- Franko, Sam, 1857-1937
- Call number
- JPB 83-235
- Physical description
- .5 linear ft. (2 boxes)
- Preferred Citation
The Sam Franko Scores, JPB 83-235, Music Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.
- Music Division
- Access to materials
- Some collections held by the Dance, Music, Recorded Sound, and Theatre Divisions at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts are held off-site and must be requested in advance. Please check the collection records in the NYPL's online catalog for detailed location information. For general guidance about requesting offsite materials, please consult: https://www.nypl.org/about/locations/lpa/requesting-archival-materials
The Sam Franko Scores contains original compositions and arrangements by American violinist Sam Franko.
Sam Franko was an American violinist. He was born in New Orleans on January 20, 1857 to parents of Hungarian extraction. During the Civil War his father, a Confederate soldier, was captured but managed to escape by disguising himself in women's clothing. The family fled to Germany where Sam Franko received his early education. (His father was later pardoned by President Abraham Lincoln.)
In Berlin, Sam Franko studied violin with Joseph Joachim, Heinrich de Ahna, Eduard Rappoldi, Henri Vieuxtempts, and played his first public recital in Breslau at age 7. He made his New York debut at Steinway Hall in 1869. Upon returning to the United States in 1880 he became a member of the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, and was its concertmaster from 1884 until 1891 when Thomas left for Chicago. In 1883 Franko toured the United States and Canada as soloist with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club of Boston. At the request of Anton Seidl, he became a member of the New York Philharmonic.
He made his first appearance as conductor in 1891. In an attempt to prove prejudice against American players, he organized the American Symphony Orchestra in 1894, consisting entirely of American-born players. As a result of his activities with the orchestra, he unearthed and arranged a large amount of little known works for orchestra.
In his later years Sam Franko was known as a music teacher. His nephew was Richard Franko Goldman, conductor of the Goldman Band. He died on May 6, 1937 after a fall in the lobby of the Hotel des Artistes in New York City. His memoirs were published posthumously as Chords and discords: memoirs and musings of an American musician (1938).
Source of acquisition
The Sam Franko Scores were donated to the Music Division by Sam Franko. An official announcement was made on January 19, 1936, at a celebration in honor of his seventy-ninth birtday.
Processed by Martha Grutchfield; machine-readable finding aid created by Robert Kosovsky.
Using the collection
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-7498
Access to materialsSome collections held by the Dance, Music, Recorded Sound, and Theatre Divisions at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts are held off-site and must be requested in advance. Please check the collection records in the NYPL's online catalog for detailed location information. For general guidance about requesting offsite materials, please consult: https://www.nypl.org/about/locations/lpa/requesting-archival-materials
Conditions Governing Use
For permission to copy or publish please contact the Music Division.