March 8, 2019
Kevin Carugati, MD
March 15, 2019
Tuesday Music Club: String Ensemble
Pittsburgh’s Tuesday Musical Club celebrates its 130th anniversary this year, making it the oldest musical organization in southwestern Pennsylvania. In 1889 — the year North Dakota joined the union, Andrew Carnegie was revolutionizing the steel industry, and Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony premiered in Budapest — a handful of prominent women in Pittsburgh decided to form a musical club. These female musicians, whose social status prevented them from doing anything professionally, began to organize private recitals of classical music. Originally calling their group Tuesday Afternoon Musicale, performances were initially held in the rooms of the Mozart Club on Fourth Avenue, by permission of Henry Clay Frick, a trustee of the Mozart Club. After a year, the meetings and performances were moved to the music room of Eleanor Gillespie Magee’s home, on the present site of Magee-Women’s Hospital. As the club expanded, so did its audiences. In 1902, non-performing music lovers were admitted and the Club, now with larger audiences and more formal presentations, moved to other sites, including Hotel Schenley, now a part of the University of Pittsburgh campus, and Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall. The club’s name had since become Tuesday Musical Club (TMC), and in 1921 they incorporated as a non-profit, small arts organization.
TMC’s influence on Pittsburgh’s cultural scene didn’t stop there. Its members are credited with forming the Pittsburgh Opera Society in 1939, as well as the Pittsburgh Concert Society, and The Renaissance and Baroque Society of Pittsburgh.
In 1976, the Club began admitting men. The current membership is a mix of over 230 men and women who are interested in serving the community of musicians and music lovers of southwestern Pennsylvania. The Society is organized into Divisions: String Ensemble, Chamber Music, Piano, Vocal, Choral, Woodwind, and Composers. Many club activities take place during monthly divisional meetings in member’s homes or in churches, and include musical performances as well as coaching sessions with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians and university faculty.
On Friday, the Senior Men’s Club will be visited for the twelfth time by this group of volunteer musicians. We will be entertained by the 23-person String Ensemble Division, conducted by Paul Creitzler. Musicians come from all over the western Pennsylvania area: some as far away as Ligonier, and some as close as Sewickley.
Of particular interest to members of the Senior Men’s Club, long-time SMC member Al Schartner was the TMC’s first male president. Sadly, Al will not be among the performers this year, having passed away a almost two years ago after a short illness.
Join us on Friday to hear what has become a traditional yearly program of varied and well-performed easily-recognizable melodies.