This lively history immerses the reader in San Francisco's musical life during the first half of the twentieth century, showing how a fractious community overcame virulent partisanship to establish cultural monuments such as the San Francisco Symphony (1911) and Opera (1923). Leta E. Miller draws on primary source material and first-hand knowledge of the music to argue that a utopian vision counterbalanced partisan interests and inspired cultural endeavors, including the San Francisco Conservatory, two world fairs, and America's first municipally owned opera house. Miller demonstrates that rampant racism, initially directed against Chinese laborers (and their music), reappeared during the 1930s in the guise of labor unrest as WPA music activities exploded in vicious battles between administrators and artists, and African American and white jazz musicians competed for jobs in nightclubs.
Leta E. Miller is Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is coauthor (with Fredric Lieberman) of Composing a World: Lou Harrison, Musical Wayfarer and Lou Harrison.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Abbreviations 1. The Paris of the West: San Francisco at the Turn of the Century Part One. From the Quake to the Crash 2. The Politics of Class: The San Francisco Symphony, the People's Philharmonic, and the Lure of European Culture (1911-1930) 3. The Politics of Race: Chinatown, Forbidden and Alluring Interlude 1: Two Musical Tributes to San Francisco's Chinatown 4. The Politics of Labor: The Union(s), the Clubs and Theaters, and the Predicament of Black Musicians 5. Musical Utopias: Ada Clement, Ernest Bloch, and the San Francisco Conservatory 6. Opera: The People's Music or a Diversion for the Rich? Part Two. The Depression and Beyond 7. The Despair of the Depression and the Clash of Race 8. Ultramodernism and Other Contemporary Offerings: Looking West, Challenging the East 9. The Politics of Work: Idealism Confronts Bureaucracy in the Federal Music Project Interlude 2: Highlights from San Francisco's Federal Music Project: Take Your Choice and Keeton's Concert Spirituals 10. Welcoming the World: San Francisco's Fairs of 1915 and 1939-1940 11. Aftermath Notes References Index