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The Role of the Germania Musical Society during Newport's Hotel Period

  • Old Colony House Washington Square Newport RI 02840 (map)

On Thursday April 6th at 5.30pm, the Newport String Project will present a unique collaboration with the Newport Historical Society and Dr. Brian Knoth, illuminating the story of the Germania Musical Society and its role during Newport’s Hotel Period (approximately 1840-1865).

Described by some scholars as the “first professional orchestra” in the US, the Germania Musical Society toured nationally with the most celebrated virtuosi of the era and played a particularly vibrant role in the cultural landscape of Newport, where they resided each summer of their existence as a touring ensemble.

Newport String Project musicians will be joined by Dr Brian Knoth for a special lecture recital in the historic surrounds of the courtroom at Old Colony House. The event will feature discussion and performances of music closely associated with the Germania Musical Society, including Newport-inspired dance music such as the “Fancy Ball Polka Redowa” and “Ocean House Polka”. In keeping with the Germania Musical Society’s promotion of works by Felix Mendelssohn, the event will close with a performance of Mendelssohn’s fiery String Quartet No. 6 op. 80 dating from 1847.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity for a glimpse into a fascinating chapter of Newport’s musical history.

Admission by donation. Suggested Donation $10, $25, $50+

All proceeds support the work of the Newport String Project and the Newport Historical Society.

The Newport String Project is a music performance and youth mentoring initiative that aims to strengthen community connections through access to inspiring musical experiences for all. More information at

Dr. Knoth’s lecture research was generously supported by a Preservation Society of Newport County research fellowship



Earlier Event: March 12
Recital at Trinity Church
Later Event: April 8
Quartets at the Farmer's Market