Franko, Sam, 1857-1937

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Sam Franko was an American violinist. He was born in New Orleans on January 20, 1857 to parents of Hungarian extraction. During the Civil War his father, a Confederate soldier, was captured but managed to escape by disguising himself in women's clothing. The family fled to Germany where Sam Franko received his early education. (His father was later pardoned by President Abraham Lincoln.)

In Berlin, Sam Franko studied violin with Joseph Joachim, Heinrich de Ahna, Eduard Rappoldi, Henri Vieuxtempts, and played his first public recital in Breslau at age 7. He made his New York debut at Steinway Hall in 1869. Upon returning to the United States in 1880 he became a member of the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, and was its concertmaster from 1884 until 1891 when Thomas left for Chicago. In 1883 Franko toured the United States and Canada as soloist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club of Boston. At the request of Anton Seidl, he became a member of the New York Philharmonic.

He made his first appearance as conductor in 1891. In an attempt to prove prejudice against American players, he organized the American Symphony Orchestra in 1894, consisting entirely of American-born players. As a result of his activities with the orchestra, he unearthed and arranged a large amount of little known works for orchestra.

In his later years Sam Franko was known as a music teacher. His nephew was Richard Franko Goldman, conductor of the Goldman Band. He died on May 6, 1937 after a fall in the lobby of the Hotel des Artistes in New York City. His memoirs were published posthumously as Chords and discords: memoirs and musings of an American musician (1938).

From the guide to the Sam Franko scores, ca. 1880-ca. 1936, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Goldman, Richard Franko, 1910-1980. Franko Goldman family papers, 1886-1972 (bulk 1931-1963). Library of Congress
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Franko, Sam, 1857-1937. Cadenza pour le concert en sol majeur (no.3) de Mozart / composé par Sam Franko. The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
creatorOf Franko, Sam, 1857-1937. [Selections] / Sam Franko. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Scharrer, August, 1866-1936. Autograph postcard signed, dated : Nuremberg, [6 July 1925], to Otto Eckermann in Berlin, 1925 July 6. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. Das italienische Konzert / von Sebastian Bach ; für zwei Klaviers gesetzt von Alexis Hollaender. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Huebsch, B. W. (Benjamin W.), 1876-1964. B. W. Huebsch papers, 1893-1964. Library of Congress
referencedIn The Love Family Papers, 1850-1960 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Martini, Johann Paul Aegidius, 1741-1816. Plaisir d'amour : romance / de Martini ; instrumentée par Hector Berlioz. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Vivaldi, Antonio, 1678-1741. Intermezzo from the Concerto grosso in D minor [microform] / Vivaldi ; [arr.] Franko. New England Conservatory of Music, Harriet M. Spaulding Library
creatorOf Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. Adagio aus der IV. Sonate für Klavier und Violine ; Siciliano aus der IV. Sonate für Klavier u. Violine / Seb. Bach ; für Klavier gesetzt von Alexis Hollaender. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Vivaldi, Antonio, 1678-1741. Intermezzo from the Concerto grosso in D minor / Vivaldi ; [arr.] Franko. New England Conservatory of Music, Harriet M. Spaulding Library
creatorOf Gossec, François Joseph, 1734-1829. Tambourin / F.J. Gossec ; orchestrated by Sam Franko. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn B. W. Huebsch Papers, 1893-1964 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Sam Franko scores, ca. 1880-ca. 1936 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Franko Goldman Family Papers, circa 1886-1972, (bulk 1931-1963) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Herbert, Victor, 1859-1924. Badinage / by Victor Herbert. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Music Collection corporateBody
associatedWith Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750. person
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Goldman, Richard Franko, 1910-1980. person
associatedWith Gossec, François Joseph, 1734-1829. person
associatedWith Herbert, Victor, 1859-1924. person
correspondedWith Huebsch, B. W. (Benjamin W.), 1876-1964. person
associatedWith Love family. family
associatedWith Lucy Prindle Love and Helen Love Scranton person
associatedWith MacDowell, Edward person
associatedWith Martini, Johann Paul Aegidius, 1741-1816. person
associatedWith Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. person
associatedWith Scharrer, August, 1866-1936. person
associatedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Vivaldi, Antonio, 1678-1741. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Vocal music
Concertos (Violin)
Instrumental music
Music
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1857-01-20

Death 1937-05-06

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