FOUR THE MICHIGAN DAILY sa
At~ APRill,27; 1941
Heifetz Is Good-Will Ambassador
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At Six-.In Ifliraine MovieF-ikloise
Gregor Piatigorsky, world-famed
'cellist who will appear here at the
May Festival, is only 37 years old,
but those years have been marked
by a closely packed series of inci-
dents full of privation, suffering, ad-
venture and romance.
Born in the Ukraine in 1903, Pia-
tigorsky began to play the 'cello at six
;years of age under the instruction of
his father. At first he never appear-
ed publicly to give 'cello recitals, but
when his fanily met ill luck a few
gears later he started to support his
family by playing at the local cinema
Worked In Imperial Opera
But Piatigorsky was not fated to
remain long at his obscure post in
the theatre orchestra, for he was soon
engaged as first 'cellist at the Imper-
ial Opera in Moscow and also became
a member of the string quartet of the.
His promising career was inter-
rupted by the Russian Revolution,
and he decided that the new Russia
was no place for an ambitious artist.
But it was not easy to obtain a pass-
port from the government, and in
1921.Piatigorsky had to resort to de-
pending on a band of smugglers to
get him across the border.
Robbed By Smugglers
The smugglers robbed him of his
last ruble and most of his clothing,
and he arrived in Warsaw in rags and
tatters. After a period of painful
want, he managed to substitute for
a 'cellist at the Opera, and almost
overnight he became a musical sen-
Emigrating to Germany, Piatigor-
sky found Berlin in the throes of a
serious money inflation. Under such
conditions, he could only find odd
jobs at coffee houses and motion pic-
Invited By Schnabel
One day he was invited by Arturo
Schnabel, noted pianist, to play the
'cello part in ° a chamber music work
by Arnold Schonberg. One of his fel-
lowy musicians in that project was the
second flutist of the Berlin Philhar-
monic, who was so impressed by the
young 'cellist that he persuaded the
director of the Philharmonic to make
Piatigorsky a member of the or-
From that time on, Piatigorsky's
success as a musical artist was as-
sured. Requests from all over Eur-
ope were sent to him, asking him to
make solo appearances.
The Russian artist has also forged
a triumphant trail before audiences
from New York to San Francisco.
He makes his instrument as brilliant,
scintillating, and sensitive as a violin,
as exciting, stirring and powerful as
a piano, and as rich and expressive
as the human voice.
In Operatic Work
Norman Cordon, bass-baritone of
the Metropolitan Opera Association,
is a workhorse among the supposedly
sedentary class of opera singers. He
is known throughout the country for
his numerous roles during a season.
"I just happen to be able to learn
a role rapidly," he explains. "There
is just one way. When I find that
I have to learn a new role on short
notice, I simply shut myself up in a
room with an accompanist and keep
working at the thing until I know it.
"During the opera season, I spend
most of my time down at the Metro-
politan. It means ten hours a day----
a good bit of time. You just have to
do it, there isn't any other way.
"And when the time comes for per-
formances, you have to go on, whether
you feel up to it or not. Sometimes
audiences forget this, and blame a
singer for a performance not up to
par when maybe the poor devil's too
sick to be out of bed."
Apparently, Cordon has given few
performances "not up to his par." In
the great opera cqmpanies of Ameri-
ca, as well as in recital and with
orchestra, he has amply justified the
frequent statement that America now
produces artists equal in professional
ability to the best of the old-world
ITl UR 8 1
Artistry Is the Essence of his Music
JOSE ITURBI has conducted the country's leading symphonies and he is one
of the leading popular favorites of the day. His appearance Friday afternoon,
May 9th, as solo pianist with the Philadelphia Orchestra will be one of the
highlights of the current May Festival.
... .... .. . .
The University Musical Society presents the forty-eighth annual May Festival, to be held
May 7-10. For almost fifty years the May Festivals have presented the outstanding Music
Personalities, and this year have again attained the same high standards.
Lawrence Tibbett .......Baritone
Novotna ........ Soprano
Norinan Cordon .:..........Bass
Jose I turbi....
Jascha Heifetz ..
Enid Szantho. . .
..... . ..Pianist
Suzanne Sten ....
For Information concerning Tickets, Programs, Etc.
Please Call at the Offices of the University Musical Society,
Burton Memorial Tower