Musicians Foundation

Musicians Foundation


Musicians Foundation In 1912, an organization known as "The Bohemians" (New York Musicians Club) took the first step toward establishing a fund for their fellow musicians by producing a concert featuring several distinguished artists of the day.

Contents

Mission

For more than 98 years, the Musicians Foundation has "rescued" musicians and their families from emergency situations. Dedicating itself to alleviating the anxieties of musicians and their loved ones overtaken by misfortune, the Foundation provides assistance without regard to the age of the individual or the source of their adversity.

Today, the Musicians Foundation is a critical resource when emergencies occur. Many musicians require assistance only for a limited time, until their situations are resolved; a few are helped for the remainder of their lives. All count on the help of generous individuals, to allow the Musicians Foundation to continue to provide assistance.

History by H. E. Krehbiel

There remains to be told the story of a purely philanthropic enterprise in which is embodied a spirit which imbued the founder from the beginning, but which did not come into full fruition until the Club had completed five years of existence. By that time The Bohemians were so firmly footed that a desire found expression among its members for a permanent home. There were many men of wealth among the Associate Members, and it would have been a comparatively easy matter to raise money for the purpose of building or leasing a clubhouse. The conviction was general that The Bohemians had come to stay.

But the idea had taken root amongst its leaders that a better use could be made of the Club's ability to draw on its potential capital, represented by the devotion of its friends and members, than to apply it to the temporal comfort of the members at their periodical meetings. This better use was the amelioration of the condition of professional musicians who had been overtaken by misfortune. Practical expression was given to the idea when contributions for the purpose came to be placed in the hands of the officers of the Club for distribution. So it was decided to organize a kind of auxiliary of the Club for this express purpose, and on May 8, 1914, the certificate of incorporation of "The Musicians' Foundation, Established by The Bohemians (New York Musicians' Club)" was filed in the records of New York County. The certificate was signed by Frank Damrosch, August Fraemcke, Rubin Goldmark, Hugo Grunwald, Sigmund Herzog, Ferdinand von Inten and Franz Kneisel, and these gentlemen, together with Rudolph Schirmer and Maurice M. Sternberger, were designated as Directors to serve until the first annual meeting in April, 1914. With the exception of Mr. Schirmer and Mr. von Inten, deceased, (replaced by Mr. George Hamlin and Mr. Edwin T. Rice), they have been identified with the administration of the affairs of the organization ever since.

The particular object of The Musicians' Fund as set forth in the certificate of incorporation is: "To foster the interests and advance the condition and social welfare of professional musicians and to provide voluntary aid and assistance to professional musicians and their families in case of need, all in such manner as may be provided by the by-laws and not inconsistent with the laws of the State of New York or the United States of America."

At the outset it was the intention of the creators of the Foundation to rely largely upon public concerts to provide the funds which were to be applied to the purposes of the organization, and on March 3, 1912, nearly two years before the incorporation was effected, a concert was given for the purposes by the Kneisel Quartet at the Hotel Astor, the programme of which was as follows:

1. SONATA FOR VIOLONCELLO Corelli
Willem Willeke, Sigmund Herzog at the Piano
2. PIANOFORTE SOLOS:
(a) "Auf Flugeln des Gesanges" Mendelssohn-Liszt
(b) Etude Liadow
(c) Reminiscences de "Robert le Diable" Meyerbeer-Liszt
Josef Lhévinne
3. SONGS:
(a) "Die Lotosblume" Schumann
(b) "Gretchen am Spinnrade" Schubert
(c) "Von Ewiger Liebe" Brahms
Mme. Margaret Matzenauer, Sigmund Herzog at the Piano
4. STRING QUARTETS:
(a) Andante con moto e Variazione Schubert
(From the Quartet in D minor)
(b) Italian Serenade Hugo Wolf
The Kneisel Quartet
5. SONGS:
(a) "Gesang Weylas" Hugo Wolf
(b) "Liezesfeier" Weingartner
(c) "Heimliche Aufforderung" Strauss
Mme. Matzenauer
6. SEPTET, Op. 20 Beethoven
The Kneisel Quartet and Leon Lerov, Benjamin Kohon, Xaver Reitcr,
Ludwig Manoly

The financial success of the concert was gratifying in the extreme and a year later, on April 28, 1918, a second concert given, this time in Aeolian Hall, at which the programme was this:

1. Four Songs a capella

The Choir of the Musical Art Society, Frank Damrosch, Conductor

2. Pianoforte Trio in A minor …………………………………………………………………………………… Tchaikowsky

Ernesto Console, Mischa Elman and Willem Willeke

3. Three Songs

Mme. Frieda Hempel, Max Liebling at the Piano

4. b Violin Solos

Mischa Elman, Percy Kahn at the Piano

5. Part Songs, unaccompanied

The Musical Art Society

This concert marked a great stride forward in respect of public attractiveness and scope, but there was a still greater stride in the popular appeal when on March 27, 1916, a Gala Concert was given in Carnegie Hall by Ignace Jan Paderewski, Pablo Casals and the Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Josel Stransky with this programme:

1. (a) Prelude, Chorale and Fugue ……………………………………………………………………………… Bach-Albert

(b) Overture, "Leonore, No. 3" …………………………………………………………………………………… Beethoven

The Philharmonic Orchestra

2. Concerto in D for Violoncello ……………………………………………………………………………………… Haydn

Pablo Casals

3. Prelude, "Die Meistersinger" ……………………………………………………………………………………… Wagner

The Philharmonic Orchestra

4. Concerto in A minor …………………………………………………………………………………………… Schumann

Ignace Jan Paderewski

This concert was the most sensational incident in the musical season, and the public participation was evidenced by receipts amounting to over $10.000. The war having intervened to direct the charitable impulses of the people into other channels these concerts were temporarily abandoned; but not the benevolent impulses of The Bohemians and their friends. Voluntary contributions of large dimensions had been made to the fund, and they continued to flow in. At the end of five years the donations amounted to over $52,000, which from interests on investments was increased by over $9,000, and the disbursements applied to the assistance of needy musicians had reached the amount of $7.161.75. The funds are in the hands of the Farmers' Loan and Trust Company, as the official custodian of The Foundation and only the interest—but all of that, since there are no expenses in connection with the administration of the fund—has been employed for the purposes of relief. In a report made in April 1919, the statement appeared:

"Besides voluntary contributions from various sources the Musicians Foundation has received valuable accessions from the proceeds of concerts given for its benefit. This source of income of necessity ceased during the war and it was deemed inadvisable to deflect the public from important financial sacrifices which the demands of the war placed upon all patriotic citizens. It is intended, however, now that peace is in sight, to use every means to secure further financial support for the objects of the Musicians Foundation, which is greatly needed at this time, and will be increasingly needed in the near future.”

References

[1]

  1. ^ "I am grateful for all the years of good health and musical happiness that I enjoyed. I would like to share this good fortune that God has given me with all my colleagues in paying tribute to a wonderful organization, the Musicians Foundation. This recording made with my friends Alexander Schneider and Isaac Stern and all the other musicians who participated in our music making, brings back wonderful memories of the first Festivals in Prades, the beginning of a new and meaningful era for me. I hope that it will bring the same musical happiness to many people who through their generous contribution will help to further the good work of the Musicians Foundation." Pablo Casals, 1971

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