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Article

Adrienne Fried Block

(Ray )

(b Lewiston, IL, May 26, 1886; d San Diego, Aug 28, 1975). American composer, teacher and patron. She studied with Rudolf Ganz and Felix Borowski at the Chicago Musical College (BM 1906) and with Heniot Levy and Adolf Weidig at the American Conservatory, Chicago; she also studied composition in Chicago with Wilhelm Middleschulte and in Berlin with Hugo Kaun (1909–10). From 1917 to 1926 she taught music at the San Diego High School. A respected and influential leader of musical life in San Diego, she helped to found the San Diego Opera Guild and the San Diego Civic SO (of which she was chairwoman for 14 years). Barnett wrote some 60 art songs, 49 of which were published by G. Schirmer and Summy between 1906 and 1932. They display a lyrical gift, sure tonal sense and, despite her German training, strong French harmonic influence. They are often exotic and colourful, especially ...

Article

(b Boston, MA, Aug 6, 1876; d Philadelphia, PA, Jan 4, 1970). American writer and music patron. She was the only child of columnist Louisa Knapp Curtis and publisher Cyrus H.K. Curtis, the founder of Ladies’ Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post, as well as a major Philadelphia philanthropist. She married the Dutch-born Pulitzer Prize-winning author and editor, Edward William Bok, when she was 19.

She became an active supporter of the Settlement Music School (est. 1906) and provided $150,000 to establish its home on Queen Street in Philadelphia in 1917. In 1924, she purchased three mansions on Rittenhouse Square to create the Curtis Institute of Music in honor of her father and provided an unprecedented $12.5 million endowment. With artistic guidance from Josef Hofmann and Leopold Stokowski, she assembled a faculty of world-class performers, tapped former Symphony Club conductor Johann Grolle as its first director, and established a tuition-free, merit-based admission standard. She served on the board of the Philadelphia Orchestra until Stokowski’s departure, sponsored Sunday evening chamber concerts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that featured Curtis students, and served as board chairman to the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company from ...

Article

Gustave Reese

revised by Cyrilla Barr

(b Chicago, Oct 30, 1864; d Cambridge, MA, Nov 4, 1953). American patron of music. Her maiden name was Sprague and on 12 November 1891 she married Frederic Shurtleff Coolidge at Chicago. The Berkshire festivals of chamber music, held under her patronage at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, were begun in autumn 1918 as the South Mountain Chamber Music Festival. As an outgrowth of the festivals she created the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation in 1925 at the Library of Congress by placing in trust a large sum of money, the income of which is paid to the library. The trust was intended, among other things, to enable the Music Division of the library to conduct music festivals, to give concerts, to offer and award a prize or prizes for any original composition or compositions performed in public for the first time at any festival or concert given under the auspices of the library, and to further the purposes of musicology through the music division of the library. Among the works that have resulted from commissions by the foundation are Copland's ...

Article

(b London, England, Dec 10, 1913; d Weehawken, NJ, Nov 30, 1988). American jazz patron of British birth. She was born a member of the British aristocracy, and a child of the English branch of the Rothschild family. As a young woman she married a French Baron, and shortly thereafter moved to New York. In the United States Pannonica (known as Nica) developed close relationships with a number of leading jazz musicians and became a major patron of jazz. She became known to musicians as a sympathetic ear and source of material support. In addition to financial help, she used her social position to intercede on behalf of musicians facing legal problems. Most famously, in 1957 she was instrumental in securing the return of Thelonious Monk’s license to perform in Manhattan nightclubs after it had been suspended due to questionable drug-related charges. Not simply a dilettante, Nica became a key member of New York’s jazz world. Her commitment to the musicians she knew famously led her to care for Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk through each one’s death. The Baroness’s importance in jazz can be seen in the many songs dedicated to her, including Monk’s “Pannonica,” Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream,” Sonny Clark’s “Nica,” and Kenny Drew’s “Blues for Nica.”...

Article

(b Haverford, PA, Aug 24, 1888; d Chestnut Hill, PA, Sept 6, 1967). American writer on women in music. Her relatively casual girlhood interest in music was stimulated when she met Henry S. Drinker, a Philadelphia lawyer and dedicated amateur musician and musicologist. They married in 1911 and established a household that became nationally known for its engagement in amateur musical activities. In 1928 the couple began what would be a 30-year tradition of singing parties (called by the family the ‘Accademia dei dilettanti di musica’) to which friends and acquaintances were invited, sometimes more than a hundred at a time, to play and sing Bach cantatas and other choral repertory.

Drinker's work as a historian of women in music was sparked by these musical activities, and by her experience with a women's chorus, the Montgomery Singers. Despite her lack of formal education, over a 20-year period she researched a global history of women's relationship to music. The resulting book, ...

Article

Gary Galván

(b Waterville, NY, July 12, 1854; d Rochester, NY, March 14, 1932). American inventor, industrialist, and philanthropist. An autodidact, he pioneered modern photography with the development of a practical portable camera, affordable film, and simplified development processes that led to the mass production of photographic equipment. With thirty-two patents to his credit, Eastman established the Eastman Kodak Company as the world’s largest camera and film supplier and himself as one of the ten wealthiest men in the United States.

Eastman became one of the five most generous philanthropists in the United States, along with John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Milton S. Hershey. A lifelong bachelor, Eastman distributed approximately $100 million of his fortune, primarily to educational and scientific institutions and largely anonymously. For example, Eastman’s frequent gifts to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology came in the name of “Mr. Smith” and prompted a campus song about the unknown benefactor set to the tune of “Marching through Georgia.” In the realm of music, Eastman purchased the D.K.G. (Dossenbach-Klingenberg-Gareisson) Institute of Musical Arts to create the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in ...

Article

Otto E. Albrecht

(b Philadelphia, July 11, 1877; d Philadelphia, Jan 9, 1959). American music patron. He studied at the William Penn Charter School in his native city and at Harvard University (BA 1899). In 1909 he founded the Symphony Club of Philadelphia to provide gifted young musicians with a free complete training in the performance of orchestral literature under professional conductors, who have included Johan Grolle, Camille Zeckwer, William F. Happich and Arthur Cohn. As many as 400 students a year have been members of the three orchestras and four theory classes. Fleisher frequently played viola in the orchestras. The club at first was limited to boys from ten to 16 years of age, but Fleisher soon did away with all discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, race or religion. He received the honorary degree of MusD from the Philadelphia Musical Academy in 1924. Originally a yarn manufacturer, he retired from business in ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Ralph P. Locke

(b New York, April 14, 1840; d Boston, July 17, 1924). American music patron. Isabella Stewart married John L. Gardner, a prominent Boston financier in 1860. She befriended several well-known musical figures, including Wilhelm Gericke, Ethelbert Nevin, Gustav Schirmer, Heinrich Gebhard, Margaret Ruthven Lang, Theodore and Rose Fay Thomas, Edward and Marian MacDowell, Nellie Melba, and Susan Metcalfe Casals. She was especially close to Karl Muck, Charles Martin Loeffler, and Henry Lee Higginson. A generous patron of Higginson’s fledgling Boston SO, Gardner also promoted the careers of individual musicians, among them the pianist George Proctor and, besides Loeffler, the composers Arthur Foote, Clayton Johns, and Amherst Webber; she organized concerts, made gifts of instruments and financial support, and provided helpful contacts. A devoted Wagnerian, her tastes also extended to recent French music (the Franck school and Fauré), early music (she owned an Érard harpsichord), and lighter pieces, such as the salon songs of Johns....

Article

John Koegel

(b San Francisco, CA, Nov 7, 1875; d Flintridge, CA, Dec 25, 1954). American folklorist, writer, lecturer, music patron, and singer. Born into a wealthy family (her father James Hague was a prominent geologist and mining engineer), she used her inheritance to support her research into Latin American music, particularly Mexican American and Mexican folksong. Prior to moving to Pasadena, California, in 1920, she lived in New York and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She studied music privately in France and Italy, was a member of the New York Oratorio Society, and directed church choirs in New York before she began work as a folklorist and folksinger by the early 1910s (she gave guitar-accompanied folksong recitals in that decade). Hague published numerous collections and studies of Mexican American, Mexican, and other Latin American folksongs; translated (with Marion Leffingwell) Julián Ribera y Tarragó’s Historia de la música árabe medieval y su influencia en la española...

Article

Raoul F. Camus

[V]

(b New York, Jan 15, 1922; d Poughkeepsie, NY, Feb 16, 1983). American band enthusiast and philanthropist. After attending Pomona College, Claremont, California (BA 1943), he owned and managed an architectural woodworking firm in Poughkeepsie for over 20 years, and later a chain of bowling alleys. An amateur euphonium player, he amassed an encyclopedic collection of band scores, rivaling that of the US Marine band. In conjunction with Commander Donald Stauffer, director of the US Navy Band, he issued a series of 15 recordings made by the band entitled Heritage of the March. Each of these records presented unavailable marches by an American composer on one side, and a European composer on the other. Hoe then invited many American and European service, community, college, and high school bands to make recordings. He provided most of the music from his own collection, prepared liner notes and biographies, financed the recordings, and distributed them, free of charge, to schools, libraries, and radio stations. The initial ...

Article

Gary Galván

(b Mineola, TX, July 10, 1882; d London, England, Aug 19, 1975). American art collector, preservationist, musician, and philanthropist. She was the only daughter of lawyer and Texas governor Colonel James Stephen Hogg. She was named after the heroine in the candid Civil War poem “The Fate of Marvin,” written by her uncle, Thomas Hogg [pseudo. Tom R. Burnett]. She never married and was known simply as Miss Ima for most of her life.

Inspired by her mother, Hogg began piano lessons at around five years of age. She attended the University of Texas at Austin for two years before moving to New York in 1901 to study piano at the National Conservatory of Music. Between 1907 and 1908, she studied piano with Franz Xaver Scharwenka (1850–1924) in Vienna and Martin Krause (1853–1918) in Berlin. Upon returning to the United States, Hogg shied away from a career as concert pianist and chose instead to immerse herself in musical events and teach piano. In ...

Article

Daniel Jay Grimminger

(Hermann )

(b Mannheim, Germany, Feb 21, 1867; d New York, NY, March 29, 1934). Banker and music patron of German birth. Unlike his brother, Robert Kahn, who became a concert pianist, composer, and professor at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, Otto Kahn found his niche in the more lucrative profession of finance. After working in London from 1888 to 1893, he came to New York City (1893) and became a partner in the firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co. His most important contribution to music was his work as a member of the board of the Metropolitan Opera Company from 1903 until his death in 1934. In 1908 when the Met suffered economically, Kahn was one of 14 subscribers to raise $150,000 to bring the Met out of its crisis. He served as the board’s president for seven years (starting in 1924), during which time he campaigned for a new opera house to no avail. Kahn was also the vice president for a time of the New York Philharmonic board, and was an honorary director of Covent Garden and the Boston Opera....

Article

Susan Au

[Lincoln Edward]

(b Rochester, NY, May 4, 1907; d New York, Jan 5, 1996). American impresario, arts patron, writer, editor, and ballet company director. He was the embodiment of a twentieth-century Renaissance man, blessed not only with many diverse talents and interests but also with the financial resources and connections to realize his visions. His achievements spanned the arts of dance, theater, painting, sculpture, photography, film, and literature, but he is perhaps best known for his decades-long association with choreographer George Balanchine and the school and ballet company they founded together.

He was educated at Harvard, earning Bachelor’s (1929) and Master’s (1930) degrees. Although he first saw Anna Pavlova dance in Boston when he was thirteen, his passion for dance did not take fire until he saw Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in Europe. Among Diaghilev’s dancers and choreographers was Balanchine, whom he first met in 1933. Balanchine came to the United States at his invitation, and opened the School of American Ballet in New York City in ...

Article

Paul C. Echols

revised by Esther R. Crookshank

(b New York, NY, March 8, 1839; d Poland Springs, ME, July 10, 1909). American philanthropist, activist, composer, and hymnal compiler. She was the daughter of lay Methodist evangelists Phoebe Palmer (1807–74), considered the founder of the American Holiness movement, and medical doctor Walter Palmer. The younger Phoebe began composing hymns and songs as a child; two of her earliest tunes, set to hymn texts by her mother, were published in Joseph Hillman’s revival song collection, The Revivalist (1868). At 16 she married Joseph F. Knapp, later founder of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York. As a wealthy society woman in New York, she entertained dignitaries, including four American presidents, at evening musicales held regularly in her home; a trained singer, she often performed at these events. She also hosted religious leaders, social reformers including Harriet Beecher Stowe, and female gospel hymn writers such as Fanny Crosby, with whom she formed a close friendship. In the late 1860s, Knapp wrote her most successful piece, the tune “Assurance,” to Crosby’s text “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” It was circulated internationally after Ira D. Sankey included it in ...

Article

(b Samara [known as Kuybyshev between 1935 and 1990], Russia, July 2, 1901; d New York, NY, Jan 5, 1978). Philanthropist of Russian birth. Her father, a government minister under Czar Nicolas II until 1916, fled Russia prior to the Bolshevik takeover. She was the niece of Serge Koussevitzky’s second wife, Nathalie (née Ushkov), and moved from Nice to Mendou (near Paris) to become the conductor’s personal secretary. Olga moved to Boston and took up residence with the Koussevitzkys in 1929. She was a constant travel companion of the couple on trans-Atlantic voyages, and together the three became naturalized citizens of the United States on 16 April 1941. In August 1947, five and a half years after Nathalie’s death, Olga and Serge Koussevitzky married in a secret ceremony witnessed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Richard Burgin and wife, Ruth.

When Serge died in 1951, Olga continued his legacy as a board member of the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and as president of the American International Music Fund. As a member, and later President (...

Article

Gary Galván

(b San Francisco, CA, Oct 18, 1873; d New York, NY, May 31, 1939). American lawyer, pianist, and music patron. The son of a shoe and boot dealer, Leventritt graduated from the University of California (A.B. 1894) and the New York Law School and practiced in San Francisco briefly before entering practice with his uncle, future Supreme Court Justice David Leventritt. He gained a reputation as a high profile and highly successful real estate and corporate attorney.

He supported the foundation of the Perolé String Quartet that comprised Joseph Colma, Max Hollander, Lilian Fuchs, and Julius Kahn and was active between 1927 and 1942. The Edgar M. Leventritt Foundation, Inc., established by his widow in 1939 funds an annual international competition for piano and violin players who have not appeared with a major orchestra. Distinguished winners of this prestigious award include Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Van Cliburn....

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 ...

Article

David W. Bernstein

[Yurgis]

(b 1931; d Boston, May 9, 1978). Lithuanian-American architect. In 1947 he emigrated from Lithuania to New York, where he studied architecture at Cooper Union. He opened the AG Gallery at 925 Madison Avenue in 1960 with fellow Lithuanian Almus Salcius. After meeting La Monte Young, he agreed to let Young and Jackson Mac Low produce a series of concerts at the gallery featuring musicians, artists and poets active in the New York avant garde. It was largely through his exposure to Young and his circle that Maciunas became acquainted with radical art.

In 1961, Maciunas moved to Wiesbaden where, in the following year, he founded the Fluxus movement. In a lecture entitled ‘Neo-Dada in Music, Theater, Poetry and Art’ Maciunas declared himself a ‘concrete artist’ who preferred noise to so-called musical sounds. His Carpenter’s Piano Piece for Nam June Paik no.13, in which the performer nails down the keys of a piano, demonstrates the iconoclastic nature of his work. Maciunas believed in art’s potential to transform society and adamantly objected to its institutionalization. His activities outside of the creative arts included an urban redevelopment project in lower-Manhattan that contributed to the growth of the SoHo art community....