HOW MAUD POWELL MET "SUNNY"
(H. Godfrey Turner, who became Maud’s husband and manager)
from H. Godfrey Turner’s Draft Memoir,
The Maud Powell Society Archive
My meeting with Maud Powell was in London, during the winter of 1902-1903. I had been appointed manager of the British syndicate which guaranteed [the band of John Philip] Sousa on the thirty-two weeks tour of that year, a highly successful venture and one which was destined to play an important part in her life as well as my own. The American end of the organization had communicated with me concerning the best woman violinist that could be found and I had no hesitancy in seeking the one woman who I thought answered the call. Oddly enough, up to that time, I had never heard a Powell performance but remembered old Joseph Bennett [English critic] and another music critic talking about her in the London Press Club one night after she had deputized for Lady Hallé, who, through illness, had been unable to fulfill an engagement in St. James’ Hall.
The enthusiasm of these two men was enough for me, in spite of a third man who, overhearing the conversation, joined them and wanted to know the nationality of the player. When informed, he said in a somewhat deprecating manner, “Ha, ha, Made in America”, to which Bennett replied that he did not care where she was made, that she had done the best fiddling he had yet heard from a woman. No time was lost by me and I soon got her address, wrote the offer I had been empowered to make, one which in those days was by far the largest ever guaranteed to any violinist. It was accepted. So it came about that this contract was made solely on the reputation earned by one who, though internationally known, had up to then never saved enough to secure an instrument worthy of her art.