Schultz, Cecilia Augspurger (1878-1971)

  • By John Caldbick
  • Posted 11/02/2012
  • Essay 1678
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In an era when show-business impresarios often were caricatured as homburg-hatted men wielding large cigars, Seattle had Cecilia Augspurger Schultz, a woman of august ancestry with her own taste in hats and a remarkable talent for bringing to the city many of the world's most noted musicians, singers, and ballet dancers. A precocious and accomplished pianist herself, Schultz arrived in Seattle in the first decade of the twentieth century and soon made a name as a piano instructor, lecturer, performer, and producer of recitals featuring both herself and her students. Before too many years had passed, she was deeply involved in both Seattle society and its classical-music scene and had embarked on a long career of bringing a seemingly endless procession of ever-more-famous performing artists to local audiences. Perhaps more than any other person, Schultz put Seattle on the classical-music map, and over the years she became friend and confidante to a growing roster of the world's most accomplished performers. She more than held her own with famous East Coast male impresarios of the day and during her 14-year management of the Moore Theatre in Seattle faced down a local censor board and temperamental performers alike. Her energy, skill, and deep knowledge of music and artists led her to leadership positions in several local musical organizations. She retired from active promotion in 1959, but remained involved in the arts until very near to her death in 1971. Cecilia Augspurger Schultz left an unmatched legacy of exposing the public, at affordable prices, to many of the most acclaimed performing artists of the first half of twentieth century.

An August Family

Cecilia Augspurger Schultz was economical with details of her early life, and some specifics she did provide are contradicted by other sources. She was born in 1878 as Anna Cecilia Augspurger, one of five children of Jacob A. Augspurger (1847-1905) and Magdalena Kennell Augspurger (1849-1922). A one-page, undated typescript from her archives, which has every appearance of being prepared by her, provides only the sketchiest additional information about her early years. It gives her birthplace as "near Cincinnati, Ohio," (a later source pinpoints it as Trenton, a small town about 25 miles north of Cincinnati), but nothing more about her childhood is mentioned. Genealogical records indicate that the Augspurgers were a vast and prosperous clan in Ohio and Illinois, and most, including several clergy, were members of the Protestant Mennonite faith.

More is known about her forebears than her immediate family. The Augspurger name was one of some renown, first in Europe and later in America. Her paternal roots go back to Augsburg, an ancient Bavarian city founded in 15 B.C.E. by the Roman general (later emperor), Tiberius (42 B.C.E.- 37 C.E). It was originally named Augusta Vindelicum after Caesar Augustus (63 B.C.E.-14 C.E), by whose edict it was established. The Augspurger family obviously took their name from the city, which would indicate early habitation there.

In 1527 several Augspurger ancestors were beheaded in the town's public square for activities in support of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Later (but given the circumstances, probably not too much later), the Augspurgers left Germany, first for Switzerland and ultimately to Alsace-Lorraine in France, where Cecilia Augspurger's great-grandfather, Christian, was born in 1772. He developed one of the best-run farms in the country, and his agricultural expertise brought him both considerable wealth and the prestigious French Légion d'honneur, presented by Napolean Bonaparte himself.

Despite his success in France, Christian Augspurger emigrated to the United States in 1819, bringing along two pianos, the family's private "music master," and $4,000 in gold that he used to buy up inexpensive land around Cincinnati. This became very valuable over the years, and the Augspurgers became a prominent presence, living and marrying well. Still today there are Augsburg Churches in both Ohio and Indiana, an Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and at least two Augsburg cemeteries.

High achievement was not uncommon in the family. In 1939 Otelia Augspurger Compton (Christian's granddaughter and Cecilia's aunt) was named America's "Mother of the Year," in large part due to the remarkable achievements of her three sons, who were Cecilia's cousins. One, Arthur Compton (1892-1962) won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1927; another, Dr. Karl Compton (1887-1954) served as president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1930 to 1948. A third, Wilson Compton (1890-1967), was a noted economist and had connections to the Northwest, serving as the president of Washington State College (now University) from 1946 to 1951.

A Life In Music Begins

Cecilia Augspurger began piano studies at age 5 and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan College of Music in Bloomington, Illinois, at the age of 17, both circumstances indicating a degree of musical precocity. She then studied for two or three years in Chicago with Emil Liebling (1851-1914), a German pianist and teacher, who in turn had trained under the virtuoso composer and pianist Franz Liszt (1811-1886). From this point, however, the record of Augspurger's activities and her path to Seattle becomes more than a little murky.

The archival biographical typescript indicates that Augspurger was appointed head of the piano department at "Kansas State College" in 1899, "where she remained for three years," moving to Seattle the "following year" (Typewritten draft, untitled biographical information). This account would have her arriving in the Northwest in 1903 or perhaps 1904, and it is clearly wrong. The June 1, 1907, edition of the student newspaper for the Kansas State Agricultural College noted with regret that "the friends of Miss Augspurger will learn of her intention of resigning her position here" after three years as "an instructor in the Music Department" (Pamphlet, "Cecilia Augspurger, Pianiste"). From this source it is apparent that Augspurger most likely arrived in Seattle in 1908, rather than 1903 or 1904. It also would seem that she may have plumped up her résumé a bit by claiming to be the head of the piano department at the college, rather than an instructor. But this in no way detracts from her musical expertise. Her teacher, Liebling, said of her in 1907:

"She is a pianiste of artistic merit, thoroughly versed in everything that pertains to piano instruction according to the best modern methods and in every way admirably fitted to obtain the best results with students.

"Her success as a teacher has already been marked and I predict a successful career for her, wherever she may be placed" (Pamphlet, "Cecilia Augspurger, Pianiste").

While teaching at the agricultural college, Augspurger gave piano recitals during the summer months, traveling to various cities around the country. Seattle was fortunate enough to be one of those she visited, and after seeing the area and evaluating the status of the musical arts, she decided that this was where she should make her home.

The Curtain Is Raised

After arriving in Seattle in approximately 1908, Augspurger quickly established herself as both a piano instructor and a performing pianist. Her name first appeared in The Seattle Times in June 1911, when it was announced that she would participate in a "musicale" put on by the Young Women's Christian Association ("Departments of Music and Expression Unite in Preparing Program for Entertainment"). Within a very short time she was presenting frequent recitals in which either she or her students performed.

Newspaper accounts of her social activities indicate that Augspurger also was a woman of some means. In January 1914, the papers announced that she would present four "musicales" over two days at her home at 1414 E Harrison Street to celebrate the return of her mother, Magdalena, from "an extended trip abroad" ("Society"). More than 90 were expected to attend the last evening performance, so clearly she had already gathered a number of friends and admirers. Throughout 1914 and 1915 Augspurger's name appeared frequently in the local press, identified at different times as a pianist, a piano instructor, a lecturer on musical subjects, and a frequent host of women's bridge parties. Certainly within a decade of her arrival, she had established roots and a reputation in Seattle's social and musical milieus.

In June 1912 an organization of women musicians called the Treble Clef Club had been formed in Seattle, the name inspired by a male musicians' society called simply the Clef Club. Within a month, the Treble Clef Club name was changed to the Seattle Musical Art Society. A notice in The Seattle Sunday Times said:

"The objects of the society are both educational and sociological. Any woman who is a teacher or composer of music or a professional performer is eligible to membership" ("Treble Clef Club Changes Its Name").

Although Cecilia Augspurger was not named in the original roster of the new organization, she was soon to become very active in its affairs. By mid-1914 she was listed as a member, and by the following year she was regularly performing at society meetings and at musical presentations it sponsored.

Although it may be apocryphal, one account holds that Augspurger got her start in concert promotion in 1918, when two Seattle junk dealers decided to try their hand at something a bit more refined. Augspurger was by that time well known as a pianist and instructor, and she was recommended to the men as someone who could help present a concert by a noted local organist, which she agreed to do for a fee of $50. The concert proved a success, earning an $800 profit. Finding this a vast improvement over junk collection, the two asked Augspurger to promote a second show, offering to double her fee to $100. She demanded a percentage of the gate instead. They refused, went on without her assistance, and "lost their shirts" (Guzzo, "Cecilia Schultz Retires … ").

A more likely scenario is more commonly told. By 1919 Augspurger had established a piano studio at 1202 Boylston Avenue, where she both taught and presented musical performances by her students, herself, and other musicians. In 1920 she was appointed the latest in a series of managers of the often-troubled Seattle Symphony Orchestra, a post she held for two years. In 1921 she was elected president of the Seattle Musical Art Society and under her leadership the organization began presenting "morning musicales" featuring a variety of ensembles, both local and touring. This was a pivotal time for Augspurger; by promoting Musical Art Society presentations she may have discovered that she had a talent for this sort of thing. On the other hand, she may have known it all along and was simply waiting for the opportunity to demonstrate her abilities. As with some other aspects of her remarkable life, the truth is hard to pin down.


It did not take long for Augspurger to make her mark with the musicales. In a long and glowing article in December 1922, The Seattle Daily Times, with more prescience than subtlety, wrote of Augspurger:

"As her great-grandfather, Christian Augspurger, developed into full beauty of productive power the fruit arbors of France to the extent that for his magic skill he was rewarded with the Legion of Honor presented by Napolean I himself -- so Miss Cecilia Augspurger from Seattle's garden of artists is encouraging and strengthening through public appreciation a rare musical horticulture which with the growth of years will be one of the most valuable assets of the commercial as well as artistic life of the city."

The article indicated that Augsburger primarily was interested in exposing Seattleites to the musicians in their midst rather than bringing in talent from outside, a statement that was soon proved very wrong:

"She has an abiding faith in the musical future of Seattle. It is not her aim to promote musical interests by bringing world stars to the Coast, but rather in developing the wealth of material to be found at home, and thus creating a higher local appreciation for Seattle-made artists and music."

Quoting Augspurger directly on this point, the article continues:

"'Seattle," she says, "is particularly blessed with musicians of thorough training and exceptional talent. It is my desire to acquaint the music-loving populace with its own native talent, and enthuse these audiences and musicians to work in harmony towards a greater musical life of the city.'" ("Women Given Credit for Music Aid").

The article expressed wonder at Augspurger's ability to find an audience for chamber music, not the most popular genre of the age. Her efforts had found favor with The Musical Courier, a well-known national publication, and The Seattle Times quoted from it extensively:

"'One never knows where lightning is going to strike in the way of audiences, but if one were going to select a place of safety where lightning would not strike him musically, he would probably select the chamber music concert. Consequently, when the first audience was assembled for the series of chamber concerts being given in Seattle by the Musical Art Club [sic] and it was found that there was a subscription list of over five hundred, the surprise occasioned may well be imagined. It was a lightning bolt.

"'Upon investigation, it has transpired that the whole idea was the dream of the president of the club, Miss Augspurger, who against the advice of almost all the wise ones in the city musically, started the series of concerts, offering fees to resident artists taking part, and making a nominal priced subscription season ticket'"

Again quoting The Musical Courier, the Seattle Times article described the "go it alone" approach that would carry Augspurger to the great success of later years:

"'She began her campaign through a well-organized line of work, through committees, but soon finding this too slow a process and with a determination that the concerts should be a success, she started out on a personal campaign to see, telephone, or write to the people she expected to help support the movement'" ("Women Given Credit for Music Aid").

The publication of this article marked full recognition of Cecilia Augspurger as a force to be reckoned with in the local performing-arts scene. It was an auspicious start, and she never looked back.

A Brief Interlude

In the spring of 1924 it looked as though Seattle was going to lose the talented Augspurger. She announced that she would soon be wed to Gustav Henry Schultz (d. 1968), a businessman from Colorado, and on May 17 of that year she held a "farewell tea" for friends, then left for Denver ("Miss Augspurger Gives Farewell Tea"). She was married there on May 29, and The Seattle Times noted that "After a short motor trip, Mr. and Mrs. Schultz will be at home at 1400 Ash St., Denver" ("Cecilia Augspurger Married in Denver").

But Seattle still drew her, and in 1925 the now-"Mrs." Cecilia Schultz returned alone to the city for an extended visit, staying at the Moore Hotel, a place with which she would become closely associated 10 years later. The pull must have been strong; in October of 1926 it was announced that both she and Gustav Schultz had moved from Denver to Seattle, taking up residence in the Paul Revere Apartments at 1018 9th Avenue. While her husband built his business as a wholesale druggist, Cecilia picked up right where she had left off, bringing musicians of ever-greater prominence to a culture-hungry city.

Back to Business

Before 1926 was out, Cecilia Schultz began what would become a four-year series of "Matinee Musicales" in the luxurious Spanish Ballroom of the Olympic Hotel. These were not minor affairs featuring minor artists of merely local repute. In the first two years alone, Schultz brought to Seattle the London String Quartet, stars from New York's Metropolitan Opera, and famed French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), who on February 13, 1928, performed many of his works for piano at the Matinee Musicale (for which he was paid $500).

Ravel's visit was made possible by Schultz's close ties to the Pro-Musica Society. Started in 1920 as the Franco-American Musical Society, its goal was to promote cultural ties between the two countries. Renamed the Pro-Musica Society in 1923, it would soon spawn more than three dozen local chapters in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Far East. In 1927, Cecilia Schultz and several other local musicians organized the Seattle chapter, and it would become one of the most active. The society was able to draw performances by musicians of world renown and would prove a valuable source of talent for Cecilia Schultz.

It appears from contemporary sources that the Olympic musicale seasons ran from early fall of one year to early spring of the next. They continued through the 1929-1930 season and became known as both social and musical events. Among the other prominent singers and musicians who appeared were pianist and composer Bela Bartok (1881-1945); Swiss composer Arthur Honneger (1892-1955); and Italian composer Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) and his wife, Elsa Respighi (1894-1996), who was both a composer and a mezzo-soprano. To further enhance the educational aspects of the programs, in 1929 and 1930 Schultz organized several "Opera Teas" at the Olympic, featuring lectures by Louise Van Ogle (d. 1959), a local opera scholar and aficionado.

In these early forays into promotion, Schultz seemed a little reticent to take full credit for bringing these performances to Seattle, and the advertisements for the Matinee Musicales said only, "Direction Cecilia Schultz." But with the end of the four-year series in March 1930, and buoyed by its tremendous success, she soon would step forward with more confidence and grander productions, now under the banner "Cecilia Schultz Presents" and "Cecilia Schultz Attractions." The start of her long career as an impresario of the first rank was just over the horizon.

Risks and Rewards

The Great Depression was well underway by 1931, money was scarce, and until late 1933 Schultz promoted only a few appearances of relatively obscure musicians and opera singers, staging them in the familiar space of the Olympic Hotel's Spanish Ballroom. Perhaps the best known was Mischa Levitski (1898-1941), a Russian-born American classical pianist. She also brought to the public local artists, including the Cornish Dance Troupe and the Cornish Players repertory company, both projects of her good friend, Nellie Cornish (1876-1956), founder of the Cornish School (now Cornish College of the Arts). Never afraid to try new things, Schultz also dabbled in artist management, arranging performances at various small venues in Seattle for a handful of local musicians.

In October 1933 Schultz took one huge step into the big leagues of concert promotion when she brought to town Lawrence Tibbett (1896-1960), an American opera baritone, recording artist, and film actor known at the time as "America's most beloved singer" and "the foremost creative artist of the day" ("Tibbett Named As Leader in Creative Art"). The Spanish Ballroom would not do for a star of his stature, so Schultz took a huge risk for those hard times. She rented the much larger Civic Auditorium, then did her own promotion, wrote the advertising, issued the press releases, and handled all the business aspect of the big event. Although she and Gustav Schultz were financially comfortable, it was a major financial risk.

On the night of the concert, October 6, 1933, the Civic Auditorium was packed with 6,500 people, including 200 seated on the stage and nearly 500 standing. Hundreds more were turned away. The audience included both the cream of Seattle society and star-struck schoolgirls who had saved their allowances to buy tickets. With this one show, Cecilia Augspurger Schultz moved into a world of concert promotion long dominated by men. In a review of the performance, Virginia Boren of The Seattle Times wrote:

"And while we're talking about Seattle people, let's not forget the slender, soft spoken woman who made it possible for Seattle people to hear Mr. Tibbett. She's Seattle's own feminine impresario, Mrs. Cecilia Schultz, who presented the baritone last evening. Je vous felicite, Madame Schultz -- It was, indeed, a triumph!" (" … With Virginia Boren -- At Lawrence Tibbett Concert").

The headline in the paper's October 15 edition drove home the point that Schultz could now claim a professional identity: "CECILIA SCHULTZ WINS NAME AS IMPRESARIO" (The Seattle Sunday Times, p. 30).

These mentions may have been the first pairing of Cecilia Schultz and the title of "impresario," but they would not be the last. In future years the word would become a near-constant appendage to her given name.

Great Music at Great Prices

Two months after the Tibbett concert, in December 1933, Cecilia and Gustav Schultz took an extended driving tour to the East Coast, stopping to attend concerts in Chicago and other Midwest cities and taking in several performance in New York City. Upon her return, it was clear that the trip involved not only pleasure but also business. The Times reported:

"like the proverbial Pandora box her traveling bag contained many programs and a few contracts of artists to be brought to Seattle in the future" ("Mrs. Gustav (Cecilia) Schultz Enjoys Musical Tour to East").

But Seattle would have to wait, at least for a few months. Between January and August of 1934, Schultz busied herself with smaller projects, including a performance of The Wizard of Oz by the Cornish School Touring Company (at the familiar Spanish Ballroom); a marionette show for children; and at least two travel lectures, including one on "Soviet Russia Today."

But on August 19, 1934, Schultz's "Pandora box" was opened wide when she announced a season of stellar musical presentations to be presented at the Civic Auditorium, at remarkably low prices. The season comprised appearances by five "master artists" -- baritone John Charles Thomas (1891-1960); Russian pianist/composer/conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943); Russian basso Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938); famed violinist Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987); and the Don Cossack Russian Chorus. The program extended well into 1935, and Seattle had never seen anything like it. Best of all for a city still in the grip of the Depression, the top ticket price to attend the entire series was only $5.50.

Moving to the Moore

Cecilia Schultz found time in 1934 to promote one concert at Seattle's Moore Theatre, featuring Mary Garden (1874-1967), a Scottish operatic soprano famous in her day. This appears to have been the first occasion in which she had used the venue, a jewel box of a theatre that had opened in 1907, prospered as a vaudeville house, then fallen on hard times when vaudeville faded away in the late 1920s. Schultz had had the theater in her sights for some time, and before long she made a deal with its beleaguered owners to take it over on a one-year lease. This was made public on March 2, 1935, when Schultz told the press of her hopes for the Moore:

"It has very fine acoustics, an atmosphere of dignity and simplicity that give the theatre rare charm and offer one the opportunity of making a fitting home for music ... .

"While I am a producer and naturally welcome such a home for my own attractions, I am very happy that I can serve the community in offering a suitable place for any worthy endeavor in music and its kindred arts that wish to find expression there" ("Moore Theatre Leased By Woman Impresario").

Schultz and her husband soon took up residence in one of the apartments in the Moore Theatre building. In addition to being an impresario and promoter, she now was the only woman theater manager west of Chicago and one of a handful in the entire country. With proven success as a promoter, and now with her own venue, Schultz wasted no time. After giving the place a thorough cleaning and modest refurbishment, she started booking performances. The first presentation under her management appears to have been a dance recital by students of Mary Ann Wells (1894-1971), who founded the dance program at Cornish School. But the theater's formal reopening came on July 29, 1935, with "Midsummer Night Ballets," characterized as "a colorful dance extravaganza" ("Famed Ballet To Be Shown at The Moore")

Schultz took another talent-scouting tour in 1935 and upon her return announced a lineup for the 1935-1936 season at the Moore that included Dame Myra Hess (1890-1965), considered the greatest woman pianist of the day; Kathryn Meisle (1899-1970), contralto of the Metropolitan Opera Company; famed Italian lyric tenor Tito Schipa (1888-1965); the Moscow Cathedral Choir; and a return engagement by violinist Jascha Heifetz. She had committed $100,000 to these and other artists, and years later said, perhaps in jest, that her husband, Gustav, "lost thirty pounds in the next few weeks from worrying" (Guzzo, "Celilia Schultz Retires ...").

In 1937, Schultz displayed her mettle in a confrontation with the Seattle Board of Theater Supervisors, a censorship group created in 1923 to protect the public from just about anything the board deemed inappropriate. The supervisors insisted that several of them be allowed to "preview" a presentation of the ballet "Afternoon of a Faun," performed by the Ballet Russe, which the board characterized as "salacious" ("Censors Told Faun Preview Is Too Costly"). Schultz thought the whole idea silly and didn't want to foot the expense.

She was not intimidated. A draft of her response, addressed to the Seattle City Council, got right to the point:

"It seems to me that it is quite up to the City Council to protect me from any further persecution from the Censor Board and to allow me to operate the Moore freely as a center for cultural activities and to remove the threat of revoking my license over this ridiculous censorship of 'The Afternoon of a Faun.'"

She went on to assert that the board's action was retaliation for her refusal to give its members complimentary tickets to the production, and asked the council to protect her from further such demands:

"it seems reasonable that the city council could make provision to exempt expensive artistic attractions that are above reproach from being compelled to give free seats … " (Draft, re: Theater Board of Supervisors).

Schultz won the fight; no further action was taken and the ballet went on as scheduled. The "censor board," however, continued to exist, at least on paper, until 1968. But there is no indication in the public record that it ever again had the nerve to take on the formidable Cecilia Schultz.

Schultz ended up managing the Moore and promoting many of its top attraction for 14 years, until 1949. In 1936 she started a "Greater Artist Series," bringing to Seattle audiences accomplished and noted actors, musicians, and dancers from both Europe and America. She supplemented this in 1942 with a "Deluxe Theatre Series" that often presented somewhat less highbrow attractions, and with Sunday matinees. At a time when there was no organized children's theater in Seattle, Schultz also made sure to provide some entertainment for the younger set, including booking the then well-known Clare Tree Major's Children's Theatre at the Moore.

Her tastes were nothing if not varied. In addition to classical music, opera, and ballet, the Moore saw shows ranging from the well-known dancer Martha Graham (1894-1991) to the lesser-known Trudi Shoop (1904-1999) and her comic ballet; from the Shakespearean "Old Globe Theatre Players" to a black-face presentation of Stephen Foster (1826-1864) songs and a lecture by Robert Ripley (1890-1949) of "Ripley's Believe It or Not" fame.

And That's Not All …

In April 1948 a gala celebration feted Schultz on the "Silver Jubilee" of her years as an impresario. Congratulations poured in from around the world, from famous classical musicians, opera singers, ballet dancers, and fellow promoters. The Seattle Times summed up her career to date:

"She has presented to concert-goers of the Northwest as many as 100 concerts in a single year. Courage and business acumen are qualities that have contributed much to her success. Her tolerance and understanding of artistic temperment [sic] have brought her the respect and personal friendship of the outstanding stars of music and the ballet. To give in detail the names of all the famous artists who have appeared here under the sponsorship of Mrs. Schultz would require more space than is available, for it would be a roster of virtually every artist of world repute who has toured to the Pacific Northwest" ("Cecilia Schultz Will Mark Silver Jubilee").

Almost exactly one year later, on the evening of April 30, 1949, Schultz presented the last of her Greatest Artist Series at the Moore. Fittingly, it featured one of the most famed classical musicians of the twentieth century, pianist Artur Rubinstein (1887-1982).

As if this was not enough, in 1948 Schultz was instrumental in creating the "Seattle Orchestra" after the existing Seattle Symphony Orchestra, beset by financial problems and artist discontent. cancelled its season. Starting in October, the Seattle Orchestra put on several performances before, in January 1949, a reconstituted Seattle Symphony Orchestra was launched under the baton of Eugene Linden (b. 1902) and the management of Cecilia Schultz.

For Schultz, leaving the Moore did not mean leaving show business. Before 1949 was out she had announced a full slate of new presentations, booking them into Seattle's Civic Auditorium and Metropolitan Theatre. She opened an office in Sherman Clay & Company, accompanied by her longtime secretary and treasurer, Flora Yeilding (1891-1975).

In January 1950, Schultz turned her Greater Artist Series over to the newly formed Seattle Community Concert Association, of which she was a founder. The association was one of a nationwide network of such organizations that were able collectively to book acts of the highest caliber to tour regional venues.

Also in 1950, Schultz helped organize the Northwest Grand Opera, which flourished in Seattle until 1955, and she served on the board of Allied Arts, founded in 1954 to advocate for public funding of the arts, better urban planning and architecture, and other civic improvements. With her many and varied activities and her deep knowledge, she became a sort of Mother Superior to Seattle's cultural scene, always willing to lend her expertise or provide a pithy opinion on artistic controversies. Even after her formal retirement, her name appeared frequently as a co-sponsor in advertisements for coming artistic attractions.

The Curtain Comes Down

Cecilia Schultz retired in 1959 but stayed active in Seattle's performing-arts scene. In 1965, she and her husband paid to decorate and furnish the "Cecilia Schultz Room" at the Seattle Opera House, meant to serve as a rehearsal space for visiting artists. The walls were covered with inscribed photographs she had been given by most of the world's most famous classical performing artists, and she donated for the room her own grand piano. She was feted again with a "Cecilia Schultz Night," and among those who spoke was Milton Katims (1909-2006), conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Comparing Schultz to one of America's most famous male impresarios, Katims said:

"And to give you an idea of the stature of Mrs. Schultz in New York, we used to refer to Sol Hurok as 'the Cecilia of the East'" ("Cecilia Schultz Room Dedicated").

Gustav Schultz died in 1968, and after a long illness, Cecilia Schultz, age 92, passed away at Mercer Island's Mercer View Convalescent Center on March 4, 1971. Dorothy Brant Brazier, a veteran writer for The Seattle Times and a longtime friend, wrote of her:

"She had the hard head of a businesswoman and the soft heart of a musician and music lover. She made money and she was careful about money, but she gave generously.

"She was a grand dame; while she called me by my first name, I never presumed to call her anything but Mrs. Schultz.

"One had the feeling that she held none of the great artists, whom she presented, in awe. More likely, they held HER in awe!

"Dear Mrs. Schultz ... good-bye" ("Mrs. Music's Death Ends White-gloves Era")


Musical U.S.A., ed. by Quaintance Eaton (New York: Allen, Towne and Heath, Inc., 1949), 203-204; Richard C. Berner, Seattle 1921-1940, From Boom to Bust (Seattle: Charles Press, 1992), 261-264; Richard C. Berner, Seattle Transformed, World War II to Cold War (Seattle: Charles Press, 1999), 140-145; "Departments of Music and Expression Unite in Preparing Program for Entertainment," The Seattle Daily Times, September 17, 1911, p. 12; "Treble Clef Club Changes Its Name," Ibid., July 7, 1912, p. 18; "Society," The Seattle Daily Times, January 23, 1914, p. 18; "Personal Mention,", June 5, 1922, p. 19; "Women Given Credit for Music Aid," Ibid., December 7, 1922, p. 20; "Miss Augspurger Gives Farewell Tea," Ibid., May 18, 1924, Women and Clubs Section, p. 2; "Cecilia Augspurger Married in Denver," Ibid., June 3, 1924, p. 12; "With the Travelers," Ibid., October 3, 1926, Society, Clubs and Music Section, p. 4; "Ravel, French Composer, Will Be Heard Here," Ibid., January 15, 1928, Society and Clubs Section, p. 7; "Tibbett Names As Leader in Creative Art," ibid., October 4, 1933, p. 13; Virginia Boren, "… With Virginia Boren -- At Lawrence Tibbett Concert," Ibid., October 7, 1933, p. 5; "Mrs. Gustav (Cecilia) Schultz Enjoys Musical Tour to East," Ibid., December 11, 1933, p. 8; "Censors Told Faun Preview Is Too Costly," Ibid., February 16, 1937, p. 1; "A Landmark's Passing," Ibid., April 12, 1949, p. 6; Dorothy Brant Brazier, "Mrs. Schultz Hunts Ancestors," Ibid., July 6, 1958, Society Section, p. 2; June Anderson Almquist, "Cecilia Schultz Room Dedicated," Ibid., October 21, 1965, p. 19; Dorothy Brant Brazier, "Mrs. Music's Death Ends White-gloves Era," Ibid., March 10, 1971, p. D-1; "Cecilia Schultz Wins Name As Impresario," The Seattle Sunday Times, October 15, 1933, p. 30; Parker Collins, "Seattle Symphony Scrapbook," Ibid., February 18, 1934, p. 36; Virginia Boren, "Moore Theatre Leased by Woman Impresario," Ibid., March 3, 1935, p. 9; "Famed Ballet To Be Shown at The Moore," Ibid., July 14, 1935, Third Section, p. 7; Richard E. Hays, "Cecilia Schultz Will Mark Silver Jubilee,"  Ibid., April 18, 1946, p. 41; "The Bement Family History," Bement Family website accessed October 18, 2012 (; United States Census, 1880, "Anna C. Augspurger in household of Jacob A. Augspurger, Madison, Butler, Ohio, United States," FamilySearch website accessed October 19, 2012 (; "Pro-Musica Quarterly," Retrospective Index to Musical Periodical (1766-1962) website accessed October 20, 2012 (; Contract between Pro-Musica Society and Maurice Ravel dated October 18, 1927, Folder 1, "General Correspondence," Box I,  Cecilia Augspurger Schultz papers 1928-1966, Acc. No. 1011-001, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections; Cecilia Schultz to Seattle City Council, undated, typewritten draft (two pages), letter regarding Seattle Board of Theater Supervisors,  Folder 1, "General Correspondence," Box I, Cecilia Augspurger Schultz papers 1928-1966, Acc. No. 1011-001, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections; Typewritten draft, untitled biographical information, undated, Folder 2, "Biographical and Mem.," Box 1, "Biographical & Mem.," Cecilia Augspurger Schultz papers 1928-1966, Acc. No. 1011-001, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections; Pamphlet, "Cecilia Augspurger, Pianiste,"  Folder 2, "Biographical and Mem.," Box 1, Cecilia Augspurger Schultz papers 1928-1966, Acc. No. 1011-001, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections; Typewritten statement on "Paul Revere [apartments], Seattle" stationery, untitled family history, undated, Folder 2: "Biographical and Mem.," Box 1, Cecilia Augspurger Schultz papers 1928-1966, Acc. No. 1011-001, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections; Online Encycopedia of Washington State History, "Moore Theatre (Seattle)" (by John Caldbick), (accessed October 22, 2012). Note: This entry replaces an earlier entry on the same subject.

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