Lederman, Minna

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Minna Lederman Daniel (b. March 17, 1896; d. October 29, 1995) was a music and dance editor and writer, and a major influence on 20th century music. In 1923, she was a founding member of the League of Composers, a group of musicians and proponents of modern music. In 1924, she helped launch the League's magazine, The League of Composers review (in 1925 the name was changed to Modern music), which was the first American journal to manifest an interest in contemporary composers. She served as the sole editor of this magazine from its inception to its demise in late 1946. During this period, she developed the journal's distinctive literary style and was directly responsible for bringing to readers the literary efforts of significant young composers such as Marc Blitzstein, Leonard Bernstein, Paul Bowles, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, Roger Sessions, and Virgil Thomson. Following the demise of Modern music, Mrs. Daniel (who wrote under her maiden name of Lederman), continued to write on music and dance. In 1974, Minna Lederman Daniel established the Modern Music Archives at the Library of Congress.

From the description of Minna Lederman Daniel collection, 1896-1993 (bulk 1960-1990). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 503652905

Biographical Note

Minna Lederman Daniel (b. 17 March, 1896; d. 29 October, 1995) was a writer and editor on music and dance. She received professional training in music, dance, and drama before graduating from Barnard College in 1917. In 1923, she was a founding member of the League of Composers, a group of musicians and proponents of modern music. In February 1924, she helped launch the League’s magazine, The League of Composers’ Review, which was the first American journal to manifest an interest in contemporary composers. The magazine changed its name to Modern Music in 1925. She served as the sole editor of this magazine from its inception to its demise in late 1946. During this period, she developed the journal’s distinctive literary style and was directly responsible for bringing to readers the literary efforts of significant young composers such as Marc Blitzstein, Leonard Bernstein, Paul Bowles, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, Roger Sessions, and Virgil Thomson. Equally important were articles written by scholars, critics, and European composers such as Bartók, Berg, and Schoenberg. The journal had the effect of nurturing an entire generation of composer-critics. For over two decades, Modern Music served as a major force within the international music world, chronicling the developments in concert music, jazz, musical theater, film, radio, and dance in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.

Following the demise of Modern Music, Mrs. Daniel (who wrote under her maiden name of Lederman) continued to write on music and dance. She edited the anthology Stravinsky in the Theatre (1947), and contributed articles to American Mercury, Saturday Review, The Nation, Show, Woman’s Home Companion, and other journals.

In 1974, Minna Lederman Daniel established the Modern Music Archives in the Library of Congress. In addition to the documentary archives of the magazine, which consists of correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, drawings, and set-designs, she also submitted her own material: an essay titled "Footnotes" (to the magazine’s history); biographical sketches of individuals represented in the Archive or otherwise connected to the magazine; and other materials, including unpublished photographs. In 1983 she compiled The Life and Death of a Small Magazine, a monograph published by the Institute for Studies in American Music. This compilation of articles, originally written for Modern Music by some of the twentieth century’s most celebrated composers, and combined with commentary contributed by Minna Lederman Daniel, won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for distinguished music criticism in 1984. In a 1983 New York Times article, Joan Peyser wrote that Ms. Lederman “probably shaped pre-World War II American music more than any single composer did.”

From the guide to the Minna Lederman Daniel Collection, 1896-1993, (bulk 1960-1990), (Music Division Library of Congress)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn George Balanchine archive, 1924-1989 (inclusive), 1961-1983 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Serge Koussevitzky Archive, 1920-1976, (bulk 1924-1951) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf Lederman, Minna. Minna Lederman Daniel collection, 1896-1993 (bulk 1960-1990). Library of Congress
referencedIn Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990. Aaron Copland oral history. Yale University Library
creatorOf Lederman, Minna. [Material relating to the publication of Stravinsky in the theatre (New York, Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1949) edited by Minna Lederman. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Modern Music Archives, 1909-1983, (bulk 1924-1983) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf League of Composers (U.S.). Modern music archives, 1910-1984 (bulk 1924-1983). Library of Congress
creatorOf Minna Lederman Daniel Collection, 1896-1993, (bulk 1960-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Parmenia Migel papers, 1945-1990. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn The John Kirkpatrick Papers, 1836-1993 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Kirkpatrick, John, 1905-1991. The John Kirkpatrick papers, 1836-1993 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Aaron Copland Collection, 1841-1991, (bulk 1911-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. Papers of Paul Bowles [manuscript], 1957-1984 ca. University of Virginia. Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Balanchine, George. person
associatedWith Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. person
correspondedWith Cage, John person
correspondedWith Cage, John person
correspondedWith Carter, Elliott, 1908- person
associatedWith Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990. person
correspondedWith Cunningham, Merce person
correspondedWith Cunningham, Merce person
correspondedWith Denby, Edwin, 1903-1983 person
correspondedWith Hitchcock, H. Wiley (Hugh Wiley), 1923-2007 person
associatedWith Kirkpatrick, John, 1905-1991. person
correspondedWith Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951 person
associatedWith League of Composers (U.S.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Migel, Parmenia. person
correspondedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
correspondedWith Oja, Carol J., 1953- person
correspondedWith Perlis, Vivian person
associatedWith Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971. person
correspondedWith Thompson, Tazewell person
correspondedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Dance--United States
Dance
Music--20th century--History and criticism
Composers--Correspondence
Choreographers--Correspondence
Musicology--United States
Avant-garde (Music)
Choreographers--United States--Correspondence
Music--United States--20th century--History and criticism
Musicians--Correspondence
Musicology
Musicians--United States--Correspondence
Modern dance
Composers--United States--Correspondence
Modern dance--United States
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1896-03-17

Death 1995-10-29

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SNAC ID: 55704028