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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada
MUS 270

Thumbnail[48K] Recto     Thumbnail[29K] Verso
Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, "Concerts pour la Jeunesse", 184e Matinée, 14 mars 1959.  (by permission of l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal)

Otto Joachim fonds.  - [1912?]-1998.  - 1 m of textual records.  - 122 photographs.  - 74 audio tape reels.  - 12 audio tape cassettes.  - 2 digital audio tapes. 

Biographical sketch
Born in Düsseldorf (Germany), Otto Joachim studied violin at the Buths-Neitzel conservatory for a number of years and, starting in 1928, at the Rheinische Musikschule with Hermann Zitzmann.  In 1934, he left Germany and settled in Asia (Singapore, Shanghai), where he pursued a career as both instrumentalist and teacher.  In 1949, the artist obtained an immigrant visa to Brazil and, following a visit to Canada, decided to live in Montréal.  He became a member of and solo viola player for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the McGill Chamber Orchestra.  Along with his brother Walter (cello), Hyman Bress (violin) and Mildred Goodman (violin), he founded the Montreal String Quartet (1955-63).  The ensemble was very successful and its repertoire, consisting of primarily Canadian music, contributed to the dissemination of works by Canadian composers such as François Morel, Clermont Pépin, Violet Archer and Jean Papineau-Couture.  In 1956, he pursued a teaching career at the McGill Conservatorium and at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Montréal, where until 1977, he taught, among other things, chamber music classes.  A composer of many moods, he has produced several works, including Asia, Concertante No 1, Contrastes, Divertimento, Night Music, Kinderspiel, Uraufführung and a String Quartet.  He was also responsible for the electroacoustic music piece called Katimavik , composed for the Expo '67 Canada Pavilion.

Scope and content
The fonds includes records concerning the life and musical activiites of Otto Joachim.  Several records also illustrate the many years spent by the composer in Asia.  It contains, among other items, biographical and official records (passport, visas); professional correspondence, namely with Udo Kasemets, Glenn Gould, John Weinzweig and Maureen Forrester; writings; musical works including Asia, L'Éclosion, Illumination I, Uraufführung and Mobile für Johann Sebastian Bach ; files pertaining to works; concert programmes; promotional material; records related to various activities of Joachim including those of the Montreal Consort of Ancient Instruments; contracts; press clippings; photographs of Joachim, family members and other artists; and sound recordings of concerts conducted by Joachim and of his works, including Kinderspiel, Paean and Katimavik.

The fonds comprises the following series:  MUS 270/A Personal Records; MUS 270/B Correspondence; MUS 270/C Musical Works; MUS 270/D Files Pertaining to Musical Works; MUS 270/E Other Musical Activities; MUS 270/F Awards, Honours and Tributes; MUS 270/G Photographs; MUS 270/H Sound Recordings; MUS 270/I Miscellaneous. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from Otto Joachim in 1996.

Restrictions: none.

Finding aids: Stéphane Jean. The Otto Joachim fonds: Numerical List.  Ottawa:  National Library of Canada. 1999.  56 p.

Accruals:  further accessions expected. 

Proactive Disclosure