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Mendelssohn Society of New Haven

Program for inaugural concert, March 31, 1859

New Haven Concert Programs Collection, Irving S. Gilmore Music Library
new haven mendelssohn society concert program
Mendelssohn was especially popular in the English-speaking countries, and after his death, many communities in Britain and the United States established Mendelssohn Societies in his honor. The Mendelssohn Society of New Haven was founded in 1859, under the direction of Gustave Stoeckel. At its inaugural concert, the Society performed a program consisting of selections from Mendelssohn’s oratorio St. Paul, followed by a variety of works by Flotow, Wagner, Donizetti, Herold, Verdi, and Becker.

Gustave Jacob Stoeckel (1819–1907), who immigrated from Germany in 1848, played a crucial role in the history of music in New Haven and at Yale; he composed, conducted a variety of choral and orchestral groups, played the organ, taught privately and in the classroom, and lobbied for official creation of a music department at Yale, a goal that was finally achieved in 1890, when Stoeckel was appointed Yale’s first Professor of Music. Stoeckel Hall, the new home of the Department of Music (on the corner of Wall and College Streets), is named in his honor.