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Location: Oliver Room,
Pittsburgh Music Archives #37
Box #5


Pittsburgh Orchestra
1896 – 1899

  1. The early pages of this scrapbook have been damaged by mildew and some letters and photos are unclear. However, the first page appears to be a photo of the newly-formed Pittsburgh Orchestra on the stage of the Carnegie Music Hall.

  2. A partial (newspaper?) page listing the players of the Pittsburgh Orchestra and a biographic account of each (incomplete). Names of 51 men and their instruments are included.

  3. On stationery listing George H. Wilson as manager of the Art Society, is a letter from C. W. Scovel (secretary) to each man chosen for the new orchestra, requesting his presence at a meeting on December 12, 1895, to discuss certain issues surrounding their appointment.

  4. A formal, printed Memorandum of Agreement between the Art Society (signed by Beveridge Webster) and each member of the orchestra is included.

  5. Formal printed announcement from The Pittsburgh Orchestra (founded by the Art Society), to the public about its formation. Listed here are the 22 guarantors who have agreed to provide the sum of $25,000 for each of three years to sustain the orchestra. Also noted are the opening dates of Thursday afternoon, February 27 and Friday evening, February 28, 1896 at the Carnegie Music Hall.

  6. Notices of ticket sales to subscribers under date of February 8, 1896.

  7. First concert of the First Season is announced for November 6, 1896 with Frederic Archer as conductor. Final program (#10) of the first season, May 8, 1896, includes works by Schumann, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Beethoven, St. Säens and Handel. [N.B. This is the only program of this First Season in this scrapbook, although there are some “flyers” announcing the dates and artists.]

  8. Request for contributions to the Orchestral Fund, and statement of expenses, receipts, and attendance for the first season.

  9. Folder for the Second Season 1896-1897 of The Pittsburgh Orchestra, including the repertoire from the first season, and opinions of artists and of critics about this new orchestra and hall.

  10. Programs for the ten concerts of the Second Season beginning November 6, 1896 and ending January 29, 1897.

  11. Programs for the ten concerts of the Third Season beginning November 3, 1897 and ending January 28, 1898 – the final concert with Frederic Archer as conductor.

  12. Programs for the ten concerts of the Fourth Season beginning November 3, 1898 with Victor Herbert as the new conductor, and ending January 21, 1899.

  13. Program from January 3 [1899] announcing Grand Opera at Carnegie Music Hall – Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” with Mme. Nellie Melba as Rosina – and the Pittsburgh Orchestra.

  14. Letter from Chairman of the Orchestra Committee, W.N. Frew, to guarantors of the Orchestra, soliciting their continuing financial support. Comment was made about the size of the audiences, and this observation: “It is also a very gratifying and significant fact, and one that augurs well for the future of the city, that the children and younger members of our families are attending the concerts in greater numbers with a much fuller appreciation of and interest in the work of the Orchestra each succeeding season.”

  15. Copies of programs by the Pittsburgh Orchestra on tour in Titusville, Johnstown and Erie, PA and Youngstown, Ohio. Also from appearances in Carnegie Libraries in Homestead and in Allegheny.

  16. Large posters (26”x 20”) announcing the appearances of a soprano, “Gadski,” with the Pittsburgh Orchestra (Victor Herbert, conductor) on the evening of November 11 [no year] and another with a soprano “Lorraine” [no date].