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Alma Gluck

Alma Gluck began her career as an opera singer, but it was her love of American folk songs that made her a bestselling musical artist. Gluck began voice lessons as an adult, and her teacher arranged for the famed conductor Toscanini to hear her sing. Toscanini was delighted by her talent and offered her a place in his company, launching her as an opera singer for a debut presented by the Metropolitan Opera at the New Theatre in 1909. By 1911, she had transitioned from opera to vocal recitals, and by 1914 she was the most popular concert singer in America, giving almost 100 recitals a season throughout the US. She also made a variety of recordings, from classical pieces to folk songs, and her recording of “Carry Me Back to Ol’ Virginny” sold almost two million copies. In later life, Gluck supported a variety of musical causes and helped found the American Guild of Musical Artists.


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American soprano Alma Gluck sits on a bench.
Courtesy of Bain News Service/U.S. Library of Congress.
Date of Birth


Date of Death
Singer, Philanthropist, Founder

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Alma Gluck." (Viewed on November 25, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/gluck-alma>.


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