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Andre Polah Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: DMW
Date: Oct 1979

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.

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.

Arrangement of the Collection

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


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.

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).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

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

Table of Contents



News clippings