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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 during their existence as a touring ensemble. On Thursday, April 6th, at 5:30 pm the Newport Historical Society will present “Perspectives on the Germania Musical Society”, a unique collaboration with the Newport String Project and Dr. Brian Knoth, illuminating the story of the Germania Musical Society and its role during Newport’s Hotel Period (approximately 1840-1865).

Newport String Project musicians will be joined by Dr. Brian Knoth for a special lecture recital in the historic surrounds of the courtroom at the 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.

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

“Perspectives on the Germania Musical Society” takes place on the second floor of the Colony House (which is accessible via stairs only) on Washington Square, Newport, RI. Event is limited to the first 100 patrons. Please RSVP at or by calling 401-841-8770. Admission by donation. Suggested donation of $10, $25, $50+. All proceeds support the work of the Newport String Project and the Newport Historical Society.

About the Newport Historical Society

Since 1854, the Newport Historical Society has collected and preserved the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, and genealogical records that relate to the history of Newport County, to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment, and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the history of Newport County, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present. For more information, please