Serly, Tibor

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Composer, conductor, and instrumentalist.

From the description of Letters from Tibor Serly to Henry Pleasants, 1931-1951. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145435462

From the guide to the Tibor Serly letters to Henry Pleasants, 1931-1951, (L. Tom Perry Special Collections)

Composed 1931. First performance Budapest, 13 May 1935, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, the composer conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony in 3 movements / Tibor Serly. [19--]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409339

From the ballet about the British occupation of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. Commissioned by Catherine Littlefield for the Philadelphia Ballet Company. Composed 1936. Suites extracted 1937.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of First suite from the "Mischianza" ballet / Tibor Serly. [1937]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409313

From the description of Second suite from the "Mischianza" ballet / Tibor Serly. [19--]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409316

Composed 1932.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony in two movements / Tibor Serly. [19--]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409340

Composed 1935-36. First performance Budapest, 1936, Budapest Radio Orchestra, the composer conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Sonata concertante / Tibor Serly. [1940]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409335

Composed 1936-37. Reconstructed ca. 1975 after original score was lost. Ballet concerns the entertainment, or mischianza, given by John Andre for the British occupying Philadelphia in 1778, which led to the victory of the Revolutionary troops. For two suites from the ballet, see callnos.: 3560 and 3561.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Mischianza : ballet in four scenes / by Tibor Serly. [1937]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 79617772

Composed 1937.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Alarms and excursions / Tibor Serly. [19--]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54403314

From the description of Colonial pageant : symphonic suite / Tibor Serly. [19--]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54403331

Composed 1932-33. First performance Budapest, 13 May 1935, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, the composer conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Six dance designs / by Tibor Serly. [19--]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409334

Composed 1975-76.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of The Pleiades : for chorus and orchestra / Tibor Serly. c1976. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409328

Based on Taps. Composed 1945. First performance Chautauqua, New York, 1948, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, Franco Autori conductor. Dedicated to the memory of the composer's brother, killed in World War I, and the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of American elegy / Tibor Serly. [1945]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54403317

Based on Transylvanian and Hungarian folk songs. Composed 1926. Revised 1932. First performance Philadelphia, 1932, members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the composer conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Transylvanian rhapsody / Tibor Serly. [19--]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409346

Based on Hungarian folk melodies harmonized by Bartók. Composed 1946-48. First performance, Town Hall, New York, 27 February 1948, NBC Symphony Orchestra, the composer conducting, Emanuel Vardi soloist. Dedicated to William Primrose.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Rhapsody for viola and orchestra / Tibor Serly. [1947] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409330

Composed 1952-54. First performance Columbia University, New York, 1958, Performance Trust Orchestra, Local 802, New York City, the composer conducting, Davis Shuman soloist. Dedicated to Davis Shuman.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Concerto for trombone and orchestra / Tibor Serly. [19--]. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 54409306

Tibor Serly was born in Losonc, Hungary on November 25, 1901. He began his musical studies with his father, Lajos Serly, a Hungarian patriot, theatrical composer, and pupil of Liszt. Due to financial hardships, Lajos Serly moved his family in 1905 to New York City, where Tibor spent his childhood. Tibor gained early experience in pit orchestras led by his father until 1922, when he returned to Budapest to attend the Liszt Academy. There, he studied violin with Jenö Hubay, composition with Zoltán Kodály, and orchestration with Leó Weiner, graduating in 1925 with highest honors. During his years in Budapest, Serly also first made the acquaintance of his longtime mentor and friend, Béla Bartók.

Serly returned to the United States upon graduation and held positions as a violinist and violist in leading American orchestras, including the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy and the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini. He also became close friends with several modernist poets, including William Carlos Williams, Louis Zukofsky, Basil Bunting, and most notably Ezra Pound, whom Serly visited frequently at Pound's home in Rapallo, Italy, arranging concerts there. In 1938, Serly retired from performing to focus on composing and teaching.

In 1940, Béla Bartók and his wife emigrated from wartime Hungary to New York. Until Bartók's death in 1944, Serly devoted his energies to providing material and emotional support to the ailing exiled composer. Serly's papers include intimate photographs of Bartók and himself, as well as a home movie of an informal piano performance by Bartók. Serly arranged the "Mikrokosmos" suite for chamber orchestra, orchestrated the "Third Concerto for Piano", and posthumously completed the master's "Concerto for Viola" from sketches of the work. A talented decipherer and stylist, Serly also reconstructed a duet by Liszt and a section of Schubert's unfinished "Eighth Symphony."

From the 1930s on, Serly engaged in serious theoretical studies, developing a post-Schoenbergian enharmonic system called "Modus Lascivus," which divides the twelve-tone scale into two segments to create a multimodal chromatic scale system. Serly published two advanced theoretical texts, "A Second Look at Harmony" (1964) and "Modus Lascivus: The Road to Enharmonicism" (1976), and had just completed a third, "The Rhetoric of Melody", at the time of his death. Serly was also working on both a personal memoir and a biography of Bartók, the unfinished typescripts of which are included in these papers.

Towards the end of his life, Serly relocated with his second wife, the pianist Miriam Molin, to Longview, Washington, where he continued to teach and actively championed modernist music in the Pacific Northwest. At the end of his career, Serly was better known for his famous friends and collaborators, especially Bartók and Pound, than his own musical and theoretical work, a fact about which he complained bitterly in later correspondence. He was, however, indefatigable in his commitment to both innovation in modern music and preserving the rich musical traditions in which he had played a central role.

Tibor Serly died on October 8, 1978 after being struck by a car on a visit to London. His devoted wife Miriam, who kept his work alive through her performances, compiled the papers in this collection.

From the description of Tibor Serly papers, 1905-1992. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 299029469

Tibor Serly was born in Losonc, Hungary on Nov. 25, 1901. His first musical studies were with his father, Lajos Serly, a pupil of Liszt. Spending most of his childhood in New York City, Tibor Serly played in various pit orchestras led by his father until 1922, when he returned to Hungary to attend the Budapest Royal Academy. There he studied composition with Zoltán Kodály, violin with Jenö Hubay, and orchestration with Leó Weiner, graduating in 1925 with highest honors.

Serly then returned to the USA and held several positions as violist in various orchestras. In 1929 he began a friendship with Ezra Pound, frequently visiting his home in Rapallo, Italy and arranging concerts there. In 1934, while a violinist and assistant conductor with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Serly went to Europe to study conducting with Herman Scherchen. After the 1937-38 season as violist with the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini, Serly devoted his life to composing and teaching.

In 1940 Bela Bartók and his wife arrived in New York as refugees. From their arrival unto his death Serly devoted most of his efforts for their support. He made arrangements of Mikrokosmos, and after Bartók's death, completed his viola concerto. Married once and divorced, Serly's second marriage was to the pianist Miriam Molin.

Beginning in the 1930s Serly was engaged in studying the "modus lascivus." After Bartók's death he resumed his studies of this scale which "permanently divides the chromatic scale into two separate segments, thus creating a multimodal chromatic scale system." Serly also explored performance techniques on various instruments, such as for the voice as in Consovowels and for strings in his Rondo fantasy in stringometrics. Towards the end of his life he relocated from New York City to Longview, Washington, where he continued to teach and compose. His last major theoretical work was the culmination of his studies with modus lascivus, codified in Modus Lascivus: The Road to Enharmonicism (1976).

Tibor Serly died in London on Oct. 8, 1978.

From the guide to the Tibor Serly papers, 1924-1978, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Tibor Serly was born in Losonc, Hungary on November 25, 1901. He began his musical studies with his father, Lajos Serly, a Hungarian patriot, theatrical composer, and pupil of Liszt. Due to financial hardships, Lajos Serly moved his family in 1905 to New York City, where Tibor spent his childhood. Tibor gained early experience in pit orchestras led by his father until 1922, when he returned to Budapest to attend the Liszt Academy. There, he studied violin with Jenö Hubay, composition with Zoltán Kodály, and orchestration with Leó Weiner, graduating in 1925 with highest honors. During his years in Budapest, Serly also first made the acquaintance of his longtime mentor and friend, Béla Bartók.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Serly returned to the United States upon graduation and held positions as a violinist and violist in leading American orchestras, including the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy and the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini. He also became close friends with several modernist poets, including William Carlos Williams, Louis Zukofsky, Basil Bunting, and most notably Ezra Pound, whom Serly visited frequently at Pound's home in Rapallo, Italy, arranging concerts there. In 1938, Serly retired from performing to focus on composing and teaching.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1940, Béla Bartók and his wife emigrated from wartime Hungary to New York. Until Bartók's death in 1944, Serly devoted his energies to providing material and emotional support to the ailing exiled composer. Serly's papers include intimate photographs of Bartók and himself, as well as a home movie of an informal piano performance by Bartók. Serly arranged the Mikrokosmos suite for chamber orchestra, orchestrated the Third Concerto for Piano, and posthumously completed the master's Concerto for Viola from sketches of the work. A talented decipherer and stylist, Serly also reconstructed a duet by Liszt and a section of Schubert's unfinished Eighth Symphony.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED From the 1930s on, Serly engaged in serious theoretical studies, developing a post-Schoenbergian enharmonic system called Modus Lascivus, which divides the twelve-tone scale into two segments to create a multimodal chromatic scale system. Serly published two advanced theoretical texts, A Second Look at Harmony (1964) and Modus Lascivus: The Road to Enharmonicism (1976), and had just completed a third, The Rhetoric of Melody, at the time of his death. Serly was also working on both a personal memoir and a biography of Bartók, the unfinished typescripts of which are included in these papers.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Towards the end of his life, Serly relocated with his second wife, the pianist Miriam Molin, to Longview, Washington, where he continued to teach and actively championed modernist music in the Pacific Northwest. At the end of his career, Serly was better known for his famous friends and collaborators, especially Bartók and Pound, than his own musical and theoretical work, a fact about which he complained bitterly in later correspondence. He was, however, indefatigable in his commitment to both innovation in modern music and preserving the rich musical traditions in which he had played a central role.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Tibor Serly died on October 8, 1978 after being struck by a car on a visit to London. His devoted wife Miriam, who kept his work alive through her performances, compiled the papers in this collection.

From the guide to the Tibor Serly Papers, 1905-1992., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, )

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Six dance designs / by Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. The Pleiades : for chorus and orchestra / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Second suite from the "Mischianza" ballet / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Music for four harps and strings / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Concerto for two pianos and orchestra / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Sonata concertante / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Bartók, Béla, 1881-1945. Bartok fragment : [a posthumous orchestra fragment] / [by Béla Bartók ; orchestrated from orig. sketch by Tibor Serly]. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. The Pleiades : perfect copy / Tibor Serly ; poem by Mary Barnard. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Samuel Russell correspondence, 1863-1891 L. Tom Perry Special Collections19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn Ezra Pound papers : addition, 1862-1983, 1960-1971 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Mischianza : ballet in four scenes / by Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Colonial pageant : symphonic suite / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn Jordan, Susan Cordelia. Scrapbook relating to Ezra Pound, 1933-1985. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Concerto for viola and orchestra / by Tibor Serly. The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. The Pleiades. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Tibor Serly Papers, 1905-1992. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Forest lullaby / lyric by Kathryn Boghetti ; [music by] Tibor Serly. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Newton, Norman, 1929-. Norman Newton fonds. University of British Columbia Library
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Rudge, Olga, 1895-1996. Olga Rudge papers, 1887-1989. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. [Selections] [microform] / Tibor Serly. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972. Ezra Pound papers : addition, 1862-1983 (bulk 1960-1971). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Transylvanian rhapsody / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Song of bondage ; Birthday song ; Flower song / Tibor Serly. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Burkat, Leonard, 1919-1992. The Leonard Burkat papers, 1943-1981 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Jordan, Susan Cordelia. Scrapbook relating to Ezra Pound, 1933-1985. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Alarms and excursions / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. [Chamber music. Selections] [microform] / Tibor Serly. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Letters from Tibor Serly to Henry Pleasants, 1931-1951. American Primers
referencedIn The Leonard Burkat Papers, 1943-1981 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. A strange story. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn The Moldenhauer Archives at Harvard University: Manuscript music compositions, 1880-1985. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Concerto for viola and orchestra / by Tibor Serly. University of Houston, M.D. Anderson Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Fugue in D minor for strings / Tibor Serly. The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
creatorOf Tibor Serly papers, 1924-1978 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Russell, Samuel, 1835-1896. Correspondence, 1863-1891. American Primers
referencedIn The Moldenhauer Archives at Harvard University: Correspondence, literary manuscripts, sound recordings, and other material, 1873-2001. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Rhapsody for viola and orchestra / Tibor Serly. The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
referencedIn Burkat, Leonard, 1919-. The Leonard Burkat papers, 1943-1981 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Symphony in two movements / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. American elegy / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Dance movement for string orchestra : from String quartet, Mvt. III / Tibor Serly ; arranged by Philip Thomas. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. First suite from the "Mischianza" ballet / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. [Selections] / Tibor Serly. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Concerto for trombone and orchestra / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. Fantasie and fugue / Mozart ; orchestrated by Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Symphony in two movements / by Tiber Serly. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Tibor Serly papers, 1905-1992. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. [Chamber folk music] [microform] / Tibor Serly. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. The Pleiades : cantata in modus lascivus for mixed chorus and orchestra : reduced score and complete chorus for rehearsal : corrected copy / Tibor Serly ; poem by Mary Barnard. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Tibor Serly letters to Henry Pleasants, 1931-1951 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Rhapsody for viola and orchestra / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn Olga Rudge Papers, 1887-1989 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
creatorOf Serly, Tibor. Symphony in 3 movements / Tibor Serly. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith American Music Collection corporateBody
associatedWith Anderson, Marian, 1897-1993 person
associatedWith Barber, Samuel, 1910-1981. person
associatedWith Barnard, Mary. person
associatedWith Bartók, Béla, 1881-1945. person
associatedWith Bartók, Peter, 1924- person
associatedWith Boghetti, Kathryn person
associatedWith Burkat, Leonard, 1919-1992. person
associatedWith Couperin, François, 1668-1733. person
associatedWith Frid, Géza. person
associatedWith Frid, Géza. person
associatedWith Gesualdo, Carlo, principe di Venosa, 1560 (ca.)-1613 person
associatedWith Gesualdo, Carlo, principe di Venosa, ca. 1560-1613. person
associatedWith Helmy Kresa Henry Pleasants. person
associatedWith Helmy Kresa Henry Pleasants. person
associatedWith Jordan, Susan Cordelia. person
associatedWith Kodály, Zoltán, 1882-1967. person
associatedWith Laughlin, James, 1914-1997. person
associatedWith Leonard Burkat person
associatedWith Marenzio, Luca, 1553-1599. person
associatedWith Mascagni, Pietro, 1863-1945. person
associatedWith Moldenhauer, Hans person
correspondedWith Moldenhauer, Hans, collector. person
associatedWith Monteux, Pierre, 1875-1964. person
associatedWith Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791. person
correspondedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith Newton, Norman, 1929- person
associatedWith Norman Newton person
associatedWith Ormandy, Eugene, 1899-1985. person
associatedWith Philadelphia Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Pleasants, Henry person
associatedWith Pleasants, Henry person
associatedWith Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972. person
associatedWith Rudge, Olga, 1895- person
associatedWith Rudge, Olga, 1895-1996. person
associatedWith Russell, Samuel, 1835-1896. person
associatedWith Schubert, Franz, 1797-1828. person
associatedWith Serly, Lajos person
associatedWith Serly, Lajos. person
correspondedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Stokowski, Leopold, 1882-1977. person
associatedWith Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971. person
associatedWith Thomas, Philip, arranger. person
associatedWith Toscanini, Arturo, 1867-1957. person
associatedWith Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963. person
associatedWith Yehudi Menuhin person
associatedWith Zoltan Kodaly person
associatedWith Zukofsky, Louis, 1904-1978. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Longview (Wash.)
Longview (Wash.)
Hungary
Subject
Orchestral music--Scores and parts
Folk songs, Hungarian--Instrumental settings
Songs (Medium voice) with orchestra--Scores and parts
Poets--Biography
Concertos (String orchestra)--Scores and parts
Hungarian Americans--Music--History and criticism
Composers--Biography
Conductors (Music)--Biographies
Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
Symphonies--Scores
String quartets--Scores
Rhapsodies (Music)
Songs with piano
Dance music
Pianos (2) with orchestra--Scores and parts
Ballets--Excerpts--Scores and parts
Plucked instrument trios (Harps (3))--Scores
Orchestral music--Scores
Viola with orchestra--Solo with piano
Music--Manuscripts
Symphonies--Scores and parts
Suites (Orchestra)--Scores and parts
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Trombone with orchestra--Scores and parts
Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices) with orchestra--Scores and parts
Instrumental music
National socialism and music--History--Sources
Music
Chamber music--20th century--Scores
Chamber music, Arranged--Scores
Cantatas, Secular--Score
Composers--Hungary--Biography
Canons, fugues, etc. (String orchestra)--Parts
String orchestra music--Scores and parts
Concertos (Viola)--Parts (solo)
Harps (4) with string orchestra--Scores
Orchestral music--20th century--Scores
Symphonies (Band)--Scores and parts
Conductors--Biography
Vocal music
Concertos (Trombone)--Scores and parts
Funeral music
Modernism (Music)
Modernism (Music)--United States
Cantatas, Secular--Vocal scores with piano
Concertos (Pianos (2))--Scores and parts
String orchestra music, Arranged--Scores
Music theory--History--20th century
Lullabies
Viola with orchestra--Scores and parts
Ballets--Scores
Plucked instrument quartets (Harps (4))--Scores
Occupation
Composers
Function

Person

Birth 1901-11-25

Death 1978-10-08

Americans

English,

Hungarian

Information

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