From the Archives with Byron Hanson: May 2013

April 21-22, 1970 Janos Starker, Bernhard and Cola Heiden visit the Arts Academy. 
The passing of the eminent cellist this weekend awakened the memory of his first visit to our campus. For two very intense days, we were all fascinated by Starker’s masterful performance and authoritative teaching. Indeed, his manner in a masterclass was like that of a biblical prophet, leaving no room for dissent, and no doubt that his prescription and no other was exactly what the students must follow to solve their deficiencies and make their music speak. In Professor Heiden’s lecture/recital the first night, the Heidens played his "Sonata for Piano, Four Hands," students played his "Wind Quintet," and Janos and Bernhard performed the "Sonata for Cello and Piano." The next evening’s orchestra concert opened with Mr. Starker the soloist in the first American performance of Heiden’s 1967 "Concerto for Violoncello" and Orchestra, which was dedicated to Starker. The orchestra played Kodaly’s "Hary Janos Suite," and the program closed with Mr. Starker the soloist once again in Tchaikowsky’s "Rococo Variations."

Interlochen has been fortunate to hear performances by a number of other European musicians trained between the two World Wars - Alexander Schneider, Josef Gingold, and Lady Evelyn Barbirolli come to mind - but we had to wait nearly 40 years to hear Janos Starker again, this time in a performance of the Dvořák "Concerto" with the Academy Orchestra. A new generation of students, community and musicians from far and wide was thus privileged to hear this master artist-teacher in his 74th year -- and perhaps the last of that great dynasty to grace our stage.

Hildegarde Lewis (c.1899-1951) Last month we tried to relay our excitement in discovering that a sculpture, long-resident in our concourse, turned out to have been the work of the prominent Irish -American artist, Dennis B. Sheahan. This prompted an alert alumnus to ask if we knew whatever became of the bas-relief sculpture of Hildegarde Lewis, the woman who initiated dance instruction at Camp in 1940. There are still lots of mysteries in our archival treasure chest, but I immediately remembered a bronze piece with no markings that I’d puzzled over a few years back. I brought it to Kathy Perez and within minutes she found a good photo of Ms. Lewis that settled the matter.

So, as many of you decide the time has come to sort out long-neglected photos, programs and other items you once treasured but perhaps don’t even remember why, please think of us, ask questions, and perhaps we can piece together some history for our mutual benefit. We are particularly interested in the early 1940s when wartime rationing may have been one reason we have very little program material and many gaps to fill.

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