Alfred Schulz-Curtius

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Alfred Schulz-Curtius (c. 1853 – 4 March 1918), aka Alfred Curtis, was a German classical music impresario who was active primarily in continental Europe and the United Kingdom from the 1870s until the 1910s.

In 1876,[1][2] he founded the eponymous Alfred Schulz-Curtius music and artists management agency in the West End of London at 44 Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus. He is most well known for his popularization of the music of Richard Wagner.[1][3][4][5] In 1882, he arranged the first British staging of the epic Ring Cycle, conducted by Anton Seidl and directed by Angelo Neumann.[6]

During his four or more decades of professional activity, Schulz-Curtius organized dozens of concerts at concert and recital venues such as St. James's Hall,[6] Queen's Hall,[7][8][9] the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden,[10] Wigmore Hall,[11] which was then known as Bechstein Hall,[12] and collaborated with other impresarios as well such as Robert Newman, founder of The Proms.

Alfred Schulz-Curtius had great enthusiasm for the string instruments designed by Dr. Alfred Stelzner[11] and went to great lengths to encourage their use by soloists, ensembles and orchestras.

The conductors with whom Schulz-Curtius worked include Hermann Levi,[6][8] Felix Mottl,[6][7] Percy Pitt,[9] Hans Richter,[6][13][14] and Henry Joseph Wood.[7][8][9] Others among the many artists whom he represented include pianist Ferruccio Busoni,[15] violinist Jan Kubelík,[16] soprano Dame Nellie Melba,[16] and cellist Guilhermina Suggia.[12]

At the beginning of World War I, Lionel Powell[17] was taken on as a partner[1] in the agency (renamed Schulz-Curtius Powell) when Schulz-Curtius, a German national, was interned as an "enemy alien", despite becoming a naturalized British subject in 1895, and changing his name by deed poll to Alfred Curtis on 24 September 1914. Powell continued to manage the agency through the 1920s[18] after the death of its founder in Bournemouth, Hampshire, on 4 March 1918. He was 64 years old.

From the early 1930s, South African Harold Holt[1][2] managed the agency as Harold Holt Ltd until his death in 1953. In 1956, Sir Ian Hunter joined the agency and, in 1969,[19] by which time Harolt Holt Ltd was owned by Ibbs and Tillett, purchased it.

In the late 1990s,[2] the agency which Alfred Schulz-Curtius had founded more than one hundred twenty years earlier merged with the Lies Askonas agency to form Askonas Holt.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Christopher Fifield, Ibbs and Tillett: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire (Chapter 22, p. 308). London: Ashgate Publishing, 2005. ISBN 1-84014-290-1, ISBN 978-1-84014-290-7. ASIN 1840142901. Preview on Google Book Search. (General Index)
  2. ^ a b c "The History of Askonas Holt". Askonas Holt website. 
  3. ^ "In the World of Music: What the Composers, Players, Singers, and Managers Are Doing in Various Places". The New York Times, Page 6 (abstract). Full article (PDF). 19 March 1899. 
  4. ^ "Alfred Schulz-Curtius' Grand Wagner Concerts (1894–98)". Online database of library/archive holdings of concert programmes. Maintained by Cardiff University in collaboration with the Royal College of Music. 
  5. ^ Sir John Ritblat Gallery: Treasures of the British Library: Music ("Brochure for 1898 Ring by Alfred Schultz-Curtius, Playbills 350, folio 64." British Library.)
  6. ^ a b c d e Christopher Fifield, Ibbs and Tillett: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire (Chapter 3, pp. 25–26).
  7. ^ a b c "Of Music and Musicians". The New York Times, p. 17 (abstract). Full article (PDF). 3 January 1904. 
  8. ^ a b c Sir Henry Joseph Wood. "My Life of Music". 1971 autobiography (alternate Google Book Search). 
  9. ^ a b c "Mr. Percy Pitt". The Musical Times, Vol. 52, No. 819, pp. 293–295 (doi:10.2307/905399). 1 May 1911. 
  10. ^ "Musical Matters Abroad". The Pall Mall Gazette, as quoted in The New York Times, p. 6 (abstract). full article (PDF). 29 January 1899. 
  11. ^ a b James Christensen. "Dr. Alfred Stelzner: Pioneer in Violin Acoustics". International Draeseke Society. 
  12. ^ a b Guilhermina Suggia (January 1905). "O Regresso de Leipzig (The Return to Leipzig)". Excerpt from Guilhermina Suggia – A Sonata de Sempre by Fátima Pombo (in Portuguese). The Hague. 
  13. ^ "Autograph Letter Signed by RICHTER, Hans (1843–1916)". Biblio Booksearch and Marketplace for Visible Ink Incorporated Inventory #41024. dated 31 May 1907. 
  14. ^ Special Correspondence (8 December 1907). "A Boy Paderewski: Musical Prodigy Makes a Sensation in London". The New York Times Section: The Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Dispatches, Page C4 (abstract). Full article (PDF). 
  15. ^ Ferruccio Busoni (1895–1907). "Letters to his wife". 
  16. ^ a b "Melba-Kubelik Tour. Other Well-Known Artists to Join Concert Combination in America". By Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph to The New York Times, Page 4 (abstract). full article (PDF). 6 February 1913.  (Photo of Gabriel LaPierre with Jan Kubelík.)
  17. ^ "Obituary: Lionel John Manning Powell". The Musical Times, Vol. 73, No. 1068, p. 175 (on JSTOR). 1 February 1932. 
  18. ^ Nicholas Kenyon (October 1980). "Beecham and the BBC Symphony Orchestra: A Collaboration That Never Happened". The Musical Times, Vol. 121, No. 1652, p. 625, pp. 627–628 (doi:10.2307/961148). 
  19. ^ Christopher Fifield, Ibbs and Tillett: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire (Chapter 24, p. 341).