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Protecting the good name of Felix Mendelssohn Home | About us

Icons of Europe's new research
refutes allegation against Mendelssohn

‘Injurious’ rumours leaked in London on the composer’s 200-year anniversary.  Prof. Curtis Price, a former principal of the Royal Academy of Music, is reported to be the source.


Brussels, 17 February 2009. - The association Icons of Europe refutes the preposterous allegation that Felix Mendelssohn in 1847 should have threatened to commit suicide if the famous Swedish soprano Jenny Lind did not elope with him to America. ...

>> Read the full argument¹
by
Cecilia Jorgensen and Jens A. Jorgensen
Founders and managers of Icons of Europe

For more information, please contact us.

¹ The argument, copyright © 2009 Icons of Europe, B-1380 Lasne, may be quoted in part or be reproduced as a whole, provided that the source is specified as:  "Cecilia and Jens Jorgensen, Icons of Europe, Brussels".


SPREADING THE "INJURIOUS" RUMOUR

Royal Academy of Music, London
The above argument responds to two articles in the British paper The Independent on 12 January 2009 and 30 January 2009, which refer to Prof. Curtis Price and the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), London.

The first article refers to the
Royal Academy of Music (RAM), London and the Mendelssohn Scholarship Foundation housed by RAM.  However, the RAM website provides apparently no information about the Foundation.  Neither the Academy nor Sir Curtis Alexander Price, KBE have responded to Icons of Europe's letters seeking a clarification on the leak. - Curtis Price, said to be source of the 'injurious' leak, became KBE "for services to music".

The Royal Academy of Music's website (pages later removed by RAM) supports the above rumour with what looks like a fabricated letter in English from Jenny Lind to Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer (they corresponded in German, the handwriting does not match other letters, and the date is not given).  Jenny Lind's alleged grief relates more likely to Chopin's death.  Not said: the letter dated 11 July 1849 to Mendelssohn's widow was written a few weeks after Jenny Lind's failure to marry Chopin in Paris and her fleeing the cholera.²

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Michigan, USA
While celebrating Mendelssohn's 200-year anniversary, the director of KSO Raymond Harvey is reported on 5 October 2009 to have told the audience about some "incriminating evidence" concerning the composer and Jenny Lind.  We are seeking clarification:  The article | Kalamazoo Gazette | Raymond Harvey


Jewish Standard, New Jersey, USA

The same baseless rumour was cited online among "Seven surprising facts" in the New Jersey Jewish Standard on 23 Oct. 2009:  Article / our response | The writer

Newsroom, New Jersey, USA
... and repeated by the same writer in Newsroom Jersey on 28 October 2009:
Article / our response | The writer



Felix Mendelssohn
(1809-1847)

"Our research shows that Otto Goldschmidt manipulated information in the 1891 English-language Memoir of his late wife Jenny Lind".³

"It is astounding that a British royal institution is reported to use or endorse innuendo and recall Otto Goldschmidt in 2009 to injure the names of Mendelssohn and Jenny Lind."

"Any manipulation of the legacy of such Icons must be rooted out in order to protect the cultural heritage of Europe."
- Icons of Europe

³ THE MEMOIR OF 1891
Dedicated by Gracious Permission to H.M. The Queen:
JENNY LIND - THE ARTIST Memoir of Madame Jenny Lind-Goldschmidt 1820-1851 by Henry Scott Holland, M.A. and W.S. Rockstro.
Original documents, letters, diaries etc. collected by Mr Otto Goldschmidt.  Vol. I & II [900+ pages] John Murray, London 1891


  Radio Nacional
de España

The National Radio of Spain refers in a Radio Clasica series on Mendelssohn to Icons of Europe's defence of the composer (April 2009):


>>
Podcast by Luis Ángel de Benito Ribagorda, RNdE:
in the last 10 minutes at 52:30-55:00 min. (57 MB).
>> Transcript of Sr de Benito's comments available on request.

 


² A copy of the RAM webpages with the apparently
fabricated Jenny Lind letter is available here in pdf format.

This letter is possibly an English translation produced with a
falsified signature by Jenny Lind's widower Otto Goldschmidt.
But why does RAM not say so?  For any scholar, it is so easy
to see.  RAM's juxtaposition of Jenny Lind's letter of 11 July
1849 is also questionable.

Above image kindly provided by the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Stiftung.
The Mendelssohn image in the article kindly by The Mendelssohn Project.





Felix Mendelssohn
Watercolour of Lucerne
July 1847
(four months before he died)
Source: The Mendelssohn Project