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Jan Peerce

Autographed Original Drawing

1137869-1

$20.00 - Product is currently out of stock.

Jan Peerce (June 3, 1904 – December 15, 1984), American operatic tenor. Peerce was an accomplished performer on the operatic and Broadway concert stages, in solo recitals, and as a recording artist. He is the father offilm director Larry Peerce. Original, vintage, pen and ink, "on-the-spot" illustration by George 'Georges' Krishizki. The hand drawn illustration has been signed by Pears and additionally signed, dated and titled by Krishizki: "Georges / 1982 / Jan Peerce at Carnegie Hall."

Peerce studied singing in New York City with Giuseppe Boghetti. In 1932 he was hired as a tenor soloist with the Radio City Music Hall company by the impresario Roxy, who renamed him John Pierce. They soon compromised on the spelling Jan Peerce, which the singer felt better reflected his ethnicity. Thanks to radio broadcasts and stage programs, Peerce soon had a nationwide following. The legendary maestro Arturo Toscanini heard him singing Wagner on the radio and was able to contact Peerce through a mutual friend to see if he would like to audition for him. Toscanini found him to be the tenor he had sought to sing operatic and choral works with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The recordings made during, or following, the NBC broadcasts are among the outstanding musical legacies of the mid-20th century. Toscanini was reportedly pleased with Peerce's professionalism, as well as his musical talents and his unusually native-sounding Italian; many have said that Peerce was Toscanini's "favorite tenor" during the Maestro's 17 years at NBC. Peerce recalled that Toscanini never lost his temper the way he famously did with other musicians even though Peerce believed he had the right to, on a few occasions. Peerce first sang with Toscanini on February 6, 1938, in Carnegie Hall in a broadcast performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony; the soloists also included soprano Vina Bovy, mezzo soprano Kerstin Thorborg, and bass Ezio Pinza.

George 'Georges' Krishizki (March 22, 1924 – December 20, 2001), Russian-Polish-American illustrator who came to the U.S. in 1949. While he earned acclaim for his renderings of the city’s architectural landmarks, it was his on-the-spot drawings of musicians in performance that attracted an especially appreciative audience. In a 1973 article published in conjunction with two simultaneous exhibitions, Georges explained the genesis of his long-running engagement with the concert hall: “I’ve always enjoyed going to concerts, and one day I decided it would be fun to combine my interests in music and art and make sketches of musicians during performances.”  Indeed, the most remarkable feature of Georges’ oeuvre, apart from the astounding range of performers who gladly expressed their approval and appreciation by signing, is the skill with which the drawings are accomplished.

This original pen and ink illustration, measuring approximately 9 x 12, on heavy-weight sketch paper, is in fine condition with some light overall toning. Its verso is blank and clean.

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