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Fraser Gange Suggest updates

Fraser Gange-Adams.

Born Dundee 1886.

Died Baltimore 1962.

Scottish baritone.

Fraser Gange enjoyed a significant career as a baritone, largely in concert, and particularly in the United States between the wars. He came from a family with a long-standing business in the city. His brother, Ralph R Adams, continued to run Henry Adams and Son, the Dundee glovers, throughout his career. Gange dropped the second half of his surname (Gange-Adams) because “there were too many Adams’s in the musical world at the time.”

In 1904 he left Dundee as a lad of 18 to study in London under soprano Amy Sherwin, giving his first recital in the Queen’s Hall in 1906. Among that audience was Richard Strauss, who sent him a congratulatory message afterwards. Before he was 21, Gange had toured Australia, giving 214 concerts. He returned to sing at many celebrity concerts and appear in Merrie England under its composer, Sir Edward German.

During his First World War military service, he continued to give concerts from time to time, sometimes appearing in uniform. In 1917 he married another famous singer, the Welsh soprano Amy Evans. The young couple toured Australia and New Zealand, giving 52 concerts in four cities in six months. Back in Britain, they took part in innumerable “international celebrity tours” and gave the first concert in Dundee's new Caird Hall in 1923. Mr Gange was then appointed professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music, of which he was an honorary member.

A visit, shortly afterwards, to America resulted in a contract following a successful debut at the Berkshire Festival of Chamber Music. The couple took up residence in the United States, and, for several years, he appeared at Carnegie Hall, working with the major American symphony orchestras. He sang under many of the greatest American-based conductors including Toscanini and Koussevitzky. He appeared as Creon in the American concert premiere of Oedipus Rex conducted by the latter (Boston 1928). During one period of four years he sang in 49 performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and gave his last performance of that work in Albany, NY, at the age of 72.

He was a professor of singing at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore, for 26 years. He also taught in New York, both at the Juilliard and privately. His London teaching continued at the Royal Academy of Music.

He made a number of recordings in the twenties, and while they have not been reissued on CD, extracts can be tracked down on the internet. They reveal a powerful and well-focussed voice, with an excellent sense of style, and a highly distinctive Scottish accent.

(Sources include obituary in Dundee Courier & Advertiser: Tuesday, 3 July 1962, and related journalism).

(31.03.2014)

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