Concert in aid of the Fund for the Relief of City of Strasbourg

Event Information

Steinway Hall

Manager / Director:
Frédéric Louis Ritter

Price: $2; $1 extra for reserved seat

Record Information


Last Updated:
20 September 2023

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

15 Feb 1871, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Ritter
Participants:  Frederick Bergner
aka Il etait un roi de Thule; King of Thule
Composer(s): Gounod
Participants:  Antoinette Sterling
Composer(s): Unknown composer
aka Tear; Thraene; Träne; Trane, Die; Thrane, Die
Composer(s): Stigelli
Text Author: Brandes
Participants:  William J. [tenor] Hill
Composer(s): Gounod
Participants:  Henrietta Beebe
Composer(s): Benedict
Participants:  Henrietta Beebe


Announcement: New-York Times, 11 February 1871, 4.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 11 February 1871, 5.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 12 February 1871, 7.
Announcement: New York Sun, 13 February 1871, 3.
Review: New York Herald, 16 February 1871, 10.

“This musical entertainment was got up, we believe, under the auspices of Mr. F. L. Ritter, the well known composer and musician, and, judging from the large audience and the high price of seats (three dollars), a very respectable sum was netted for the relief of the miserable victims of the bombardment of Strasbourg. In an artistic point of view the concert was interesting. There was a crowd of volunteers, and all of them of distinguished rank. The ladies were [see above for names of performers]. Passing over the organ selections, which were not particularly interesting, especially with such a tender toned instrument as the ‘silver tongue,’ we can speak with praise of the rendering of Schumann’s andante and variations for two pianos, opus 46, and the rondo of Chopin by Miss Krebs and Mr. Mills. There is a peculiar character about the gentleman’s playing which distinguishes him from all others at present before the public. This is his wonderful distinctness in phrasing, by which every thought of the composer is rendered clear and intelligible. The importance of distinct phrasing is not sufficiently attended to by the majority of our pianists, and hence they confuse and blur some of the best passages in the works they essay. Miss Tedesca is fast attaining a front rank among the violinists of the metropolis, and Mr. Bergner’s abilities as a violoncellist are well known. The piece selected by him, ‘Supplication,’ by F. L. Ritter, is a work of art which commands admiration. Miss Beebe’s light, but exquisitely trained voice was heard to advantage in a Faust aria, but entirely lost or wasted on a dull, dreary song by Benedict, called ‘I’m alone.’ She should have left it alone. Mme. Raymond Ritter exhibited the remarkable but unenviable power of singing exactly a half tone flat, thereby testing the musical abilities of those who were obliged to sing with her. Miss Sterling’s visit to and studies in Germany have unhappily resulted in robbing her of a considerable share of one of the finest contralto voices that any artist could hope for. Her teachers have left but little for the concert stage. Mr. Hill is wrongly named on the bills a tenor. The entire quality of his voice is baritone, and he should cultivate the lower notes more without attending to those of the upper register, which transgress the boundaries of tenordom. Altogether Mr. Ritter may feel pleased at the success of his endeavors for the promotion of a good and charitable object.”

Review: New York Post, 16 February 1871, 2.
“Last evening a very attractive concert was given at Steinway Hall in aid of the fund for the relief of Strasburg. The name of the devoted city and the noble cause for which the concert was given drew together a pretty large number of our citizens. All wished to show that if the vices of some men inflict wounds, the virtues of others are active in the effort to heal them. There was a large array of musical talent on the occasion, which proved that artists are never wanting when a benevolent object is to be served.
The instrumentalists of the occasion—Messrs. Mills, Bergner, Warren, Timm, Dachauer and Ritter—were very effective and successful in giving to the concert all the charm of their artistic ability. They were fully appreciated by the audience.
Miss Krebs, the pianist, was, as usual, all that could be desired, and her duets with Mr. Mills were worthy of her great talent and well-known skill in her art. We regret to learn that she was suffering from a swollen hand while playing the two duets.
Miss Tedesca, the violinist, played a composition from De Beriot in her best manner. There is a strange combination of astonishment and admiration in seeing a young girl exercise so much mastery over an instrument considered very generally to be peculiar to man alone. She was warmly applauded.
The vocal part was represented by Mme. Ritter, Miss Beebe, Miss Sterling and Mr. Hill. Miss Beebe’s best effort was in Benedict’s ballad, ‘I’m alone,’ her light soprano bending very sweetly to its tenderness of sentiment. Miss Sterling was heard to most advantage in ‘Der Koenig von Thule,’ her fine contralto voice rendering it full justice. Mme. Ritter’s happiest effort was in the beautiful trio of ‘These flowers for thee were called,’ a very charming piece, which ought to be oftener sung. Mr. Hill sang ‘The tear’ in a very pleasing way, to which his voice is very appropriate. It received its due meed of applause.”
Review: New-York Times, 16 February 1871, 4.

“The concert in aid of the fund for relief of the City of Strasbourg attracted to Steinway Hall, last evening, an audience that filled the place in every part. Criticism on a performance whereof the object is charity is not called for. The kindness of the numerous eminent artists whose aid made the affair worthy of it, deserves, however, such recognition as can be offered by a record of their names. The lengthened programme was interpreted by Mme. Raymond Ritter, Miss Henriette Beebe, Miss Antoinette Sterling, Miss Marie Krebs, Miss Fernanda Tedesca, Mr. W. J. Hill, Mr. F. Remmertz, Mr. S. B. Mills, Mr. F. Bergner, Mr. S. P. Warren, Mr. H. Timm, Mr. L. Dachauer. All the numbers of the bill had an excellent rendering. The tone of Miss Tedesca’s violin-playing is constantly gaining in roundness, and the delivery of that accomplished young artist needs no improvement whatever in respect of fluency or finish.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 18 February 1871, 366.
Review: New York Clipper, 25 February 1871, 374.

“The Strasbourg Concert at Steinway Hall, on the evening of the 15th inst., attracted a full house. The artists who volunteered were [see above]. The programme was too classic for the miscellaneous audience assembled, but in part pleasing, the most so being Miss Fernanda Tedesca’s accomplished performance on the violin, which was astonishing for so young a miss. Miss Sterling’s contralto in duets and trio with Madame Ritter and Miss Beebe was beautifully sweet in tone, but Madame Ritter’s vocal efforts were too forte and demonstrative for the concert boards, and did not chord well. The receipts must have swelled the Strasbourg fund considerably.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 25 March 1871, 406.

Proceeds from the concert; further contributions still being made.