Saturday, September 1, 2007

1942-1950: College and war years to BA degree

1942 Attended 1st year of college at Duluth State Normal School, his piano teacher was Florence Ostergren, whose mother was a music graduate of the Royal Conservatory in Stockholm.

From Bob Laudon: Because of W.W.II, after his 1st year of college, Philip had to return to the family farm to work as the only son of the family. The farm work he did was in national service of a protected industry, farming. He certainly must have felt that he had had enough of farming to last him a lifetime. It left him little time for languages or music.

1945 April 29: St. John’s School, Wyndmere, ND, Department of Music, Recital as student of Sister M. Clement, O.S.B., who was one of the principal piano teachers in ND (Recital ended with the Grieg Concerto) Philip was fond of Sister Clement.

1946 From Bob Laudon: After the war, Philip went to study at U of MN. His first teacher was William Lindsay, who had won the Mendelssohn Prize at the Leipzig Conservatory. Lindsay, who was Scottish, was in an internment camp during W.W.I and left Germany afterwards. Lindsay performed concertos with each of the conductors of the Minneapolis Symphony from No. 1, Oberhoffer, through all the conductors up to the time of his retirement around 1950. Lindsay had a marvelous ear and a command of the complete repertory. His teaching focused on the technical side of things. He also composed some Scottish songs. There was a Scottish contingent in town, Scott, Ferguson, MacPhail, Lindsay.

Philip transferred over to Earl Rymer’s studio, as Rymer’s students were making a big splash. Rymer was a remarkable teacher. (Rymer had studied with Olga Samaroff. Goal was to make students independent of teacher.) There was a weekly master class, where students did the critiquing. Phil attended only occasionally, as he seemed to wait until he was completely prepared. Many of the others attended more regularly. I do remember Phil's graduation BA recital. He did play some of those pieces for the piano class. He was quite successful with that recital. I remember being especially impressed with the Brahms' E-flat minor. Rymer too was pleased with that and other things. Phil always thought the last movement of the Pathétique a bit of a let down in Beethoven's writing after 2 masterful movements.

Philip’s 1st French class at the U was a 200 level class: Advanced French Morphology. He was gifted with languages. He studied independently and knew how to shape his mouth to get the required sounds. He knew French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, the Scandinavian languages, and others.

From Wayne Peterson:

Bob Laudon and I always thought Philip should have gone into comparative philology to use his knack for languages. Phil said when he went to Mexico for a visit after one week he could understand and communicate with the locals in Spanish.

1947 Philip and his sister Lois in Duluth when she was a nursing student.

1948 September 26: Philip at Lois’ wedding, where he played the organ prelude and was a groomsman

1950 Philip submitted a recording of Scarlatti Sonatas on piano for a Fulbright Scholarship to study harpsichord in Paris.

Formal photo taken around the time of his 1950 recitals

1950 March 7: Recital at U of MN in Scott Hall Auditorium (Scarlatti, Appassionata, Brahms Rhapsody & 2 Intermezzos, Chopin)

1950 May 27: Recital in Breckenridge, MN, across river from Wahpeton, ND (Scarlatti, Pathetique, Brahms Waltzes, Liszt, Chopin)

1950 Bachelor of Arts Degree, U of MN

1950 June 23: Photo of Phil with cousin Beverly Janssen in Minneapolis

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