Documenting Teresa Carreño

Boston Music Hall (January 24, 1863)


Carreño performed Capriccio Brillant, op. 22 (Mendelssohn, Felix), Fantasia on Verdi's "I due Foscari" (Rossellen, Henri), and Fantasia on Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor," op. 8 (Prudent, Émile) in the Second Philharmonic Concert with conductor Carl Zerrahn. The concert began at 7:30 pm. Tickets cost $0.75.

She received a medal with a blue ribbon, which read: "Presented to Teresa Carreño, the child pianist, by the Philharmonic Society of Boston as a token of their homage of her genius. January 24th, 1863."


Announcement: Boston Evening Transcript, 19 January 1863, 3.

Review: Evening Saturday Gazette, 25 January 1863, 3.

ReviewDwight's Journal of Music, 24 January 1863, 343.

AnnouncementBoston Evening Transcript, 27 January 1863, 2.

Review: Dwight's Music Journal, 31 January 1863, 350-351.


Kijas, Anna


Boston Evening Transcript, January 19, 1863.

Philharmonic Concerts.

Carl Zerrahn has the honor to announce to his subscribers and the public that he will give his Second Grand Philharmonic Concertat the Boston Music Hall, on Saturday Evening, January 24, 1863, assisted by Signorita Teresa Carreno and Mrs. Celia Houston-Ford, (pupil of Signor Bendelari) who will then make her first appearance in public.

It is with great pleasure that Mr. Zerrahn is able to state that the child pianist, Teresa Carreno, has consented to play on this single occasion in combination with the Philharmoni Orchestra. 

While conscious herself and parents, that the final stamp of musical reputation is dependent upon success in the highest department of the art, upon performance in accompaniment with Grand Orchestra,--she has shrunk with the modesty natural to genius and outh, from this decisive trial. 

Mr. Zerrahn, however, fully convinced of her consummate ability, has persuaded her to an undertaking which can have no other issue than her complete success. Teresa Carreno, the child of nine years of age, will appear at the Philharmonic Concert, not only in purely classical music, but will also perform for the first time accompanied by Grand Orchestra. 

The Conductor begs leave to congratulate the Boston public upon the opportunity of witnessing this trial and triumph of the greates prodigy which has been known in the musical world since the days of Mozart. 

The extra expense attendant upon this combination of talent renders necessary the reservation of seats,--a measure desirable as well for the convenience of his patrons, and for which no extra charge will be made. 

Tickets,with checks for reserved seats, will be for sale at the Music Store of Messrs. Ditson & Co, on and after Wednesday, Jan. 21, commencing at 9 o'clock A M. Subscribers and holders of package tickets will receive checks on presenting their tickets at the same place. 

Subscribers packages containing six tickets, which may be used at pleasure. $3 each. Two tickets or more, good only for a single evening, 50 cents each. Single tickets 75 cents each. For sale at Ditson's Music Store, and at the door on the evening of performance. 

Doors open at 6 1/2; Concert to commence at 7 1/2 o'clock.


Dwight's Journal of Music, January 24, 1863.

Carl Zerrahn offers a peculiar attraction for his second Philharmonic to-night which will be “sure to draw.” It is the little Teresa Carreno, who will play for the first time with orchestra, and so difficult a piece as Mendelssohn’s Capriccio; also two operatic fantasia for piano alone. Another novelty will be the singing of Mrs. Celia Houston Ford, a pupil of Sig. Bendelari, of which we hear good report. The orchestral pieces will be Liszt’s “Preludes,” the great “Leonora” overture (No. 3), a transcription of Schubert’s “Erl King,” and Lindpaintner’s Battle Overture.


Dwight's Journal of Music, January 24, 1863.

Our weekly “Concert Review” will have to lie over till next week. There have been good concerts by the Mendelssohn Quintette Club and the Orchestral Union; but “wonder children” just now carry the day; and it is only those concerts in which little Miss Carreno plays, which seem to pay; and for those there is a new name, to-wit: “Musical Enterprises,” of which the shining example was set by Gilmore, with crowded Music Hall, on Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday evening. Even our “Philharmonic” is assuming the character of a musical “enterprise.” Of the little magician, whose fingers coin so many notes and dollars, we find the following account in the Transcript. (By the way, another “prodigy,” Master Willie Barnesmore Pape, is coming).

The Wonderful Little Pianist, who is just now creating such a sensation in Boston, was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on the 22d of December, 1853, and is consequently only nine years old. Her family is one of the most distinguished Spanish families in that country. Her musical talent first manifested itself when she was about two years old, but previous to that time, even while she was a mere infant, it was observed that she took great pleasure in listening to music. At the early age of two years she sang with singular correctness various operatic airs, and when five years commenced playing upon the piano forte. Although entirely untaught, she readily played several Spanish dances, performing a plain but correct accompaniment with her left hand. About a year and a half later, her father, Don Manuel Antonio Carreño, commenced giving her lessons upon the instrument, and the only other instructor she had in Venezuela was Mr. Julius Hoheni, a distinguished German Professor. Mr. Hoheni had her under his care only four months before she left her native country. 

Her progress was very rapid. She obtained a perfect mastery over Thalberg's fantasia on Norma, when only seven years old, and soon after learned many other compositions of the classic and modern composers, which she renders with great skill and intelligence, as those who have heard her in this city can testify. Shortly after her arrival in New York, she had an interview with Gottschalk, and played a piece with him for four hands. In six days she learned by heart his "Jerusalem" and the "Bananier," and upon Gottschalk's return from giving some concerts in Boston, he gave her instructions for their more finished execution. She improvises with great facility, and her compositions are of remarkable beauty. In everything else except music, she is perfectly childlike, though modest and unassuming.


Evening Saturday Gazette, January 25, 1863 

Philharmonic Concert -- The second concert of the series was given last evening, and the well-filled house testified to the appreciation in which these concerts are held. A capital bill was offered, the orchestral pieces of which were Liszt’s “Les Preludes,” the “Leonora” overture, a transcription from Schubert’s “Erl King,” and Lindpainter’s “Guerriere” overture. The chief attraction of the evening was the playing by Teresa Carreno of a capriccio by Mendelssohn with orchestral accompaniments, and two Fantasias, which was almost perfection itself. Mrs. Celia Houston Ford, a pupil of Signore Bendelari’s made her first appearance in public as a concert singer, and was most cordially received. At the close of the first part of the programme, Mr. Zerrahn presented Senorita Teresa Carreno, in behalf of the members of the Philharmonic Society, with a beautiful gold medal, bearing the following inscription:

“Presented to Teresa Carreno, the child pianist, by the Philharmonic Society of Boston, as a token of their homage of her genius. January 24, 1863.”

On the reverse side is the engraving of a young miss at the piano forte, the whole encircled with a wreath. The scroll which accompanied the medal bore the names of all the members of the society.

Boston Evening Transcript, January 26, 1863.
Teresa Carreno Medal.  
The magnificent gold medal presented to Teresa Carreño by the Philharmonic Society, on Saturday evening, can be seen at H. Tolman's music store, 291 Washington street, where it is quite an object of attraction.

Dwight's Journal of Music, January 31, 1863.

Second Philharmonic.—Mr. Zerrahn’s coup d’etat, last Saturday evening, by which he filled the Music Hall while emptying his programme, was one of those successes on which we can congratulate him in a material but not in an artistic point of view. It drew together a great public, a new public, but in so doing ceased to be, in the established acceptation of the word, “Philharmonic.” However palatable to the new crowd that came, and that cared least for what was best, it was hardly the kind of thing subscribed for at the outset. The accustomed Symphony—about as indispensable to a Philharmonic concert as the altar at the junction of the nave and transept to a cathedral—was pushed out to make room for a “wonder child” and other “attractions” which appeal to a susceptibility not purely musical, but more made up of curiousity and the unwillingness to lose a nine days’ (or a nine years’) wonder. The little girl no doubt plays charmingly, is charming in herself, has a face full of genius, a touch that confirms the promise, executes good music well, and show pieces admirably. But nobody doubts that plenty of grown up artists play at least as well: so far as the pure love of music goes, it should be just as interesting, and of course more satisfying, to hear the Mendelssohn Cappricio interpreted by one of them. And to suppose that a true music lover would not prefer to hear any Beethoven Symphony, even for the hundredth time, to any conceivable performance of a “youthful prodigy,” were simply insulting to his taste and understanding. The little Carreno is delightful in her way; there is by no means the usual risk in praising her enthusiastically; we heartily advise all to hear her; but, artistically, from the standpoint of a true artistic morale, it is a mistake to make her the all-in-all, the focus of the whole attraction, in a professedly classical Philharmonic concert. Could this feature alone have been interpolated, keeping the Symphony and all the rest intact, it would not have much mattered; indeed we might have voted it a happy thought; but it involved a remodelling of the entire programme with reference to the tastes of the new audience which came to see and hear the child pianist. How classical a bill resulted, is seen at a glance:




“Boston Music Hall (January 24, 1863),” Documenting Teresa Carreño, accessed July 24, 2024,

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