two years before when he was twelve. (Cipolla, Am. Nat. Bio, Vol 13, p. 190) After performing the Chopin A-flat Ballade to her and my satisfaction, I remember Lang asking what those curved lines (slurs) above the notes meant. Lang sent me to Stephen A. Emery at the New England Conservatory for harmony lessons.” (Foote-Auto., p. 21) Foote had heard Lang play in his hometown of Salem, and as a result his favorite pieces were “the Mendelssohn Songs Without Words, of which Lang had played for the first time the posthumous work (No. 7) in a concert at Salem a little while before [1869].” (Foote, Auto., p. 22)

       It also was Lang who persuaded Foote to continue in music and take his A.M. at Harvard, the first one given at Harvard in the area of music. In an article in the Musical Quarterly of January 1937 entitled “A Bostonian Remembers” Foote said “Meanwhile, in the summer of 1874, having a desire to know something of the organ, I took some lessons with Lang. This was the turning point in my life, for he spoke with such encouragement of the probability of success as a professional musician that I began serious work at the piano. Lang was an exceptionally fine organist, a pianist to whom Boston owed most of the first performances of the newer piano concertos and chamber music. He also conducted the Apollo Club and Cecelia Society. While my work at the piano was progressing without definite aim, my organ lessons led to the very practical result of my engagement as organist at the First (Unitarian) Church in Boston, in 1878; I occupied that post until 1910, for thirty-two years.”(p. 39) This had not been the original plan-“When Foote graduated from college in June 1874, he returned to Salem.He considered teaching Latin and playing the organ at St. Mark”s School in Southboro for a year, then perhaps entering law school.He also debated joining his father at the Salem Gazette.” (Tara, p. 41) In Foote”s Autobiography he wrote: “Lang was a musician of great gifts and very versatile; a composer of originality, who would have been considered one of the leading men had he published, and a teacher of incredible activity (when I knew him he was giving regularly lessons from 8:30 to 6).” (Foote, Auto., p. 45)

       Earlier, in 1909 Foote remembered Lang thus: “It was in the summer of 1874 (just after graduating at Harvard) that began for me a long and close companionship with B.J. Lang. That summer, as sometimes in subsequent years, he came into town once or twice a week, and gave a few lessons. We used to meet for organ lessons at Dr. Hale’s church on Union Park Street…When any of us younger people went to him with our manuscripts, we never came away without keen and sympathetic criticism that had to be heeded. He had a remarkable feeling for perfection of detail (the absence of which is the great defect of most of our music here); for him there were no trifles, for they make perfection…

       In his lessons, it was not only the music and the playing, but other things quite as important, that we got. He was willing to take the trouble and the risk of giving advice and direction about outside things: about manners, habits, business questions…so that we felt the friend as well as the teacher…He was by nature an optimist; and he taught us…that encouragement is better than fault-finding, and that achievement comes partly from a belief that the thing can be done”(pp. 41-42 of Tawas “Arthur Foote: A Musician in the Frame of Time and Place) Tara further states -“”Lang made a far stronger impression on Foote than Paine did.His contribution to Foote”s technical training in keyboard performance were limited, but he gave his student invaluable advice on starting and strengthening his career.Lang introduced him to influential cultural leaders, helped him obtain church positions, and gave him exposure as a performer in public concerts.The older man”s support was crucial when Foote was first gaining his sea legs in the musical world. (Tara, p. 42)

       Another of B. J.’s students “Mary P. Webster, confirms Foote’s observation that Lang was an insightful, devoted teacher, offering a mode of study individually tailored to the state of intellectual and musical development of each student.” (Fox, Papers, p. 4)                                        Arthur Foote

From Elson, Arthur Foote, “History of American Music ”p. 188,1904 and Hughes “Contemporary American Composers” p. 221, 1900.

       “In going to Lang in 1874 for organ lessons, I had no intension of more than just that. Little did I think that I was to find in them later the happiest of pursuits. But as I grew more interested that summer, and was much encouraged as to a musical career by Lang, I changed my plans entirely in October, and decided to begin piano lessons with Lang seriously.”

       Lang helped his students in many ways.” Lang had such vogue and influence as to be able to help his pupils by recommending them as teachers, so that I was soon busy with lessons. (Foote-Auto,. P. 43) Foote’s first organ position also came through his teacher: “ In 1876, through Lang (whose influence in the way of putting pupils ahead, having then play in public, and in finding them church positions, etc., was remarkable, and today could not be duplicated, even by as clever a person as he), I got the organ position at the Church of the Disciples, then on Warren Avenue.” (Foote-Auto., p. 35)

       From July 13 until August 10, 1875, Lang taught piano at the “New England Normal Musical Institute” in East Greenwich, R. I. Lang, J. C. D. Parker (Boston University) and H. G. Tucker (NEC) joined the local staff instructor, Mr. J. Hastings. Carl Zerrahn and George L. Osgood taught voice. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol 1)

       In 1876 a new piano teacher in Boston who had most recently taught at Oberlin College and before that at Boston Conservatory, announced his fee for one hour lessons as $30 for twenty lessons (thus earning $1.50 per hour) or $20 for twenty half-hour lessons (thus earning a better rate of $2 per hour). (BPL, Music Hall Prog., Vol. 3) Eugene Thayer, in 1878 was offering private lessons at $40 to $60 per term while a Mrs. J. S. Bailey”s rates were $18 for 24 lessons. (Ditson, Musical record, Fall 1878)

       In a November 1880 issue of Dwight”s “Journal” Lang has a small ad stating that he was available “for piano-forte lessons, concert engagements, etc.,” and that he can be contacted through “Messrs. Chickering & Sons, Boston, Mass.” Another ad placed by Miss Helen D. Orvis, “Teacher of Pianoforte,” lists as references: “B. J. Lang, J. S. Dwight.” Other ads reveal that a number of teachers taught at 179A Tremont Street, the Lawrence Building: George L. Osgood, G. W. Chadwick, J. C. D. Parker, John A. Preston, T. P. Currier, G. W. Sumner, and William J. Winch, while nearby was William H. Sherwood at 157 Tremont, Eugene Thayer at 146 Tremont near West Street, and H. L. Whitney at 125 Tremont Street in Room 8, over Russell”s Music Store. C. L. Capen was at 156 Tremont Street at Messrs. Chickering & Sons which would seem to be where Lang taught at this time. (Dwight, November 29, 1880, p. iii)

       About a month after Lang’s death in 1909, Foote elaborated on the Sunday Vesper services at King’s Chapel.” Many will remember the beautiful Sunday evenings at King’s Chapel; he would play in the dark church for an hour or so, before each piece leaning over the edge of the choir and telling us what it was to be. In those evenings was seen a characteristic trait, -the keen perception of how surroundings and conditions affect our enjoyment of music. The dark church, with only a spot of light at the organ desk, the absolute quiet, the churchly feeling, all helped to create a mental picture that made the listener doubly sensitive. A curious manifestation of this feeling for fitness was shown in his various experiments in programmes that should not rattle, or rustle, or require leaves should be turned over at inopportune times (Boston Transcript, May 1, 1909).Another source describes these recitals as follows: “Mr. Lang has provided many musical treats of his own motion for the musical people of Boston.Among the chiefs of these are the Sunday evening organ recitals at the Chapel.Here his dusky neophyte inspects your card of invitation at the door, and you enter the dim interior, only lit by the veiled burners of the organ-loft, the pews peopled with shadowy, silent forms which might be Dr. Caner, Vassal, and the other departed worthies who once filled them in the flesh.You find your way to some quiet corner and become one of the ghostly, expectant company.All at once the air quivers and throbs with the opening of a mighty fugue of the greatest contrapuntal master, and, whether in the body or out of the body you cannot tell, you are swept up into the heavens, passing from circle to circle at the will of one and another of the Immortals as they appeal or soothe or thrill through the commanding interpretation of those skilful fingers.Such an hour is scarcely possible elsewhere on this side of the Atlantic.The hearers melt away in the gloom when it is over, and as they pass into familiar Sunday evening streets of loiterers and shopgirls, smug churchgoers and holiday-makers, they seem to themselves ghosts again in a sordid, unfamiliar world.” (Gould Collection)

Another Lang pupil added his recollections. “At King”s Chapel, where Lang was organist, one could hear masterly improvisations on the hymn-tunes just before the sermon; these were ten or twelve minutes in length and carrried a sympathetic listner from the emotion of the hymn-tune to that of the sermon. I heard E. J. Hopkins do that same thing in the service of the old Temple Church, London, in 1885-1886.” (The Diapason, July 1, 1943, p. 13)

ETHELBERT NEVIN

       Ethelbert Nevin arrived in Boston in 1881 at the age of eighteen, and immediately “sought out the man who stood at the top of his profession in the Boston of that day, B. J. Lang, a pupil of Von Bulow and Liszt.” (Thompson-Life of Nevin, p. 23) Nevin wrote to his mother “Mr. Lang was busy in his room. I went and sat outside, as I was too early.

       Soon he came out, welcomed me, took me into his room and asked me to play-in this manner: ‘Now I want you to amuse me, not as if I were to be your instructor, but as if I were some fellow you were entertaining.’ I played that little Album Leaf of Kirchner’s. He said: ‘Very interesting: now play me something else.’ So I played that Romance of Schumann’s. He said: “Very interesting indeed. Now play me something frivolous.’ I suggested Olivette, but he said: ‘No, not quite so frivolous. ’So I played Winklemann’s Schottische-a scale two or three times: then he remarked: ‘You are very interesting’ (His favorite expression, I presume.)‘Very, indeed, and you play with an immense amount of expression. Your manner of playing is graceful, light and rippling, but you lack aplomb and firmness. I am going to take an interest in you –you have inspired it and if you will be patient and bear with me for six lessons, I will make you feel satisfied with yourself.’

Ethelbert Nevin

Ethelbert Nevin from Hughes, p. 92.

So he gave me some of the stupidest, meanest exercises by Cramer. The ones I took in Dresden were simply paradise to these. Mr. Lang said: ‘Now practice this one (marking one) for two hours every day and this scale I have written for you an hour and a half, if you get time.’ Well, his writing looks more like hieroglyphics than anything else I have ever seen, so it took me a long time to figure it out. I am to go back again on Monday. He invited me to go to the St. Cecilia Club tonight. He wields the baton there, you know.” (Thompson, p. 24)

Lang’s writing.

scan 111330002

Dear Miss Kimball

An orchestral rehearsal

comes against our ___day ____.

This is to ask if Tuesday at 2:30 would

do for you instead. I hope so,

Yours truly

B J Lang.

Friday

Johnston Collection.

Lang had translated into English Hans von Bulow’s edition of the “Fifty Selected Piano-Studies” by J. B. Cramer (1771-1858) which was published in 1877 by Oliver Ditson in Boston and went through many printings; possibly Lang and von Bulow had discussed this project two years earlier when they had collaborated on the world premier of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto. Obviously other teachers thought highly of this work-as late as 1927 G. Schirmer in New York City published another edition translated by Albert R. Parsons and B. Boekelman and “newly revised by Dr. Theodore Baker.”The ILL World Catalog shows new editions of this work dated as late as 1989!

Lang also took a personal interest in Nevin and introduced him to another pianist his own age, and encouraged him to make use of “a room in the upper part of this building full of the choicest and finest music ever published. A legacy left by a wealthy person for the use of students. You could practice there, (in the Burrage Room). Here are two Chickering grands. You and Mr. Smith could play duets for two pianos.” (Thompson, p. 25) Nevin continues his letter with a description of Lang’s studio. “Mr. Lang’s room is a curiosity. It is very small…In it are two pianos and a dumb keyboard. He sits at the piano back of mine, the keyboard not quite so high. Then he has a high bookcase filled with music, two writing desks, a sofa and a hundred and one beautiful things lying about the room. A great many fine engravings and music manuscripts of great composers and so forth.” (Thompson, pp. 25-26) By the middle of September Nevin is writing that Lang “is very nice but he gets angry sometimes: however I expect to get along very well with him.” (Thompson, p. 26) After the first six lessons, mainly concerned with exercises, Lang then gave Nevin a song by Rubinstein, transcribed with variations by Liszt. Nevin can soon report that in addition to his good progress in harmony with Stephen A. Emery, “Mr. Lang also told me that I am doing well.” (Thompson, p. 27)After only six weeks he had become Lang’s favorite pupil, but in November he writes that “Am still at five-finger exercises – eight weeks of them.” (Thompson, p. 29)

e nevin

Hughes, editor- “Songs By Thirty Americans,” for High Voice, p. xvii. Published 1904-Nevin had died in 1901.

The devotion of both teacher and pupil is reflected in the fact that Nevin’s lesson on Thanksgiving Day lasted from twelve until one-fifteen. By December, after various etudes had been mastered, Mendelssohn’s Concerto in B Flat as studied, and after only one week of practice on this piece, Nevin received his first genuine compliment from his teacher: “After I had finished playing, he said: ‘When did I give you that?’ My last lesson,’ I replied. ‘I thought so,’ he answered, ‘but fancied I must be mistaken, as you played it so well! ’” (Thompson, p. 30) The next repertoire assigned was Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, and the usual practice period was eight hours a day. Nevin also was asked to play the cymbals in the orchestra at the Cecilia performance of the Berlioz Requiem given on Sunday, February 12th. at the Music Hall (Lang used three other piano pupils for bass drum, triangle, and tenor drum).

Howard quotes from one of Nevin’s November letters: “Mr. Lang asked me if I cared to hear him practice, so I met him this evening at Chickering’s after the Handel and Haydn. He played until ten o’clock on a Rubinstein Concerto, which he is going to play at one of the Philharmonic Concerts. I am going to have the second piano part with him! Just think of playing with such an artist! He is without exception the cleanest, broadest and most truly artistic (in every sense of the word) pianist I have yet heard. He does not stoop to any of the little tricks that are effective but not artistic. He is too much of a man for that.” (Howard – Nevin, p. 35)

Leaving Boston in April, Nevin returned the following September, and following Lang’s advice advertised for pupils. He wrote home that “It is very hard to get pupils, when there are 275 teachers who have been here at least five years, and twenty-eight of Mr. Lang’s pupils also give lessons; and then there are Mr. Lang and Mr. Sherwood who teach, not counting hundreds of pupils at the Conservatory. All Mr. Lang’s pupils play as well, and many of them better than I.” (Thompson, p. 33)

Even in his second year of study the hateful five-finger exercises were continued for building technique, but this led to an invitation to play at a Cecilia concert, “and this morning Mr. Lang told me I had done splendidly and that I had played much better MY first time, than did many of his ‘brag’ pupils.” (Thompson, p. 36)

After two years with Lang, Nevin spent the next two winters in Pittsburgh, teaching piano, composing, and giving concerts. Lang came to Pittsburgh to play the Saint-Saens Concerto in G Minor with his former pupil who was now twenty-one years old! He went to Europe in August 1884, settling in Berlin; the summer of 1885 was spent back at Vineacre, near Pittsburgh, and then he returned to Berlin for another year of study. In November of 1886 he returned to America settling again in Pittsburgh, but by early 1887 he was back in Boston, and by March he was playing “at the second of Mr. Lang’s concerts in Chickering Hall, playing the Liszt Concerto in E flat major, with orchestra.” (Thompson, p. 79 ) No orchestra was mentioned in the program, and this was the final piece on Lang”s “Second Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” which was held at Chickering Hall Tuesday afternoon 2:30PM on March 8, 1887. (BPL, Lang Prog., Vol. 5) This concert was a great success as was a concert that included some of his own works given a few days later on March 11.

ETHELBERT NEVIN

Ethelbert Nevin

From Elson, p. 249 and Thompson p. 83 where it mentions that this photo was from 1887 when Nevin would have been 24 or 25.

At a concert at the Essex Institute in Salem on Monday evening January 8, 1877, Lang and Grace Simpson played the Schumann Variations for Two Pianos Opus 46 to open the concert and the St. Saens Concerto in G Opus 22 to close. In the middle they played the Mozart Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos. A vocalist was also part of the concert. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 2)

On Thursday April 17, 1879 Lang played the orchestral part for Lottie A. Pearson”s performance of Schumann”s Piano Concerto Opus 54 in A Minor at the Apollo Hall, 151 Tremont Street. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 2)

On March 31, 1881 Lang played the orchestral part of Beethoven”s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Mrs. J. M. Hernandez as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

At the 1000th. concert (1867-1882) presented by NEC on Wednesday May 27, 1882 at 2PM the Bach Concerto in C Major for Three Pianos was played by Lang, Otto Bendix, J. C. D. Parker with William F. Apthorp playing the orchestral reduction. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 3)

In an undated annoucement (probably 1883) Lang proposed giving “Two Lectures on teaching the Art of playing the Piano-forte, with an explanation of his system of Modern Piano-forte Teachnique, together with comprehensive illustrations, at Chickering Hall on Friday and Tuesday mornings, November 16, and 20, at half past eleven o”clock. Tickets admitting a person to both Lectures are for sale at Three Dollars each, at the Music Store of A. P. Schmidt & Co, There will be no tickets for one lecture only.” (BPL Lang Prog., 6591)

On Monday evening April 23, 1883 Lang played the orchestra part of Schumann”s Piano Concerto at the Chickering Hall, 156 Tremont Street with Mr. S. W. Jamieson as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) Two years later, on March 4, 1885, Lang opened a concert of Jamieson”s with the Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D Minor. (Ibid) Then on Friday March 5, 1886 Lang played the orchestra part for Jamieson”s performance of Chopin ”s Concerto Opus 11.(Ibid) Jamieson was one of the soloists in Lang”s “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” held on March 8, 1887 playing Weber”s Concertstuck in F Minor Opus 78. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5)

Miss Alma L. Faunce presented a recital at the Wesleyan Hall on Thursday evening May 18, 1883 playing the solo part of Beethoven”s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniment. (BPL Prog., Vol. 4) On March 8, 1887 she played Chopin”s Concerto in E Minor Op. 11 at Lang”s “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert (Second of the series).” She was now married-Mrs. Alma Faunce Smith. (BPL Prog., Vol. 5)

In May 1885 Lang send out invitation cards to a “Short lecture on pianoforte technique,” and during which would be “shown two small mechanical contrivances of mine for pianoforte practice.” This was held at Chickering Hall on Thursday, May 21 at 2:30PM, and “This card will admit you if presented before 2:30 o”clock. Your presence is required for one hour.” (BPL Lang Prog., 6615)

There were various generations among Lang” s students. On April 20, 1883 Lang was listed as an assisting artist at a concert given at Chickering Hall by Ella F. Backus. One assumes that she was a Lang pupil as he kept a copy of the program. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) Miss Mary H. Russell was the soloist in the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 Opus 19 with Lang playing the orchestra part on Wednesday evening April 1, 1885. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) On Wednesday evening April 22, 1885 Lang played the orchestra part to the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 Opus 58 with Miss Caroline L. Pond as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4)

Two years before MacDowell arrived in Boston, on January 18, 1886, Lang played the orchestra part of MacDowell”s Piano Concerto in A Minor Opus 15 with his student, Mr. S. H. Gerrish as the soloist.(BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 4) On Saturday evening April 25, 1885 at 8PM Lang played the orchestral reduction to Beethoven”s Piano Concerto No. 3 Opus 37 at Chickering Hall with Mrs. Elizabeth May Marsh as the soloist. (BPL Lang prog., Vol. 4) This made three different Beethoven concerti accompaniments that he played that month! Mrs. Marsh was to play at Lang”s “Pianoforte-Concerto Concert” on March 1, 1887.

Arthur D. Mayo was the soloist in Mendelssohn”s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor Opus 40 with Lang providing the orchestral accompaniment on Friday April 29, 1887 at 8PM at Chickering Hall. Mayo was again the soloist on Wednesday evening December 10, 1890 playing Mozart”s Concerto in D Minor, again with Lang providing the orchestra accompaniment. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5)

Instead of praying in individual concerts given by his pupils, in 1887 Lang organized a seris of concerts featuring his advanced students playing major works. On Tuesday afternoon March 1, 1887 2:30PM at Chickering Hall Lang conducted the first of a series of “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts.” For this concert Mr. James T. Whelan played Beethoven”s Concerto No. 4, Opus 58 in G major, Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Chopin”s Krakowiak, and Mr. S. H. Gerrish soloed in Raff”s Concerto Opus 185: Andante-Allegro. The vocalist Miss Jennie Vorn Holz also presented two groups of songs. Mrs. E. M. Marsh of Boston was the dedicatee of Chadwick”s Drie Walzer, published in 1890, the third of which is based on a “Motive by B. J. L.” A second concert was advertised for March 8 to include concertos by Chopin, Weber and Liszt, and two groups of songs. (BPL Lang Prog., 6624) The third concert was held on Tuesday March 22, and the soloists were Miss Mary Webster playing Schumann”s Concerto in A Minor Opus 54, Chopin”s Grand Fantasie Opus 13 “Sur des airs Polonais” was played by Mr. B. L. Whelpley, Miss Annie Fisher played Mendelssohn”s Concerto in D Minor, No. 2 and two groups of songs were performed by Mr. J. H. Ricketson. A fourth concert for March 29 was advertised to include concertos by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and St. Saens and two groups of songs. (BPL Lang Prog., 6625) Wheras the first program listed Lang as the conductor, the third program did not-neither program made any mention of who the orchestra might be.

On March 22, 1887 at 2:30PM Miss Annie Fisher played Mendelssohn”s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor at Lang”s Third Pianoforte-Concerto Concert at Chickering Hall 2:30PM. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5) Miss Mary Webster played Schumann”s Piano Concerto in A Minor Opus 54 in the same concert. (Ibid) Also on the program was B. L. Whelpley playing Chopin”s Grand Fantasie Sur des air Polonais Opus 13. (Ibid)

Miss May Shepard played the solo part of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 on Friday evening May 27, 1887 8PM with Lang playing the orchestral accompaniment. This concert was at Chickering Hall. (BPL Prog., Vol. 5)

The next year, during April 1888, Lang followed the same plan of “Four Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts” given on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30PM at Chickering Hall. On April 3 Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Mozart”s Concerto No. 4 in B Flat major, Mr. Harry Fay played Chopin”s Andante Spianato and Polonaise, Opus 22, Mr. B. L. Whelpley played MacDowell”s Concerto in A Minor Opus 15 and Mr. J. C. Bartlett sang two groups of songs. (BPL Lang Prog., 6634) The second program on April 10 included Madame Eugenie de Roode playing Rubinstein”s Concerto No. 4 in D Minor, Mr. G. W. Sumner playing Introduction and Allegro Opus 49 by Godard, Mr. Joshua Phippen playing St. Saens Concerto in D Minor Opus 17 and two groups of songs by Mrs. G. W. Galvin (including two songs by Arthur Foote).(6635) The third concert on April 17 included Bronsart”s Concerto in F Sharp Minor played by Mr. H. G. Tucker, Brassin”s Concerto in C Major played by Miss Caroline Pond, Beethoven”s Concerto No. 5 Opus 73 in E Flat Major (Emperor) by Mr. Alfred Hollins and two groups of songs by Mrs. Norton (6637) A most interesting reference was made to this concert in a book about the life and career of Anna Steiniger Clark. She mentions that her husband, Frederic Horace Clark, a Boston pianist whom she had married in 1882 “was now interested greatly in teaching…Mr. Long [i.e. B. J. Lang] was then the most popular and superficial teacher of ”piano” in Boston, and he had instituted some concerts in which his pupils played concertos with an orchestra led by their teacher. I had attended some of these Concerto Concerts, to find them overcrowded, rank with careless playing and the results of inadequate teaching and rushing with the noise of boisterous applause! Mr. Long had sent me a condescending invitation to play in one of these, his pupils” concerts, little knowing, of course, the grave nature of such an insult. Mr. Long had no more idea of purism in art-activity, to say nothing whatever of organizing, unified activity, than had Mr. Twister [Otto Dresel] and Mr. Barking [maybe J. C. D. Parker]. But to them was not given the opportunity of expressing their ignorance in so unconsciously grotesque a manner of insult as this which Mr. Long stumbles! […] First had played Mr. Lucker [probably Hiram Tucker], one of the most brusque and graceless of Mr. Long”s followers; then came the frantic applause which was enough to offset, with its chaos, the confusion which Mr. Lucher had displayed. Then Mr. Long accompanied (on the pianoforte) some songs, displaying eccentric and detached thrusts of efforts and scattered acts, with bland arrogance, blissful in ignorance of the musical spirit of art-act! These pretty little deceits of Mr. Long his admirers never tired of lauding. After the songs, a blind man from London played Beethoven”s Fifth Concerto [Alfred Hollins].”(von Styne, pp. 344-347, provided by James Methuen-Campbell) Other Boston musicians who felt their critical barbs were the BSO conductors, Gericke and Nikisch, and the pianist, Ernst Perabo. Mr. Methuen-Campbell mentioned that “Clark and his wife had hardly a good work to say about any of the musicians they met.” (E-mail May 22, 2011) Anna Steiniger had been born in Magdeburg, Prussia and studied with Deppe-a classmate had been Miss Amy Fay. Her first European tour was in 1878, and several tours followed. During a German tour she met her husband who was then a student in Berlin. (Jones, p. 160) “In 1882 she married Frederic Clark of Boston, an accomplished musician and teacher and the discoverer of many educational principles. The two together carry on a music school in Cambridge, Mass. Mrs. Steiniger-Clark has played in concerts extensively throughout this Country and in Europe, and being still young is likely to be heard much more in the future. Their public work at the present time, consists mainly in Literary Institutions, and private recitals before audiences of from one to four persons, for educational purposes. Mr. Clark is a very graceful, intelligent and artistic pianist. His work has been praised by the most careful critics in Boston and in other parts of the World.” (Howe, p. 705) In 1885 she played Beethoven”s Concerto in G Minor with the BSO under Gericke, and the next season she toured the mid-West with the BSO, again conducted by Gericke. (Jones, op. cit.) Mr. Methuen-Campbell”s comment that they “were perhaps a bit crazy, though she was a very talented and accomplished pianist” seems an appropriate summary. (Ibid)

        The Herald had an extensive review of this third concert. Of the Bronsart in F Sharp Minor played by Mr. H. G. Tucker the reviewer noted: “Mr. Tucker has never had a greater success than in his playing on this occasion, and the applause which rewarded him at the close of the concerto was worthily bestowed.” (Herald, April 18,1888, p. 5, GenBank) Miss Caroline Pond played the C Major Concerto by Brassin, and her performance revealed her “abilities to excellent advantage and showed her to be a player of exceptionally good taste…The performance of this tuneful work gained Miss Pond an enthusiastic recognition of her skill and intelligence.” (Ibid) The high point of the concert was the playing by Mr. Alfred Hollins, the blind pianist from London, of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5  “which caused quite a sensation, and gained him a grand ovation upon its conclusion.” (Ibid)

The fourth concert of the 1888 series was held on April 24 and included Hiller”s Concerto Opus 69 in F Sharp Minor played by Arthur Foote, the Rhapsodie d”Auvergne Opus 73 by St. Saens played by Miss Marian Mosher, Grieg”s Concerto Opus 16 in A Minor played by Mr. Jas. T. Whelan and Mendelssohn”s Concerto Opus 64 in E Minor for violin played by Miss Edith Christie. (6636) It would seem that Lang continued to support his pupils by using them whenever appropriate. Two years later Mrs. Marsh appeared at the April 30, 1890 concert of the Apollo Club as the accompanist for the assisting artist, the violinist Miss Maud Powell. (Program-Johnston Collection)

       The Alfred Hollins who played Beethoven”s Emperor Concerto in the April 17th., 1888 concert also mentions in his autobiograpy of playing in Boston twice during 1886, he would have been about 20 years old. In addition to Hollins, Miss Amelia Campbell, Miss Jenny Gilbert and Mr. John Moncur (tenor) were on the tour. The first concert where they all took part was on January 20th. at the Music Hall: “An orchestra was engaged, and B. J. Lang, an old friend of Campbell”s,[who headed the College for the Blind] conducted. He was a man of few words, a good musician, and a fine character. Campbell told me that one word of commendation from Lang meant more than a dozen from most people, and I Had my full share both of his few words and his more ready kindness.” (Hollins, p. 156) Hollins then related his impression of Boston: “Boston has always had the name of being the intellectual city of America, and certainly it seemed to me that there was more culture, more firendliness, and less hustle in the people of Boston than in those of New York.” (Ibid) The final concert of the 1886 tour returned Hollins to Boston and the Music Hall on February 8. Again Lang conducted, and Hollins followed this appearance with a “farewell organ recital in the New Old-South Church a few days later.” (Hollins, p. 160) The Mr. Campbell (Francis Joseph Campbell, later Sir) mentioned above, was the Principal of College For the Blind, Norwood, South London, where Hollins was educated from January 1878. Campbell, originally an American, was blind himself, and the purpose of the American tour was “to let his countrymen see what he was doing for the higher education of the blind in England.” (Hollins, p. 154) Another connection between Lang and Hollins was that Hollins had studied piano with Hans von Bulow in Berlin. “While in Germany Hollins gave a series of concerts – at one time playing three concerti in the one evening – The Liszt Eb, the Schumann A minor and the ”Emperor.”” (Wikipedia article 9/16/2010)

Lang not only provided performance opportunities for his own pupils, but he was willing to help any musician within his circle. On November 14, 1888 “The Misses Dunton and How, Soprano and Alto” presented a concert where Lang, and his pupil B. L. Whelpley played two pieces for two pianos: Dance of the Elves by Templeton Strong and Reinecke”s Fantasie on a Theme from Manfred [Impromptu on a Motiv from Robert Schumann”s Manfred, Op. 66]. Miss How was a member of The Cecilia and often used as a soloist as probably was Miss Dunton. (MYB, 1888-89, p. 22) Three months later Lang was one of the assisting artists in a recital given by Miss Gertrude Franklin. (Op. cit., p. 23) It would be interesting to know the first time that Lang and Franklin worked together in light of Franklin”s programming of Margaret”s songs and her performance of Margaret”s Aria with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Lang possibly first became aware of Franklin during her solo appearances with the Handel and Haydn Society; she was one of the soloists Tuesday, February 26 performance of Gounod”s Redemption.

On May 9, 1889 at Apollo Hall Lang played the orchestra part of Beethoven”s Concerto No. 3 with Miss Louise May as the soloist. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 5)

A “Third Series (not consecutive)” of “Mr. B. J. Lang”s Piano-Forte-Concerto-Concerts” with an orchestra of thirty-six (MYB,1889-90, p. 13) at Chickering Hall was begun on March 10 [1890] at 2:30PM. Mr. H. G. Tucker played the Concerto in G Minor Opus 15 by Sgambati, Mrs. Elizabeth Marsh played Mendelssohn”s Capriccio Brillant in B Major Opus 22, Mr. Joshua Phippen played Chopin”s Concerto No. 2 in F Minor Opus 22 and Mr. Gardner S. Lamson [was also one of the soloists in Handel and Haydn”s Handel Samson on April 2, 1893-Easter (BMYB)] offered a group of three songs by Schumann. The second concert on Tuesday March 25, 1890 included Dvorak”s Concerto No. 2 in G Minor Opus 33 played by Mr. B. L. Whelpley, Beethoven”s Concerto No. 3 in C Minor Opus 37 (Allego and Cadenza) played by Miss Louise May, Mozart”s Concerto No. 3 in D Minor played by Mr. Arthur Foote and a group of five songs by MacDowell sung by Miss Harriet Whittier. However this concert was referred to as the “Second” concert in the “Fourth Series. The confusion comes from the fact that Lang seems not to have presented concerts in 1889 which would have been the third year of this type of concerts. So, in fact the series should all have been called the “third series,” but it was given in the fourth year after the first series. Until other programs can be found, this seems to be the logical answer. (BPL Lang Prog., 6639) A third concert in the “Fourth Series” was given on Tuesday afternoon April 1 at 2:30PM with the Mozart Concerto No. 7 in F Major for three pianofortes being played by Miss Ann Gilbreth, Mr. G. W. Tucker and Mr. Ethelbert Nevin, Mendelssohn”s Concerto No. 2 in D Minor Opus 40 played by Mr. Arthur Mayo, the Allegro Giojoso in E Major Opus 22 by Sterndale Bennett played by Mr. Harry Fay and Schumann”s Concerto in A Minor played by Miss Minnie A. Stowell. (BPL Lang Prog., 6641)

Lang not only looked after the professional growth of his own pupils, but he also helped others advance their careers. During the period that Edward Mac Dowell was in Wiesbaden (1885-88) Lang made his acquaintance (probably during a summer tour of Europe). “Several colleagues from the United States-composers Arthur Foote and Otto Floersheim and critic and teacher Benjamin Lang-came to Germany and met with MacDowell, encouraging him to return to America and take part in the shaping of the emerging musical life of the nation…Lang was particularly persuasive.He convinced MacDowell of the fame he had already achieved back in Boston and of the quality of musical life that had been established there…In September 1888, for reasons of patriotism and of the desire for new challenges, MacDowell sold the cottage, at a $200 profit, and moved to Boston.” (Levy, p.?)Another source said that Lang convinced Mac Dowell to move to Boston in order to expand “his career as a composer, performer, and teacher”.Lang had conducted the Boston premier of MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 1 that spring at Chickering Hall on April 3, 1888 with an unnamed orchestra and B. L. Whelpley as the soloist; the composer himself played the work with the BSO on November 18, 1892 conducted by Nikisch. (Johnson, p. 225)

MacDowell made his American debut in Boston as composer-pianist at a Kneisel Quartet concert at Chickering Hall, November 19, 1888 playing three movements from his First Modern Suite and assisting in Goldmark’s Piano Quintet in B-flat. On Lang’s recommendation, Wilhelm Gericke invited Mac Dowell to play his new Second Piano Concerto, Op. 23, with the Boston Symphony in the spring of 1889, but he actually played the work with an orchestra under Theodore Thomas in New York’s Chickering Hall on March 5, 1889, a month before the Boston concerto (performance on) April 12. The conductor Frank van der Stucken invited MacDowell to play the concerto in a concert of American music at the Paris Exposition Universelle on July 12 (Margaret’s songs were also part of this concert)” (Phoenix CD note)

The critic Philip Hale took time during a review of one of Lang”s students, Benjamin Lincoln Whelpley, to ouitline what he felt were the problems with Lang”s teaching. His April 11, 1891 review of a Whelpley recital began: “Mr. Whelpley has good fingers and many excellent musical ideas. He is careful and conscientious in his work, and there are many things to be admired and praised in his playing. He belongs to a certain school of pianists [Lang”s], a prominent school in this city; and this is iunfortunate, and it hampers his artistic development. For the members of this family do not pay sufficient attention to tone production and gradation of tone; the legato is so slighted by them, and the use of pedals is so imperfectly understood that song-passages are not sung; and these players are deficient in appreciation of rhythm and rhythmic effects. And when any one of this school plays in public, the hearer is at once aware of the fact that the pianoforte is a percussion instrument.” After getting this off his chest, Hale continued, “Not that Mr. Whelpley pounds.” (BPL Hale Crit., Vol. 1)

James T. Whelen presented a concert at Chickering Hall on March 12, 1894 where he was the soloist in Beethoven”s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Lang providing the orchestra part. Whelen had played this same work in 1887 at one of Lang”s “Pianoforte-Concerto Concerts.” (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 6)

A description of Lang”s own piano technique was part of a review of a concert by the Cecilia on February 12, 1896. Mr. Fay accompanied the choir that evening, but Lang accompanied the soloist, Mrs. Follett, who sang Chadwick”s La Danza. “Mr. Lang”s accompaniments gave genuine delight. We venture to suggest to Mr. Fay that he profit by the lesson given him by Mr. Lang. Where the latter”s touch was delicate and subdued, Mr. Fay”s seemed harsh and noisy. Mr. Lang”s pianoforte work was a treat in itself.” (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8)

On Tuesday April 27, 1897 3:30PM Lang played the orchestral part for Beethoven”s Concerto Opus 58 at Chickering Hall with Edward B[urlingame] Hill as the soloist. In the same program four songs composed by Hill were sung by Stephen Townsend. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 7) Hill had graduated from Harvard in 1894, spent the next two years studying piano in New York City with Arthur Whiting, and then spent part of 1898 in Paris studying composition with Widor. Based on this Boston appearance, he seems to have spent 1897-98 in Boston.(Kaufman-Am. Grove, Vol. 2, p. 385) Hill was a guest at Lang”s summer home in New Boston, New Hampshire.

Mrs. C. W. Scott listed herself as a teacher of piano and voice and included that she was a “pupil of B. J. Lang” in her ad in the Springfield Republican. (Springfield Republican, June 2, 1899, p. 5, GenBank)

Lang continued to assist his pupils. On Tuesday evening May 6, 1902 Lang played the orchestral part for Miss Mertena Louise Bancroft”s performance of the St. Saens Concerto No. 1 in D Major at the Small Chickering Hall, 153 Tremont Street. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8) For a concert with Marion Arletta Mitchell as the soloist, Lang played the orchestral reduction of Weber”s Concert-stuck Opus 79 on Wednesday, January 28, 1903. The soloist had opened the program with the Rhapsody in E Minor by Margaret Ruthven Lang. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8) On February 26, 1904 at 8:15PM at Potter Hall, 177 Huntington Avenue, Lang played the orchestral reduction of the St. Saens Concerto No. 5 with Miss Laura Hawkins as the soloist. This was billed as a first performance. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 8)

Hamilton C. MacDougall recalled the first Lang studio where he had his lessons. “The studio had two intercommunicating rooms, one of good size, the other a bit smaller and more like a business office; the larger room had a Chickering grand piano and a small two-manual pipe organ. “B. J.” divided his working days into hour periods and was always on duty; I never knew a businessman more satisfactory to deal with; when he was “in residence,” so to speak, a card hung under the bell-pull which read: ”Ring. Mr. Lang will answer as soon as he is at liberty.”. A comforable sofa in the corridor could be used by callers from every part of the U. S. A., and on every kind of musical business, who came to 149a Tremont Street, Boston.” (The Diapason, July 1, 1943, p.  13)

Lang taught at various places during his career; his home, at the studios in the Chickering Building at 153 Tremont Street (as late as 1903) and at 6 Newbury Street where he “and a colony of his pupils occupied rooms at the Lang Studios.” (Foote-Auto., p. 49) A Jan. 9, 1910 newspaper clipping entitled “Notes of the Studio” described the Newbury Street location: “In the great front studio on the second floor, with its high windows with large globular colored spots, the fine old marble fireplace, its big pipe organ and grand piano works the son of B. J. Lang, founder of the Lang studios…Just outside the door is the Ruth Burrage library of orchestral scores…To this rich reservoir may come the student of music to take away for four days’ study and practice famous scores of orchestral music.”The Globe “Table gossip” of April 30, 1905 had reported that “Mrs. Whiteside had sold her house, numbered 6 Newbury St. adjoining the St. Botolph Club, near the corner of Arlington St. to Mr. B. J. Lang, who will make extensive improvements and occupy.It is one of the very few Back Bay estates on Newbury St. that has an extensive frontage, being a four-story octagon brownstone front brick house.It was thought at one time that the St. Botolph Club would buy this estate.” (Globe, April 30, 1905, p. 46) Amy DuBois related that this building was the last in Boston to have gas lighting, as “My grandfather [Malcolm] didn’t think things were getting better.” (Interview)

Foote describes Lang as “a teacher of incredible activity (when I knew him he was giving regularly lessons from 8:30 to 6).”(Foote-Auto., p. 45) His teaching at the New England Conservatory came to an end in the early 1890s when Carl Faelten (successor to founder Eben Tourjee) decreed that only fulltime teachers would be on the staff (also affected by this were Carl Zerrahn and Eugene Thayer). (Measure By Measure p. 50) Among the first teachers hired by Tourjee were Zerrahn and Lang when the Conservatory first opened in 1867. The school was housed in seven small rooms in The Music Hall-the first graduating class of 1870 had thirteen students (“Hallelujah, Amen. p. 99)(HMA Bulletin No. 16) The ad for the Summer Term of 1867 also listed Otto Dresel, Ernst Perabo, S. P. Tuckerman, Carlyle Petersilea, George E. Whiting, Wulf Fries, and S. A. Emery among a total faculty of twenty instructors. The terms per quarter were $10, $15, $20, and $25- “For particulars, see circulars in music stores, or address E. Tourjee at the Music Hall.” (BMT, May 4, 1867, p. 43)

                                                                                 RUTH BURRAGE ROOM

Lang was also very concerned that his pupils should have access to musical scores, and he was responsible for founding a special library. In 1897 he gave the details of it”s founding in an article for the New York “Music Trade Review” which was then republished in Dwight”s issue of August 2, 1879.”In the upper story of Chickering & Sons building, accessible by an elevator, there exists a tastefully furnished room, containing two concert grand piano-fortes and a beautiful mahogany case containing every piece of music that exists for two piano-fortes, two players, and for two piano-fortes, four players (eight hands).Every symphony, concerto, overture, suite, etc., to the extent in value of about three thousand dollars, is there, conveniently bound, with catalogues complete.Under appropriate rules for the convenience of the beneficiaries, this room is absolutely free to all, even without asking.That this wonderful place is in constant use from morning until night, and has been from the moment it was inaugurated until now (nearly two years), is a matter of course.

From whence came all this?

A few years since [1872] there died in Boston a lovely girl of twenty-two (a fine pianist herself), a daughter of the Hon. A[lvah]. A. Burrage, who, on her death-bed expressed the wish that the little property of which she was possessed should be given, under the guidance of Mr. B. J. Lang, to deserving musical students.The before mentioned collection of music was purchased with Miss Ruth Burrage”s [b. 1850 d. 1872] money.The Messrs. Chickering & Sons allowed Mr. Lang to construct the room, and to retain it free of rent for the purpose, so long as they (the Messrs, Chickering) occupy the building; and, furthermore, do generously supply, free of cost, the two grand piano-fortes.

Consider what delight one can get from this place.Have you two grand piano-fortes?Have you a hundred and fifty volumes of music for those two piano-fortes?This is a very expensive sort of music, while it is not just what one cares to own year in and year out.This attractive place is called the ”Ruth Burrage Room.”May this little description lead some generous mortal to carry out the same idea in some other of our musical centers.”(Dwight, August 2, 1879, p. 127) Ten rules for the use of the room were then listed including #7-“Parties are to assemble on the lower floor, in order that the elevator may be used once only to reach the room.They are expected to use the stairs in descending.” (Dwight, ibid)

No doubt Arthur Foote often made use of the Burrage Room.In 1909 he remembered “For thirty years there has been a library in Boston of music for the piano (four and eight hands) to which everyone has access; it was housed in the Chickering Building for a long time, and lately has been at 162 Boylston Street. The money that established it came from a legacy of Miss Ruth Burrage [B. J.’s wife’s family], and it has been called by her name: some years ago Mr. Lang gave a series of concerts of Bach concertos, etc., to raise money for an extension of this library, by which orchestra scores should be added, and lent to any who apply, under certain conditions. This library of scores is at 6 Newbury Street; and both of them have been of great use to many students. It was a wise man that thought of these two things, and was willing constantly to supervise them and look after their details.” (Arthur Foote in the Boston Transcript, May 1, 1909) The Bach Concerto Concerts referred to were given at 3PM on December 1, 1898 and January 12, 1899. Lang played an Erard and Co. harpsichord at each concert. (BPL Lang Prog., Vol. 7)

An 1897 article gave more details: “Some of our music-loving readers may have forgotten the existence of the Ruth Burrage Room in the building, 153 Tremont Street, though others have good cause to remember it. A brief account of this unique institution will not be without its interest here. Some twenty-five years ago, by the will of Miss Ruth Burrage, a sum of money was left in trust to B. J. Lang of this city, to constitute a fund, the income of which was to be devoted to some musical purpose, left to the trustee’s discretion. After considerable thought as to the way in which the money would do the most good, Mr. Lang determined to lay it out as follows: He collected a library of four and eight hand music for two pianofortes, and set it up in a room furnished with two concert grands, kept constantly in tune and in unison. Free use of this music and of these instruments was given to such music-lovers as could play well enough at sight to make four and eight hand playing together an object.

Any two or four persons able so to play at sight could put their names down for an hour, and, at the expiration of that hour could have their names retained on the list for the same day and hour of the following week. But no party could register for more than a week ahead. It was also specified that the room be used only for playing on two pianofortes, four-hand playing on a single instrument being strictly forbidden -indeed, there was no four-hand music for a single pianoforte in the library. The idea at the bottom of this was that enough people owned a pianoforte to make it easy for any two persons to indulge themselves in four-hand playing upon a single instrument at home; whereas few ever had the chance of finding two pianofortes in unison whereupon they could play together.

The room and the instruments were given, rent free, by the generosity of Messrs. Chickering and Sons, so that Mr. Lang could apply the whole income of his fund to enlarging the library and keeping it in order. The library consists mostly of arrangements of standard classical and modern orchestral works, although it also contains more original four and eight hand music for two pianofortes than most musicians would think existed. It has lately been largely augmented by the addition of many works by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Chaminade and others of the newer schools. In fact, there is exceedingly little two-pianoforte music now published that cannot be found there; the collection is almost complete.

The success of the Ruth Burrage Room – that is, the well-nigh unintermittent use that has been made for it for a quarter of a century, is good earnest of the wisdom of Mr. Lang’s plan. Almost countless pianoforte-playing music-lovers, who would otherwise have had no little difficulty in finding two instruments in tune together in a place where they would be free from interruption, have here found two admirable grands, always in good order, together with a collection of music to select from such is probably not duplicated in this country. Since the room was first thrown open to the public the pianofortes have been renewed a dozen times at least. In a word, the room has found a public want, and well filled it.”(Newspaper article, 1897)

It would seem that B. J’s suggestion for the establishment of this library was somewhat self-serving as he was part of an ensemble that “was sometimes jokingly called the Ottoman Quartet.The four leading resident pianists-Otto Dresel, B. J. Lang, Hugo Leonhard, and J. C. D. Parker-were fond of playing pieces for two pianofortes, eight hands (a otto mani), in public now and then; hence the nickname, with which Dresel’s Christian name may also have had something to do.” (Swan-Apthorp, p. 73)

Theodore Baker A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF MUSICIANS 1905

In 1897 one of B. J’s many pupils wrote this poem:

“To B. J. Lang

They say there are ministering spirits,

Who come out of God’s loving heart

To show us the wisdom and beauty

Of action, of thought, and of art.

Now I love to call such our ‘teachers’-

A name that the ages have blest;

And to such cast a wreath of remembrance

Ere they are called back to their rest.

So here’s to my true music-teacher,

Who lighted a torch in my youth

By which I have always had Music

To gladden each new path of Truth.

Elizabeth Porter Gould”

(Gould Scrapbook HMA, first page)