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MS Mus 259

Kolisch, Rudolf, 1896-1978. Rudolf Kolisch additional papers, 1926-1964: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Mus 259
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Kolisch, Rudolf, 1896-1978.
Title: Rudolf Kolisch additional papers,
Date(s): 1926-1964.
Quantity: 1 collection (.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English and German.
Abstract: Additional papers of Austrian-born, American musician Rudolf Kolisch.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2005M-26. Source unknown; received: 2005.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Barbara M. Wolff

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Rudolf Kolisch Additional Papers, 1926-1964 (MS Mus 259). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

The violinist Rudolf Kolisch was born in Klamm, Austria, in 1896. He studied violin, composition and musicology in Vienna, and was close to the circle around his teacher Schoenberg (who married Kolisch's sister Gertrud in 1924). Kolisch's quartet was founded in 1922; first known as the Wiener Streichquartett, then Kolisch Quartett, it became internationally known as one of the protagonists of the Second Viennese School. Bartok, Berg, Webern, and Schoenberg entrusted them with the first performances of many of their works. In 1939, while touring the USA, the quartet in its original formation disbanded. In 1944, after years of struggle, Kolisch became the primarius of the Pro Arte Quartet, in residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and later joined the faculty at the School of Music. In 1967 he left that position for the New England Conservatory, Boston, where he taught until his death in 1978.
[For additional biographical information, see Claudia Maurer Zenck, "Was sonst kann ein Mensch denn machen, als Quartett zu spielen? Rudolf Kolisch und seine Quartette. Versuch einer Chronik der Jahre 1921-1944," in Österreichische Musikzeitschrift no. 53 (1998), p. 8ff.]


Arranged into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Includes: correspondence; a notebook recording concert dates; programs, reviews, and clippings of the Kolisch Quartett, New School Chamber Orchestra, and the Pro Arte Quartet; biographical materials on Kolisch; and photographs of Kolisch and the Kolisch Quartett.
Correspondents include Theodor W. Adorno, Ernst Krenek, Roger Sessions, and Edward Steuermann.

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