next Steinway Hall opening concert, 1925
For those interested in the Steinway genealogy, the founder of Steinway & Sons was Henry Engelhard Steinway Sr. (b. 1797). The Steinway descendants in the photo are the offspring of two of his sons and one daughter.

Henry's son William Steinway succeeded him as president of the firm (1876-96) and William's two sons William R. (1881-1960 – standing, far left ) and Theodore E. (1883-1957 – seated on right) are shown here. William was general manager for European operations from 1899-1960. Theodore became president two years after the photo was taken and remained so until 1955.

Frederick T. Steinway (standing, 3rd from left) was president of the firm when the photo was taken. He was the offspring of Henry's son Charles G. Steinway.

Paul Schmidt, (standing, far right) who was with the firm between 1910 and 1940 and served as the assistant to the president, was the grandson of Henry's daughter Doretta Steinway.

Photo taken October 27, 1925 after the opening concert of the newly built Steinway Hall at 100 West 57th Street in New York. (Courtesy of Diana Roberts, with technical assistance from Brian Harrison)

Back row, l to r, are William R. Steinway, Ernest Urchs (head of the Concert and Artists Department), Frederick T. Steinway, Fraser Gange, Francis Gearhart (not positively identified - may have written the dedicatory poem) and Paul H. Schmidt.
Seated in front are N.Y. Philharmonic conductor Willem Mengelberg, pianist Josef Hofmann and Theodore E. Steinway.

OTHER SECTIONS (some of which are also accessible from the text)
A second photo of Gange, Hofmann and Mengelberg
Transcription of NY Times Review of the Steinway Hall opening and program.
Transcription of the printed program.
Endorsement of Steinway instruments by Fraser Gange/ Amy Evans. From a 1929 recital program.


"Old" Steinway Hall on 14th Street in N.Y.C. closed its doors January 11, 1925. The dedication of its modern replacement in October of that year was one of the musical events of the next season. The new hall design incorporated live radio broadcast facilities, and indeed the opening was was broadcast on WJZ, WRC, WGY and WBZ.

The stage area was small and the room seated only 200, hence the formal dedicatory concert was by invitation only and the publicity was intense. Among the guests were names such as S. R. Guggenheim, DuPont, Drexel and George Eastman.

Months before the concert, it was announced that Willem Mengelberg chose Scottish baritone Fraser Gange as his soloist on the first half of the program. A Steinway newsletter announced that Mengelberg composed a cantata specifically for Gange to sing at the opening. This item was repeated in the press before the concert. The cantata story persisted *, but there is no evidence that Mengelberg succeeded in composing the piece. It was not on the evening's program or mentioned in reviews.

Another persistent myth about the Steinway Hall opening appeared in Gange's obituaries in The New York Times and Washington Post. Both newspapers printed the information that Hofmann accompanied Gange at the Steinway opening. No evidence supports this. Gange, however did sing at a second "opening" concert at Steinway Hall, a few days later accompanied by Richard Hageman. Like the first, this was broadcast on WJZ, WRC, WGY and WBZ.

Though evidence exists of a working relationship between Steinway & Sons and the Ganges (see ad for 1929 recital), the Steinway Archives has no record of Fraser Gange or Amy Evans as official "Steinway Artists".

Gange made his New York debut the year before the Steinway Hall opening, and had sung many non-subscription concerts with the N.Y. Philharmonic. However, he didn't make his subscription series debut until February 1927. Gange's and the New York Philharmonic's presence in the opening was no doubt due to the involvement of their manager Arthur Judson in the venture.

* --Kutsch and Riemens. Grosses Saengerlexikon 1987 ed.
--Thompson, Bohle. Cyclopedia of Music & Musicians 11th ed, 1985
--Pierre Key. Pierre Key's Musical Who's Who New York, 1931.


1999 --