Text Box: PIANIST AUTOGRAPHS
Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Phone: 212-860-5541 

 

Price: $250.00

                 FINE CONDITION

ELLY NEY – PIANIST

Autographed 7” x 10” autographed and inscribed presentation photograph by Friedrich Müller of Münich, Sioux City, Iowa, March 29/30, 1927.  The photograph has also signed bottom right, his label is on the verso and he has dated the image 1926.

 

Note: This year she was given the “Freedom of the City of Bonn” as a thank you for her work popularizing their native son Ludwig Van Beethoven and in 1931 was appointed Generaldirektor of the Beethoven Festival there.  After the War the title was revoked for her behavior during World War II and the City Council literally made it illegal for her to play a piano within the confines of the City of Bonn.  She also divorced her husband Willem van Hoogstraaten this year.

 

Ney (1882 - 1968) was one of the foremost female pianist, let alone pianists of her generation. If she had not maintained radical Fascist political views and antisemitic sentiments, she would be much better remembered today.  Due to her first professor, Isidor Seiss’s religion, she tried to alter her musical education to eliminate her two Jewish professors, which if not examined carefully is not as it seems.  Isidor Seiss a Professor at the Cologne Conservatory was her most important piano teacher and where she spent nine years.  When Seiss was forced to retire due to blindness, she spent a short time with Karl Boettcher, also a Professor at the Cologne Conservatory who gave her some finishing before she competed in the 1901 Mendelsohn Competition, which she won.  With the stipend award she went to Vienna to study with Theodor Leschetiszky, but only took two lessons from him.  Despite that incredibly short tutelage, she always had him listed as her Professor rather than Seiss in her literature.  She is erroneously listed along with true long term Leschetiszky pupils such as, Essipova, Horszowski and Schnabel in books that utilize her personally edited and erroneous biography. The most important biography of Leschetiszky by a pupil, Leschetiszky As I Knew Him by Ethel Newcomb, published in 1921 which gives mention to all of his important pupils, does not mention Ney.  Ney then spent a brief time in Emil Sauer’s master classes at the Vienna Conservatory.

 

Ney in 1902 returned to Cologne where she taught at the Conservatory until 1904, making her debut that year as a concert pianist. She followed up that recital with another in Vienna in 1905.  Ney formed a professional relationship with Arthur Nikisch and the Leipzig Gewandhaus and regularly performed with the orchestra.  She also created a piano trio with Dutch violinist Willem van Hoogstraaten and cellist Fritz Reitz.  She would marry Hoogstraaten who by then was conducting regularly and they often performed together as soloist and conductor.  They established a base in Tutzing where with the exception of her stay in America lived for the rest of her life.  In 1921, the couple sailed for America where she would base herself until 1930.  She married the well connected Paul Allais, President of The Chicago Mining Company in 1928. Allais was often away and she was touring and according to George Platt Lynes, she began an affair with a gay man, Monroe Wheeler the future Director of the Modern Museum of Art in New York City.  When Allais learned of the affair, he filed for divorce which was acrimoniously ended in 1930 when she returned to Europe and eventually back to Hoogstraaten.  Ney was hired by the City of Bonn to run their annual Beethoven Festival in 1931 and in 1932, as Hoogstraaten at that point was still in America formed her second piano trio consisting of herself, violinist Vilhelm Stross and Ludwig Hoelscher, cellist.  In 1933 after the German racial purity laws were put into effect, she was offered to replace Rudolf Serkin and violently declined as she claimed she would not follow a Jew.  Her reputation slid further from there with the rest of the world, when she joined the Nazi Party fully embracing Hitler and his antisemitism.  Her career at this point was isolated to Germany, Austria and countries after Germany conquered them.  After the War, she would not renounce National Socialism and was banned for 7 year from performance in public.  She spent the time writing her memoirs.  As mentioned above, she was banned by the City of Bonn and stripped of her “freedom” there.  The City of Tutzing made her an honorary citizen during her lifetime, but stripped it upon her death.  She did perform in the UK in 1955, however, her international touring days were over.  That said, in Germany she continued to bring audiences to their feet at the conclusion of her concerts, performing until a few weeks before her death in 1968.

 

We rarely encounter photographs of New larger than 4” x 6” and those are generally of her in older age.