Current Exhibitions & Events
CELEBRATING COMPOSERS: BARTÓK, BEESON, AND A HOST OF OTHERS IN COLUMBIA’S RARE BOOK & MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
September 30, 2013 – January 10, 2014
“Celebrating Composers: Bartók, Beeson, and a Host of Others” includes selected items from the papers of composers held by the RBML. Composers featured in the exhibition include Columbia Music Department members, such as Edward MacDowell, founder of the department, Daniel Gregory Mason, Douglas Moore, Jack Beeson, Vladimir Ussachevsky, and George Edwards. Other composers whose works are in the exhibition include George Antheil, Béla Bartók, Nicolai Berezowsky, Harry Lawrence Freeman, Ulysses Kay, Jerome Moross, Sid Ramin, Eda Rapoport, and Virgil Thomson.
Three related events are planned. An evening celebrating the centennial of Jerome Moross and in honor of Sid Ramin, on October 15 at 6:00 pm in Butler Library, Room 523, will feature Susanna Moross Tarjan and Ron Ramin speaking about the work of their fathers, moderated by David Garland of WQXR. A reception to view the exhibition follows. On October 22, the Harlem Chamber Players will present the first in their Ulysses Kay Project, at 6:00 pm in St. Paul’s Chapel on the Columbia campus. And on November 6, join Miranda Beeson, Conductor Anton Coppola, members of the VAI staff, and other guests for a preview of VAI’s newly released video of the original cast recording of Jack Beeson’s opera “Lizzie Borden.” A reception to view the exhibition will follow. All events are free and open to the public.
Celebrating the bicentennial of Richard Wagner, the exhibition will draw from the collection of Anton Seidl, who as a young man was one of Wagner’s “chose few” assistants. Hired by the Metropolitan Opera in 1885, and subsequently a conductor for the New York Philharmonic, Seidl died suddenly at the height of this career in 1898. His papers and scores were presented to Columbia by “The Friends of Anton Seidl.” On display will be his notebooks that he kept for the first Ring productions at Bayreuth, giving the names of all the singers and orchestra members, and notes on stage directions.
Harry Lawrence Freeman received the nickname the “Black Wagner” for his prolific output as an opera composer. Founder of the Negro Opera Company, he wrote at least 23 operas. On display will be the manuscripts of two of his major works, “The Martyr” and “Voodoo,” as well as his unpublished history of African-American music.
Béla Bartók received a Ditson Fellowship, as well as an honorary doctoral degree, from Columbia. Before his death from leukemia in 1945, Bartók presented to Columbia the manuscript of his major work meticulously documenting the vocal and instrumental folk music of Rumania, on display along with material presented by his student, Tibor Serly.
Celebrating the centennial of Jerome Moross, the exhibition will include the scores for two of his major musicals, “Broadway Ballads” and “The Golden Apple,” along with cast photographs, set designs, posters, and congratulatory telegrams from Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, and Cole Porter, material drawn also from the papers of his librettist, John Latouche.
George Antheil, a teacher of Jerome Moross, is represented by the manuscript of his 1st piano sonata (1919) and a corrected proof copy of his Symphony No. 4 (1942), along with letters written by Alexander Calder, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and Leopold Stokowski.
Ulysses Kay, who studied with Otto Leuning at Columbia on a Ditson fellowship, wrote a wide range of vocal, instrumental, and keyboard works. On display will be the manuscript scores of “Danse Calinda,” the documentary film “The Quiet One,” and his last major work, the opera “Frederick Douglass.”
Sid Ramin’s papers include his orchestrations for “West Side Story,” “Gypsy,” and “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” as well as his television and commercial work. He received a Grammy award for the Broadway production of “West Side Story,” and an Academy Award for the film version, and also orchestrated the widely performed “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story,” dedicated to him “in friendship” by Leonard Bernstein.
On display from the Douglas Moore papers will be manuscripts of his opera “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” and his Pulitzer Prize winning opera “Giants in the Earth.” The manuscript score of Jack Beeson’s opera “Lizzie Borden” will be on display, along with photographs and set and costume designs from the original production by the New York City Opera in 1965.
The exhibition will also include items representing the many music composition prizes and awards given annually by Columbia University, including the Ditson Fund awards, the Bearns Prize, the Rapoport Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Examples are: Milton Babbitt’s “Music for the Mass,” awarded the Bearns Prize in 1941, given to composers aged 18 to 25 during the award year; David Orlan’s “Composition for Clarinet and Tape” that received the Rapoport Prize for chamber music in 1976; and Ellen Zwilich’s “Three Movements for Orchestra (Symphony No. 1)” that received the Pulitzer Prize in Music for 1983.
Selling Russia's Treasures
Butler Library, Room 203
6:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Please join us for a presentation on the Soviet Trade in Nationalized Art, 1917–1938 - an authoritative illustrated account of the unprecedented sale of Russia’s cultural treasures by the Soviet government.
with Nicolas Iljine, Natalia Semenova, Elena Solomakha, Robert H. Davis, Jr., Edward Kasinec, Mark Schaffer, Richard Wortman, and honorary guest Amir Kabiri, President of the M.T. Abraham Foundation.
Co-sponsored by the Harriman Institute and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
The event is free and open to the public.
For more information on the exhibitions, receptions, panels and hours please see: /content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml.html or call 212-854-5590.