The first International Artist Series Concert
The Schubert Club’s International Artists Series began on a wintry evening in 1893. The concert had been announced in the St. Paul Daily Globe: “The ladies of The Schubert Club have undertaken the management of a series of four concerts. . . . the first will be held Saturday evening, March 4, with Adele aus der Ohe, the magnificent pianist, as the great attraction.”
Just who was this ‘magnificent pianist?’ At the end of the nineteenth century she was hailed as one of the greatest pianists in the world, and was quite possibly the most famous pianist in America in 1893. Her inaugural concert could not have been a more auspicious start to what has survived as one of the finest concert series in America. The Schubert Club’s International Artists Series could not have started with a bigger bang!
Aus der Ohe’s Schubert Club concert was not, however, her first appearance in Minnesota, nor her last. She performed in Minneapolis and St. Paul in March of 1890 and it was during these concerts that she experienced a Minnesota winter first-hand, writing to friends in New York: “We (she and her sister Mathilde, her traveling companion) seldom experienced such cold as there was yesterday, in spite of bright sunshine.” She would return to St. Paul to play for The Schubert Club twice more, on January 17, 1895 and a final concert on January 28, 1904.
At the time of her 1893 International Artists opening performance, she was in the midst of one of the busiest seasons of her career. Following her Minnesota concert, she continued on to California for concerts in Los Angeles and San Francisco and by the fall of that same year she was in St Petersburg, Russia. Tchaikovsky had invited her to perform with him his Piano Concerto in B-flat minor at the same concert that featured the premier of his Pathetique Symphony. This concert sadly turned out to be Tchaikovsky’s final performance—he died a few days later. Aus der Ohe played at his funeral.
Artist note by LaWayne Leno