MIZER, CONRAD (12 Jan. 1857-28 May 1904) was a tailor whose chief contribution to Cleveland was his promotion of summer band concerts in public parks. Mizer asked the city for $5,000 to finance a season of music, and met with resistance not only from the city, but also from ministers who wished to keep the Sabbath free from nonreligious activities. Nevertheless summer band concerts began in 1898 with band members paid $3 per concert. Among the performing bands were the Great Western, Natl. Military, and Cleveland Elks bands. In Sept. 1903, an all-Wagner program in ROCKEFELLER PARK was presented, with the Great Western Band and a German chorus performing.

After the collapse of the CLEVELAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA in 1902, Mizer attempted to revive it with a winter concert series, seeking financial support from prominent citizens and chairing an executive committee to handle business arrangements. Mizer had JOHANN BECK and EMIL RING alternate as conductors. On 4 Jan. 1903, at GRAYS ARMORY, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra gave a well-attended production featuring the music of Bizet, Liszt, and Weber. These Sunday afternoon programs continued for 10 years with great success. They also gave local composers an opportunity for their works to be performed. Mizer's funeral was held in Grays Armory and he was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY. A monument in his honor was erected in EDGEWATER PARK. Mizer, born in Orwell, Ohio to John and Margaret Mizer, was unmarried.

Article Categories