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Louis Krasner Papers

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 1 Nov 2011

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.

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.

Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetical by type of material.


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.

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.

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)



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.

Table of Contents




Subject files