Albert Stagliano (1893 - 1947?)

Detroit News Orchestra, 1922
Vincenzo Stagliano was born in Chiaravalle Centrale, Italy on May 7, 1893. 1 He and his brother, Giussepe, arrived in the United States on the SS Re D'Italia on November 2, 1910. Sometime after his arrival, he assumed the professional name James Albert Stagliano. 2. He first appears in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for the 1919-1920 season as "Stagliano, J. A." 3. In 1933, Mr. Stagliano filed a Declaration of Intention to become a naturalized citizen of the United States, followed by a Petition for Naturalization in 1936. 4 He was granted U.S. citizenship a year later at which time he also petitioned the court to formally change his name from Vincenzo to Albert Stagliano. 5 While in Detroit Mr. Stagliano maintained an apartment in the newly-constructed Santa Fe Apartments within walking distance of Orchestra Hall, and at the same time he also owned a house in Lochmoor Village (now the Village of Grosse Pointe Woods) in the Detroit suburbs. 6 With the one exception cited in the notes below, there is no indication that he was ever married and he had no children. On July 10, 1947 he intended to sail from Southampton, England on the S.S. Queen Elizabeth, returning to his home at 70 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach, New York. His name, however, was crossed off of the ships manifest. 7
Mr. Stagliano's professional career is detailed below.

Declaration of Intention (1933)

Draft Registration (1918)

Declaration of Intention (1933)
In 1919 Mr. Stagliano joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as fifth horn while that same year Bruno Jaenicke (1887-1946) also joined the section as principal. For the 1921-22 season Mr. Stagliano became alternate solo horn with Mr. Jaenicke. On May 11, 1922, he was featured on WCX radio, with Theordore Yeschke, flute, Maurice Warner, violin, and Dirk Van Emmerich, piano. The Detroit Free Press reviewed Mr. Stagliano's performance as follows: " For the first time the French horn, played by Mr. Stagliano, was heard over the radio. This instrument is not often used for solo work even on the concert platform and came as a delightful surprise to the listeners-in. Mr. Stagliano is one of the few French horn soloists in America and plays the instrument with skill. ...Then came a foretaste of the general unusualness of the program in the flute and French horn number "Souvenir du Rigi" by Doppler, played by Mr. Yeschke and Mr. Stagliano. ...Combining the four instruments, violin, horn, flute and piano, an exquisite Nocturne by Doppler was given before M. Stagliano played a French horn solo, an aria by Sinigaglia, which set the Radio Department telephones jangling with questions ss to the identity of player and instrument. "

The following two seasons there was a turnover of co-principal horns. Mr. Jaenicke moved to the New York Philharmonic and was replaced by Arkadia Yegudkin (1884-1956), and then for the 1923-24 season Otto Berndt from Berlin replaced Mr. Yegudkin. In 1924, the section was reduced to four players with Mr. Stagliano as solo horn. He remained in that position through the 1935-36 season. (From 1919 through the 1927-28 season he is listed in the D.S.O. programs as "Stagliano, J.", then in 1928 as "Stagliano, A." (presumably to distinquish himself from his nephew, James Stagliano), and finally in 1931 as "Stagliano, Albert".) At the same time he also served as principal horn in the first known radio orchestra in the United States, the Detroit News Orchestra, created by the newspaper of the same name.
For the 1936/37 season Mr. Stagliano moved to the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra as principal horn season, where he was immediately noticed in their first concert of the series by reviewer Herbert Elwell of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (October 23, 1936): "Incidentally, the excellent work being done by the new first horn player, Albert Stagliano, should not go without mention." The program conducted by Artur Rodzinski included the "Prelude and Love Death" from Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde", and the First Symphony of the young Soviet composer, Shostakovich.
After only one season in Cleveland Mr. Stagliano was selected to be the first principal horn of the newly-formed hand-picked NBC Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini for its inaugural season (1937/38). In 1939 he returned to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra once again as its principal horn remaining for the next three seasons. Then, according to one source, Mr. Stagliano returned to the NBC Symphony for the 1943/44 through 1945/46 seasons while Arthur Berv was serving in the United States Air Force Band.

Albert Stagliano was the uncle of and teacher of James Stagliano (1912-1987), who became principal horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a well-known horn soloist. At age 16, James joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal to his uncle.

1938 Conn 8D Brochure

Biographical information is taken from the public sources cited below. These are sometimes contradictory in specific facts as noted, but in general they are securely linked together by various common threads. Since this page contains various conclusions by the author, it should not be cited as a primary source for any further biographical studies on Mr. Stagliano.

1. Declaration of Intention, and Petition for Naturalization.

2. United States Selective Service Registration, 1918. On this document he stated his age as 33 and date of birth May 7, 1885. May 7 is consistent with other documents, but the year and stated age inflate his age by eight years. The handwriting of the surname in his signature matches other documents, however the given names are mispelled: "Jams Ablert" (see copies in the text). His occupation is "musician", address: 5401 Indiana Ave. Chicago. His employer's name is c/o P.J. Powers, which is the same as on his brother's, (now called "Joseph") registration. Most interesting is the mention of nearest realtive: Mrs. J.A. Stagliano, 453 Main St. Rutland (or possibly Rockland) Massachusetts, whereas all other documents state that he is single. The Massachusetts State Tuberculosis Sanatorium was located in Rutland, however no one named Stagliano has been found in the local historical records. The reference to a wife and his inflated age might have been fibs to avoid being drafted. In 1918 exemptions were given for men with dependents. Most draftees were unmarried and about 75% of married men received deferments.

3. Detroit Symphony Orchestra program. Apparently he did not move to Detroit immediately. In his Petition for Naturalization he states that he has lived in Detroit continuously since September 1922, at which time he had become alternate solo horn. He also first appears in Polk's City Directory of Detroit in 1922 as "Jno A" Stagliano, residing at 3765 Cass Avenue. At the same time, his sister-in-law Mary Teresa, (now the widow of brother Joseph) has also moved to Detroit at 4426 Brush Street a few blocks from Albert. In her family is ten-year-old James Stagliano who is a student of his uncle Albert. Albert Stagliano has not been found in the 1920 federal census.

4. Declaration of Intention, and Petition for Naturalization.

5. Petition for Change of Name.

6. U.S. Federal Census, 1930. He appears twice in this census at two addresses. His house at 21085 Mack Avenue in Lochmoor Village is valued at $10,000. Three years later in his Declaration of Intention, he listed his address as 22019 Mack Avenue.

7. List of United States Citizens, S.S. Queen Elizabeth, July 10, 1947. Albert Stagliano's identity is confirmed by the date and location of his naturalization.

Special thanks to Peter Hirsch at the New York Public Library for searching the library's holdings of Detroit Symphony Orchestra programs.

Declaration of Intention No. 209013, Circuit Court of Wayne County, Detroit, Michigan, filed December 29, 1933

Petition for Naturalization No. 101649, District Court of the United States, Detroit, Michigan, filed July 17, 1936

Petition for Change of Name, District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, filed June 21, 1937

Certificate of Arrival No. 8 84117, U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration Service, November 14, 1933

Oath of Allegiance [to the United States], Certificate No. 4254818, June 21, 1937

List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States, S.S. Re D'Italia, 16 Ott. 1910, [arriving Port of New York, November 2, 1910]

[U.S. Draft] Registration Card 4320A, Chicago Local Board No. 14, September 12, 1918

1930 United States Federal Census, Detroit, Michigan, and Lochmoor Village, Wayne County, Michigan

Michigan's Historic Sites Online, Santa Fe Apartments

Polk's Detroit City Directory, 1922-23

List of United States Citizens, S.S. Queen Elizabeth, July 10, 1947 History of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

WWJ--The Detroit News: the History of Radiophone Broadcasting by the Earliest and Foremost of Newspaper Stations; together with information on radio for amateur and expert, The Evening news association, 1922

"Radio Thrills Music Lovers", Detroit Free Press, May 12, 1922
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