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Dohnanyi Performs (1921); Cliburn Wins Tchaikovsky Competition (1958); "A Man's A Man" (1977)

Harriet Harris (Group 6) as Annette in Brecht’s A Man’s a Man, in 1977.

 (Photo by Louisa Johnson)

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The following events in Juilliard’s history occurred in April:

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1921
April 27, students of the Institute of Musical Art held a recital-reception for Hungarian pianist and composer Erno Dohnanyi. After hearing several piano students play, Dohnanyi responded with a performance of his Hungarian Rhapsody and Beethoven’s Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110.

1932
April 28-29, Gian Francesco Malipiero’s operatic comedy Il Finto Arlecchino received its U.S. premiere under the direction of faculty members Albert Stoessel, conductor, and Alfredo Valenti, stage director and set designer. The libretto, written by the composer, was sung in an English version prepared by Malipiero’s wife, Anna. Il Finto Arlecchino was paired with a revival of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s comic opera Il Segreto di Susanna.

1958
April 12, Van Cliburn (Diploma ’54, piano) won the gold medal at the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Upon his return to New York City, the 23-year-old was honored with a ticker-tape parade, the first time a classical musician ever received such a welcome-home greeting. A luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel followed, during which Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. presented a scroll and medal to Cliburn, as well as a vase to Rosina Lhévinne, Cliburn’s piano instructor at Juilliard. Among the speakers on the occasion were President William Schuman and Richard Rodgers (’24, theory). 

1977
April 28, the Juilliard Theater Center ended its spring repertory season with a rarely performed play by Bertolt Brecht, A Man’s a Man, in a new translation by Gerhard Nellhaus. Faculty member Gene Lesser directed the production, which featured original music composed by Robert Dennis (B.S ’55, M.S. ’56, composition). Among the cast members were students Dennis Bacigalupi, Casey Biggs, Gilbert Cole, Willie Connolly, Frances Conroy, Kevin Conroy, Suzanne Costallos, Carla Czeropski, Steven Grund, Harriet Harris, Mosetta Harris, Richard Levine, Lisa McMillan, Kenneth Marshall, Paul Perri, Tom Robbins, Henry Stram, and Diane Venora.

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