next prior Steinway Hall opening concert (3) Times review
October 28, 1925
(see also piece
Oct 25, IX, 17:4)

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More persons of note in society and music, perhaps, than New York's greatest concert halls often shelter in a day thronged the little recital salon and adjoining hallways of the new Steinway Building at 100 West Fifty-seventh Street last evening for its formal dedicatory concert. Willem Mengelberg and thirty-five Philharmonic players occupied the small platform, assisted by Frazer [sic] Gange, baritone, and followed by Josef Hofmann, the pianist, in a program that was broadcast on radio.

Four grandsons of the original Steinway and as many great-grandsons were present with some 300 invited guests, as Ernest Urchs read a poem to the new hall written by S. W. Gerhart. Mr. Gange sang an old English "Mummer's Carol" whose stanzas quietly invited a blessing upon "master and mistress of this house... your house, your goods and all your store."

Invitations had been sent to President and Mrs. Coolidge as well as the Governor and Mrs. Smith, the Mayor and Mrs. Hylan, Cardinal Hayes and other dignitaries, to musicians, writers and artists and to representatives of familiar prominent places the days of the "old" Steinway Hall, now abandoned on Fourteenth Street.

One man at least who had attended the old halls dedication on Oct 31, 1866 was Charles Pike Sawyer, who recalled the participation then of Brignoli and Mme. Pareps-Ross a prima donna at 30, with a promising conductor just one year her senior, Theodore Thomas.

The new hall's program started with Beethoven's familiar "Dedication of the House" by Mr. Mengelberg's men, who added later Percy Grainger's "Irish Tune" and gay "Mock Morris" Schubert's song "An Die Musik" was one of Mr. Gange's selections.

Mr. Hofmann played his own "Sanctuary" composed under the pseudonym of Dvorsky, together with Chopin's A-flat ballade and F-major nocturne and Beethoven's march from "The Ruins of Athens" arranged by Rubinstein. It was Anton Rubinstein whose visit in 1872 had begun, at the 14th Street hall, a famous series of foreign artists, yet commemorated in paintings seen in the new building last night.


Mr. Urchs, who has been spokesman for Steinway's since the period of Carnegie Hall's opening and the discontinuance of the 14th St. concerts after 1890, was applauded as he recited from manuscript the poet's appeal to the muse to find a home in the march of New York northward:

What heart too proudly temperate and cold
 Feels not the warmth and splendor of this hour?
What memory would not this moment hold
 A precious gift from out sweet Fortune's dower?
For here the voice of music shall be heard,
And never will the strings be ever mute.
And never will the notes be ever blurred,
And never will the sounding of the lute
 Fall upon ears untuned to harmonies,
O Gentle Goddess, make thy dwelling here!
 O Dulcet Maid, forever there abide!
And may thy lovely presence, year by year,
 Make us sweet Fortune's minion and her pride.

Musical folk among the early arrivals at the hall were Sergei Rachmaninoff and Mrs. Rachmaninoff. Mrs. Mengelberg, Mrs. Gange, Mme. Elena Gerhardt, Miss Yolanda Mero, John Powell, H.H. Huss, H.F. Gilbert and Edward Zeigler.
Others invited were Leopold Auer, Frank Damrosch, George Barrere, Mrs. James Huneker, Chalmers Clifton, Alexander Russell, Mr. and Mrs. Mischa Elman, Walter S. Fischer, Alexander Lambert and W.J. Guard.


Those accepting cards also included Dr. Hugh Auchincloss, Mrs. Robert L Bacon, George F. Baker Sr., Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Baylies, Mrs. August Belmont Jr., Mrs. Thomas Blagden, Edward Bok, Mr. and Mrs., J.A. Burden Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Choate Jr., Mrs. Andrew Carnegie, James B. Clews, Bainbridge Colby, R.L. Cottenet Frederic Coudert Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Daly Jr., Frederick P. Delafield, Walter Douglas, John R. Drexel, General Coleman du Pont, George Eastman, Mrs. N.L. Edgar, Senator Davis Elkins, Dr. Cyrus W. Field, Mrs., Marshall Field, Hamilton Fish, C. D. Gibson, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Gould, S. R. Guggenheim, Mrs. C.S. Guggenheimer and John Hays Hammond Jr.

Others were Mrs. E. H. Harriman, Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, W.W. Hinshaw, Archer Huntington, Frederic A. Julliard, Mrs. Otto H. Kahn, Alvin W. Krech, Clarence H. Mackay, Miss Ellin Mackay, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E Mitchell, Miss Anne Morgan, Dr. Eugene A. Noble, Professor H. Fairfield Osborn, Mr. and Mrs. William church Osborn, William C. Potter, Mrs. Whitelaw Reid, Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr., Colonel and Mrs. H. H. Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Roosevelt, Orlando Rouland, Gutzon Borgium, C. H. K. Curtis, Charles H. Sabin, Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer Schiff, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Stoeckel, Louis W. Stotesbury, James Speyer, W. A. Taylor, and Charles Triller.

Members of the Steinway family present were Mr. and Mrs. Frederic Steinway, Theodore E. and William R. Steinway and Henry Zeigler, grandsons, still active in the firm. Of the fourth generation there were Charles F. M. Steinway,, Theodore Cassebeer, Paul H. Schmidt and F. A. Vietor, sons of the grandsons and granddaughters of the founder, all associated with Steinway today.


June 4, 1999 --