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Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, 1103 S. Sixth Street, Champaign
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
Arthur Endres Kraeckmann (1893-1975) was a renowned twentieth-century baritone who as a native of Chicago, IL spent most of his singing career in France as the leading baritone at the Grand Opera. Initially intent on becoming a farmer, he studied Agriculture at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and graduated with a bachelor or science degree in 1916. While a student at the University he be involved in a long-term courtship with Mabel Roeher, who attended Illinois as a music student. Kraeckmann was never able to convince her to move with him to Europe so he could pursue his music career. This exhibit explores through Kraeckmann’s letters his gentile courtship with a young music co-ed between 1915 and 1924, and the challenges he faced as a young mid-westerner seeking fame and fortune on Europe’s greatest opera stages.