Reference Entry

Franko, Sam

Jeffrey R. Rehbach

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 |
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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(b New Orleans, Jan 20, 1857; d New York, May 6, 1937). American violinist and conductor. In 1862 his family fled from the Civil War to Germany and Franko began violin lessons in Breslau; he later studied in Berlin (with Joachim among others) and Paris (with Hubert Léonard and Vieuxtemps). In 1880 he was in New York, where he played in orchestras under Theodore Thomas and Walter Damrosch, and in 1881 founded the New York String Quartet. Between 1883 and 1885 he toured as first violinist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club and played with the Boston SO; he then played viola in the New York Philharmonic Society (1891–7).

Franko began his conducting career in 1891. In 1894 he founded the American SO, with the aim of demonstrating that non-Europeans could be good musicians. Between 1900 and 1909 he conducted ‘Orchestral Concerts of Old Music’ in New York, performing his own editions of Baroque works. He took the concerts to Germany with the Berlin Blüthner orchestra from ...

Reference Entry.  264 words. 

Subjects: Romantic Music

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