(b Alsager, Cheshire, Sept 27, 1779; d London, Nov 15, 1846). English music critic and patron. He was proprietor of and writer for The Times, an association formed in 1817 through his friendship with Thomas Barnes. Alsager reported on financial matters and foreign news, but evidence reveals that both he and Barnes wrote most of the articles on theatre and music in The Times before the appointment in 1846, at Alsager's recommendation, of J.W. Davison as the first full-time music critic on a daily newspaper. Alsager was intimate with Charles Lamb, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Leigh Hunt and Keats, while his passion for music led to friendships with many important figures in London musical life, including Mendelssohn, Spohr, Smart, Moscheles and Ayrton (whose son married Alsager's daughter). Several English premières took place at Alsager's residence, most notably that of Beethoven's Missa solemnis on 24 December 1832. Alsager's desire to proselytize for Beethoven's piano sonatas and quartets, especially the late works, led to the establishment of the Queen Square Select Society (...
David B. Levy
Ann Willison Lemke
(b Frankfurt, April 4, 1785; d Berlin, Jan 20, 1859). German writer, editor, publisher, composer, singer, visual artist and patron of young artists. Although known today primarily for her writing and her illustrious associates, Bettine was also a talented musician. She composed songs in a simple folk style, choosing texts by poets she knew and loved, including Goethe, Achim von Armin, and her brother, Clemens Brentano. She helped gather songs for Armin and Brentano’s influential collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1806–8) and decades later published a fourth volume based on their notes (ed. Ludwig Erk, 1854). From 1808 to 1809 she studied singing and composition with Peter von Winter and the piano with Sebastian Bopp in Munich. Her first two songs appeared under the pseudonym ‘Beans Beor’ (‘blessing I am blessed’) with Arnim’s literary works. After her crucial meeting with Beethoven in Vienna (May, 1810), she mediated between him and Goethe....
[Fane, John; later 11th Earl of Westmorland]
(b London, Feb 3, 1784; d Wansford, Northants., Oct 16, 1859). English amateur musician. He was the eldest son of the 10th Earl of Westmorland, a Tory politician, and was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge (MA 1808), where he studied music under Charles Hague. His career was political, military and diplomatic. He was MP for Lyme Regis (1806–16). From 1803 to 1815 he served in various campaigns in the Napoleonic wars, at one time as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington (his wife’s uncle). He became a privy councillor in 1822, a major-general in 1825, lieutenant-general in 1838 and full general in 1854. He was British envoy at Florence from 1814 to 1830, resident minister at Berlin from 1841 to 1851 (acting as mediator between Prussia and Denmark in the Schleswig-Holstein dispute), and ambassador to the imperial court at Vienna from 1851 to 1855...
(b Dunfermline, Scotland, Nov 25, 1835; d Lenox, MA, Aug 11, 1919). American philanthropist and arts patron of Scottish birth. Born in poverty, he immigrated to Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1848 and rose, in one of the most successful careers in American business history, to become the dominant figure in the international steel industry. He came to believe that the accumulator of a fortune had a duty to spend it for the good of mankind, and he devoted much energy during his last 40 years to philanthropy. His benefactions centered on educational projects and the promotion of world peace, for which he endowed various foundations. He also supported some musical activities. He contributed about $6,000,000 to the building of organs for churches in the USA and the British Empire. Although he believed that concert organizations should be self-supporting, he lent his name and some of his time and money to several. These included the New York Oratorio Society and the New York SO, both of which were conducted by Walter Damrosch (son-in-law of Carnegie’s good friend, the politician James G. Blaine) and for both of which Carnegie served as president briefly from ...
Frank Howes and Christina Bashford
(b Blackheath, London, July 11, 1847; d London, Jan 22, 1937). English amateur violinist, patron and lexicographer. Cobbett's efforts in the field of chamber music were important to the development of the English musical renaissance and to the cultivation and appreciation of chamber music in Britain; he is noted in particular for editing Cobbett's Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music (2 vols., London, 1929–30; rev. 2/1963 by C. Mason). In an autobiographical article, ‘The Chamber Music Life’, published in this encyclopedia, he related how he studied the violin with Joseph Dando, received a Guadagnini violin from his father and was fired with a lifelong enthusiasm for chamber music after hearing Joachim play at St James's Hall. From that time he played chamber music regularly at home, and also led several amateur orchestras, including the Strolling Players Orchestral Society. He became a connoisseur of violins and delighted in lending instruments from his fine collection to suitable players....
[Marchioness of Ripon]
(b London, April 24, 1859; d London, Oct 27, 1917). English patron of London opera seasons from 1887 to 1914. A daughter of Sidney Herbert (Lord Herbert of Lea), Secretary of War during the Crimean War, and a close friend of the Prince and Princess of Wales, she ensured the social success of the 1887 opera season given by Augustus Harris at Drury Lane through her stipulation that he engage Jean de Reszke, then known in London only as a baritone. When Harris took over Covent Garden in 1888, she exerted great influence over the management committee or syndicate (on which her husband sat, as well as, after Harris’s death, her close collaborator H. V. Higgins) because she could persuade fashionable people to subscribe to the season in advance. She was partly responsible for the break with the tradition of giving all operas in Italian; she imposed the re-engagement of Melba after her initial near-failure, and later sustained Melba’s virtual control over casting. Herself unmusical, she was fired by enthusiasm for her friends among musicians....
Ruth A. Solie
(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, ...
(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 ...
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....
(b 8/Dec 19, 1794; d Bogorodskoye, Kursk govt., 22 Oct /Nov 3, 1866). Russian music patron and cellist, father of Yury Nikolayevich Golitsïn. He served in the army (1810–32), fought in the 1812 war and was wounded at the Battle of Borodino. In his youth he spent some time in Vienna, acquiring there a sound knowledge of the Viennese Classics, and becoming an ardent admirer and collector of Beethoven’s music. He carried on a fruitful correspondence with Beethoven, starting in 1822 when he wrote to ask if he would compose ‘one, two or three new quartets’ for him. Beethoven accepted the commission, and produced (eventually) the quartets op.127, op.132 and op.130, all of which are dedicated to Golitsïn, as is the overture Die Weihe des Hauses. In 1823 Golitsïn was elected an honorary member of the St Petersburg Philharmonic Society, and it was on his initiative that the society gave the first performance of Beethoven’s ...
(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...
Otto E. Albrecht
revised by Robert von Zahn
(b Cologne, March 30, 1849; d Cologne, March 20, 1913). German music patron. The son of a teacher, he entered the paper business and in 1885 founded the paper manufacturing firm of Poensgen & Heyer. As an enthusiastic amateur he played a prominent part in Cologne musical life, serving on the boards of the conservatory and the Musikalische Gesellschaft and assisting young musicians at the start of their careers. He began to collect musical instruments in about 1900. In 1905 he purchased the private collection of the Leipzig collector Paul de Wit; he also received keyboard instruments from the firm of Ibach in Barmen, and acquired the Florentine collection of Alessandro Kraus. In 1906 Heyer established a Musikhistorisches Museum in Cologne, which eventually contained 2600 instruments, with a workshop for their restoration; its library contained 1700 autographs of some 700 composers, more than 20,000 letters and 3700 portraits. Ernst Praetorius was curator of the museum from ...
(b New York, NY, Nov 18, 1834; d Boston, MA, Nov 14, 1919). American patron and orchestra founder. He moved to Boston at the age of four. Though his family, on both sides, was of distinguished Boston stock, his father was not wealthy. He attended the elite Boston Latin School and proceeded to Harvard University, but poor eyesight forced him to abandon college. He wound up a diligent music student in Vienna forced to skip meals for lack of means. When he discovered he had no special talent for music, he returned to Boston and was swallowed up by the Civil War; as Major Higginson, he was severely wounded in hand-to-hand combat. Having acquired French and German, soldiered with Americans from every walk of life, married the daughter of Louis Agassiz, and failed in business (an oil venture in Ohio, a cotton plantation with freedman in Georgia), he became a banker. Once he had amassed sufficient capital, he realized his life’s dream and founded a “Boston Symphony Orchestra.” According to a ...
(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 ...
revised by Jane Gottlieb
(b April 19, 1836; d New York, NY, April 25, 1919). American music patron. The son of Huguenot refugees, he was born on board a ship bound for the United States, after which his family settled in Ohio. Juilliard moved to New York at a young age, and eventually became an enormously successful textile merchant. A lifelong lover of the arts, Juilliard was a trustee of the Metropolitan Opera House. His will left approximately $12 million for the advancement of music in the United States; he stipulated that the fund be used to support the Metropolitan Opera, finance concerts, and assist deserving students. The trustees of his estate established the Juilliard Musical Foundation in 1920 and the Juilliard Graduate School in 1924. The latter merged with the Institute of Musical Art in 1946 to become the Juilliard School of Music.DAB (W.B. Shaw) Obituary, New York Times...
Daniel Jay Grimminger
(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....
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 ...
(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....
(b Berlin, June 19, 1761; d Berlin, May 11, 1854). German harpsichordist, music collector and patron. She was a daughter of the Jewish banker Daniel Itzig (1723–99) and great-aunt of Mendelssohn. On 2 July 1783 she married the banker Samuel Salomon Levy (1760–1806). With her siblings, of whom Fanny von Arnstein (1758–1818) and Zippora Wulff (later Cäcilie von Eskeles, 1760–1836) were particularly well known as musical amateurs, she received a thorough musical education. She is said to have been a pupil of W.F. Bach at a later date, and she was certainly in contact with C.P.E. Bach, from whom she commissioned a harpsichord concerto. A number of contemporary documents mention her activity as a harpsichordist in private musical circles, for instance in the house of her brother-in-law Joseph Fliess. Later she frequently performed with the Ripienschule of the Berlin Sing-Akademie founded by C.F. Zelter. She was particularly interested in the music of the Bach family as well as the works of other Berlin composers (J.G. and C.H. Graun, Janitsch and Quantz), and is therefore one of the figures central to the appreciation of Bach in Berlin in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. She gave the Sing-Akademie considerable parts of her extensive collection of music, including autograph manuscripts by W.F. and C.P.E. Bach; after her death, some of the remaining items apparently came into the possession of A.W. Bach, and is now dispersed among many European and North American libraries....
(b Hamburg, Germany, May 27, 1849; d Saranac Lake, NY, Aug 17, 1938). American philanthropist of German birth. He immigrated to the United States in 1867 and found success in the mining industry, presiding over several American mining corporations in the late nineteenth century. Lewisohn eventually settled in New York City and became involved in real estate development. His reputation as a philanthropist began in the early 1900s, and he gave generously to numerous causes, foundations, and organizations. An enthusiastic amateur singer, he believed strongly in music’s societal benefits, and he endowed many music appreciation initiatives at New York colleges. Most notable was his 1914 gift to City College to build Lewisohn Stadium, a large outdoor arena designed for both athletics and arts events, particularly music. In 1918, Lewisohn helped establish a summer concert series at the stadium, which featured world-renowned artists performing at inexpensive prices. The Stadium Concerts developed into a popular and respected New York tradition. Lewisohn was also a chief backer of the National Symphony Orchestra, a short-lived New York ensemble founded in ...