Hager, Mina (mezzo-soprano)

From Society78sDiscography
Jump to: navigation, search

This page presents a biography of the American mezzo-soprano Mina (Katherine) Hager, one of four artists who recorded for the Chicago Gramophone Society.

It is part of the site Classical 'Society' Records by Nick Morgan.

A moderately successful concert singer in the 1920s and 1930s, Hager championed contemporary composers, enjoying an especially close relationship with John Alden Carpenter.

In later life Hager became a teacher and music therapist.

For dates of creation and latest update, please see 'Page information' in left sidebar.

Life

Born 30 June 1891, Madison, South Dakota[1]

Married 1 June 1919, Frederick Heidenson, Chicago, Illinois

Children None known

Widowed 17 July 1976

Died 7 November 1981, La Grange Park, Illinois[2]

Studies

A leaflet promoting Mina Hager, undated but probably from the early 1920s, sketches her family background:

'Mina Hager comes from a family of South Dakota pioneers. Her father, a clergyman, helped to establish the first school and the first university in South Dakota, as well as the first church in Mitchell, S.D. He was also one of the organizers of the first chautauqua west of Chautauqua, N.Y. He had a marvelously beautiful voice. Her mother was a painter and a poet.'[3]

Clarence Eugene Hager (1852-1922), husband of Rebecca Jane, nee Braucht (1851-1921), was at various times Methodist Episcopalian Superintendent of the South Dakota districts of Huron, Mitchell, and Spearfish, among his many posts.[4] In an interview given in her eighties, Mina Hager related that she was inspired to become a singer at the age of eight, after hearing a coloratura soprano, possibly at a circuit chautauqua organised by her father;[5] he may have been her first teacher. She sang in public as early as November 1906, alongside her older brother Eugene (1888-1959).[6] In May 1907, the siblings were members of the chorus at a performance of Handel's Messiah,[7] and in December 1908, in Huron's Congregational church, they were both soloists in The Coming of the King, a Christmas cantata by Dudley Buck.[8]

Mina Hager attended the Dakota Wesleyan Academy in Mitchell, a high school maintained by Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU), whose foundation her parents had energetically promoted.[9] In 1907, she went on to DWU itself, before switching briefly to Huron College, and then returning to DWU.[10] There, she studied under the noted voice teacher, choral trainer and conductor Professor Emery W. Hobson (1879-1954). Nearly twenty years later, she paid tribute to him:

'"he instilled me [sic] and his other students [...] the love of good music - not the accepted music, but good music." In some way and against the greatest of odds, Miss Hager said Prof. Hobson was able to teach a "certain sense of values by which one could always tell good music. [...] We did not have any opportunities to hear good music there in that little college town, so Prof. Hobson got victrola [sic] records and introduced us to good music in such manner."'[11]

While at DWU, Hager often performed at civic, church and university events in Mitchell, her 'rich contralto voice' winning 'hearty appreciation';[12] she also sang with her brother Eugene,[13] and on one occasion reportedly accompanied him at the piano.[14] As an undergraduate, Hager was already singing some of her later, professional repertoire, such as the aria 'My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice' ('Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix') from Sanson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns.[15] After graduating from DWU in 1911,[16] Hager returned briefly in 1913, apparently rounding out her training with extra courses in voice, piano and theory.[17] She also served on the staff (see below).[18]

From 1914, Hager studied in Chicago, reportedly with the critic and teacher Karleton Hackett (1867-1935),[19] probably at the American Conservatory of Music, of which Hackett was vice-president; the Conservatory's archives do not survive, so this has not been verified.[20] She certainly studied with the Hungarian-born bass Sandor Radanovits (1872-1932), who seemingly held a number of professorships, possibly at the American Conservatory and elsewhere in the city, and headed his own studio in Chicago's Fine Arts Building.[21] In 1915, Radanovits was engaged to teach at the Walter Spry School of Music; that June, Hager performed at one of the School's commencement concerts, but it is not known if she enrolled.[22] It is unclear to whom Hager was referring when, decades later, she told an interviewer that her first teacher in Chicago

'turned out to be no teacher at all "but a marvelous critic. For the first year, he didn't tell me to change a thing except to sing a little louder." [...] She remembers well that at the time, it was a bold move for a young unmarried woman. "I wanted to sing" is her simple explanation.'[23]

Early Career

c.1911-15

Mina Hager's first known employment, in 1911-12, was as a secondary school teacher, at high schools in Spencer and Belle Fourche, South Dakota.[24]

In 1913, Hager was on the faculty of Dakota Wesleyan University's School of Music as an 'Instructor in Voice'.[25] Her appointment was apparently not extended.

In 1914-15, Hager was a member of the Cathedral Choir, not a church ensemble but a commercial double vocal quartet (some members also played instruments) formed by the Redpath Bureau to tour its mainly mid-Western lyceum and chautauqua circuits.[26] The first concert at which Hager is known to have sung with the Choir took place in Mansfield, Ohio, in October 1914; a local paper gave a very detailed description of the Choir's repertoire and presentation:

'The program, as a whole, was of an appealing nature [...] and divided into three parts, the first being sacred music, the second of a lighter nature, and the last consisting of more classical selections. While F.J. Persson, pianist, played the strains of "Unfold, Ye Portals," [from Gounod's La Rédemption] the choir marched on the platform singing the verses. An effective part of the program was the presentation of "Rock of Ages," by Hayden Thomas, as a reader, speaking while the chorus hummed the tune of the song. [...] As a recessional, the chorus put new life into the hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers," by singing it in quick staccato time. [...] The various numbers which went to make up the classical portion of the program was [sic] exceptionally well given, concluding with the sextette from "Lucia" with tenor and bass duets. The company as a whole was one of the best aggregations of singers that has ever appeared in Mansfield.'[27]

Hager is known to have performed with the Cathedral Choir in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia and possibly other states.[28] As well as vocal duets, trios and quartets, not to mention the famous and very popular sextet ('Chi mi frena in tal momento') from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Mina Hager sang, as soloist, A Spirit Flower by Louis Campbell-Tipton and The Cuckoo from Liza Lehmann's set of More Daises, on several occasions.[29] Hager gave her last documented performance as a member of the Cathedral Choir in Davenport, Iowa, on 15 March 1915;[30] that month, the newspaper of her former home town Mitchell reported her intention 'to abandon her concert work on the road and remain in Chicago under the training of its leading instructor in voice.'[31]

Chicago

By late 1914, Mina Hager was living in Chicago, pursuing her vocal studies, and taking an assortment of singing engagements. In April 1915, Sandor Radanovits presented her in concert as one of his 'artist pupils', alongside the mezzo-soprano Lucy Nicolar (better known as Princess Wa-Tah-Wa-So).[32] That same year, Hager sang in the Art Institute of Chicago's Fullerton Hall,[33] at the Corn Palace in Mitchell,[34] and in Rapid City, South Dakota.[35]

In late 1915, Hager was billed as contralto in a vocal quartet which accompanied film shows at the Strand Theatre on Chicago's Wabash Avenue.[36] Around this time, too, as she recounted in old age,

'came an opportunity to sing at a beer garden with a 100-piece orchestra. Mina sang everything "from 'The Last Rose of Summer' to arias. I loved the audiences."'[37]

By 1917, Hager was first contralto of the choir of Chicago's Fourth Presbyterian church, directed by Eric DeLamarter;[38] during one of DeLamarter's organ recitals, she reportedly sang arias from two cantatas by J.S. Bach, probably BWV 106 and BWV 80.[39] She seems to have impressed one of the city's most enterprising and energetic musicians, and would collaborate with him in the future.

In late 1917, with the US having entered the World War, Hager forged another important alliance. According to a later reminiscence, she had been singing at the US Navy's Great Lakes Training Station in Chicago;[40] there, on an unknown occasion, she was heard by the Chicago businessman and composer John Alden Carpenter, visiting the Training Station in his capacity as a member of the US National Committee on Army and Navy Camp Music.[41] He was reportedly also in need of a singer to premiere his new orchestration of Water-Colors, a set of four 'Chinese Tone Poems' for voice and piano premiered a year earlier.[42] The orchestral version, which included a piano part, had been commissioned by Arthur Dunham (1875-1938), and would be premiered by Dunham with his Philharmonic Orchestra in Chicago's Illinois Theater.[43] Hager remembered that Carpenter engaged her for this premiere, but contemporary press reports named the intended soloist as, first, Anna Fitziu, and then Myrna Sharlow. Not long before the concert, Sharlow dropped Water-Colors from her portion of the bill.[44] This created an opening for Hager, whose performance was well received - a coup, when Fitziu and Sharlow were both better known. The concert, a society event in aid of the Navy Relief Society, reportedly netted the charity $1000 and brought Hager to the attention of Chicago's musical elite, of which the Carpenters were leading members.[45] This was the beginning of a significant and enduring musical partnership, Hager becoming a life-long champion of the composer. It has been stated that on 30 March 1918 she and Carpenter gave what was possibly the first recital devoted entirely to his songs, but no notice of this event has been located;[46] it seems the recital in question took place exactly a year later, after a charity supper at Chicago's Arts Club, whose programme has not been ascertained.[47] Meanwhile, in May 1918, at a music teachers' convention in Bloomington, Illinois, Carpenter had given a talk on music and the war effort, after which Hager joined him in fourteen of his songs, including Water Colors; for the moment, this appears to be the earliest documented all-Carpenter recital. A critic noted that the singer, with her

'contralto voice of excellent quality and used with artistry, [...] proved an excellent interpreter. She shared with Composer Carpenter in the success of the songs.'[48]

The previous month, Carpenter had been put in charge of the music for a gala celebration of the centennial of Illinois' statehood, put on by the Chicago Historical Society in Orchestra Hall. As the Society's commemorative pamphlet related, amidst much pomp and many speeches, Hager, dressed in 'an old brocade gown' of the period from the Society's collection,

'sang ballads popular at the outbreak of the Civil War: Rosalie the Prairie Flower, Hazel Dell, Just Before the Battle Mother, The Vacant Chair, and others.'[49]

In June 1918, at Chicago's Illinois Theater, Carpenter again accompanied Hager in two groups of his songs.[50]

In 1919, Mina Hager married Fred Heidenson (1892-1976), a banker. She was also engaged by Cleofonte Campanini to join the Chicago Opera Association company.[51] The only roles she is known to have sung for Campanini were the Mistress of Novices in Suor Angelica by Puccini, receiving its Chicago premiere; and a minor part, probably one of the three actresses, in Manon by Massenet. Notices in a local music periodical were brief but complimentary.[52] Hager's engagement was apparently for one year, and was not renewed for 1920-21. The reason for this is not known. On the one hand, Campanini had died in December 1919, aged only 59;[53] on the other, Hager's first foray into opera was perhaps not a happy one, if this was the deflating experience she alluded to in an interview not long afterwards:

'One of the first things my stage manager told me was never to feel a part too intensely. That is, when you play a part, do not throw yourself so completely into that part that you submerge yourself entirely in the character you portray. If, for example, the part is a tragic one, and you so lose control of your emotions that for the time you are that character, your interpretation will suffer. At one of my first performances I threw myself heart and soul into the part, and thought how well I was doing it; but my manager told me afterward that I did not 'go over' as well as I might have if I had kept control of my feelings. I do not mean that an artist must not feel at all, but I do mean that she must always keep something in reserve — keep on the damper part of the time. The true artist makes her audience weep or laugh, all the while keeping perfect control of her own emotions and devoting all her strength to delivering the message of the composer.'[54]

The manager referred to was possibly Terence S. Vincent (1888-1947), named in this role a little later in the press.[55] Hager did not sing grand opera again until 1928.

In 1919-20, Mina Hager also performed at small, sometimes private events, such as a lecture on the League of Nations in Chicago's Fine Arts building;[56] a meeting of Chicago's City Club, at which she gave the premiere of a cycle of five songs for contralto and string quartet by Leo Sowerby;[57] a meeting of the Englewood Woman's Club, where she was again accompanied by Carpenter;[58] and the 'homecoming' of Huron College during its 1920 commencement week.[59] In August 1920, she gave a recital at the University of Chicago, with Sowerby at the piano; details of the programme have not been located.[60] In early November, at a commemoration of Armistice Day and the Pilgrim Tercentenary by the Illinois Society of Colonial Dames, she sang Carpenter's The Home Road accompanied by the composer.[61] That year, the US Federal Census recorded both her parents as living with her and her husband in Chicago.

Further afield

Many years later, Mina Hager remembered that

'Her first big break came when she was invited to sing with the Minneapolis Philharmonic [sic] in what she calls her "most memorable concert. I'm sure I sang better than ever before."'[62]

This was probably the concert of 21 November 1920, conducted by Emil Oberhoffer, when Mina Hager sang a Salve Regina by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, orchestrated by Frederick Stock,[63] and Carpenter's orchestral Water Colors.[64] The following day, the critic of Minneapolis Morning Tribune declared that Hager

'sang with intelligence, breadth, dignity, sincerity and good taste. She has a very good contralto voice which she uses with excellent discrimination and, best of all, she brought us something in the way of solos to these concerts that was not hackneyed.'[65]

At this time, Hager's training and voice type made her a natural choice for oratorio, a genre then still flourishing in the US. The 1919-20 edition of The Musical Blue Book of America listed Mina Hager as 'contralto in oratorio, concert and opera'.[66] On 19 December 1920, she was one of the soloists in Handel's Messiah, performed at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.[67] On 19 April 1921, she sang in Mendelssohn's Elijah in Indianapolis, Indiana;[68] on 14 May 1921, she returned to Cornell College, this time with the Chicago Symphony, for Edvard Grieg's Olaf Trygvason.[69] In the intervening months, her mother Rebecca had died, and Mina had accompanied the body to their old home, Mitchell.[70]

But Hager was also moving beyond oratorio, community choirs and choral societies. On 6 October 1921, at the American Music Festival in Buffalo, New York, she performed songs by Carpenter and Amy Beach.[71] Four days later she gave her New York debut recital, with her Redpath chautauqua colleague Frederic J. Persson (1893-1966) as pianist, at the Aeolian Hall. Here, Hager set out her stall by programming songs by Carpenter and John Ireland, and Francis Poulenc's Le bestiaire, alongside the Pergolesi-Stock Salve Regina, and two songs by now forgotten French composers, Sainte Dorothée by Félix Fourdrain and Le Miroir by Gustave Ferrari;[72] as encores, she sang a lied by Robert Franz and a Czech folk song. A notice in the New York Tribune was guarded:

'Miss Hager, announced as a contralto, showed more of the qualities of a mezzo-soprano. Her voice was not always sympathetic, but she displayed excellent ideas of interpretation.'[73]

The review in the New York Times was more enthusiastic:

'Mina Hager, a young contralto from the West [...] gave the most interesting song recital of the new season. [...] Her light but telling voice seemed itself enriched in the noble Latin of Pergolesi's Salve, Regina, arranged by Fred Stock, or the fervent Youth's Spring Tribute of John Ireland, to a poem of Rossetti. She caught the humor in Poulenc's French beasts of The Cortege of Orpheus [i.e. Le Bestiaire] and Carpenter's Sleep, My Honey [...] It was a program without one hackneyed number. Few singers could have followed the discords so skilfully played by Frederic Persson in the uncharted harmonies of the modernist majority. Miss Hager not only kept to pitch like a beacon in storm [sic], but made all she did seem humanly interesting and artistically worthwhile.'[74]

This recital seemed to signal a new determination in Hager: from now on, as far as possible, she did indeed avoid the hackneyed, and championed the music of her time and country. The following year she told an interviewer,

'I am never too tried [sic] or busy to listen to a new song by an American composer [...] for one never can tell when genius will be discovered. On my last concert tour a young composer brought two of his manuscript songs to me to hear, in the hope that I could use them in my concerts. The first song he played was a pleasant little affair, melodious and graceful, but in no way unusual. To my utter surprise, the second song proved to be an actual masterpiece, full of lovely and original harmonies, rich in texture, and with a thrilling climax, all set to lovely lyrics.'[75]

Soon after her new York debut, Mina Hager was engaged to sing every day for a week, in the recital hall of Chicago's leading music retailer Lyon & Healy:

'Packed houses were the general rule and the gifted singer's work was much enjoyed. Her many appearances in this lovely hall added materially in increasing her popularity in this city.'[76]

Regrettably, nothing more is currently known about these recitals - neither the programmes nor any assisting artists. The week was presumably one of Lyon & Healy's 'Artist Series', open to the public free of charge; Hager would give at least two more in the following years. A different way of consolidating her reputation, notably with the city's most affluent and influential music-lovers, was to give private musicales. On 9 December, Hager was joined by John Alden Carpenter for a recital of his songs at the home of a Chicago hostess, Mrs. Harold F. McCormick, née Edith Rockefeller.[77] On 15 January 1922, re-engaged on the strength of her November 1920 debut in Minneapolis, she again sang with the Minneapolis Symphony under Oberhoffer: Ulrica's aria from Act I of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera; a number for the eponymous heroine of Shanewis, a one-act opera by Charles Wakefield Cadman; and encores by Meyerbeer and Elgar.[78] Hager was invited to view the city from an aeroplane after her concert.[79]

On 4 February 1922, Hager made her first known broadcast, from Chicago's KYW, the Westinghouse 'Radiophone' station. This was also the first documented occasion on which she sang a song by Richard Strauss, one of three composers whose music she would record for the Chicago Gramophone Society. Joining her in the mixed programme were the bass Herbert Gould, the violinist (and conductor) Ebba Sundstrom and, presumably, a pianist, not mentioned or named. Hager sang two numbers from Cadman's Shanewis and 'My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice' from Saint-Saëns' Sanson et Dalila; and she followed Strauss's Mit deinen blauen Augen Op.56 No.2 with a Lullaby by Kate Vannah and Treat Me Nice, one of Three Songs by John Alden Carpenter.[80]

In April 1922 her father Clarence died; he was buried in Mitchell, as his wife had been.[81] In May, Mina Hager gave a substantial recital devoted entirely to Carpenter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with the composer at the piano; there was no admission charge for this 'complimentary concert' for Mother's Day, which included eight children's songs.[82] That month, Chicago's leading choral society, the Apollo Musical Club, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary over three evenings: on 2 May, the Club premiered the ode Rock of Liberty by Rossetter G. Cole (1866-1952), with Mina Hager singing alongside the soprano Gladys Swarthout and other soloists; this was followed by a recreation of the Apollo Club's first concert, given in 1872.[83] Hager was also engaged for the North Shore Music Festival, held the same month at Northwestern University in the Chicago satellite of Evanston: on 25 May, under the Festival's founding conductor, Peter Lutkin, she joined three other soloists in the cantata The Swan and the Skylark by Arthur Goring Thomas, and in Rossini's Stabat mater.[84] A third visit to Minneapolis, on 24 October 1922, was sponsored by a local sorority, in aid of musical scholarships:[85] in the city's First Baptist Church, Mina Hager presented a characteristically eclectic programme, the composers ranging from Rimsky Korsakov and Max Reger to Richard Strauss, Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Cadman.[86] From Monday 4 December 1922, Hager was again advertised as singing in the Lyon & Healy recital hall every weekday afternoon, in the 'Artist Series'; as before, the repertoire she performed is unknown.[87]

On 31 January 1923, Chicago's prestigious women's society, the Fortnightly, celebrated its half-century and inaugurated new premises with a reception for 200 guests, including musical entertainment:

'In addition to the music of a stringed orchestra a more formal program was given, with Miss Hager singing patriotic songs and John Alden Carpenter at the piano.'[88]

In March 1923, Hager took part in a joint recital at the Armory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, contributing songs by Beach, Carpenter and Karolyn Basset (1892-1931).[89] From 2 April, Lyon & Healy engaged Hager for another week-long afternoon 'Artist Series', of which two recitals would be broadcast from KYW.[90] It may have been around this time that Hager made her earliest recordings (see below), for the pioneering Chicago firm of Marsh Laboratories, but it is not currently possible to date them with any precision or certainty.

On 12 May 1923, Hager returned to Cornell College to sing in César Franck's oratorio Les Béatitudes with the Chicago Symphony.[91] Less than a week later, on 17 May, she gave a recital in Marysville, Ohio, reportedly for no fee:

'Miss Hager is donating her services here, having consented to come to Marysville through Mrs. and Mrs. E.F. Sawyer, who became acquainted with her while visiting in Chicago. [...] Ordinarily, her concerts are so high in price as to be prohibitive to a town the size of Marysville.'[92]

If correct, the report suggests that Hager's was now a solidly bankable name. (Marysville welcomed her back the following January.)

Four days later, on 21 May 1923, Hager joined the Chicago Symphony, Frederick Stock and Eric DeLamarter in the latter's birthplace, Lansing, Michigan. In the second of two concerts, Hager was billed to sing just one aria by Saint-Saëns, but the Lansing audience had other ideas:

'Incited by the most sincere and persistent applause, the Chicago symphony orchestra in afternoon and evening programs [...] broke away from the usual in orchestral concerts and with many encore numbers endeavored to appease the appetite of the audience. [...] The soloist for the evening was Mina Hager, a young contralto, who sang first the well known aria "My Heart at Thy Dear [sic] Voice," from Samson and Delilah. It was pleasing but not by any means as stirring as her encore, the invocation to [sic] Ulrica from Verdi's "Masked Ball." This was fairly hurled at the audience with a defiance that should have made the universe tremble. It was stunning.[93]

Earlier that day, the cellist Alfred Wallenstein had appeared as soloist with the orchestra, of which he was a principal;[94] a decade later, now a conductor, he would engage Hager for a long run of radio broadcasts.

In late 1923, Hager was reported as touring mid-western cities including Grand Forks and Minot, North Dakota, and Mitchell, Madison, Vermillion and Aberdeen, South Dakota.[95] In 1920, a local newspaper had published a heartfelt tribute by Hager to the state of her birth:

'she often says, "I am a South Dakota singer – I don't want to be called a Chicago singer." She is coming back to South Dakota soon. She has many friends here and she loves to sing for them and she wants a vacation on the prairies and in the Black Hills – this country she will always think of as her home.'[96]

Hager would make occasional appearances in South Dakota until the mid-1950s, but she did not return to live there.

Europe

Mina Hager's programme for her return to Marysville on 18 January 1924, with Erma Rounds (1889-1977), a Chicago pianist, was ambitious, high-minded and wide-ranging. After settings of Rabindranath Tagore by Carpenter and Henry Hadley, and of Paul Verlaine by Debussy and Reynaldo Hahn, well known arias from Bizet's Carmen and Verdi's Un ballo in maschera led into a group of lieder by Schubert, Richard Strauss and Franz, before a closing international selection of folk songs.[97] Hager was to give an apparently identical recital in March 1924 in Madison, Wisconsin, replacing the violinist Ferenc (or Franz) von Vecsey after he had cancelled all his US engagements.[98] A Madison newspaper trumpeted Hager as 'the Galli-Curci of contraltos', but at the last minute her concert too was cancelled, reportedly 'on account of dissatisfaction of season ticket holders';[99] clearly, she did not yet have the drawing power of a Vecsey. The following month, on 24 April 1924, Hager stood in for an indisposed contralto, in Benton Harbor, Michigan.[100] The evening before, she had been among the soloists joining the Chicago Symphony and the choral society of Marshall Field & Co., the city's leading department store, in Max Bruch's Lied von der Glocke Op.45, a large-scale setting of Friedrich Schiller's poem of the same name.[101] On 15 May, Hager gave a recital for the Chicago's Arts Club, following its annual meeting; no further details are known.[102]

These were two of Mina Hager's last reported appearances before she embarked on two potentially important new ventures: her first documented recording for Victor; and her first foreign tour. The recording was made on 26 May 1924 in the company's New York studios, and was designated a 'trial' in Victor's ledgers; it apparently consisted of two numbers highly characteristic of Hager's repertoire at the time (see below). If Hager was under consideration as a recording artist, she apparently did not pass muster as a soloist: the trial did not lead to any solo sessions, although some years later she would make three records for Victor as an unnamed member of a generic house choir.

On the face of it, Hager's European tour was more successful, although it remains poorly documented for the moment. Fortunately, as often, a newspaper in Spearfish, South Dakota, one of Hager's childhood homes, kept readers informed of her progress:

'Miss Mina Hager, now famous contralto and opera singer, who once was a school girl in this city when her father was the Methodist minister here, is about to take another upward step in her career. This week she sails for Europe to spend the summer in London, Paris, Berlin and Milan engagements. The trip is made to broaden her acquaintance and experience. She has made arrangements with a London composer to sing some of his songs and have him accompany her in some of her concerts. Although Miss Hager has never been out of her own country, she has many friends abroad, especially among the composers, whose songs she has used so successfully in America. She will have the patronage of a long list of "social register" folks in England, among whom is Lady Astor, whom she met at the home of John Alden Carpenter in Chicago. Miss Hager's first European concert will be given in London about June 10. From England she will go to Berlin and Vienna, and arrangements are being made for a series of operatic appearances in other German cities.'[103]

The British composer was perhaps Arnold Bax; if so, the arrangement fell through. On 13 June 1924, Hager gave a recital at the Wigmore Hall in London, singing songs by Carpenter, Bax and Manuel de Falla; her pianist was Geoffrey O'Connor Morris (1886-1964).[104] Perhaps, too, her contacts with the 'social register' did not bear all the fruit she had hoped for: as Ursula Greville noted in The Sackbut, Hager 'came over unheralded and almost unannounced'. And yet, Greville continued,

'America has very much to be proud of in her possession of a singer like Mina Hager [...] Unlike most Americans who sing to us in England, she sang a group of American songs, and sang them in such a manner as to make me at least of her appreciative audience wish to buy some of them. [...] Many people can boast that they can read anything at sight, and that the difficulties of modern music are grossly exaggerated; but I have never yet heard one of these performers give any real idea of the work. The notes might be there, but the spirit at the back of it all was entirely lost; or one might feel the spirit but only in spite of the injustice of the intonation. And so one is intensely grateful to a singer like Mina Hager for giving both notes and spirit accurately. She sang a group of Bax songs and showed them at their true value. Truly a great artist.'[105]

According to a later press report, clearly based on publicity material, Hager 'sang in London eight times and gave several recitals in Berlin, Paris and Switzerland.'[106] Another, similar report cited reviews in three British papers which have not been located.[107] If Hager did visit France, Switzerland or Italy, no mentions of her are currently to be found in a substantial online repository of French newspapers and periodicals, or in accessible Swiss or Italian newspapers. She certainly travelled to Berlin, where she met with a mixed reception from one of the city's critics, Karl Westermeyer of Signale für die musikalische Welt. Westermeyer admired Hager's intelligent performances at a recital of songs, and her ability to extend her vocal range from a 'sonorous alto' to 'a well-balanced soprano register' (ausgeglichene Sopranlagen);[108] but he was disappointed by her second concert, with the Berlin Philharmonic under Heinrich Knappstein, finding that her voice tired easily against the orchestra.[109] Other reviews appear to have been more positive, although only excerpts are known, quoted in Hager's entry in a US professional directory and press reports.[110]

How successful this tour really was, is difficult to gauge. Nevertheless, from now on press previews of Hager's concerts in the USA routinely mentioned her appearances in London and Berlin, no doubt quoting material supplied by her management.

Back in the USA

On 10 October 1924, Mina Hager arrived in New York from Germany aboard the S.S. Columbus. Nothing is currently known of her activities during the following two months.

The programme of a recital which she gave on 12 December 1924, in the famous Florentine room of Chicago's Congress Hotel, included John Alden Carpenter's Serenade, setting a poem by Siegfried Sassoon and dedicated to Hager, and lieder by Richard Strauss and the conductor Felix Weingartner. Edward Moore of the Chicago Daily Tribune enthused:

'Miss Hager has a voice of gorgeous quality and great range, she projects words with beautiful accuracy, and she has the great gift of feeling and reproducing the mood of a song. She also had selected what looked on paper like one of the most attractive programs of the season.'[111]

In January 1925, Hager began a brief but historic association with Allied Arts, Inc., an innovative venture launched in Chicago two months earlier; this is considered separately below. On 3 March 1925, in the Crystal room of Chicago's Blackstone Hotel, Hager appeared alongside an amateur choir of trainee nurses, singing Nebbie and other works by Ottorino Respighi, apparently for the first time, and Schubert's Erlkönig.[112] On 29 April, at a musicale held at the home of a music-loving Chicago socialite, with her hostess at the piano and the Chicago Symphony String Quartet, Hager performed 'folk songs of France, the old melodies of Provence and Brittany'.[113] The next day, a more conventional engagement saw Hager in Lawrence, Kansas, as a soloist in Verdi's Requiem with the Lawrence Choral Union and the Kansas University Orchestra conducted by Donald M. Swarthout (1884-1962), the University's Dean of Fine Arts.[114] On the last day of May, Hager sang at a private musicale of the Arts Club in Chicago; as often with such events, details were not published.[115]

Nothing is known of Hager's activities in the following months. A long gap in press reports ends with a possible clue to Hager's apparent absence from the public eye. On 17 November 1925, newspapers billed Hager as due to make a ten-minute broadcast at 7 p.m. from station WEAF in New York; just one Canadian paper listed her repertoire, four Carpenter songs including Serenade (no pianist was named), and added:

'Miss Hager has recently come to New York where she has been engaged to sing with the combined choruses in a monster concert at the Metropolitan Opera House on Dec. 15, and with the Schola Cantorum at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 23.'[116]

Was Hager's low press profile for much of 1925 (and, perhaps too, late 1924?) due to a temporary or even definitive move from Chicago to New York? This was not reported elsewhere, but in the 1930 US Census she and her husband were recorded as living in north Manhattan, opposite Inwood Hill Park. However and whenever the move took place, Hager would have needed to find somewhere to live, make new contacts, renew old ones and drum up work. The 'monster concert' at the Met has not been identified. Another opening was offered by New York's busy radio market: on 30 November 1925, Hager was one of several musicians engaged for the opening night of broadcasting from the new Manhattan studios of station WHAP, which had moved from experimental premises in Brooklyn. The repertoire which Hager performed with an unspecified quintet is unknown;[117] she was clearly an assisting artist, while the musical star of the evening was the Australian pianist-composer Percy Grainger, performing several of his own works.[118] On 23 December, in her first appearance at Carnegie Hall, Hager sang a scene from Rimsky Korsakov's opera Sadko, part of a concert of the Schola Cantorum and New York Philharmonic which also included rarities by Musorgsky, performed for the first time in the US.[119]

In January 1926, Hager again broadcast from WHAP, on at least four evenings; as often, no repertoire was billed in the general press.[120] WHAP's slogan was 'The Station for Public Service', but it was embroiled in religious and political controversy for much of its short existence;[121] Hager is not known to have broadcast from its studios again.

Allied Arts, Inc.

In mid-1924, while Mina Hager was in Europe, the US press carried early reports of a bold new theatrical venture in Chicago.[122] Formally launched in November 1924, Allied Arts, Inc., was founded and backed by leading Chicago patrons, with John Alden Carpenter a prime mover.[123] Described as 'an organization that deals entirely with modern developments in music and ballet', it aimed to offer a 'new form of dramatic entertainment [...] combining music by a small orchestra, the ballet, and notable scenic effects,' while being more innovative and less unwieldy than existing organizations such as Chicago's Lyric Opera.[124] It paired two performing groups, Adolph Bolm's Ballet Intime and Eric DeLamarter's Solo Orchestra, with sets by Nicolas Remisoff (1884-1975), and costumes by Rollo Peters (1892-1967).

Hager's close relationship with Carpenter, and her enthusiasm for new music in general, made her an obvious choice as vocal soloist for Allied Arts. She was not involved in the first presentations, in late November 1924, when Tamara Karsavina (1885-1978), star ballerina of Serge Diaghilev's Ballets russes, on her first visit to the USA, danced a number of solos.[125] It was to the second Allied Arts production, given on 1 and 4 January 1925, that Hager contributed a different Russian flavour: she sang Igor Stravinsky's Pribaoutki, in a purely musical first half which also included Arthur Bliss's Rout (its wordless vocal part taken by another singer), a movement from the Chamber Symphony Op.27 by the Russo-Swiss Paul Juon (1872-1940), and short items by Jean Sibelius and Vincent d'Indy.[126] The second half consisted mainly of two ballets: Manuel de Falla's El amor brujo received its Chicago premiere, with Mina Hager as soloist, and Henry Eichheim conducted his new ballet The Rivals, as well as two brief orchestral pieces inspired by Far Eastern music. Hager was well received in both her parts ('Miss Mina Hager sang Strawinsky's saucy little Russian songlets deliciously'), although it was the solo dancers, Ruth Page and Maria Montero, who stole the show.[127] The third, closing part presented a sequence of dances to music by Borodin, Liszt, Offenbach and other composers.

Hager's most notable collaboration with Allied Arts came a year later, on 3, 5 and 6 January 1926, when she took the solo vocal part in Pierrot lunaire Op.21 by Arnold Schoenberg, with instrumentalists from the Chicago Symphony conducted by Frederick Stock, who was on the board of Allied Arts, Inc. This was the work's Chicago premiere, and only its third performance in the country;[128] the Allied Arts presentation of Pierrot was also the first to be staged, with dances choreographed by Bolm.[129] Writing in the Chicago Daily Tribune on 4 January, Edward Moore urged his readers to attend one of the repeat performances:

'Here was Miss Hager, clad as Pierrot, with moon ray shining upon tragic face, not singing, not speaking, but emitting a chant somewhere midway between song and speech, the tiny orchestra meanwhile commenting with shriek, color touch, or grisly parody upon a conventional melody. Say what you like about atonality, about divorce from musical customs, about how infinitely different from the music of our good queen, it was as a dramatic musical moment [sic] as I have experienced in many years. This is one of the big things of the 1925-'26 season. Do not miss it.'[130]

The Chicago Journal added an important detail about Hager's performances:

'Mina Hager, who sang Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire in German, and who will use an English translation when the program is repeated Tuesday and Wednesday evening, has undertaken a colossal task. That she has done it well, that she is convincing, that she employs her voice most flexibly in an astonishing range of mood and feeling, that she gives evidence of an intellectual power, an emotional responsiveness and a scope of abilittyt [sic] all must admit.'[131]

The remainder of the packed programme was no less unusual:

'Eric Delamarter will take up the baton of the Solo orchestra and present Casella's "Pupazzetti", five pieces for marionettes; "Shawnee", an Indian hunting dance by Skilton, and [Georg] Keller's "Valse Caprice". Mr. Bolm, Ruth Page, and other members of the company will present a series of scenes from Stravinsky's "Petrouchka", [...] an elaborate ballet by Chopin, "Reverie", and some briefer numbers. For another feature, Laura Williams, the Chicago musician who spent two years in northern Africa studying and collecting Arabian music, will appear in a scene called "A Night in Arabia". This will consist of a series of songs with native lute and drum and some dances performed by Marcia Preble and Mark Turbyfill.'[132]

Hager's Pierrot made a deep impression on Robert Pollak, future music critic of The Chicagoan and founding member of the Chicago Gramophone Society.[133]

On 26 December 1926, Mina Hager sang Carpenter's Water-Colors in an Allied Arts programme which also included orchestral music by DeLamarter and Darius Milhaud, and ballets by Delibes and Alexandre Tansman. Reportedly, Carpenter prepared a new orchestration of his songs;[134] how it differed from the version Hager had introduced in 1917 is not known. Remarkably, she was also the vocal soloist in the premiere of one of Ralph Vaughan Williams' least-known works, a masque adapted by him and Bolm from Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol, the title it was given in contemporary reports.[135] None of these mentioned Hager's participation, attested in a slightly later account.[136] One preview perhaps explains why she was not noticed in reviews - she would not in fact be seen:

'The "Christmas Carol" has come down from the Dickens story and its Cruickshank [sic] illustrations [...] Considerable folk dance music of England has been used, as well as some Christmas carols which will be sung back stage, with the melody of "The First Noël" pervading the entire score.'[137]

The programme was given four times, the last on 2 January 1927.[138] This was Hager's final appearance on an Allied Arts bill; the organization itself folded soon after.[139] It is worth noting that Hager was effectively the company's only vocal soloist.[140] Several months later, lamenting its demise (then only temporary), Robert Pollak classed Hager's performances of Water-Colors, Pribaoutki and Pierrot lunaire among the 'pleasant memories' it had left behind.[141] They surely planted her in his mind as a suitable artist to record for the Society (see below).

New York

Meanwhile, Mina Hager had been appearing in some similarly adventurous programmes in Manhattan:

  • 13 March 1926, Town Hall. League of Composers concert, with unnamed orchestra conducted by Alexander Smallens. Hager sang alongside the tenor Colin O'More in the world premiere of Saturday's Child by Emerson Whithorne (1884-1958), an 'episode in color' for two voices and orchestra setting a text by Countee Cullen. Also on the programme: Julián Carrillo Sonata casi una fantasía for microtonal ensemble, conducted by the composer; Schoenberg Wind Quintet Op.26; Ernst Toch Dance Suite Op.30.[142] (It seems Hager sang Saturday's Child again at the Worcester, Massachusetts, Music Festival, on 7 October 1926, although press reports are vague.[143])
  • 19 August 1926, Lewisohn Stadium. New York Stadium Concert: 'Special Wagner Night', with soloists including the soprano Helen Traubel, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra guest-conducted by Frederick Stock. Hager sang two of Wagner's 5 Poems ('Wesendonck Lieder') and the quintet 'Selig, wie die Sonne' from Act III of Die Meistersinger.[144]
  • 25 October 1926, Aeolian Hall. Solo recital, with Bernard Ocko (1902-72) (violin) and Leroy Shield (piano). Hager sang arias by J.S. Bach (one now attributed to Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel); airs by John Dowland, John Attey, Thomas Morley, and an anonymous composer of the period, in versions by Leo Sowerby (1895-1968); and songs by Arnold Bax, Norman Peterkin (1886-1982), and Carpenter.[145] A lengthy review by Olin Downes was perceptive and complimentary, with reservations:
'It is an open question whether Mina Hager was originally a mezzo-soprano, as the program of her recital last night in Aeolian Hall designated her, or a soprano. It is a question because her tone-quality [...] suggested erroneous placement. Of course this in itself interfered with interpretation, although in the latter part of the program technical obstacles were surmounted in considerable degree by the intelligence and temperament of the singer. [...] In brief, Miss Hager, in her performances, showed a stronger, more spontaneous, more innate sympathy with moderns than with classics, and within the limits of her technical capacities became an interpreter of insight, imagination and individuality.'[146]
  • 28 October 1926, Town Hall. League of Composers concert, with the Pro Arte String Quartet (its US debut). Hager sang Arthur Honegger's Three Extracts from Blaise Cendrars' «Les Pâques à New York». Also on the programme: Alban Berg String Quartet Op.3; Béla Bartók String Quartet No.1 Op.7, which clearly overshadowed Honegger's work.[147]

(Amidst this cosmopolitan and rarefied activity, an unusual engagement on 6 November 1926 took Hager to the First Presbyterian Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for an admission-free programme entitled 'Live Soberly', contents unknown but possibly related to temperance; it was followed by a discussion on Prohibition.[148])

  • 28 November 1926, Aeolian Hall. International Composers' Guild concert, with Carlos Salzedo (harp) and other soloists, and members of the New York Symphony Orchestra conducted by Eugene Goossens. Hager sang Anton Webern's Five Sacred Songs Op.15, for voice, flute, clarinet, trumpet, harp and viola. Also on the programme: Colin McPhee Pastorale and Rondino; Ildebrando Pizzetti Piano Trio in a minor; Eugene Goossens Three Pagan Hymns (later renamed Three Greek Dances); William Grant Still Darker America; Carlos Chávez 'Dance of Men and Machines' (the fourth and final movement of his 'dance symphony' Caballos de vapor, known in English as Horsepower or H.P.).[149]

(For Mina Hager's last appearances with Allied Arts Inc., from 26 December 1926 to 2 January 1927, see above.)

  • 29 January 1927, Town Hall. Pro Musica concert. Hager sang in Darius Milhaud's opera Les malheurs d'Orphée Op.85, with fellow-soloists Greta Torpadie, Rosalie Miller, Radiana Pazmor, Eric Morgan, John Parish, Irving Jackson, and Dudley Marwick; the New York Philharmonic was conducted by the composer. Also on the programme: Charles Ives Symphony No.4 (first two movements only); Claude Debussy incidental music for King Lear.[150]

Ironically, the next phase of Hager's career would often take her away from New York, towards the western USA, while her repertoire reverted to the middle ground, reversing the above brief trend. Thus, on 13 April 1927, at Unity Hall in Hartford, Connecticut, Hager was the guest soloist at a concert of the women's Cecelia Club, conducted by Moshe Paranov (1895-1994). Hager sang Debussy's La Demoiselle élue; traditional songs from Scotland's Western Isles, arranged by Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser; and four songs by Carpenter. Choral music and part-songs by Franck, Purcell, Schubert, Schumann and others, were sung by the Cecelia Club.[153]

National Music League

Hager's October 1926 recital in New York's Town Hall had been advertised under the management of the National Music League.[154] Not to be confused with the National League of Musicians, a union founded in 1886, the National Music League was a non-profit body incorporated in June 1925 in New York and underwritten by music-loving patrons, including the Rockefeller Foundation.[155] Its aim was stated in the press as 'the aiding of young artists in starting musical careers.'[156] It fulfilled this in part by holding competitive auditions for various concert series, such as New York's summer Stadium Concerts and recitals endowed by Walter W. Naumburg.[157] In May 1927, the League auditioned vocal soloists for that summer's Stadium Concerts; Hager was one of the four chosen.[158]

On 19 and 28 July 1927, Hager sang in the Amphitheatre at Chautauqua, the famous lakeside resort in south-western New York state, with the New York Philharmonic under Albert Stoessel.[159] On 23 August 1927 she again sang with the Philharmonic, this time under Willem van Hoogstraten, in a Stadium Concert showcasing all four winners of the National Music League auditions.[160] Both at Chautauqua and in the Lewisohn Stadium, Hager sang some of her core repertoire: Pergolesi's Salve Regina, Ulrica's aria from Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, and the Spring Song from Cadman's Shanewis, very much the sort of programme which Hager would offer the more far-flung and varied audiences to which her new management now set out to promote her.

On 19 October 1927, Hager gave a recital at the New Theater in Staunton, Virginia. For more than ten days beforehand, local papers carried extensive previews, in a campaign clearly mounted by the League, named as the singer's sponsor and exclusive manager. The programme included lieder by Hugo Wolf, the first Hager is known to have sung in concert, alongside items by Schubert, Carpenter and Cadman, as well as folk songs.[161] On 6 December 1927, the League mounted a concert in New York's Town Hall, showcasing several of its artists, including Hager and two all-female string quartets.[162] On 16 December 1927 Hager gave a programme consisting entirely of spirituals and traditional or folk songs, some in Spanish, at the New York Junior League Club.[163]

Over the following years, the League would bring Hager before a wide range of audiences, in high-profile and less well-known venues; these appearances are summarized below. The League's promotion was based on news cuttings and interviews; it made no use of recordings, which were expensive to produce in small runs. Yet a circle of enthusiasts in Hager's former home, Chicago, was about to do this, capturing Hager's voice in what was perhaps its prime, and documenting in sound her most important artistic partnership.

Chicago Gramophone Society

In December 1927, Mina Hager took part in two sessions at the New York studios of the Columbia company. On 5 December, she recorded, first, four songs by John Alden Carpenter, with the composer himself at the piano, and then two songs by Hugo Wolf and one by Richard Strauss with a different pianist, who returned with Hager a week later to record the latter sides again.[164] This would be only the fifth published recording of any work by Carpenter,[165] and his sole published recording as a pianist.[166] Why was it issued not by Columbia itself but by the Chicago Gramophone Society, a tiny group of music-lovers and gramophone enthusiasts?

Unlike Crown (or Marsh Laboratories) and Victor, the companies Hager had dealt with before, the Society was neither a legally constituted business, nor was it founded to produce recordings. To summarize the account presented elsewhere on this site, the Society was started by Vories and Dorothy Fisher, a music-loving Chicago couple, as a private circle for aficionados of recorded music, probably in late 1925[167] - one of several formed in North America around this time and modelled on Britain's gramophone societies. It was even shorter-lived than most, but its brief existence is fairly well documented in a Boston-based magazine, The Phonograph Monthly Review, which acted as its mouthpiece. The Society was publicly constituted in November 1926, when it elected Vories Fisher as its President.[168] In the same month, Fisher, a keen record-collector, launched a contest for readers of the Review, designed to generate new commercial recordings of repertoire not yet available on disc.[169] But in January 1927, seemingly out of the blue, he sought and obtained the Society's approval to publish a recording which he and a fellow-member were underwriting, as a limited edition sold by subscription.[170] In May or June, the Chicago Gramophone Society distributed its first issue, consisting of César Franck's Prelude, Chorale and Fugue for solo piano, recorded complete on two 12-inch (30 cm) discs by Marion Roberts,[171] an up-and-coming local pianist and composer who had played at one of the Society's meetings.

In October 1927, Fisher 'very tentatively' promised a second issue in time for Christmas, but could not reveal its contents, which were 'not [...] yet definite enough'.[172] November brought news of 'an over-crowded schedule at the recording studios [which] has necessitated the postponement for a few weeks of the making of these records', again with no hint of the programme or artists; were these still under negotiation?[173] Only after the following month's sessions was Mina Hager's name was mentioned for the first time, when the issue was finally announced in the January 1928 Review. Consisting as before of two 12-inch discs, it was pressed in a limited edition of 200 sets, priced at $5 each.[174] How were the artists and repertoire on these records chosen? How were they produced? What did Hager make of the experience? These questions cannot be settled definitively: the Society's archive has disappeared, The Phonograph Monthly Review revealed nothing about the planning process, and the Mina Hager Papers preserved at the Newberry Library in Chicago contain no relevant correspondence, contract or other documents.[175] But clues in the Review and elsewhere allow a plausible, if hypothetical, answer.

The repertoire for the first issue, by Franck, had apparently been suggested by one or more readers of the Review, in submissions to Fisher's recording contest,[176] but by late 1927 this was moribund - as was the Society itself: it had held no meetings since March, so that a second issue could be not have been formally proposed and voted on (except by post, for which there is no evidence). Rather, this project clearly reflects Fisher's own enthusiasms, and those of his fellow-sponsor Robert Pollak - not unreasonably, since they were underwriting it. Like Fisher, Pollak was employed as a stock broker, but his true vocation was music and theatre criticism, and shortly before the Society was formally constituted he was given a regular column in The Chicagoan, the city's new magazine. In the inaugural June 1926 issue, he recalled the year's pleasures so far, not least Chicago's first production of Schoenberg's

'"Pierrot Lunaire," the most provocative musical work of the past twenty years [...] Pierrot Lunaire — moonstruck pantaloon — on the stage [...] in the person of Minna [sic] Hager, chanting, singing, wailing, a rising and falling ecstatic voice against the background of an acid and mysterious ensemble guided by the shadow of a hand which was Mr. Stock's. Here was music in which all past forms were vaguely recognizable seen through a spectrum of sound, utterly strange and vital.'[177]

Vories Fisher, too, was deeply interested in Pierrot lunaire: he was desperate to obtain a private recording rumoured to have been made in Berlin, although the rumour was unsubstantiated.[178] He may have heard Hager sing it for Allied Arts, but this cannot be confirmed. In the meantime, Allied Arts had gone under, leaving Pollak to reflect on a 'catalogue of pleasant memories' such as 'Mina Hager singing Carpenter and Stravinsky and Schoenberg'.[179] The Carpenter work Pollak alluded to was Water-Colors, presented by Allied Arts in December 1926 and January 1927,[180] and therefore also heard by him and, possibly, by the Fishers, too (the couple went to concerts together). Here was an example of what could be done in 'this [...] corking musical town', as Pollak called it; and, unlike Pierrot lunaire, which would have been out of the question for the Society to record, one which could be emulated without too great a risk, especially as Water-Colors existed in a version with piano, besides the orchestral version which Allied Arts presented (and which remains unpublished). Announcing the issue of its recording, the Society stressed these connections as much as the composer's own standing:

'Miss Hager was associated with the Allied Arts of Chicago for several years and was responsible for the first hearing in Chicago of such an important modern work as Schonberg's [sic] "Pierrot Lunaire". Mr. Carpenter is a composer of international consequence, whose works are too well known to need any particular enumeration.'[181]

To match the Society's first issue, a second disc was needed: and if the other works which Hager performed for Allied Arts, by de Falla, Stravinsky and Vaughan Williams (see above), were also out of the Society's reach, why not fill it with similarly unrecorded items from her repertoire? Here, too, Pollak and Fisher may have approached Hager with a 'wants' list. A compulsive collector, Fisher was by his own admission a completist when it came to records of Strauss's songs.[182] Two years earlier, Fisher had helped compile an early discography of the composer,[183] and imported foreign discs of his music had apparently been played at one of the embryonic Society's gramophone recitals at the Fishers' home.[184] Mina Hager, for her part, had performed Strauss's songs on air and in concert since at least 1922.[185] Robert Pollak, meanwhile, was a great admirer of Hugo Wolf: he gave a lengthy talk on Wolf's life and works at the Chicago Gramophone Society's second open meeting, arguing that he was a greater song composer than Schubert or Brahms.[186] Admittedly, Hager is not known to have sung Wolf in recital until less than two months before her recording for the Society,[187] although evidently this did not disqualify her in Pollak's eyes; perhaps this new departure for her was even prompted by the forthcoming recording.

Hager's Chicago Gramophone Society records had no discernible impact on her career or on the musical world at large. Outside the pages of the Phonograph Monthly Review, only The Chicagoan carried a preview, clearly written by Robert Pollak.[188] No other notice has been located. Pressed in a limited edition of 200 copies, the set is now rare. Records considered precious were often jealously preserved, but it seems not even Hager herself retained copies: they are not among the many discs held alongside her papers at the Newberry Library in Chicago,[189] and she mentioned them in no known interview, article or reminiscence. This is of a piece with the lack of interest commonly shown by performers of the early twentieth century towards their own records; it should not be taken as evidence that Hager was dissatisfied with them at the time. Simply, her association with the Society was fleeting, and of no lasting import for her life or work.

As mentioned above, Hager's two Society records were not her first, nor her last. She made only one more commercial disc as a soloist, reprising two of the songs from Water-Colors (see below). That Hager chose to re-record two songs she had already recorded could be seen as banking on well-known favourites; equally, it reinforces the impression that the earlier recording, by then long out of print, had no special claim to her affections.

Later career

The remainder of Mina Hager's known career is summarized below in considerably less detail than the years leading up to her recordings for the Chicago Gramophone Society. Her activities are very well documented in the press, mainly in the US but also abroad, and a very extensive list of her tours, concerts and broadcasts has been drawn up and may be posted here in future. A more complete account of her teaching and other activities is also needed, but will require extensive research and travel.

Victor

On 16 February 1928 and 5 May 1930, Mina Hager made her only documented ensemble recordings, singing sacred choral music as a member of the Trinity Choir in two sessions for Victor in New York, from which three discs were issued. She is not named on the labels of these discs (see below) but is listed in Victor ledgers, where she is billed as a soprano.[190] It has been stated that 'To supplement her income in the later 1920s, Miss Hager served as a staff artist for the Victor Company and appeared anonymously with such groups as the Victor Light Opera Company and the Trinity Choir.'[191] Whether Hager was indeed retained by Victor, or sang at these and other sessions as a freelance, with her supposed employment extrapolated from them, is not known, nor are the terms and duration of any contract(s) she may have had with the company.

National Music League (continued)

Mina Hager was promoted by the National Music League well into the 1930s. It is not clear whether it secured all her engagements. For instance, on 17 January 17 1928, at Oberlin College in Ohio, the Oberlin Musical Union and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr. George Whitfield Andrews, performed Elgar's oratorio The Dream of Gerontius, with Hager as the Angel. A preview in the College's Alumni Magazine probably summarized Hager's career from a press release or brochure supplied by the League.[192] The magazine's review was enthusiastic:

'The part of the Angel was sung with wonderful feeling and with gorgeous tonal effect by Mina Hager, whom we hope soon to hear again.'[193]

The venue of this performance was perhaps also significant. Over the next few years, Hager would perform more often in mid-western and western states than on the east coast. This was the result of a deliberate westwards push by the National Music League.[194]

Before that push began, Hager appeared in one of several International Grand Opera Festivals mounted in Washington, D.C. by the small but ambitious Washington National Opera Association. Its director, a Canadian baritone, secured the sponsorship of a committee of foreign ambassadors and ambassadresses, whose countries provided singers for some of the main roles and were represented by operas from their national repertoires. For the Festival of 13 to 25 February 1928, held at Poli's Theater, the partner countries were Belgium, Britain, France, Italy and Germany; the Festival was to open with an American work, A Light from St. Agnes, with music by W. Franke Harling and libretto by Minnie Madden Fiske, and would continue with Massenet's Werther and Leo Delibes' Lakmé, Wagner's Die Walküre and Tristan und Isolde, Verdi's Otello and Puccini's Tosca, and Hugh, the Drover, by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Among the leading European singers engaged were the German soprano Johanna Gadski, the British tenor Tudor Davies, and the Italian baritone Titta Ruffo.[195] In this exalted company, Hager sang the roles of Aunt Jane in Hugh, the Drover, receiving its US premiere, and the heroine's servant Mallika in Lakmé.[196] As the Festival neared its close, the last scheduled operas, Werther and Otello were suddenly cancelled; the reason was reported as 'Failure to sell in sufficient numbers the higher priced orchestra seats'.[197]

Two months later, Hager again joined Tudor Davies and other eminent soloists in three spring festival concerts given by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Mendelssohn Club choral society, with guest conductor Fritz Reiner. On 25 and 26 April 1928, Hager was a soloist in Arthur Honegger's oratorio King David; on 27 April, in a concert of excerpts from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, Hager sang as Fricka.[198] One critic, in the Philadelphia Enquirer, found her merely 'competent', while the soprano Florence Austral was 'easily outstanding'.[199] On 3 May 1928, Hager was one of four soloists in Manhattan's second complete performance of J.S. Bach's Mass in b minor, given by the Bach Cantata Club and Oratorio Society of New York, with Albert Stoessel conducting first desk players from the city's orchestras.[200]

After this, the National Music League's western campaign began in earnest. For the summer of 1928, the League secured a series of appearances in California which bore the hallmarks of professional concert management - almost certainly the work of Ramona Little (1890-1935), the League's western representative, based in Los Angeles.[201] The repertoire which Hager sang in large public spaces, on college campuses and at women's clubs, centred around her reliable core of Pergolesi, Austro-German lieder, Americana, and folk songs. Hager's known appearances on this tour took in the following venues:

The British-born critic Jessica Kate Seneca (1876-1958) wrote of two of Hager's Californian concerts,

'Mina Hager, the American mezzo-contralto, remains pleasantly in memory. Her voice and her song, Pergolesi's Salve Regina, suited the [Hollywood] Bowl. Her beautiful upper notes, sustained on ample breath, floated out into that great space, clear, tender, pure, and seemed to bless the night. In her Millspaugh Hall recital the lack of emotional fervor and depth of apprehension was more noticeable in a group of Schubert songs. Her free movements, spontaneous smiles, and strength and sincerity of aspect made her personally attractive.'[209]

After this tour, Hager presumably returned to New York and fulfilled other engagements, of which one has been traced: the second evening concert of the 69th Worcester Music Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts, on 4 October 1928, apparently conducted by Albert Stoessel, presumably with local choral and orchestral forces. Hager was soloist in the third performance of Malipiero's The Princess Ulalia, alongside the tenor Robert Elwyn, and sang a version for solo voice and orchestra of Three Carols by Peter Warlock.[210]

In 1929, Hager embarked on another west coast tour, apparently preceded by two or more mid-Western stops:

  • 25 January 1929 Gibson House hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio. Recital, with John Alden Carpenter[211]
  • 4 February 1929 Unknown venue, Redfield, South Dakota. Recital[212]
  • 8 February 1929 Curran Theater, San Francisco. San Francisco Symphony Orchestra concert, conducted by Alfred Hertz; Hager was understudy to guest soloist Margarete Matzenauer[213]
  • 9 February 1929 Dreamland Auditorium, San Francisco. San Francisco Symphony Orchestra concert, conducted by Alfred Hertz; Hager was understudy to Margarete Matzenauer[214]
  • 12 February 1929 Fairmont hotel, San Francisco. Pro Musica concert; Hager was once again soloist in Honegger's King David, conducted by the composer[215]
  • 25 February 1929 Fairmont hotel, San Francisco. Recital[216]
  • 28 February 1929 High School auditorium, Santa Cruz, California. Benefit concert for Santa Cruz Woman's Club[217]
  • 5 March 1929 Mission Inn, Riverside, California. Concert for Riverside Woman's Club[218]
  • 6 March 1929 Unknown venue, Riverside, California. Recital, with the Swiss-born pianist Nino Herschel (1902-41[219]). A local newspaper reported,
'Miss Hager and Mr. Herschel gave a concert in Riverside Wednesday evening, singing and playing the entire concert without the musical scores, which were discovered at the last moment to have been forgotten. The concert was very successful however.'[220]
  • 8 March 1929 Oxnard Union High School auditorium, Oxnard, California. Last concert of 1928-29 Oxnard Monday Club 'Artists Course', provided by National Music League[221]
  • 13 March 1929 Unknown venue, San Luis Obispo, California. No details known[222]

These public engagements were followed by two in private homes:

  • 16 March 1929 Beck residence, 1547 South Manhattan Place, Los Angeles. Recital for current and former inhabitants of Mr. Beck's home town, Moline, Illinois, with Nino Herschel[223]
  • Week beginning Monday 25 March 1929 Thompson residence, 1780 Lombardy Drive, Pasadena, California. Evening musicale at Thompsons' new home, with Hager as 'honored guest-artist'[224]

Hager's next two engagements were connected with her past and perhaps suggested or organized by herself:

  • 25 March 1929 Oregon Theatre, Salem, Oregon. Concert of Willamette University Glee Club, conducted by its director Prof. Emery W. Hobson, Hager's former teacher at Dakota Wesleyan University[225]
  • 15 April 1929 Methodist church, Mitchell, South Dakota. Recital with pianist Ruth Singeltary (née Palmer, 1901-65), Mina Hager's cousin, and like her a graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University[226]

On her way back to New York, according to a South Dakota newspaper, Hager also sang in two other cities in her home state, 'to the great delight of all who heard her, especialy [sic] the many former school mates who made it a point to attend.'[227] These other venues have not been identified.

Back in New York, on 1 May 1929 Hager performed alongside two familiar colleagues at St. George's Church in Manhattan. At this concert of the Bach Cantata Club, with the Bach Chamber Ensemble and organist Hugh Porter, conducted by Albert Stoessel, Hager was among the soloists in a complete performance of J.S. Bach's Mass in b minor BWV 232.[228] (Some years earlier, Hager had made at least one recording with Hugh Porter; see below.)

This was followed, in June 1929, by a visit to Mexico, Hager's first known trip outside the USA since 1924. The visit, barely documented in the US press, appears to have consisted of one or more concerts in the capital, at least one of which was described as 'triumphant', with Hager scoring a great success

'before that most difficult of audiences. She received a most remarkable ovation, surpassing any accorded a visiting artist in the Mexican center for some time past.'[229]

Hager reportedly made seven appearances in Mexico,[230] and was entertained by the President of Mexico, Emilio Portes Gil, and his wife, as well as by the US Ambassador to Mexico and his wife.[231] Hager was accompanied and presented by Mrs. G. Hallett Johnson, of El Paso, Texas, who also engaged her for El Paso's own concert series.[232] It is not known whether the National Music League was involved in Hager's Mexican visit, and no details of dates, venues, programmes or other artists have been located to date.[233] But Hager almost certainly sang Mexican or other Spanish-language songs, which were in her repertoire.[234] In a contemporary study of Enrique Granados by the tenor and music teacher Roland E. Partridge (1901-1960?), the composer was quoted as having declared, 'Only one who has lived in Spain and has become acquainted with all her traditions and folk-lore, is capable of writing real Spanish music. Nor can anyone correctly sing Spanish music until he or she has been there.' In a foot-note, Partridge observed,

'With this latter opinion, the writer heartily agrees. Of the many Americans he has heard sing Spanish, only two has he heard without reservation – Mina Hager (who has never been in Spain) and Susan Metcalfe Casals.'[235]

After returning from Mexico, Hager apparently performed in Seattle, according to press items clearly based on material supplied by her management,[236] but no listings, previews or reviews of an engagement there have been found. Press reports to the effect that Hager was invited back to perform at the Hollywood Bowl in 1929 are misleading;[237] she returned to the Bowl only in 1930. On 31 October 1929, Hager was scheduled to sing in Omaha, Nebraska, with the city's Symphony Orchestra under Sandor Harmati, at its first concert of the season:[238] no review has been located, but the concert was reportedly very poorly attended, with 'hundreds of empty seats', a circumstance blamed by one writer on tastes 'vitiated' by 'canned music'.[239]

On 8 January 1930, at the Barbizon-Plaza Hotel in New York City, Hager gave a joint Concert with National Music League violinist Catherine Wade-Smith (1902-1977) and pianist William Beller. This formed part of the 'Intimate Recital' series held in the Hotel's newly-completed but short-lived, 38-storey 'music-art residence center', and was widely broadcast via WOR.[240] Another western tour followed:

  • 21 January 1930 Biltmore Hotel, Dayton, Ohio. Dayton Music Club Morning Musicale[241]
  • 13 and 14 February 1930 Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles. Two concerts under conductor Artur Rodzinski, with pianists Sergey Prokofiev and Isabelle Yalkovsky (1906-1981), and violinist Sadah Shuchari (1906-2001); Hager was the soloist in de Falla's El amor brujo, receiving its Los Angeles premiere[242]
  • 5 March 1930 High School, Phoenix, Arizona. Fifth Phoenix Civic Pop Concert of season[243]
  • 10 March 1930 (scheduled) Scottish Rite Temple, El Paso, Texas. Final concert in series promoted by Mrs. G. Hallett Johnson. Postponed until April, reportedly because of Mina Hager's engagement by Arturo Toscanini,[244] but no sources have been located confirming that the postponed concert took place, or that Hager ever appeared with Toscanini (she had sung before his wife at a private function in 1928[245])
  • 13 March 1930 Century Club, Reno, Nevada. Recital with pianist Elizabeth Alexander[246] (an earlier preview stated the concert would take place on 10 March, with pianist Max Rabinovitch[247])
  • 31 March 1930 Fox Elsinore Theatre, Salem, Oregon. Concert with pianist Ruth Bedford, the Salem Madrigal Club and Salem Civic Men's Chorus, conducted by Hager's former teacher, Professor E.W. Hobson.[248] A press preview for this concert stated that
'Miss Hager is coming from Los Angeles by airplane to keep her engagement here, and will return to the southern city immediately after her concert to continue her work with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer organization, for whom she is making a sound picture.'[249]

(No details of Hager's work for M-G-M are currently known.[250])

On 13 April 1930, Chicago's Arts Club held the opening of its annual show of professional members' work, hosted by the Club's President, Mrs. John Alden Carpenter. A buffet supper was served in the galleries, after which Mina Hager gave a recital with an unnamed pianist.[251] On 5 May, Hager was in New York, recording for Victor (see above and below), supposedly as a staff artist. If true, this may partly account for the lack of press notices of Hager's activities over the summer and early autumn of 1930. Had her relationship with the National Music League come to an end? The last press item linking her with Ramona Little had been published as long ago as March 1929,[252] although Little remained the League's western representative until at least February 1931[253] (thereafter, Little was active as an 'impresario' in Los Angeles for some years,[254] for instance managing a three-week master class held there by the eminent pianist Harold Bauer in July 1932;[255] by November 1934, she was Director of the National School of Broadcasting in Los Angeles, dying suddenly in post at a young age in December 1935[256]). On 28 November 1930, Hager gave a recital in the Kumler Memorial Chapel of the Western College for Women at Oxford, Ohio, with the pianist Thomie Prewett Williams (1890?-1932).[257] This appears to have been the last concert for which press previews billed Hager as a National Music League artist. Long after Hager had ceased to be employed by Campanini's Chicago Opera company, she continued to be described in the press as a Chicago Opera artist;[258] possibly, the National Music League tag also stuck to her for longer than it was strictly applicable.

After the League

There is no reason to suppose that the end of Hager's affiliation with the League was unplanned or acrimonious. The League's contracts with artists have not been studied for this page, but they appear to have lasted, typically, for two to three years or sometimes longer, as in Hager's case. After the arrangement came to an end, she continued to appear in western venues:

  • 21 January 1931 Amarillo College of Music, Amarillo, Texas. Recital in Amarillo Artist Course[259]
  • 26 January 1931 Auditorium, Texas State College for Women, Denton, Texas. Recital in Artist Course[260]
  • 16 February 1931 Chapel, Huron College, Huron, South Dakota. Recital with pianist Mrs. Camden Rayburn.[261] Some days before, the local paper gave readers an insight into the singer's partnerships with pianists:
'Miss Hager does not have the same accompanist travel with her throughout the entire circuit of one of her tours, because she sometimes makes long jumps in her schedule and an accompanist would be idle a great deal of the time. Instead, Miss Hager, has four pianists in four different parts of the country, who are prepared to travel with her while she gives recitals in the particular section where they are located. She was therefore unprepared for the unexpected detour which she has made this week on her trip from Los Angeles to Chicago and Mrs. Rayburn generously accepted her request for an accompanist. [...] Miss Hager was pleased with the result of their practice yesterday. She is going to sing one particular number which she had to leave out of at least twenty programs because the accompanist was unable to play it. [...] Monday will be the first time she will have been able to use it. "Without the accompanist, the singer would be nothing," Miss Hager says. "It used to be that the pianist sneaked on the stage and crouched behind the piano as an insignificant part of the background and just played tum-te-tum-tum chords which were only incidental to the voice. In modern music it is very different. The piano accompaniment in modern compositions is so much an integral part of its rendition that it cannot be thought of as separate from the singing, and the accompanist must be as much of an artist as the singer."'[262]
  • 23 February 1931 Orchestra Hall, Chicago. Concert of Apollo Musical Club, with members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edgar Nelson. J.S. Bach Mass in b minor BWV 232. In the Chicago Daily Tribune, Edward Moore wrote of Mina Hager,
'it is not exaggerating to say that she was the finest single feature of the performance. Bach singing, in fact, singing of the ancient school generally, calls for a different manner than that of modern times. [...] Miss Hager would seem to have solved both the technical and the artistic problems of the music, and so she sang graciously, expressively, and with a fine, classic line.'[263]
  • 9 March 1931 Playhouse, Chicago. 180th Musicians' Club of Women (formerly Amateur Musical Club) artist recital[264]
  • 10 March 1931 Lindblom High School, Englewood, Chicago. Concert for pupils of the school, at which Hager's brother D. Eugene Hager was head of the geography department: 'A double program was generously given so that none of Lindblom's 6,000 odd population had to be turned away!'[265]

In mid-1931, perhaps to supplement or replace dwindling concert engagements, Mina Hager began to broadcast more regularly than before. All her known broadcasts after this date are briefly listed below.

In late October 1931, Hager travelled to Havana, Cuba, reportedly invited on the initiative of the composer, conductor and founder of the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra, Pedro Sanjuán, who had heard her sing at the Hollywood Bowl.[266] During her visit, Hager gave the following concerts and broadcast, all in Havana:

  • 25 October 1931 National Theatre. Concert of Havana Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Amadeo Roldán. Hager sang the Pergolesi-Stock Salve Regina, Carpenter's Water Colors, receiving its Cuban premiere, and encores[267]
  • 27 October 1931 National Hotel. Private concert for members of Philharmonic Society, with pianist Jascha Fischermann[268]
  • 28 October 1931 (17:00) National Hotel. Children's concert (reportedly first such in Cuba), for Children's Fine Arts Society, with pianist César Pérez Sentenat[269]
  • 28 October 1931 (evening) Broadcast from Havana station CMK, in regular 'Hora Majestic' slot, with members of the Havana Philharmonic under Roldán[270]

Hager's visit was covered extensively by at least one leading Cuban newspaper, in numerous reports, previews and glowing reviews, by the critic Nena Benitez among others:

'Mina Hager es una artista «per se», de un temperamento cálido, que penetra hasta lo más recóndito de la idea musical del compositor, que «vive», sólo segundos, una canción, pero el significado de su poema lo vive y siente como si fuera su vida propia y ésto unido a su excelente dominio de la técnica vocal y a su grato timbre de voz hacen de ella una artista exquisita, fina, por excelencia, que llega y se cuela de rondón en el alma del que la escucha.'[271]
'Mina Hager is an artist per se, with a warm temperament, who penetrates the furthest recesses of the composer's musical idea, who lives a song, for only a few instants, but lives and feels the meaning of its text as if it were her own life, and this, combined with her outstanding mastery of vocal technique and her pleasing vocal timbre, makes her an exquisite, refined artist par excellence, who without warning steals into her listener's soul.'

Another hiatus in press reports leaves Mina Hager's activities over the following months undocumented, apart from a broadcast in January 1932 (see below). From now on, there were no more tours, such as the National Music League had organised, and press notices of Hager's performances appeared more sparsely. Most of those documented to date are listed below:

  • 29 March 1932 Civic Theater, Miami, Florida. Concert under the auspices of the Mana-Zucca Music Club and local patrons, with pianist Eleanor Clarke Linton (1904-1991). Hager sang her familiar repertoire, as well as three songs by the resident composer Mana Zucca; of these, 'Your Quest', setting a text by the Pittsburgh poet Marie Tello Philips Jaegle (1874-1962), was dedicated to Hager[272]
  • 30 April 1932 Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York. Opening concert of First Festival of Modern American Chamber Music. With the League of Composers String Quartet, Hager sang Virgil Thomson's Stabat Mater (setting not the Latin hymn but a poem by Max Jacob). Also on the programme were songs by Paul Bowles, sung by soprano Ada MacLeish (1892-1984), with Aaron Copland, organiser of the Festival, at the piano[273]
  • 1 May 1932 Yaddo. First Festival of Modern American Chamber Music, third and closing concert. Mina Hager sang songs by Charles Ives with Copland, who also played his Piano Variations[274]
  • 20 May 1932 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 39th annual May Festival afternoon concert, with Children's Festival Chorus, directed by Juva Higbee, supervisor of music in local schools, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Eric DeLamarter[275]
  • 21 May 1932 University of Michigan. May Festival closing night. Concert performance of Rimsky Korsakov's opera The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, with the University Choral Union and Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Frederick Stock[276]
  • 16 April 1933 Town Hall, New York. League of Composers concert, with soloists of the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski. Hager, in a pierrot costume, took the vocal part in Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire Op.21 for New York's first staged performance, designed and directed by Robert Edmond Jones. Pierrot was preceded by a special screening of the Soviet film Odna ('Alone'), accompanied by a live performance of Shostakovich's orchestral score.[277] Olin Downes, critic of the New York Times, was impressed neither by Odna, nor by the staging and performance of Pierrot:
'The show began with a Soviet moving picture, Odna [...] the story, while no doubt of prime interest to the present Russian régime, [is] rather dull and dismal. But if the show were not depressing, the childishly bad music of Shostakovitch would be. [...] The performance of Miss Hager was a feat of virtuosity, though as an actress she was not impressive, and there could appropriately have been more song and less of the Schönberg "sprechstimme" in her interpretation. If stage presentation can do no more than was done last night, then "Pierrot Lunaire" had better be set before us in plain fashion on the concert platform.'[278]
  • 5 May 1933 Friday Club, Chicago. May party for members. Hager sang songs by Carpenter with the composer at the piano;[279] the occasion presented a stark contrast with her recent appearance with Stokowski in New York:
'Before beginning Mr. Carpenter said that he had given the same songs before the Friday club many years ago. And that the present audience must be daughters of those others. Divine tact and much laughter. It was an old world group at the piano. The composer, slender and rapt, facing his audience, playing grandly: Janet Fairbank Jr., page-turner extraordinary, and Miss Hager in the curve of the piano, a tall figure draped in black, with long, white classic throat. Hers is the face of a nurse, an expression, wonderful, that dramatizes her song. She slips off her close hat and sings and sings.'[280]
  • 23 April 1934 Orchestra Hall, Chicago. Woman's [sic] Symphony Orchestra benefit concert, with piano duo Guy Maier and Lee Pattison and the International Singers, conducted by Ebba Sundstrom. Hager sang Pergolesi-Stock Salve Regina, and the solo part of Good Morning, America by Hazel Felman (1892-1974), a setting of the poem by Carl Sandburg for soloist, chorus and orchestra, receiving its premiere.[281] In The Chicagoan, Karleton Hackett described it as
'An entertaining poetic rhapsody, as you doubtless know, but not one that lent itself comfortably to a musical setting. The words, of course, were the essential, but too often were obscured by the volume of orchestral tone and there was not much for the singers to sing. The old story. Mme. Hager declaimed with appreciation for the words, and with lots of spirit, she understanding this sort of thing, and the International singers got together effectively for certain full-throated shoutings. A sincere effort.'[282]
  • 26 November 1934 Academy of Music, Indianapolis, Indiana. Concert of the Indianapolis Male Chorus, conducted by Karl Reckzeh (1876-1964). As guest artist, Hager sang lieder by Hugo Wolf, Erich Wolff, Richard Strauss, and Joseph Marx, and folk-song arrangements by Arthur Fickenscher, with the pianist Frederic Persson. Critics were divided: Corbin Patrick positive in The Indianapolis Star,[283] Walter Whitworth harsh in The Indianapolis News:
'Her singing is adequate, but never subtle. She misses the inherent thought of the verse, or, perhaps more accurately, does not translate it fully into musical speech, for her color range is limited. What one heard was on the surface, made agreeable, for the moment, by the singer's informal manner, but leaving no very deep or lasting impression.'[284]
  • 7 April 1935 French Institute, New York. League of Composers concert: New York premieres, performed by ad hoc ensemble of soloists, including composers Walter Piston and Ernst Toch playing their own works. Hager performed Paul Hindemith's Serenade for voice, oboe, cello and piano, with Carlos Mullenix (oboe), Mitya Stillman (viola), Lucien Kirsch (cello) and Irene Jacobi (piano)[285]
  • 2 June 1935 Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota. Oratorio performance in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Dakota Wesleyan University, with Hager as guest soloist in Haydn's The Creation[286]
  • 14 January 1936 Orchestra Hall, Chicago. Chicago Symphony concert, conducted by Frederick Stock. Hager sang Handel's cantata O numi eterni ('Lucrezia') and Carpenter's Gitanjali, a cycle of settings of Tagore, newly orchestrated by the composer.[287] Somewhat surprisingly, Edward Barry's preview in the Chicago Sunday Tribune described Hager as 'a mezzo who is not very familiar to Chicago',[288] but afterwards Barry made amends in the Daily Tribune:
'Mina Hager brought her distinguished mezzo voice to an interpretation of John Alden Carpenter's "Gitanjali". The handicap of illness under which she was working affected adversely the volume of her voice and her ability to get it out over the orchestra, but did not conceal her careful musicianship and the fact that she had worked industriously over every phrase of the song cycle to perfect her grasp of the ideas of poet and composer both.'[289]
  • 25 February 1936 NBC radio network. Broadcast in Music Guild series (see below)
  • 31 May, 7, 14 and 21 June 1936 Studios of WOR, New York City station of the Mutual Broadcasting System. Opening four programmes of The Art of Song, a new series conceived and directed by Alfred Wallenstein (see below)

In April 1936, Mina Hager was named in Variety among artists joining the newly formed American Guild of Musical Artists, Inc., a 'professional protective organization for the concert world'.[290]

No press reports of concert performances by Mina Hager in 1937 have been located. On the other hand, her last commercial recording (see below), issued and probably made in this year, was widely noticed, not only in the US but also in Britain's The Gramophone.[291]

  • 21 November 1938 Brooklyn Woman's Club, New York. Meeting of Club's Music and Art Department, with performance by the Warbasse Ensemble: Mina Hager, Richard Warbasse (violin) and William Beller (piano)[292]
  • 11 December 1938 Memorial Presbyterian Church, Dover, New Jersey. Hager was one of four professional soloists in Handel's Messiah, performed by the Dover Larger Parish Choral Society, under Zenas Paul Hart (1906-1955)[293]
  • 24 February 1939 Town Hall, New York City. 'One-man show' of the music of Charles Ives, presented by the pianist John Kirkpatrick and Mina Hager, who gave the premieres of Autumn, Berceuse, Down East, The Side Show and Two Little Flowers, some of which she had to repeat;[294] Kirkpatrick performed the piano sonata Concord, Mass., 1840-60. Before the concert, Kirkpatrick had written to Ives,
'Miss Hager is really a first-rate artist — (I was remarking to Paul Rosenfeld that a good Ives singer would have to have both profundity and zip — and she has — besides a very beautiful voice and the kind of musicianship that's both accurate and resilient.)'[295]

In the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Miles Kastendieck agreed:

'Many of the songs, short, pithy and clever, were delightful, and Miss Hager interpreted them with complete success. They explained the composer more succinctly than the sonata.'[296]
  • 30 June 1940 Playhouse, Dunrovin estate, Ridgefield, Connecticut. Third and final concert in Dunrovin Music Festival. All-Mozart programme performed by the Bach Circle Orchestra of New York, conducted by Robert Hufstader; Mina Hager sang Ch'io mi scordi di te? K.505, 'which aroused special interest'. The Festival was for the benefit of the War Relief Fund of the local chapter of the American Red Cross', which would reportedly receive the entire proceeds of over $1300[297]
  • 17 October 1940 Arts Club, Chicago. Musicale and luncheon for 150 guests given by Illinois Opera Guild for John Alden Carpenter. Hager sang songs by the composer, with pianist Helmut Baerwald (1902-1953), who were both house guests of the Carpenters.[298]

This is currently the last documented public appearance by Hager before her fiftieth birthday, which fell on 30 June 1941. Her few known later appearances are listed below. It appears that by the time the USA entered World War II, unless there is a deceptive lacuna in press reports, Hager's concert career was on the wane. On 2 May 1941, John Alden Carpenter had written to Virgil Thompson:

'It has long been my conviction that Miss Hager has very unusual gifts. [...] She has had some success in a limited way since she left Chicago and established herself in New York some years ago but nothing like the recognition to which, in my judgement, she is entitled.'[299]

Radio artist

Until mid-1931, Mina Hager broadcast relatively infrequently. Her known radio appearances before that date are noted above; those after that date are listed below, in summary form. At this period, newspaper broadcast listings only rarely billed artists in detail, and repertoire almost never; entries below note such information where known. Source references are not given. It is hoped that, in future, access to radio magazines and/or programme logs will sharpen and enlarge this sketch of Hager's radio career, as well as enabling more precise details of slots, syndications etc. Note: (CT) = Central Time; (PT) = Pacific Time.

  • 19 July 1931 13:45-? (duration not given) (CT) WABC-CBS. Duets with tenor Ben Alley (c.1901-1970)
  • 16 August 1931 09:15-09:30 (PT) CBS network. Vocal Art Trio: Mina Hager, Harriet Lee (contralto) and Charlotte Harriman (soprano)
  • 17 August 1931 11:00-11:30 (PT) Broadcast from KHJ, Los Angeles. Columbia Artists' Recital by Mina Hager and pianist Vera Eakin (1890-1977). Songs by Schubert, Brahms and Sibelius
  • 17 August 1931 11:45-12:00 (PT) CBS network. Columbia Artists' Recital by Mina Hager and Vera Eakin. Composers and repertoire unknown (as above?)
  • 19 August 1931 14:45-? (duration not given) (CT) WABC-CBS. Duets with tenor Ben Alley
  • 21 August 1931 12:00-13:00 (PT) CBS network. 'Light Opera Gems' with Virginia George (soprano), Mina Hager, Earl Palmer (tenor), Crane Calder (bass), conducted by (Frederick) Channon Collinge (1867-1936)
  • 28 October 1931 (time unknown) CMK, Havana, Cuba. Broadcast in 'Hora Majestic' ('Majestic Hour') series, sponsored by Giralt company. Probably based on Hager's preceding concerts in Havana
  • 15 January 1932 20:30-? (duration not given) (CT) NBC network. 'The Travelers Hour', with Hager and symphony orchestra conducted by Christiaan Kriens

October 1933 to March 1934 WOR, New York (licensed in Newark, New Jersey). More or less weekly half-hour programmes with Alfred Wallenstein, musical director of WOR, conducting his Sinfonietta. Occasionally, perhaps because Hager was unavailable, a slot was given to another artist, e.g. (twice) the pianist Hortense Monath. Perhaps, too, Hager's appearances outside the regular weekly slots were substitutions. Several East Coast newspapers billed this run of broadcasts; none listed any repertoire.

  • 2 October 1933 22:30-23:00
  • 30 October 1933 22:30-23:00
  • 6 November 1933 22:30-23:00
  • 8 November 1933 21:30-22:00
  • 13 November 1933 22:30-23:00
  • 20 November 1933 22:30-23:00
  • 27 November 1933 22:30-23:00
  • 18 December 1933 21:30-22:00
  • 25 December 1933 21:30-22:00
  • 31 December 1933 21:30-22:00
  • 1 January 1934 21:30-22:00
  • 8 January 1934 21:30-22:00
  • 22 January 1934 21:45-22:15
  • 29 January 1934 21:45-22:15
  • 5 February 1934 21:45-22:15
  • 12 February 1934 21:45-22:15
  • 12 March 1934 21:45-22:15
  • 26 March 1934 21:45-22:15 (one newspaper billed the soloist as soprano Madeleine Marshall)

There was apparently a hiatus of nearly eighteen months before Hager again broadcast with Wallenstein. During this time, she made the following appearances on air:

  • 5 August 1934 10:30-11:00 KGO, San Francisco. Weekly 'Concert Artists' Program', with violinist Joseph Coleman, leader of the Perolé String Quartet, and pianist 'George Cherkasskya' (Shura Cherkassky?)
  • 16 and 17 July 1935 17:30-17:45 WEAF, New York City. Recital of songs (no further details)
  • 24 July 1935 21:30-22:00 WOR, New York City, with Alfred Wallenstein's Sinfonietta
  • 7 August 1935 21:30-22:00 WOR, New York City, with Alfred Wallenstein's Sinfonietta
  • 25 February 1936 14:30-15:15(?) NBC network. Music Guild programme of music by John Alden Carpenter, with Mina Hager, Gordon String Quartet, and the composer (piano). Selections from song-cycle Gitanjali; songs The Pools of Peace, Berceuse de guerre, Serenade and The Home Road; String Quartet in a minor.

May and June 1936 20:00-20:15 WOR, New York City. First four editions of new Sunday evening series The Art of Song, devised by Wallenstein. A preview in Radio Guide listed all repertoire but no other artists. Newspaper billings included no repertoire but credited the Wallenstein Orchestra for all four programmes:

  • 31 May 1936 Pergolesi Salve Regina (a recording of this performance appears to survive, see below); Schubert Die Forelle D.550, Geheimes D.719, An Sylvia D.981, Erlkönig D.328
  • 7 June 1936 Pizzetti Tre Canzone; Strauss lieder including Morgen! Op.27 No.4 and Ständchen Op.17 No.2 (a recording of part of this performance appears to survive, see below)
  • 14 June 1936 Carpenter Gitanjali
  • 21 June 1936 Handel O numi eterni ('Lucrezia') HWV 145; Brahms Botschaft Op.47 No.1 and Sapphische Ode Op.94 No.4; Robert Franz Marie Op.18 No.1 and Bitte Op.9 No.3; Liszt Du bist wie eine Blume S.287 and Lorelei ('Ich weiss nicht, was soll es bedeuten') S.273

June 1936 Other broadcasts from WOR, New York City:

  • 5 June 1936 19:30-19:45(?) With Willard Amison (tenor), Stuart Gracey (baritone), and orchestra conducted by Cesare Sodero; no repertoire billed, but one review stated,
'Another outstanding item on this period was the duet from "Mignon," beautifully sung by Mina Heger [sic] and Willard Amison.'[300]
  • 12 June 1936 21:30-21:45 With Willard Amison and (probably) Cesare Sodero
  • 19 June 1936 21:30-21:45 With Willard Amison and Cesare Sodero

mid-1937 A report in Radio Guide claimed Hager would 'continue her recitals over the Mutual and the Canadian networks' but no press billings for any such broadcasts have been located. (The Mutual Broadcasting System was WOR's parent network.)

Last appearances

  • 26 January 1942 Town Hall, New York. Hager's first recital since February 1939, with pianist Robert Wallenborn (1906-1995). She sang the Pergolesi-Stock Salve Regina, Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe Op.48, songs by Carpenter and Pizzetti and encores. The critic of the New York Times wrote,
'Miss Hager's voice is not exceptional, and in the louder high notes it sometimes wandered from the true pitch, but the recital was nevertheless consistently interesting and sometimes moving, for the program was well planned and the singer is an artist of intelligence, imagination and conviction. Schumann's "Dichterliebe" was the high point of the evening. Miss Hager sang the wonderfully sensitive songs with insight into their varying moods, a sense of their imagery and deep feeling. Her vocalism was at its best here, too, for she did not go outside its technical limits.'[301]

Variety was less kind:

'Mina Hager has not much to offer besides sincerity of purpose and excellent diction. Her voice is short on top and bottom, marred by a bad vibrato, has a tendency to hoot above an 'E' and lacks sufficient body to sustain long phrases.'[302]

Later that year, Hager gave the first of her six documented Victory Concerts in New York, part of a national initiative in aid of of the war effort and aimed at servicemen. Programming tried and tested items from her repertoire alongside new material and lighter fare, at least three of the concerts seem to have been broadcast live:

  • 16 May 1942 New York Public Library (probably 'main branch', 476 5th Avenue, Manhattan). Recital, pianist unknown. Victory Concert: 'Admission free to men in the services and their companions only.' Elizabethan songs, arranged Sowerby; Pergolesi-Stock Salve Regina; Turina 3 songs; Carpenter Water-Colors, Serenade, The Home Road.[303] Broadcast via WNYC[304]
  • 17 May 1942 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Victory Concert, pianist unknown. Elizabethan songs, arranged Sowerby; Mozart Ch'io mi scordi di te? K.505; Franz Mittler songs; Carpenter The Home Road[305]
  • 9 January 1943 New York Public Library. Victory Concert, repertoire and pianist unknown.[306] Broadcast via WNYC[307]
  • 10 January 1943 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Victory Concert, pianist (and other artists?) unknown. J.S. Bach Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt BWV 68 (ii) aria 'Mein gläubiges Herze' (as 'My Heart Ever Faithful'); Ritter O amantissime sponse Jesu; Fauré, Poulenc unnamed songs; Holland Robinson Zoological Soliloquies and other songs; 'Old English songs', arranged Taylor, Bax, Wilson, O'Connor-Morris; Wagner 5 Gedichte ('Wesendonck Lieder'); Turina songs; songs by Thompson, Ives, Bradley, Easthope Martin[308]
  • 5 to 8 May 1943 Brander Matthews Theater, New York. Production by Columbia University Theater Associates and the Department of Music of A Tree on the Plains, a chamber opera by Ernst Bacon, on a libretto by Paul Horgan. Completed in 1940, the opera had been premiered in 1942 at Converse College, South Carolina, where Bacon was dean and professor of piano; it then toured three other colleges.[309] For the New York run, conducted by Columbia's new head of opera Nicholas Goldschmidt, Mina Hager took the role of Mom. After the preview on 4 May, Nancy Edwards wrote in Columbia's campus magazine,
'Mina Hager as "Mom" was the only able and convincing actress and managed to lend dignity and atmosphere to her role. Unfortunately she along with the rest of the cast is not a first rate singer.'[310]

Later that summer, A Tree on the Plains was to be produced at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, and other western venues, but Hager apparently did not perform in those productions.

  • 27 November 1943 New York Public Library. Victory Concert, with Margaret Fountain (violin) and Robert Hufstader (piano). Repertoire unknown. Broadcast via WNYC; a recording of part of this recital appears to survive, see below[311]
  • 28 November 1943 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Victory Concert, with Margaret Fountain (violin); pianist unknown but possibly Robert Hufstader. J.S. Bach Die Elenden sollen essen BWV 75, Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben, BWV 77, Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott BWV 129, Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn BWV 132 unspecified excerpts; Schubert 6 Lieder; Griffes 5 songs; de Falla 7 Spanish Popular Songs (i) El paño moruno, (ii) Seguidilla murciana, (v) Nana; Nacho (Ignacio Fernández Esperón) La Borrachita; Grever Te quiero, dijiste, Júrame[312]
  • 22 October, 5 and 19 November 1947 Turtle Bay Music School, New York. Three evening recitals; neither programmes nor pianist(s) were billed in contemporary listings.[313] Hager reportedly also taught at the School (see below)
  • 27 July 1952 Castle Hill estate, Ipswich, Massachusetts. Dedication of a bandshell to the memory of John Alden Carpenter, who had died the year before. The bandshell, 'suitable for chamber operas, ballets, and small orchestra concerts', was donated by Carpenter's widow and friends, to be used during the estate's recently established music festival. Mina Hager sang songs by Carpenter, George Roth (another champion of the composer) played piano works, and the New Music String Quartet his String Quartet.[314] The Quartet gave two further memorial concerts, at Chicago's Arts Club on 30 November 1952, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on 5 December, the latter with Roth; Hager is not mentioned in reports of these events[315]
  • 2 April 1954 Chapel, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota. Before her public recital the following day, Hager was a guest at the chapel of her alma mater, and 'not only sang several numbers but spoke on her life at Wesleyan and since.' She also visited the DWU music school and spoke informally to students[316]
  • 3 April 1954 First Methodist Church, Mitchell, South Dakota. Recital, under the auspices of the Mitchell chapter of the Dakota Wesleyan Alumnal Association, with pianist Ruth Palmer Singleterry (Mina Hager's cousin and former concert partner in Chicago[317]), Mrs. J.W. Kaye, the resident organist, and the Associated Community Orchestra conducted by Thomas Ray. Hager sang sacred music (possibly including the Pergolesi Salve Regina), lieder by Marx and Wolff, folk songs and spirituals. According to the Dakota Wesleyan University newspaper, she
'delighted her audience in the way she interpreted her music. During two of her numbers she invited the audience to sing with her which added to the charm of the program. [...] After the concert a reception was held in the church parlors for all sponsors, D.W.U. faculty, alumni, students, Dakota Conference ministers, wives, and delegates. Reports later revealed that Miss Hager was still receiving people at 11:00 o'clock.'[318]

Proceeds from the recital went towards scholarships for students attending DWU.

  • 22 April 1973 First Presbyterian Church, Orlando, Florida. Easter Sunday morning service. During the service, Hager sang unspecified solos with pianist Velma Rooke, the last public performance Hager is known to have given[319]

Teaching and therapy

Mina Hager's teaching activities are little documented in the general press, beyond mentions of her as teacher in reports of her pupils' concerts and other activities (Hager took both female and male students).[320] At the very beginning of her career, Hager was employed for one year as voice instructor at her alma mater, Dakota Wesleyan University (see above). Around that time, she already taught privately, in the Hager family house in Mitchell.[321] Whether she also taught in Chicago is unknown. She certainly did so in New York: a 1954 newspaper report stated that Hager had been 'song interpreter at the Turtle Bay music school', the only known reference to her work with the Manhattan school, where she also appeared in recital (see above).[322] Late in life, she performed with Velma Rooke, pianist, trombonist and arranger,[323] who had been Hager's pupil and, like her, became a music therapist and worked at the Turtle Bay School.[324] Hager probably also taught privately at home. When she left off teaching is not known.

According to another press report of 1954,

'During World War II, she became interested in musical programs for hospitals and assumed the position of head of the Musical Guild at St. Luke's hospital in New York. Under her direction, daily performances of famous artists and young amateurs were arranged to entertain hospitalized servicemen.'[325]

In November 1947, the hospital's newsletter News of St. Luke's had published an appeal for new pianos:

'Under the leadership of Mrs. Helena Tittmann during the past twelve years, music has been brought into the hospital. Many patients have expressed their pleasure and gratitude for this service. There are at the present time about 100 volunteers who come more or less regularly. These range from noted artists to amateur groups. [...] Singers, violinists, harpists and other musicians take part. Miss Mina Hager, noted concert and opera singer, is now in charge of this work and is joining with Mrs. Tittmann in asking help in the way of new pianos to replace those which have been worn out in the service of sick patients at St. Luke's.'[326]

A 1973 report implied that Hager was still engaged in this work, or had recently been.[327] No more is currently known about Hager's work in music therapy.

At some point, apparently in the 1970s, the New York Chapter of the Alumni of Dakota Wesleyan University endowed an award in Mina Hager's name, the Mina Hager Medal. The first documented award was made in 1974, the last in 1977.[328]

Death

At an unknown date, Mina Hager and her husband Fred Heidenson moved from New York to New Jersey, where they were living in 1973.[329] They later moved to Titusville, Florida, where Fred died in 1976. In April 1980, Mina Hager moved back north, close to relatives.[330] She died on 7 November 1981 in La Grange Park, a suburb of Chicago.[331]

Publications

Two publications by Mina Hager are known:

  • '"Speak for Yourself, John Alden Carpenter!"', Music Journal, Vol.28 No.3 (March 1970), pp.66-67
  • 'Accompanists share in greatness', Music Journal, Vol.30 No.2 (1972), pp.23, 41

Compositions

No compositions attributable solely to Mina Hager have been identified.

An entry in the Library of Congress Copyright Office's Catalog of Copyright Entries for 1934 reads,

'Don't stop lovin' me yet; song, w Mina Hager. © 1 c. Feb. 12, 1934: E unp. 82706; F. Dudleigh Vernor 3107'[332]

Frank Dudleigh Vernor (1892–1974) was famous for having composed, decades earlier, 'The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi', a very popular fraternity song. In the above entry, he set words ('w') written by Mina Hager. The current status or whereabouts of this unpublished song are not known.

In 1939, a Miami newspaper reported that Mina Hager had had Apotheosis, a poem by the screenwriter, playwright, journalist, actress and broadcaster G. Marion Burton (1875-after 1940), set to music.[333] The composer was not named and has not been identified.

Repertoire

Mina Hager's repertoire was large. The account presented on this page covers most composers and works she sang, if not in exhaustive detail. Until a full register of her concerts and broadcasts is compiled, the following list, taken from a publicity flyer issued by her management in the mid-1930s and fairly comprehensive, must suffice:

Orchestral Repertoire of Mina Hager
performed
Bach: B Minor Mass
[Bach] Arias from St. Matthews [sic] Passion
[Bach] Christmas Oratorio
[Bach] Several arias with solo instruments
Händel: Lucrezia (Solo cantata)
[Händel] Arias from Messiah
[Händel] Judas Maccabeaus [sic]
Christian Ritter: O Amantissimi [sic] Sponse — Jesu Christi (Solo Cantata)
Mozart: Chio mi Scordi di te (Concert aria with piano obligato [sic])
[Mozart] Allelulia [sic]
Schubert: Songs
Strauss: Songs
Brahms: Rhapsody (with Male Chorus)
[Brahms] Two Songs (with viola)
[Brahms] Songs
Franz: Songs
Stravinsky: Pribaoutki
Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire
Webern: Fünf Geistliche Lieder
Carpenter: Gitanjali (suite of six songs)
Water Colors (suite of four songs)
De Falla: "El Amor Brujo"
[de Falla] Siete Canciones
Pizzetti: Tre Canzoni
Felman: Good Morning America, (with Male Chorus)
Marie Grever: Songs
Du Parc: Songs
Arias from Saint Saens: Samson et Delilah
Arias from Bizet: "Carmen"
Aria from Rossini: "La Cenerentola"
Verdi: "Requiem"
Arias from [Verdi] "II Travotore"
[Verdi] "II Ballo in Maschera"
Arias from Meyerbeer: "Le Prophete"
Liszt: Songs
Wolf: Songs
Erich Wolff: Songs
Hugo Kahn: Songs
Felix Weingartner: Songs
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Debussy: Blessed Demoiselle
[Debussy] Songs
Withorne: Saturday's Child
Honnegger [sic]: Le Roi David
Milhaud: Les Malheurs d'Orphée
Wagner: Fünf Gedichte
Pergolesi-Stock: Salve Regina

available for performance
Alban Berg: Der Wein
Chausson: Songs
James Philip: Songs
Felman Hazel: Anna Livia Plurabelle (Text by James Joyce)
Loeffler: Canticle to the Sun
[Loeffler] Songs
Bloch: Invocation
Respighi: Songs
Pizzitti [sic]: Songs
Sibelius: Songs (Particularly Das Schiffers Braüte [sic])
Hageman: Songs
Patelson: Songs
Cohen: Songs
Kramer: Songs
Ravel: Songs
Mahler: Songs 2nd, 3rd and 4th symphony
Wolf: Songs
Wolff: Songs
Straus: Songs
Brahms: Songs
Schubert: Songs
Franz: Songs
Liszt: Songs
Schumann: Songs
Debussy: Songs
Strawinsky: Oedipus Rex (opera-oratorio)
Saminsky: Litanes [sic] des Femmes
Elgar: Sea Pictures
Mason: Six Songs
Dougherty: Three Songs
Faure: Songs
Hahn: Songs
Carpenter: Songs
Marx: Songs[334]

Recordings

Commercial, solo

Selection Artists Format Matrix Recorded Location Label cat. no. Country
Reger(?) [not credited]
Cradle Song
Mina Hager [voice type not given],
[no accompaniment listed]
10" / 25 cm(?)
lateral disc
149
c.1922-24(?)
Marsh Laboratories,
Chicago
Crown Records 1020 USA
Danks [not credited]
No Night There
Mina Hager (contralto),
Hugh Porter (organ)
10" / 25 cm(?)
lateral disc
150
c.1922-24(?)
Marsh Laboratories,
Chicago
Crown Records 1004 USA
Ponce(?) [not credited]
Estrellita (Little Star)
Carpenter(?) [not credited]
The Home Road
Mina Hager (soprano) [sic],
LeRoy Shield (piano)
10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
26 May 1924
Victor studio,
New York City
Victor 'trial' (unissued) USA
Carpenter Water-Colors
(i) On a Screen
(ii) The Odalisque
Mina Hager (mezzo-soprano),
John Alden Carpenter (piano)
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
Ⓦ91733-2
5 December 1927
Columbia studio,
New York City(?)
Chicago Gramophone Society 50019-P USA
(iii) Highwaymen
(iv) To a Young Gentleman
Mina Hager (mezzo-soprano),
John Alden Carpenter (piano)
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
Ⓦ91734-2
5 December 1927
Columbia studio,
New York City(?)
Chicago Gramophone Society 50019-P USA
Wolf Auch kleine Dinge (E'en Little Things)
Nimmersatte Liebe (Insatiable Love)
Mina Hager (mezzo-soprano),
Lora Orth Kimsey (piano)
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
Ⓦ91735-4
12 December 1927
Columbia studio,
New York City(?)
Chicago Gramophone Society 50020-P USA
Strauss Blindenklage Op.56 No.2
(Lament of the Blind)
Mina Hager (mezzo-soprano),
Lora Orth Kimsey (piano)
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
Ⓦ91736-4
12 December 1927
Columbia studio,
New York City(?)
Chicago Gramophone Society 50020-P USA
Carpenter Water-Colors
(i) On a Screen
(ii) The Odalisque
Mina Hager (mezzo-soprano),
Celius Dougherty (piano)
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
GM35A [label]
GM35B [disc]
early 1937?
Gamut studio,
New York City
Musicraft 1016 USA
Carpenter Berceuse de guerre Mina Hager (mezzo-soprano),
Celius Dougherty (piano)
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
GM36A [label]
GM36B [disc]
early 1937?
Gamut studio,
New York City
Musicraft 1016 USA

Crown Records
In the early 1920s, Mina Hager recorded at least two, possibly more, sides for Chicago's sparsely documented Crown Records (not to be confused with later labels of the same name, one produced in New York, another in Los Angeles). As an image of the label of one of these discs shows, it was recorded by Marsh Laboratories of Chicago and issued by Thomas W. Hatch, publisher, Incorporated, also of Chicago; it is assumed that the other disc, also recorded by Marsh, was likewise issued by Hatch. Small and still somewhat obscure, Marsh is now famous as the first US company to produce commercially issued, electrically recorded discs, possibly as early as late 1922.[335] It is not certain when Hager's sides were recorded; it seems likely they predate her 1924 'trial' for Victor (see below). Marsh was based in Chicago's Kimball Building, where Hager's manager in the early 1920s was also based.[336]

A preliminary discography of Marsh Laboratories productions lists the first selection above simply as Cradle Song, without composer, lyricist or accompaniment. This is possibly the Christmas song Mariä Wiegenlied ('Mary's Lullaby'), No.52 of the Schlichte Weisen Op.76 by Max Reger (1873-1916), which was often billed in the US press of the period as Cradle Song or Maria's Cradle Song, and which Hager sang in Minneapolis in 1922 and many times thereafter.[337] The other side of Crown Records 1020 is not listed in the discography; it is possible that it contained another recording by Hager.[338] No copy of this record is known.

In the same discography, the succeeding matrix number, 150, issued on Crown Records 1004, is assigned to the selection No Night There (no composer or lyricist credited), for which the discography lists no singer or named accompanist but specifies accompaniment by pipe organ. This is now known from an online auction listing, with label image,[339] to have been sung by Hager, with the organ played by Hugh Porter (1897-1960), later director of the Union Theological Seminary in New York; in 1929, Porter would once more perform alongside Hager, in New York (see above). The selection is a setting by Hart Pease Danks (1834-1903) of a then famous hymn written by John Ralston Clements (1868-1946). The coupling, not mentioned in the auction listing, is noted in the Marsh Laboratories discography as Love, here is my heart, presumed to be by Stanislao, aka Lao, Silésu (1883-1953) (not credited), sung by one Master Anatole Françoise (possibly a boy treble), with no accompaniment listed.

The repertoire on these sides, if the Cradle Song is correctly identified above, places them firmly in Hager's early rise to prominence in Chicago. Marsh Laboratories' productions are still far from being fully documented: if these or other sides recorded by Hager at Marsh Laboratories are found, and if they prove to have been made electrically, Hager will perhaps turn out to have been one of the first singers to have made a solo electrical recording.

Victor
Hager's single solo side for Victor is her earliest fully documented recording. Although unissued, it is included among her commercial solo recordings because, according to the entry in the online Discography of American Historical Recordings, it was marked in Victor's ledgers as a 'trial' rather than a private recording. The above table presents a conjectural interpretation of that entry, which lists a single selection without composers or lyricists. Knowledge of Hager's repertoire suggests that Little star home road probably consisted of one verse from each of two songs:

  • Estrellita, the second of two Chansons mexicaines by Manuel Ponce, in a version arranged and translated as Little Star by Frank LaForge, published in 1923; Hager certainly sang this at concerts in 1930, possibly in 1929, and perhaps earlier[340]
  • The Home Road by John Alden Carpenter, which Hager had had in her repertoire since 1918,[341] and had sung in concert a few months before this session[342]

No pressing of this 'trial' is known.

Chicago Gramophone Society
For more details of Hager's recordings for the Society, please see above, as well as the sections of this site on:

Musicraft
Hager's last known published recording saw her remain in safe, familiar repertoire, by now somewhat old-fashioned: it is perhaps significant that no one had recorded Carpenter's Water-Colors in the decade since her first version for the Chicago Gramophone Society. Indeed, it is somewhat puzzling that she should have revisited the set's first two numbers, out of her large repertoire of his songs. No less retrospective is the coupling, his Berceuse de guerre (billed on the label as Berceuse de la guerre), a lullaby-cum-lament composed just before the end of World War I on a poem by the Belgian Emile Cammaerts (1878-1953), whose texts Elgar also set, notably in Carillon. Hager sang this many times in public, from her New York debut in 1921[343] until 1932 and possibly later,[344] seemingly always in the original French, as she recorded it.[345] Her pianist was Celius Dougherty, by then well known as an accompanist, although he is not known to have performed in concert with Hager.

This was the only record of Hager to receive widespread notice in the press.[346] It is not rare; copies are known at the King's Sound Archive, King's College, London, in the Special Collection, Performing Arts, University of California at Santa Barbara, and in private collections.

Commercial, ensemble

Selection Artists Format Matrix Recorded Location Label cat. no. Country
John Baptist Walsh (translator, compiler) [not credited] Lyra Davidica, 1708
Jesus Christ is risen today (hymn)
Trinity Choir,
[credited in ledger only: Mark Andrews (organ),
Clifford Cairns (director)]
10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
16 February 1928
Victor studio,
New York City
Victor 21255-A USA
John Stainer The Crucifixion
No.9 'God so loved the world'
Trinity Choir,
[credited in ledger only: Mark Andrews (organ)]
10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
16 February 1928
Victor studio,
New York City
Victor 21254-B USA
Jules Granier (music), Julien Didiée (text)
Hosanna!, Easter Song
Trinity Choir,
[credited in ledger only: Mark Andrews (organ)]
10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
16 February 1928
Victor studio,
New York City
Victor 21254-A USA
Oliver Holden (tune: 'Coronation'),
Edward Perronet (text)
All hail the power of Jesus' name (hymn)
Trinity Choir,
[credited in ledger only: Mark Andrews (organ)]
10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
16 February 1928
Victor studio,
New York City
Victor 21255-B USA
Hymns of Praise, No.1 (medley):
Oh come all ye faithful; Lead, kindly light; Rock of ages; Holy, holy, holy; Onward Christian soldiers
Trinity Choir,
[credited in ledger only: Mark Andrews (organ),
Rosario Bourdon (director)]
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
5 May 1930
Victor studio,
New York City
Victor 36028-A USA
Hymns of Praise, No.2 (medley):
All hail the power; Abide with me; Jesus lover of my soul; Nearer, my God, to Thee; Doxology
Trinity Choir,
[credited in ledger only: Mark Andrews (organ),
Rosario Bourdon (director)]
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
5 May 1930
Victor studio,
New York City
Victor 36028-B USA
Gospel Hymns, Songs No.3 (medley):
The precious name; Sweet hour of prayer; Throw out the life line; Ninety and nine; Safe in the arms of Jesus
Trinity Choir,
[credited in ledger only: Mark Andrews (organ),
Rosario Bourdon (director)]
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
5 May 1930
Victor studio,
New York City
Victor (unissued) USA

The above are Mina Hager's only documented ensemble recordings; she is not named on the labels of the three issued discs but is listed in Victor ledgers, where she is billed as a soprano.[347] Transfers of the four 10-inch sides have been made freely available for audition and/or download:

If the claim cited above is correct, namely that Hager was employed by Victor as a staff artist and appeared anonymously with the Victor Light Opera Company as well as the Trinity Choir, it is possible that her singing is also preserved on other records. Against this, it should be noted entries in the Discography of American Historical Recordings for recordings made by the Victor Light Opera Company, as transcribed from Victor's ledgers and other sources, meticulously list the personnel involved, so this seems unlikely. On Hager's relationship with Victor, see above.

Non-commercial

Selection(s) Artist(s) Format Recorded Hager Papers ID Note
Brahms Liebeslieder-Walzer Op.52 or Op.65 (Neue Liebeslieder)?
Unknown excerpt, sung in English(?) as 'Love Song'
Mina Hager and others(?), anon. (piano solo/duet?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 62 Source collection conjectured
Disc 'Recorded lovingly for Judy Cunningham'
Brahms Liebeslieder-Walzer Op.52 or Op.65 (Neue Liebeslieder)?
Unknown excerpt, sung in English as 'Love Song'
Mina Hager(?) and others(?), anon. (piano solo/duet?) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named; possibly dubbed from above disc?
Brahms 5 Lieder Op.47 (iii) Sonntag, sung in English as 'Sunday' Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named
Carpenter The Birthday of the Infanta, ballet (revised version, 1940)
'voice part only'
Mina Hager (solo / with piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 55 Vocalises for mezzo-soprano added to orchestral score by Carpenter in 1940[348]
Carpenter(?) Berceuse [de guerre?]
Two Night Songs (ii) Serenade(?)
Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 84 Contents of disc 'Miscellaneous, partially identified'; composer and performers not named but almost certain
Carpenter [Gitanjali] (v) On the Seashore of Endless Worlds Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 58 Source collection not named
Carpenter Gitanjali 4 numbers (unspecified)
Four Negro Songs (iv) That Soothin' Song
Three Songs (iii) Treat Me Nice
Eight Songs (vi) The Cock Shall Crow
Three Songs (i) May the Maiden
Four Songs (iii) To One Unknown
The Home Road
Mina Hager, Mabel Stapleton (piano) 33⅓ rpm long-play
12" / 30 cm disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 57 That Soothin' Song billed as 'Sing a Soo Thin Song'
Carpenter 4 Poems by Paul Verlaine (iv) Dansons la gigue! Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named; possibly dubbed from one of following discs?
Carpenter Unspecified composition(s) Mina Hager(?) and/or others(?),
with piano or other instruments(?)
12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 56 Contents of disc labelled as 'Side 7 and Side 8'; performers not named
Carpenter(?) Unspecified composition(s) Mina Hager, John Alden Carpenter (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 76 Contents of 'aluminum disc' 'Miscellaneous, partially identified'; no composer named but highly likely to be Carpenter
Chopin Unspecified composition(s) Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 64 Performers not named
Cortés, arranged anon. Cielito lindo Mina Hager, Béla Wilda (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 70 Composer and arranger(?) not named; song titled after refrain 'Ay, ay, ay'
Debussy Mandoline Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 55
Debussy Unspecified composition(s) Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano?) 33⅓ rpm long-play
12" / 30 cm disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 82 Contents of disc 'Miscellaneous, partially identified'; work(s) and performer(s) not named
Fauré Three Songs Op.8 (i) Au bord de l'eau Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 62 Disc 'Recorded lovingly for Judy Cunningham'
Fauré Five Songs Op.58 (i) Mandoline Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 66
Ferrari Le Miroir Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 73
Ferrari Le Miroir Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named; possibly dubbed from above disc?
Gounod Sérénade Mina Hager, Béla Wilda (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 70
Gounod Sérénade Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 71
Guion(?)[349] Home on the Range Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 77 Contents of disc 'Miscellaneous, partially identified'; composer and performer(s) not named
Hahn Fêtes galantes ('Les donneurs de sérénades') Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 66 Labelled Mandoline
Lehmann(?) In a Persian Garden(?) (x) Myself When Young Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 77 Contents of disc 'Miscellaneous, partially identified'; composer, source collection and performer(s) not named
attrib. Pergolesi, arranged Frederick Stock Salve Regina in f minor(?) Mina Hager, Wallenstein Orchestra, Alfred Wallenstein 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
31 May 1936
WOR studio(?), New York City
Box 8 Folder 69 Date identifies this as item in opening programme of series The Art of Song, broadcast by WOR, New York (see above)
attrib. Pergolesi, arranged Frederick Stock Salve Regina in f minor(?) Mina Hager, with piano or other instruments(?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 58
attrib. Pergolesi, arranged Frederick Stock Salve Regina in f minor(?) Mina Hager, with piano or other instruments(?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 68
attrib. Pergolesi, arranged Frederick Stock Salve Regina in f minor(?) Mina Hager(?), with piano or other instruments(?) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named; possibly dubbed from one of above discs?
Respighi E se un giorno tornasse, recitative for voice and piano Mina Hager, anon. (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 73
Respighi E se un giorno tornasse Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named; possibly dubbed from above disc?
Rogers Dumb Dora, soliloquy for voice and piano Mina Hager, anon. (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 73
Rogers Dumb Dora Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named; possibly dubbed from above disc?
Schubert Erlkönig D.328 Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 83 Contents of disc 'Miscellaneous, partially identified', further details 'Illegible'; performers not named
Schubert Erlkönig D.328 Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
31 May 1936
WOR studio(?), New York City
Box 8 Folder 69 Date identifies this as item in opening programme of series The Art of Song, broadcast by WOR, New York (see above); pianist not known
Schubert Die Forelle D.550 Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
31 May 1936
WOR studio(?), New York City
Box 8 Folder 69 Date identifies this as item in opening programme of series The Art of Song, broadcast by WOR, New York (see above); pianist not known
Schubert Der Tod und das Mädchen D.531 Mina Hager, anon. (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 73
Schubert Der Tod und das Mädchen Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named; possibly dubbed from above disc?
Schumann Dichterliebe Op.48
Excerpt(s)?
Mina Hager, Béla Wilda (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 63 Not described as either complete or excerpted, but latter more likely if this disc short-play
Schumann Dichterliebe Op.48
Excerpt(s)?
Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named; possibly dubbed from above disc?
Strauss, Richard 4 Lieder Op.27 (iv) Morgen! Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
7 June 1936
WOR studio, New York City
Box 8 Folder 81 Date identifies this as item in second programme of series The Art of Song, broadcast from WOR, New York (see above); pianist not billed; remaining contents of disc, marked 'Miscellaneous, partially identified', may include 6 Lieder Op.17 (ii) Ständchen from same broadcast
Strauss, Richard Unspecified composition(s) Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 79 Contents of disc 'Miscellaneous, partially identified'; work(s) and performer(s) not named
Wagner 5 Gedichte ('Wesendonck Lieder') (i) Der Engel, (v) Träume Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 64 Further item(s) or details 'Illegible'; performers not named
Wilda My Heart Mina Hager, Béla Wilda (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 72
Wilda Everyone Sang (text: Siegfried Sassoon)[350] Mina Hager, anon. (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 62 Disc 'Recorded lovingly for Judy Cunningham'
Wilda The Time Everyone Sang Mina Hager, Béla Wilda (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 72 Possibly the same song as Everyone Sang?
Wilda Summer the Lovely (text: Edna St. Vincent Millay)[351] Mina Hager, anon. (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 62 Disc 'Recorded lovingly for Judy Cunningham'
Wilda Summer the Lovely Mina Hager, Béla Wilda (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 72
Wolff 6 Lieder Op.26 (vi) Ewig Mina Hager, anon. (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 58 Composer's name spelled 'Wolf'
Wolff Lieder (aus dem Nachlass) (xxiii) Märchen(?), sung in English(?) as 'Fairy Tales' Mina Hager, anon. (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 58 Composer's name spelled 'Wolf'; work conjectured from English title
Wolff Lieder (aus dem Nachlass) (xxiii) Märchen(?), sung in English as 'Fairy Tales' Mina Hager(?) anon. (piano) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named; possibly dubbed from above disc?
Trad. Spiritual, arranged William Lawrence Let Us Break Bread Together Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 58
Trad. Spiritual, arranged Edward Boatner Oh, What a Beautiful City Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 58
Trad. Spiritual, arranged anon. Read in the Gospel Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 67 Performers not named; '[adhesive?] tape accretion; not playable'
Trad. Spiritual, arranged anon. Title unknown Mina Hager, anon. (piano?) 10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 71
Trad., arranged anon. The Londonderry Air Mina Hager, Béla Wilda (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 70 No arranger named
Trad., arranged anon. Mush, mush, mush Mina Hager, Béla Wilda (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 70 No arranger named
Trad., arranged Arthur Fickenscher German folksongs Mina Hager, Mabel Stapleton (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 65 Arranger spelled 'Fickisch', possibly a misreading
Unknown composer Houdini Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 77 Contents of disc 'Miscellaneous, partially identified'; composer and performer(s) not named
WOR Victory Concert, 27 November 1943; programme unknown Mina Hager(?), Robert Hufstader(?) (piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
27 November 1943,
New York Public Library,
New York City
Box 8 Folder 74 No composers, repertoire or artists named; labelled 'WOR Recording, Ser[ial no?]. 4-9860', this appears to be a recording of a part of Hager's Victory Concert, broadcast via WNYC (see above)
WOR(?) broadcast, date and programme unknown Mina Hager, Frances Blaisdell (flute), Paul Ulanowsky (piano) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
date unknown,
WOR studio?, New York City
Box 8 Folder 80 'WOR Recording, [serial no?] 5-7642'
Unknown Mina Hager 'Siberian Contralto' [sic], D.E[ugene?]. Hager, (voice and/or piano?) 12" / 30 cm
lateral disc
31 July 1936, location unknown
Box 8 Folder 78 Contents of disc 'Miscellaneous, partially identified'; possibly a humorous party piece recorded by Mina Hager with her brother Eugene
Unknown ('Practice') Mina Hager(?), anon. (piano?) tape
speed, size and format unknown
date and location unknown
Box 7 Folders 1-12 Not inventoried in detail, performers not named
(Speech recording?) Christmas greetings to Hopie and Alex Ryan Mina and Fred Heidenson (with piano?) 10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
1945, New York?
Box 8 Folder 59 Mina Hager billed under her married name
(Speech recording?) Christmas greetings to Gene Mina Hager, Fred [Heidenson] (with piano?) 10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
date unknown, New York?
Box 8 Folder 60 'Fred' undoubtedly Mina's husband; 'Gene' almost certainly her brother Eugene
(Speech recording?) Xmas (Christmas greetings?) Mina Hager, anon. (with piano?) 10" / 25 cm
lateral disc
date and location unknown
Box 8 Folder 61

All the above recordings are held at the Newberry Library in Chicago, where they were deposited with the Mina Hager Papers. The Library retained those which did not seem irreparably damaged, and inventoried the remainder in its online finding aid, from which the above information has been derived and, where possible, corrected and supplemented. Until the discs and tapes can be inspected and auditioned, it is incomplete: many entries lack discographical details such as type of medium, speed, programme and performers. The above list is therefore organized principally by composer and work(s) rather than by discographical object. Not all the recordings are credited to Hager, although most can safely be presumed to be of her.

This collection amounts to a substantial portrait in sound of Mina Hager's art. It includes several performances of her warhorse, the Pergolesi-Stock Salve Regina, alongside repertoire she is not otherwise known to have sung in concert and recordings with artists she is not otherwise known to have collaborated with, such as Mabel Stapleton (1894-1967)[352] and the somewhat mysterious Béla Wilda.[353] Her broadcasts for Wallenstein and for the war effort should be of wide historical interest, as are, surely, the several recordings by her friend and colleague John Alden Carpenter, whose music-making is even more meagrely documented than Hager's. Unfortunately, because the Newberry Library does not collect sound recordings, it employs no sound recordings specialist and owns no equipment on which to replay or transfer discs or tapes; the above recordings would have to be transferred by an outside contractor before being auditioned.[354] For the moment, then, Hager's musicianship remains largely unexplored and unappreciated.

Images

Many images of Mina Hager were created and published during her lifetime. Those seen in the course of research for this page date from her years as a professional concert singer, and fall into three main types:

  • Single prints of publicity and promotional portrait photographs, some signed by Hager[355]
  • Reproductions of the above in contemporary newspapers, magazines, directories and other publications (the commonest of the three types)[356]
  • Reproductions of the above in leaflets, flyers or brochures promoting Mina Hager, such as the following photograph of Hager printed in a leaflet published by her agent Phyllis Campbell:[357]
    Portrait photograph by Fernand de Gueldre (1890-1957) of Chicago, printed in Mina Hager Contralto (leaflet), Chicago: Phyllis Campbell (n.d.; c.1923), unpag. (Collection: the author)

The Mina Hager Papers at the Newberry Library in Chicago include many photographic images of Hager and others, and apparently of painted portraits, whether of Hager and/or other individuals is not known. No other painting, drawing, sculpture or other fine art image of Hager has been located. No moving image of Hager is known.

References

Note The Phonograph Monthly Review underwent various name changes, detailed here, but on this page and throughout this site, the magazine is always referred to in the text and footnotes as The Phonograph Monthly Review or, in some contexts, the Review

  1. Biographical data for Hager and family retrieved from birth, death, census, travel and other documents, retrieved from www.ancestry.co.uk, except where noted
  2. 'Death notices', Chicago Tribune, Thursday 12 November 1981, Section 3, p.11
  3. Mina Hager Contralto (promotional leaflet), apparently published by Hager's agent Phyllis Campbell, Chicago, n.d. (c.1923?) (collection of the author)
  4. 'XII. Memoirs', [South] Dakota Conference Journal, 38th Session, 1922, pp.343-44; I am grateful to Laurie Langland, University Archivist / Archivist for the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, Dakota Wesleyan University, for this reference, personal communication, 3 November 2017
  5. Marquette, Peggie 'Mezzo-Soprano "Can't Seem To Leave Music Alone"', Brevard Sentinel, (published with Sentinel Star [Orlando, Florida]), Sunday 29 April 1973, p.2
    This does not mean that Clarence Hager worked for a circuit chautauqua bureau; when a town accepted a bureau's proposal for a chautauqua, a committee of prominent citizens would sign the contract, pay the agreed fee, and take on certain aspects of its organization, such as ticket sales and local publicity, while the bureau selected and contracted artists, arranged transport and board, and furnished the tent or tents in which the chautauqua would take place; see e.g. Case, Victoria & Case, Robert Ormond We Called It Culture: The Story Of Chautauqua, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1948
  6. 'Mitchell Prosperous', Daily Argus-Leader [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], Saturday 17 November 1906, p.3
  7. 'It Closed With Success', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Friday 24 May 1907, p.(8)
  8. 'Local Briefs', Dakota Huronite [Huron, South Dakota], Thursday 31 December 1908, p.[5]
  9. Dakota Wesleyan University Bulletin, Vol.V No.3, Catalogue Edition for 1907, p.14; I am grateful to Laurie Langland of Dakota Wesleyan University for this reference, personal communication, 26 October 2017; see also 'Preparatory School', Dakota Wesleyan University Bulletin, Vol.IV No.3, Catalogue Edition for 1906, pp.105-08 (on p.107)
  10. Nicholson, Thomas (ed.) Dakota Wesleyan University Bulletin, Vol.VI No.1, Catalogue Edition for 1907, p.122; Mina Hager was registered as a freshman of Huron College for 1907-08, see Huron College Bulletin, Vol.VIII, No.1, June 1908, Catalogue for 1907-08, p.63, and as a sophomore for 1908-09, ibid., Vol.IX, No.1, June 1909, Catalogue for 1908-09, p.62; in April 1908 Hager reportedly returned to DWU for two months' study with Professor Hobson, see 'City Briefs', Dakota Huronite [Huron, South Dakota], Thursday 2 April 1908, p.[5], but see also 'Oratorical Contest', ibid., p.8; she was back in Huron the following February, see 'University Notes', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 4 February 1909, p.(5), but was registered as a junior at DWU for 1909-10, see Kerfoot, Samuel F. (ed.) Dakota Wesleyan University Bulletin, Vol.VIII No.3, Catalogue Edition for 1909-10, p.148, and as a senior for 1910-11, see ibid., Vol.IX No.2, Catalogue Edition for 1910-11, p.149
  11. Doak, Olive 'Notable Career of Pupil Dates Back to Start She Received from Dr. Hobson', The New Oregon Statesman [Salem, Oregon], Tuesday 9 April 1929, p.2
  12. 'Big Enrollment Ahead Of Record', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 22 September 1910, p.(3); see also 'Farewell to Pastor', ibid., Thursday 7 January 1909, p.(3); 'University Notes', ibid., Thursday 1 December 1910, p.(4); 'Funeral Services Were Held Saturday', ibid., Thursday 15 June 1911, p.(3)
  13. '... [page demaged] to Girl's Memory', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 10 October 1910, p.(6)
  14. 'Seven Speakers Addressed Meeting', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 6 October 1910, p.(2)
  15. 'Received Their Diplomas Friday', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 16 June 1910, p.(3)
  16. Weir, Samuel [ed.] Dakota Wesleyan University Bulletin, Vol.X No.2, Catalogue Edition for 1911-12, p.(147)
  17. Weir, Samuel [ed.] Dakota Wesleyan University Bulletin, Vol.XI No.7, Annual Catalogue 1913-1914, pp.227, 228, 231
  18. Weir, Samuel [ed.] Dakota Wesleyan University Bulletin, Vol.XI No.7, Annual Catalogue 1913-1914, pp.13, 165
  19. Cottonaro, Andrew Forgotten Splendour. A Chronology of the North Shore Music Festival 1909 to 1939, The Record Collector, n.d., p.40
  20. Trapper, Emma L. (comp.) The Musical Blue Book of America 1916-1917, New York: The Musical Blue Book Corporation, 1916, p.84; Gilbride, F.J. 'Land Of Infinite Variety', Daily Argus-Leader [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], Sunday 14 March 1954, p.31
  21. 'Local News Notes', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 10 September 1914, p.(6), and Thursday 24 September 1914, p.3; 'Radanovits Studio', Music News, Vol.7 No.18, 30 April 1915, p.37; 'Radanovits Studio Notes', ibid., Vol.7 No.26, 25 June 1915, p.32; 'Local Notes', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 9 September 1915, p.(2), and 'Miss Hager Corn Palace Soloist', ibid., p.(7); Trapper, Emma L. (comp.) The Musical Blue Book of America 1916-1917, New York: The Musical Blue Book Corporation, 1916, p.96
  22. 'Walter Spry Music School Commencement', Music News, Vol.7 No.26, 25 June 1915, p.20
  23. Marquette, Peggie 'Mezzo-Soprano "Can't Seem To Leave Music Alone"', Brevard Sentinel, (published with Sentinel Star [Orlando, Florida]), Sunday 29 April 1973, p.2
  24. 'Spencer High School', Daily Argus-Leader [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], Wednesday 1 November 1911, p.5; 'Spencer News', ibid., Tuesday 20 February 1912, p.7; 'Election Of Teachers, Lead Daily Call [Lead, South Dakota], Saturday 15 March 1913, p.[4]
  25. Weir, Samuel [ed.] Dakota Wesleyan University Bulletin, Vol.XI No.7, Annual Catalogue 1913-1914, pp.13, 165
  26. The Cathedral Choir was reportedly formed in the spring of 1913, see 'Plans For Lyceum Next Year', The Daily Journal-World [Lawrence, Kansas], Thursday 27 March 1913, p.6; it went through several changes of personnel before Hager joined it in the autumn of 1914
  27. 'Cathedral Choir Wins Praise For Concert', The Mansfield News [Mansfield, Ohio], Friday 9 October 1914, p.11
  28. The vagaries of press reporting, preservation and accessibility mean that the following list of notices is almost certainly far from complete:
    • Davenport, Iowa: 'Cathedral Choir Here Friday', The Daily Times [Davenport, Iowa], Wednesday 10 March 1915, p.3
    • Sioux City, Iowa: 'Where To Go', The Davenport Democrat and Leader [Davenport, Iowa], Tuesday 9 March 1915, p.3 (reprint of undated report from Sioux City Journal)
    • Fort Scott, Kansas: 'Society News', Fort Scott Daily Tribune-Monitor [Fort Scott, Kansas], Wednesday 27 January 1915, p.3
    • Lincoln, Nebraska: 'Amusements', Nebraska State Journal [Lincoln, Nebraska], Friday 19 February 1915, p.7
    • Mansfield, Ohio: see above
    • Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: 'Concert Opens Course', The Wilkes-Barre Record [Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania], Thursday 29 October 1914, p.17; 'Cathedral Choir Gives Exceptional Program', The Evening News [Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania], Thursday 29 October 1914, p.13
    • York, Pennsylvania: 'Cathedral Choir Pleases', The York Daily [York, Pennsylvania], Tuesday 27 October 1914, p.2
    • Mitchell, South Dakota: 'A Reception For New Spencer Pastor', Daily Argus-Leader [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], Tuesday 9 March 1915, p.2; 'Society', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 11 March 1915, p.(6)
    • Buckhannon, West Virginia: 'Social and Personal', The Daily Telegram [Clarksburg, West Virginia], Tuesday 20 October 1914, p.5
  29. At Davenport, Fort Scott, Lincoln and Wilkes-Barre; for references, see above
  30. 'Cathedral Choir Here Friday', The Daily Times [Davenport, Iowa], Wednesday 10 March 1915, p.3
  31. 'Society', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 11 March 1915, p.(6)
  32. 'Radanovits Studio', Music News, Vol.7 No.18, 30 April 1915, p.37
  33. 'Radanovits Studio Notes', Music News, Vol.7 No.26, 25 June 1915, p.32
  34. 'Many Corn Palace Visitors Are City's Guests Here Today', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 30 September 1915, p.(7)
  35. 'Hager Company Gives Delightful Concert', Rapid City Daily Journal [Rapid City, South Dakota], Saturday 21 August 1915, p.5
  36. 'Strand Theatre Company' (classified advertisement), Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday 17 November 1915, p.13
  37. Marquette, Peggie 'Mezzo-Soprano "Can't Seem To Leave Music Alone"', Brevard Sentinel, (published with Sentinel Star [Orlando, Florida]), Sunday 29 April 1973, p.2
  38. 'Local Notes', The Mitchell Capital [Mitchell, South Dakota], Thursday 9 September 1915, p.(2)
  39. 'News And Views Of Music', Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday 24 October 1917, p.15
  40. Hager, Mina '"Speak for Yourself, John Alden Carpenter!"', Music Journal, Vol.28 No.3 (March 1970), pp.66-67
  41. 'Inspiration of Song Is Stressed in Plans For Training Camps', Arkansas Democrat [Little Rock, Arkansas], 17 November 1917, p.4
  42. Water-Colors was premiered by the Scottish-born mezzo-soprano Christine Miller (1877-1956), with the composer at the piano, on 4 October 1916 at Ziegfeld Theater in Chicago, see 'Matters of Music', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 1 October 1916, Part 8, p.2, and Pollack, Howard John Alden Carpenter: A Chicago Composer, Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2001, p.148
  43. F.[rederick]D.[onaghey] 'New Orchestra and Max Pilzer Start the Sunday Music', Chicago Daily Tribune, Monday 8 October 1917, p.19
  44. Donaghey, Frederick 'Miscellany Of The Melodists', Chicago Daily Tribune, Friday 14 December 1917, p.19; 'Debs Will Manage Concert Benefit for Navy Relief', ibid., Tuesday 18 December 1917, p.19; Donaghey, Frederick 'Of Ballads, Songs, and Snatches', Chicago Sunday Tribune, Sunday 30 December 1917, part 7, p.3
  45. Donaghey, Frederick 'Saturday To Monday In Music', and 'Cinderella' 'Counting the Stars on the 100 Per Cent Flags Inspiring', Chicago Daily Tribune, Monday 31 December 1917, p.9;
  46. Pollack, Howard Skyscraper Lullaby, Washington & London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995, p.148
  47. 'Hager-Carpenter Musicale at the Arts Club Sunday', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 27 March 1919, p.15; 'Offices of "Children of the Frontier" Now in Powers Building', ibid., Saturday 29 March 1919, p.15
  48. Cox, Jeannette (of the Musical Courier, New York) 'Second Day with State Music Teachers' Meeting', The Pantagraph [Bloomington, Illinois], Thursday 9 May 1918, p.3
  49. 'Mme. X.' 'Great Loan Drive Takes First Place in All Activities', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 14 April 1918, Section 7, pp.4-5, 9 (on p.5); Chicago Historical Society Centennial of Illinois Statehood, Commemorated by the Chicago Historical Society, Orchestra Hall, April Nineteenth MDCCCCXVIII, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1918, p.30
  50. 'Civic Music Forces Join for Concert', Chicago Daily Tribune, Monday 3 June 1918, p.15
  51. 'Chicago Offers Splendid Operas', The Decatur Herald [Decatur, Illinois], Sunday 28 September 1919, p.17
  52. Williams, Mary Carver 'Third Week of Opera', Music News, Vol.11 No.50, 12 December 1919, pp.6-7, 10; 'Fourth Week of Opera', ibid., Vol.11 No.51, 19 December 1919, pp.18-19
  53. 'Opera Closes for 3 Days as Campanini Dies', Chicago Daily Tribune, Saturday 20 December 1919, p.2
  54. M.B. 'Mina Hager on Spontaneity', Musical Courier, Vol.LXXXIII No.18, Thursday 3 November 1921, p.14
  55. 'Completes the Quartet', The Girard Press [Girard, Kansas], Thursday 15 September 1921, p.[5]
  56. 'Announcements', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 16 January 1919, p.15
  57. 'Thursday, May 15, at 8.00 p.m. [...] (notice), The City Club Bulletin, Vol.XII No.18, Monday 5 May 1919, p.(109); 'Matters Of Music', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 8 May 1919, p.21
  58. 'Englewood Happenings', The Englewood Times [Chicago, Illinois], Friday 2 January 1920, pp.1, 8 (on p.8); 'Englewood Woman's Club', ibid., Friday 9 January 1920, Section Two, p.10
  59. 'Huron College Will Stage Big Homecoming', The Daily Argus-Leader [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], Saturday 8 May 1920, p.3
  60. 'University Notes,' University of Chicago Magazine, Vol.13 No.9, July 1921, pp.342-43, 363 (on p.343); 'Events: Past and Future', The University Record [University of Chicago], Vol.VII No.4, October 1921, pp.245-51 (on p.247)
  61. 'Colonial Dames Today Celebrate Armistice Day', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 11 November 1920, p.19
  62. Marquette, Peggie 'Mezzo-Soprano "Can't Seem To Leave Music Alone"', Brevard Sentinel, (published with Sentinel Star [Orlando, Florida]), Sunday 29 April 1973, p.2
  63. It is not clear which Salve Regina Stock arranged - possibly a setting in f minor whose attribution to Pergolesi is now considered doubtful. Whatever its origin, Stock's arrangement became a warhorse of Hager's repertoire, sung by her over more than two decades, with string orchestra and with piano; numerous non-commercial recordings by her survive in the Mina Hager Papers at the Newberry Library in Chicago, but it has not been possible to audition these
  64. 'Two Popular Airs Are Included in Symphony Program Tomorrow', Minneapolis Morning Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], Saturday 20 November 1920, p.31; 'Mina Hager, Chicago Singer, to Be Soloist With Symphony at Popular Concert Today', Minneapolis Sunday Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], 21 November 1920, p.8
  65. Davies, James 'Popular Orchestra Concert', Minneapolis Morning Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], Monday 22 November 1920, p.8
  66. Trapper, Emma L. [comp.] The Musical Blue Book of America Edition 1919-1920, New York: The Musical Blue Book Corporation, 1919, p.66
  67. 'Society', Iowa City Press-Citizen [Iowa City, Iowa], Monday 20 December 1920, p.10
  68. 'Chorus Sings Tonight', The Indianapolis Star, Wednesday 20 April 1921, p.7
  69. 'Cornell Music Festival' (advertisement), Iowa City Press-Citizen [Iowa City, Iowa], Thursday 21 April 1921, p.10; 'Oldest Iowa May Festival', Des Moines Sunday Register [Des Moines, Iowa], 1 May 1921, Section Four, p.8-E
  70. 'Pastor's Wife Dies', The Daily Argus-Leader [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], Thursday 13 January 1921, p.3
  71. McHenry, Izetta May 'American Concert Field', The Billboard, Vol.33 No.42, 15 October 1921, p.28
  72. 'New York Concerts', Musical Courier, Vol.LXXXIII No.16, Thursday 20 October 1921, pp.30-31 (on p.30)
  73. 'Miss Hager Heard in Pleasing Song Recital Program', New York Tribune, Tuesday 11 October 1921, p.7
  74. 'Mina Hager Makes Debut', New York Times, Tuesday 11 October 1921, p.15
  75. 'Mina Hager Always Ready to Encourage American Composers', Minneapolis Sunday Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], 22 October 1922, p.8
    NB The composer referred to by Hager has not been identified
  76. Cox, Jeannette 'Five Concerts On One Sunday An Early Season Record In Chicago', Musical Courier, Vol.LXXXIII No.22, Thursday 1 December 1921, pp.44-45 (on p.45)
  77. Cox, Jeannette 'Chicago Solo Choir Makes Debut Under Delamarter's Efficient Leadership', Musical Courier, Vol.LXXXIII No.24, Thursday 15 December 1921, p.44; 'Brief Local Mention', Queen City Mail [Spearfish, South Dakota], Wednesday 28 December 1921, p.4
  78. 'Symphony Notes', Minneapolis Sunday Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], 21 December 1921, 'Sports Section / On Stage and Screen', p.[8]; Davis, James 'Symphony Orchestra', Minneapolis Morning Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], Monday 16 January 1922, p.2; N.S. 'Music', Minnesota Daily Star [Minneapolis, Minnesota], Monday 16 January 1922, p.6
  79. 'Orchestra Gossip', Minneapolis Sunday Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], 8 January 1922, 'Sports Section / On Stage and Screen', p.8
  80. 'Here Is Tonight's Program Of News Service By Radio', Chicago Daily Tribune, Saturday 4 February 1922, p.13
  81. 'XII. Memoirs', Minutes of the Dakota Annual Conference, 38th Session, 1922, pp.343 ff. (on pp.343-44)
  82. 'J.A. Carpenter To Aid Mother's Day Concert', Daily Illini [University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign], Sunday 23 April 1922, p.[1]; Leibert, E.R. 'Miss Hager's Voice, Carpenter's Songs Win Mothers' Admiration', ibid., Sunday, 7 May 1922, p.[1]
  83. Moore, Edward 'Standing with Reluctant Feet - the Opera', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 30 April 1922, Part 8, p.12
    NB it seems that Hager and her fellow-soloists did not sing in the second, historical portion of the concert
  84. 'North Shore Festival', The Billboard, Vol.34 No.15, 15 April 1922, p.31; Moore, Edward 'Chorus of 600 Voices Scores at Music Festival', Chicago Daily Tribune, Friday 26 May 1922 , p.25
  85. 'Contralto of Wide Experience to Be Heard Here Soon', Minneapolis Sunday Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], 15 October 1922, Society section, p.15
  86. Davies, James 'Mina Hager Recital', Minneapolis Morning Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], Wednesday 25 October 1922, p.10
  87. 'Mina Hager Contralto' (advertisement), Chicago Sunday Tribune, 3 December 1922, Part 7, p.3
  88. 'Fortnightly at Home to 200 Friends in Its New Quarters', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 1 February 1923, p.23
  89. 'To Hear Charles Marshall', The Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News [Battle Creek, Michigan], Sunday 11 March 1923, p.6
  90. 'Lyon & Healy Artist Series' (advertisement), Chicago Sunday Tribune, 1 April 1923, Part 7, p.3
  91. 'Cornell May Festival Soon', Iowa City Press-Citizen [Iowa City, Iowa], Saturday 5 May 1923, p.3; 'Annual May Music Festival', ibid., Friday 11 May 1923, p.7
    NB press previews and advertisements were notably vague as to the conductor; no review has yet been located
  92. 'Noted Concert Artist To Sing In Marysville', The Union County Journal [Marysville, Ohio], Friday 11 May 1923, p.4
  93. 'Applause Forces Chicago Symphony to Encores at M.A.C. Appearances', Lansing State Journal [Lansing, Michigan], Tuesday 22 May 1923, pp.[1], 16
  94. 'Both Stock and DeLamarter to Conduct Chicago Symphony Here', Lansing State Journal [Lansing, Michigan], Saturday 19 May 1923, p.3
  95. 'Louise Chapman is filling a number of engagements [...]', Minneapolis Sunday Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], 21 October 1923, p.15
  96. 'Former Spearfish Girl', Queen City Mail [Spearfish, South Dakota], Wednesday 26 May 1920, p.[1] (reprinted from Aberdeen American [Aberdeen, South Dakota])
  97. 'Noted Chicago Singer Will Give Program Here Tonight', Evening Tribune [Marysville, Ohio], Friday 18 January 1924, p.[4]
  98. Scolten, Adrian 'Mina Hager, Contralto, In City March 4', The Capital Times [Madison, Wisconsin], Saturday 1 March 1924, p.[n/a]
    NB the presentation and pagination of the Capital Times on newspapers.com are chaotic and do not always allow page numbers to be referenced
  99. ; 'Mina Hager In Concert Here Tuesday Night', The Capital Times [Madison, Wisconsin], Monday 3 March 1924, p.[n/a]; Scolten, Adrian 'Postponed!' (notice), ibid., Tuesday 4 March 1924, p.5
  100. 'Artists Of Chicago Are Local Treat', The News-Palladium [Benton Harbor, Michigan], Friday 25 April 1924, p.4
  101. Moore, Edward 'Field Choral Society Sings with Its Usual Degree of Excellence', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 24 April 1924, p.21
  102. 'Society Finds Thrill in Boxing Tryouts for Olympic Games', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 15 May 1924, p.23
  103. 'Brief Local Mention', Queen City Mail [Spearfish, South Dakota], Wednesday 4 June 1924, p.[4] (reprinted from Aberdeen News [Aberdeen, South Dakota])
  104. 'Mina Hager' (classified advertisement), The Observer [London, United Kingdom], Sunday 8 June, p.[1]; 'Music This Week', The Times [London, United Kingdom], Monday 9 June 1924, p.16
  105. Greville, Ursula 'Remarks', The Sackbut, No.4, July 1924, pp.345-46
  106. 'Mina Hager In Western Recital', Hamilton Daily News [Hamilton, Ohio], Wednesday 26 November 1930, p.7
  107. 'Mina Hager Captures Her Audience At Once', The Staunton News-Leader [Staunton, Virginia], Wednesday 12 October 1927, p.4
  108. Westermeyer, Karl 'Minna [sic] Hager', in 'Aus Berlin', Signale für die musikalische Welt, No.28, 9 July 1924, pp.1109-11 (on p.1109)
  109. Westermeyer, Karl 'Heinrich Knappstein Minna [sic] Hager', in 'Aus Berlin', Signale für die musikalische Welt, No.40, 1 October 1924, pp.1465-72 (on p.1470-71); see also K[arl?].W[estermeyer?]. 'Konzerte', Berliner Tageblatt und Handels-Zeitung, Thursday 2 October 1924, pp.2-3 (on p.2)
  110. 'Mina Hager, Contralto', Third Annual Chicago and Midwest Musicians' and Allied Artists' Directory, Season 1925-26, Chicago: Mid-west Concert Management, Inc., 1925, p.119; for other references, see above
  111. Moore, Edward 'Chief Sparkle Put in "Lakme" by Tito Schipa', Chicago Daily Tribune, Friday 12 December 1924, Section Two, p.1
  112. Moore, Edward 'Muzio Charms in Benefit Recital as She Does in Opera', Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday 4 March 1925, p.19
  113. 'Mme X.' 'News of Chicago Society', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 3 May 1925, Part 10 Society, pp.1-2, 6 (on p.6)
  114. 'Swarthout Chorus On Air April 26', Decatur Herald [Decatur, Illinois], Sunday 12 April 1925, p.28; 'Kansas Paper Lauds Swarthout's Work', ibid., Thursday 14 May 1925, p.10
  115. R–, Nancy(?) 'Day's News in Society', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 28 May 1925, p.27
  116. 'Radio Programs', The Citizen [Ottawa, Canada], Tuesday 17 November 1925, p.7
  117. e.g. 'Radio Programs', Scranton Republican [Scranton, Pennsylvania], Monday 30 November 1925, p.9
  118. 'Brooklyn Radio Station Opens In N.Y. Monday', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 29 November 1925, p.C 9; D.J.M. 'Turning The Radio Dial', The Evening News [Harrisburg, Pennsylvania], Tuesday 1 December 1925, Section 2, p.[1]
  119. 'Schola Cantorum and Oratorio Society Concerts This Week', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 20 December 1925, p.6 E; Cushing, Edward 'Music of The Day', ibid., Thursday 24 December 1925, p.6
  120. 'Radio Programs', Wilkes-Barre Record [Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania], Wednesday 13 January 1926, p.9; Goodman, Dan V. 'The Microphone', The Indianapolis Sunday Star [Indianapolis, Indiana], 17 January 1926, p.27; 'Radio News', Wilmington Morning News [Wilmington, Delaware], Thursday 21 January 1926, p.11; 'Radio Programs', Scranton Republican [Scranton, Pennsylvania], Thursday 28 January 1926, p.11
  121. Jaker, Bill, Sulek, Frank & Kanze, Peter The Airwaves of New York: Illustrated Histories of 156 AM Stations in the Metropolitan Area, 1921-1996, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 1998/2008, pp.79-80
  122. 'Subsidy For Public Ballet', The Sun [Baltimore, Maryland], Sunday 8 June 1924, p.2; 'Music Notes That Will Interest Musicians', The Daily Pantagraph [Bloomington, Illinois], Saturday 21 June 1924, p.12; Moore, Edward 'Ravinia Ranks High in the World's Opera', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 6 July 1924, Part 7, pp.1, 6
  123. 'Mme X.' 'Tonight's The Night We Greet World Flyers', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 9 November 1924, Part 10, pp.[1]-2 (on p.2); Moore, Edward 'Of New Things in Ballet and Music', ibid., 23 November 1924, Part 8, pp.[1], 8; 'Latest Thing In Fine Arts', The City Club Bulletin, Vol.XVII No.38, Monday 22 December 1924, p.154
  124. Moore, Edward 'Another Allied Arts Program', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 12 December 1926, Part 9 Drama, p.[1]
  125. Moore, Edward 'First Program of Allied Arts Fine Success', Chicago Daily Tribune, Friday 28 November 1924, p.21
  126. The Juon was a last-minute choice: initially, a Chamber Symphony by either Juon or Schoenberg was slated, see Moore, Edward 'Mayor Appoints Music Commission', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 21 December 1924, part 9, pp.[1], 8 (on p.8); the Schoenberg was seemingly chosen, see id. 'Dances of Orient and Spain Coming', ibid., 28 December 1924, part 7, pp.[1], 4 (on p.[1]); but, in fact, the first movement of the Juon was played, see 'Twenty-first Programme', Boston Symphony Orchestra, Inc. Forty-fourth Season, 1924-1925 Programme, Boston: Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1924, pp.1667-1748 (pp.1690-96 contain a note about Henry Eichcheim's The Rivals and a detailed programme of its premiere presentation by Allied Arts), and the review by Mme X. in the Chicago Daily Tribune (below)
  127. Moore, Edward 'Allied Arts Reveal New Ballet, Music', Chicago Daily Tribune, Friday 2 January 1925, [Section Two,] p.15; id. 'Allied Arts Is Feat of Season', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 4 January, Part 7, pp.[1], 5, and 'Mme X.' 'Allied Arts Production', ibid., Part 8, p.2
  128. The Allied Arts presentation of Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire was stated, incorrectly, to have been the second in the US, in Moore, Edward 'Two Arguments Here for American Opera', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 3 January 1926, Part 8 Drama, p.[1].
    In fact, the US premiere had been given on 4 February 1923 in New York, by the soprano Greta Torpadie (1890-1982) and an ensemble conducted by Louis Gruenberg, see 'Manhattan Notes', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 4 February 1923, p.8 B, and Key, Pierre V.R. 'Josef Stransky Resigns From Philharmonic Post', Indianapolis Sunday Star [Indianapolis, Indiana], 18 February 1923, Part 6, pp.1, 7 (on p.1); and a second performance had been put on by the League of Composers at the Times Square Theater in New York City on 22 February 1925, again with Greta Torpadie as soloist, and an ensemble conducted by Howard Barlow (1892-1972), see 'International Guild and League Announce Interesting Programs of Ultra-Modern Music', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 22 February 1925, Section B, p.B 3, and Cushing, Edward 'Music of The Day', ibid., Monday 23 February 1925, p.6
  129. McHenry, Izetta May 'American Concert Field', The Billboard, Vol.37 No.52, 26 December 1925, p.32
  130. Moore, Edward 'Dramatic Bit of Music Given by Allied Arts', Chicago Daily Tribune, Monday 4 January 1926, ed. C Final, p.23
  131. 'Has "Astonishing Range Of Mood And Feeling"', The Staunton News-Leader [Staunton, Virginia], Sunday 16 October 1927, p.11 (quoting review of unknown authorship and date from the Chicago Journal, currently not accessible online)
  132. Moore, Edward 'Two Arguments Here for American Opera', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 3 January 1926, Part 8 Drama, p.[1]
    Keller's Valse-Caprice is the second of 2 Pieces for strings Op.15 (the first is Erinnerung), Leipzig: Leuckart, 1898, see 'Musik für Streich-Orchester', Musikalisch-literarischer Monatsbericht, No.6, June 1898, pp.238-40 (on p.238)
    The score of the Chopin ballet, not credited to a compiler or arranger, was reportedly played solo by the Russian-born pianist Leon Benditzky (1891-1954), see Moore, Hazel 'Allied Arts Ballet Traces Dance History', Chicago Daily Tribune, Monday 4 January 1926, p.23; it was possibly a piano reduction of the score by Glazunov for the 'romantic reverie' Chopiniana, the original 1907 ballet which was soon recast as Les Sylphides
  133. Pollak, Robert 'Musical Notes', The Chicagoan, Vol.1 No.1, 14 June 1926, p.22
  134. Moore, Edward 'Another Allied Arts Program', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 12 December 1926, Part 9 Drama, p.[1]; id. 'Stellar Event to Mark Holiday Week', ibid., 26 December 1926, Part 7 Drama, p.[1]; 'Nancy R.' 'Allied Arts to Open Series of Programs Week from Sunday', Chicago Daily Tribune, Saturday 18 December 1926, p.17
  135. This work is now known as On Christmas Night, the title of its second, revised revival in London in 1935, see Howes, Frank The Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, London, New York & Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1954, pp.247-52; according to Howes, it was composed in 1921, but a Chicago Sunday Tribune report states that Vaughan Williams and Bolm adapted it together in London in the summer of 1926, see Moore, Edward 'Symphony Begins Thirty-sixth Year', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 10 October 1926, pp.[1], 6 (on p.[1])
  136. Deakin, Irving Ballet Profile, New York: Dodge Publishing Co., 1936, p.122; there is no reason to doubt that Hager was the singer, as she was the only vocal soloist billed on this programme, see 'Chicago Allied Arts Inc., Presents' [classified advertisement], Chicago Daily Tribune, Friday 24 December 1926, p.11, and ibid., Wednesday 29 December 1926, p.29
  137. Moore, Edward 'Stellar Event to Mark Holiday Week', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 26 December 1926, Part 7, pp.[1], 3 (on p.[1])
  138. 'Chicago Allied Arts, Inc. [...]' (advertisement), Chicago Sunday Tribune, 2 January 1927, Part 7, p.2
  139. 'Activities of Allied Arts to Be Suspended', Chicago Daily Tribune, Tuesday 26 July 1927, p.23
  140. Only one singer besides Mina Hager, the Chicago-Born soprano Anna Burmeister (1889-1987), is known to have been engaged by Allied Arts, to sing the syllabic solo part in Arthur Bliss's Rout, see Moore, Edward 'Allied Arts Reveal New Ballet, Music', Chicago Daily Tribune, Friday 2 January 1925, [Section Two,] p.15
  141. Pollak, Robert 'Musical Notes', The Chicagoan, Vol.3 No.11, 13 August 1927, p.30
  142. 'Emerson Whithorne, Arnold Schoenberg, On League Program', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 21 February 1926, p.6 E; 'The League of Composers And the Schola Cantorum To Give Unusual Programs', ibid., Sunday 7 March 1926, p.E 5; Strauss, Henrietta 'Week Of Modern Music Forms Endurance Test For Critic', The Sun [Baltimore, Maryland], Sunday 21 March 1926, Part 2, Section 1, p.4
  143. e.g. 'Musical Fete In Worcester Big Success', Hartford Daily Courant [Hartford, Connecticut], Sunday 10 October 1926, p.18; Key, Pierre 'Pierre Key's Music Article', Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and Rochester Herald [Rochester, New York], Sunday 17 October 1926, Third News Section, p.13
  144. '8,000 Throng Stadium At Stock Concert', New York Times, Friday 20 August 1926, p.11; 'Thursday Evening, August 19th', Stadium Concerts, Ninth Season, 1926, Vol.III No.13 (18-20 August 1926), New York: Stadium Concerts Program, 1926, pp.13-15
  145. 'Concerts of the Week', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 24 October 1926, p.2 E
  146. Downes, Olin 'Music', New York Times, Tuesday 26 October 1926, Amusements section, p.27
  147. Downes, Olin 'Music', New York Times, Friday 29 October 1926, Radio Hotels And Restaurants section, p.20; McHenry, Izetta May 'American Concert Field', The Billboard, Vol.38 No.45, 6 November 1926, p.29
  148. 'The First Presbyterian Church [...]' (notice), The Bridgeport Telegram [Bridgeport, Connecticut], Saturday 6 November 1926, p.12
  149. Cushing, Edward 'Music Of The Day', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle [Brooklyn, New York], Monday 29 November 1926, p.8; McHenry, Izetta May 'American Concert Field', The Billboard, Vol.38 No.50, 11 December 1926, pp.50-51; Strauss, Henrietta 'The New York Music Season Week By Week', The Winnipeg Evening Tribune, Saturday 11 December 1926, p.15
  150. McHenry, Izetta May 'American Concert Field', The Billboard, Vol.39 No.6, 29 January 1927, p.29; concert flyer, Pro Musica, Inc., late 1926
  151. 'At this point brief mention should be made of the cantata La principessa Ulalia (1924), in which Malipiero overtly quoted the music and words of some 'old Italian popular songs' which he had found a few years earlier in a 17th century Neapolitan manuscript [...] The rest of this little known work (which was published and performed only in the U.S.A. and was subsequently withdrawn by the composer) is a characteristic though minor example of Malipiero's own style of the time. The total result can thus be seen as a half-way house between his free transcriptions and his original compositions', Waterhouse, John C.G. Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882-1973): The Life, Times and Music of a Wayward Genius [2nd edition], Routledge, 2013, p.162, endnote 20 (Part Two, 'The Works', Chapter VII 'Renewed uncertainty, 1923-7: Le stagioni italiche, Filomela e l'Infatuato, etc.'); the second performance was given in Boston on 10 April 1927, under the baton of Ethel Leginska; for the third performance, again with Hager as soloist, see below; the fourth and last known performance was conducted by Joseph Lautner, who had sung the tenor role under Leginska, at the Little Theater in Ithaca, New York, on 21 May 1929, see 'Noted Soloist Will Augment Chorus Tonight', The Ithaca Journal-News [Ithaca, New York], Tuesday 21 May 1929, p.9, and 'Lautner Adds An Artistic Achievement', ibid., Wednesday 22 May 1929, p.6
  152. McHenry, Izetta May 'American Concert Field', The Billboard, Vol.38 No.8, 19 February 1927, p.29; King, Joan 'Music World Lauds Yankee Composers', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 20 February 1927, Part 8, p.19
  153. 'Cecelia Club Excellent In Its Concert', Hartford Daily Courant [Hartford, Connecticut], Thursday 14 April 1927, p.4
  154. 'Mina Hager Mezzo-Soprano [...]' (classified ad), The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 24 October 1926, p.2 E
  155. 'General Federation Women's Clubs To Help Young American Artists', The Davenport Democrat and Leader [Davenport, Iowa], Wednesday 29 April 1925, p.16; Key, Pierre V.R. 'Pierre Key's Music Article', Hartford Daily Courant [Hartford, Connecticut], Sunday 2 August 1925, Part 5, p.4 D; 'National Music League Aids Students In Reaching Goal', The Green Bay Press-Gazette [Green Bay, Wisconsin], Wednesday 16 June 1926, p.15; 'Music League Comes West', Los Angeles Times, Sunday 25 August 1929, Part II, p.5; Milligan, Harold V. 'From the Mail Pouch: Music League' (letter), New York Times, Sunday 6 June 1948, p.7
  156. King, Joan 'Music World Lauds Yankee Composers', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 20 February 1927, Part 8, p.19
  157. 'Auditions Begin June 1', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 24 May 1925, p.2 B
  158. '4 Americans Chosen As Stadium Soloists', New York Times, Tuesday 21 June 1927, Radio section, p.28
  159. 'Chautauqua Program', The Warren Tribune [Warren, Pennsylvania], Tuesday 19 July 1927, p.2; 'Chautauqua Program', ibid., Wednesday 27 July 1927, p.2
  160. 'Tuesday Evening, August 23rd', Stadium Concerts Review, Vol.X No.14, 20-23 August 1927, pp.18, 20; 'Winners' Night', The Evening News [Harrisburg, Pennsylvania], Tuesday 23 August 1927, p.4
  161. 'Mina Hager To Sing Here', The Evening Leader [Staunton, Virginia], Wednesday 5 October 1927, p.1; 'Has Voice Of Rare Range', ibid., Saturday 8 October 1927, p.3; 'Says Singer Is "Marvelous Rarity"', ibid., Tuesday 11 October 1927, p.3; 'Mina Hager Captures Her Audience At Once', The Staunton News-Leader [Staunton, Virginia], Wednesday 12 October 1927, p.4; 'Difficult Music Is Easy To Mina Hager', ibid., Friday 14 October 1927, p.4; 'Has "Astonishing Range Of Mood And Feeling"', ibid., Sunday 16 October 1927, p.11; 'Mina Hager Sings At New Tonight', The Evening Leader [Staunton, Virginia], Wednesday 19 October 1927, p.2; N.D.D. 'Music', The Staunton News-Leader [Staunton, Virginia], Thursday 20 October 1927, p.3
  162. 'Music and Musicians', Brooklyn Life and Activities of Long Island Society, Saturday 3 December 1927, pp.22-24 (on p.23)
  163. 'Society', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday 16 December 1927, p.9
  164. All details of Columbia recording sessions for the Chicago Gramophone Society (see below) were ascertained, from original Columbia matrix cards now held by Sony Music Entertainment in New York, by Michael H. Gray, whose kind help is gratefully acknowledged; personal communication, 30 September 2015
  165. Four compositions by John Alden Carpenter are currently known to have been issued on commercial records before 1928, all in the USA: Two compositions are currently known to have been recorded but not issued:
    • Three Songs for a Medium Voice - (i) The Lawd is smilin’ through the do’, Sophie Braslau (contralto), Francis Lapitino (harp), orchestra, Josef Pasternack, Victor matrix B-25795 (10-inch / 25 cm), rec. 7 December 1921, Camden, New Jersey, unissued
    • The Home Road, Mina Hager (soprano) [sic], LeRoy Shield (piano), second(?) part of Victor unnumbered 'trial' (10-inch / 25 cm), rec. 26 May 1924, New York City, unissued; NB Carpenter is not credited but is almost certain to have been the composer
    In June 1928, as the Society's Carpenter record was being distributed, the Compagnie française du Gramophone was recording:
    • Four Negro Songs - (iii) The Cryin’ blues, (iii) Jazz boys, Vanni Marcoux (baritone), Piero Coppola (piano), matrices BT4146-2/BT4145-2, recorded 28 June 1928, Paris, face nos. 7-2147/7-2148, issued in mid-1929 on French Gramophone DA988 (10-inch / 25 cm)
  166. Carpenter had previously made at least one private recording at the piano, which has been represented as a Chicago Gramophone Society issue, but this is not possible: it was set down in November 1925, well before the Society was founded, and was surely intended to aid rehearsals for the world premiere of Carpenter's ballet Skyscrapers a few weeks later at New York's Metropolitan Opera (for more information, see the section of this site on Carpenter's private recordings)
  167. Fisher, Vories 'Chicago Phonograph Society', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.1, October 1926, pp.32-34 (on p.32)
  168. Harris, L.J. 'Chicago Phonograph Society', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.3, December 1926, pp.130-32 (on p.131)
  169. Fisher, Vories 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.2, November 1926, pp.28-29
  170. Harris, L.F. [sic, recte L.J.] 'Chicago Gramophone Society', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.6, March 1927, pp.269-74 (on pp.270-73)
  171. 'Special', in 'Phonograph Activities', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.5, February 1927, pp.222-27 (on p.224)
  172. [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.1, October 1927, pp.9-10 (on p.10)
  173. Johnson, Axel B. 'General Review', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.2, November 1927, pp.[41]-45 (on p.44)
  174. 'The Chicago Gramophone Society hereby...' (notice), The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.4, January 1928, p.146
  175. I am very grateful to Bill Anderson of Chicago for kindly visiting the Newberry Library and consulting the Mina Hager Papers on my behalf; personal e-mail, 11 August 2018
    The Hager Papers contain correspondence with John Alden Carpenter, but it has no bearing on their recording for the Chicago Gramophone Society. Two other repositories remain to be consulted: the John Alden Carpenter Papers, also at the Newberry, and the John Alden Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. These may contain correspondence with officers or members of the Chicago Gramophone Society, or other relevant material - the online inventories, while detailed, are not exhaustive - but it has not yet been possible to consult them
  176. Fisher, Vories 'Is Your Favorite Work Recorded?', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.4, January 1927, pp.177-78 (on p.177)
  177. Pollak, Robert 'Musical Notes', The Chicagoan, Vol.1 No.1, 14 June 1926, p.22
  178. [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.6, March 1927, p.274; id. 'Recorded Remnants', ibid., Vol.1 No.8, May 1927, p.341
    Pierrot lunaire would not be recorded for another twelve years: Schoenberg himself conducted the first recording in Los Angeles on 24 September 1940, with Erika Stiedry-Wagner as the vocal soloist, for Columbia; see the entry in the online version of R. Wayne Shoaf's discography of Schoenberg
  179. Pollak, Robert 'Musical Notes', The Chicagoan, Vol.3 No.11, 13 August 1927, p.30
  180. Moore, Edward 'Another Allied Arts Program', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 12 December 1926, Part 9 Drama, p.[1]; id. 'Stellar Event to Mark Holiday Week', ibid., 26 December 1926, Part 7 Drama, p.[1]; 'Nancy R.' 'Allied Arts to Open Series of Programs Week from Sunday', Chicago Daily Tribune, Saturday 18 December 1926, p.17
  181. 'The Chicago Gramophone Society hereby announces (...)' (notice), in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.2 No.4, January 1928, pp.146-47 (on p.146)
  182. [Fisher,] Vories 'Recorded Remnants', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.6, March 1927, p.274
  183. Fisher, Vories & Britzius, Dr. K[enneth]. 'List of Recorded Music of Richard Strauss', The Gramophone, Vol.III No.4, September 1925, p.183
  184. 'I well remember a Richard Strauss concert where all the records were Polydor.' Fisher, Dorothy B. 'Programs', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.2, November 1926, pp.33-35 (on pp.34-35)
  185. Hager is first known to have sung Strauss on 4 February 1922, during her earliest documented broadcast, see 'Here Is Tonight's Program Of News Service By Radio', Chicago Daily Tribune, Saturday 4 February 1922, p.13; she next sang his music in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 24 October 1922, see Davies, James 'Mina Hager Recital', Minneapolis Morning Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], Wednesday 25 October 1922, p.10
  186. 'Chicago Gramophone Society', in 'Phonograph Society Reports', The Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol.1 No.5, February 1927, pp.224-27
  187. N.D.D. 'Music', The Staunton News-Leader [Staunton, Virginia], Thursday 20 October 1927, p.3
  188. (Pollak, Robert) 'Current Records', The Chicagoan, Vol.4 No.8, 14 January 1928, p.26
  189. Once again, my thanks to Bill Anderson for confirming in person what is implied by the inventory of Mina Hager's sound recordings at the Newberry Library
  190. Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. 'Mina Hager (vocalist': soprano vocal)'
  191. Catalogue of Holdridge Records Auction 2015, ending Monday 5 January 2015, section 5 'Vocal 78s. - Gutheil-Schoder-Pacal', p.130
  192. 'Musical Union Mid-Winter Concert', Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Vol.XXIV No.4, January 1928, pp.16-17
  193. 'Musical Union Scores Success In Gerontius', Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Vol.XXIV No.5, February 1928, p.18
  194. 'Miss Little, Representative of the Music League of New York, Will Live Here and Direct the Concert Series', The Santa Maria Daily Times [Santa Maria, California], Monday, 25 July 1927, p.6; 'National League To Hold Auditions', Los Angeles Times, Monday 23 September 1928, Part III, p.12
  195. 'Diplomats Sponsoring Grand Opera Festival', Muncie Sunday Star [Muncie, Indiana], 12 February 1928, p.7; Randolph, Jane 'Women from Six Countries Sponsoring International Opera Festival in Capital', Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [Rochester, New York], Friday 17 February 1928, p.22
  196. Williamson, Clara D. May 'Mrs. Williamson is Pleased With Opera', Deadwood Daily Pioneer-Times [Deadwood, South Dakota], Wednesday 7 March 1928, p.3
  197. 'Seats Unsold, Opera In Capital Closed', Lincoln State Journal [Lincoln, Nebraska], Saturday 25 February 1928, p.22
  198. 'Orchestra's Spring Festival', Philadelphia Enquirer, Sunday 15 April 1928, Society, p.8 SO
  199. Martin, Linton 'Reiner in Wagner Concert is Superb', Philadelphia Enquirer, Sunday 29 April 1928, p.A 19
  200. Downes, Olin 'Music', New York Times, Thursday 3 May 1928, Amusements, Hotels and Restaurants section, p.37
  201. 'Miss Little, Representative of the Music League of New York, Will Live Here and Direct the Concert Series', The Santa Maria Daily Times [Santa Maria, California], Monday, 25 July 1927, p.6
  202. 'What's Doing Today', The Los Angeles Times, Monday 14 May 1928, Part I, p.16
  203. 'Bowl Soloist Has European Reputation', The Los Angeles Times, Sunday 20 May 1928, Part III, p.13; 'Music Under Stars In Hollywood Bowl', The San Bernardino Daily Sun [San Bernardino, California], Sunday 8 July 1928, p.7; 'At Hollywood Bowl', Oxnard Daily Courier, Saturday 14 July 1928, p.[2] (quotes extensively from review by Gregory Goss, Los Angeles Examiner, publication date unknown); Morse Jones, Isabel 'Conductor Shares His Program', The Los Angeles Times, Monday 16 July 1928, Part II, p.7
  204. 'Lectures To Be Free To Public', The Los Angeles Times, Sunday 15 July 1928, Part II, p.2
  205. 'Current Music Programs', The Los Angeles Times, Sunday 15 July 1928, Part III, p.17
  206. 'Bowl Day Planned By Breakfast Club', The Los Angeles Times, Tuesday 17 July 1928, Part II, p.13
  207. 'Music Lovers of Redlands Will Hear World Famous Contralto', The San Bernardino Daily Sun [San Bernardino, California], Wednesday 18 July 1928, p.12
  208. Danforth, Roy Harrison 'Music and Musicians', Oakland Tribune, Sunday 15 July 1928, p.S-5; 'Miss Hager Sings Today In Berkeley', San Francisco Examiner, Sunday 22 July 1928, p.E 9
  209. Seneca, Jessica Kate 'Windows on the Bowl', California Southland, Vol.X No.105, September 1928, p.11
  210. 'Ovation To Singer', New York Times, Friday 5 October 1928, p.25; 'Conservatory', The Enquirer [Cincinnati, Ohio], Sunday 14 October 1928, Section Three, p.6
  211. 'In Society', The Enquirer [Cincinnati, Ohio], Saturday 26 January 1929, p.3, and Goldenburg, William Smith 'Music', ibid., p.15
  212. 'Mina Hager To Give Concert In Redfield', Evening Huronite [Huron, South Dakota], 17 January 1929, p.6
  213. 'Miss Hager Honored by Music Journal', Oxnard Daily Courier [Oxnard, California], Friday 25 January 1929, p.[2]; 'Mme. Matzenauer Sings With Symphony Today', The San Francisco Examiner, Friday 8 February 1929, p.19
  214. 'Miss Hager Honored by Music Journal', Oxnard Daily Courier [Oxnard, California], Friday 25 January 1929, p.[2]; 'Mme. Matzenauer Sings With Symphony Today', The San Francisco Examiner, Friday 8 February 1929, p.19
  215. 'Honegger's 'King David' To Be Sung', The San Francisco Examiner, Sunday 20 January 1929, City Life Stage Screen & Music section, p.E 9; 'Honegger Work To Be Produced', Oakland Tribune [Oakland, California], Sunday 10 February 1929, Women's Activities Books Theaters The Knave section, p.S-5
  216. Mason, Redfern 'Triumph Won By Brailowsky', The San Francisco Examiner, Tuesday 26 February 1929, p.14; 'Society Notes', Oxnard Daily Courier [Oxnard, California], Thursday 28 February 1929, p.[2]
  217. 'Woman's Club Concert', Santa Cruz News [Santa Cruz, California], Friday 1 March 1929, p.6
  218. 'Noted Singer Pays Visit To Fontana Folk', The San Bernardino Daily Sun [San Bernardino, California], Thursday 7 March 1929, p.15
  219. Nino René Herschel was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on 24 March 1902, graduated from the Stern Conservatoire in Berlin, and worked in Germany and elsewhere in Europe before moving to the West Coast of the US; he was active there from 1926 but in 1933 took up a post in Lugano, Switzerland, where he died on 12 July 1941, see Brooks, Mae Price 'Possibilities for Cheap Entertainment Shown', Los Angeles Sunday Times, 17 October 1926, Part II, p.8, and Sandmeier, Aldo 'Album del jazz di famiglia', Bloc notes No.48 (special number on 'La musica nella Svizzera italiana', ed. Carlo Piccardi), June 2003, pp.187-241
  220. 'Society Notes', Oxnard Daily Courier [Oxnard, California], Friday 8 March 1929, p.[2]
  221. 'Society Notes', Oxnard Daily Courier [Oxnard, California], Thursday 28 February 1929, p.[2]; 'Society Notes', ibid., Friday 8 March 1929, p.[2]
  222. ; 'Santa Marians Attend Mina Hager's Concert', Santa Maria Daily Times [Santa Maria, California], Thursday 14 March 1929, p.5; 'We See And Hear', Oxnard Daily Courier [Oxnard, California], Friday 15 March 1929, p.[4]
  223. 'Moliners In California Guests Of Marshall Beck', Moline Daily Dispatch [Moline, Illinois], Tuesday 26 March 1929, p.8
  224. 'Activities of Hosts and Hostesses in Society's Week', Los Angeles Times, Sunday 24 March 1929, Part III, p.5
  225. Doak, Olive 'Notable Career of Pupil Dates Back to Start She Received from Dr. Hobson', The New Oregon Statesman [Salem, Oregon], Tuesday 9 April 1929, p.2
  226. ‘Artist Concert Well Received', The Phreno Cosmian [Mitchell, South Dakota], Tuesday 16 April 1929, p.3; I am grateful to Laurie Langland, University Archivist / Archivist for the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota, for this reference, e-mail, 26 October 2017
  227. Null, Gertrude A. [ed.] 'Many Huronians Are Making Enviable Records In Music', The Evening Huronite [Huron, South Dakota], Tuesday 21 May 1929, untitled [women's?] section, p.6
  228. 'Recitals of the Week', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle [Brooklyn, New York], Sunday 28 April 1929, Section E, p.6 E
  229. 'Current Music News', Santa Ana Register [Santa Ana, California], Sunday 18 August 1929, p.23
  230. 'Ante el inteligente público de la capital mexicána se ha presentado siete veces Mina Hager.' Fontanills, Enrique 'Habaneras', Diario de la Marina [Havana, Cuba], Thursday 22 October 1931, pp.5, 7
  231. Doak, Olive M. (Society Editor) 'Society News and Club Affairs', Oregon Statesman [Salem, Oregon], Tuesday 25 March 1930, p.6
  232. 'American Soprano Wins Heart Of Mexican Flower Boy, "Juan"', The Evening Huronite [Huron, South Dakota], Friday 13 February 1931, p.13
  233. Mexican historical newspapers cannot be accessed online remotely and so have not been consulted for this page
  234. 'Mina Hager To Sing Modern Selections', The Evening Huronite [Huron, South Dakota], Friday 13 February 1931, p.7
  235. Partridge, Roland Edward Enrique Granados [MA thesis], Boston University Graduate School, 1930, p.103, footnote 2
  236. e.g. 'Club Prepares Three Concerts', Reno Evening Gazette [Reno, Nevada], Wednesday 14 August 1929, p.10; Vera Bull Hull Concert Management 'Mina Hager Mezzo-soprano' (leaflet), n.d. mid-1930s(?); I am grateful to Laurie Langland, University Archivist / Archivist for the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota, for this reference, e-mail, 26 October 2017
  237. e.g. 'Mina Hager To Give Concert In Redfield', Evening Huronite [Huron, South Dakota], 17 January 1929, p.6; Null, Gertrude A. [ed.] 'Many Huronians Are Making Enviable Records In Music', ibid., Tuesday 21 May 1929, untitled [women's?] section, p.6
  238. 'Omaha Symphony Schedules First Concert for October 31', The Columbus Daily Telegram [Columbus, Nebraska], Tuesday September 10, 1929, p.[1]
  239. 'The Weeping Muse', The Montgomery Advertiser [Montgomery, Alabama], Tuesday 19 November 1929, p.4
  240. 'Recital Programs', Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 5 January 1930, p.6 E; 'Today’s Radio Programs', Hartford Daily Courant [Hartford, Connecticut], Wednesday 8 January 1930, p.10; B.M. 'Other Music', Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Thursday 9 January 1930, p.22; 'Joint Recital Pleases', New York Times, Thursday 9 January 1930, p.28
  241. 'Morning Musicale' and 'Dayton Music Club', Dayton Daily News [Dayton, Ohio], Sunday 19 January 1930, Society Section, p.8; Perrill, Penelope 'Singer, Almost Unknown To Dayton Audiences Is Heard In Fine Program', ibid., Wednesday 22 January 1930, p.17
  242. 'New Works to be Played at Philharmonic', Los Angeles Times, Thursday 13 February 1930, Part II, p.9; Schallert, Edwin 'Russ Modern Scores Hit', ibid., Saturday 15 February 1930, Part II, p.7
  243. 'Hit Is Scored By Mina Hager In Pop Concert', Arizona Republican [Phoenix, Arizona], Thursday 6 March 1930, p.8
  244. 'Fine Artists Will Appear In El Paso', El Paso Evening Post [El Paso, Texas], Saturday 19 October 1929, p.6; 'Hager Concert Postponed', ibid., Saturday 8 March 1930, p.6
  245. 'New York Gossip', The Enquirer [Cincinnati, Ohio], Sunday 12 February 1928, News Section, p.3
  246. Armbruster, Francis 'Concert Singer Here For Reno Appearance', Reno Evening Gazette [Reno, Nevada], Thursday 13 March 1930, p.2; 'Mina Hager's Work Enjoyed', ibid., Friday 14 March 1930, p.3
  247. 'Society', Reno Evening Gazette [Reno, Nevada], Friday 7 March 1930, p.4
  248. Doak, Olive M. (Society Editor) 'Society News and Club Affairs', Oregon Statesman [Salem, Oregon], Tuesday 25 March 1930, p.6; 'Concert Enjoyed by Salem Folk', Capital Journal [Salem, Oregon], Tuesday 1 April 1930, p.5
  249. 'Mina Hager in Concert Monday Nite', Capital Journal [Salem, Oregon], Monday 31 March 1930, p.5
  250. The Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills, California, holds no file on Mina Hager, and no items relating to her film work; Rachel Bernstein, Reference Librarian, Margaret Herrick Library, e-mail, 20 October 2017
  251. Thalia – 'Singing Starts Yearly Display at Arts Club', Chicago Daily Tribune, Monday 14 March 1930, p.33
  252. 'Santa Marians Attend Mina Hager's Concert', Santa Maria Daily Times [Santa Maria, California], Thursday 14 March 1929, p.5
  253. Last press notice located to date, linking Little and National Music League: 'Society', Nevada State Journal [Reno, Nevada], Tuesday 24 February 1931, p.4
  254. e.g. 'Famed Contralto to Sing in Santa Cruz on April 11', Santa Cruz Sentinel [Santa Cruz, California], Friday 18 March 1932, p.6
  255. 'Chamber Music Concerts Will Occupy Pianist', Los Angeles Times, Sunday 31 July 1932, Part III, p.19
  256. 'Miss Ramona Little', Los Angeles Times, Thursday 12 December 1935, Part II, p.20
  257. 'Mina Hager In Western Recital', Hamilton Daily News [Hamilton, Ohio], Wednesday 26 November 1930, p.7
  258. e.g. N.D.D. 'Music', The Staunton News-Leader [Staunton, Virginia], Thursday 20 October 1927, p.3; Donaghey, Frederick 'Chicago Tuning Up', Variety, Vol.121 No.5, Wednesday 15 January 1936, p.57
  259. 'Mirabile Dictu' (advertisement), The Amarillo Globe [Amarillo, Texas], Monday 29 August 1930, p.16; 'A Real Singer Tonight' (advertisement), ibid., Wednesday 21 January 1931, p.5
  260. 'The Artists' Course, 1930-31' (advertisement), Denton Record Chronicle [Denton, Texas], 21 October 1930, p.9; 'CIA Auditorium' (advertisement), ibid., Monday 19 January 1931, p.6; 'Mina Hager at CIA Monday', ibid., Friday 23 January 1931, Section Two, p.3
  261. 'Mina Hager To Give Recital', Evening Huronite [Huron, South Dakota], Friday 30 January 1931, p.1
  262. 'Mrs. Rayburn To Be Accompanist', The Evening Huronite [Huron, South Dakota], Thursday 12 February 1931, p.12
  263. Moore, Edward 'Mina Hager Wins Praise Singing With The Apollo Club', Chicago Daily Tribune, Tuesday 24 February 1931, p.15
  264. Moore, Edward 'Praise Given Mina Hager After Recital', Chicago Daily Tribune, Tuesday 10 March 1931, p.21
  265. 'Our Town Paragraphs About Some Folks You Know', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 15 March 1931, Part 7, p.[1]; NB this report stated, erroneously, that Mina Hager 'was back in town after a European concert tour', probably a reference to her 1924 tour of Europe based on a misunderstanding of publicity material supplied to the school
  266. Fontanills, Enrique 'Habaneras', Diario de la Marina [Havana, Cuba], Thursday 22 October 1931, pp.5, 7
  267. N[ena].B[enítez]. 'Música y músicos', Diario de la Marina [Havana, Cuba], Wednesday 21 October 1931, p.6; ead. 'Música y músicos', ibid., Monday 26 October 1931, pp.6-7
  268. N[ena].B[enítez]. Música y músicos', Diario de la Marina [Havana, Cuba], Thursday 29 October 1931, p.6; ead. 'Música y músicos', ibid., Sunday 1 November 1931, p.6
  269. N[ena].B[enítez]. 'Música y músicos', Diario de la Marina [Havana, Cuba], Sunday 1 November 1931, p.6
  270. Giró, Alberto Radio y Electricidad', Diario de la Marina [Havana, Cuba], Wednesday 28 October 1931, p.8
  271. N[ena].B[enítez]. Música y músicos', Diario de la Marina [Havana, Cuba], Thursday 29 October 1931, p.6
  272. 'Mina Hager Concert Tuesday Afternoon Of Wide Interest to Music Devotees', Miami Daily News [Miami, Florida], Sunday 27 March 1932, Society Section, p.2; 'Marie Tello Phillips' Poems Are on Program', Pittsburgh Press Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], Wednesday 30 March 1932, p.16
  273. 'Yaddo Festival Programs', New York Times, Sunday 17 April 1932, Drama Music Hotels And Restaurants Screen Art Radio Shoppers Columns The Dance, p.X7
  274. 'Yaddo Festival Programs', New York Times, Sunday 17 April 1932, Drama Music Hotels And Restaurants Screen Art Radio Shoppers Columns The Dance, p.X7
  275. Wise, Herman 'May Festival Features Gigli', Detroit Free Press [Detroit, Michigan], Saturday 21 May 1932, p.4
  276. Wise, Herman 'Triumph Ends May Festival', Detroit Free Press [Detroit, Michigan], Sunday 22 May 1932, p.12
  277. 'Stokowski to Conduct 'Pierrot Lunaire' April 16', Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 12 March 1933, Section E, p.E5; Downes, Olin 'Modern Scores By League', New York Times, Sunday 16 April 1933, Drama Screen Music Fashion Art, p.X5; Cushing, Edward 'Music of the Day', ibid., Monday 17 April 1933, p.6
  278. Downes, Olin 'Gala Program By Composers', New York Times, Monday 17 April 1933, Amusements section, p.16
  279. Cass, Judith 'President and Party invited to Attend Paris Ball at Fair', Chicago Daily Tribune, Friday 5 May 1933, pp.19, 23
  280. 'Cousin Eve' 'Japanese Commissioners at the Fair Hosts at Dinner Party', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 14 May 1933, Part 8, pp.[1], 3 (on p.3)
  281. Moore, Edward 'Felman Music Fits Sandburg Poem of U.S.', Chicago Daily Tribune, Tuesday 24 April 1934, p.19
  282. Hackett, Karleton 'Summer Symphony Musical Chicago in Preview and Review', The Chicagoan, Vol.14 No.10, 1 June 1934, p.31
  283. Patrick, Corbin 'Maennerchor Opens Season Impressively At Academy', The Indianapolis Star [Indianapolis, Indiana], Tuesday 27 November 1934, p.11
  284. Whitworth, Walter 'German Lieder, Choruses Given', The Indianapolis News [Indianapolis, Indiana], Tuesday 27 November 1934, unnamed section, p.4
  285. 'Five Modern Works On League Program', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle [Brooklyn, New York], Sunday 7 April 1935, Section C, p.6 C; Sargeant, Winthrop 'League of Composers', ibid., Tuesday, 16 April 1935, p.15
  286. 'Noted Soloists to Sing at Mitchell Celebration', Daily Argus-Leader [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], Saturday 11 May 1935, p.5
  287. Cass, Judith 'Push Benefit to Clear Way for Vacations', Chicago Daily Tribune, Tuesday 14 January 1936, pp.13, 15 (on p.15); Moffett, India 'Smart Throng Applauds Songs by Carpenter', ibid., Wednesday 15 January 1936, p.17
  288. Barry, Edward 'Symphony Guests Make January Vivid Month', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 5 January 1936, Part 7, p.3
  289. Barry, Edward 'Stock's Program Should End Chicago's Inferiority Complex', Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday 15 January 1936, p.17
  290. 'Guild For Concert Biz', Variety, Wednesday 22 April 1936, p.65
  291. Simon, Robert A. 'Musical Events', The New Yorker, 10 July 1937, pp.50-53; Pakenham, Compton 'Recent Recordings', New York Times, Sunday 25 July 1937, p.136; Yeiser, Frederick 'Trade Paper', The Cincinnati Enquirer, Sunday 22 August 1937, Section Four Cinema Stage Music, p.[1]; 'Vocal', The New Records, Vol.5 No.7, September 1937, p.7; A[lec].R[obertson]., 'Musicraft', in 'Analytical Notes and First Reviews', The Gramophone, Vol.XV No.173, October 1937, pp.197-206 (on pp.203-04)
  292. 'Clubwomen Have Departmental Meetings – Mother's [sic] Groups Are Active', The Brooklyn Eagle [Brooklyn, New York], Sunday 20 November 1938, Section B, p.6B
    Richard Northrup Warbasse (1908-65) began mounting 'Sunday Evenings of Music' in Brooklyn in early 1933. Out of these grew a variously configured ensemble named the Young Musicians Guild, which gave concerts to benefit 'needy professional musicians' until 1939, see 'Artists and Those Who Will Receive at Concert Sunday; Suppers to Precede Affair', in 'Society', Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Thursday 5 January 1933, p.19, 'Final Evening of Music Held At the Towers Last Evening; Plans Made for Lenten Series', in 'Society', ibid., Monday 27 February 1933, p.17, and 'Hostesses for Recital Listed Fourth Concert of Season Of Musicians Guild Will Be Presented Jan. 25', in 'Society', Brooklyn Eagle, Monday 16 January 1939, p.7; the pianist, provisionally identified as William A. Beller, had played with Warbasse since early 1936, see 'Musicians Guild Will Give Last Musicale in Winter Series Tomorrow Evening', in 'Society', Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday 5 January 1936, Section B, p.[B 1]
  293. '"The Messiah" To Be Given In Dover, December 11th', Bernardsville News [Bernardsville, New Jersey], Thursday 1 December 1938, p.12
  294. Downes, Olin 'Concert Devoted To Music By Ives', New York Times, Saturday 25 February 1939, p.18
  295. Letter dated 4 February 1939, from John Kirkpatrick to Charles Ives, no.341 in Owens, Tom C. [ed.] Selected Correspondence of Charles E. Ives, London: University of California Press, 2007, p.271
  296. Kastendieck, Miles 'Music of the Day', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle [Brooklyn, New York], Saturday, 25 February 1939, p.20
  297. 'Dunrovin Festival Has Final Concert', New York Times, Monday 1 July 1940, p.23
  298. Cass, Judith 'Ballet Program Arranged for British Relief', Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday 17 October 1940, pp.21-22
  299. Carpenter, John Alden Letter to Virgil Thomson, 2 May 1941, Thomson Collection, Yale University
  300. Gross, Ben 'Listening In', Daily News [New York City], Saturday 6 June 1936, p.35
  301. R.P. 'Mina Hager Is Heard In Town Hall Recital', New York Times, Tuesday 27 January 1942, p.24
  302. 'Eddy' 'Mina Hager Mezzo-Soprano Town Hall, N.Y., Jan. 26, 1942', in 'N.Y. Concert Reviews', Variety, Vol.145 No.8, 28 January 1942, p.36
  303. 'Programs of the Current Week in Town', New York Times, Sunday 10 May 1942, p.X6
  304. 'Radio Programs', Brooklyn Eagle [Brooklyn, New York], Saturday 16 May 1942, p.4
  305. 'Programs of the Current Week in Town', New York Times, Sunday 17 May 1942, p.X6
  306. 'Music Notes', New York Times, Saturday 9 January 1943, p.9
  307. 'Radio Programs', Brooklyn Eagle [Brooklyn, New York], Saturday 9 January 1943, p.4
  308. 'Music of the Week', New York Times, Sunday 10 January 1943, p.X8
  309. 'American Opera Preview Set For New York', The Enquirer [Cincinnati, Ohio], Sunday 18 April 1943, section 3, p.2
  310. Edwards, Nancy 'About Town', Barnard Bulletin [New York City, New York], Thursday, 6 May 1943, p.2
  311. 'Music Notes', New York Times, Saturday 27 November 1943, p.9; 'Radio Today', ibid., p.25
  312. 'Opera and Concert Programs of Week', New York Times, Sunday 28 November 1943, p.X5
  313. 'Music Notes', New York Times, Wednesday 22 October 1947, p.37; ibid., Wednesday 5 November 1947, p.36; ibid., Wednesday 19 November 1947, p.32
  314. Page, Eleanor 'J.A. Carpenter Memorial to Be Dedicated', Chicago Daily Tribune, Wednesday 23 July 1952, Part 2, p.3; 'Music Stage Dedicated', New York Times, Monday 28 July 1952, p.12; Wickham, Ina 'Catching The Beat In Music World Today', Democrat And Times [Davenport, Iowa], Sunday 10 August 1952, p.38
  315. 'Thalia' 'Junior League to Hear Famed Dress Designer', Chicago Sunday Tribune, 30 November 1952, Part 7 [Section 1], p.6; 'Met's 'Carmen' Will Be Shown on Theater TV', ibid., Part 7, Section 2, p.2
  316. 'Mina Hager Visits Campus On Concert Trip', The Phreno Cosmian [Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota], Tuesday, 20 April 1954, p.4; I am grateful to Laurie Langland, University Archivist / Archivist for the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota, for this reference, e-mail, 26 October 2017
  317. Ruth Palmer's married name is spelled Singeltary in sources of the 1920s, e.g. 'Artist Concert Well Received', The Phreno Cosmian [Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota], Tuesday 16 April 1929, p.3, and 'Society', Moline Daily Dispatch [Moline, Illinois], Tuesday 7 May 1929, p.8; it is not clear if the spelling had changed during the intervening decades, or if the source cited here was in error (both forms of the name were widespread, alongside Singletary, Singletarry, Singelterry etc.)
  318. 'Mina Hager Visits Campus On Concert Trip', The Phreno Cosmian [Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota], Tuesday, 20 April 1954, p.4; I am grateful to Laurie Langland, University Archivist / Archivist for the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota, for this reference, e-mail, 26 October 2017
  319. Marquette, Peggie 'Mezzo-Soprano "Can't Seem To Leave Music Alone"', Brevard Sentinel (published with Sentinel Star [Orlando, Florida]), Sunday 29 April 1973, p.2
  320. e.g. 'To Appear With Chorus', The Sunday Home News [New Brunswick, New Jersey], 2 April 1961, p.10; 'Songs by Local Composer On Centennial Concert Program at University', The Daily Inter Lake [Kalispell, Montana], Sunday 10 May 1964, p.13
  321. 'The Hager House, built sometime between 1884 and 1887, is one of the largest and most elaborate houses in the district that date from Mitchell's early settlement period. [...] The house is historically significant for its associations with early owner Adelbert B. Hager, an early Mitchell attorney and real estate dealer, and with Mina Hager, an opera singer of national reputation. [...] She gave vocal lessons in the house’s rear second story sunroom.': National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior 'Mitchell West Central Residential Historic District' (National Register of Historic Places Registration Form), April 1999, Section 7, pp.11-12
  322. 'Pianist Paces 'Brigadoon Rehearsals', The Arizona Republic [Phoenix, Arizona], Friday 26 February 1954, p.26
  323. 'Religious News', Brevard Sentinel [Orlando, Florida; bundled with Sentinel Star], Friday 13 April 1973, p.4
  324. For a profile of Rooke, see 'Woman blazed musical trail', Florida Today [Cocoa, Florida], Wednesday 7 September 2005, Titusville, Mimms and Scottsmoor Communities section, p.1G, and Velma Rooke Papers, 1942-1992, Southern Folklife Collection, Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which state that Rooke was Hager's voice pupil
  325. Gilbride, F.J. 'Land Of Infinite Variety', Daily Argus-Leader [Sioux Falls, South Dakota], Sunday 14 March 1954, p.31
  326. 'Pianos Needed!!', News of St. Luke's, November 1947, p. n/a; I am grateful to Michala Biondi, Associate Archivist, Arthur H. Aufses Jr. MD Archives, Academic Informatics and Technology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, for this reference, private e-mail, 6 November 2017
  327. 'Religious News', Brevard Sentinel [Orlando, Florida; published with Sentinel Star], Friday 13 April 1973, p.4
  328. 'Held At DWU – Honors Convocation', Daily Republic [Mitchell, South Dakota], Tuesday 14 May 1974, p.3; 'DWU Holds Honors Convocation', ibid., Monday, 2 May 1977, p.3
  329. 'Religious News', Brevard Sentinel [Orlando, Florida; published with Sentinel Star], Friday 13 April 1973, p.4
  330. Clark, Amy [Women's Editor] 'Name Dropping', Today [Cocoa, Florida], Sunday 13 April 13 1980, Section D: People, p.[1D?]
  331. 'Death notices', Chicago Tribune, Thursday 12 November 1981, Section 3, p.11; 'Mina H. Heidenson', New York Times, Friday 13 November 1981, p.19(?)
  332. Library of Congress Copyright Office Catalog of Copyright Entries Part 3 Musical Compositions, New Series, Vol.29 for the Year 1934, Nos.1-12, Washington [DC]: Government Printing Office, 1935, p.130
  333. Laramore, Vivian Yeiser 'Miami Muse', The Miami Daily News, Sunday 20 August 1939
  334. 'Mina Hager Mezzo-soprano' (leaflet), mid-1930s(?); I am grateful to Laurie Langland, University Archivist / Archivist for the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota, for this reference, e-mail, 26 October 2017
  335. Bryan, Martin 'Orlando R. Marsh Forgotten Pioneer', New Amberola Graphic, 71 (Winter Number), January 1990, pp.3-14; Wurtzler, Steve J. Electric Sounds: Technological Change and the Rise of Corporate Mass Media, Columbia University Press, 2009, pp.29-30; Holmes, Thom The Routledge Guide to Music Technology [ebook edition], Routledge, 2013, s.v. 'Marsh Laboratories, Inc.'; 'When Did Marsh Laboratories Begin to Make Electrical Recordings?', www.mainspringpress.com, URL defunct (retrieved via Internet Archive Wayback Machine)
  336. 'Mina Hager Contralto' (artist brochure), Phyllis Campbell, 1625 Kimball Hall Building, Chicago, n.d. [c.1923?]
  337. Davies, James 'Mina Hager Recital', Minneapolis Morning Tribune [Minneapolis, Minnesota], Wednesday 25 October 1922, p.10
  338. 'Marsh Laboratories: A Preliminary Discography', rev. 4, updated 7 November 2005, www.mainspringpress.com, URL defunct (retrieved via Internet Archive Wayback Machine)
  339. 'Mina Hager Marsh Laboratories Crown Records 78 Rpm Record Rare Label', eBay item 202020360530, ended 23 August 2017
    The auction failed to meet its reserve, and messages to the seller, Lutonium Records of Ashton, Illinois, remained unanswered; any further information or offer to sell will be gratefully received
  340. 'Morning Musicale' and 'Dayton Music Club', Dayton Daily News [Dayton, Ohio], Sunday 19 January 1930, Society Section, p.8; 'Mina Hager In Concert Monday Nite', Capital Journal [Salem, Oregon], Monday 31 March 1930, p.5; 'Artist Concert Well Received', The Phreno Cosmian [Mitchell, South Dakota], Tuesday 16 April 1929, p.3; I am grateful to Laurie Langland, University Archivist / Archivist for the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota, for the latter reference, e-mail, 26 October 2017
  341. Cox, Jeannette 'Second Day with State Music Teachers' Meeting', The Pantagraph [Bloomington, Illinois], Thursday 9 May 1918, p.3
  342. 'Noted Chicago Singer Will Give Program Here Tonight', Evening Tribune [Marysville, Ohio], Friday 18 January 1924, p.[4]
  343. 'Miss Hager Heard in Pleasing Song Recital Program', New York Tribune, Tuesday 11 October 1921, p.7
  344. 'Mina Hager Concert Tuesday Afternoon Of Wide Interest to Music Devotees', Miami Daily News [Miami, Florida], Sunday 27 March 1932, Society Section, p.2
  345. A translation into English by Emile Cammaerts' wife, Tita Brand-Cammaerts, is printed separately in the score of Berceuse de guerre, and in 1940 Carpenter used his own reworking of the latter when he reset the Berceuse as War Lullaby, now with oboe, clarinet, bassoon, piano, harp, percussion, and strings; see Pollack, Howard John Alden Carpenter: A Chicago Composer, Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2001, pp.162-63
  346. 'Recorded Music', The Minneapolis Star [Minneapolis, Minnesota], Saturday 3 July 1937, Travel-Radio Music-Books Society, p.9; Simon, Robert A. 'Musical Events', The New Yorker, 10 July 1937, pp.50-53; Pakenham, Compton 'Recent Recordings', New York Times, Sunday 25 July 1937, p.136; Yeiser, Frederick 'Trade Paper', The Cincinnati Enquirer, Sunday 22 August 1937, Section Four Cinema Stage Music, p.[1]; 'Vocal', The New Records, Vol.5 No.7, September 1937, p.7; A[lec].R[obertson]., 'Musicraft', in 'Analytical Notes and First Reviews', The Gramophone, Vol.XV No.173, October 1937, pp.197-206 (on pp.203-04)
  347. Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. 'Mina Hager (vocalist': soprano vocal)'
  348. Pollack, Howard Skyscraper Lullaby, Washington & London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995, pp.188-89
  349. Guion's version of Home on the Range was the best known and most popular in Hager's lifetime, though other arrangements also circulated. It was composed c.1908 (a manuscript dated to that year is in Folder 1, Box 1 'Compositions, ca. 1902-1937', of the David Wendell Guion Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, see online inventory) and published by Schirmer in 1930; on the vexed and complex history of Home on the Range, see White, John Irwin Git Along, Little Dogies: Songs and Songmakers of the American West, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989, pp.154 ff.
  350. Unpublished; copyrighted 8 April 1940, Library of Congress Copyright Office Catalog of Copyright Entries [...] Part 3 Musical Compositions for 1940, New Series, Vol.35, No.1, Washington [DC]: United Sates Government Printing Office, 1940, p.515
  351. Unpublished; copyrighted 8 April 1940, Library of Congress Copyright Office Catalog of Copyright Entries [...] Part 3 Musical Compositions for 1940, New Series, Vol.35, No.1, Washington [DC]: United Sates Government Printing Office, 1940, p.581; a manuscript copy is held among the Alice Esty papers at Bates College, Maine
  352. In the 1920s and '30s, Mabel Stapleton taight and performed in public as a violinist and pianist, most visibly in partnership with her one-time husband, the tenor and vaudeville artist John Steel, until they were scandalously divorced, see 'John Steel, Tenor, and Chicago Pianist Wed', Chicago Daily Tribune, Monday 23 March 1925, p.21, and 'Divorces Singer', The Richmond Item [Richmond, Indiana], Sunday 27 April 1930, p.9; then, briefly, in a piano duo with Marie C. Borroff (often spelled Boroff, and not to be confused with her daughter, also a pianist), see DeNike, Lisa 'Creativity and the gifted Borroff women', The Evening Sun [Baltimore, Maryland], Tuesday 11 Oct 1983, 'Accent' section, pp.B1, B3; finally, Stapleton became a coach to musical comedy and variety singers, see 'Obituaries', Variety, Vol.247 No.10, 26 July 1967, p.95, which gives Stapleton's date of birth as some 15 years later than the actual date
  353. The pianist and composer Béla Wilda is remembered today only for having given piano lessons to Astor Piazzolla in 1933, when the latter's parents were Wilda's neighbours in New York, see Azzi, Maria Susana & Collier, Simon Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla, New York: OUP, 2008, pp.13-14. In accounts of Piazzolla's life, Wilda is invariably described as 'Hungarian-born' and a 'pupil' (or even 'disciple') of Rachmaninoff, probably on the basis of Piazzolla's personal reminiscences, without closer investigation. According to US Census returns, marriage records and other documents, Wilda was born Albert H. (aka Billy?) McKeough Jr. in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, in about 1909; it is not known when he took the surname Wilda, the maiden name of his mother Emma (1881-1961) and not a Hungarian but a Czech surname. On 8 October 1932, in Manhattan, New York, Albert H. McKeough Jr. married Adrienne Richards (1909-2006), a Quaker; their son Jon Wilda was born on 8 February 1940, and they were divorced later that year. Mrs. Wilda later remarried and became Adrienne R. Dahlke, see 'Dahlke' in 'Deaths', Friends Journal, Vol.54 No.3, March 2008, pp.39-44 (on pp.41-42). In 1942, an Albert Wilda, aged 33, was listed among seamen discharged from the civilian cargo ship SS Katrina Luckenbach. Nothing further has been ascertained about Wilda's training, career, later or date of death; see also 'Cantata Will Be Given Sunday At Sheboygan Falls', The Sheboygan Press [Sheboygan, Wisconsin], Friday 26 April 1929, p.16, 'Sunday Schools and Choirs Will Picture First Christmas in Schools and Churches', Manitowoc Herald-Times [Manitowoc, Wisconsin], Saturday 23 December 1933, p.8, and '25 Years Ago', in 'From Our Files', ibid., Tuesday 9 Aug 1960, p.8-M
  354. Alison Hinderliter, Manuscripts and Archives Librarian, Newberry Library, personal e-mails, 22 December 2017 and 23 April 2018; I would like to thank Ms. Hinderliter for her kind and patient help in answering repeated queries from me about the Library's holdings of and policies with regard to sound recordings
  355. e.g. Autographed, undated publicity portrait of Mina Hager, wearing fur stole or coat; gelatin silver print on monochromatic, glossy paper; MS inscription on image, 'To Mrs. Cecil Frankel Sincerely Mina Hager'; back of print stamped, 'Exclusive Management, National Music League, Inc., 113 West 57th St., New York' and 'Ramona Little, Calif. Representative, 1658 fifth Avenue, Los Angeles,Calif', Bessie Bartlett Frankel Collection of Travel and Early Los Angeles Music, Ella Strong Denison Library, Claremont Colleges Digital Library, Claremont, California
  356. e.g. 'Radanovits Studio', Music News, Vol.7 No.18, 30 April 1915, p.37; 'Mina Hager. Contralto', in 'University Notes', University of Chicago Magazine, Vol.13 No.9, July 1921, pp.342-43
  357. This image was also used elsewhere, e.g. in Hager's entry in the Third Annual Chicago and Midwest Musicians' and Allied Artists' Directory, Season 1925-26, Chicago: Mid-west Concert Management, Inc., 1925, p.119

Retrieved from "http://nickmorgandiscography.org/index.php?title=Hager,_Mina_(mezzo-soprano)&oldid=230"