Memorial Concert to William Vincent Wallace

Event Information

Academy of Music

Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
William Berge

Price: $2; $2.50 reserved seat in parquet or balcony; $5 reserved seat in boxes; $1 family circle

Event Type:
Chamber (includes Solo)

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
24 October 2017

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

14 Dec 1865, 8:00 PM

Program Details

For the aid of the fund for the benefit of his widow and children. Clara Louise Kellogg and Adelaide Phillips by permission of Maretzek.

Officers: Max Maretzek, chairman; Edmund Remac, secretary; William A. Pond, treasurer. Committee on Memorial Concert: L. F. Harrison; Henry C. Watson; Theodore Thomas.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka March funebre; Sulle Morte d’un Erol; Eroica
Composer(s): Beethoven
aka introduction; Loreley
Composer(s): Wallace
Composer(s): Wallace
Composer(s): Wallace
Text Author: Stewart
Composer(s): Wallace
Text Author: Fitzball
Participants:  Clara Louise Kellogg
Composer(s): Wallace
Text Author: Challis
Participants:  Clara Louise Kellogg
Composer(s): Wallace
Text Author: Fitzball
Participants:  Adelaide Phillips
Composer(s): Wallace
Participants:  Mendelssohn Union


Advertisement: New York Herald, 18 November 1865, 7.

     “THE LATE WILLIAM VINCENT WALLACE.  The friends and admirers of the lamented WALLACE, desirous of uniting with the movement in the City of London, for the purpose of erecting an unassuming monument to his memory in Kensal Green, and creating a fund for the benefit of his widow and children, are requested to meet at Irving Hall.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 18 November 1865, 5.

     “MEMORIAL CONCERT TO THE LATE VINCENT W. WALLACE. The friends and admirers of the late Vincent W. Wallace in this city held a meeting a few days ago, and resolved, with characteristic readiness, to give a grand instrumental and vocal concert at the Academy of Music, in honor of the eminent composer, and for the purpose of erecting an unassuming monument to him, and creating a fund for the benefit of his family. There will be another meeting of the gentlemen taking interest in this concert, and all persons wishing to aid the noble purpose are invited to be present this afternoon at 3 o’clock.”

Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 18 November 1865.
Announcement: New York Clipper, 20 November 1865, 262.

     “A meeting was called at Irving Hall on Saturday afternoon, the 18th, by a number of friends of the late Wm. Vincent Wallace, which was largely attended.  The subject discussed at it was the advisability of giving a memorial concert to assist the fund now being raised in England for the purpose of erecting a simple monument to his memory, and creating a fund for his widow and children.  The concert is fixed for the 14th of December, at the Academy of Music.  The services of M’lle Kellogg, Phillips, Bosisio, Mme. de Rossi., and Signori Irfre, Ardavani and Rovere were offered and accepted.  The co-operation of the Mendelssohn Union and of Mr. Berge was also volunteered, the firm of Wm. Hall & Sons, W. V. Wallace’s publishers in this country, tendering the carried to appoint agents to received subscriptions for the fund, for the benefit of the widow to children of the deceased in all the principal cities of the Union, and it was suggested to request the press throughout the country to give ad publicity to the proceedings of the committee.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 20 November 1865.

     “THE WALLACE MEMORIAL CONCERT. The meeting called at Irving Hall, last Saturday afternoon, was largely attended by professional and other friends of the late William Vincent Wallace.  The subject to be discussed being the propriety of giving a memorial concert, to contribute to the Fund being raised in England for the purpose of erecting a simple monument to his memory, and creating a fund for his widow and children.” [The full text of the resolution for the concert and the memorial follows.  The monument was to be erected in Kensal Green, London.]  “The concert is fixed for the 14th of December at the Academy of Music.  The services of Mlles. Kellogg, Phillips, Bosissio, Mme. De Rossi and Signori Irfre, Ardovani and Rovere were offered and accepted.  The cooperation of the Mendelssohn Union and of Mr. Berge was also volunteered, the firm of Wm. Hall & Sons, W V. Wallace’s publishers in this country, tendering the use of their publications to the committee. . . .  the meeting adjourned to Saturday next, same hour and place.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 23 November 1865, 5.

     “The Memorial Concert to [Wallace] promises to be an extraordinarily grand affair.  The committee . . . have resolved to engage from 100 to 120 orchestral performers for the occasion, and to compose the programme from the works of the late composer only, with the exception of Beethoven’s Funeral March from the ‘Eroica’” Also tendered the services of Massimiliani and “Mr. E. Pinkert, conductor of the New York Singacademie. . . . The price of admission has been fixed at $2, with an extra charge of 50 cents for a reserved seat.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 25 November 1865.

     “THE WALLACE MEMORIAL CONCERT. There will be a meeting at Irving Hall this afternoon at 3 o’clock, of the committee, and of all those interested in the success of the Memorial Concet to William Vincent Wallace. All the friends of that eminent musician are invited to attend without further invitation.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 02 December 1865, 270.

     “The Vincent Wallace Concert from present appearance promises to be a very impressive affair.  The committee have resolved to engage over one hundred orchestra performers, and to compose the programme from the works of the late composer only with the exception of ‘Beethoven’s Funeral March’ from the ‘Eroica,’ which will be played at the beginning of the concert.  The concert will take place on Dec. 14, at the Academy of Music, and we understand it has been foolishly suggested to drape the house in mourning.  If the committee is wise it will do no such thing.”

Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 02 December 1865, 281.
Announcement: New-York Times, 02 December 1865, 4.

     Meeting of the Committee on the Wallace Testimonial and Memorial Concert at Irving Hall, 3 p.m.

Announcement: New-York Times, 03 December 1865, 8.

     Includes suggested programme for the concert.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 04 December 1865, 7.
Announcement: New York Clipper, 09 December 1865, 278.

     “The programme will comprise selections from ‘Lurline’ and ‘Maritana,’ and some of the late composer’s songs.”

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 10 December 1865, 6.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 11 December 1865, 7.
Announcement: New York Post, 11 December 1865.

     “Tickets are selling rapidly.  The orchestra will be one of the largest heard here, and the selections will give a fair idea of Wallace’s ability as a composer.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 11 December 1865.

     “The arrangements . . . are completed, the programme fixed and the sale of tickets will commence this morning.  The prices have been fixed at a high figure, so that the results may prove a noble offering to the memory of one whose works have aided so greatly the cause of music in this country.  The whole receipts will be given to the widow and children of the composer.”

Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 11 December 1865.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 12 December 1865.

     “A rehearsal of this Concert, about which so much public interest is felt, has taken place.  It was largely, though not quite fully attended, and the selections from the programme rehearsed went well, so that we may expect on the final rehearsal, when the attendance will be full, that everything, will be satisfactory for the Concert.”

Announcement: New York Post, 13 December 1865.

     “[A] large number of tickets have already been sold.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 13 December 1865, 4.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 13 December 1865.
Announcement: New York Post, 14 December 1865.

     “About three thousand dollars have already been received for tickets sold, and it is expected that the sales at the door to-night will largely increase that sum. . . . The benevolent character of the entertainment is enforced by musical attractions of no ordinary character.” 

Announcement: New-York Times, 14 December 1865, 5.

     “We need scarcely remind our readers that the occasion is one of painful and peculiar interest.  Mr. Wallace was an American citizen.  The best years of a fruitful life were passed in our midst, and to the last he was loyal and true to the home of his adoption.  Of a frank and genial nature it was his good fortune to win and retain many friendships.  Few professional men have been regretted more universally.  The sincerity of a mournful multitude will, we are sure, be manifested tonight, when the last offices of friendship are to be paid to the memory of the departed.  In no better way can it be done than in thus contributing to the welfare of those loved ones who are yet weeping for a husband and a father.  A long illness—so long that its duration must be counted in years—deprived Mr. Wallace of the ripening harvest of his fame.  He died in poor circumstances, yet holding commissions for operas which, had his life been spared, would have brought him competence.  Two of his best know works, ‘Lurline’ and the ‘Amber Witch,’ were eagerly sought for in Germany and France, but in the expectation of improved health, and desiring to superintend their production in those countries, Mr. Wallace withheld his permission for their performance, and so deprived himself of an important source of income.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 14 December 1865.

     The meeting took place in the afternoon at Irving Hall. “William A. Pond was appointed chairman in the absence of Mr. Maretzek. . . . Mr. Harrison reported that up to Wednesday morning, nearly $3,000 had been received for private boxes and tickets with seats. . . . [H]e had no doubt that all the seats and a large proportion of the dollar tickets would be taken up before the evening of the performance. . . . [T]he Committee adjourned until next Saturday at 3 o’clock pm at Irving Hall.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 15 December 1865, 5.

     “The WALLACE MEMORIAL. This concert, from which so much was expected, took place at the Academy of Music last night. There was a large and highly intellectual audience present, representing the oldest and most influential families in the city.  The Academy was by no means filled, but it is expected that a handsome sum will be realized in aid of the Memorial Fund.

     The concert was excellent in every respect.  The orchestra was not as large as was expected, but the performance of L’Africaine in Brooklyn contracted the choice of artists, and the number was consequently lessened. The performance was very excellent. The Marche Funebre was gravely and effectively [sic], and both of Wallace’s fine overtures, ‘Lurline’ and ‘Maritana’ were rendered with precision and brilliancy. These works alone would place his name among the great writers of the age. They were loudly applauded and should have been encored. Mr. Theodore Thomas, as conductor, did his duty spiritedly and ably.

     The vocalists on the occasion were highly satisfactory. Miss Kellogg sang very charmingly.  The ‘Happy Birdling’ song, one of the most brilliant of show songs, and at the same time a fine composition, suited her voice admirably; the execution was brilliantly rendered.  She won a well-deserved encore.  The fine accompaniment was played most exquisitely by Mr. John A. Kyle, for whom the song was written by Wallace, and who first played it with Catherine Hayes.  Mr. Kyle has retired from public life for several years, but his performance last night proved that he has lost none of his old skill. Miss Kellogg was also encored in ‘Tis the Harp in the Air,’ when she sang that beautiful ballad, ‘The Winds that Waft My Sighs to Thee’ in the most exquisitely pathetic manner. Miss Phillips was in fine voice, and sang with rare taste and feeling. The song she selected, ‘Alas those Chimes,’ has been popular for years, and her charming rendering of it won it a hearty encore.

     Messrs. Castle and Campbell sang their solos very effectively.

     The reputation of the two pianists, Mr. Richard Hoffman and Mr. S. B. Mills, is too high and too well known to need any further comment than to say that they played as finely as usual. The appearance of a Chickering and a Steinway Grand upon the stage excited much attention.  They were played upon by performers of equal excellence, but the comparison was in some respects unfavorable to the Steinway piano, the tone of which though powerful, and in some respects beautiful, lacks very much in refinement, and when forced is quite overpowered, and becomes wiry and harsh. The Chickering tone, on the contrary, has the true grand quality, is exquisite in refinement and sentiment, and will bear enforcement without breaking the tone. There are grand points in the Steinway piano, but lacking those we have mentioned, they do not fully meet the needs of a concert-player.

     We must compliment the Mendelssohn Union upon the very excellent manner in which they rendered the beautiful choruses from ‘Lurline.’ Their voices are fresh and good and they sing promptly and clearly, and with good color and emphasis. Much credit is due to Mr. Berge for the training of this small but excellent Society.  Mr. George W. Morgan accompanied several of the vocal pieces.

     The concert as a performance, was a great success. Of the pecuniary results, we are not yet informed.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 18 December 1865, 7.

     “[The] receipts of the Wallace Memorial Concert will net to the Wallace fund about $2,500.”

Review: New-York Times, 20 December 1865, 4.

     “Amusements. WALLACE MEMORIAL.—The concert last week at the Academy of Music, although not crowded, was satisfactory both in an artistic and pecuniary sense. The widow of the composer will be benefited by it to the extent of twenty-five hundred dollars—which sum will remain over after all expenses have been paid. There was no hitch in the interpretation of the programme; but the German choral societies did not come up to time. Perhaps they were staggered by the words of the patriotic song which they wer ecalled upon to sing. The Mendelssohn Union did admirably; and the soloists, both vocal and instrumental, exerted themselves to give eclat to the occasion. The result proves that their efforts were not in vain.” 

Review: New York Post, 22 December 1865.

     “The Mendelssohn Union deserves a word of praise for its exceelent aid at the Wallace testimonial concert.  Probably no other feature of the entertainment gave more satisfaction than the chorus singing of the society.  The concert, by the way, has netted about $3,500 for the benefit of the late composer’s family.”

Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 23 December 1865, 160.

     “The Wallace Memorial Concert in New York, on the 17th [sic], appears to have been an occasion of much interest, and netted the sum of about $2,500 to the fund for the composer’s widow and children.  The principal artist and musical societies of the city took part, and the audience, though it did not fill the Academy, was large and influential.  Beethoven’s Marcia funebre was played, and Wallace’s overture to ‘Lurline’ and ‘Maritana.’  The vocal selections, by Miss Kellogg, Miss Phillips, Mr. Castle, Campbell &c, were from the works of the lamented composer, including choruses from ‘Lurline’ sung by the Mendelssohn Union.  One feature of the concert was singular, revealing the cloven foot of business somewhat; we copy from the Tribune, not at all surprised at the result of the comparison, and only wondering how any one of taste could ever have yielded to an opposite persuasion.”