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Exhibit Highlights

burns library

John McCormack, Tenor: Celebrating 125 Years

September 8 - December 11, 2009

The exhibit, John McCormack, Tenor: Celebrating 125 Years, commemorates the Irish tenor John McCormack (1884-1945) through career highlights, family life, and collaboration with other artists.

This portrait was included in John McCormack's funeral card in 1945. Photographer: Arnold Genthe.

This exhibit features selected items from the John J. Burns Library’s Frederick M. Manning Collection of John McCormack, and the Michael Meagher Collection of John McCormack.

John McCormack, born in Athlone, Co. Westmeath, received worldwide fame as a recitalist who performed a unique repertoire, combining classical music, folk ballads, and sacred music. McCormack’s recordings sold in the millions, and his popularity led to international tours and his appearance in two feature-length films, Song O’My Heart and Wings of the Morning.  McCormack was also known for his numerous charitable efforts and was made a Papal Count in recognition of his service to charitable causes.

The exhibit features handwritten pages from McCormack's unpublished memoirs, one of his lyric books, correspondence from Sir Edward Elgar and Sergei Rachmaninoff, photographs, and sheet music from McCormack's personal collection. 

John McCormack performing in the film Wings of the Morning (1937), shown holding one of his lyric books.

Frederick M. Manning's father was an early supporter of John McCormack’s singing career, and Manning was a founder and the first secretary of the John McCormack Society of America.

The Frederick M. Manning Collection of John McCormack contains sound recordings, photographs, concert programs, sheet music, McCormack's sheet music cabinet, correspondence and scrapbooks. 

The Michael Meagher Collection of John McCormack, donated to the Burns Library by Margrit Meagher via Paul Worth, includes books, photographs, sound discs, and magazine articles.

I Hear You Calling Me

The exhibit is supplemented with materials from the Séamus Connolly Irish Music Collection and the Philip J. McNiff Irish Music Collection.

See Also

O'Neill Library's past exhibit Somewhere a Voice is Calling.

A Front Row video recording of Irish musician Mick Moloney and Klezmer musician Hankus Netsky at a symposium held in conjunction with the McCormack exhibition.

Performances from YouTube

All images are from the Michael Meagher Collection of John McCormack at the John J. Burns Library.