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March 20, 1955 - Image 7

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Michigan Daily, 1955-03-20

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S irrtax






Met's Renowned Soprano
Noted for Versatile Career
Rise Stevens, mezzo-soprano star of the Metropolitan Opera, has
been called "the sexiest dame on a screen since Theda Bara" and "the
greatest singing actress of our time."
Appearing May 8 in the final concert of the May Festival, Miss
Stevens 'has achieved fame in opera, movies, radio, television and
But, in her early youth, Miss Stevens showed no signs of extra-
ordinary gifts and her parents had no aspirations for their daughter.
Born in New York of American and Norwegian extraction, she at-
tended a Long Island high school.
Unusual Voice Noticed
Her unusual voice was noticed by the school's superintendent as
he attended a regular singing class. She was made to attend all music
classes and was given yearly scholarships.
$ She soon sang at weddings, fu-

Serkin Uses
Own Piano
In Concerts
Rudolph Serkin, the world fa-1
mous pianist who, in the words of
a national magazine, "looks like a
scholar and plays like an angel,"
will be heard May 5. in the open-
ing concert of the May Festival.
A truly international figure, he
was born of Russian background
in Eger, Czechoslovakia, March 28,
1903. He was brought up in Vienna
where he studied piano with Prof.
Richard Robert and, later, compo-
sition under Arnold Schoenberg.
He made his debut at the age of
12 with the Vienna Symphony but!
his concert career did not start un-
til his mid-teens.'
Meets Violinist Busch
At 17, Serkin met the late vio-
linist Adolf Busch. A friendship
began, with the result that Serkin
went to live with the Busch family
and gave a series of sonata reci-
tals with him.
In 1933, after Hitler's ' rise to
power, they all left Germany and
settled in Switzerland. Two years
later, Serkin married Irene Busch,
the violinist's only daughter.
When the war broke out in 1939
they came to this country to live
and are now American citizens.
For a number of years, Serkin, his
wife and five children have made
their home in Brattleboro, Vt.
Public Debut
His public debut as pianist took
.place in 1936, when Aturo Tos-
canini invited him to be soloist
with the New York Philharmonic-
Symphony Orchestra. A New York
music critic said that "Serkin
played with a brilliancy and an
unfaltering security of technique,
taste and musical intuition which
brought the thunders of the au-
dience's approval crashing about
his ears."
At the Bach anniversary festi-
val in Jne, 1950, Serkin gave the'
only concert performed by a sin-
gle artist. The performance was
under the direction of Pablo Ca-
sals in Prades, France. Serkin has
returned each season to play witht
Serkin travels with his own1
Steinway piano. Before the start of
each season, Serkin telephones his1
friend, Alexander Greiner, at
Steinway's. Together they go to
the factory and try out a collection1
of new pianos or check pianos Ser-1
kin had played previously.,
Chooses Three
Of these, the pianist chooses
three pianos which are shipped to
New York. After being tuned they3
are then shipped to key points1
throughout the country.t
Once after Serkin, called "Rudi"
by those who know him, played in
Philadelphia, Steinway trucked
the piano back to New York. When
the tarpaulin was removed on 57th
street, the haules found a brownt
rabbit with a white cottontail sit-<
ting on the music rack..
Nobody knows how he got there,
but the rabbit was adopted by a
tuner who took him home for a1
pet and named him "Rudi."

May Festival Programs

Thursday, May 5 --8:30 P.M.
Prelude and Fuge in C minor.... ........Bach
(Transcribed for orchestra by Eugene
Symphony No. 5 in C~minor, Op. 67..Beethoven
Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83
for Piano and Orchestra...........Brahms
Friday, May 6 -8:30'P.M.
THOR JOHNSON, Guest Conductor
NELL RANKIN, Contralto
Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123 Beethoven
Saturday, May 7- 2:30 P.M.
Overture, "Donna Diana"............ Reznicek
Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major, K. 279b..
John DeLancie, Oboe; Anthony Gigliotti,
Clarinet; Sol Schoenbach, Bassoon;
Mason Jones, Horn
Viennese Folk and Art Songs
Symphony No. 8 ("Unfinished") .....Schubert
Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219
for Violin and Orchestra'...... .....Mozart
Saturday, May 7 - 8:30 P.M.
Overture and Allegro, from the Suite "La
Sultane" .................. .. .Couperin
(arranged for orchestra by Darius Milhaud)

"Thy Glorious Deeds Inspired My Tongue"
from "Samson"..................Handel
Two Songs from "Vier Ernste Gesange,"
Op. 121.............................Brahms
O Tod, wie bitter bist du
Wenn ich, mit Menschen
Epigraph..... . . . . .............. ...Dello Jolo
Five Old American Songs....Arr. Aaron Copland
Concerto for Orchestra.................Bartok
Sunday, May 8-2:30 P.M.
THOR JOHNSON, Guest Conductor
"Carmina Burana"..................Carl Orff
Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26
for Piano and Orchestra..........Prokoieff
Sunday, May 8-8:30 P.M.
RISE STEVENS, Mezzo-soprano
Concerto Grosso No. 2. for String Orchestra..
.............................Ernest Bloch
"Gods of Eternal Night" from "Alceste". .Gluck
(English text by John Gutman)
"Adieu, forets" from "Jeanne d'Arc".....
"Mon coeur" from "Samson and Delilah"...
Habanera, from "Carmen"'. ............. ,Bizet
Sequidilla, from "Carmen"... ...........Bizet
Symphony N. 4 in F. Minor, Op. 36. . Tchaikovsky


Brahms' "Concerto No. 2 for Pi-
ano and orchestra:" Ormandy will
conduct the Orchestra in Beetho-
ven's "Symphony No. 5" and
Bach's "Prelude and Fugue in C
Friday evening's concert will be
devoted to the "Missa Solemnis"
by Beethoven. Soloists in the chor-
al woi'k will be Lois Marshall, so-
prano; Nell Rankin, contralto;
Leslie Chabay, tenor; and Morley
Meredith, baritone. The per-
formance will be conducted by
Thor Johnson with the University
Choral Union performing.
Honors for Saturd y afternoon's
concert will be shared by Jeanne
Mitchell, violinist and the Festival
Youth Chorus, conducted by Prof.
Marguerite Hood. Selections to be
heard include works by Mozart,i
Reznicek, Schubert and Viennese
folk song composers.
Warfield Concert
William Warfield will appear at
8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7. He will
sing works by Handel and Brahms
and five old American songs by
Copland. The Orchestra, conduct-
ed by Eugene Ormandy will play
works by Couperin, Dello Joio and
Bartok. . '
Thor Johnson will return to the
podium for the concert Sunday
afternoon. Along with the Univer-
sity Choral Union, Miss Marshall,
Chabay and Meredith will sing
Orff's "Carmina Burana."
After intermission, Grant Jo-
hannesen, pianist, will appear with
the Orchestra in Prokoffieff's
"Concerto No. 3 for piano and or-

Sink Extends
Festival Note
To Audience

Of Music


Serkin To Open
Philadelphia Orchestra, Soloists,
Choral Groups Highlight Series
As a climax to its 76th season, the University Musical Society will
present the 62nd annual May Festival May 5 to May 8 in Hill Auditor-
The festival will feature nine soloists, choral groups and the
Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy and guest
conductor Thor Johnson.
Also included in the six-day program will be the Festival Youth
Chorus under the direction of Prof. Marguerite Hood of the School
of Music and the University Choral Union.
Two Choral Works Scheduled
Two Choral works,' Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" and Carl Orft's
"Carmina Burana" will be heard Friday evening and Sunday after-
noon respectively.
Rudolph Serkin, noted American pianist will be heard in the
opening concert. He will play-

Warfield Plans Festival Appearance

NIN I I %IF - -A -I A

Choral Union
To Perform
With Soloists
Founded in 1879, the University
Choral Union is one of the oldest
and largest permanent choral
groups in the country.
Under the guidance of the Uni-
t versity Musical Society, singers
from four local churches grouped
together to sing choruses from
Handel's "Messiah."
Name Changed
Before the season had ended, the
group admitted other competent
singers, expanded its repertoireI
and changed its name to the
"Choral Union of the University
Musical Society."
Meetings were held frequently
and were spent in discussing per-
formance procedure, choral re-
hearsals and social entertainment.
They pledged themselves to give
four concerts for the benefit of
the Ladies Societies of the Episco-
pal, Presbyterian, Methodist and
Congregational Churches.
Calvin B. Cady, who had come
to Ann Arbor that year, was cho-
sen conductor. He remained until
1888. During that time, the chorus
participated in public concerts, in
some of which solo roles were ta-
ken by artists from Detroit,' Chica-
go and New York.
Attendance was meagre and on
most occasions income was not
able to meet expenses. Frequently,
more people were in the chorus
than in the audience. In spite of
lack of interest at times and lack
of funds, definite progress was
Growing Repertoire
By 1888, the Society had earned

nerals, parties, in clubs and made
her professional debut as a child
prima donna on a local radio pro-
gram. After appearing in the lead
of "The Chocolate Soldier" at the
Heckscher Theatre in Brooklyn, a
vocal teacher of the Julliard
School of Music was so impressed
with her that she obtained a schol-
arship for her at the music school.
Miss Stevens learned operatic
scores, languages and acting tech-
niques during her career at Juill-
iard. She also studied dancing and
fencing from anyone who would
show her.
Her first contact with the Met
came when she sang on the Met-
ropolitan Auditions of the Air, but
she lost to mezzo Anna Kaskas.
When she auditioned a year later,
she was accepted and given a small
contract which she refused in or-
der to go to Europe for further
operatic training.
Gamble in Prague
After finding all contracts sign-
ed, she took a gamble and went to
Prague, Czechoslovakia on the
money she had saved for her pass-
age home. / .
The gamble paid off and she
got the leading roles. Edward
Johnson, the Met's general man-
ager, heard her at the Prague Op-
era on his last pre-war trip to Eu-
rope, and offered her another con-
tract which she accepted. '
She made her Met debut in 1938
in the title-role of "Mignon." Her
success was so instantaneous that
the Met revived for her one great
opera after another. Records show
that she is the biggest operatic at-
traction, not only in New York but
also on the annual spring tour.
First "Carmen"
When she was scheduled to sing
"Carmen" several im)ortant peo-
ple of the management came to
her dressing-room and told her
not to worry. "Carmen' is really a
very ungrateful role, and many of

William Warfleld, noted bari-
tone, will appear Saturday, May - ess got him a part in the touring
in the fourth concert of the May company of "Call Me Mister."
Festival, returning to Ann Arbor Back on Broadway he was award-
Festval reurnng o An Abored small parts in "Se; My People
after an overwhelming success in 'e al rsin"
last year's May Festival. FAee" and "Regina." sd
He has recently come back from At the same time he studied un-
Europe where he sang the role of der the GI Bill in the American{
Porgy in Gershwin's "Porgy and Theatre Wing's Professional-
Bess" in Vienna, Berlin and other .raining Program and supple-
music centers in Austria, England mented his educational allowance}
and Germany. by singing at churches and in
Fame began to court the singer supper clubs.
at an earln t oDurin his last After a concert debut in New
at a ealy g'e Durng is astYork's Town .Hall March 19, 1950,1
year in high school, he won first Y was sign a Mar of Aus-
place in the Music Educators' Na- ti whefor a tour of Aus-
tional Convention and was given 'Warfield revealed a combination
a scholarshipat the Eastman
scholasi in thesof natural resources and brilliant
School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. musicianship not equalled since
Command of Languages Chaliapin."
His fluent command of German, Returning to America, he be-
Italian and French which he at- gan work ih the movie version of
tained in his musical studies en- "Showboat," where he sang the
abled him to be chosen for Mili- now-classical "Ol' Man River"
tary Intelligence work during the Second Recital
Second World War. After the war Warfield's second New York re-
was over, Warfield returned to cital was in January; 1951 and
Eastman for graduate work, shortly afterwards he went on
Word of Warfield's vocal prow- concert tours in recitals and as so-

loist with many symphony orches-
When a proposed revival of
"Porgy and Bess" began' rehear-
sals, Warfield was chosen to sing
the leading role. During rehear-
sals. he met Leontyne Price, a3
noted singer, who had been signed
to singBess.


Opera Mezzo
The day before the "Porgy" Rise Stevens, Metropolitan Op-
company left for Europe, War- era mezzo-soprano will close the
field and Miss Price were married, four-day series with a performance
His success as "Porgy" was at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The orches-'
equalled by the audiences' ova- tra will open the program, playing
tions. In both Vienna and Berlin, Bloch's "Concerto Grosso No. 2 for
the public demanded that he give String Orchestra."
them a separate concert. Miss Stevens will follow with an
He consented-and to sing their aria from Gluck's "Alceste" and
native Lieder. Their critics said "Adieu, forets" from Tchaikovsky's
that none of their native singers in "Jeanne d'Arc."
recent years have sung these songs After intermission, Miss Stevens
with such insight. will sing arias from Saint-Saens'
Warfield "as also appeared on "Samson and Delilah" and Biz-
radio and television and made nu- I et's "Carmen," roles in which she
merous recordings. His musical in- has been noted throughout the
terest covers such a wide 'span that music world.
his album may contain either old The Orchestra will conclude the
American songs, sea chanties or p r o g r a m with Tchaikovsky's
ancient music of the church. "Symphony No. 4 in F minor."

The Ann Arbor May Festival
comes as a climax, each season, to
the concert offerings of the Uni-
versity Musical Society.
The Society was, organized 786
years ago, but it was not until the
spring of 1894 that the Board of
Directors conceived the idea of a
May Festival.
Through the years, a wide di-
versificatin of music literature--
classical, romantic and contem-
porary-has been heard. Oratorios,
operas in concert form, and other
important choral works have been
performed by the University Chor-
al Union, the restival Youth Chor-
us and world-renowned soloists.
In numerous instances, Ameri-
can and world premiers have been
given. Operatic arias, songs and
composition for orchestra and for
soloists, both vocal and instru-
mental have been included.
The composite repertoire of the
May Festivals and of the many
other concerts given each year
reaches a surprisingly large total,
.as does the list of performers.
Such a comprehensive tabulation
of compositions and of artists and
organizations which have partici-
pated is in the process of compila-
tion, and should be of interest to
those who may care to review the
list of offerings which have taken
place during the Society's more
than 75 years of existence.
The Board of Director's is grate-
ful for the sympathetic and un-
derstanding cooperation of stu-
dents and other members of the
University, and the music-loving
public of Ann Arbor and the coun-
try in general.
Henry Simmons Frieze, first
president of the Society, spoke
wisely when he suggested for the
motto of the organization-ARS
-Charles A. Sink, President
University Musical Societe
Musical Society
Now Selling Single
Festival Tickets
Tickets for all May Festival con-
certs are on sale at the offices of
the University Musical Society in
Burton Tower.
Some season tickets are still
available. Block A tickets priced
at $12 are in the three center sec-
tions of the main floor and first
Block B tickets priced at $9 are
in the side sections of the main
floor and first balcony, and the
first eight rows of the second bal-'
Block C seats, priced at $8 are

E ,

Philadelphia Orchestra Set for 19th Festival

Appearing in all six May Festi- I
val concerts, the Philadelphia Or- Included in its season programs,
chsetra will perform in its 19th are 38 regular concerts, four stu-
consecutive Festival series. dent. concerts and five children's .
concerts. The group also broad-
The Orchestra had its origin in casts several concerts each season
two concerts given under Fritz
and was the first major orchestra I
Sheel in 1899. Today it plays an to be heard on the radio, as well
average of 150 concerts a year dur- as the first orchestra in the coun-
ing its eight month season. try to be televised.
Sheel and a groip of 80 musi- Ormandy Biography
cians played six concerts during
their first regular season in 1900. Ormandy has been connected
Since Sheel's death in 1907, the with the orchestra since 1936.
orchestra has had only three con- A violin progidy in his native
ductors - Carl Pohlog, Leopold Budapest, Ormandy enteied the'
Stokowski and its present conduc- Royal Hungarian Academy of Mu-
tor. Eugene Ormandy. sic at the age of five. After tour-

and then came to the Philadelphia
Orchestra where he has remained.
University Alumnus Thor John-
son will return to guest conduct at
the May Festival, making his sev-
enth consecutive appearance.
After receiving the Beebe scho-
larship entitling him to two years
music study abroad, he was ap-
pointed assistant professor at the
School of Music and formed the
Little Symphony.
Two years later he directed the.
Choral Union and the Grand Ra-
pids Symphony Orchestra.
After his discharge from the ar-
my, he was appointed director of
the Juilliard School of Music Or-

Yearly Series
Composed of 110 members. the

ing Europe in his teens, he came'
to the United States for an ex- 1


.. , <;

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