The following events in Juilliard’s history occurred in February:
February 23-25, the Juilliard Graduate School gave the New York premiere and second U.S. production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in a condensed version by Vincent d’Indy. Apolyna Stoskus and Margaret Olson alternated in the role of Poppea, and members of the Oratorio Society of New York and the New York University Glee Club performed in the choral ensemble. Poppea was presented in a double bill with Puccini’s one-act opera Gianni Schicchi in an English version by Percy Pitt.
February 26, a 16-piece dance orchestra of Juilliard students debuted at the Manhattan Towers Grand Ballroom. Organized by Frank York, the jazz ensemble consisted of six brass players, five saxophonists, three percussionists, and Dorothy Free on vocals. Prior to the establishment of York’s band, a few other attempts had been made to form a dance orchestra at Juilliard. In 1942, 22 students rehearsed as an extracurricular training group, but the ensemble was unable to perform due to financial impracticalities and union issues.
February 4, the Alumni Association presented a memorial concert for Frank Damrosch, the godson of Franz Liszt and former head of music education for the New York City public schools. Damrosch founded the Institute of Musical Art, Juilliard’s predecessor institution, in 1905 with financial support from James Loeb. Soprano Leontyne Price, pianists Katherine Bacon and David Stimer, and the Kraeuter Trio (Karl and Phyllis Kraeuter and Joseph Wolman) performed in the tribute program of works by Bach, Franck, Poulenc, Brahms, Debussy, and Barber.
February 8-11, the Acting Company of the Juilliard Theater Center made its fifth appearance at the Bermuda Festival. The Company, comprised of the entire fourth-year drama class, performed Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost in a production staged by Michael Langham, director of the Drama Division, with choreography by faculty member Anna Sokolow.