May 8, 1920
Page 35
How America Has Extended Its Friendship to the Flonzaleys


FROM the earliest days of our first appearance in America, fourteen years ago, when none of us spoke English very well and when there were many sides of American life that we did not yet understand and sometimes did not approve of, the American people have always been very kind and cordial to us. But in those days when we gave concerts on tour there was no one at the stations to welcome us; no one called on us; the telephone never rang (a blessing in a way); no one dreamed of entertaining us or if it did occur to some, they never dared to invite us to their home; and only after the concerts a few persons would come to express their appreciation and their hopes of hearing us the next season. Soon things changed, however, so that even on our second visit to a city we found familiar faces, made friends and at once felt at home. Since these days we have been most charmingly entertained in every city, small or large that we visit on our tours.
It would take too long to mention each occasion when we have been guests of some friend, or of a club, society, university, conservatory, etc., in the 200 different places we visited. Not that we have forgotten how kindly we were received everywhere, but without mentioning names I should like to speak of a few or the places where we—and many other artists—have been received year after year for fourteen years. These visits have become a part of our lives—as far as sentiment is concerned—and shall be later on among our dearest memories.
We always begin our season in a very happy mood, being engaged as our mascot concert, to play in a most charming and refined girls' school situated near a New England city famous for its watches. After the concert, which is decidedly an intimate musical "at home" given in a delightful hall, we have supper in the charming company of the principal and with the French and Italian teachers with whom we converse in their respective languages.
Not less charming, but very different is the reception we are always given at the home of a well-known New York lawyer who, like his friend the late E. J. de Coppet, has been most devoted to chamber music for over thirty years. 'Cellist himself, he has done much in various ways to help art and its devotees. Every year after our second concert we arrive at their studio on the Park, where we are cordially welcomed by his charming wife, to find a very select gathering of virtuosi, musicians, painters, doctors, "hommes de plume," etc. After a real epicurean supper, we have the great pleasure of seeing friends and colleagues whom we, who lead the lives of "birds of passages" would not otherwise have a chance to meet.
In Boston and Chicago
In dear old Boston a royal welcome awaits us every year! Our host, the son of a well-known Italian pianist and a remarkable pianist himself, is a merry companion. Here, indeed, we feel ourselves quite at home when seated at his table where there are always a few bottles of Chianti in their gay, many-colored outfit. In Cambridge, too, on the grounds of Harvard University, there is another delightful old house full of souvenirs, where many, many times we have been most interestingly entertained at dinner after a concert, by our host and charming hostess who is, by the way, an excellent pianist. And it is in Boston that year after year we are entertained by a violinist-pedagogue who, known as a soloist, is one of the best violinists in the country. A great friend of Kneisel and Kreisler, lover of chamber music, he was most friendly to us from the very first day.
In Chicago from the first we felt absolutely at home. Not only after the first of our Sunday afternoon concerts, but at the two following concerts, at a big stone house on Prairie Avenue, we are welcomed by the most sympathetic, charming couple you can expect to meet. Old people, it is true, but with young hearts and alert minds! Almost every artist who has come to this country for, I may venture to say, the last thirty years, has been received by them and, I feel sure, remembers the happy moments spent in their hospitable home. Not only are they kind to visiting artists and celebrities, but the hostess is so beloved by the personnel of the Chicago Symphony, that she is nicknamed "The Mother of the Orchestra."
But our visits in Chicago would not be complete if we were not invited to dine with one of the most prominent members of the orchestra and his witty, charming wife. In the most informal delightful way we go there to eat "macaroni" and the many good things that are served before, during and after that dish. The host, in spite of his youthful appearance, at one time played under Theodore Thomas and was quite a friend of his, and has told us several good stories about his great chef d'orchestra.
Another place where we have delightful memories of spaghetti, lots of fun and a hearty reception is Minneapolis, the home of a fine 'cellist, who is in addition a clever manager and a really good friend of ours.
On the shores of Cayuga Lake is a girls' college known to many artists. And they all know the musical director, who rain or shine, morning or evening, comes with his happy smile to the little station to welcome and help them. They will all remember being invited to the Director's home to dinner and after the concert for a delicious supper. In fact, both the Director and his capable and sympathetic wife are great connoisseurs in the art of Savarin. After a much appreciated meal we get into a really musical atmosphere as we seat ourselves near the open fire and talk.
While speaking of "friends of artists" I certainly will not forget to mention a dear old "young" friend of ours, himself a violinist, a royal one, who lives in San Francisco, and who always does all in his power to make our stay there a succession of various pleasures.
In Indiana we have the great privilege and pleasure of being "artistically and affectionately" adopted by a banker and his lovely wife, both great lovers of music in general and chamber music in particular. From the very beginning of our career as a Quartet we played there year after year to a select private audience. It is always with a warm feeling of pleasure that we look forward to this visit where, after the concert a supper awaits us with our beloved American "papa" and a few friends.
Everyone knows the rapid and wonderful development that Detroit has made not only in the city itself, but in its musical activities. Perhaps, however, it is not generally known that one of the greatest factors that contributes to this improvement is due to a woman who has done more to develop the taste for chamber music than anybody else I know of. For many years not only has she brought to the Chamber Music Society the best ensembles known, but to reach every class she has made arrangements (at least with us) to play four concerts in three days and so was able to give one concert to the children of the public schools (we had a wonderful experience playing for those 1500 youngsters), two in the Museum of Arts for which tickets were distributed in many factories, and as the fourth concert to the Chamber Music Society. After that concert we invariably have a very nice dinner with a chosen few where our hostess, more active than ever, makes new plans for our next visit, trying to better, if possible, her already wonderful scheme.
But as I have already said it would be impossible to recall all the universities where we have been entertained by the dean or one of the professors; all the schools and colleges where we were warmly welcomed and so often cheered; the many clubs where we are made guests of honor or all the local artists who are always so kind to us—in a word everybody with whom we have had to deal in the United States in the last fourteen years.
Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity of expressing to them a small measure of the deep appreciation felt by my colleagues and myself for their cordial and friendly reception which has touched us deeply and has linked us with these charming men and women not only in bonds of music but in bonds of friendship throughout all these United States.


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