Jeannette Leonard Gilder, Joseph Benson Gilder, The Critic, 1893, p204
Wilhelm Gericke (18 May 1845 – 27 October 1925) was an Austrian conductor and composer. Born in Schwanberg, Austria, he entered the Vienna Conservatory in 1862 and became Kapellmeister at the Theatre in Linz in 1865. Thereafter, he successfully conducted at the Vienna Court Opera. From 1884 to 1889 and again from 1898 to 1906, Henry Lee Higginson hired him as a conductor for his newly founded Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) due to Gericke's fierce reputation as an ambitious composer who demanded absolute discipline from his musicians. Thanks to Gericke's structural reformation of the orchestra and its rehearsal technics, the BSO improved vastly in quality and did not need to fear comparison with the established orchestras in the large European cities. During his time as conductor in Boston Gericke got in touch with the Boston Tavern Club which frequently hosted dinners in honor of esteemed guests of local or national prominence.
The present lot presumably was given to Wilhelm Gericke by the Tavern Club at the end of his first tenure as the conductor of the BSO. Gericke left Boston in 1906 and went back to Vienna where he died in 1925.
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