Nahan Franko

Born: July 23, 1861
New Orleans, LA, USA
Died: 1930

American violinist and conductor from New Orleans, made his debut in 1869 at Steinway Hall, and subsequently toured with Adelina Patti as a child prodigy. After studying with Joachim and Wilhelmj in Berlin, he returned home and played with various orchestras, becoming concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 1883, a position he retained until 1907. On November 30, 1904, he made his debut as conductor with the company, leading Le Nozze di Figaro -- the first native-born American to conduct with the company. Other works Franko conducted were Roméo, Faust, Zigeunerbaron, Die Fledermaus, Hansel und Gretel, Il Trovatore, Don Giovanni, and two ballets, Coppélia and Bayer's Puppenfee, as well as numerous Sunday-evening concerts. He conducted 68 performances at the Met, and 33 performances with the company elsewhere. He conducted approximately 67 opera performances andn 9 dance works. The remaining were Metropolitan concerts. As third conductor and concertmaster in 1904-05, he was paid $4045. Beginning in 1908, he led open-air concerts in Central Park, and he celebrated his golden jubilee with a concert at the Hippodrome. On 7.3.1895 Nahan ("NAY-an" but sometimes spelled and pronouced "Nathan")Franko married Cornelia Anna Ruppert (b. 6.21.1865) and became her widower on 12.3.1896 when she lost her battle with typhoid. The couple resided in New York City. Cornelia Anna Ruppert-Franko was the sister of Col. Jacob Ruppert, Jr., famous beer brewer and Congressman from New York City and owner and president of the New York Yankees from 1913 until his death in 1939.

Item submitted by K. Jacob Ruppert of New York City, great-great-nephew of Nahan Franko.

Instruments Played / Skills:
Conductor Violin

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