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September 29, 1946 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 1946-09-29

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Annual Concert eries

illg0en Oct. 10

James Melton
To Open Fall
Music Series
singer Is Also Noted
For Radio, Film Roles
The initial attraction of the Choral
Union Series will be James Melton,
radio, concert, opera and movie star,
who will appear here Oct. 10.
Melton is nationally known for his
personality and acting as well as for
the voice which has made him "Amer-
ica's favorite tenor." His debut with
the Metropolitan Opera, Company
was made only after many successful
years on top-flight radio programs
and he is now dividing his time be-
tween concert tours and movie-mak-
When he entered the University of
Florida, in 1920, however, he was
planning on becoming a lawyer. The
president of the university heard him
singing one day, however, and ad-
vised him to devote his time to voice.
Melton therefore transferred to Van-
derbilt University to study under
Gaetano de Luca. He played saxo-
phone in the orchestra of a hotel to
earn his expenses there and eventu-
ally saved enough money to carry
him to New York and, as later events
proved, to a top rank among singers.
After six years of star perform-
ances on radio programs Melton
started his country-wide concert
tours. One of the first of these was
made with George Gershwin, whose
songs Melton sang in 28 concerts dur-
ing as many days. Operatic appear-
ances with the Cincinnati, Chicago
and St. Louis Opera Companies fol-
lowed, and his successes in these led
to his debut at the Metropolitan
Opera House in 1942.
Melton was first engaged for mo-
tion picture work in 1936. Having
made three pictures, he left Holly-
wood to establish himself as a serious
artist of the .,oncert and. opera stage
In 1944, with his reputation as a lead-
ing Metropolitan tenor firmly estab-
lished, he again signed a movie con-
tract. He recently completed "Zieg-
feld Follies" and is now working on
his musical version of "Cimarron."
During the war Melton made ex-
tensive tours of service hospitals,
where he presented programs espe-
cially planned to carry out the theory
of musical therapy as a significant
factor in restoring health and sta-
bility. He believes that music for
the hospitalized should be simple and
melodious and therefore planned the
programs around the Scotch and
Irish ballads and American folksongs
which have been so popular with his
concert audiences. His repertoire is
one of the most comprehensive in the
musical world.
Soci*ety Brings
Great Artists
Rachmaninoff, Enesco
Have Performed Here
For 68 successive years it has been
the aim of the University Musical So-
ciety to present the best obtainable in
concert performers to Ann Arbor au-
diences. The list- of artists who have
appeared locally reads like a musical
who's-who. Concerts during the last
10 years, for example, have been
given by the following stars:
Kirsten Flagstad, Chicago Sym-
phony, Moscow Cathedral Choir,
Jascha Heiftz, Boston Symphony,
Josef Hoffmann, Detroit Symphony,
Gregor Piatigorsky, Artur Schnabel,

Nelson Eddy.
Rachmaninoff, Cleveland Sym-
phony Orchestra, Richard Crooks,
Fritz Kreisler, Boston Symphony,
Ruth Slenczynski, Helsinski Univer-
sity Chorus, Gina Cigna, Roth String
Quartet and Georges Enesco.
Lawrence Tibbett, Cleveland Or-
chestra, Jse Iturbi, Kirsten Flagstad,
Boston Symphony, Josef Hoffmann,
Budapest University Chorus, Yehudi
Menuhin, GregortPiatigorsky and
Roth String Quartet.
Rachmaninoff, Fritz Kreisler,
Alexander Kipnis, New York Phil-
harmonic, Jussi Bjoerling, Boston
Symphony, Kirsten Flagstad, Robert
ArivnA_ Bartlett. and Robertson, Ar-

Concert Schedule
James Melton........ Oct. 10
Eugene Istomin ........ Oct. 30.
Cleveland Orchestra ..Nov. 1
George Szell, Conductor
Yehudi Menuhin ...... Nov. 19
Icelandic Singers ...... Nov. 25
Sigurdur Thordarson Conductor
Boston Symphony Orchestra
...............Dec. 9
Serge Koussevitzky, Conductor
Vladimir Horowitz .... Jan. 17
Detroit Symphony Or-
chestra ............ Feb. 17
Karl Krueger, Conductor
Lotte Lehmann ........ Feb. 26
Chicago Symphony Or-
chestra .......... March 16
Desire Defauw, Conductor
Musical Society
President Gives
Annual Message
The following is the annual mes-
sage of Dr. Charles A. Sink, presi-
dent of the University Musical So-
For the sixty-eighth consecutive
year the University Musical Society
6resents to the University community
a comprehensive group of musical
programs in the Choral Union Series.
Attractions of Worth
In accordance with long-estab-
lished tradition, only attractions of
accepted musical worth are included.
This season the Choral Union Series
will provide five recitals by distin-
guished performers - two by singers
of widely contrasting types; one by
a distinguished violinist, and two by
pianists. Five major ensemble groups
will also be heard - a world-re-
nowned chorus on its first visit to
America, and four major symphony
orchestras will be included.
Other Programs
In addition to this series, during
the year the Society will present
other programs, including the annual
May Festival of six concerts, the
Chamber Music Festival of three
concerts, a performance of Handel's
"Messiah"; and other special con-
certs which will be announced from
time to time. Together these per-
formances provide opportunities for
a liberal cultural education supple-
mentary to the curricula provided in
the numerous schools and colleges of
the University.
The Board of Directors of the So-
ciety deeply appreciates the stim-
lating cooperation and support of the
music-loving public so graciously pro-
vided in the years gone by, and with
full confidence trusts that the offer-
ings this year will meet with the
same enthusiastic endorsement by
those interested in the development
of good music along broad, compre-
hensive lines. This, in accordance
with the legend adopted by the So-
ciety's founders: "Ars Longa Vita
Owns Old VIOIn
The violin used by John Weicher,
concertmaster of the Cleveland Or-
chestra, is one of the few famed in-
struments left in the world.
It is one of the finest examples of
the work of Joseph Guarnerius del
Gesu (1698-1744), the only one in the
history of violin-making whose in-
struments will stand comparison with
those of Antonio Stradivari.
This instrument, known as the

"Baron Vitta," was made in 1730, at
which time del Gesu was greatly in-
fluenced by Stradivari, whose shop
was only a few doors distant.

Famed Boston Symphony
To Make 17th Appearance

Old Timers

Four Orchestras,
Soloists, Chorus
To Perform Here,

Presenting its 17th consecutive per-1
formance here, the Boston Symphony
Orchestra will appear Dec. 9 at Hill
Serge Koussevitzky, conductor, has1
George Szell Is
New Conductor
With Cleveland
Orchestra To Appear G
Here November 10
The Cleveland Orchestra, which
will appear Nov. 10 at Hill Audito-
rium, is making its first tour under
the direction of its new conductor,
George Szell.
Szell is the fourth of the conduc-
tors who have played leading parts
in the development of the orchestra.
His predecessors were Nikolai Soko-
loff, Artur Dodzinski and Erich
Leinsdorf. Under his leadership the
orchestra is returning substantially
enlarged to the many cities in which
it appears season after season.
The Cleveland Orchestra was
founded in 1918 by the Musical Arts
Association of Cleveland. Children's
concerts and popular concerts were
given from the beginning, but there
were only two formal symphony con-
certs the first year.
Growth was rapid, and now the or-
chestra gives over 150 concerts in its
28-week season-two regular sub-
scription series of symphony concerts,
12 Sunday "Twilight Concerts" at
popular prices, about 25 children's
concerts in cooperation with the pub-
lic schools of Cleveland and others
while on tour, all-star popular con-
certs, and joint performances with
the Ballet Russe and Ballet Theatre.
In addition to this strenuous pro-
gram of concerts in Cleveland, the
orchestra also presents about 50 con-
certs on tour every season, from
Canada to Cuba, and from the east
coast as far west as Kansas City. It
also broadcasts through 200 stations
in the United States and 39 stations
of the Mexican network, in addition
to Canadian and short-wave affili-
George Szell, who was appointed to
direct the orchestra after a two-weeks
period as guest conductor in the
1944-45 season, was born in Budapest
in 1897. He studied piano in Vienna
with Richard Robert, and gave his
first public concert at the age of 11.
He has conducted at the Court Thea-
tre in Darmstadit, the Municipal
Theatre in Dusseldorf, the Berlin
State Opera, the Symphony Orches-
tra of the Berlin Broadcasting Com-
pany, and the Scottish Orchestra of
Glasgow, where he succeeded John
Gabrilowitch's baton, was broad-
Finding himself "marooned'' in
New York at the beginning of the
war, Szell decided to remain in this
country. He made his New York de-
but in 1941 as guest conductor of the
NBC Symphony Orchestra at the in-
vitation of Toscanini. He has had
engagements with orchestras in Bos-
ton, New York, Philadelphia, Chi-
cago, Los Angeles, Detroit and Cleve-
land; he is also a regular conductor
of Metropolitan Opera.
Rudolph Ringwall, associate con-
ductor of the Cleveland Orchestra,
was a graduate and later a faculty
member of the New England Con-
servatory in Boston, and has played
See SZELL, Page 3

headed the orchestra for more than
20 years. Previously he had conduct-
ed an orchestra in Moscow and St.
Petersburg, touring the Volga River
cities. Later, in Paris, he instituted
the "Concerts Koussevitzky," just
prior to coming to America.
As conductor of the Boston Sym-
phony, he brought the group to the
pinnacle of artistic fame. His pro-
grams have included not only estab-
lished classics, but have provided an
opportunity for modern composers in
presenting their works to present-day
.The orchestra was first organized
in Boston by Henry L. Higginson in
1881. As a music student in Vienna,
he had been impressed with the need
for a highly expert orchestra, profes-
sionally maintained, in America. He
engaged the best musicians, with
Georg Mhenschel, a young singer and
composer, as their conductor.
Henschel was succeeded after two
years by Wilhelm Gericke. He was
followed by Arthur Nikisch, a Hun-
garian whose conducting at Leipzig
had been attracting attention. Emil
Paur, the successor of Nikisch at the
Opera in Leipzig, likewise succeeded
him as conductor of the Boston Sym-
phony Orcestra.
Following the return of Gericke
from 1898 to 1906, Higginson secured
Karl Muck, conductor at the Royal
Opera in Berlin, to head his orches-
tra. Muck was recalled for four years,
during which time his former col-
league in Hamburg, Max Fiedler, con-
ducted. In 1912 Muck was permitted
by his government to return.
With a board of trustees assuming
the responsibility of the orchestra in
place of Higginson, Henri Rabaud, a
Parisian composer, was engaged as
conductor. Pierre Monteux, of the
Metropolitan Opera Company, fol-
lowed, holding the post until Kousse-
vitzky's arrival.
The orchestra's Pop Concerts given
during May, June and July in Sym-
phony Hall have almost as long a
history as the winter concerts. Be-
gun in the spring of 1885, the "Pops"
developed into an institution of Bos-
ton's spring and early summer, with
wine and other refreshments served
during the concert at tables on the
floor of the Hall.
In 1940, Koussevitzky realized his
plan of establishing a center of the
arts designed to help music students,
the Berkshire Music Center.
Auditorium Is
Excellent Acoustics
Help Concert Artists
World-famous performers in the
field .of music will appear this year
in Ann Arbor's Hill Auditorium,
whose streamlined design makes it
one of the most accoustically perfect
halls in America.
The auditorium was built in 1913
and almost immediately became a
favorite with musicians because of its
fine sound reflection. Paderewski in
an early performance described it as
"the finest auditorium in the world."
Funds for the auditorium were do-
nated by Arthur Hill, lawyer, alum-
nus and regent of the University.
Dedication was in the early summer
of 1913, although the first perform-
ance was the May Festival of that
Seating approximately 5,000 per-
sons, the auditorium is designed on
the parabaloid principle-like the
headlight of an automobile-which
allows direct and indirect sound
waves to reach the ears of the lis-
tener at the same time. This brings
clean, clear music even to the gal-
lery audience.

... seventeenth performance here
* .,*

. . . pianist here for sixth time
* *
Music Lovers
Awaiting Sixth
Horowitz Visit
Ann Arbor music lovers will prob-
ably extend a special welcome to
pianist Vladimir Horowitz, who will
appear here for the sixth time when
he presents the seventh concert in
the Choral Union series.
Scheduled to play here on Friday,
January 17, Horowitz will be remem-
bered by many for his previous ap-
pearances in 1928, 1930, 1933, 1941
and 1945.
The son of an electrical engineer,
Simeon Horowitz, the pianist was
born in Kiev, Russia, in a house on
Musikalni Pereulak, which means,
appropriately, Music Street.
Revealing his musical inclinations
at six, he received his first piano les-
sons from his mother. At 16, after
studying with Felix Blumenfeld, pupil
of Anton Rubinstein, he graduated
from the Conservatory with the high-
est honors.
His formal debut took place in
Kharkov, Russia, in May, 1920. The
following year he gave over 70 con-
certs, 23 of them in Leningrad. His
first European tour in 1924 took him
to Holland, Italy, Austria, Spain and
France. Subsequent tours of Ger-
many, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and
England followed.
On January 12, 1928, he made his
American debut with the New York
Philharmonic Smyphony Orchestra
under the direction of Sir Thomas
Beecham, selecting as his major work
Tchaikowsky's Piano Concerto in B.
Flat Minor, a work which has since
become increasingly popular at con-
During the war, Horwitz raised mil-
lions of dollars in war bonds by giv-
ing concerts, including a concert ap-
pearance at Carnegie Hall with Ar-
turo Toscanini which grossed $11,-
See HOROWITZ, Page 2

The sixty-eighth successive ChoralI
Union concert series, including fourt
major symphony orchestras, a dis-
tinguished choral group on its first
visit to America and five solo artistst
in recital, will open Thursday, Oct.
10, in Hill Auditorium.-
Starting Time
All concerts will start at 8:30 p.m.
except for the Cleveland and Chi-
cago Orchestras, which will begin
their performances at 7 p.m.
The Choral Union concerts are pre-
sented by the University Musical So-
ciety, a non-profit corporation de-
voted to educational purposes. During
its entire existence its concerts have
been maintained by the sale of tick-
ets of admission.
Ticket Sale
Patrons desiring tickets for this
year's concerts should inquire at the
University Musical Society, whose of-
fices are located on the ground floor'
of Burton Tower.
The first concert of this year's ser-
ies will be presented by the popular
romantic tenor James Melton, a fa-
vorite of American opera, concert,
stage, screen and radio audiences.
Second Concert
For the second concert this year,
on Oct. 30, Eugene Istomin, 21-year-
old pianist, will replace Egon Petri,
who has cancelled his concert tour
because of illness. Istomin, when 17
years old, won the coveted Philadel-
phia Youth Contest, which gave him
an appearance with the Philadelphia
Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy,
and the Leventritt Prize, which
brought an engagement in Carnegie
Hall with the Philharmonic Orches-
Yehudi Menuhin, top-flight violin
virtuoso, Vladimir Horowitz, Russian-
American pianist, and Lotte Leh-
mann, leading soprano of the Metro-
politan Opera Company, are the oth-
er solo artists who will appear in this
year's series.
Icelandic Singers
The Icelandic Singers, under the
direction of Sigurdur Thordarson, will
appear Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor as part
of its first visit to America. Members
of the armed forces who were sta-
tioned in Iceland have expressed
great enthusiasm over this unique
choral group.
First of the symphony orchestras
included in the series will be the
Cleveland Orchestra, which will ap-
pear Nov. 10 under the baton of its
new conductor, George Szel. Others
are the Boston Symphony, under
Serge Koussevitsky, on Dec. 9, the
Detroit Symphony and its American
conductor, Karl Krueger on Feb. 17,
and the Chicago Symphony, Desire
Choral Union's
Histor Ty Traced
Originally Sang Handel
For Church Benefits
From benefits for ladies' aid so-
cieties to one of the most outstanding
concert series in the country-that's
the end-to-end history of the Uni-
versity Choral Union Society.
The 68-year-old organization --
which this year will again bring to
Ann Arbor a list of world-renowned
musicians-started out as a group of
singers from the choirs of the Con-
gregational, Methodist, Presbyterian
and Episcopal churches.
Began as Messiah Club
For a short time it was known as
the Messiah Club, limiting its efforts
to the singing of choruses from Han-
del's oratoria. Then its sphere was
extended to include general choral
works, other singers-including stu-
dents-were admitted and the name
of the group was changed to its
present one.
Its first concert was given in the
Congregational Church, the second in
the Methodist and the third in the

Presbyterian-all for the benefit of
the four churches' respective ladies'
aid societies.
The society met, and overcame,
many obstacles during its early years.

Defauw, conductor, which will close
the concert series on March 16,
Officers of the University Musical
Society are Charles A. Sink, presi-
dent, Alexander G. Ruthven, vice-
president, Shirley W. Smith, secre-
tary, and Oscar A. Eberbach, treas-
Pianist Istomtin
Replaces Petri
lin 2nd Concert
Russian-Born Artist
Is Outstanding at 21
In place of Egon Petri, who has
cancelled his concert tours because
of illness, Eugene Istomin, pianist,
will be heard in the Choral Union
Series Wednesday, Oct. 20.
Istomin, who was born in New York
of Russian parents, won the Philadel-
phia Youth Contest award when
he was seventeen years old.
This award included an appearance
with the Philadelphia Orchestra un-
der Eugene Ormandy. The same
month he won the Leventritt prize,
giving him an enagagement in Car-
negie Hall with the Philharmonic Or-
chestra under Artur Rodzinski.
Outstanding Talents
Of the latter performance the New
York Times said, "It left no doubt as
to his outstanding talents, and his
debut must be reckoned an outstand-
ing success."
After this double-debut, Adolph
Busch, distinguished violinist and
conductor, invited Istomin to be solo-
ist at a Town Hall concert of his
Little Symphony in March, 1944. This
year's appearance, his first in Ann
Arbor, is part of his third country-
wide tour, devoted half to individual
recitals, half to appearances as solo-
ist with the Busch Little Symphony.
He is now 21 years old,
Not Child Prodigy
Istomin, who was singing arias
and songs in Italian, French and
Russian at the age of two, could very
easily have become a "child prodigy."
His parents, however, never exploit-
ed him, and encouraged him to de-
velop extra-musical interests and
abilities. At the age of four, when his
mother crooned gpysy melodies, he
would improvise accompaniments for
her on the piano.
One night, when he was six, he was
allowed to accompany her on the con-
cert stage. Among the audience that
night was the great pianist Alexander
Siloti, a pupil of Franz Liszt. He took
a great interest in the young pianist,
and suggested to the parents that
Eugene start music lessons immedi-
ately. When Istomin was 14 he en-
tered the Curtis Institute of Music,
where he studied under the noted
pianist Rudolph Serkin. When he
won the coveted Leventritt and Phil-
adelphia awards he had only once
performed in public and once over
the radio with fellow Curtis students.
Although he has many interests
outside of music, Istomin's hobby is
studying the pre-Bach composers. He
is distressed that so many books be-
gin the history of music with Bach,
since "some of the most appealing
music was written before the 17th
DesireDef auw
To Direct Here
D6sire Defauw, musical director
and conductor of the Chicago Sym-
phony Orchestra, will bring his musi-
cians here Mar. 16 for the final con-
cert in the 1946-47 Choral Union ser-
Dr. Defauw is in his third year as
conductor of this well-known orches-
tral organization, which was founded

in 1891 by Theodore Thomas with the
support of a number of public-spir-
ited Chicagoans. For its first 14 years
it was known as the "Chicago Or-
chestra," and then for seven and a


Ticket Sales
Tickets for the Choral Union
Series are now exhausted. Ticket
sales for special additional con-
certs will be announced from time
to time.

Violinist Yehudi* Menuhin To Play Here

World-famed violinist Yehudi
Menuhin. will appear on the Choral
Union Concert Series Nov. 19.
Recently returned from Europe,
Menuhin has been recording his
music on sound track for a British
film, "The Magic Bow," to be re-

been liberated. In Moscow, where he
appeared under the auspices of Voks,
a Soviet organization for foreign cul-
tural exchange, he was greeted at the
airport by a delegation of all the
leading Russian musicians, and was
enthusiastically received during his

During the war, Menuhin played
more than 400 concerts for the Ameri-
can and Allied armed forces. He fol-'
lowed in the path of our invasion
forces, at the request of Gen. Eisen-
hower, playing in Antwerp and Rot-
terdam while the cannons were still
roaring in the suburbs. Other over-

:':..._.. 'S' ....: . 34tet: : .............

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