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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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From Paris to Peoria

R. Allen Lott

Oxford University Press

Although some writers took a cynical view of the influence of virtuosos touring the United States, most believed the visiting pianists were useful models for budding pianists and were responsible for awaking a general interest in music and improving the public's discrimination. Alfred Jaëll (1832-82) was the next world-famous pianist to visit America, making his debut in 1851 and touring with the Germania Musical Society orchestra. Two other important pianists who soon made debuts were the Americans Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-69) in 1853 and William Mason (1829-1908) in 1854, both returning from studying and performing abroad. Neither was as successful as the European performers, reflecting America's discrimination against native-born talent. Although there were frequent rumors that Franz Liszt (1811-86) would tour America, he never yielded to the numerous offers.

Keywords:   Alfred Jaëll, Germania Musical Society, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, William Mason, Franz Liszt

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