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Kaleb J. Koslowski and Caryl Clark

(b Bad Iburg near Osnabrück, 30 Oct 1668; d Hanover, 1 Feb 1705). Princess of Hanover, Electress of Brandenburg, and Queen in Prussia. Musical culture in and around Berlin flourished at the turn of the 18th century as a direct result of her activities as a musical patron, performer, composer, and collector.

Sophie Charlotte was the only daughter of Ernst August of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Sophie of the Palatinate. She was thrust into a lifestyle of courtly competition from an early age. The court at Osnabrück was relatively obscure, overshadowed by the wealthier and more politically prominent seat at Hanover ruled by her father’s brother, Johann Friedrich. Her mother determined to overcome this by immersing Sophie Charlotte in the arts. As a child she received instruction in singing, courtly dance, and religion, and in French, Italian, English, and Latin. During the 1670s and into the 1680s, the family visited Versailles, Venice, Brussels, and The Hague. These visits included recurring attendance at opera and ballet performances, and provided the foundation for Sophie Charlotte’s cultivation of music as a courtly and sociopolitical tool later at Hanover and Berlin....

Article

(b New York, NY, Nov 22, 1857; d Los Angeles, CA, Aug 23, 1956). American arts patron and pianist. She exhibited precocious talent at the piano as a young girl and traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, in 1880 for formal musical instruction. There she became the student of a brilliant, young American, Edward MacDowell. Their relationship quickly deepened and in July 1884 they married.

Devoted to furthering her husband’s composing career, Marian MacDowell witnessed firsthand the struggle for recognition that American composers faced at the turn of the 20th century. The couple believed in the creative potential of their homeland, and discussed turning their farm in Peterborough, New Hampshire, into a gathering place for creative artists, where others could enjoy the ideal working conditions that had inspired the composer’s own best work. Edward MacDowell fell ill before the vague plan could be realized. In 1907, the year before his death, Marian MacDowell founded the ...

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Gary Galván

(b New York, NY, Dec 25, 1867; d New York, NY, Oct 17, 1959). American banker and music patron. Naumburg’s father, Elkan, came to the United States in his late teens and established a successful clothing company. Reportedly the son of a cantor, the elder Naumburg was himself an amateur musician and hosted weekly chamber music performances attended by important figures such as Leopold Damrosch, Theodore Thomas, and Marcella Sembrich. The Damrosch Oratorio Society of New York was conceived in his home. Thus, Walter Naumburg grew up in a musical environment; he began studying the cello at eight years of age. While a student at Harvard, Naumburg regularly performed in the Pierian Sodality orchestra; he graduated cum laude in 1889. He briefly entered his father’s business before its dissolution; thereafter he formed E. Naumburg & Co., a lucrative commercial lending firm. The family maintained a box at the newly constructed Carnegie Hall, and his father donated a bandstand to the city for Central Park, where he established a series of four concerts every summer. Walter and his brother, George, continued to fund the concerts after their father’s passing....

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Gary Galván

(b Madera, CA, March 15, 1895; d New York, NY, Jan 24, 1971). American concert pianist and philanthropist. The daughter of merchant William Baird and music teacher Mina A. Smith, she studied with Morton Mason and made her debut on stage in 1903 at the University of California’s College of Music. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and the New England Conservatory of Music. She won the annual piano competition at the conservatory her senior year and embarked on a solo career with a repertoire comprising a mix of older works by Johannes Brahms, Fryderyk Chopin, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Alessandro Scarlatti and modern works by Claude Debussy, Manuel de Falla, Vincent d’Indy, Charles Griffes, and Erik Satie. She toured the United States and Europe under her maiden name, despite a brief marriage to importer Adrian van Laar (whom she divorced). In 1930 she married Arthur M. Allen, a Rhode Island attorney, and soon retired from the stage. In ...

Article

Barbara Haws

(Robinson) [Sheldon, Mrs. George R.]

(b Mamaroneck, NY, July 3, 1863; d New York, NY, June 16, 1913). American philanthropist and arts patron. In 1908, Sheldon led a group, Guarantors of the Fund for the Permanent Orchestra of the Philharmonic Society of New York, whose goal was to rebuild the New York Philharmonic—a musician cooperative since 1842—into a first-class orchestra. Sheldon resurrected a 1903 plan, in which she had been involved, to provide New York with a professional orchestra akin to the Boston SO with one important difference: it would be led by Gustav Mahler. The daughter and wife of prominent bankers, Sheldon raised $300,000 from New York’s social elites and sought the advice of Richard Strauss and Felix Mottl. Beginning with the 1909–10 season, the number of concerts increased from 18 to 46 and the musicians’ salaries were guaranteed.

Sheldon’s new organization included some of the old Philharmonic musician-managers, who were brought onto the new Board of Guarantors. The relationship between the guarantors and Mahler, who died after a season and a half, was not always smooth, but in ...

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Gary Galván

(Bigelow )

(b Corning, NY, Sept 11, 1902; d Greenwich, CT, Dec 10, 1993). American singer and music philanthropist. As an heiress to the Corning Glass fortune and daughter of the New York State senator William J. Tully, Alice Tully enjoyed a life of privilege and culture. She studied voice with Carolyn Torabotti in New York before moving to Paris in 1923 where she studied voice with Jean Périer and stage technique with Georges Wague. Her well received recitals typically included French-language works by Ernest Chausson, Henri Duparc, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, and Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck. Notably, she appeared in the first US opera performed in Paris, William Franke Harling’s Light from St. Agnes.

Tully served on the boards of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Juilliard School of Music, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Pierpont Morgan Library, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. She personally funded and actively participated in the design of New York’s first major performance venue devoted to chamber music—the aptly named Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. The hall’s pipe organ is dedicated to the memory of her lover Edward Graeffe. For her lifelong service to music, Tully was awarded New York’s Handel Medallion (...

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Gary Galván

(b Hamburg, Germany, Jan 14, 1871; d New York, NY, Oct 20, 1937). Banker and philanthropist of German birth. Hailing from a German-Jewish banking dynasty with noted accomplishments in art, music, pharmacology, philanthropy, and physics, Warburg was educated in Hamburg and immigrated to the United States in 1894, where he joined the financial firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co. He was an important leader in the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and supported Palestine as a Jewish refuge. The Israeli settlement Kfar Warburg was named for him in 1939.

Warburg participated on the board of many distinguished charities in New York, served as a board member and vice president of the Institute of Musical Arts, and played an instrumental role in the merger of the Philharmonic Symphony Society of New York and the New York SO in 1928. Prior to Gertrude Clarke Whitall’s purchases, Warburg acquired a set of four Stradivari instruments for use by the newly formed Musical Art Quartet....

Article

(b Bellevue, NE, Oct 7, 1867; d Washington, DC, June 29, 1965). American philanthropist. She was the daughter of Henry Tefft Clarke, a railroad builder, Pony Express operator, farmer, merchant, and the first Master Mason in Nebraska. Educated by private tutors, she later studied at the Sorbonne and traveled throughout Europe and South America. In 1906 she married British carpet manufacturer and 33rd degree mason Matthew John Whittall, and became a lifelong devotee of classical chamber music after hearing the Flonzaley String Quartet at their Shrewsbury estate, Juniper Hall, in 1908. In 1935 Whittall donated five Stradivari instruments—three violins, a viola, and a violoncello—along with five François Tourte bows to the Library of Congress. Concurrently, she established the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Foundation to sponsor concerts and care for the instruments. In 1937 she funded the construction of the Whittall Pavilion to house the instruments and further acquisitions such as the Mendelssohn Collection and myriad rare autograph musical scores and letters. In ...

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Bonnie Elizabeth Fleming

(b Chicago, IL, June 2, 1921; d Beverly Hills, CA, Jan 3, 2009). American philanthropist and photographer. Her tireless and joy-filled efforts to promote 20th-century music enabled the creation of many remarkable works. She grew up in Brooklyn and New Rochelle, New York, and eventually graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in English and Music, with an emphasis on piano performance. During the 1960s, contemporary American art captured Freeman’s imagination, leading her to collect abstract expressionistic works and write books on the artists Clyfford Still and Sam Francis. Her interest in art led to her involvement with American music. She was asked by art collecting acquaintances to contribute to the legal defense fund of La Monte Young. She donated to his defense and, upon his release, was entranced by his music. Her resulting interest in contemporary music led her to give small stipends to various composers, sometimes as commissions for works, many times as direct subsidies. In ...

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Gary Galván

(b Kitzingen, Bavaria, Germany, Sept 28, 1906; d Chicago, IL, July 4, 1987). American wine merchant, writer on music, and philanthropist of German birth. Born into a family of vintners, Paul Fromm took music lessons and played four-hand piano duets with his brother, composer Herbert Fromm (1905–95), as a child. Fromm attended the annual contemporary music festivals in Donaueschingen between 1921 and 1926, where he heard the chamber music of composers such as Paul Dessau, Hanns Eisler, Alois Hába, Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, and Igor Stravinsky, among others. Fromm reported that a 1927 performance of The Rite of Spring in Frankfurt “made a 20th-century man of me.”

When Fromm entered the family business, N. Fromm Ltd. was recognized as the largest, most important wine merchant in Bavaria and a leading company in Germany. The firm was so important to the local economy that when Fromm’s father, Max, was taken to a concentration camp in ...