Will Teach Harmony Here

Arnold Schoenberg, father to ultra-modern music much as Matisse is a leading figure in modern painting, has come to live in America. On arrival on the Ile de France, he was seen at his hotel, smilingly and patiently explaining what he thinks of our skyscrapers, our native composers and our American custom of interviewing a celebrity, with cameras popping his face. But asked what he thinks of Hitlerism – ah, that was different.
“I cannot talk politics,” he said, “because I am not a professional politician. And I do not want to talk like an amateur.”
But he could not help adding, somewhat sadly it seemed, that America seems “very quiet.” Not so “nervous” and disturbed as “the fatherland” or even France.

Invited by Malkin

He assured everyone that he had never before come to America “because nobody has asked me before. Now Mr. Malkin has asked me.” and he turned to beam on Joseph Malkin who had come over from Boston to welcome the renowned exponent of the “12-note scale” who has accepted an important teaching position at the Malkin Conservatory of Music in that city.
The idea that Mr. Schoenberg has been captured by Boston made musical New York figuratively tear its hair, but further tragedy has been averted by an arrangement whereby the famous composer will teach advanced harmony and composition in a studio in Steinway Hall every Friday.
Asked what he “feels” when he composes, he whimsically remarked:
“When I compose, [I] feel only music.”
He quite scouted the notion there might be even the faintest connection between the mathematical basis of music and Einstein’s theory of relativity. He began composing when only eight years of age, his first work being a “Study” for the violin. His two latest compositions are a concerto, and a concerto for string quartet and orchestra.

Kindly and rational

Mr. Schoenberg gives the impression of being a most kindly and rational person. His wife bore this out by saying that her famous husband is not at all “difficult” or temperamental when the creative mood is upon him, and never minds being disturbed in his study “by anyone he likes.”
Since English is no stumbling-block, the Schoenberg lectures beginning Tuesday evening, Nov. 14, at the New School for Social Research, will be given in English.
Mr. Schoenberg’s first formal introduction to musical New York will be at the concert and reception in his honor given at Town Hall Saturday evening, Nov. 11, by the League of Composers.

New York Evening Journal (November 2, 1933)