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April 07, 1945 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1945-04-07

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Eleven Soloists
'Rhapsody in Blue' Will
Be Performed by LevantF
Playing the music which has become a national institution, Oscar
Levant will present -the beloved Gershwin "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Con-
certo in F Major" at 8:30 p. m. May 4.
Levant boasts a record of a rare combination of fine musicianship and
prominhence as radio and screen personality and author. He has appeared
wit ithe symphony orchestras of twelve major cities and has been acclaimed>
by the critics for his performances of both Gershwin and his own com-


Hi hlight




:i * .

=* A t


Be Given My_36
Met. Artists, Francescatti, Levant
To Make First Appearance Here
Eleven distinguished soloists, many of them newcomers to Ann Arbor.
will participate in the fifty-second annual May Festival to :be presented
by the University Musical Society in six concerts, beginning Thursday,
May 3, and continuing through Sunday, May 6.
Six of these artists, Eleanor Steber, Hertha Glaz, Rosalind Nadell, Nicola
Moscona, all of the Metropolitan Opera, Zino Francescatti, noted French
violinist, Oscar Levant, popular pianist and composer, will be heard for
the first time by Ann Arbor audi- M

Ezio Pinza Is
Famous Basso,
Matinee Idol
Popular Met. Artist
Ma e Debi(t'in 1926
Ezio Pinza, Metropolitan Opera
star, is not only established as the
pre-eminent basso of his time, but
also enjoys the matinee-idol status
usually reserved for tenors alone.
Since his debut at the Metropolitan
Opera House in 1926 in the revival
of Spontini's "La Vstale," the com-
bination of his true basso cantante
and his fine appearance have made
him the idol of concert audiences
throughout the country.
Portrays Numerous Roles
Pinza has sung numerous roles in
more, operas than 'any other of the
Metropolitan's principals. He can
sing any- one of the 55 operatic roles
at a few hours notice, and while
he is most closely identified with
the title roles of such operas as "Don
Giovanni," "The Marriage of Figaro"
and "Boris Godounoff," he doesn't
object to playing minor roles. He is
equally effective as the swashbuck-
ling Don Giovanni, the diabolical
Mephistopheles or the clownish Don
Basilio, equally at home in the Ital-
ian, French and German repertoires.
Yet, despite his remarkable talent,
Pina's youthful ideas did not lead
him toward music. In fact, he had
the benefits of some preliminary
experiences. in non-musical careers
before a lusty song in a shower
turned him to music for his liveli
A noteworthy highlight in Pinza's
life was his career during World
War I. Shortly after war broke out,
he gave up singing altogether to
become a brakeman on one of the
railroads which were transporting
war supplies for the Allies; he was
subsequently drafted into his coun-
try's army. ,
Earned Captain's Bar
The next three and a half years
were spent in fighting the Germans
with so much success that, by. the
war's end, Pinza had earned his
captaincy; during all that time, the
young basso sang not a single note
of opera.
He felt that the experience gave
him a broader perspective, helped
him estimate his own relative impor-
tance and the significance of his
singing -in the social scheme. He
found the new, wide army acquaint-
anceship valuable since it gave him
a fund of human understanding from
which he could draw many of his
great operatic characterizations.
Since the war, Pinza leas stead'y
followed his singing career.
Festival Chorus
To Participate
Marguerite Hood Will
Direct Young Singers
The Festival Youth Chorus, made
up of young singers from the Ann
Arbor public schools, and its director,
Miss Marguerite Hood, have received
much favorable comment from crit-
ics and festival audiences for their
part in the annual May Festival.
Organized In 1913
Organized in 1913 on the occasion
of the first May Festival to be given
in Hill Auditorium, it has functioned
Uwith the cooperation of the school
administrators and members of the
public school music staff.
Although its prime purpose is to
contribute to the program of the May
Festival, the Chorus also stimulates

an enthusiasm for music among its
young members. They acquire whole-
some musical culture and an appre-
ciation for good music. Many of

'Bad Boy' of Information Please
On the radio, Levant is known
chiefly as the "bad boy" of "Infor-
mation Please" and for his guest
appearances on such popular shows
as those of Bing Crosby, Fred Allen,
Frank Sinatra, and Jack Benny. He
has played roles in several movies,
the most recent, "Rhapsody in Blue",
and his autobiographical best seller,
"A Smattering of Ignorance" is still
being read.
Levant was a close personal friend
of George Gershwin. During his long
association with the piano composer,
Levant acquired a great respect for
him, and a deep understanding of
his music,.lie-has probably played
more of Gershwin's music than any
other concert, pianist. His annual
all - Gershwin programs at New
York's -Lewisohn Stadium and Phila-
delphia's Robin Hood Dell have be-
come a tradition.
Has Composed Extensively
As a composer, Levant has an ex-
tensive repertoire. He has been ac-
claimed for "Dirge", a memorial to
Gershwin, and his serious works have
been performed by such top ranking
organizations as the Philadelphia
and the Cleveland orchestras. In
addition, Levant has written many
popular songs, the scores for two
movies and several small concert
pieces ,for violin and piano.
A member of that company of
young American geniuses whose tal-
ent seems to extend to all they at-
tempt, Levant ranks his music fore-
Dr. Sink Outlines
May Festival Aims
The Board of Directors of the Uni-
versity Musical Society is glad to
present to the University community
and to music-lovers genierally, the
Fifty-second Annual May Festival.
The Philadelphia Orchestra under its
renowned conductor, Eugene Orman-
dy, and his associate, Saul Caston,
will be heard for the tenth consecu-
tive season.
The University Choral Union un-
der Hardin Van Deursen, will par-
ticipate in several of the programs;
and the Festival Youth Chorus un-
der the leadership of Marguerite
Hood, will inject an interesting and
wholesome feature. Nearly a dozen
major soloists will be heard.
The Society recognizes its re-
sponsibility of presenting worthy
programs interpreted by disting-
uished performers, to the end that
one and all may be inspired the
more bravely and firmly to meet
the difficult and serious problems
of the day.
The Society is also deeply appre-
ciative of the understanding support
and cooperation which the public in
general, and music-lovers in particu-
lar, have accorded its endeavors in
the past, and confidently anticipates
a similar response to the offerings of
the Festival of 1945, ever bearing in
mind the Society's legend, "Ars
Longa Vita Brevis."
-Charles A. Sink, President
University Musical Society



OLD AND NEW GUEST ARTISTS-Dr. Charles A. Sink, president of the University Musical Society, an-
nounces 11 distinguished soloists, including members of the Metropolitan Opera Association, old Festival
favorites, Bidu Sayao, Ezio Pinza and Rudolph Serkin, and newcomers Oscar Levant, Zino Francescatti,
to be heard on the fifty-second annual May Festival series.

Six Concerts-Four Days, May 3, 4, 5, 6

Thursday, May 3, 8:30 P. M.
Soloist: Ezio Pimza, Bass
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Overture to "Der Freischutz"............Weber
Symphony No. 80 in D Minor ............ Haydn
"Qui Sdegno Non S'Accende" from
"The Magic Flute" .......... . ......Mozart
"Madamina" from "Don Giovanni" . ..Mozart
Ezio Pinza
Monologue, Farewell and Death Scene
from "Boris Godounoff"...... Moussorgsky
Mr. Pinza
Rosenkavalier Suite... . ............R. Strauss
Friday, May 4, 8:30 P. M.
Soloist: Oscar Levant, Pianist
University Choral Union
Eugene Ormandy and Hardin Van
Deursen, Conductors
Chant of 1942......................Creston
Cantata, "A Free Song"..............Schuman
Choral Union
Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Concerto in F Major for Pianoforte and
Orchestra ........... . .......... Gershwin
Rhapsody in Blue .................... Gershwin
Oscar Levant
Saturday, May 5, 2:30 P. M.
Soloist: Zino Francescatti, Violinist
Paul Leyssac, Narrator
Festival Youth Chorus
Saul Caston and Marguerite -ood,
Fantasie "Kamarinskaya"................Glinka
Cantata, "Fun of the Fair". . . . . . . .......Rowley
Youth Chorus
Marguerite Hood, Conductor
"Peter and the Wolf" Orchestral
Fairy Tale for Children, Op. 67....Prokofieff
Paul Leyssac, Narrator

Saturday, May 5, 8:30 P. M.
Soloists: Bidu Sayao, Soprano
Rosalind Nadell, Contralto
Women's Chorus from Choral Union
Saul Caston and Hardin Van Deursen,
Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21. .Beethoven
"La Damoiselle Elue" ("The Blessed
Damozel") ....................... Debussy
Bidu Sayao, Rosalind Nadell and
Women's Chorus from Choral Union
Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
"Batti, Batti, Bel Masetto," frorn
"Don Giovanni"-................Mozart
"Ah, Non Credea" from "Sonnambula". . Bellini
Mme. Sayao
Symphony No. 2 in D Major .......... Brahms
Sunday, May 6, 2:30 P. M.
Soloist: Rudolf Serkin, Pianist
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Chorale Prelude, "O Mensch,
Bewein Dein' Sunde Gross".. Bach-Ormandy
Symphony No. 5, ("Reformation")
in D Major ...................Mendelssohn
Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major for
Piano and Orchestra. ... ........Brahms
Allegro non troppo
Allegro appasionato
Allegretto grazioso
Rudolf Serkin
Sunday, May 6, 8:30 P. M.
Eleanor Steber, Soprano
Hertha Glaz, Contralto
Frederick Jagel, Tenor
Nicola Moscona, Bass
University Choral Union
Eugene Ormandy and Hardin
Van Deursen, Conductors
"Te Deum Laudamus................Bruckner
Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Symphony No. 9.................... Beethoven
Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
Molto vivace; Presto
Adagio molto e cantabile; Andante
Allegro assai
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor

Old Favorites To Be Heard
As in former years, six concerts will
be given in the four-day period. Old
Festival favorites such as Bidu Sayao,
Brazilian soprano, Ezio Pinza, Metro-
politan basso, and Rudolph Serkin,
distinguished pianist, will also appear
on the program.
The Philadelphia Orchestra will
play at all Festival 9oncerts for the
tenth consecutive season. Eugene
Ormandy, conductor, will be aided by
Saul Caston, assistant conductor.
This organization, brought to a high
point of eminence under Leopold
Stokowski, has been directed by Or-
mandy for the past nine years.
Choral Union, Youth Chorus To Sing
The University Choral Union under
the leadership of Prof. Hardin Van
Deursen, and the Festival Youth
Chorus, conducted by Marguerite
Hood, will also participate in the con-
At the opening concert at 8:30 p. m.
EWT (7:30 p. m. CWT) Thursday,
May 3, Pinza will sing several of his
favorite basso arias, "Qui Sdegno
Non S'Accende" from "The Magic
Flute" by Mozart, "Madamina" from
"Don Giovanni" and Moussorgsky's
"Monologue, Farewell and Death
Scene from "Boris Godounoff." Or-
chestral selections by Weber, Haydn
and Strauss will be interspersed with
these numbers.
All-American Theme
The second concert Friday night
will be all-American in character. In-
cluded on the program will be a
short choral work, "A Free Song," by
the contemporary composer, William
Schuman, who appeared here for the
recent Band Clinic. This will be
sung by the Choral Union, conducted
by Prof. Van Deursen. Oscar Levant
will perform two Gershwin composi-
tions, the popular "Rhapsody in Blue"
and "Concerto in F major," on the
sane program.
Saturday afternoon, the Festival
Youth Chorus under Marguerite
Hood, will provide a cantata after
which - Paul Leyssac, distinguished
actor-dramatist, will be heard with
the Philadelphia Orchestra as nar-
rator of "Peter and the Wolf."
Paganini Violin Concerto
In the second half, Zino Frances-
catti will play the well-known Pa-
ganini "Concerto for Violin No. 1, in
D major," and Saul Caston will con-
duct the orchestra.
Saturday evening Prof. Van Deur-
sen will direct the women's section
of the Choral Union in Debussy's
"Blessed Damozel." The leading so-
In addition to orchestral numbers,
Rudolf Serkin will play the Brahms
"Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major"
Sunday afternoon.
The Festival will be brought to a
close with a monumental performance
of Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony,"
prefaced by the Bruckner "Te Deum
Laudamus" at 8:30 p. m. EWT

May Festival
Began in 1894
By Accident
Boston Festival Group
Was Engaged for Series
The annual May Festival, tradi-
tional climax of the musical season
for Ann Arbor and the University,
originated in 1894 as a result of
desire for economy on the part of the
Board of Directors of the University
Musical Society.
Since 1877, the Musical Society has
provided a series of concerts through-
out each season, and for 15 years
after the first program the series
was traditionally closed in May by
an appearance of the Boston Sym-
phony Orchestra. In the fall of 1893,
however, after the usual climax had
been announced, it was learned that
the Boston Symphony could not ap-
Festival Orchestra Engaged
Boston also maintained a special
travelling orchestra known as the
Boston Festival Orchestra which was
engaged to take the place of the
Symphony. One condition of the
contract was that all travelling anld
railroad costs must be paid by the
University Musical Society.
The Board of Directors, therefore,
being thrifty, decided to present
three concerts instead of one, and
boldly announced the "first annual
May Festival," thus proving that they
were farsighted as well as economi-
Virst Series Drew Crowds
The first festival was a great suc-
cess. It received wide publicity, and
music-lovers from all over Michigan
and neighboring states migrated to
Ani Arbor for the occasion.
Only a few had purchased tickets
in advance, and because of the un-
expected numbers who arrived, many
were unable to get in. To add to the
confusion, it rained hard all that day
and nearly all night. Also, a special
train scheduled to live Ann Arbor
immediately after the last concert
Saturday night was delayed in the
Detroit yards,
Idea Became Popular
In spite of the attendant confu-
sion, the "first annual May Festival"
so optiinistically announced by the
directors became just that. The new
idea was so popular that it was re-
peated each year. After the Boston
Festival Orchestra's appearance at
the first series, the Chicago Sym-
phony Orchestra played annually for
31 years.
Choral Union
Contains over
300 Singers
The University Musical Society
Choral Union was formed in the fall
of 1879 .by a union of four Ann Arbor
church choirs. It has grown to be
one of the most remarkable organi-
zations of its kind, today counting
among its members some 300 singers
who range in age from a few high
school students to an 80-year-old
Known As Messiah Club
Its history is one of steady growth
and widening fame. First known as
the Messiah Club, it comprised mem-
bers of the Congregational, Metho-
dist, Presbyterian and Episcopal
church choirs. Its first concerts were
given in these churches. As the name
of the club suggests, the early pro-
grams consisted mainly of choruses
from Handel's well-known oratorio.
It was at this time that the naime
".horn TTnin" was adnted. Bing-

Concerto for'

Violin No. 1, in D Major. .Paganini
Zino Francescatti

Ormandy To Conduct Philadelphia Orchestra in May Festival

The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy, will parti-
cipate for the tenth consecutive year in the fifty-second May Festival
to be held May 3-6 at Hill Auditorium.
"The orchestra presents concerts in New York, Washington, and Balti-
more because these cities are so near Philadelphia where it has a heavy
season. There are very few opportunities for the orchestra to come this
far west, especially, of course, since the war began, therefore we feel
very fortunate to have the orchestra here," said Dr. Charles A. Sink, presi-
dent of the University Musical Society.

= gi n. «":"__________at least one number that the audi-
ence knows well and that it will hum.
Saul Caston, associate conductor,
was invited by Stokowski to join the
orchestra. He was promoted to his
present position after successfully
conducting a rehearsal. He had been
a member of the Russian Symphony
Orchestra when he was still in his
.>: :::::::>teens.
Philadelphia Concert
The history of the orchestra goes
back to 1757, when John Palma dir-
ected a group of musicians in the
first public concert in Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin actively sup-
ported this group, which was organ-

V-Day Concert
Eugene Ormandy, conductor of the
Philadelphia Orchestra. has agreed
with General Douglas MacArthur to
conduct the Manila Symphony Or-
chestra for its Victory concert.
MacArthur and Mr. Ormandy
made the agreement last year
when the conductor visited the
general's headquarters on the way
back from his tour of Australia.
MacArthur specified the exact date
of the concert, but the two have
kept it a secret.
llt._rs _r ate n_7 . .-

Organized' in 1900U
Organized on a permanent basis in
1900, the Philadelphia Orchestra
gave its first concerts as benefit per-
formances for the relief of "Families
of the Nation's Heroes Killed in the
Philippines". This early orchestra
.tnr i w n-n7ac Lif-n . K, nl n

tor substituting for Arturo Toscanini.
He was appointed co-conductor in
1936 and is now the orchestra's
fourth conductor.
Born in Budapest in 1900, the same
vpar the orchetra which he wa

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