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From Paris to PeoriaHow European Piano Virtuosos Brought Classical Music to the American Heartland$
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R. Allen Lott

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148831.001.0001

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At the Matinées

At the Matinées

(p.133) CHAPTER 8 At the Matinées
From Paris to Peoria

R. Allen Lott

Oxford University Press

Sigismund Thalberg's most satisfying appearances artistically comprised a series of more than fifteen solo matinees in New York and Boston, where he performed a wider repertoire, including works by Beethoven, Chopin, and Mendelssohn, before intimate audiences. Most of the audience members were women, since the daylight scheduling allowed them to attend without an escort, as was required at night. Thalberg also gave at least twenty concerts in ten cities for as many as forty or fifty thousand schoolchildren. Thalberg's first inland tour in 1857 was managed efficiently by Maurice Strakosch, who had begun his career as a piano virtuoso; at least fifty-nine concerts in thirty cities in the Midwest and Canada were given. The fashionable concertgoer, who attended more to be seen than to hear the music, was frequently attracted to the concerts of visiting celebrities. The new feature of providing reserved seats for an additional fee allowed the fashionable to arrive late and make a grand entrance while claiming their prize seats.

Keywords:   Sigismund Thalberg, Maurice Strakosch, fashionable concertgoer, reserved seats

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