The College's music program attained international attention beginning in 1928, when construction of the Music Building was completed. A distinguished faculty including composer Domenico Brescia and San Francisco Symphony luminaries like Naoum Blinder, the teacher of Isaac Stern, was gathered together by Dean Luther Marchant.
Brescia was of particular importance, says Lyon, because he had elicited the interest of America's foremost chamber music patroness, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, who premiered his suite for piano and woodwinds to dedicate the building. She later subsidized a number of department activities, including the appointment of Milhaud.
The summer sessions brought some of Europe's most famous artists to the campus--painters Lyonel Feininger, Max Beckman, and Fernand L‚ger (whose Le Petite Dejeuner sold for "only" $7.7 million in 1992, well beneath its "low" estimate of $8 million), writers Andr‚ Maurois, Julian Green, and Jules Romains and two of the world's leading musical ensembles, the Pro Arte and Budapest String Quartets. Time magazine, awed, called the session the most distinguished event of its kind in the country.
The Pro Arte's Mills concerts emphasized works by Webern, Stravinsky, Copland and other contemporaries. The group was particularly fond of Milhaud, doing his Second String Quartet in 1933, his Eighth in 1934, the first American performance of the Ninth in 1935 and, in the same year, a transcription for piano and strings of his Creation of the World ballet music (which they repeated after Frankenstein called it a minor masterpiece.}
[picture] The Pro Arte Quartet of Brussels, left to right, Laurent Halleux, Alphonse Onnou, Robert Maas, Germain Pr‚vost. Their prestige helped bring national attention to Cage's percussion concert at Mills in 1940. They were also instrumental in seeking Milhaud's appointment to the College that same year. Below: Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge who performed the piano cadenza which inaugurated the College's Concert Hall in 1928 and became the leading funder of Milhaud's new position.
bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb The Mills Performing Group presents A Concert commemorating the 100th Anniversary Of the Birth of
ERIK SATIE Monday evening, March 7, 1966. Works by Satie (including Choses vues a droite et a gauche [sans lunettes], Stravinsky, Milhaud, Varese and Subotnick. Mills College Concert Hall. Information and tickets at $2 And $1 (students) are obtainable by calling 632-2700 Extension 3 bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb