DAHA IN THE NEWS:
Insights at the Atrium Event Featuring Professor Michael Beckerman: “Origins of a New World Voice: NYC in 1893,” Monday, September 12, 2016
The New York Philharmonic 175th anniversary season commenced in late September with three exciting programs featuring Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World — the Philharmonic’s first World Premiere of a work written in New York that would become part of the standard repertoire. That history-making premiere took place in December 1893, and provides this year’s theme for the Philharmonic’s programming and educational outreach.
Kicking off the New York Philharmonic’s anniversary activities and The New World Initiative—which coincide with the 175th anniversary of the birth of Antonín Dvořák—the New York Philharmonic presented a free Insights at the Atrium event, “Origins of a New World Voice: NYC in 1893,”Monday, September 12, 2016, at 7:30 PM. A theatrical exploration of Dvořák’s time in New York and the American influences in his New World Symphony, the event was led by Professor Michael Beckerman, the author of Dvořák and His World, who has been named The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic for the 2016–17 season.
Dr. Beckerman was joined by actors reenacting the reception of African American musical sources at the dawn of the Progressive Era and how they contributed to the development of an American musical voice. The event, co-presented with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, took place at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. As The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence, Michael Beckerman will be involved with public outreach and education programs throughout the season and work with the Philharmonic Archives on projects related to Dvořák, contributing further to The New World Initiative.
The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic program honors and recognizes the enduring contribution of Leonard Bernstein, the Orchestra’s Music Director from 1958 to 1969 and subsequent Laureate Conductor. The position was created in the 2005–06 season to coincide with the 15th anniversary of Bernstein’s death, on October 14, 1990.
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Professor Michael Beckerman, Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, lectures and performs with actors at Lincoln Center Rubenstein Atrium. Photo Credit: New York Philharmonic
- Michael Beckerman Lectures on Dvořák and Martinů
Musicologist and DAHA Vice President Michael Beckerman discusses the music of Dvořák and Martinů in conjunction with a performance by the Pavel Haas Quartet at the Library of Congress, which featured Martinů's String Quartet no. 3, H. 183, and Dvořák's String Quartet in D minor, op. 34 and String Quartet in F major, op. 96 ("American"). Published on June 16, 2016.
For transcript and more information, visit http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=7272
The House in Prague and the Dvořák Statue in New York
The House in Prague, a new book by Anna Nessy Perlberg, explores her childhood memories of her musically talented mother and her family’s life in Prague, shattered in 1938 by the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia. Featured in the recent Literary Festival: Prague Summer Program at the Bohemian National Hall in New York City, the book is linked to the Dvořák Room and its collection in an intimate way. Nearly ten years ago the Dvořák American Heritage Association received a generous gift of an etching of composer Antonín Dvořák by noted Czech artist and caricaturist Hugo Boettinger (1880-1934). The print bears the artist's dedication to Czech soprano Julia Nessy Bacherová – “excellent interpreter of Dvořák’s songs, April 5, 1932.” The gift to DAHA was made by Anna Nessy Perlberg, in memory of her mother, Mrs. Bacherová, who was one of the group of Czech emigrees who commissioned the bronze statue of Dvořák now in Stuyvesant Square Park, near the former site of Dvořák’s residence in New York, from 1892-95.
The House in Prague by Anna Nessy Perlberg (Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Golden Alley Press, 2016). http://goldenalleypress.com/anna-nessy-perlberg/
In this memoir that reads like a novel, we meet Anna’s shining and beautiful opera singer mother, her prominent lawyer father, and their circle of friends that includes Albert Schweitzer and the family of Czech President Thomas Masaryk.
Born in Prague’s Malá Strana, Julia Nessy Bacherová (1889-1981) dedicated her life to music, graduating from the Prague Conservatory and starting as the youngest violinist in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. She later performed as harpist in the same orchestra and eventually had a rich career as a concert and opera singer, with Dvořák songs prominent in her repertory. She held the Dvořák etching close to her throughout her life.
When the etching was received and placed next to the plaster cast of the Dvořák Statue in the Dvořák Room, it became evident that the print had served as the inspiration for the sculptor Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962) when creating the statue. Both statue and etching show Dvořák in the act of composing, standing by a piano, right hand on the keyboard, while he looks at a music score. Like long lost friends, the two artworks came together in the Dvořák Room once again, where they are permanently on view, along with a copy of The House in Prague.
By Majda Kallab Whitaker, DAHA
- Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music at New York University and Vice-President of the Dvořák American Heritage Association, was featured in a New York Times article on December 4th, with comments about the New York Philharmonic’s original orchestral parts from the “New World” Symphony. He participated in the program “Insights Immersion: The Many Worlds of Antonín Dvořák” offered as part of the NY Philharmonic’s Dvořák Festival on Sunday, December 7th at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
The accompanying exhibition, mounted by the Archives of the New York Philharmonic on the Grand Promenade of Avery Fisher Hall, presented two contributions from the Dvořák American Heritage Association: DAHA’s archival treasure, the original contract that brought Antonín Dvořák to America, signed “Antonín Dvořák. Prague 1892,” which is the only existing copy of the contract; and a photograph of the Honorary Membership Certificate awarded to Dr. Antonín Dvořák by the Philharmonic Society (New York Philharmonic) in April, 1894, documented by DAHA in the Czech Republic courtesy of Antonín Dvořák III. The exhibit was on view through the end of January 2015.
- Check out the latest DAHA New York Times coverage, "Dvorak’s ‘New World’ Manuscript to Revisit New York" by Allan Kozinn, November 3, 2014: http://nyti.ms/1ySzM2w
- Read the New York Times article about DAHA's recent exhibition, "The Deal that Brought Dvořák to New York" by Michael Cooper, Saturday; August 24, 2013: http://nyti.ms/1iEcU1h
- See also "Unfinished Dvořák Manuscript To Be Presented in New York," April 3, 2014 in The Strad: http://bit.ly/1mZL2at