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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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The Lion Stalks America

The Lion Stalks America

(p.11) CHAPTER 1 The Lion Stalks America
From Paris to Peoria

R. Allen Lott

Oxford University Press

America's first encounter with a bona fide piano virtuoso was provided by the colorful Austrian pianist Leopold de Meyer (1816-83), who had just achieved fame in Paris and other western European capitals. Unknown in America, De Meyer resorted to outlandish publicity to gain attention, a technique rampant at the time and frequently denounced as humbug. De Meyer made his American debut at New York's Park Theatre on 20 October 1845, and appeared there for two weeks on theatrical bills before giving his own grand concerts in New York's Tabernacle and later in Boston. De Meyer performed his own music, including opera fantasias typical of the time as well as pieces inspired by his exotic travels: the Marche marocaine, which emphasized a dense chordal texture and bravura passages, became his signature work.

Keywords:   publicity, humbug, Park Theatre, Tabernacle, Marche marocaine

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