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First concert of the 1913 Ann Arbor May Festival on May 14

First concert of the 20th Ann Arbor May Festival on May 14, 1913

During the 2012-13 season, the University of Michigan celebrates the centennial of Hill Auditorium, which was inaugurated by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on May 14, 1913, in the first of five concerts for the Ann Arbor May Festival that year. CSO music director Frederick Stock and Albert A. Stanley, director of the University Musical Society, shared the podium for that first concert, which featured soprano Marie Rappold singing Wagner and Bruch.

To commemorate the anniversary, the University Musical Society has produced an hourlong documentary, which premiered on Detroit Public Television last week. From the university’s website: “Designed by the renowned architect Albert Kahn and boasting one of the world’s finest acoustical designs, Hill Auditorium has been a true cultural incubator for the arts community in southeast Michigan for the past 100 years. . . . Through concert recordings, news articles, and anecdotal interviews, A Space for Music, A Seat for Everyone: 100 Years of UMS Performances in Hill Auditorium provides historical context for the auditorium’s role as UMS’s primary concert venue and highlights its evolving community function.”

The documentary is here:

The Thursday, May 15, 1913, concert featured a performance of Verdi’s Requiem with Florence Hinkle, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Lambert Murphy, Henri Scott, and the Choral Union. Stanley conducted.

Stanley and Stock shared the podium on Friday afternoon, May 16 for a children’s concert, also with Schumann-Heink and the Children’s Chorus. That evening, Stock led a “Miscellaneous Concert” of popular concert favorites, featuring baritone Pasquale Amato.

Fifth concert

Fifth concert of the festival on May 17, 1913

Stock and Stanley again shared the podium for the fifth concert of the festival—an all-Wagner concert, that included the first act of Lohengrin, selections from Götterdämmerung (with Siegfried’s Funeral March performed in memory of Arthur Hill, a regent of the university from 1901 to 1909 who bequeathed $200,000 for the auditorium’s construction), and the finale from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Singers on hand that night included Marie Rappold, Rosalie Wirthlin, Lambert Murphy, William Hinshaw, Frederick A. Munson, and Henri Scott.

Earlier this season, the CSO under music director Riccardo Muti helped to inaugurate Hill Auditorium’s centennial season with a concert on September 27, 2012. The program included Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman, Bates‘s Alternative Energy, and Franck’s Symphony in D minor. And for an encore, the Orchestra played the university’s fight song, The Victors, arranged by CSO violist, Max Raimi.

Congratulations to our friends at the University of Michigan and happy anniversary!

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The opinions expressed here are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.


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