Monday, April 27, 2009

The Wagnerian on Bomhard

During these tough financial times, every single arts organization in our city is making necessary and important decisions to keep its fiscal responsibilities intact without compromising its artistic integrity. Many patrons of the arts have already been heavily involved in making sure that this great city will continue to provide great art. Louisville is known in many surrounding states for its offerings and thus has become a destination for art lovers region-wide. As our respected critic, Andrew Adler, pointed out in his well constructed article in The Courier-Journal on Sunday, April 19 every organization is making strategic moves to consolidate, regroup and rise through the occasion.

As expected, the Fund for the Arts is a vital part of this process. They are always an integral piece in the development and the continuation of the arts that pulsate in our city. As a supporter of the arts I am delighted with their existence. As proclaimed on their web page their mission is to increase revenues for the arts and to enable our community to become the preeminent regional arts center in the United States. The Fund continues to provide financing, facilities and administrative support for twenty-nine area arts groups and programs. This week the 60th Anniversary edition of Bravo came out. The Fund for the Arts magazine has an article listing the 60 persons who have defined the arts in Louisville. Robert S. Whitney, Louisville Orchestra's first Music Director, is at the top of the list which is wonderful. The publication elaborates on the great support the arts in Louisville have appreciated for decades.

As an Opera lover I am always fighting with passion and enthusiasm to provide as much support as I can for this incredible art form, which combines theater, vocal and orchestral music, dance and visual art. That being said, an addition to the Fund for the Arts’ otherwise thorough and diverse list, I would add Moritz Von Bomhard, Kentucky Opera’s founder. For those of you that have forgotten who this great man was, here is a very quick history lesson.

Moritz von Bomhard (1908-1996) was born in Germany. Bomhard received a law degree from the University of Leipzig and a music degree from the Leipzig Conservatory of Music. He moved to the United States in 1935, continued his studies at Juilliard and became a music instructor at Princeton University, where he also directed its orchestra and glee clubs. He eventually settled in Louisville where he founded Kentucky Opera and taught at the University of Louisville. He is well known for his transcriptions, especially to melodies by Strauss. So there you have it…a great man, a great instructor, a great patron of the arts. He is the embodiment of someone who has given to this artistic community not only a respected Opera organization but an enormous legacy throughout these past decades. Moritz Von Bomhard should be recognized in every occasion as not only someone who brought Opera to this city but as someone who has touched many generations of Louisville residents with his artistic integrity and vision. Viva Voce! Viva Kentucky Opera! Viva Moritz von Bomhard.

posted by: Christos "The Wagnerian" Dimitriadis

1 comment:

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