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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

MUS 76

Oskar Morawetz fonds.  - 1876-1993.  - 5.90 m of textual records.  - 166 photographs.  - 10 negatives.  - 2 audio tape cassettes. 

Biographical sketch
Born in Czechoslovakia, Oskar Morawetz studied theory with Jaroslav Krichka and piano with Karel Hoffmeister, Julius Isserlis and Lazare Lévy.  In 1936, on the recommendation of George Szell, he was named assistant conductor at the Prague Opera.  Morawetz moved to Canada in 1940, pursuing his musical training at the University of Toronto.  He began a career in teaching music at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto before joining the faculty of the University of Toronto in 1951.  Essentially a self-taught composer, he produced many inspired works, including a Scherzo for piano, a Fantasy on a Hebrew Theme for piano, a Concerto for piano, String Quartet No.  1, a Serenade, Symphony No.  1, a Memorial to Martin Luther King and a widely performed and recorded piece for voice and orchestra, From the Diary of Anne Frank.  The artist's prize-winning works include his String Quartet No.  1 (1945), Sonata Tragica (1946) and Sinfonietta (1966) for winds and percussion.  In 1987 Morawetz received the Order of Ontario, and in 1988 was made a Member of the Order of Canada. 

Scope and content
The fonds contains records pertaining to the musical activities of Oskar Morawetz as well as his relationships with various artists around the world:  biographical records; personal and professional correspondence, including letters from Glenn Gould, Zubin Mehta, Eugene Ormandy, John Newmark, Pablo Casals, Charles Dutoit, Darius Milhaud, Pierre Fournier, Walter Susskind, Lauritz Melchoir, Janet Baker, Aaron Copland, Arthur Honegger, Albert Roussel, etc.; manuscripts of compositions by Oskar Morawetz; documents concerning the works From the Diary of Anne Frank and Memorial to Martin Luther King; concert programmes; press clippings; posters; annotated books and scores (dedications by Ravel, Kleiber and Helen Berg, among others); collection of documents, including records of singer Ruzena Herlinger and a letter from Liszt and Régine Crespin; photographs, chiefly of Oskar Morawetz, members of his family, and Ruzena Herlinger; sound recordings of From the Diary of Anne Frank

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired through a transfer from the National Archives of Canada in 1976 and from Oskar Morawetz, in several accessions, between 1989 and 1993. 

Restrictions:  none. 

Finding aids:  provisional summary description of part of the fonds. 

Associated material:  Oskar Morawetz fonds (MG 31, D 43) at the National Archives of Canada.

Accruals:  further accessions expected. 

Proactive Disclosure