Frank Damrosch, the Juilliard Co-Founder
In 1859, in Breslau Germany, the Juilliard Co-Founder Franz Heine Damrosch was born into what has since been titled "America's First Family of Music." Franz,later renamed Frank in a public school in the United States, was the eldest of five children and godson to Franz Liszt, whom he was named after. Frank Damrosch, later to become the co-founder of The Juilliard School, was the son of a famous conductor Leopold Damrosch and prominent singer, Helene von Heimburg. Such a very musical family naturally raised several very fine musicians and lovers of music, including Frank, his brother Walter, and his sister Clara.
As Juilliard co-founder, Frank Damrosch loved music and was imbued with a strong desire to communicate music to others. His family was extremely close and none of them were afraid of hard work. The co-founder of Juilliard was trained as a young child in Breslau by the eminent pedagogue and piano virtuoso, Rafael Joseffy, at Thurber's National Conservatory. Frank was a skilled composer and conductor, but truly excelled and surpassed his parents and siblings as a musical pedagogue. Influenced by advocates of the elevation of the working classes, Frank was inspired to teach music to the poor. He did this by writing an open letter to working people and donating his services to the People's Singing Classes, which was made up of students from diverse backgrounds and were mostly women of German descent or African American.
The Musical Art Society was founded in 1893 by Frank Damrosch with the help and financial backing of several prominent society women. The Society mainly presented works of Palestrinal and other composers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and continued for twenty-six seasons. In 1897, a position was created by the New York City Board of Education for supervisor of music in the public schools and Juilliard co-founder Frank Damrosch was the natural candidate for the job. He was appointed in 1897 and continued in that position for eight years. The Juilliard co-founder aimed to fight the general ignorance of music that was pervasive throughout the school systems.
Frank Damrosch's dream and vision was to found a music school. This dream took many years to become a reality until finally becomming the Juilliard co-founder. Huge financial support was needed for such an undertaking, but Frank finally found the perfect person to help him, James Loeb. James Loeb was born into an extremely wealthy family, graduated from Harvard, and joined the family's banking business Kuhn, Loeb and Company. James agreed to help Frank Damrosch found a school in memorial to his mother, Betty Loeb. James Loeb made it possible for a conservatory to be so hugely endowed for the first time in the United States.
After many setbacks, the faculty was organized and a home found for the Institute of Musical Art (IMA). The school opened on October 11, 1905 with four hundred students enrolled. The Juilliard co-founder had realized his vision but could not possibly have foreseen the world famous institution his dream was to become.
Augustus D. Juilliard
Augustus D. Juilliard died and left millions of dollars to found a corporation to be known as the Juilliard Musical Foundation (JMF). The JMF later merged with the IMA to create what is now known as The Juilliard School, the world's most prestigious performing arts school.
One aspect of Frank Damrosch's legacy is our organization, Hire Conservatory Alumni, consisting of graduates of the school he helped to create. We are a group of world class, young professional musicians providing the highest quality of musical services for corporate events, commercial recordings, teaching, and weddings in select cities across the United States. Peruse our site to learn about our services and how to make your event a musical success. If you have any questions about our services, need guidance for your event's music, or would like to hire an ensemble for your event, then fill out the form below, or contact us by phone at (630) 292-6182 .
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