Scope and arrangement
The League of Composers / ISCM records contain the papers of Claire Raphael Reis, the records of both the League of Composers and the United States section of the ISCM before their 1954 merger, and the post-1954 records of the combined League/ISCM.
The Reis papers contain biographical information; correspondence with composers and musicians including Aaron Copland, Serge Koussevitsky and Darius Milhaud; personal photographs and a scrapbook; and subject files and writings describing Reis's activities with the League of Composers, the People's Music League of the People's Institute and the Women's City Club of New York.
The League of Composers and ISCM records (pre-merger) document the history of both organizations through correspondence, concert and festival programs, clippings, board reports and other internal correspondence. The correspondents include George Antheil, Bela Bartok, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Aaron Copland, Henry Cowell, Paul Hindemith, Charles Ives, Serge Koussevitsky, Wallingford Riegger, Erik Satie, Arnold Schoenberg, Roger Sessions, William Grant Still, Igor Stravinsky, Virgil Thomson, and Anton Webern, among many other important figures.
The League of Composers / ISCM records cover the history of the merged organization from 1954 to the 2000s. They contain programs, clippings, correspondence, grant applications and associated correspondence, publicity materials, meeting minutes, concert production files, general files and issues of the organization's newsletter, the ISCM Bulletin. Correspondents include Gunther Schuller, Roger Sessions, Hugo Weisgall, George Perle, Louis S. Karchin and Geoffrey Kidde.
The League of Composers/ISCM records are arranged in four series:
- 1906-19784 boxes
This series documents the life and activities of Claire Rafael Reis through a biographical file, correspondence, photographs, a scrapbook, subject files, and writings.
The biographical file contains short typed biographies, resumes and clippings. The correspondence includes letters from Benjamin Britten, Carlos Chavez, Aaron Copland, Alberto Ginastera, Serge Koussevitsky, Darius Milhaud, Paul Rosenfeld and William Schuman.
The photographs are of Reis, her family and her piano teacher. The scrapbook has clippings and programs documenting Reis's life from her school years as a pianist to her involvement in the People's Music League and the League of Composers.
The subject files hold correspondence, clippings, programs and flyers. Topics include Reis's books; a 70th birthday tribute she organized for Aaron Copland; the composers Benjamin Britten, Louis Gruenberg and Leo Ornstein; the People's Music League; the New York City Center of Music and Drama; the Women's City Club of New York; Mayor John Lindsay, and the New York Public Library. The New York Public Library file contains correspondence with the Library and with Lincoln Center regarding a 1964 exhibition of League of Composers correspondence.
Among the writings are typed notes for Composers, Conductors and Critics, typed notes from meetings of the Women's City Club, typed and manuscript notes on Peoples' Music League projects, an essay titled "Introduction To An Era In Contemporary Music," several typed notes on various League of Composers issues, notes on a meeting of the National Music Council, an essay titled "Radio and Education," and a written draft of an essay about the earliest plans for City Center. The writings files also contain lists of articles written by Reis, a list of League founders, and lists of letters donated to the Library.
- 1923-19665 boxes
This series contains the records of the League of Composers, dating mostly from 1923 to 1955. The papers primarily hold concert programs and correspondence, but also include clippings, Board reports and internal memos. One file documents a 1941 tour sponsored by the League.The programs are organized by concert season and document every season from 1923-1924 to 1954-1955.
Most of the correspondence is with Claire Reis. Correspondents include George Antheil, Samuel Barber, Be´la Barto´k, Alban Berg, Marc Blitzstein, Ernst Bloch, John Cage, Alfredo Casella, Juan Jose Castro, Carlos Chavez, Aaron Copland, Henry Cowell, Manuel de Falla, Rudolph Ganz, Eugene Goossens, Louis Gruenberg, Roy Harris, Paul Hindemith, Charles Ives, Otto Klemperer, Serge Koussevitsky, G. Francesco Malipiero, Bohuslav Martinu°, Darius Milhaud, Eugene Ormandy, Walter Piston, Serge Prokofiev, Fritz Reiner, Wallingford Riegger, Artur Rodzinski, Erik Satie, Arnold Schoenberg, William Schuman, Roger Sessions, William Grant Still, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, Virgil Thomson, Bruno Walter, and Anton Webern. Some correspondence dates up to 1966, but the majority is from before the 1954 ISCM merger. League-related correspondence can also be found in Series I.
- 1923-19661 box
This series holds the records of the U.S. section of the ISCM, from its founding in 1922 to just before its 1954 merge with the League of Composers. The records consist primarily of correspondence but also contain clippings and concert programs, files documenting festivals produced by the Society (mostly programs), and general papers, which include the U.S. section's certificate of incorporation. The clippings and program files on foreign ISCM sections also contain correspondence with those sections.
The letters in the correspondence files are mostly to Dorothy Lawton, Secretary of the U.S. section. Correspondents include Elliott Carter, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, Henry Cowell, Eugene Goossens, Serge Koussevitsky, G. Francesco Malipiero, Quincy Porter, Karol Rathaus, Arnold Schoenberg and Roger Sessions.
- 1954-200910 boxes
This series documents the League of Composer's merger with the U.S. section of the ISCM in 1954 and the combined organization's history up to 2009; the bulk of the records date from the mid-1960s to the 1990s. The records include correspondence, clippings, concert programs, grant applications and associated correspondence, publicity materials, meeting minutes, and issues of the organization's newsletter, the ISCM Bulletin.
Among the ISCM activities documented by the collection are the production of the 1976 ISCM World Music Days Festival in Boston; the organization's New York concert series; the composer and piano competitions; the development program; and the general work promoting contemporary music and composers both in the United States and abroad.
Concert production files include performer and venue contracts; publicity material such as press releases, flyers and subscription brochures; subscription lists and program copy. Development files contain grant applications and correspondence regarding the management and execution of awarded grants. Funding agencies include the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and private foundations. The World Music Days Festival files contain correspondence with venues, performers, sponsoring companies, and other national ISCM sections; contracts; publicity and press correspondence; and logistical information regarding equipment, transportation, hotel accommodations, catering and event management. Piano and composition competition files contain correspondence from contestants and lists of repertoire entered in the competitions.
The World Music Festival file holds programs for German and Dutch festivals.
The general files contain board meeting minutes and correspondence related to all other topics in the series. The 1954 file contains the by-laws of the League of Composers and papers outlining its merger with the U.S. section of the ISCM. Files from 1978-1979 contain histories of the combined organizations. Composers and other figures with correspondence in this series include Gunther Schuller, Roger Sessions, Henry Weinberg, Hugo Weisgall, George Perle, Hubert S. Howe, Jr., Paul Alan Levi, Louis S. Karchin and Geoffrey Kidde.