Penn Library

Marian Anderson: A Life in Song

Marian Anderson's Teachers & Coaches

Although Marian Anderson studied with many individuals over the course of her career, she would periodically return to Giuseppe Boghetti's studio so, as she explained, he could "check on what I was doing." One of Boghetti's major contributions to Ms. Anderson's career was his decision to enter her name in a contest sponsored by the Lewisohn Stadium Concerts in New York. Her performance of the aria "O mio Fernando" from Donizetti's La Favorita won her first prize: an appearance with the New York Philharmonic at Lewisohn Stadium on 26 August 1925. While this event did not propel her to instant stardom, the effects of the publicity generated by both the contest and concert were noticeable in the recital engagements that she was offered and the increased fees that she could command.

At the suggestion of her manager Arthur Judson, Marian Anderson spent one year studying with Frank La Forge in New York (this arrangement caused a temporary rift between Ms. Anderson and Boghetti, who was insulted by her interest in another teacher). La Forge, well-known as a pianist, accompanist, and composer--Ms. Anderson included several of his songs in her repertory in later years--was also sought after as a vocal coach, and Judson believed that he could be of help in advancing Ms. Anderson's career.

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