- Blake Howe
(b New York, April 8, 1856; d New York, Feb 4, 1919). American theater manager, conductor, and composer. After studying harmony and composition with Emile Durand at the Paris Conservatoire (1874–7), Aronson returned to New York as a young manager and conductor at the Metropolitan Hall. He encountered his greatest success as founder of the Casino Theatre in Manhattan, a building celebrated for its “Moorish” architecture and its roof garden (the first of its kind). Opening on 21 October 1882 with a performance of The Queen’s Lace Handkerchief, the Casino quickly became the major venue for comic opera performances in New York, featuring sumptuously designed performances of the works of J. Strauss, Sullivan, Offenbach, and Millöcker, among others. Though he considered the production inferior to his other work, Aronson’s most successful run at the Casino was Jakobowski’s Erminie (1256 performances). Throughout his career, Aronson maintained strong European connections, managing theater houses abroad and contracting American tours of major European musicians, including Leoncavallo....