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George Pappastavrou Interviews

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 27 Mar 2013

Biographical History

George Pappastavrou, a first-generation American of Greek descent, was a professor of music at Syracuse University and a concert pianist. He grew up in Syracuse, New York and attended Juilliard as both an undergraduate and graduate student (1949-1956), where he studied under Alton Jones and Irwin Freundlich; his fellow students included the well-known pianist Van Cliburn and soprano Leontyne Price. In addition to playing and recording in the United States -- particularly the music of composer Charles Ives -- he also toured Russia at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture and sponsored by the USIA (1974), China (1987, 1988), and Singapore (1990). He was a professor in the Syracuse University School of Music for more than thirty years (1961-1992) and director of the School from 1983-1992. During his career he knew and worked with a number of notable composers, musicians, dancers and other artists, including Henry Cowell, Calvin Hampton, Howard Boatwright, Aaron Copland, Luise Talma, Louis Krasner, and Martha Graham.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The George Pappastavrou Interviews consists of six video interviews, recorded over the course of eight days in 2012. The interviewer is Artis Wodehouse, a musician, musicologist, and former student of Pappastavrou. The interviews span Pappastavrou's entire career, from his childhood in Syracuse, New York to his days at Juilliard, his travels to Europe, Russia and China, and his years on the faculty at Syracuse University's School of Music. During the interviews Pappastavrou discusses his teaching philosophy, friends and colleagues (including dancer and choreographer Martha Graham), and his long-standing interest in and work on the music of American modernist composer Charles Ives. In addition to the video interviews, there is one DVD with simultaneously-recorded audio only.

Each DVD-R has been assigned an ID number; other than that ID number, all information given below, including dates and titles of interviews and the summary of contents, was provided by Ms. Wodehouse.

Arrangement of the Collection

The interviews were received as audio files on DVD-Rs, which are arranged in chronological order by interview date, as given by the donor. Each DVD-R has been assigned an ID number; please use this number in addition to the title when requesting items from the collection.


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

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections relating to composers and musicians, including Franz Waxman, Miklos Rosza, and Arturo Toscanini. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Freundlich, Irwin.
Graham, Martha.
Ives, Charles, 1874-1954.
Pappastavrou, George.
Wodehouse, Artis Stiffey.

Corporate Bodies

Juilliard School of Music -- Personal narratives.


Composers -- United States.
Greek Americans.
Music -- Instruction and study.
Music education.
Music teachers -- United States.
Pianists -- United States.
Piano teachers -- United States.


Syracuse (N.Y.) -- History.

Genres and Forms

Oral histories (literary works)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George Pappastavrou Interviews,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Artis Wodehouse, 2013.

Table of Contents

Video interviews

Audio tracks