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Stamp of the Month: September 2020

John McCormack

The Irish tenor John McCormack was born on June 14, 1884 in Athlone, Ireland; he died on September 16, 1945 in Dublin. September 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of his death.
John McCormack received his first musical training as a member of the Palestrina Choir of Dublin Cathedral. He studied in Milan and made his debut in Savona in 1906 in the opera “L’Amico Fritz” by Pietro Mascagni. In 1907 he received an engagement at the Royal Opera Covent Garden in London, where he triumphed

Ireland 9.5.2019
in 15 different roles until 1914. Guest appearances took him to the Manhattan Opera House in 1909 and to Chicago, Philadelphia and the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1910, where he was also engaged in 1912–1914 and 1917–1918. In 1911 he went on a tour of Australia with the world-famous Australian soprano Nellie Melba. Due to the huge success at his concerts, he withdrew from the opera stage in 1923 and only sang in concerts in which he also performed Irish folk songs. In 1938 he gave his farewell concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, but still appeared occasionally at charity concerts during World War II.
Alongside Enrico Caruso and Beniamino Gigli, John McCormack was considered the most important tenor of his time. Caruso held him in high esteem and saw him as his greatest rival. The great popularity made John McCormack one of the best-earning classical stars of his time. His recordings were real sales hits.
“O Danny Boy”, written by Frederic Weatherly in 1910, is sung to the old Irish folk tune “A Londonderry Air”. The song was part of the standard repertoire at the concerts of John McCormac.


Yehudi Menuhin Trophy 2020 – Most popular Music Stamp 2019

The winner: Evangelina Raffaelli / Argentina


“The essence and culture of a country can be compressed in an image. To realize this in a space as small as a postage stamp and to globally communicate in this way the history of a country is for me a recurring challenge.” This is how Evangelina Raffaelli, the winner of the Yehudi Menuhin Trophy 2020, describes her work. “Due to the variety of topics that I encounter in my work, I feel that designing postage stamps is a dream come true.”
Evangelina Cinthia Raffaelli was born in Buenos Aires in 1983 and took courses in painting and drawing from an early age. From 2001 she studied graphic design at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism of the University of Buenos Aires, and then worked there as a graphic design teacher for six years. During her university studies, she already worked in various advertising agencies and design studios. Evangelina Raffaelli has been part of the design team in the philatelic department of Correo Argentino since 2013. Several of the stamps she has designed have since won international awards. In the area of popular music she designed the stamp for the singer songwriter Gustavo Cerati (2015), the “Hommage to Astor Piazzolla” in 2018 as well as the “Hommage to Carlos Gardel” and, in collaboration with Sebastián Adano, the “Filatelia Argentina: Tango” issues of 2019. In the vote for the most popular music stamp of 2019, the latter stamp (Michel 3839), issued by Correo Argentino on 26 August 2019, took first place with 222 votes (6.87%).

Eligible this year were 66 stamps from 44 postal administrations. Collectors from 58 countries from all 5 continents took part in the online voting. With 197 votes (6.10%) the stamp commemorating the Foundation of Chilean Children’s and Youth Orchestras (FOJI) came in second. The foundation maintains 18 symphony orchestras across the country and supports the musical development of more than 1,000 young musicians with scholarships. The postage stamp designed by Mauricio Navarro González (Michel 2599) was issued by Correos Chile on 12 July 2019.

Third place went to the special stamp for the 130th birth anniversary of the Ukrainian actor, singer and songwriter Alexander Nikolayevich Wertinsky (1889-1957), which received 180 votes (5.57%). Vasyl Vasylenko was responsible for the design of this stamp (Michel 1775), issued by Ukrposhta on 21 March 2019.

Here you will find the candidates for the most popular music stamp 2019

New Books: Music Lexikon – Persons on Stamps

Das große Musik-Lexikon
Personen auf Briefmarken von 1840 – 2015

(Musik Lexikon – Persons on Stamps)

Author: Manfred Gorol
(Member of Motivgruppe Musik e.V.)
1,600 pages / German / Price: 150.- € + postage
The lexicon can be ordered from the author

It would certainly require a lot of work: the author was well aware of that when in the 1990s he began his endeavor to compile a lexicon of all persons with any known musical activity who also appeared on a postage stamp. But that it would take more than 25 years of intensive research to complete the project was then beyond his wildest dreams.
At PHILA MUSICA 2019 Manfred Gorol could finally show his work. “Das große Musiklexikon – Personen auf Briefmarken von 1840-2015” numbers 4 volumes and presents in around 1,600 pages more than 12,000 concise portraits from “Aabel, Per” (Norway, Michel 1372) to “Zylberstein, Elsa” (Guinea, Michel 6562 and Comores, Block 499). The concise portraits never exceed four lines and are always supplemented with references to the relevant stamps (country, date of issue, Michel number). Thus this lexicon contains some 12,000 comprehensive checklists, including issues up to 2015.

Young Collectors

Under the motto “Young Musicians … … young collectors” Motivgruppe Musik supports children and young collectors up to the age of 25 years who are interested in collecting stamps related to music and dance.

Young collectors can join our philatelic music study group one year for free. They get a philatelic welcome pack suited to their collection, four issues of our bulletin and access to the members only section of our website. In addition, the board shall seek for sponsorship and donations to offer a free membership for the young collectors also in the following years.

Meet some young collectors from our study group
Apply for membership if you are interested in music on stamps

By the way, this offer also applies to youth leaders who work on the topic “music” in their youth group.