San Francisco County
Rudolph Herold, a pioneer musician of the Pacific coast, and an honored citizen of San Francisco for nearly forty years, was born in the province of Saxony, Prussia, in 1831, where he was also reared and educated. At an early age he developed musical talent and began taking lessons, and afterward entered the Leipsic Conservatory of Music, where he pursued his studies under the gifted Mendelssohn and Moscheles and other eminent teachers. Upon reaching manhood he came to the United States, and the following year to the Pacific coast, with the Catherine Hayes’ Opera Troupe. He decided to remain here, believing the prospects in the musical profession would be more permanent than following the uncertain fortunes of an operatic company. After coming here he was prominently identified with all the musical events of the future metropolis. The Italian opera, given at the old Metropolitan theater under Segnore Bianchi, was conducted by Mr. Herold, and also the management of the grand concert in 1870, to aid in liquidating the debt on the Mercantile Library, was entrusted to him, in company with Camilla Urso. In 1871 Mr. Herold went to Europe to make an extended tour, and was stricken with paralysis, but recovered in 1876 and resumed his famous popular matinees, which he continued until 1883. Among all the leading musicians he was recognized as a master, and was justly popular in the profession. He collected a magnificent library at a great expense, comprising many rare works of great value. His death occurred in July, 1888, mourned by a large circle of friends, and leaving a widow and four sons, three of whom adopted the musical profession, and all were born in this city. Rudolph is at the head of an insurance business in this city; Oscar is now in Honolulu; Roderick is engaged in the musical profession, and Hugo is now pursuing his studies in Italy.
Roderick, the third son, has inherited the musical talent of his father in a marked degree, and has taken a prominent position in the profession. He was reared and received his education in this city, early developing talent for music, and under his father’s teaching enjoyed unusual opportunities. He and his brother Oscar went to Europe, where they pursued their musical studies in Stuttgart and Paris, and after their return Roderick engaged in teaching. He has appeared in public a number of times, acquitting himself with credit, and receiving favorable notice from the profession and the press.
Transcribed by Donna L. Becker.
Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 2, pages 79-80, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.
© 2005 Donna L. Becker.