Monday, November 13, 2017

Leandro Campanari (1859-1939) Italian violinist, conductor, composer, teacher

Leandro Campanari
Plot MM Lawn Terrace, 225, T1 

Leandro Campanari (October 20, 1859 - April 22, 1939) was an Italian violinist, conductor, composer and music teacher, brother of cellist and baritone Giuseppe Campanari.

Campanari was born in Rovigo, Italy on 20 October 1859. He began studying at a very early age and was sent by the city of Venice to the Musical Institute of Padua when nine years old. At 12 he toured Italy as a violinist prodigy, and to London where he played under Julius Benedict. Later he was associated with Franco Faccio and Antonio Bazzini. At fifteen, he entered the Conservatory of Music in Milan and studied the violin, harmony, counterpoint and conducting with the most eminent teachers of that institution. He graduated at nineteen and travled to England, where he performed successfully with an orchestra. He then toured Italy and France as a virtuoso before establishing himself as a conductor.

He also taught privately and one of his pupils was the New York violinist Persis Bell, whom he married in 1880.

In 1881, he moved to America as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and was featured in many concerts throughout the United States. He returned to Europe, but then returned to America, where he remained for three years as the head of the Violin School at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He also assumed the direction of the music at the Church of the Immaculate Conception and performed important sacred works for the first time in that city.

January 1910 issue of The Etude, with a feature on Verdi by Leandro Campanari
After his service in Boston, Campanari returned to Italy in 1886 and formed the Campanari String Quartet, which toured with great success for two years. During that time many notable composers, including Puccini, Catalani, Sgambati, Bazzini, Arturo Vanbianchi, Frugatta, Bossi and Andreoli composed music especially for the Campanari Quartet. 

He returned to the United States in 1890 to become professor of violin at the Cincinnati College of Music and remained there for six years. 

Returning to Italy in 1896, he divided his time between Milan, Paris and London. He gave a series of symphony concerts at La Scala, and a cycle of Beethoven symphonies at the Lyric Theatre in Milan. The orchestra then embarked on a highly successul tour. The next important engagement of Campanari and his orchestra was in London, at the Imperial Institute, which lasted nearly four months. In Milan he introduced several first performances in Italy of now-famous orchestral works. He also conducted opera in Milan, Venice and Genoa. While in Genoa, he was given the opportunity to play Paganini's violin, Il Cannone Guarnerius. He played Gounod's Ave Maria and Liszt's Campanella.

In 1907, he appeared in New York City as one of the opera conductors of Hammerstein's Opera Company. He also conducted the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra for a short time. With the same organization he appeared in Reading, Trenton, Wilmington, Washington and Baltimore for performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. He also conducted in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Campanari's friendship with Verdi extended over a period of many years. As a youth he played in an orchestra conducted by the composer, and Verdi's last work, the Stabat Mater, was first given under the direction of Campanari. The conductor's brother, Umberto Campanari, a lawyer, was one of the executors of the estate of Verdi. Leandro wrote an intimate piece about his relationship with the master for The Etude (January 1910).

When his wife fell ill, Campanari moved to San Francisco and eventually resumed his work as a virtuoso and a conductor after her recovery. He became director of the California Conservatory of Music where he taught both violin and voice, and composed many English songs, as well as three text-books for violin playing. 

He died in San Francisco in 1939.

Biography from Wikipedia


Herbert Alexander Collins, Sr. (1865–1937) Canadian-born American artist

Artist Herbert Collins
Herbert Alexander Collins, Sr., (1865–1937) was a Canadian-born American artist known for his portraits and landscapes.

While still in his teens, he apprenticed with John Wycliffe Forster of Toronto, one of the foremost portrait painters in Canada. He was so talented that before he completed his first year of his apprenticeship, he was asked to paint a portrait of Albion Rawlings, a member of the Ontario Parliament.

He emigrated to Nebraska in 1884 and opened an artist shop in Omaha with his brother James, who was also an artist. While in Nebraska, he painted portraits of leading entertainers, military figures and prominent politicians.

In 1890, he moved to Chicago where he successfully worked as a portrait artist. In 1893, he went to London for six months and studied at the Royal Academy. While there he met Henry Charles Heath, the noted miniature painter, who inspired his work of painting miniature portraits with watercolor on ivory.

Devils Tower Bear Legend by Herbert Collins
In 1921, after a brief stint in Los Angeles, he moved to Berkeley, California. He went into semi-retirement from 1928-34 and lived in Los Gatos with his second wife. When he re-emerged after traveling the world with his wife, he spent the next three years as Artist-Preparator in the Western Museum Laboratories at the National Park Service in Berkeley. He called this the happiest time of his life. His painting of the legend of Mato the Bear hangs over the fireplace in the visitors center at Devils Tower National Monument.

Herbert made several significant portraits of naturalist John Muir. The Sierra Club uses one of his portraits in their biographical materials about Muir.

He died at his home of a heart attack on December 5, 1937 in Berkeley.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

John Wallace Brown (1850-1941): Landscape artist

John Wallace Brown gravestone
Plot 36
GPS
 
John Wallace Brown was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1850 and immigrated to Hanover, Massachusetts with his family at age two.

After moving to San Francisco in 1880, he was a marine engineer and ship designer. He married Sarah "Sadie" Boyce in 1881, who died in 1918. The 1900 U.S. Census shows his residence as the United States Marine Hospital in San Francisco, where he was listed as a patient.

  "Landscape with Hills" courtesy of University of St Andrews
Upon retiring in 1910, he traveled to Holland, Italy, and England to study art for three years. His work was exhibited throughout California, including at the Bohemian Club in Northern California and Santa Barbara City Hall.

Upon returning to California, he lived in San Francisco and Alameda until 1920 and then moved to Santa Barbara where he remained until his death on November 7, 1941. In 1921, he was remarried to Harriett Greissinger, a retired piano instructor, who died in May 1941.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Francis Stuart Low (1894-1964): World War II Admiral

Francis Stuart Low and gravestone
Requa Family Plot
PLOT 9

Rear Admiral Francis Stuart Low was born in Albany, New York in 1894. He was a graduate of the US Naval Academy, Annapolis in 1915. His second wife was Alice Requa, whose parents were Mark and Florence Requa, prominent East Bay members of High Society.

During WWI he served in submarines and later worked on submarine and torpedo research. Vice Admiral Low played an important part in the Allied effort to combat German sub­marines during World War II. He was Chief of Staff for a time to Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations, who di­rected the 10th Fleet.  The 10th Fleet, organized in 1943 to counter a German sub­marine campaign, used surface and air forces of the Atlantic Fleet and sea frontier forces. 

Ladislas Farago's book "The Tenth Fleet"
During World War II he also served in the Pacific, as com­mander of a cruiser division in the invasion of Okinawa and in strikes against the Japanese mainland. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which entered America into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked his top military leaders to figure out a way to strike back at Japan's homeland as quickly as possible. In response to the President's urging, Captain Low then an Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer on Admiral Ernest King's staff, presented the plan it might be possible for Army medium bombers to take off from a Navy carrier.

When Captain Low took his concept to the President and his Military General Staff, four squadrons of B-25 bombers of US Army Air Corps volunteers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle were formed and put into secret training. Thus of April 18, 1942, sixteen B-25 bombers lunched from the carrier USS Hornet, resulted in Jimmy Doolittle's air raid against Tokyo Japan which marked the beginning toward victory for America and her allies in World War II.

After the war he was in charge of neutralizing all Japa­nese naval installations in Ko­rea, Commander of the Service Force of the Pacific Fleet and Deputy Chief of Naval Opera­tions (logistics). From 1953 un­til his retirement in 1956 he was Commander of the West­ern Sea Frontier.

 Sources: NY Times, John "J-Cat" Griffith, Ancestry.com, Find-a-Grave