Scope and arrangement
The Otto Janowitz Papers relate to his life and work, covering the dates 1924 to 1987, when the collection was donated to the New York Public Library. It contains music scores, writings and lecture notes, correspondence, clippings, photographs, catalogs, and recital programs. The music scores, writings, and lecture notes comprise the vast majority of the collection. The private life of Dr. Janowitz is interestingly documented through several biographical sketches he compiled and the many glowing letters of reference he received from such luminaries as Bruno Walter and Paul Wittgenstein. Much of the material in the collection is undated, though his use of German or English is often a clue as to what period it is from, as he seems to have written in English almost exclusively after his immigration to the United States in 1938.
The Otto Janowitz papers are arranged in four series:
- 1924 - 1953,
The musical scores are divided into two sub-series, works composed by Otto Janowitz and works arranged by Otto Janowitz. Included in the Works Composed by Otto Janowitz sub-series are many holographs that show his close association with dance music, including several works composed specifically for the dancers Jean Erdman, Gertrude Lippincott, Katya Delakova and Fred Berk. Other items of note in this sub-series are several copies of the holograph composition "What are Little Boys Made Of" and holographs of several Dorothy Parker poems that Janowitz set to music in 1945. Janowitz's appreciation for folksongs is also evident in the many arrangements he wrote, including "Soldier's Will," a Slovenian folksong and "When I was Seventeen," a Swedish folksong. Each sub-series is arranged alphabetically by title. Unless specifically indicated, the scores are undated.
- 1921 - 1955,
Comprised of Janowitz's writings and lectures, this series provides a glimpse into the varied subjects that interested Janowitz. Included are exhaustive notes he prepared for writings on Goethe, Wagner and Bülow, citations to published works by other authors, and lecture notes on Mozart, Wagner and the subject of improvisation. The series is arranged alphabetically by title. Unless specifically indicated, the writings and notes are in German and undated.
This series provides some detail into the life of Otto Janowitz. It is divided into five sub-series. Correspondence includes letters of reference, a charmingly apologetic letter from Eugene Ormandy regarding Janowitz's coaching of Miss Selma Kaye, and a touching letter of condolence from Felix Eyle, Orchestra Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, to Mrs. Lia Janowitz. Because there are few letters from a single individual, the sub-series is arranged by date. Vitae includes versions of a biographical sketch compiled by Janowitz himself, some recollections, a diploma, and brochures announcing his accomplishments. Clippings include recital reviews and announcements, and articles written by Janowitz. The clippings are arranged by date. The Iconography sub-series includes a few photographs, only two of which include Janowitz, a cartoon drawing and a holiday card. The Catalogs sub-series contains two dance music catalogs in German.
- 1930 - 1950,
Includes programs for music recitals, dance recitals or lectures which in some way involved Janowitz. The programs are arranged by date.