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American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century$
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John Spitzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226769769

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226769776.001.0001

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Critic and Conductor in 1860s Chicago

Critic and Conductor in 1860s Chicago

George P. Upton, Hans Balatka, and Cultural Capitalism

(p.175) [II.4] Critic and Conductor in 1860s Chicago
American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

James Deaville

University of Chicago Press

George Putnam Upton, who accepted the role of cultural agent for Hans Balatka and his Chicago Philharmonic Society, publishing announcements, commentary, and favorable reviews, built up symbolic capital from 1862 to 1867 and invested it in Balatka's prestige. He withdrew that capital from Balatka over the next two years, when he reinvested it in Theodore Thomas. Upton could support the orchestra and encourage its public while displaying his ability as juridical critic and droll arbiter of taste. Balatka entered into the 1869–70 season with optimism for his “Orchestral Union” concert series. Upton reported that his investment of cultural capital in Balatka was not a mistake or a lapse. It was a down payment on a cultural investment that would eventually prove much more profitable for Upton, for the Tribune, and for Chicago.

Keywords:   George Putnam Upton, Hans Balatka, Chicago Philharmonic Society, symbolic capital, Theodore Thomas, Orchestral Union, cultural investment

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