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Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives

Cello Music Collections

Elizabeth Cowling

Elizabeth Cowling was born in Northfield, Minnesota. She attended Carleton College, where she received her B.A. degree in Philosophy and went on to Columbia University, where she received her M.A. degree in Economics. Her Master’s and Ph.D. in Music were earned at Northwestern University.

Dr. Cowling studied in Europe, starting in Paris in 1929, where she worked with Paul Bazelaire and studied with Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. In 1950 she was a student of Pablo Casals for a brief period. She came to the Woman’s College (now UNCG) in 1945. At the Eastman School of Music in 1946 she began what was to become a long association with Luigi Silva. It was due to her efforts that UNCG acquired the Silva Cello Music Library and Silva’s papers in 1963. Dr. Cowling’s research into the literature and history of the cello led to the publication of her well-received work, The Cello, in 1975.

Dr. Cowling donated her music collection to Jackson Library in 1976 and 1977 and her collection of books in 1988. The standard cello repertoire is represented by more than 1000 publications and copies of manuscript music, including significant holdings of “teaching composers”. The collection also features a large number of copies of manuscripts of seventeenth to nineteenth century Italian composers, collected in preparation for her 1967 dissertation, “The Italian Sonata Literature for the Violoncello in the Baroque Era”.

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Maurice Eisenberg

Born in Konigsberg of Polish parents, Eisenberg was brought to the United States by his family when he was two years old. After early training in Baltimore, he played in the Philadelphia Orchestra before becoming principal cellist of the New York Symphony at the age of 18. In 1921, Eisenberg had the opportunity to play for Pablo Casals, who was touring the U.S. This meeting proved to be a turning point in Eisenberg's life because, with Casals' encouragement, he went to Europe the following year to continue his advanced training. Although he studied with Julius Klengel, Hugo Becker, Nadia Boulanger, and Diran Alexanian, Casals was his most important mentor, and they became lifelong friends.

Eisenberg spent the years between 1926-1939 playing and teaching in Europe. He was well known for his interpretation of the Bach Suites, but his repertoire also included much twentieth century music. He was a member of the Menuhin Trio, and was the founder and artistic director of the London International Violoncello Center. Eisenberg held teaching positions at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris (where he succeeded Alexanian as professor of the Casals Class), the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and—during the last ten years of his life—the International Summer Courses in Cascais, Portugal. His book, Cello Playing of Today, first published in 1957, is now in its fifth edition. At the time of his death in 1972, Eisenberg was Professor of the Cello at the Juilliard School of Music.

A gift of his daughter, Maruta Eisenberg Friedler, Maurice Eisenberg’s collection of approximately 900 music scores and miscellaneous archival materials was acquired in 1989. It contains a predominance of twentieth century published music with a concentration of Eastern European composers. It also includes original manuscripts (such as Lennox Berkeley’s Concerto for “Violoncello and Orchestra”) as well as some collections of engraved music from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

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Bernard Greenhouse

Bernard Greenhouse has won a reputation as one of the major interpreters of his instrument. He has appeared in recital and with orchestras and chamber ensembles in most of the major cities of Europe and America and has recorded for CRI, CBS, RCA, Philips, Concert Hall, and the American Recording Society. He was a cellist for the Bach Aria Group and a thirty-two year founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, an ensemble widely recognized as the premiere trio of the twentieth century.

Greenhouse worked with many of the great masters of the cello, including Emanuel Feuermann, Diran Alexanian, and most notably, Pablo Casals, who wrote of him, “Bernard Greenhouse is not only a remarkable cellist, but what I esteem more, a dignified artist.” As a master teacher himself, he has served on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, The Juilliard School, the Indiana University summer school, Rutgers University and the New England Conservatory.

Greenhouse is the recipient of numerous awards, including Indiana University’s "Chevalier du Violoncelle" in 1980, Chamber Music America’s Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award in 1988, and in 1996 (along with Mstislav Rostropovich) the RNCM Manchester International Cello Festival’s Award of Distinction.

The Greenhouse Collection features not only this master’s fingerings and bowings to the standard repertoire, but also his performance annotations from the piano trio, piano quartet and piano quintet repertoire made during his years with Beaux Arts. It also includes all of Mr. Greenhouse’s solo and chamber recordings, and archived tapes from his many years with the Bach Aria group, featuring such legendary singers as Marian Anderson, Jan Peerce, Eileen Farrell and Jenny Tourel.

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Fritz Magg

Fritz Magg was born in Vienna, Austria in 1914. At age twenty was chosen as solo cellist of the Vienna Symphony. His major teachers were Paul Grümmer and Diran Alexanian. After leaving Vienna in 1938 he joined the Chamber Orchestra of the New Friends of Music in New York as their principal cellist. Later he held the same position with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In 1948 the Berkshire Quartet was invited to become the quartet in residence at Indiana University. There Magg remained to influence countless students over the next five decades as Cello Professor and Chair of the String Department. He also established himself as an international soloist through world-wide tours and recordings. From his retirement from Indiana in 1984 until his death in 1997, Magg continued concerting and produced a series of videotapes on his unique approach to teaching the cello, “Cello Sounds of Today.”

The Fritz Magg Collection was donated by his widow, Kari Miller Magg, in the fall of 2002. It contains some 475 items in 35 boxes. Most interesting among those are his transcription of the Caprice no. 15 by Nicolò Paganini and a unique cello method, “A varied routine of practicing the ‘Moto Perpetuo’ by N. Paganini,” a set of exercises arranged for cello. Magg, who devoted his lifetime to the study and teaching of Bach, left 32 editions of the unaccompanied cello suites, including a rare Alexanian edition. His particular performance annotations both in these Bach editions and in much of the standard repertoire are an invaluable part of this collection.

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Rudolf Matz

Rudolf Matz was born in Zagreb, Croatia. When he attended the Lycee Classique at the age of ten, his mother also enrolled him in preparatory classes at the Zagreb Academy of Music. Matz began his study of the cello with Umberto Fabbri and later studied with Juro Tkalcic, but the teacher who most influenced his development as a cellist and who was crucial to the evolution of his ideas on cello technique was violinist Vaclav Huml. In addition to receiving cello instruction at the Academy, Matz also studied conducting and composition. At the time of his death in 1988 he had written more than 300 instrumental and vocal compositions.

Rudolf Matz devoted his life to the promotion and development of musical activity in his native country, organizing musical societies and a variety of performing groups, including the Musical Society of Intellectuals, the Zagreb Chamber Orchestra (later I Solisti di Zagreb), Sklad, and the Zagreb Chamber Choir. He was also popular as a teacher of cello master classes and served as a jury member at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1966, 1970 and 1974. Matz was also a pioneer in establishing the field of music therapy as a profession in Croatia.

Acquired in 1986, the Matz Collection was a gift of Rudolf and Margita Matz. Boxes 1-35 of the collection contain music scores; included are nearly 200 original manuscripts and published editions of Matz’s own compositions, including First Years of the Violoncello, and a vast array of music by other Croatian composers. The archival and personal papers are largely written in Serbo-Croatian, although some material is in German and English. These materials offer a fascinating glimpse into the life of a man who was central to the development of the musical and cultural heritage of Croatia.

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Luigi Silva

Born in Milan, Italy, Luigi Silva came from a musical family. In addition to taking cello lessons with Arturo Bonucci in Bologna, he also studied composition with Ottorino Respighi in Rome. Silva received a degree in cello from the Bologna Conservatory, and a master's degree in music pedagogy (cum laude) in 1921.

Silva performed throughout Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. He was cellist in the Rome Opera Orchestra, and won the Boccherini Prize at the First National Contest for young concert artists in Rome in 1933. He was a cellist in the Quartetto di Roma, and taught at the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence.

In 1939 Silva immigrated with his wife and father to the United States. From 1941 to 1949 he was head of the cello and chamber music departments at the Eastman School of Music. From 1949, he taught at the Juilliard School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and Yale University School of Music He was cellist of the Mannes-Gimpel-Silva Trio from its inception in 1950 to its dissolution in 1956.

The Luigi Silva Collection of approximately 1775 music scores, 13 boxes of archival materials, books and periodicals, was acquired by the Friends of the Library in 1963 and dedicated on April 5, 1964. In addition to his music publications, his copious notes on technique and the rough drafts of his projected history of the cello constitute a significant portion of the collection.

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Janos Scholz

Born in Sopron, Hungary, János Scholz was a fifth-generation violoncellist in a musical family. He obtained his diploma from the Royal Hungarian Academy of Music in Budapest, where one of his teachers was Ernst von Dohnányi. After graduating from the Academy, he became first cellist of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. In 1932, he joined the Roth Quartet, which toured widely. When the group arrived in the United States in 1933, the rise of Fascism in Europe led its members to obtain U.S. citizenship, and Scholz took up residence in Manhattan. He was also an accomplished viola da gamba performer and was the first to record the Bach Gamba Sonatas. In 1990, Scholz was the recipient of Indiana University’s “Chevalier du Violoncelle”.

The Scholz Collection was willed to Jackson Library and began to arrive in 1994. It was Scholz’s belief that the addition of his collection of over 700 scores to those of his friends and colleagues would greatly augment what has come to be known as one of the largest cello music repositories in the world. When asked about the disposition of his various priceless collections, Scholz said, “I don’t regret giving anything away. I never thought of these things as my own. I always considered that I had them in trust.”

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Laszlo Varga

Laszlo Varga was born in Hungary in 1924 and was educated at the Franz Liszt Royal Academy of Music in Budapest, studying with Adolf Schiffer and Leó Weiner. During his long career he has appeared as a premier soloist with major orchestras throughout the world. For eleven years he was principal cellist with the New York Philharmonic, performing under both Dimitri Mitropoulos and Leonard Bernstein.

Varga also played with the Léner Quartet, the New York City Opera, the Canadian String Quartet and the Borodin Trio as well as founded the New York Philharmonic Cello Quartet in the 1950s, the first cello quartet in the United States. Over the years he has been a featured performer and respected teacher at the Aspen, Chautauqua and Shreveport music festivals, among many others. In addition, he has conducted major orchestras such as the Budapest Symphony and the San Leandro Symphony, and for twenty-five years served as both director and conductor of the San Francisco State University Symphony.

After teaching at the University of Toronto Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University, Laszlo Varga was for a number of years on the music faculty at the University of Houston, receiving the University’s Outstanding Faculty Award in 2003. Among many other awards and recognitions, he was presented the distinguished title of “Chevalier du Violoncelle” by Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center at Indiana University in 1991. Varga has recorded for major labels such as RCA, VOX, Columbia, Decca, Sony/Phillips and MusiCelli.

The original manuscripts to his over fifty transcriptions for cello ensemble and other combinations, including several unpublished works, are an important part of the Varga Collection. Among these manuscripts are his solo cello transcriptions of the Bach D minor and E major violin partitas, and cello/piano arrangements of the Schubert F minor Fantasy op. 103, and the Kodály Dances of Galánta (originally for orchestra). The collection also includes works written for the Varga Cello Quartet by Gunther Schuller, Robert Starer, and Meyer Kupferman, and other original cello quartets by Alain Kouznetzoff, Richard Heller and Arvo Paart.

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Cello Books and Bound Scores

Special Collections also maintains a collection of musical scores and other publications which compliment the materials in the other Cello Music Collections.

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