Event—Public Programming

The Plumed Knight and the National Anthem

The celebrated Swiss pianist, composer, and educator, Rudolph Ganz (1877-1972) became a US Citizen in 1925. From articles and public commentaries written from 1916 until his last years, Ganz was a strong advocate for classical music in America. He also had a determined devotion to securing an approved version of the National Anthem. Troubled by the liberties in performance he increasingly witnessed, Ganz was relentless in his pursuit of a version that could be approved by Congress. The story of Ganz in America involves a curious lineage that stretches from Coolidge to Clinton with an important statement by Eisenhower. It is also a reminder that in politics, timing is everything.