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Andre Polah Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Polah, Andre, 1892-1949.
Title: Andre Polah Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1915-1949
Quantity: 3 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American conductor, violinist. Born in The Hague, Holland. Correspondence (1918-1949); musical programs (1918-1949); clippings about Polah, some relating to his tenure as concertmaster and conductor of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra; and sheet music.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Andre Polah (1892-1949) was a Dutch musician. Born in Holland, he began studying music at age six, at The Hague in his home country. Later he studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music, then at Liege University and finally the Paris Conservatoire. At sixteen he began playing violin in concert. In 1917, at the end of World War I, Polah was released from a German prison camp and came with his Belgian teacher, Eugene Ysaye, to the United States. That year he began touring with John McCormack and later conducted and played in concert with symphony orchestras worldwide. He eventually secured a position as head of the violin department at Syracuse University in the late 1920s, conducting their orchestra as well. In 1935 he was invited to be concertmaster of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for four years. His music was well received throughout his career.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Andre Polah Papers consists of correspondence, music, and news clippings.

Correspondence contains letters from Arthur Hartmann (Hungarian-born American violinist, composer and friend of Claude Debussy) and Rose O'Neill (illustrator, sculptor, designer, artist, writer), as well as a few miscellaneous items. Music includes both sheet music and material related to musical performances, such as programs and a sketch of a set for Gluck's Orpheus. News clippings contains clippings about Polah, spanning more than thirty years.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is alphabetical by name. Music-related material is alphabetical by type. News clippings are arranged chronologically.

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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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Subject Headings


Hartmann, Arthur, 1881-1956.
O'Neill, Rose Cecil, 1874-1944.
Polah, Andre, 1892-1949.

Corporate Bodies

Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.


Conductors (Music) -- United States.
Dutch Americans.
Music -- 20th century.
Musicians -- United States.
Violinists -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Programs (documents)
Sheet music.


Conductors (Music).

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Andre Polah Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: DMW
Date: Oct 1979
Revision history: 28 Mar 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC); 16 Nov 2017 - rehoused, additions (MS)

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Box 1 Hartmann, Arthur 1931-1939, 1949 - includes undated photograph of Hartmann
Box 1 O'Neill, Rose 1925, 1930-1940 - includes undated photograph of Hartmann
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Oversize 1 Blueprint, Gluck's Orpheus, Crouse College, Syracuse University 1929
Box 1 Programs, Andre Polah 1918-1949 (6 folders)
Oversize 1 Sketch, Gluck's Orpheus, Provincetown Playhouse 1926
Sheet music by Polah
Box 2 Ballet of the Flowers by Henry Hadley, transcriptions for violin and piano by Andre Polah
Oversize 1 Chaconne from the Fourth Sonate of Joh. Seb. Bach, Transcription for Orchestra (and Chorus lib.)
Oversize 1 Chorale-Prelude ("I Call to Thee, Oh Lord") / Bach-Polah
Oversize 1 Reverie
Sheet music by others
Oversize 1 Shawnee Indian Hunting Dance, by Charles Sanford Skilton
News clippings
Box 2 Clippings 1915-1941
Box 3 Clippings 1941-1949

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