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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

RUFF, HERBERT, 1918-1985
MUS 241

Herbert Ruff fonds.  - 1947-1983.  - 71 cm of textual records.  - 61 photographs.  - 4 audio discs.  - 59 audio tape reels.  - 52 audio tape cassettes. 

Biographical sketch
Herbert Ruff was born in Poland and studied music in Vienna for a number of years with Lotte Kleine (piano) and then Walter Gieseking (piano) and Paul Graener (composition) at the Stern Conservatory.  Without abandoning serious music, Ruff left the Conservatory at age 13 to devote more time to jazz and light music.  In 1933, he began a career as a composer of film music in Europe, then moved to China (1939-52), where he worked at Radio Hong Kong and the Nanking Conservatory, teaching piano and composition.  Coming to Montreal in 1952, he became a pianist and composer for a range of CBC French network series such as Sol et Gobelet, Nic et Pic and Picotine.  In addition to approximately 30 classical-type works, he composed over 2,000 popular songs, including C'est dans l'temps du Carnaval (words by Gilles Vigneault).  In 1968, he was awarded the BMI trophy for best children's music composer. 

Scope and content
The fonds consists of records pertaining to Herbert Ruff's musical career.  It contains, among other items, professional correspondence; compositions (Sonate pour violon et piano, Farmer's Dance for piano, Trio no.  1 pour clarinette, alto et piano, Bagatelle pour piano, Story of a Chinese Curio for chamber orchestra, etc.); musical themes and arrangements for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation French network broadcasts; concert programmes; press clippings; photographs of Herbert Ruff and other artists; music recordings of CBC French network programs (Le Temps de vivre, Y a pas de problèmes, Picotine, etc. ); and a sound recording of the Sonate pour violon et piano with Herbert Ruff and Eugene Kash. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from Lucie Stewart in several accessions between 1993 and 1995. 

Restrictions:  none. 

Finding aids:  provisional description. 

Proactive Disclosure