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International Touring c. 1912: Better Late Than Never

Recently, the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) launched a Twitter account that is publishing diary entries from timpanist Charles Turner during the orchestra’s 1912 United States and Canada tour. It has been loads of fun reading the Twitter size excerpts and all things being equal, it seems as though the orchestra is keeping the Tweets synced with actual dates and times from the original tour schedule.

According to the LSO tour blog, they’ve excerpted Tuner’s “best bits” and so far, they’ve been fun to read but the effort would benefit from a few reference materials, such as a copy of the actual tour schedule. Fortunately, there’s a copy of the actual itinerary (h/t Holly Mulcahy) available at a Japanese Geocities account.

But for the sake of convenience, here’s a copy of the 1912 tour schedule and concert programs you can use to cross reference Turner’s tweets:

Tour Schedule

  • 8 April: New York, Carnegie Hall
  • 9 April: Boston, Symphony Hall
  • 10 April: New York, Carnegie Hall
  • 11 April: Philadelphia, Metropolitan House
  • 12 April: Washington D.C. (matinée)
  • 12 April: Baltimore (night), Lyric Theater
  • 13 April: Pittsburg, Exposition Music Hall
  • 14 April: Cleveland, Hippodrome
  • 15 April: Chicago, Auditorium
  • 16 April: St Louis, Coliseum
  • 17 April: Kansas City, Convention Hall
  • 18 April: Wichita, New Forum
  • 19 April: Des Moines, Coliseum (matinée)
  • 19 April: Des Moines, Coliseum (evening)
  • 20 April: Madison, Wisconsin (matinee), University of Wisconsin
  • 20 April: Milwaukee (night), Auditorium
  • 21 April: Chicago (matinée), Auditorium
  • 22 April: Oxford, Ohio (matinee), Miami University
  • 22 April: Cincinnati (night), Emery Auditorium
  • 23 April: Toledo (matinée), The Valentine
  • 23 April: Detroit (night), Light Guard Armory
  • 24 April: Buffalo, Convention Hall
  • 25 April: Toronto, Massey Hall
  • 26 April: Ottawa (matinée), Russell Theater
  • 26 April: Montreal (night), Arena
  • 27 April: Boston (matinée), Symphony Hall
  • 27 April: Providence (night), Infantry Hall
  • 28 April: New York (to be announced)

Concert Programs

[sws_zebra_table_csv width=”100%” bgcolor=”ffffff” hbgcolor=”ffffff” hcolor=”003399″ bbgcolor=”ffffff” bcolor=”444444″ bzebra=”ebebeb” bhover=”d0dafd”]

8 April 1912 New York: Carnegie Hall
Overture “Leonora no.3” Beethoven
Symphony in C minor No.1 Brahms
Symphonic Poem Francesca da Rimini Tchaikovsky
Overture: Tannhäuser Wagner
9 April 1912 Boston, Symphony Hall
Overture: Egmont Beethoven
Symphony no.6 “Pathetique” Tchaikovsky
Prelude and Liebestod “Tristan and Isolde” Wagner
Waldweben “Siegfried” Wagner
Overture: Meistersinger Wagner
10 April 1912 New York, Carnegie Hall
Overture: Oberon Weber
Symphony in C minor no.5 Beethoven
Overture: “Flying Dutchman” Wagner
Tone Poem, “Don Juan” Strauss
Hungarian Rhapsody in F no.1 Liszt
11 April 1912 Philadelphia, Metropolitan House
Overture: Leonora no.3 Beethoven
Symphony no.6 “Pathetique” Tchaikovsky
Vorspiel and Liebestod “Tristan and Isolda” Wagner
Overture: Tannhäuser Wagner
17 April 1912 Kansas City, Convention Hall
Overture: Leonora no.3 Beethoven
Symphony no.6 “Pathetique” Tchaikovsky
Vorspiel and Liebestod “Tristan and Isolda” Wagner
Tone Poem: Don Juan Strauss
Hungarian Rhapsody in F no.1 Liszt

[/sws_zebra_table_csv]

What makes the 1912 LSO tour even more special is its connection with the sinking of the Titanic. Originally, the LSO was supposed to travel to the US aboard the RMS Titanic but shortly before the onset of the trip, had to change plans and book passage on the SS Baltic. More details and some photos are available at the LSO website plus Holly Mulcahy published a fascinating article about the Titanic musicians that references to the LSO tour (it’s also timely given events unfolding in Louisville).

So kudos to the folks at the LSO, especially whoever came up with the idea for posting Turner’s diary entries in real time via a Twitter account (although it would be nice to have access to the unedited diary entries; just to see what didn’t make the cut). Hopefully, the endeavor will give way to similar efforts from other orchestras.

6 Responses to International Touring c. 1912: Better Late Than Never

  1. Lisa Hirsch April 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Oh, man. Well, I’m very glad that the LSO didn’t go down with the ship.

    But those programs….how depressing: you could find them on all too many orchestra schedules today, a century after they were more or less new music.

  2. Jo Johnson April 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Glad you’re enjoying it Drew. Credit for the idea goes to Gareth Davies, our Principal Flute and author of the 21st century LSO on Tour blog. He’s done a huge amount of research on this 1912 tour – there’ll be more on this later in the year, especially when we return to New York in October.

    For now though, we’ve pinned a number of photos, programmes and press cuttings from our archive on our Pinterest account, and are posting links to this alongside the relevant bits of the diary: http://pinterest.com/londonsymphony/us-tour-march-april-1912/

    By the way, a side note on repertoire for Lisa Hirsch – the LSO management wanted to play Elgar’s music on the tour, being the newest music, by a British composer, and him having a close relationship with the Orchestra, but the US tour promoter didn’t want it as a key supporter had threatened to pull out if they played that nasty new music. Familiar story? ;-)

    Best wishes,
    Jo Johnson, Digital Marketing Manager, LSO

    • Drew McManus April 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Many thanks for the added info Jo, it’s greatly appreciated and I’m looking forward to the subsequent material. :)

  3. Phillip Ayling April 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    I’m dazzled by the fact that it represents 3 weeks with no days off and some days with multiple performances, including several with a second performance in a different city

    • Michael Comins April 17, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      Phil,
      I noticed the same things. Talk about being overworked….

  4. Brian Bell April 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    I actually sent Gareth Davies an email several months ago about this trip (but never heard back,
    was I “spamfiltered” perchance?) as I came
    across the notices for the tour in the 1912 Boston Symphony program books.
    Also thanks to the wonderful Bridget Carr, Archivist of the Boston Symphony, I was able to
    see the Program Book for the tour. Those programs were numbered, and so the Boston program as listed above (also confirmed by the reviews) is incorrect. It was the same program as the first
    Carnegie concert.
    The programs as you see above were numbered
    1, 2, 3, 4, and the Kansas City program was unique to itself.
    So here are the cities with the programs:
    April 8th–Program 1 (correct)
    April 9th–Program 1 (not correct above)
    April 10th–Program 2 (also not correct above)
    April 11th–Program 4 (correct)
    April 12th–Prg. 2
    April 13–3
    April 14–2
    April 15-1
    April 16-2
    April 17-That’s correct above
    April 18-3
    April 19m–3
    April 19n–1
    April 20m–3
    April 20n–2
    April 21m–2
    April 22m–3
    April 22n–1
    April 23m–1
    April 23n–2
    April 24–2
    April 25–4
    April 26m–3
    April 26n–2
    April 27–(not listed in the book, but was 2)
    April 28 –3

    The top seats for the April 9th Boston performance were $3.50, an amazingly high
    price, which resulted in quite a number of empty seats on the Symphony Hall floor.
    But the balconies were full, and it represented Arthur Nikisch’s return to Boston after he was dismissed nearly 20 years earlier.
    Nikisch’s admirers prompted the the Boston Advertiser to headline,
    “At Times Enthusiasm of Symphony Hall Audience Reached Fever Heat Stage”, and writing for the
    Post, was the 26-year old Olin Downes, who noted that “the audience made up in enthusiasm what it lacked in numbers.”
    For the final Boston visit, the top price was lowered to $3.00.
    I recognize no names on the personnel list, save one–the Third Horn was Aubrey Brain, who
    would’ve been 19 years old in 1912…..

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