Yolanda Mero Edit Profile
Began studying piano under father. Diploma National Conservatory of Budapest, also honorary professor.
She began studying at the age of 8 at the National Conservatory with Augusta Rennebaum, a pupil of Franz Liszt. She made her debut at age 15 with the Dresden Philharmonic, then toured the world for four years. She moved to the United States in 1900, first appearing in New York in 1909, with the Russian Symphony Orchestra.
In the US she played concertos under the baton of Gustav Mahler, Leopold Stokowski and others. She later had a teaching post at her alma mater in Budapest. Her verve and bravura, but also her wayward approach, were noted.
In a review of her concert at New York's Aeolian Hall in January 1919, James Huneker wrote that "... she transformed Chopin preludes into veritable typhoons", and "... in the Barcarolle, instead of gondolas and the vows of lovers, moonlight and soft Adriatic zephyrs, we were shown a huge warship that steamed through the Grand Canal, sirens screaming, cannons booming, and a band playing Hungarian Rhapsody by Liszt."
Mme Mero-Irion co-founded the New Opera Company, becoming at that time the world's only female impresario. She chose the repertoire, singers, conductors, artistic and stage directors, ballet masters and coaches. She produced The Merry Widow on Broadway in 1943, with choreography by George Balanchine and starring Jan Kiepura, David Wayne, Robert Rounseville and others, and Marcel Pagnol's play Topaze, starring Tilly Losch, in 1947.
She also became an activist in the cause of improving the quality of the content of radio broadcasts, launching attacks on soap operas and advertising. Yolanda Mero-Irion was active in providing support for destitute musicians. She established an endowment with the Musicians Foundation, Inc.
She later lived at 983 Park Avenue, New York.
She died on 17 October 1963, in Lenox Hill Hospital, aged 76.
Member Sigma Alpha Iota (honorary).
Married Hermann Irion, of Steinway & Sons, New York, December 16, 1909.