Scope and arrangement
The Walter Trampler papers document the violist's life and career, mainly from the early 1950s to the mid-1990s. They contain correspondence, photographs, concert programs, scrapbooks, subject files, clippings, promotional material, a file on Trampler's memorial service, and Trampler's annotated and autographed scores. Content dating from after Trampler's death was compiled by his widow, Ruth Sumners Trampler.
Correspondence is divided into two folders of General Correspondence and folders containing letters from particular individuals or groups of people. General Correspondence includes the composers William Walton, Ralph Shapey, Simon Bainbridge, Charles Eakin, Wanda Bacewicz, and Luciano Berio, whose letters discuss the performance or commissioning of their works. Also present in the General files are letters from Pablo Casals, Benny Goodman, Peter Schickele, Josef Suk, Lady Bird Johnson, and Roslyn Carter. The first folder of General Correspondence contains a detailed list of the correspondence, compiled by Ruth Sumners Trampler. Other correspondence folders hold letters from György Ligeti, letters and greeting cards from Trampler's students, and letters of thanks or congratulations from friends and colleagues.
The Memorial and Condolence files document the memorial service for Trampler held at Alice Tully Hall on March 19, 1998. They contain correspondence with memorial participants, guests, Lincoln Center staff, and others regarding the planning of the service, as well as obituaries and letters of condolence received by Ruth Sumners Trampler.
Photographs are divided into personal and professional files. The volume of personal files of photographs is far greater than that of the professional files. Personal files contain family photographs dating from Trampler's childhood in Germany to late in his life, and come in albums and as loose photographs. Loose photographs are in four card file boxes which are arranged by subject (usually locations of family or personal travels). Box five also contains photographs of the New Music String Quartet's last tour of Europe in 1956.
Professional photographs hold performance and publicity shots of Trampler as soloist and with the various ensembles he performed with, as well as informal photographs with colleagues, including the Budapest and New Music String Quartets, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Ani Kavafian, Morton Gould, Alexander Schneider, and Mitch Miller. They date from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Trampler's professional files contain a folder of correspondence with Simon Bainbridge, who wrote several pieces for Trampler; a biographical file on Trampler; clippings; press kits; a folder of correspondence and clippings regarding the viola built for Trampler by Samuel Zygmuntowicz; and a file of writings by Trampler, mainly an essay regarding his experience performing in Poland at the time of the Solidarity protests of 1982.
The concert programs document nearly every one of Trampler's performances, either as soloist or in an ensemble, from 1956 to the mid-1990s. They are arranged by date.
The scores are in two divisions: scores bearing Trampler's performance annotations, and scores of music written for Trampler that bear autographs or notes from the composers; some of these are manuscripts.
The scores with Trampler's notes number about 130. All are published. They include solo pieces, chamber works, pieces for viola and piano or orchestra, and other instrumentations. Notations are usually restricted to the viola parts, but occasionally appear on full scores as well. Among the composers represented are Bach, Beethoven, Luciano Berio, Ernest Bloch, Brahms, Benjamin Britten, Max Bruch, Dvorák, Fauré, Morton Feldman, Vivian Fine, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Handel, Hindemith, György Ligeti, Bohuslav Martinu, Darius Milhaud, Mozart, George Perle, Vincent Persichetti, Walter Piston, Max Reger, Wallingford Riegger, Schubert, Schuman, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Telemann, Verdi, Villa-Lobos, Vivaldi, and Carl Maria von Weber.
The autographed scores number about 30, and hold works by Hugh Aitken, Larry Austin, Henry Brant, Simon Bainbridge, Frederick Delius, Vivian Fine, Ivo Jirásek, Harold Knapik, Vincent Persichetti, Daniel Pinkham, Gene Raskin, Alan Shulman, Carl Spannagel, William Walton, Ben Weber, and Richard Wernick. Works in manuscript form include Robert Mann's Sonatina for Solo Viola, and a full score for Harold Knapik's ballet, Electra.
The scrapbooks are in two divisions, personal and professional. The personal books hold photographs and documentation of Trampler's birth and early childhood, as well as his parents' house guestbook. The professional scrapbooks, of which there are four, all document the work of the New Music String Quartet in the 1950s. They contain clippings, photographs, and programs.
The collection holds audio and visual components. The audio portion consists of vinyl discs, open-reel tapes, and cassette tapes. The discs include 11 test pressings of the New Music String Quartet, and commercially-released vinyl recordings by the New Music String Quartet, the Juilliard Ensemble, and the Budapest String Quartet. The open-reel tapes hold recordings of Trampler performing works by Johan Vanhal, Henry Brant, Reger, Hindemith, Shostakovich, Berio, and Larry Austin.
Among the cassettes are 181 tapes of Trampler performing as a soloist, in chamber groups, or with orchestras, dating from the 1970s to the 1990s. Featured composers include J.S. Bach, Simon Bainbridge, Bartók, Beethoven, Berg, Berlioz, Brahms, Britten, Cage, Debussy, Dvorák, Haydn, Hindemith, Kodály, Ernst Levy, Milhaud, Mozart, Mark Neikrug, Hall Overton, Vincent Persichetti, Walter Piston, Schoenberg, Gunther Schuller, Ralph Shapey, Shostakovich, Shumann, Vivaldi, and Richard Wilson.
Also present are six cassette tapes of interviews of Trampler dating from 1988 to 1993; 23 tapes of performances by Trampler's students; 18 tapes of the violist William Primrose; and 21 tapes of performances by other violists.
The visual portion of the collection includes three undated reels of 16mm film of Trampler; six undated VHS videotapes of a Trampler master class; four VHS tapes of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on the PBS program Live From Lincoln Center, dating from 1981 to 1989; one VHS tape of Trampler on CBS Sunday Morning in 1994; one VHS tape of the Contemporary Chamber Players rehearsing Ralph Shapey's Variations for Viola with Trampler (dating from 1970); and one VHS tape of a 1996 performance by Trampler at Rutgers University.
Inquiries regarding audio/visual materials in the collection may be directed to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound (firstname.lastname@example.org). Audio/visual materials will be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
The papers are arranged alphabetically by file title. File contents were not altered from Ruth Sumner Trampler's arrangement.