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Music and Politics in San FranciscoFrom the 1906 Quake to the Second World War$
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Leta Miller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520268913

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520268913.001.0001

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The Politics of Class

The Politics of Class

The San Francisco Symphony, the People's Philharmonic, and the Lure of European Culture (1911–1930)

(p.31) 2 The Politics of Class
Music and Politics in San Francisco

Leta E. Miller

University of California Press

The San Francisco Symphony opened its first season on December 8, 1911. Considering that the city was, at the time, the largest urban center west of Saint Louis, its entry into the symphonic realm was notably tardy. Los Angeles, only three-quarters the size of its northern neighbor, had had a professional orchestra in place since 1898. The Denver Symphony began in 1900, and even Seattle—less than a quarter the size of San Francisco at the turn of the century—had a functioning professional orchestra beginning in 1903. San Francisco's late arrival on the orchestral scene did not stem from a lack of local interest in the medium. In fact, symphonic ensembles in the city date back to 1853–56, when George Loder—an English composer, arranger, pianist, flutist, and contrabassist who had conducted occasional concerts of the New York Philharmonic—mounted chamber orchestra and opera performances.

Keywords:   San Francisco Symphony, orchestra, George Loder, People's Philharmonic

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