William Strasser Papers (MSS 35), 1897-1944

Summary Information

Repository
Curtis Institute of Music Archives
Creator
Strasser, William, 1875-1944
Title
William Strasser Papers
ID
MSS 35
Date
1897-1944
Extent
1.83 Linear feet (two archival boxes and two oversized folders)
Language
English
Language of the materials
The letters are written in German or English, apart from letter in Italian by Gemma Benotti.
Abstract
The William Strasser collection contains correspondence, art work, and other materials that document his work as composer and conductor in Europe, and as engraver, orchestrator, copyist and editor in the United States, where he worked for conductors, composers. and musicians.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); William Strasser Papers (MSS 35), Box and Folder Number; Curtis Institute of Music Archives.

Return to Table of Contents »


Biography

The Austro-Hungarian composer, conductor and artist William Strasser (1875-1944) studied violin and piano at the conservatories of Vienna and Prague. He was the accompanist of Fritz Kreisler on his first concert tour, and conducted operas in Spain, Italy, and Eastern Europe. When he found that he was going deaf he refocused his career and worked as assistant to composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakoff in Petrograd, Russia, while doing editorial work for a Petrograd publishing house, and taking etching and painting classes from the Russian artist Mikhail Rundaltzoff (1871-1935).

In June 1914 he and his wife moved to New York, where Strasser worked as editor and orchestrator for music publishers, composers, and musicians, including Leopold Stokowski, Richard Strauss, and Josef Hofmann. In 1928 Hofmann (director of the Curtis Institute of Music 1927-38) appointed him as a consultant to the library, where Strasser worked as translator, arranger, orchestrator, and editor. Strasser continued working in the Curtis library until 1942.

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

Curtis Institute of Music Archives 2015

1726 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
archives@curtis.edu

 

Access

The colleciton is open for research.

Provenance

Strasser bequeathed his compositions, art work, and papers to Ella Saile-Mautzer, his former assistant at the library of the Curtis Institute of Music. She donated his music and art work to the library in 1977, while passing on his correspondence to her nephew Alfred Korn. Mr. Korn donated the correspondence to the Curtis Archives in 2010.

Return to Table of Contents »


Related Materials

Related materials

Correspondence between Strasser and Mary Louise Curtis Bok is found in the Founder’s Papers (AD 1). Additional correspondence with and concerning Strasser may be found in the archives of the Curtis Library (AD 3.7), which also include a log book of the work he did with Ella Saile. Strasser’s compositions are kept in the library’s Special Collections and can be accessed through the library catalogue (ROC).

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Hofmann, Josef, 1876-1957
  • Stokowski, Leopold, 1882-1977
  • Strasser, William, 1875-1944
  • Strauss, Richard, 1864-1949

Subject(s)

  • Arrangers (Musicians)
  • Engravers–Russia
  • Engravers–United States
  • Orchestrators–Correspondence

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

Series 1: Biographical information 1929, 1970, and not dated

Description

This series contains miscelleaneous notes and information about Strasser, including materials concerning an art exhibit at the Curtis Institute of Music in 1929, as well as unpublished recollections and anecdotes about his life by Ella Saile-Mautner.

Box Folder
Biographical materials 1929 and not dated 1 1
“My most unforgettable character” by Ella Saile-Mautner 1970 1 2

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 2: Correspondence 1897-1944

Description

The correspondence documents some of Strasser activities as composer and conductor before he emigrated in 1914, and his subsequent establishment as arranger, orchestrator, music copyiest, and artist in the United States. The majority of the correspendents contains only one or two letters per correspondent. More extensive correspondence includes letters from Ossip Gabrilowitch and Josef Hofmann about orchestrations and other work he did for them. Some of the correspondence concerns attemps by Strasser to have his own compositions performed.

Of particular interest is a letter from Leonid Leonardi to an identified “Howard” concerning apparent orchestrations Strasser did for Stokowski. Some correspondence pertains to engravings that Strasser did of musicians and family members, including Marcel Tabuteau and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Box Folder
Auer, Leopold 1920 1 3
Bampton, Rose (to Ella Saile) 1944 1 4
Bauer, Harold 1915-27 1 5
Benotti, Gemma 1899 1 6
Bertholdy, Heinrich 1906-10 1 7
Betle, Adolfo 1923 1 8
Blackwood, J. D. 1929 1 9
Bodansky, Artur 1926 and not dated 1 10
Bok, Mary Louise Curtis 1926-41 1 11
Bolm, Alfred 1925 1 12
Branson, Taylor 1932 1 13
Braun, Edith 1932 and not dated 1 14
Braun, John F. 1922 and not dated 1 15
Casals, Pablo Not dated 1 16
Damrosch, Walter 1942 1 17
De Moutolin, Placido 1940 1 18
Dumler, Martin 1941-44 1 19
Ehrich, Harold 1914 1 20
Elman, Misha 1921 1 21
Engles, George 1920 1 22
Epstein, Richard 1915-18 1 23
Finney, Ross Lee 1944 1 24
Fischer, Walter 1918-20 1 25
Fleischer, Edith 1928 1 26
Gabrilowitsch, Ossip 1916-33 and not dated 1 27
Gates, Lucy 1923 1 28
Gerhardt, Elena 1923 and not dated 1 28
Gibson, Virginia 1933 1 30
Godowsky, Leopold 1915 1 31
Goldman, Edwin Franko 1929 1 32
Goldmark, Rubin 1915 1 33
Gottschall 1906 and not dated 1 34
Gregor, Hans Not dated 1 35
Hanfstoengl, Ernst 1920-21 1 36
Harding, A. A. 1932 1 37
Hautzig, Walter 1944 1 38
Hempel, Frieda 1924 1 39
Henneman, Alexander 1923 1 40
Henton, H. Benne 1917 1 41
Hertz, Alfred 1924 1 42
Hertz, Lilly 1915-20 1 43
Heyman, Katherine 1943 1 44
Hofmann, Josef (including translations by Gregor Benko) 1916-43 1 45
Hutcheson, Ernest 1925-28 1 46
Irion, Yolanda Miro Not dated 2 1
Jacobi, Frederick 1944 and not dated 2 2
Jakob, Christof 1915 2 3
Judson, Arthur 1919 2 4
Jurgenson, Ernest 1927 and not dated 2 5
Kindler, Hans 1925 2 6
Kreisler, Fritz 1917 and not dated 2 7
Labbate, Angela 1944 2 8
Lanier, Harriet 1924 2 9
Lebel, Leon Not dated 2 10
Leonardi, Leonid (to “Howard” concerning Strasser) 1931 2 11
Lesotte, Maurice 1897 2 12
Levine, Joseph 1937 2 13
Library of Congress 1928 2 14
List, Emanuel 1934-35 2 15
MacLish, Mary 1922 2 16
Mana-Zucca 1925-26 2 17
Mapleson, Lionel S. 1921-33 2 18
Mattfield, Julius 1942 2 19
Muller, Maude 1943 2 20
Ornstein, Leo Not dated 2 21
Rachmaninoff, Sergei 1919 and not dated 2 22
Reiner, Fritz 1942 2 23
Rodzinski, Artur 1933 2 24
Rosenfeld, Max 1907 and not dated 2 25
Rubinstein, Beryl 1942 2 26
Rundalzoff, Mikhael 1912-14 2 27
Schelling, Ernest 1942 and not dated 2 28
Schubert, William 1906 2 29
See, A. M. 1935 2 30
Seeger, Charles 1943 2 31
Sembrich, Marcella 1931 2 32
Shumsky, Oscar 1935-40 2 33
Silk Mill 1922 2 34
Sousa Band 1923 2 35
Stengle Sembrich, S. 1915-16 2 36
Stanley, Wilbur 1923 2 37
Stock, Frederick 1942 and not dated 2 38
Stoessel, Albert 1923 2 39
Stokowski, Leopold 1920-25 and not dated 2 40
Stoehr, Richard 1943-44 3 41
Strauss, Richard 1922 2 42
Tabuteau, Marcel 1942 and not dated 2 43
Temianka, Henri 1925 2 44
Theo. Presser Co. 1922 2 45
Tranow, M. 1904 and not dated 2 46
Van Emden, Harriet Not dated 2 47
Vengerova, Isabelle Not dated 2 48
Vognich, E. L. Not dated 2 49
Wellerson, Mila 1926 2 50
Zoellner, Joseph Not dated 2 51
Unidentified 1907-34 2 52

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 3: Portrait photographs 1914 and not dated

Box Folder
Kreisler, Fritz (2 photographs) Not dated 2 53
Rundalzoff, Mikhael (autograph) 1914 2 53
Stokowski, Leopold Not dated 2 53
Unidentified Not dated 2 53

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 4: Etchings and other art work

Description

Series 4 contains Strasser’s etchings as well as other art work, mainly portraits of musicians and composers. An additional framed etching of Rimsky-Korsakoff is hanging in the the Curtis Institute of Music Library, as well a two oil paintings. The colored print labeled “The haunted castle” may have been created for Josef Hofmann, who composed a symphonic poem with the same title.

Individuals Not dated

Box
OZ 1
Folder
9
Auer, Leopold
Curtis Bok, Mary Louise
Elman, Misha
Gabrilowitsch, Ossip
Hofmann, Josef
Liszt, Franz
Verdi, Guiseppe
Unknown woman (“after the old master”)

Subjects

Box
OZ 1
Folder
10
Haydn Monument, Vienna
“The old clock of Rouen” (dedicated to Mary Louise Curtis Bok)
“The Haunted Castle”

Return to Table of Contents »