THE MICHIGAN DAILY
SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 1953
SiepiTo Make First Appearance May 2
Prodigy of the Metropolitan
Opera's 1950 season, and one of
the chief or'naments of every sea-
son since, basso Cesare Siepi will
be heard for the first time in the
May Festival at 8:30 p.m. May 2
'with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Possessed of a voice quite equal
to the task of filling the vast ex-
panses of Hill Auditorium, Siepi
is described as having a cantante
or lyric basso in the best Italian
bel canto tradition.
* * *
BASSO SIEPI, a native of Milan,
Italy, first caught the attention
of the operatic world when he
walked off with top honors in a
competition in Florence at the
age of 18.
Although at the time he knew
only two arias, Siepi was urged
on by his friend, the Met Tenor
Giuseppe di Stefano, with the
result that within two months he
was engaged to sing "Rigoletto"
in one of the provincial northern
Italian opera houses.
With the War's end in 1946,
Siepi was engaged at the La Scala
Opera House in Milan where he
soon became one of "the pillars"
of the opera company. While at
La Scala he appeared under Ar-
turo Toscanni's baton in a number
of operas and oratorios.
HIS DEBUT with the Metropoli-
tan in New York as King Philip in
Verdi's "Don Carlos," came rather
unexpectedly when a last-minute
replacement was needed for
another basso at the Met.
Siepi's triumph was immediate
with the New York Times critic
Olin Downes writing "one of the
(Continued from Page 1)
in a part of Russia which is now
Poland, and educated at the Im-
perial Conservatory of Musip in
St. Petersburg, where he was a
pupil of the famous Leopold Auer.
During the turbulent days after
Russia withdrew from World War
I, Hilsberg went east to Siberia
to teach and pursue his music.
After joining the Philadelphia
Orchestra, he soon moved up to
the position of concertmaster in
1931. In 1945 he was appointed
to assist Eugene Ormandy and to
conduct the group in a number of
concerts in Philadelphia and on
tour during the season.
In 1951 he resigned his concert
position to devote his time entirely
to conducting. During the past
season he took over the baton for
the newly formed New Orleans
Symphony and led it to a success-
During recent seasons he has
been guest conductor of the
Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Ro-
bin Hood Dell orchestras. He is
head of the orchestra department
at the Curtis Institute of Music
and conducts the semi-profession-
al Reading, Pa. Symphony Orches-
With its participation in this
year's May Festival, the Festival
Youth Chorus will continue an
unbroken 41 year tradition.
Under the direction of Prof.
Marguerite Hood, the group of
more than 400 .students chosen
from Ann Arbor's public schools
will perform at the Saturday af-
PROF. HOOD of the music
school and Supervisor of Music
for the city's public schools,
has gained national recognition
through her workwith young peo-
ple. She is the author of numer-
ous books, and is past-president
of the Music Educators' Confer-
At this year's performance,
the chorus will offer "Suite of
Songs" by Benjamin Britton, a
contemporary English composer.
Selections have been taken from
his "Friday Afternoons" compo-
sitions and his arrangements of
"Folk Songs of the British Isles."
Students of several of the city's
public schools are rehearsing now,
and the final selection of the 400
who will participate in the actual
performance will be made from
Since present arrangements do
not include participation by all
schools, plans are being expand-
ed so that all the city's young
people will have the opportunity
THE CHORUS, which was or-
ganized in 1913 made its first pub-
lic appearance in the Festival of
that year. It has maintained a
Next Year . ..
The "business year" never
ends for busy University Musi-
cal Society officials.
The last strains of May Fes-
tival music die out late Sunday,
May 3. And on Monday, May
4, the first season ticket orders
for the 1953-54 Choral Union
Concert Series and Extra Con-
cert Series will be accepted.
Subscribers to Block A 1953
May Festival tickets may retain
the same seat locations for the
Choral Union Series by sub-
mitting orders with $16 re-
mittance not later than June
The unclaimed Block A seats
will then go on sale at $16.
Block B tickets are $12, Block
C tickets are $10 for the ten-
The five Extra Concert Series
tickets are $8 for Block A seats,
$6 for Block B and $5 for Block
Orders for next year's May
festival season tickets will be
accepted and filed in sequence
beginning December 1.
Will .Be Led
(Continued from Page 1)
certs there and was permanently
After spending five years with
the Minneapolis Symphony, the
famed conductor was awarded the
co-conductorship of the Philadel-
Within two years he was given
a longer contract and the addi-
tional title and duties of Music
Under his baton the Philadel-
phia Orchestra has traveled more
than any similar group. Appearing
for several May Festivals here, it
has gone to, many other cities
throughout the nation.
Ormandy himself has taken
time out to be guest conductor of
many other orchestras, and his
engagements have taken him
abroad on several occasions.
Famed Chopin Pianist
To Give MayConcert.
Famed Russian pianist Alexand-
er Brailowsky will replace Myra
Hess in the first May Festival
concert April 30.
Miss Hess, who was originally
scheduled to participate in the
Festival, recently underwent a
serious operation and was forced
to cancel the remainder of her
* * *
BUT THE MAN who will sub-
stitute for the noted British
woman has himself been acclaim-
ed all over the world as a great
Although he includes most of
the great classic composers'
works in his repertoire, Chopin
has been his specialty almost
since the beginning of his career.
He is especially known for his
"Chopin cycle," a series of six
concerts in which he plays the
entire works of that composer.
But even before Brailowsky be-
gan presenting the Chopin cycle,
he had already gained a large
following in Europe.
BORN IN KIEV, in South Rus-
sia, his early training in music
was supervised by his father, also
a pianist of great skill. After
leaving Russian at the age of 14,
he continued his studies in
Vienna, Zurich and France. He
made his debut in 1920 in France.
In 1923 Brailowsky started
working on his Chopin cycle.
Retreating to a cottage in the
French Alps, he took a summer
off to work outthearrangement
of the cycle. First he catalogued
all of Chopin's piano pieces, then
for months juggled them in an
attempt to form six well-balaticed
* * *
"TO PLAY them in chronologi-
cal order would have been
a stupid idea," he said.
Often I spent hours trying
to decide if a certain etude
should go before a mazurka or
Since this painstaking begin-
ning Brailowsky has given the
Chopin cycle 16 times-in Paris,
Brussels, Zurich, Mexico City,
Buenos Aires, Rio de Janiero,
Montevideo and New York-to
highly enthusiastic audiences.
Twenty thousand five hundred
people heard the cycle in New
York-a box office record which
critics predict will never be brok-
en by any artist living today.
* * *
BRAILOWSKY has many deep
interests other than the piano. He
is a linguist, speaking Spanish,
English, Russian and French with
* * *
Held at Hill
Hill Auditorium, the scene of
this year's May Festival concerts,
has been used for this purpose
since it was built in 1913.
The Auditorium was construct-
ed with funds bequeathed to the
University by the late Arthur Hill
of Saginaw. Hill, an avid art pa-
tron and a University graduate,
had been a member of the Board
of Regents for many years.
ENGINEERED to be as nearly
acoustically perfect as possible,
Hill Auditorium was pronounced
by the late Ignace Paderewski,
world famed pianist, to be "the
finest music auditorium in the
Hill's famous Frieze Memorial
Organ, was exhibited at the
World's Fair in Chicago in 1893
as the first major instrument of
its kind to be operated fully by
electricity. After the World's
Fair, the instrument was pur-
chased by the University Musi-
cal Society and presented to the
In addition to the Frieze Or-
gan, Hill Auditorium houses a
world famous collection of musi-
cal instruments assembled from
all parts of the world by the late
Frederick Stearn of Detroit.
Stearn spared no pains or money
in procuring instruments from
practically every country in the
world, including the South Sea
Islands, and from African tribes.
HILL HAS A seating capacity of
4,195, a far cry from the old Uni-
versity auditorium which held only
2,500 persons. At times almost
6,000 people, including standees,
have jammed the auditorium for
A wide range of music has been
presented on Hill's stage, but the
facilities do not permit the stag-
ing of operas or theatrical produc-
tions. It is the hope of the Musi-
cal Society that some day a gen-
erous art patron will make it pos-
sible to add a dramatic reputa-
tion to Hill's already impressive
position in the field of music.
BASS CESARE SIEPI TO SING AT FOURTH CONCERT
* * *
best basses the Metropolitan has Spar
had in recent decades." Artits Spark
In rapid succession during the
next two seasons the versatile Concert Series
basso assumed the role of the
grotesque and unscrupulous sing-
ing master Don Basilio in "The (Continued from Page 1)
Barber of Seville," Mephistopheles more than 700 miles between Bos-
in "Faust," Colline in "La ton and Ann Arbor
Boheme" and the youthful role of Deciding that the expense o
Figaro."nMozart's"Marriage of transportation would be no more
Figaro."for three concerts than for one,
This season he has added to the Society inaugurated the first
his repertoire at the Met the annual May Festival.
title role in the revival of Mous- Heralded with front page news-
sorgsky's "Boris Godounnoff," in Heralith ftiag ws
Englsh nd hs frst erfrm-paper publicity, the Festival was
English and his first perform- attended by students, faculty and
ance of Mozart's worldly Don flocks of visitors. Not even stand-
Giovanni. ing room was available for the
Siepi's selections for the May 2 first performance Friday evening.
concert include "Mentre ti lascio" Lobbies and corridors were jam-
by Mozart, "Ella giammai m'amo" med with enthusiastic concert-
from Verdi's "Don Carlo" and "Di goers.
sposo di padre" from "Salvator Since then the May Festival
Rosa" by Gomez. program has increased to six per-
At the same concert the orches- formances with well-known ar-
tra under Eugene Ormandy will tists from all over the world.
play the tone poem, "Don Juan" At the 1936 Festival Leopold
by .Richard Strauss, "Mathis der Stokowski conducted the Philadel-
Maler" by Hindemith, and "Polka phia Orchestra in the first of its
and Fugue" from "Schwanda" by now-traditional May performan-
-1- -- - -
record of continual
since that time,
, youthful spirit into
* .. to replace Hess
equal fluency; a dog fancier who
has owned several dogs and an
avid reader of the Russian
classics. In addition, he collects
old clocks and likes painting and
The most practical of his hob-
bies stems from his love of trav-
el. Better informed than most
travel agencies about train and
boat schedules, he plans all his
own itineraries, a job usually
done by a harrassed travel man-
And the job is a big one. For
there is almost no country in the
world in which the pianist has
not traveled and given concerts.
It was also in that year that
the May Festival was first held
in the then new Hill Auditorium.
Prior to that time, the Festi-
vals were held in University
Hall, and the limited facilities
of the Hall precluded participa-
tion by any group the size of the'
In its first appearance, the
chorus presented Fletcher's "Wal-
rus and the Carpenter," which has
been performed several times since
In this year's audience will be
several members of the original
Festival Youth Chorus. Partici-
pating in the performance will be,
the grandchildren of some of the
SUNDAY, MAY 3.
SATURDAY, MAY 2
FOUR STANDING TO SOLOISTS
San Francisco Opera
FRIDAY, MAY 1
Mass in B Minor ... Bach
University Choral Union
pD i Inrl- ir- O"rr wncr
American Concert Star