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Fannie Bloomfield-ZeislerThe Life and Times of a Piano Virtuoso$
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Beth Abelson Macleod

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039348

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039348.001.0001

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(p.12) 1. Beginnings
Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler

Beth Abelson Macleod

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on the Blumenfeld family's emigration from Europe in 1867 (Fanny Blumenfeld's name was changed to Fannie Bloomfield soon after), their reasons for leaving, and their eventual establishment of a home and business in Chicago. It describes the discovery of Fanny Blumenfeld's talent and its nurturing by noted German immigrant musicians such as Bernhard Ziehn and Carl Wolfsohn. Wolfsohn founded Chicago's Beethoven Society, which provided the initial opportunities for Fannie Bloomfield's public performance. The chapter also recounts the “discovery” of Bloomfield in 1876 when she visited Russian virtuoso Annette Essipoff, who advised that she study in Vienna with noted pedagogue Theodor Leschetizky. Family conflicts and money considerations initially made this impossible, but when financial difficulties were alleviated by a wealthy Jewish benefactor, Blumenfeld set out for Vienna in 1878 with her mother and grandmother; she was fifteen at the time.

Keywords:   emigration, Blumenfeld family, Europe, Chicago, German immigrant musicians, Carl Wolfsohn, Beethoven Society, Fannie Bloomfield, Annette Essipoff, Vienna

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