Juilliard Honors Lilli Lehmann (1929); J.S.Q. Debuts (1946); Strayhorn Scholarship Endowed (1968)

The following events in Juilliard’s history occurred in October:

The mayor of Berlin accepted a portfolio of testimonial letters in Lilli Lehmann’s honor in 1929. Front row, left to right: Marcella Sembrich, Berlin Mayor Gustave Boess, Ernest Hutcheson, and Anna Schoen-René. Back row, left to right: Mrs. Ernest Hutcheson, Meta Schumann, Dr. Eugene A. Noble, Alexander Siloti, John Erskine, Yeatman Griffith, Oscar Wagner, George Ferguson, and Edith Nichols.

(Photo by Underwood and Underwood, Inc.)


October 24, an international tribute to Lilli Lehmann, renowned 19th-century soprano and Wagnerian interpreter, took place at the Juilliard Graduate School. Dean Ernest Hutcheson presented original congratulatory letters intended for Lehmann, who had died suddenly the previous May, to Berlin Mayor Gustave Boess; arrangements were made to house the letters at the Berlin State Library. Among the artists who wrote testimonials for Lehmann were Alfred Hertz, Antonio Scotti, Margaret Matzenauer, Walter Damrosch, Ernest Hutcheson, Josef Lhévinne, Serge Koussevitzky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Olga Samaroff.

October 11, the Juilliard String Quartet made its debut in a private concert at Juilliard. The program consisted of Bartok’s Quartet No. 1, Beethoven’s Quartet No. 12 in E-flat Major, Op. 127, and Piston’s Quartet No. 1. Yehudi Menuhin and Zoltan Kodaly were in attendance. Founded by Juilliard President William Schuman with the aid of the Juilliard Musical Foundation, the Juilliard String Quartet was created to further the cause of chamber music through pedagogy and public performance. Its original members were Robert Mann, Robert Koff, Raphael Hillyer, and Arthur Winograd.

October 3, Martha Hill and Milton Katims spoke at the opening convocation ceremony, addressing the School’s first class of 54 dancers and other members of the Juilliard community.

President William Schuman established the Dance Division that year with the appointment of Miss Hill as director. She created an innovative curriculum that required studies in ballet, modern dance, folk idioms, and musical training for all students. Juilliard became the first major teaching institution to combine equal dance instruction in both modern and ballet techniques. An extraordinary faculty was assembled during the department’s initial years, including some of the most prominent performers and teachers of the century: Alfredo Corvino, Margaret Craske, Agnes de Mille, Martha Graham, Louis Horst, Doris Humphrey, Ann Hutchinson, José Limón, Jerome Robbins, Anna Sokolow, Antony Tudor, and Miss Hill herself. 

October 6, the Billy Strayhorn Scholarship fund at Juilliard was endowed with a concert presented by the Duke Ellington Society at Philharmonic Hall. Guest artists included Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Duke Ellington, Geoffrey Holder, Carmen De Lavallade, Bunny Briggs, Ray Nance, and Clark Terry.

October 30, director and actor André Gregory spoke with Drama Division students.

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