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October 01, 1950 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1950-10-01

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YI e


Latest Deadline in the State





To Perform
Dec. 3 at Hill
Beecham Heads
Royal Symphony
Ann Arbor concert-goers will be
treated to an unprecedented ap-
pearance ofnthe Royal Philhar-
monic Orchestra of London, Eng-
land Sunday, Dec. 3 when this
eminent musical body is presented
by the University Choral Union
for the first time in Ann Arbor.
Conducted under the baton of
the unorthodox Sir T h o m a s
Beecham, Bart., the Royal Phil-
harmonic is making its first tour
of North America this autumn,
and is slated to play fifty concerts
in the United States.
* * *
CONDUCTOR Beecham, who is
recognized as one of the great fig-
ures of the musical world, is noted
for his fabulous personality as well
as his masterful musicianship.
He is reputed to have the ec-
centricity of the English im.
mortals and delights in living up
to his own legend.
His independent methods and
speech have enabled him to ac-
complish more for the musical life
of his country than any other man
of his time.
A remarkable interpreter of
many styles and schools, he has a
special taste for such classic com-
posers as Handel, Mozart, a n d
Haydn, all of whom are represent-
ed on his tour program.
Although it has been said that
the Royal Philharmonic orches-
tra was founded by Beecham less
than three years ago, in reality,
with the exception of a ten year
interval, there has been such an
t organization for almost 120 years.
The body now known as t h e
Royal Philharmonic is largely
composed of eminent musicians
who played under Beecham's di-
rection before the war. It is cur-
rently recognized as the foremost
orchestra of its kind in G r e a t
Numbering 100 members, t h e
Royal Philharmonic is engaged all
year around, and is the only or-
cbestra in England which can op-
erate without government subsidy.
Beecham's orchestra is the of-
ficial instrument of the Royal
Philharmonic Society. An organ-
ization devoted to the encourage-
ment of orchestral and instru-
mental music, the Society has a
constitution dating from 1811, and
is the world's oldest group of its
Extra Concert
Series Opens
With Melchior
Tenor Lauritz Melchoir, who
holds the world's record in the
number of performances of Wag-
nerian operas, will open the Extra
Concert Series program this fall
on Oct. 10 in Hill Auditorium.
Melchior does not confine his
singing talents to the opera alone.
He has appeared in motion pic-
tures and has been heard over
the Xr. Through these two medi-

ums he believes that so-called
classical music can be presented
to the American public in small
* * *
THE PUBLIC seems to agree
as they flock to the musicals in
which Melchior inserts a classicly
musical blurb. Though some mov-
ie-goers seem surprised when the
kindly great-uncle of the beaute-
ous heroine breaks into an aria
from "Tristan and Isolde," -box-
office returns have proved his
movies a success.
His interest in music is not
confined to the technical side
alone. Hie has recently advo-
cated subsidized music and a
secretary for arts and sciences
as a new presidential cabinet
"The United States has led the
world in so many things that
now I think it is time for it to






Choral Union Christmas Concert

Traubel Will Sig
At First Concert
"In Die Walkure I stand like a swooning cow for 30 seconds wait-
ing to go into a clinch with Siegmund while he clomps across the
This is how Helen Traubel, considered by critics as one of the
greatest Wagnarian soprano in the world today, describes her most
famous role at the Metropolitan, that of Brunhilde.
ACCORDING TO MISS TRAUBEL, whose concert Oct. 5 in Hill
Auditorium will open the 72nd annual Choral Union series, a prime
prerequisite for singing opera is a sense of humor.
Almost as famous for her explosive laugh as for her singing
powers,. Miss Traubel has broken up more than one radio show
with roaring hysterics.

English Artists
Solomon, Hess, London Philharmonic
To Add British Touch to Concerts
The University Concert Series will be sparked by three great Bri-
I tish performers this year, when Solomon, the London Philharmonic
and Myra Hess make their Ann Arbor appearances.
The series will open with Helen, Traubel, Wagnerian soprano of
the Metropolitan Opera Company, on Oct. 5, according to Charles A.
Si '_t, University Musical Society President. The Boston Symphony
Orchestra under the baton of Charles Munch will continue the series
~'Oct. 22.
The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by George Szell will be heard
Nov. 5.
The English pianist Solomon will make his Ann Arbor debut
Nov. 20, after .nspiring critics

* * *
Sink Issues
Yearly Note
Following is the annual mes-
sage from Charles A. Sink, presi-
dent of the University Musical So-
The Board of Directors of the
University Musical Society an-
nounces 26 major programs, in
the several concert series for the
current season.
In the 20 programs which will
precede the May Festival, six or-
chestra concerts will be heard;
two renowned choral groups will
appear; and seven recitals by
world-famous singers, violinists,
and pianists, are scheduled.
In addition, two performances
of Handel's monumental oratorio,
"Messiah," will take place in De-
cember-with the Choral Union
of more than three hundred voices,
orchestra, and distinguished so-
loists. A Chamber Music Festival
of three concerts in Rackham Au-
ditorium in February will be in-
The Fifty-eighth annual May
Festival of six concerts will take
place during four days in May,
and will involve the artistic ser-
vices of the Philadelphia Or
chestra, the University Choral
Union, under a galaxy of distin-
guished conductors. Great art-
ists, both vocal and instrumen-
tal, will participate.
The Board of Directors each
year endeavors to bring to the
University performers of estab-
lished reputations and to provide
programs of sound, cultural, and
educational worth, rather than
merely for amusement or enter-
tainment. Every effort is made to
space the programs as advant-
ageously as possible, and to avoid
See SINK, page 3

Miss Traubel's enthusiasm for a
good time extends to an ardent in-
terest in baseball. She is permitted
to attend only two or three games
a-season because she roots so hard
she strains her priceless, but unin-
sured voice.
* * *
Considered the Metropolitan
Opera's chief meal ticket, Miss
Traubel is one of the very few
American-born, American-trained
opera singers ever to achieve first
rank. Even today she has not yet
visited Europe.
"This business of running off
to Europe is nothing but down-
right snobbery," she insists. "I
don't want to sound like a flag
waver, but it gets rn'a sore when
people rap the appreciation of
culture in America."
Miss Traubel also scoffs at the
theory that "an artist must 'sof-
fer' in an attic to gain success." "I
don't see how anybody can do good
hard work worrying about the next
First invited to join the Metro-
politan Opera Company in 1926,
Miss Traubel turned down the bid
because she felt she was not yet
ready for it. To develop her tech-
nique she spent 13 years singing in
churches and synagogues and
giving an occasional recital.
In 1939 she finally accepted a
contract with the Met and made
her debut as Sieglinde in Die
Walkure, supporting Kirsten
Flagstad in the part of Brunn-
It wasn't until the latter re-
turned to Nazi-held Norway that
Miss Traubel took over her roles
and was recognized as reigning
queen of the Met.
Miss Traubel admits, however,
she would rather do concert work
than opera, for she likes to include
in her repertoire French and Ital-
ian arias, German lieders, spirit-
uals, ballads, and contemporary
American music.
May Festival
Tradition Will
Be Continued
The May Festival, one of the
oldest and most-famed traditions
of the University Musical Society,
will be held May 3, 4, 5, and 6
next year.-
As in past years, the Philadel-
phia Orchestra conducted by Eu-
gene Ormandy will be a mainstay
of the Festival. The University
Choral Union, Thor Johnson,
guest conductor; and the Festival
Youth Chorus, conducted by Mar-
guerite Hood, will also participate.
Soloists for this year's Festival
have not yet been announced.
Four evening concerts and two
matinees will be presented as us-
ual. Ticket orders with remit-
tances will be accepted and filled
in sequence beginning Dec. 1.

--igman- iniganensian
MESSIAH PRESENTATION--Pictured above is the 1949 annual Christmas season presentation of
Handel's "Messiah," featuring the Musical Society Special Symphony and the University Choral
Union. The Musical Society first sponsored the concert in 1879, when four Ann Arbor Church groups
banded together to form the "Messiah" Club.
* * * 4' 4
Combined Choirs 'Messiah' Club
Expanded Into 'U'Musical Society

From a meager beginning spon-
soring the combined choruses of
four church choirs in a then small
college town of the 1870's, the
University Musical Society has
grown into the cultural giant that
it is today.
The society, which annually
presents the Choral Union Series,
the Messiah, the Chamber Music
Festival and the May Festival got
its start in 1879.
AT THAT TIME the choruses
of the local Congregational, Epis-
copal, Methodist and Presbyterian
churches banded together to form
the "Messiah" club under the aus-
pices of the "U" Musical Society.
Their chief interest was to sing
choruses from Handel's great ora-
Throughout that winter fre-
quent meetings of the group
were held which included social
activities as well as rehearsals
for the singers.
By the end of the University's
academic year 1879-1880, theor-
ganization had given its first con-
cert. This program, like the ones
which immediately followed, was
given for the benefit of the ladies'
societies of the four churches.
* * *
WHEN THE singers got togeth-
er again in the fall of 1880, they
found that half of their member-
ship had either graduated or mov-
ed out of Ann Arbor.
This apparently didn't phase
the choristers. They changed
their name to the Choral Union,
threw open their ranks to all
singers and started preparing
their second concert.
This second program was given
in the early winter, and before
the school year was out a third
concert had been performed.
IT WAS IN this year that the
union chose its first conductor,
Calvin Cady. For the next eight
years under his direction the
chorus became an artistic if not a
financial success.
In 1888, Cady was succeeded
by Albert Stanley, who held the

baton for the next 33 years, un-
til 1921. Under him the chorus
bloomed both artistically and
It was during this period that
distinguished artists and great or-
chestras were included on the con-
cert series with the union. Also un-
der the leadership of Stanley the
union in 1913 moved its base of ac-
tivities from University Hall to the
newly completed Hill Auditorium,
built specifically as a concert hall.
* * *
UNDER STANLEY, in 1894, the
first May Festival, a series of three
concerts, was presented with the
help of the Boston Festival Or-
chestra. This orchestra, the fore-
runner of the Boston Symphony,
appeared In May Festivals for 11
The Chicago Symphony filled
the bill until 1935, when the

Philadelphia Orchestra took ov-
When Stanley left in 1921, Earl
Moore took the helm of the Choral
Union chorus. He was replaced by
Thor Johnson in 1939 who in turn
was succeeded by the present con-
ductor, Prof. Lester McCoy of the
music school.
* *' *
THROUGH THE years of its
growth the University Musical So-
ciety has been headed by four
The present incumbent, Char-
les A. Sink, has held his post
since 1927.
It is his responsibility together
with the Board of Directors of the
society to arrange for the guest
artists, orchestras and choral
groups that appear annually in
the five concert series presented
by the society in Ann Arbor.

to rave reviews in New York
and Boston.
Bringing the high culture of
Finland direct to the University,
and coming just in time to wit-
ness Thanksgiving, the Polytech-
nic Chorus of Finland made up
of 60 male voices will appear Nov.
28, conducted by Ossi Elokas.
Another first Ann Arbor ap-
pearance 'will be Sir Thomas
Beecham and the Royal Phil
harmonic Orchestra of London,
on Dec. 3.
The orchestra is making a lim-
ited national tour, presenting con-
certs in New York and a limited
number of the principal music
centers of the East and Middle
THE SERIES will resume after
the holidays with a full recital by
Erica Morini, Jan. 11. Vladimir
Horowitz, nimble keyboard artist,
will be heard Jan. 19.
The Chicago Symphony will
introduce its new conductor, Ra-
fael Kubelik, to Ann Arbor
March 4. Kubelik is the son of
the Czech violinist, Jan Kubelik.
The Choral Union Series will
close with a recital, by Jascha
Heifitz, violinist-extraordinary, on
March 14.
* , *
augurate the Extra Concert Series
-half' the number at half the
price'-in a program of operatic
arias and songs Oct. 10. This con-
cert will be followed by the Boston
Symphony's second appearance on
Oct. 25 in a program completely
different than the Choral Union.
Myra Hess, well-known Bri-
tish pianist who was prevented
from fulfilling her engagement
here last season by illness, will
be heard on Nov. 14.
The ever-popular Don Cossack
Chorus with Serge Jaroff conduct-
ing will perform Jan. 15 The
chorus was organized from the
Russian Imperial Army during the
first World War.
The series will close with the
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's
fourth consecutive performance
conducted by Thor Johnson, Feb.
Series T o End
With Heifetz
Jascha Heifetz, world renowned
violinist, will give the'final con-
cert of the Choral Union Series
March 14, 1951.
H e i f e t z' performance next
March will mark his 10th appear-
ance in Ann Arbor since his de-
but here in 1917.
* * *
BORN IN Vilna Russia, Heifetz
took his first lessons when ie was
three. At the age of .even he
made his Russian debut.
After making several Europ-
ean concert tours and studying
under Leopold Auer at the Im-
perial (Russian) Conservatory,
Heifetz made his American de-
but in a 1917 Carnegie Hall
Now in mid-career, the violin-
ist estimates he has traveled al-
mo the equivalent if seven trips
to tie moon on his numerous con-
cert tours.

Johnson. Will
Conduct Here'
In February
Campus Alumni
To Appear Again
,When young, affable Thor
Johnson brings his celebrated Cin-
cinnati Symphony Orchestra to
Hill Auditorium February 20, he
will be working in familiar sur-
It was just a little over fifteen
years ago that Johnson, after re-
ceiving his bachelor's degree at
the University of North Carolina,
came to Ann Arbor and completed
his graduate work in the Univers-
ity School of Music.
While here, Johnson was award-
ed a scholarship for study in Er-
ope, enabling him to spend two
years in Salzburg and Leipzig.
When he returned to this
country in 1938 he became as-
sistant professor of music at the
University and served as con-
ductor of both the University
Symphony and Little Symphony.
In 1939, Johnson took over the
reigns of the Grand Rapids Sym-
phony. Shortly after he became
musical director of the Ann Arbor
May Festival and Choral Union. At
the present time he serves on the
University Musical Society Board
of Directors.
During the past decade Johnson
has rapidly risen to national im-
portance. In 1942 he enlisted in
the Army and soon became a War-
rant Bandmaster
He founded the first soldier
symphony orchestra which tour-
ed the European theater until
his discharge in 1946.
In December of that year John-
son came to Cincinnati as a guest
conductor, relieveing Eugene Goos-
sens, the regular conductor, who
was ill. His appearance proved so
successful that when Goossens an-
nounced his resignation several
weeks later, Johnson was unani-
mously placed at the helm of the
Cincinnati orchestra.
Today Johnson is one of the few
American-born and American-
trained conductors in command of
a major symphony orchestra. Now
in his fourth season as both mu-
sic director and conductor.
Johnson is considered one of ,
the nation's leading conductors.
His orchestra, the Cincinnatti,
was organized in 1895 in response
to demands from residents of the
city for a permanent orchestra
there. Frank van der Stucken was
chosen as the first conductor.
Since Johnson took over he has
increased the popularity of the
young people's concerts in his
adopted city and has appeared in
many out-of-town engagements.
Single Tidkets
On SaleNow
Tickets for single programs in
either the regular or extra con-
cert series are now on sale at the

Budapest Quartet To Return
For February Engagement

Concert goers will be able to
hear the renowned Budapest
String Quartet when it returns
here for the second consecutive
year Feb. 16, 17 and 18 in Rack-
ham auditorium.
The Budapest quartet first
made its American debut in 1930,
after touring in Europe exten-
sively during the 1920's. It scored
an immediate success, and has be-
come increasingly popular in suc-
ceeding years.
generally consider the Budapes-
ters to be the top-ranking string
quartet in the world. This is an
impressive tribute, for chamber
music is often called the "high-
est and purest" form of music.
Its history dates from the
18th century when Hungary's
Prince Esterhazy commissioned

IFranz Joseph Haydn to write
and play quartets for him. For
many years it appealed only to
those connoisseurs of music,
who considered it as being a
cut above opera and the sym-
phony orchestra.
Today, thanks to the work of
such groups as the Budapesters,
chamber music is much more
THE BUDAPEST Quartet has
merged the talents of four great
artists into an ensemble designed
to meet the exacting demands of
chamber music.
First violin is in the ,capable
hands of Joseph Roisman,
while Jac Gorodetzky wields the
bow for the second violin. Mis-
cha Schneider, violoncello, and
Boris Kroyt, viola, complete the


Boston SymphonyWill Give Two Concerts

From Boston, "the home of, the
bean and the cod," the Boston
Symphony will tour into Ann
Arbor to give two concerts, the

hearsing his men long hours so
that they would produce his styli-
zations 'no matter how exhausted
the practice sessions have left

their conductor, since interpre- In his childhood prayerbook
tation depends on his momen- was the legend, "From our bones
tary whim. one day an avenger will arise,"
Approving critics claim that and he considers his Alsatian

Choral Union history trat a ma-
jor orchestra was invited to per-
form twice during the same sea-

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