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From Paris to PeoriaHow European Piano Virtuosos Brought Classical Music to the American Heartland$
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R. Allen Lott

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148831.001.0001

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French Pianos, Italian Opera, and California Gold

French Pianos, Italian Opera, and California Gold

Chapter:
(p.91) CHAPTER 6 French Pianos, Italian Opera, and California Gold
Source:
From Paris to Peoria
Author(s):

R. Allen Lott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148831.003.0007

While in the United States, Henri Herz actively established agents to sell his own pianos and explored the possibilities of building a factory, concert hall, and conservatory, none of which came to fruition. Herz's claim that Americans covered the legs of their pianos because of their prudishness is not true; it was a means to protect them. During the 1848-9 season, Herz toured with the Dutch violinist Frans Coenen (1826-1904) and an Italian opera troupe. After appearances in Mexico, Herz gave concerts in San Francisco and Sacramento, California, in 1850 during the height of the gold rush. Herz's American tour reflected a more businesslike approach to musical management under Bernard Ullman, and included almost two hundred concerts in at least fifty-eight cities. His simple but elegant stage manners and his graceful music charmed the American public.

Keywords:   Henri Herz, Frans Coenen, Italian opera, San Francisco, gold rush, Bernard Ullman, musical management

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