Luther Noss

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Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) was born in Hanau, Germany. A prodigious child violinist, he left school early to study at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt-am-Main. As a teenager he was already a professional string quartet performer and soon became leader of the Frankfurt Opera orchestra, under the direction of Ludwig Rottenberg, whose daughter, Gertrud, later became Mrs. Hindemith.

Hindemith studied composition under Bernhard Sekles and Arnold Mendelssohn and soon established himself at the forefront of the post World War I avant-garde. When the Nazis came to power in the 1930s, his music was banned, but not before he was firmly established as a distinguished teacher of composition at the Berlin Hochschule. Since his wife had a Jewish father, he decided to seek another residence, going first to Switzerland and in 1940 to the USA, joining the faculty of the Yale University School of Music, where he remained until his official departure for Europe in 1953.

The Paul Hindemith Collection at Yale University was established in 1964 and was under the supervision/curatorship of Prof. Luther Noss from its inception to 1993. The Collection is primarily a repository for secondary documents relating to the composer's life and work in the United States. The initial gathering of materials was implemented by a weekend commemorative concert series at the University in 1964, following soon upon the death of the composer. At that time many associates sent materials for exhibition purposes, after which much was acquired by the Collection, either as gifts or purchases.

Yale's Paul Hindemith Collection has enjoyed a close association with the Paul Hindemith Foundation, a private and nonprofit Swiss corporation that holds title to the entire Hindemith estate by the bequest of the composer's wife, Gertrud Hindemith, and the Paul Hindemith institute in Frankfurt-am-Main which is subsidized by the Foundation. Yale's Collection has been strengthened significantly by copies from the Frankfurt archives of all the correspondence and other accounts left by Paul and Gertrud Hindemith that relate to their experiences in the United States. In addition, there are copies of correspondence dating back to 1917 and forward to 1965. This time frame exceeds the actual period of 1937 (the year of Hindemith's first concert tour of the USA) to 1953 (his return to Europe) and his death in 1963.

The Collection contains a profusion of newspaper and periodical articles, clippings, concert reviews, and programs; reports from American and foreign newspapers; many private Journal entries; voluminous business correspondence with B. Schott's Söhne, Mainz, and Associated Music Publishers, Inc., New York, Schott's American agent; and personal correspondence with prospective and former students, colleagues, and friends. Its holdings also include many original drawings- made by the composer while living in New Haven, Connecticut, and many photographs of him and his wife: at home, in action - teaching, conducting, composing, with students and colleagues, and formal portraits.

Original holographs are few but significant, comprising a câche of concertos written here: Concerto for Clarinet and orchestra for Benny Goodman; Concerto for Horn and Orchestra ; Concerto for Trumpet, Bassoon, and String Orchestra ; Sonate Ober alten Volkslieder (XXX.) for organ; sketches for Thema mit vier Variationen, a.k.a. The Four Temperaments ; pièces d'occasions known only to the participants, typically American songs, and the entire score of "When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd."

As complete as possible is the documentation of the Collegium Musicum performances of late medieval, Renaissance, and baroque music under Paul Hindemith's direction at Yale and Harvard Universities. Also included are the repeated performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, with programs, lists of personnel, working copies of the music, reviews, accountings, etc.

The post-WW2 controversy brought about by the vitriolic written attacks of Theodor Adorno is well covered, including many defenses by peers and former students. In addition, virtually everything published in German has been translated into English by Prof. Noss, comprising all the prefaces to the Gesamtausgabe and the many articles contained in the Hindemith Jahrbücher. Even the libretti of the operas and German song texts are available in English. Without the years of dedication and devotion by Professor Noss to the task of collecting, filing, ordering, translating, studying, advising, and corresponding, this collection would not exist.

Recordings of works by Paul Hindemith and those he conducted himself repose in the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings and are not listed in this register.

The Paul Hindemith Collection greatly enriches the Yale University Music Library's extensive collection of composers, papers, including those of Charles Ives, Virgil Thomson, Kurt Weill, Carl Ruggles, Horatio Parker, Richard Donovan, Quincy Porter, J. Rosamond Johnson, Lowell Mason, Henry Gilbert, Harold Rome, and Lehman Engel.

From the guide to the The Paul Hindemith Collection, 1901-1993, inclusive, (Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf The Paul Hindemith Collection, 1901-1993, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Associated Music Publishers. corporateBody
associatedWith Boatwright, Howard. person
associatedWith Cox, Oscar. person
associatedWith Donovan, Richard, 1891-1970 person
associatedWith Feist, Leonard. person
associatedWith French, Richard F. (Richard Frederic), 1915- person
associatedWith Furtwängler, Wilhelm, 1886-1954 person
associatedWith Goodman, Benny, 1909- person
associatedWith Hindemith, Gertrud, 1900-1967 person
associatedWith Hindemith, Paul, 1895-1963 person
associatedWith Miller, Carl S. person
associatedWith Noss, Luther person
associatedWith Noss, Osea. person
associatedWith O'Meara, Eva Judd. person
associatedWith Schonthal, Ruth. person
associatedWith Simonds, Bruce. person
associatedWith Simonds, Rosalind Brown. person
associatedWith Wilder, Isabel, 1900- person
associatedWith Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975 person
associatedWith Yale School of Music. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. Collegium Musicum. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Composers--Germany--20th century


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SNAC ID: 12999239