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March 22, 1942 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1942-03-22

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Ay Festivals
re Renowned
For Excellence

Id's Foremost


ve Appeared
irted 49 Years


'Forty-nine Mays ago the Choral
Union Concert Series was climaxed
by the inauguration of the Annual
May Festival and from that time
to this "Ars Longa Vita Brevis"-
legend of the University Musical Soci-
ety which sponsors these concerts--
has been exemplified in the cultural
and artistic purposes of these spring
Since 1394, the year of its first
significance, the May Festival has
involved the services of practically
all of the world's most distinguished
artists, leading orchestras, quartets
and choral organizations. Also, most
of the field of musical literature--
opera, symphony. and concert com-
positions-have been presented to the
University and the public. The roster
of these luminaries includes Madame,
Ernestine Schumann-Heink, famed
German soprano who returned here
several times: Percy Grainger, who
came to Ann. Arbor when he- was
still a young Astralian pianist that
was astounding American audiences
by his brilliant keyboard ability; and
Baniamino Gigli, noted Italian tenor.
The May Festival itself came about
as the result of an accident. Back
in the early and gayer Nineties-the
fall of 1893 to be exact-the Boston
Symphony Orchestra which for 15
years had escaped the annual music
series by a last rousing performance
suddenly found itself forced to can-
cel this concert. However, it had a
small travelling orchestra, the Bos-
ton Festival Orchestra. which the
Board of Directors of the Society
seized upon as a substitute. Because
the Board was forced to pay the rail-
road charges to transport this group
to Ann Arbor they decided to give
three concerts instead of one, thus
creating the May Festival.

I Ace Meiemory
'Aids Ormandy
In Conducting,
Caston Leads Orchestra
As Ast ociate Director;
Both To Appear Here
/in all tlhe history of music only
Toscanini js credited with having a
more remArkable musical memory
than Eugene Ormandy, conductor of
the Philade'phia Orchestra.
Never con2ducting from score, Or-
mandy requires only one or two days
to learn the average symphony by
heart. His rnost amazing achieve-
, ent in this line was the memor-,
i ing of Verdi's "Requiem," which
ekes an hour and a half to per-
form, in two and a half days.
But he shrugs his shoulders when
he is complimented on his fine mem-
ory, claiming th':t conducting with-
rut a score means nothing in itself.
It is the eye cont act with his orches-
tra which really counts, he says.
He explains tha2't in this way he is
able to convey his own suggestions
and emotions to the individual men
in his orchestra.
Ormandy has one superstition. It
is his baton. The baton which has
woven so many fabrics of orchestral
splendor is, surprisinglT enough, a
very worn shaft of light wood, re-
taining the traces of many years of
service. The reason he clings to this
baton with such sentimental attach-
ment is that he used it when at the
last moment he was substituted for
the director of the orchestra in the
Capitol Theatre in New York to lead
Tschaikowsky's Fourth Symphony.
The career of Saul Caston, Orman-
dy's associate conductor, began in an
equally spectacular manner. First
trumpeter in the Philadelphia Or-
chestra. Caston learned five minutes
before one of the Orchestra', sum-
rier concerts that Albert Coates, Eng-
lish guest conductor, had been staick-
en ill and that he, Caston, was to
I- was after the Orchestra'; first
transcontinental tour, on which he,
conducted a number of concerts, that
Ormandy and Leopold Stokowsky ap-
pointed him to the post of asso-iate
Caston's wife is Selma Amansky.
a dramatic soprano and a graduate
of the Curtis Institute of Music. She
bas sung with the Orchestra on sev-
eral occasions.
The premier American perform-,
ance of the entire Daphnis and Chloe
'ballet w-as given by the Philadel&iila
Ballet under Caston's direction at the
Academy of Music in 1936.

Negro Contralto To Sing Here

An internafionally known cellist, another. He made his American de-
Emanuel, Feuermann has been ap- but with the New York Philhar-
pearing as a solo artist with many of
the world's greatest orchestras since monic-Symphony Orchestra under
he was eleven years old, at that age Bruno Walter, and since that time
making his debut with the great has appeared under the baton of
Vienna Symphony Orchestra under many another great conductor.
the baton of Felix W eingartner. Fany an nhe owr a n dAm tr .
It is thus appa!'ent that Feuer- Feuermann, nlow an American citi-
man's ability was recognized early. zen, is one of those artists who feels1
But though there have been many that' he has obligations other than

child prodigies among musicians, few
can boast of being named professor
of music at the age of 16, as can this
Feuermann remained a teacher un-
til political conditions in Germany
made him an exile, though at the
same time steadily adding to his rep-
utation as a solo artist on the cello.
Since his arrival here in 1934.
F'euermannhas appeared as guest
artist with one great orchestra after

Feuermann, Famous Cello Virtuoso,
Was Famed As Juvenile Prodigy

merely appearing before concert aud-
iences. He believes that all musicians
who are capable of teaching should
devote at least part of their time to
| passing on what they know to gifted
young students.
"No matter how great an artist is,
no matter haw much pleasure he
gives to his audiences, the art which
he practices on the concert platform
is j st a passing thing," Feuermann.
statid. "But if he takes the trouble

to pass it on to young students, his
art in some measure survives him
more than just in the memory of
those who heard him play."
Feuermann believes in practicing.
what he preaches. He has just aca
cepted an appointment as head of
the cello department of the Curtis
Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
The cello is singularly blessed, ac-
cording to Feuermann, in having few
poor or incompetent performers.
"One is either a good cellist or not a
cellist at all."
This he holds to be true because-
only the really good cellists manage
to survive. All others fall out by -the
wayside, making non-existent a me-
dium grade of cellists in the same
sense as we have a medium grade. of
violinists or pianists.




Marian Anderson will open the 49th annual May Festival with a
program of airs and arias on Wednesday evening. This will be Miss
Anderson's fifth Ann Arbor appearance. The famous Negro singer was
born in Philadelphia. She first sang in a neighborhood Baptist Church
choir. Her first serious voice training came in high school. Other
earlier studies were made possible through community interest wheveby
church concerts and similar benefits helped to pay her expenses.


Beethoven's Ninth
Is Great Choral,
Symphonic Work
The ninth symphony in D minor,
Op. 125, of Ludwig van Beethoven,
which will be performed by the Phila-
delphia Orchestra under Eugene Or-
mandy and by the Choral Union, is
* considered by many to be the most
monumental symphonic work ever
Ann Arbor audiences are fortu-
nate in hearing this piece of music,
as it embraces the services of so
many artists that it is seldom played.
The symphony which is the first one
ever written for chorus and orches-
tra, is made up of four movements,
the last of which is composed to the
words of Schiller's 'Ode to Joy."
It is in this last movement that the
chorus, led by a mixed quartet, con-
sisting of Judith Hellwig, soprano,
Enid Szantho, contralto, Jan Peerce,
tenor and Mack Harrell, baritone,
joins in.
The four movements are marked,
Allegro ma non troppo, un ppco mae-
stoso; Molto visace. Presto; Adagio
molto e cantabile, Andante moder-
ato; Allegro assai.

Famous Contralto Will Return,
For Fifth Ann Arbor Concert
Marian Anderson, world famous meet the acclaim of her native lahii.
Negro singer whose popularity with In' 1938 Miss Anderson gave 70 re-
Ann Arbor audiences, occasioned by citals in the United States, the longest
her beautiful contralto voice, has
brought her here repeatedly to sing, most intensive tour in concert his-
will again return to appear in her tory for any singer. Miss Anderson
fifth May Festival. has continued this strenuous pace for
Famed for her rendition of Bach, six years, pausing to rest last sum-
Brahms, Schubert, and Negro spirit- mer for the first time and now in her
uals, Miss Anderson will bring many
new songs to her festival audiences. ,eventh annual tour, in six months
Since appearing here last the famous she will have given 80 odd recitals in
contralto has spent a summer rest- more than 70 different cities.
ing and replenishing her repertory The greatest concert in Miss An-
which numbers in hundrerN of songs. derson's career occurred in 1939 when
Since the termination of her last she sang before 75,000 persons gath-
tour, Miss Anderson has received ered in front of the Lincoln Me-
many honors which typify the high morial in Washington.
regard and respect in which she is M1is Anderson, popularly known as
held by the American people.h the First Lady of the concert world,
March, she received the Bok award, in addition to the aforementioned
the placque and the $10.000 check to honors has won the Sinar
which goes to the one who has con-; %eaan aotrhnrrydc
tributed most to the honor of Phila- Mealmand ard U noraty
delphia. This, her native city, be- torate from Howar niversi
stowed still another gift upon her
when Temple University conferred an
Honorary Doctorate of Music upon
Miss Anderson.
Born of a family of little mens m
Philadelphia, Miss Anderson' ri
to fame was due entirely to her musi-
cal abilities and the generosity of her
friends in providing her with funds
for her education.
It was only after the close of a
sensational two-year circuit in Eur-
ope in 1933, that te United States
fully realized the abilities of the
great contralto and she returned to

Despite his yotilh, F ELIX KNIGHT, lyric tenor, has made for himself
an enviable reputation In widely diversified fields, Made his operatic
debut in "Cavalleria Rusticana," and followed this success with
"Rigoletto" and "La Traviata." Knight has appeared in many radio _
roles, and has recorded the George Gershwin Memorial Album and
the Jerome Kern Album.


Jtiva Highee Leads
City Youth Chorus
Juva Higbee, director of the Youth
Festival Chorus, has been active in
choral work since an .early age.
Supervisor of music in, the Ann
Arbor public schools for the past 15
years, Miss Higbee received her music
training at the American Conserva-
tory of Music in Chicago, Northwest-
ern University and Hillsdale College.
She has also studied under numerous
American choral conductors. To her
inspiring leadership the Youth Cho-
rus owes a large measure of its suc-



SERGLI RACl-VMANINuF F is unqueshonubly one of
the greatest musicians of this epoch. His majestic
personality and genius have colored three fields of
music, bringing him fame as a piarist, composer and
His pianistic art has ripened more gloriously with
each succeeding year, and he now stands at the
pinnacle of his career as a virtuoso,










The Great American Contralto


"I icr conocerts have impressed people chiefly, of cOurSc,
by the beauty of her voice and by her challenging per-
sonality; but the quality of the music which she has sung
has been of the highest, and after her programs anything
less fine seems cheap indeed."
-JOHN ERSKINV, Libery MaPazii
She is a true concert singer whose grip on the public is steel,
She is that certain powerful sort of musical attraction that
people mean when they speak of "the good old days,"

EMANUEL FEUERMAN has been pronounced by
leading musical authorities to be not only the greatest
cellist now on the concert stage, but also one of the
foremost living musicians.
"Amazing command - rich, varied and expressive


tone. A vital performance"

--New York Sun.


-- ARCIA DAVENPORT, CJOllie ''S )V[ft0 J"C '







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