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Gaylord Music Library


Special Collections: Harold Blumenfeld


Contents


Biographical Sketch

Harold Blumenfeld, born on October 15, 1923 in Seattle Washington, was educated at the Eastman School of Music (1941-43), Yale University (BM 1948, MM 1949), and the University of Zurich (1948). He died on November 1, 2014 outside of St. Louis, Missouri from complications of Alzheimer's disease. His principal teachers were Bernard Rogers and Paul Hindemith. He trained as a conductor with Robert Shaw and Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood during the summers of 1949-52. Prof. Blumenfeld joined the faculty of the Washington University Music Department in 1950 and remained until his retirement in 1989.

Blumenfeld's involvement in opera is many-faceted: he was director of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis (1962-66); led the Washington University Opera Studio (1960-71); was a critic during the Sixties writing for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Los Angeles Times, Opera News, and Opera; and, since the Seventies has turned to composing. Blumenfeld has written two comic operas, Fourscore: an Opera of Opposites and a one-act bagatelle, Breakfast Waltzes both with Charles Kondek as librettist. During this time, Blumenfeld produced a body of vocal works based on Hart Crane and Derek Walcott, Baudelaire and Verlaine, and Rilke and Mandelstam. These various works gained him awards from the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters in 1977, and the National Endowment for the Arts in 1979.

Blumenfeld was the first composer to devote extensive attention to the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud. During the Eighties and early Nineties, Blumenfeld immersed himself in Rimbaud poetry and lore, composing a variety of pieces that culminate with the two-act opera, Seasons in Hell. This opera traces the adventures of the adolescent poè maudit and his subsequent disastrous fortune-seeking in Africa. The opera received its première on February 8 - 11, 1996 at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with Malcolm Fraser directing and Gerhard Samuel conducting.

Blumenfeld began composing a new opera, Borgia Infami in 1998 while at the Bogliasco Foundation, Liguria. Borgia Infami is based on German novelist Klabund's headlong Borgia expose and Victor Hugo's ultra-operatic drama, Lucrece Borgia and was completed in 2001. The opera is another collaboration with librettist Charles Kondek and deals with the obsessions, passions and crimes of the notorious Spanish Borgia clan ingeniously connecting this well known story to the present.


Obituaries

Washington University Record, Nov. 12, 2014
St. Louis Public Radio, Nov. 9, 2014
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov. 9, 2014

Operas Produced, Directed and Conducted 1963-1971

with Washington University's Opera Studio and Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Monteverdi : Incoronazione di Poppea*
Gluck : Iphigenie en Tauride*#
Pergolesi : Livietta e Tracollo*#
Caldara : Il Giuoco del Quadriglio*
Mozart : Der Schauspieldirektor#
Rossini : Il Barbiere de Siviglia
Donizetti : Rita#
Rimsky : Kaschei the Deathless***
Debussy : L'Enfant Prodigue
Stravinsky : Le Rossignol*
Hindemith : The Long Christmas Dinner*
Milhaud : Trois Operas-Minutes*
Britten : The Burning Fiery Furnace*#
Ian Hamilton : Pharsalia*
Lawrence Moss : The Brute*
Peter Westerfard : Mr & Mrs. Discobolos*
Mark Bucci : The Hero*

*first St. Louis production
***American state premiere
#annotated score in Box 4

The Washington University Gaylord Music Library has the distinction of holding a comprehensive collection of Harold Blumenfeld materials. Please consult the Library's online catalog for more information.


Finding list of the Harold Blumenfeld Archive


Series I: Correspondence, photographs, bios and vitas, newspaper clip file and painting
Box 1
  1. (folder) Correspondence: Mark Adamo (2003)
  2. (folder) Correspondence: Samuel Adler (1993)
  3. (folder) Correspondence: Dominick Argento (1991-2005, 2013)
  4. (folder) Correspondence: Renée Auphan (1996)
  5. (folder) Correspondence: Elie Bankhalter (1994, 1996)
  6. (folder) Correspondence: Rosemarie Beck (1971, 1972)
  7. (folder) Correspondence: Jack Beeson (2004-2006)
  8. (folder) Correspondence: Martin Bernheimer (1968, 1974)
  9. (folder) Correspondence: Leonard Bernstein (1954, 1955)
  10. (folder) Correspondence: Suzanne Bloch (n.d.)
  11. (folder) Correspondence: Herman Blumenfeld (1938, 1944)
  12. (folder) Correspondence: Martin Bookspan (1973, 1974)
  13. (folder) Correspondence: Israel Borouchoff (1971)
  14. (folder) Correspondence: Bernard Bouccroulle (1996)
  15. (folder) Correspondence: Pierre Boulez (1963)
  16. (folder) Correspondence: Antoine Bourseiller (1996)
  17. (folder) Correspondence: Benjamin Britten (1970)
  18. (folder) Correspondence: Bruckner Konservatorium (1946-1948)
  19. (folder) Correspondence: Roger Brunyate (1989)
  20. (folder) Correspondence: Mark Bucci (1968)
  21. (folder) Correspondence: Hans Buchwald (1946)
  22. (folder) Correspondence: Willy Burkhard (1949)
  23. (folder) Correspondence: Susan Bush (1998-2002, 2004, 2008)
  24. (folder) Correspondence: Matthew Carey (2004)
  25. (folder) Correspondence: Leslie Chabay (n.d.)
  26. (folder) Correspondence: Suellen Childs (1995)
  27. (folder) Correspondence: Michael Colgrass (n.d.)
  28. (folder) Correspondence: John Conklin (1994)
  29. (folder) Correspondence: James Conlon (1998)
  30. (folder) Correspondence: Aaron Copland (1968, 1952)
  31. (folder) Correspondence: John O. Crosby (1995)
  32. (folder) Correspondence: Luigi Dallapiccola (1959)
  33. (folder) Correspondence: Joseph Dalton (1999)
  34. (folder) Correspondence: William H. Danforth (1974, 1979, 1980, 1994)
  35. (folder) Correspondence: Helen J. Daniel (n.d.)
  36. (folder) Correspondence: Eleazar Decarvalho (1967)
  37. (folder) Correspondence: David Del Tredici (1960-1977)
  38. (folder) Correspondence: John Dew (1994)
  39. (folder) Correspondence: Walter Ducloux (1966)
  40. (folder) Correspondence: Michel Duren (1946)
  41. (folder) Correspondence: John Eaton (n.d.)
  42. (folder) Correspondence: Thomas H. Eliot (1965-1969)
  43. (folder) Correspondence: Bruce Ferden (1980)
  44. (folder) Correspondence: Lauren Flanigan (2002)
  45. (folder) Correspondence: Lukas Foss (1979, 1985)
  46. (folder) Correspondence: Carolyn Foster (1995)
  47. (folder) Correspondence: Leland Fox (1988)
  48. (folder) Correspondence: Malcolm Fraser (1986-1999)
  49. (folder) Correspondence: J.W. Fulbright (1967)
  50. (folder) Correspondence: David Fuller (1952)
  51. (folder) Correspondence: Georges Gad (1992)
  52. (folder) Correspondence: Richard Gaddes (1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1992, 1995-1999, 2005)
  53. (folder) Correspondence: Hugues Gall (1995-1996)
  54. (folder) Correspondence: Isabella Gardner (1968-1978)
  55. (folder) Correspondence: Harold Geer (1951)
  56. (folder) Correspondence: Martin Gelland (1996-1997)
  57. (folder) Correspondence: Rudolph Gelpke (1949, 2003)
  58. (folder) Correspondence: Susan Gelpke-Daran (2006)
  59. (folder) Correspondence: Leigh Gerdine (1965-1967, 1969)
  60. (folder) Correspondence: Alberto Ginastera (n.d.)
  61. (folder) Correspondence: Boris Goldovsky (1950-1955)
  62. (folder) Correspondence: Vladimir Golschmann (1954, 1955, 1965)
  63. (folder) Correspondence: Marylis Gonzaga (1995)
  64. (folder) Correspondence: Colin Graham (1989, 2004-2005)
  65. (folder) Correspondence: John Gutman (1955)
  66. (folder) Correspondence: Yotam Haber (2004)
  67. (folder) Correspondence: Pauline Hanson (n.d.)
  68. (folder) Correspondence: Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1956)
  69. (folder) Correspondence: Hans Werner Henze (1965)
  70. (folder) Correspondence: Lewis Hilton (1968)
  71. (folder) Correspondence: Paul and Gertrude Hindemith (1947, 1953, 1957, 1964, 1965)
  72. (folder) Correspondence: Stanley M. Hoffman (2004)
  73. (folder) Correspondence: Trevor Hunter (2007)
  74. (folder) Correspondence: Elihu M. Hyndman (1966)
  75. (folder) Correspondence: Speight Jenkins (1992, 1996)
  76. (folder) Correspondence: Nicholas Joël (1995-1996)
  77. (folder) Correspondence: Matthias Kaiser (1994)
  78. (folder) Correspondence: Paul Kellogg (2002-2003, 2005-2006)
  79. (folder) Correspondence: Edward M. Kennedy (1969)
  80. (folder) Correspondence: Paul Kilmer (2005)
  81. (folder) Correspondence: Francis A. Klein (1951, 1952)
  82. (folder) Correspondence: René Koering (1994)
  83. (folder) Correspondence: Charles Kondek (1975-1979)
  84. (folder) Correspondence: Charles Kondek (1989-1999)
  85. (folder) Correspondence: Charles Kondek (2000-2006)
  86. (folder) Correspondence: Chris Kondek (2004-2006)
  87. (folder) Correspondence: Robert Kotlowitz (1968, 1969)
  88. (folder) Correspondence: Ernst Krenek (1977)
  89. (folder) Correspondence: Joseph Krips (1989)
  90. (folder) Correspondence: Bernard Labodie (1996)
  91. (folder) Correspondence: Lotte Lenya (1963, 1964)
  92. (folder) Correspondence: Rolf Liebermann (195?)
  93. (folder) Correspondence: Stephane Lissner(1995)
  94. (folder) Correspondence: Carolyn Lockwood (1996)
  95. (folder) Correspondence: Alain Lombard (1996)
  96. (folder) Correspondence: Lea Luboshutz (n.d.)
  97. (folder) Correspondence: MMB publisher (1995, 2003, 2006, 2008)
  98. (folder) Correspondence: Charles MacKay (1989, 2005-2006, 2008)
  99. (folder) Correspondence: George Manahan (2005)
  100. (folder) Correspondence: Robert Martin (1994)
  101. (folder) Correspondence: Alain Margoni (1998)
  102. (folder) Correspondence: William Matheson (ca. 1980)
  103. (folder) Correspondence: James Merrill (1981)
  104. (folder) Correspondence: Darius Milhaud (1963)
  105. (folder) Correspondence: Jilian Miller (1993)
  106. (folder) Correspondence: Rodney Milnes (1995)
  107. (folder) Correspondence: Silvana Lazzaro Morrica (1957)
  108. (folder) Correspondence: Kathy Murray (2003-2004, 2007)
  109. (folder) Correspondence: Michael Murray (1994, 2001-2002)
  110. (folder) Correspondence: Thea Musgrave (1977, 1978)
  111. (folder) Correspondence: Kent Nagano (1992, 1996)
  112. (folder) Correspondence: Howard Nemerov (1970, 1975)
  113. (folder) Correspondence: New Music Jukebox (2005-2007)
  114. (folder) Correspondence: New World Records (2003)
  115. (folder) Correspondence: Leslie Parnas (1974)
  116. (folder) Correspondence: Russell Patterson (1969)
  117. (folder) Correspondence: George Perle (1978)
  118. (folder) Correspondence: Matthew Price (2002-2004)
  119. (folder) Correspondence: Tom Quirk (1950)
  120. (folder) Correspondence: Kurt Reiss (1969, 1977)
  121. (folder) Correspondence: J.D. (John Donald) Robb (1974)
  122. (folder) Correspondence: George Rochberg (1956, 1960, 1961)
  123. (folder) Correspondence: Philip Rothman (2003)
  124. (folder) Correspondence: Victor Sachse (2004-2005)
  125. (folder) Correspondence: Gerhard Samuel (1942-1944, 1948, 1949, 1965, 1985-1995)
  126. (folder) Correspondence: Hilde Samuel (1949)
  127. (folder) Correspondence: Bruce Saylor (1994)
  128. (folder) Correspondence: Christine Schadeberg (1995)
  129. (folder) Correspondence: Harold Schonberg (1970)
  130. (folder) Correspondence: Joseph Schwantner (1982)
  131. (folder) Correspondence: Ralph Shapey (1961)
  132. (folder) Correspondence: Robert Shaw (1956, 1977)
  133. (folder) Correspondence: Ethan A. H. Shepley (1955)
  134. (folder) Correspondence: Fips Siepler (1946-1952, 1954)
  135. (folder) Correspondence: Gregg Smith (1978)
  136. (folder) Correspondence: Georg Solti (1961, 1966)
  137. (folder) Correspondence: Laurent Spielmann (1996)
  138. (folder) Correspondence: Greg Squires (2000)
  139. (folder) Correspondence: William Sydeman (n.d.)
  140. (folder) Correspondence: Stuart Symington (1967, 1971, 1974)
  141. (folder) Correspondence: Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc. (2008-2009)
  142. (folder) Correspondence: Smillie Thomson (1991)
  143. (folder) Correspondence: Mark Tiarks(2004-2005)
  144. (folder) Correspondence: Robert L. B. Tobin (1969)
  145. (folder) Correspondence: Hugo Weisgall (1968-1979, 1983)
  146. (folder) Correspondence: Robert Werner (1997, 1999)
  147. (folder) Correspondence: Edmond White (1965)
  148. (folder) Correspondence: Jay Willoughby (1979)
  149. (folder) Correspondence: Helmuth Wolfes (1953)
  150. (folder) Correspondence: Gary Woltsek (2008)
  151. (folder) Correspondence: Charles Wuorinen (1975)
  152. (folder) Correspondence: Robert Wykes (1970?)
  153. (folder) Correspondence: Sue Vesper (1951)
  154. (folder) Correspondence: Vers Sataniques (1990-2008) mainly with Joel Suben, also includes: Matthew Carey, Charles Kondek, Jack Beeson, Alan Taylor, Susan Bush
  155. (folder) Correspondence: Keith Viagas (2003)
  156. (folder) Correspondence: Gerka Zinem(1956)
  157. (folder) Correspondence: Ludwig Zirner (1949, 1951)
  158. (folder) Correspondence: Misc. Erica (n.d.)
  159. (folder) Correspondence: Misc. (1995)
  160. (folder) Correspondence: Misc. legal documents
  161. (folder) Correspondence: Misc.

Box 2
  1. (6 folders) Clip file (reviews and articles)
  2. (folder) Translations
  3. (outside box) handheld slide viewer
  4. Misc. programs

Box 3
  1. (folder) photographs
  2. (2 folders) bios, vitas, lists of performances
  3. (folder) diary (1977)
  4. (folder) programs of featuring Blumenfeld works

Series II: Scrapbooks
  1. Compiled by Carolyn Lopata (sister of the composer)
  2. Production notebook for Monteverdi L'Incoronazione di Poppea (1966)

Additional realia
  1. Oil portrait of Harold Blumenfeld by Rosemarie Beck (1967)
  2. bronze bust of Harold Blumenfeld by Erica Samuel Wilhelm
  3. framed collage of Paul Hindemith related photos and drawings (1951-57)
  4. In addition to his materials found in the catalog, we hold the remaining stock from and are distributors of Harold Blumenfeld's MMB publications.

List of manuscripts

Note: Manuscript titles are transcribed from the items themselves and are not necessarily consistent throughout the list.

  • Amphitryon 4 [opera]
  • Ange de flamme et de glace [medium voice and chamber ensemble]
  • Borgia Infami [opera]
  • Breakfast Waltzes [opera in one act]
  • Carnet de damne [mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble]
  • Charioteer [baritone, viola, guitar]
  • Circle of the Eye [medium voice and piano]
  • Djerassisong (or Djeriassicycle) [medium voice and piano]
  • Eroscapes [mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble]
  • La face cendree [soprano, cello and piano]
  • For Sion!—Oh Thee [soli, chorus, and chamber ensemble]
  • For Sion!—Oh Thee [soli, chorus, and orchestra]
  • Four Poems [men's chorus]
  • Fourscore: an opera of opposites [opera in 2 acts]
  • The Harp the Monarch Minstrel Swept [mens chorus with cello and piano]
  • Illuminations: Symphonic fragments after Rimbaud [orchestra]
  • A L'ouest de la lune [soprano, tenor and chamber ensemble]
  • Miniature overture to amphitryon 4 [small orchestra]
  • Monarch minstrel [men's chorus, cello, and piano]
  • Movements for Brass [brass quintet]
  • Mythologies [baritone and chamber ensemble]
  • Rilke [soprano and guitar]
  • Scottish Poems [mixed chorus a cappella]
  • Seasons in Hell: A Life of Rimbaud [opera in two acts]
  • Silentium [medium voice and piano]
  • Song of Innocence [soli, large chorus, chamber chorus and orchestra]
  • Songs of Cassis [soprano or tenor and piano]
  • Starfires [mezzo-soprano, tenor and chamber ensemble]
  • Sterne und Stein [medium voice and piano]
  • Three Scottish Poems [SATB chorus]
  • Transformations [piano]
  • La vie anterieure [mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone and chamber ensemble]
  • La voix reconnue [soprano, tenor and chamber ensemble]
  • Vers Sataniques [baritone, soprano and orchestra]
  • Voyages [baritone and chamber ensemble]
  • War Lament [mixed chorus and guitar]

An additional list giving performing forces is available at the New Music USA Online Library.