About Leoš Janáček:
Brod, Max. Leoš Janáčeck; Muller, Daniel. Leoš Janáček.
Revue Musicale 7:10 May 1926.
WERNER JANSSEN, the son of the well-known New York caterer, was born in New York City, on June 1, 1900. He was trained for music from early youth, studying theory with Frederick S. Converse and piano with Arthur Friedheim. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Dartmouth College. Upon graduating from Dartmouth in 1921, he turned his pen to composing light music. His career in Tin-Pan Alley was quite successful--and for several years he produced jazz-songs with a fertile and fresh approach. For a while, he was under contract to station WTAM, in Cleveland, to officiate as the station arranger, pianist and conductor. In 1930, however, Janssen won the Juilliard Fellowship for the American Academy of Rome--and by mutual agreement his contract with Station WTAM was terminated.
Janssen remained in Rome for three years, dividing his time between composition and orchestral conducting. It was during this period that Janssen proved himself to be a conductor of great ability. He led the orchestras of leading cities in Europe--including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Budapest Philharmonic, and the orchestras of Helsingfors, Riga, Rome and Turin--and always his performances were praised for their remarkable vitality and profound
musicianship. When he conducted in Helsingfors a concert devoted to the works of Jan Sibelius, Sibelius personally congratulated him and told him: "You may say that tonight Finland has for the first time discovered my music." It was in recognition of his triumphs as conductor abroad that the Philharmonic Symphony Society of New York engaged Janssen as one of its conductors for the season of 1934-35.
The first work with which he attracted notice was the New Year's Eve in New York for orchestra which was introduced by Howard Hanson in Rochester in May 1929; the following November it was introduced to New York by Nikolai Sokoloff and the Cleveland Orchestra. As was to be expected from a graduate of Tin-Pan Alley, this work was written in the jazz-idiom. His works since the New Year's Eve have not been numerous, but they have been marked by a very ingratiating style--spiced by a good sense of humor and colored by a rich harmony--and a consummate technique. His American Kaleidoscope Quartet has elicited the following comment from A. O. Andersen: "His medium of expression is striking in the sense that it fits the new emotions that he is depicting. His technique is new in that what he is trying to say cannot be molded into any trite and well-oiled formulae of older methods. His harmony is new in that he