Penn Library

Marian Anderson: A Life in Song

Franz Rupp, Accompanist

By 1940, when he was chosen to be Marian Anderson's accompanist, Franz Rupp (1901-1992) had already established himself as an important figure in the international music world. He had played for such stellar artists as Lotte Lehmann, Beniamino Gigli, and Fritz Kreisler, and had appeared as soloist with several German orchestras under such conductors as Wilhelm Furtwängler. Active as well as a chamber musician and teacher (he taught at the Curtis Institute of Music for seven years after settling in the United States in 1938), Rupp brought a broad and varied expertise to his partnership with Ms. Anderson. At first she found that he played "much more as a pianist than as accompanist," but it was owing to his encouragement, particularly with German repertory, that she rethought her renditions of some of the Lieder she had previously studied. With Schubert in particular, he helped her "to achieve a better understanding and performance." This extraordinary musical partnership lasted 25 years, until Ms. Anderson's retirement from the stage in 1965.

In the letter below Rupp details his solo performance schedule for the upcoming concert season through February, when his work with Ms. Anderson would begin.

Marian Anderson in Performance with Franz Rupp
Carnegie Hall
New York, 1950s

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Last update: Thursday, 16-Jun-2011 14:17:50 EDT
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