Carlos Salzedo Collection (MSS 26)

ca. 1886-1961 (bulk 1910-1960)

Summary Information

Curtis Institute of Music Archives
Salzedo, Carlos, 1885-1961
Carlos Salzedo Collection
MSS 26
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1913-1960
Date [inclusive]
17.2 Linear feet (10 archival boxes, 6 storage file boxes, and 7 oversize photo boxes).
The Carlos Salzedo Collection includes Salzedo’s personal papers and memorabilia, as well as records he kept as president of the National Harp Society (1923-31), and as head of the Harp Department at the Curtis Institute of Music (1924-1961).

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Carlos Salzedo Collection (MSS26), Box and Folder Number; Curtis Institute of Music Archives.

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Carlos Leon Salzedo, neé Charles Moise Léon Salzedo (1885-1961) was a French-born American harpist and composer, who headed the harp department at the Curtis Institute of music from the school’s founding in 1924 until his death in 1961. A graduate of the Paris Conservatoire (1898-1901), he moved to the United States in 1909 to become principal harpist af the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (1909-1913). In 1913 he founded the flute-harp- cello trio “Trio de Lutèce” with Georges Barrère and Paul Kéfer (later the Barrère-Salzedo-Britt trio). Considered the greatest harpist of all times, he performed in solo recitals as well as with orchestras, and toured with the Salzedo Harp Ensemble, and later his Salzedo Concert Ensemble. He was president of the National Association of Harpists (1921-35), co-founded the International Composers Guild in 1921, and edited the Eolian Review (later Eolus) from 1921 to 1932. In 1931 he established the Salzedo Harp Colony at Camden Maine with his second wife Lucille Lawrence (member of the Curtis harp faculty 1927-33), who premiered many of Salzedo’s compositions.

Salzedo’s harp instruction and performance became known as the “Salzedo method.” His students have populated many American orchestras and held teaching positions at conservatories and universities. At Curtis they included Casper Reardon (’27), Edna Phillips (’31), Reinhardt Elster (’37), Florence Wightman (’35), Marilyn Costello (’49), Alice Chalifoux (’34), and his third wife, Marjorie Call (’37) whom he married in 1938.

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The Salzedo collections consists of ten series partaining to his education, performing, and teaching career. The collection includes a personal scrapbook, composition books, and printed materials, that document his education at the Bordeaux and Paris Conservatory and his achievements as a child prodigy in France (1888-1908), as well as a concert books, programs and clippings, and biographical materials concerning his performance career after he moved to the United States. In addition, the collection includes scrapbooks that Salzedo kept while serving as the President of the Annual National Harp Festival (1922-31), and records of the Harp Department at the Curtis Institute of Music (1924-61). The collection further includes snapshots of personal, social, and travel scenes as well as harpists at Seal Harbor and the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine (1923-37), artifacts, and miscellaneous materials.

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The collection has been arranged into the following series. Series 1: Personal scrapbook, 1886-1906; Series 2: Composition books, 1907-1908; Series 3: Concert books, 1925-1933; Series 4: Programs and clippings, 1913-1948; Series 5: Annual National Harp Festival scrapbooks, 1923-1931; Series 6: Curtis Harp Department, 1925-1961; Series 7: Photographs, 1923-1947; Series 8: Printed materials, 1900-1932; Series 9: Miscellaneous materials, 1931 and not dated; Series 10: Artifacts, 1897-1900 and not dated.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Curtis Institute of Music Archives 2014

1726 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103


Restrictions on use and copyright information

The collection is open for research. Copyright to the materials remains with the Salzedo estate.

Provenance and acquisition

This collection is part of the materials that Carlos Salzedo bequeathed to the Curtis Institute of Music. His manuscripts of compositions and transcripts, which were originally part of this collection, are kept in the Special Collections of the Curtis Institute of Music.

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Related Materials

Related materials at the Curtis Institute of Music and other repositories

Original manuscripts of Salzedo’s compositions and transcripts are kept among the Special Collections of the Curtis Institute of Music, and are in the process of being entered into the library catalog. For a list of these materials in alphabetical original order consult the original finding aid to the collection (Inv. 1-118). Photostat copies can be searched in the library catalog (ROC).

The location of Salzedo’s personal correspondence, which is not present in the Salzedo collection, is unknown. Letters from Salzedo to Mary Green, 1945-50 can be found in the Mary Green Beckman Collection (MSS 56) in the Curtis Archives.

Related materials pertaining to Carlos Salzedo and the Salzedo Harp Colony at Camden, Maine can be found at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University, which holds the Dewey Owens collection on Carlos Salzedo, the Alice Chalifoux papers, and the Salzedo Harp Colony records.

Additional materials relating to Carlos Salzedo, including clippings and sheet music, can be found in the Ball State University Libraries, which hold the Lucille Lawrence Papers, 1921-69 (SPEC.033).

A collection of published works by Salzedo and compositions and arrangements by others, annotated by Salzedo, is held at the New School Archives and Special Collections.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Clippings
  • Photographs
  • Programs
  • Scrapbooks

Personal Name(s)

  • Lawrence, Lucille, 1907-2004
  • Salzedo, Carlos, 1885-1961


  • Harp music–19th century
  • Harp music–20th century
  • Harp–Instruction and study
  • Harp–Performance–History
  • Harp–Periodicals

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Personal scrapbook 1886-1906


The scrapbook documents Salzedo’s education and achievements as a student of the Bourdeaux and Paris conservatories and subsequent career in France. Materials includes photographs, programs, contracts, and correspondence with teachers, conductors, and composers, and other personal mementos. As the materials were very brittle the scrapbook has been dismantled and the pages were rehoused in individual folders.

Personal scrapbook, 1888-1906 1
Loose inserts in the scrapbook, 1886-1907


Includes programs and clippings ase well as the piano sheet music used during the competition of the Paris Conservatory, 1901


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Series 2: Composition books 1907-1908


Salzedo’s composition books, kept during the two years prior to emigrating to the United States, contain sketches of compositions, with some additional notes and glued in materials.

Box Folder
 1907-08 2 1
 1907-08 (oversize) 2 2
 c. 1908-09 2 3
 c. 1908-09 (oversize) 2 4

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Series 3: Concert books 1925-1933


The concert books are account- and scrapbooks, documenting Salzedo’s bookings and concerts, arranged by season. They include an account of fees and expenses for each of his concerts and trips, as well as contracts, invoices, programs, and correspondence (some loose enclosures).

Box Vol
 1925-29 3 1-4
 1929-33 4 1-4
 1942-43 5
 1943-44 6
 1943-45 7
 1945-46 8

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Series 4: Programs and clippings 1913-1948


This series includes biographical materials, programs, and press clippings, that document Salzedo’s career from 1913 through 1948 and from 1956 through 1960. The series is chronologically arranged and complements (and sometimes duplicates), materials in the concert books in series 2 (view an item-level list of materials). Additional biographical materials and clippings are available in the Vertical File Collection.

Biographical materials, 1926-c. 1975

Box Folder
Mixed materials 9 1
Box Folder
Mixed materials 21 1


Box Folder
Programs and clippings, 1913-28 9 2-106
Programs and clippings, 1928-36 10 107-212
Programs and clippings, 1936-47 11 213-371
Programs and clippings, 1947-48 12 372-417
Programs and clippings, 1956-60 and not dated 13 418-440
Oversize clippings, 1921-31 22 10

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Series 5: Annual National Harp Festival scrapbooks 1923-1931


The scrapbooks, kept by Salzsedo while serving as President of the Annual National Harp Festival, include registry documents, clippings, programs, correspondence, annual meeting minutes, photos, and ephemera. Items are brittle and the photos, many of which are panoramic, have been creased.

Box Vol
Third Annual National Harp Festival (April 22-24, 1923), 1922-23 14 1
Sixth Annual National Harp Festival (March 18-19, 1926), 1925-26 14 2
Seventh Annual National Harp Festival (March 27-28, 1927), 1926-27 14 3
Eighth Annual National Harp Festival (March 28-29, 1928), 1927-28 14 4
Ninth Annual National Harp Festival (March 20-21, 1929), 1928-29 14 5
Tenth Annual National Harp Festival (March 3-4, 1930), 1929-30 14 6
Eleventh Annual National Harp Festival (February 9-10, 1931), 1930-31 14 7

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Series 6: Curtis Harp Department 1925-1961


This series documents the activities of the Curtis harp department during Salzedo’s tenure, arranged by academic year. The “Angels’ department record books,” as they were labeled by Salzedo, list individual students and the work they studied as well as ensemble classes from 1928-29 through 1959-60 (1944-45 and 1951-52 through 1953-54 are missing). The tuning and orchestra schedules are annual lists of students who were assigned to the tasks. In addition, the series contains loose programs of student and faculty recitals from 1924-24 through 1960-61. These programs are also available in the library’s collection of recital programs, which may be viewed online.

Angels’ Department record books, 1928-1960


Tuning schedules, 1928-61


Orchestra schedules, 1927-61


Concert programs, 1925-1961


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Series 7: Photographs 1923-47 and not dated


The majority of the photos in this series consists of 3×5 inch snapshots of personal, family, travel, and social scenes, as well as their corresponding negatives. The photos include individuals and informal groups, including harpists, usually in outdoor settings at Seal Harbor, Maine, and the Salzedo harp colony at Camden, Maine. The photographs are organized chronologically by season, based on information found on Salzedo’s original envelopes and negatives. Only few individuals are identified.

Informal snapshots 1923-37

Box Folder
Snapshots, 1923-24


Indoor and outdoor scenes, presumably at Seal Harbor, with Edna Phillips and unidentified harpists, and other individuals, including Olga Samoroff (?).

17 1
Snapshots, 1923-24


Individuals and groups on a boat and traveling, as well as outdoor scenes, including Salzedo with women holding bouquets.

17 2
Snapshots, 1925-26


Individuals and informal groups outdoors, at the beach, and on a trip aboard the S.S. Paris to Zurich (May 1926), where Salzedo attended the Zurich International Music Festival. Scenes include Lucille Lawrence.

17 3
Snapshots, 1925-26


Miscellaneous groups, train trip, and outdoor scenes.

17 4
Snapshots, 1926-27


Outdoor scenes, including at a cottage and on horseback. Photographs include Lucille Lawrence.

17 5
Shapshots, 1927


Group photos aboard a ship and in an unknown city with Edna Phillips (?) and unidentified individuals, including photos “before and after the 1927 festival.”

17 6
Snapshots, 1927-28


Photos of Salzedo and Lucille Lawrence at Marion, MA, including wedding photographs (original envelope labeled “Marion Photos”), and as well as shadow photos of Salzedo with harp.

17 7
Snapshots, 1927-28 (winter)


Travel scenes with mixed company, including Lucille Lawrence.

17 8
Snapshots, 1928 (summer)


Outdoor photos of unidentified harp students (including male and young student); car cleaning, and horse riding scenes.

17 9
Snapshots, 1929-30


Harp students at Seal Harbor, Maine, including mock bull fight scenes and photos with Lucille Lawrence on the boat. Harpists include Edna Phillips and Alice Chalifoux.

17 10
Snapshots, 1931 (summer)


Groups, swimming, and social scenes at the new harp colony in Camden, Maine, including family photographs, and photos of Lucille Lawrence working on a roof. Harpists depicted include Edna Phillips, Flora Greenwood, Mary Griffith, Marjorie Tyre, Isabel Ibach, Mary Jane Mayhew, Alice Chalifoux, and Reeva Riatha.

17 11
Snapshots, 1932 (summer)


Social scenes, travel scenes, and friends, including Jules Buoy, Walter Abel and Marietta Bitter and baby, Alice Chalifoux, and Edna Phillips. Photos include group scenes on a boat and scenes at Camden House.

17 12
Snapshots, 1934-c. 1937


Travel scenes with Lucille Lawrence, as well as with George Barrère and Horace Britt.

18 1
Snapshots, 1936, Oct


Photos pertaining to a trip to and from California by plane.

18 2
Snapshots, 1936-37


Women in front of unidenfied house and cottage, and group photo of male and female harpists at various locations, including the Curtis Institute of Music.

18 3
Snapshots, not dated


Miscellaneous photographs of unidenfied individuals and groups in various locations.

18 4

Snapshop negatives and envelopes 1923-37

Box Folder
 1923-24 18 5
 1925-26 18 6
 1927-28 18 7
 1927-28 (winter) 18 8
 1928 (summer) 18 9
 1929-30 18 10
 1931-32 18 11
 1935-37 18 12

Formal group photographs and portraits 1936 and not dated

Box Folder
Group photographs taken during a trip of the Barrère-Salzedo-Britt trio to Mexico, 1936 18 13
Black and white photo of “The Trio,” painted by Maltby Sykes in the summer of 1936, with negative and its original container, 1936, summer 18 14
Miscellaneous individuals, not dated


Individuals include Edgard Varèse (?), Jose Delaguerriere, Murette Meyer, Mary Green, and unidentified

18 15

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Series 8: Printed materials 1900-32


This series includes an custom bound and annotated copy of the Palmares, the annual listing of laureates at the National Conservatory of Paris, for the years during which Salzedo won a prize (1897-98 and 1900-01), as well as a copy of Constant Pierre’s book concerning the history of the conservatory.

Periodicals in this series include annual publication of the National Harp Festival, as well as the harp magazines Eolian Review and Eolus, which include articles by Salzedo.

Box Folder
“Palmares, de Leon Carlos Salzedo,” 1896-97, 1900-01 19 1
Le Conservatoire National de Musique et de Declamation: documents historiques and administratifs, recueillis ou reconstitutes par Constant Pierre ( 1900: Imprimerie Nationale) 1900 19 2
National Harp Festival programs, 1928-29, 1931-32 20 1-3
Eolian Review (no 8-9), 1921-24 20 4-7
Eolus (no 10-19), 1925-32 20 8-12

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Series 9: Miscellaneous materials 1931 and not dated

Box Folder
Conservatoire de Paris: Lecture a vue du concours du 11 Juillet, 1910 (printed music sheet), 1910 21 1
Blue prints and designs of movement, and lighting for a performance of a composition by Salzedo, choreography by Eugenja Liczbinska, Camden ME, 1931 21 2
Designs of and dining room etagiere, table and chairs, Camden, ME 1931 21 3
Correspondence (draft), 1931, Aug 7 21 4
Top of a box strings presented to Edna Phillips for her marriage by harp students and teachers (Photostat copy), 1933 21 5
Handdrawn telephone book cover about the Harp Department, presented to Mary Louise Curtis Bok (photostat copy), 1935-36 21 6
Autographed sketches and untitled fragments, not dated 21 7-10
Photo reproduction of the shadow performance of “Short Stories in Music” by Carlos Salzedo, 1935 21 11

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Series 10: Prizes and artifacts 1897-1901 and not dated

Box Carton
Conservatoire National de Musique et de Declamation medals: first medal in solfege (1897), first medal in piano (1897), and the second prize in harp (1900) 1897-1900 22 1
Box Folder
Conservatoire National de Musique et de Declamation certificates: first medal in solfege (1897), and first prizes in harp and piano (1901) 1898-1901 OZ 1 15
Plaster portrait bust, painted silver not dated 22
Bronze cast hands not dated 23-24

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