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Louis Krasner Papers

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Krasner, Louis, 1903-1995.
Title: Louis Krasner Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1949-1988
Bulk Dates: 1971-1973
Quantity: 2.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence, notes, clippings, and other material relating to musician, composer, WCNY radio host, and Syracuse University music professor Louis Krasner
Language: Majority in English, scattered items in French and German.
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Louis Krasner (1903-1995) was a renowned Ukrainian-born American classical violinist. He is perhaps best known for commissioning and premiering Alban Berg's famous violin concerto. He studied at the New England Conservatory and performed as a virtuoso recitalist in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1944 Krasner was named concertmaster of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, a post he left in1949 to join the faculty of Syracuse University where he taught violin and chamber music until 1972. He was an active contributor to local radio station WCNY, hosting a program entitled "What's With Music," and also taught at the New England Conservatory and at Tanglewood.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Louis Krasner Papers consists of correspondence, memorabilia, notes, clippings and other material. The majority dates from the period shortly after Krasner's retirement from Syracuse University while he was working at local radio station WCNY as host of the show "What's With Music."

Correspondence contains incoming and outgoing. Incoming includes letters to WCNY about their programming, particularly Krasner's show.

Memorabilia contains biographical material and clippings and press releases about Krasner. It also includes two photographic albums signed and inscribed by Krasner to a Mrs. Howe.

Scores contains a number of pieces of music, none written by Krasner. Composers represented include Robert Erickson, Earl George, Alexandru Hrisanide, Richard Swift and William Valente, among others.

Subject files consists of material on a variety of topics. Subjects include musicians and music in modern society; various competitions such as the Leventritt Competition and the NPR-sponsored choral competition "Let the People Sing"; proposals by Krasner shortly after his retirement; programs, clippings and Krasner's own notes for several seasons of the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music, several of whose concerts were broadcast on WCNY; Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigreti, who died in 1973 and whose work was featured in six one-hour programs on WCNY; What's With Music, a program hosted by Krasner on WCNY; and of course several folders of material relating to WCNY and Krasner's work with them in general.

A small amount of Miscellany completes the collection. There is a set of index cards of unknown purpose (perhaps Krasner's own inventory of his papers?), and three spiral notebooks filled with Krasner's notes on music, music programs, and so on.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical by type of material.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

See also the Louis Krasner Collection of Bookplates and Ephemera. For recordings of Krasner's performances please search the Classic Catalog or contact the repository listed above for a complete listing. The Syracuse University Archives is the repository of material related to Krasner's teaching activities in the School of Music.

Other Louis Krasner papers are held by Harvard University and the New England Conservatory.

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Subject Headings


Eberhart, Richard, 1904-2005.
Erickson, Robert, 1917-1997.
George, Earl, 1924-1994.
Harris, Donald.
Hrisanide, Alexandru, 1936-
Krasner, Louis, 1903-1995.
Swift, Richard, 1927-2003.
Szigeti, Joseph, 1892-1973.
Valente, William, 1934-1993.

Corporate Bodies

Syracuse University. -- College of Visual and Performing Arts. -- Faculty.
WCNY (Television station : Syracuse, N.Y.)


American composers.
Composers -- United States.
Music -- Instruction and study.
Music -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Radio programs.
Violin teachers.
Violinists -- United States.


Syracuse (N.Y.) -- Intellectual life.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Programs (documents)
Research notes.
Speeches (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Louis Krasner Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Louis Krasner.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 1 Nov 2011
Revision history: 7 Nov 2011 - updated related material (MRC); 21 Jul 2021 - added albums (RMH)

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Box 1 Incoming 1957-1958, 1972-1973 - includes letters to WCNY concerning Krasner's program
Box 1 Outgoing 1971-1973
Albums - engravings or etchings; both signed and inscribed by Krasner to a Mrs. Howe
Box 3 Berlin 1922
Box 3 Berlin-Potsdam 1923
Box 1 Biographical sketches
Box 1 Clippings about 1949-1950, 1963, 1967-1971, 1977
Box 1 Press releases 1971-1973
Box 1 Programs 1948, 1973, 1984 - 2 for concerts, 1 for a conference at which Krasner participated in a panel discussion
Oversize 1 Erickson, Robert: String quartet undated - several parts, also photocopy of full score
Oversize 1 Erickson, Robert: Quartet for strings 1956
Oversize 2 George, Earl: Genevieve (…Another Fourth of July) undated - an opera in two scenes
Oversize 1 Harris, Donald: Fantasy for violin and piano 1957
Oversize 2 Hrisanide, Alexandru: Musik für mehrere violinen undated - French, English and German
Oversize 2 Hrisanide, Alexandru: Concerto per clavicembalo e orchestra 1973 - German
Oversize 2 Hrisanide, Alexandru: Soliloquium x 11 1971
Oversize 2 Huggler, John: Music in two parts for large orchestra (Op. 64) 1964-1965 - "for Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony Orchestra"
Oversize 2 Maneri, Joseph: Piano concerto undated
Oversize 1 Swift, Richard: Concerto for piano and chamber ensemble II 1980
Oversize 1 Swift, Richard: Great praises for soprano and piano 1977 - poems by Richard Eberhart
Oversize 1 Swift, Richard: In the country of the blue (Trio II) 1988
Oversize 1 Swift, Richard: In this corner wearing trunks 1957-1958 - poem by Helen Rowland
Oversize 1 Swift, Richard: The valleys are asleep 1972
Oversize 1 Valente, William: Shakespeare songs 1986 - includes invitation to concert and program
Oversize 1 Nowak, Lionel: Sonata for solo violin 1952
Oversize 1 Pinkham, Daniel: Easter cantata 1963 - signed and inscribed by Pinkham to Erich Leinsdorf
Oversize 1 Pinkham, Daniel: Concertante 1963 - signed and inscribed by Pinkham to Erich Leinsdorf
Subject files
Box 1 Let the People Sing competition 1972-1973 - NPR-sponsored choral competition
Box 1 Leventritt competition 1973
Box 1 Music Before 1600 1972 - WCNY program
Box 1 Music / musicians 1971-1973, undated - clippings relating to musicians, music education, music in general (2 folders)
Box 1 New Music and the Listener - includes "statement" on new music by Krasner
Box 1 Programs 1973-1974 - miscellaneous performances
Box 1 Proposals 1973 - proposals by Krasner for various projects
Box 1 Speculum Musicae 1971-1973 - clippings, programs, miscellaneous
Box 1 Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music 1971-1975, undated - programs, clippings, Krasner's notes (2 folders)
Szigreti, Joseph
Box 1 The Art of Joseph Szigreti 1973 - as presented on WCNY; clippings, notes, correspondence, etc.
Box 1 Interview transcript - interviewer, date and venue unknown
Box 1 Tribute to Szigeti, by Krasner 1973
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1973 - clippings, copies of correspondence from Szigeti, Krasner's notes, etc.
Box 2 Press releases 1973, undated
See also Memorabilia : Press releases above, for WCNY press releases related to Krasner personally.
Box 2 Publications 1972-1975 - Preview magazine
Box 2 Workshop proposal 1973 - for summer workshop on media and music
Box 2 Miscellaneous 1971-1973 - memos, roughs of program lineups, Krasner's notes, etc.
What's With Music? - WCNY program hosted by Krasner
Box 2 General 1971-1974, undated - Krasner's notes for each program, sometimes biographical info about guests; Sep 1972 includes Krasner's mention of the Israeli Olympic athletes killed in Munich (2 folders)
Box 2 Schedules undated
Box 2 Index cards - unknown purpose, perhaps Krasner's inventory of his papers?
Box 2 Notebooks - three spiral notebooks filled with Krasner's notes (2 folders)

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