Herbert and the Pittsburgh Orchestra were hired to perform at the Pan-American
Exposition for a period towards the end of the Exposition. Herbert had
close friends in Buffalo, including conductor John Lund and violinist
Henry Toepfer. But he also had concerns about the financial arrangements
with the Exposition Company. These concerns are reflected in some brief
letters from Victor Herbert to George Henry Wilson, manager of the Pittsburgh
of June 7th at hand. As to the Buffalo Expo., 4 or 5 weeks
would be very acceptable. It would be best to get September
and October time, in one way, on the other hand if the Expo.
Is not a great financial success it is much better to get
time in the early part of the affair; you're sure of your
had experiences of this kind. You will always have to figure
in R.R. exp. both ways, no matter what part of the
engagement you take.
you charge them $3000 a week on a minimum 4 weeks engagement,
as you suggest, it's about right. ...
shooting of President McKinley
on September 6, 1901 at the Pan-American Exposition
heightened Herbert's concerns about financial arrangements with
the Exposition Company. He stated the following in a letter written
to Wilson September 14th, the day of McKinley's deatth.
deplorable death of the president will certainly settle that
one extra week in Buffalo. Under the circumstances we can't
expect to get it. They are certainly getting it "in the
The Pittsburgh Orchestra
a September 25th letter to Wilson,
Herbert expressed his concerns about being paid for the Exposition
to the Buffalo engagement I want to say this: Lund with
his orchestra played from 2-4 and 8-10. I hope this will
be our time too. Since we can't play in the open air, I
don't see how or why they should shift us around much. I
will send you the program tomorrow. I've had a terrible
cold and was unable to do anything but cough and sneeze.
I hope that you will see that we get all the advertising
we ought to have before we arrive and when we
get there. I know that the Buffalo Expo. People are
very hard up, and that several of the organizations
had the devil's own time to collect the money due them.
They are perfectly honest all right enough, but they don't
seem to have it! I hope however they will do some
business from now on and that we will have no trouble
of that kind.
Wilson apparently replied that the contract with the Exposition
could be broken, Herbert replied in part with the following
on October 1st.
I said about Buffalo was that I knew they had had
hard times paying their attractions, but that they did
finally. I don't see how we could ask then now "if
the money was all right" at this time. All we can do
now is to hope for a better attendance at the fair, and
to insist upon prompt payment ... when the time comes.
Victor Herbert also
contributed to the Pan-American Exposition by composing a work, Panamericana:
Morceau Characteristique, for the orchestra to perform. The
work, dedicated to the President of the Pan-American Exposition, John
Milburn, was first played at the Exposition on October 14th in the Temple
In another letter
to Wilson, Herbert stated the following about his piece, Panamericana:
is of the more popular order and will make a hit. The first part is "supposed"
to be "Indian" the second part "ragtime" (modern America)
and the trio "Cuban" or Spanish character.
The program for the October
17th performances by the Pittsburgh Orchestra conducted by Victor Herbert.
The evening concert featured the performance of Panamericana.