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"Abu Hassan" (1920); Juilliard Civilian Defense Council (1942); Limón’s "Waldstein Sonata" (1975) Fischerova Plays (1994)

1920
April 16-17, the Institute of Musical Art, Juilliard’s predecessor institution, presented the first performance in English of Abu Hassan, an operetta in one act composed by Karl Maria von Weber. Tenor Albert Reiss, formerly of the Metropolitan Opera, directed the production in translation by Frank Damrosch (the director of the I.M.A.) and his wife, Hetty Damrosch. 

Jennifer Timm played Niobe and Lee Mark Nelson was Job in Group 23’s production of Daniela Fischerova’s Sudden Misfortune in April 1994.

(Photo by Jessica Katz)

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1942
April 1, faculty and students established a Juilliard Civilian Defense Council “in view of the increasing seriousness of the war situation.” The Council coordinated safety measures such as appointing air raid wardens, organizing fire brigades, and planning first aid procedures in the event New York was attacked. 

1975
April 26-28, the Juilliard Dance Ensemble premiered Daniel Lewis’s reconstruction of José Limón’s The Waldstein Sonata. Founding dance faculty member Limón began working on The Waldstein Sonata with his company in the winter of 1971. Lewis, a Juilliard alumnus and faculty member at the time, reconstructed and completed the choreography after Limón’s death in 1972. Emanuel Krasovsky performed Beethoven’s Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, known as the “Waldstein.” (The Waldstein Sonata is part of the 2012 Juilliard Dances Repertory series, which ends April 1.)

1994
April 4, the Drama Division’s spring repertory season opened with North American premieres of two plays by Czech playwright Daniela Fischerova: The Hour Between Dog and Wolf and Sudden Misfortune. Directed by Michael Mayer with translations by Veronique Firkusny-Callegari (daughter of longtime piano faculty member Rudolf Firkusny) and Robert T. Jones, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf re-enacted the 1462 murder trial of French poet/bandit François Villon. Sudden Misfortune, a two-character play set in an asylum with the Greek goddess Niobe and the Biblical figure of Job, was directed by David Dorwart in translation by Michael Henry Heim.

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