Anna Goodman Hertzberg and the Tuesday Musical Club of San Antonio, Texas

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Anna Goodman Hertzberg

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Anna Goodman Hertzberg of San Antonio, Texas

Anna Goodman Hertzberg of San Antonio, Texas

 

Anna Goodman was born in New York in 1862.

She became an accomplished pianist at an early age.

In 1882, Eli Hertzberg, a successful jeweler and Russian immigrant, was traveling on business to New York from his home in San Antonio, Texas. During a meeting with friends, he was distracted by music coming from a neighboring apartment. He insisted that his friends introduce him to the music-maker. It was Anna Goodman, who was twenty-two years his junior.

Anna Goodman and Eli Hertzberg were wed within a couple of weeks.

 

San Antonio, Texas

When Anna Goodman Hertzberg relocated to San Antonio with her new husband, she became nostalgic for the cultural life of New York and felt out of place among San Antonio’s “booted, hell-for-leather citizenry.”

Instead of sulking in the clash of cultures, Anna Goodman spent a half-century promoting European classical music.

There were a few fledgling orchestras and opera houses in San Antonio at the time, but their quality was unremarkable and their appeal was limited.

Anna was equally determined to enrich the city’s cultural tapestry and escape the dullness of her privileged domestic life.

In 1901, she recruited her sister and four other women to form the Tuesday Musical Club, an all-women’s chamber music society.

The Tuesday Musical Club was the first women’s music association in Texas.

 

The First Stage

For the first stage of its existence, the Tuesday Musical Club met at Anna’s home at 521 W. Euclid Avenue.

The early members were talented amateur musicians who, because of the ethos of the era, were discouraged from playing professionally.

 

San Antonio Music Group

San Antonio’s Tuesday Musical Club

 

Concerts were open to the public and on occasion featured noted guest artists.

In 1930 the Tuesday Musical Club purchased the house next door and christened it the Anna Hertzberg Hall of Music.

 

Community

Anna Goodman Hertzberg also had a busy life of social activism.

Among other things, she was Founding President of San Antonio’s Council of Jewish Women

She was President of the Texas Free Kindergarten Association, and a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Association.

 

Civic

Anna Goodman Hertzberg was the first woman elected to the local school board.

She was San Antonio’s Chair of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the World’s Fair held in San Francisco in 1915.

Anna was also President of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs from 1911 to 1913.

 

One of Anna’s aspirations was to create an attractive space for pubic concerts.

She suggested to city officials that an amphitheater be built in Brackenridge Park, a 343-acre midtown property donated by George Brackenridge in 1899.

The venue was named the Sunken Theater Garden upon its completion in July of 1930.

Concert Program of the San Antonia Tuesday Musical Group.

Concert Program of the San Antonia Tuesday Musical Group.

 

Family

Anna Goodman and Eli Hertzberg were wed in 1882.

She and Eli had one son, Harry Hertzberg.  

 

Anna Goodman Hertzberg passed away in 1937.

 

Footnote

In 1950 a new Tuesday Musical Club building was constructed on St. Mary’s Street, just a few addresses from Brackenridge Park.

The building was dedicated as the Anna Hertzberg Music Memorial.

Tuesday Musical Club of San Antonio

Tuesday Musical Club of San Antonio

Both the building and the Club remain active.

 

For more information, see this issue of Western States Jewish History:

  • Anna Hertzberg and the Tuesday Musical Club, by Jonathan Friedmann, WSJH, Vol. 45/Issue #3.

 

Cantor Jonathan Friedmann is Curator of this Anna Goodman Hertzberg exhibit.

Cantor Friedmann’s Music Blog is at: http://thinkingonmusic.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

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