Investigating Damrosch's long-term vision through his statements
Now at the turn of the millennium it is interesting to see how many of his viewpoints and observations have come true.
1930:"I (presented) concerts (at Willow Grove Park) for seven seasons, (between 1897 and 1907) thereby developing an audience for symphonic music which eventually and inevitably demanded a resident orchestra of its own. To-day (1930) the Philadelphia orchestra, under the leadership of Leopold Stokowski, ranks as one of the foremost of our country. Its concerts are crowded to the doors and I like to think that our seven years of pioneer work in Willow Grove have helped to lay its foundations". (My Musical Life – 1930 p. 204.)
2000:The Philadelphia Orchestra is alive and well, celebrating it's 100th Anniversary during the 1999-2000 season.
1920:"I hope that our Army will continue to interest itself in the improvement of its bands, and that the inspiration which General Pershing's authority and encouragement gave in France will be continued."
2000: He and his brother Frank were instrumental in helping to establish The Armed Forces School of Music. (see related stories)
1920:Instead of the twelve symphony orchestras where we have at present, there should be at least 100. Every town of 100,000 inhabitants or over should have an adequate symphony orchestra of its own, and with the right kind of intelligent financial support, and the proper training this seeming miracle could be easily accomplished.
2000:Today, most towns of 100,000 inhabitants or over do have an adequate symphony orchestra of its own, however few of these positions provide "full time" employment as performers.
1920:What we need in this country is the encouragement of the study of orchestral instruments, especially the wood-winds (double reeds) and French horns. We have not nearly enough to properly equip the symphony orchestras already in existence.
2000:High school orchestras and concert bands in even the most remote parts of the country now have proficient players on these instruments. The orchestras can usually find performers with advanced training.
1920:I can say positively that the American public would (will) rather listen to the Beethoven "Seventh Symphony" than to popular music?
2000:More people are listening to classical music than ever before. Live concerts together with classical music radio stations take this music into the most remote areas of the country, and these events are patronized!
However comparing the numbers of CDs in the classical section and those in the popular music sections in the music store, or searching the radio dial will attest to the amount of and various kinds of popular music.
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