From Paris to Peoria How European Piano Virtuosos Brought Classical Music to the American Heartland


Book DescriptionIt?s difficult to imagine Franz Liszt performing in Peoria, but his contemporary and foremost rival, Sigismund Thalberg, did just that. During the mid-nineteenth century, Americans in more than a hundred cities?from Portland, Maine, to Dubuque, Iowa, to Mobile, Alabama?were treated to performances by some of Europe?s most celebrated pianists. From Paris to Peoria deftly chronicles the visits of these pianists to the America of Mark Twain. Whether performing in small railroad towns throughout the Midwest or in gold-rush California, these five charismatic pianists?Leopold de Meyer, Henri Herz, Sigismund Thalberg, Anton Rubinstein, and Hans von Bulow?introduced many Americans to the delights of the concert hall. With humor and insight, R. Allen Lott describes the glamour and the drudgery of the touring life, the transformation of American audiences from boisterous to reverent, and the establishment of the piano recital as a viable...

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