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Gustav Hinrichs Papers
988.072  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Gustave Hinrichs (1850-1942) was a German American conductor, composer, and music teacher. In Hamburg, Hinrichs became the youngest member of the opera orchestra at the Stadt Theater. Between 1870 and 1885, he became a prominent figure in San Francisco opera where he held positions at the San Francisco Harmonie, the Handel and Haydn Oratorio Society, the Fabbri Italian and German Opera Company, Locke’s Emily Melville Opera Company, the Tivoli Opera Company, and the Philharmonic Society. In 1885, he moved to New York where he worked as assistant conductor to Theodore Thomas at the American Opera Company, which he eventually took over, renamed the National Opera Company, and moved to Philadelphia in 1887. At this theater, he held the American premiers of “Cavalleria rusticana” and “Pagliacci.” He was regarded as the “Father of Opera in Philadelphia” where he also worked as manager/conductor at the Grand Opera House. He also held brief positions at the Harlem Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera, and Columbia University. This collection contains original scores composed by Hinrichs as well as his contemporaries. It also includes three scrapbooks, correspondence, photographs, and eyeglasses from Hinrichs' career.
Background
Gustav Hinrichs (1850-1942) was a German American conductor, as well as a composer and music teacher. As a young man in Hamburg, Hinrichs had the opportunity to study composing under Angelo Reisland and Edward Marxsen and became the youngest member of the opera orchestra at the Stadt theater. In 1870, he left for America, eventually making his way to San Francisco. During his time there he worked in many theaters including the San Francisco Harmonie, the Handel and Haydn Oratorio Society, the Fabbri Italian and German Opera Company, the Emily Melville Opera Company, and the Tivoli Opera Company. Hinrich’s most extensive work in San Francisco, however, was at the Philharmonic Society where he worked for the large part of 15 years. In 1885, he left for New York and the American Opera Company, later named the National Opera Company, where he gained prominence as the assistant conductor to Theodore Thomas. His conducting career took him across the United States and briefly in Canada and England. In 1887, Hinrichs, along with Charles Locke, took the National Opera Company to Philadelphia where he quickly earned the title of the “Father of Opera in Philadelphia.” The company took various tours across America to spread Hinrich’s idea of English opera. However, the National Opera Company was failing, and Hinrichs took a position at the Grand Opera House as manager/conductor for a series of summer opera performances. In 1890, Oscar Hammerstein hired Hinrichs to conduct a season at the Harlem Opera House in New York. Following his success in New York, his own company had a resurgence as he premiered “Cavalleria rusticana” with the celebrated Giuseppe Del Puente as Rigoletto and a cast of new singers such as Albert L. Guille, Selma Koert-Kronold, and Helen Dudley Campbell. In 1892, the company was renamed the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company, and in 1893, they held the American premiere of “Pagliacci,” which Hinrichs conducted. In 1897, Hinrichs returned to New York where he took various conducting positions including a few seasons at the Metropolitan Opera and taught at Columbia University.
Extent
15 Boxes. 8 linear feet.
Restrictions
Reproduction of these materials can occur only if the copying falls within the provisions of the doctrine of fair use. Copyright varies by item.
Availability
Entire Collection is open for research.