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The Library of JTS Music Archives

AN INVENTORY OF THE SOLOMON ROSOWSKY COLLECTION

Music cataloged and annotated by ELIOTT KAHN, D.M.A.
Papers arranged and described by JULIE MILLER
Edited by NAOMI M. STEINBERGER
The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary
New York, 1996

This inventory is a joint project of The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Joseph and Miriam Ratner Center for the Study of Conservative Judaism, Jewish Theological Seminary of America. This publication was made possible through the generosity of the Arthur Rubloff Residuary Trust.


Table of Contents
COLLECTION DESCRIPTION
       (Search JTS Library catalog for bibliographic records: http://catalog.jtsa.edu
BIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENT
PROVENANCE
SERIES LIST
SERIES DESCRIPTION
BOX LIST

Portrait of Rosowsky
COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

PAPERS

Solomon Rosowsky’s papers consist of correspondence; scrapbooks, subject files, and material documenting the preparation, publication and reception of his book, The Cantillation of the Bible. A small amount of musical material, including notebooks, annotated published music, and a group of discs containing Jewish sacred and secular music presumably gathered by Rosowsky in Palestine, has been retained in the papers.

Rosowsky’s papers also contain small groups of papers of two other men: the Russian violinist and composer Joseph Achron (1886-1943) and the Latvian lawyer and politician, Max Laserson (1918-1922), both of whom were presumably friends or associates of Rosowsky. Personal papers of Rachel Rosowsky can be found throughout the collection.

The strength of this collection is in the documentation the letters, photographs, programs, clippings, and other material provide of the international Jewish musical community, particularly after it was scattered around the world by World War Two. Rosowsky’s correspondents, wrote to him in English, Russian, Hebrew, Yiddish, and other languages from Israel, the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Soviet Union, and South Africa. The New York Jewish musical scene, particularly during the 1940s and 1950s when Rosowsky was here, is well documented by correspondence, clippings, and programs. The collection is also a source of information about the Hebrew language theater - particularly the Habimah, Ohel, and Jerusalem Studio theaters at which Rosowsky worked in during his years in what was then Palestine, 1925-1947. The Society for Jewish Folk Music, which Rosowsky had a hand in founding in St. Petersburg in 1908, is documented by his reminiscences and other material in the collection.

--Julie Miller

See Caption Below

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Lomir sich überbeten (Let's Make Up). Solomon Rosowsky. Society for Jewish Folk Music in St. Petersburg, 1914.
Illustration by M. Maimon, 1913.
Song for voice with piano.

MUSIC COLLECTION

Note: All music items may be accessed through the JTS Library Catalog at: /cgi-bin/ntlinktrack.cgi?http://catalog.jtsa.edu
(Search under "Rosowsky, Solomon" or other author or title)

The Solomon Rosowsky Music Collection consists of the published music and music literature holdings of the Seminary’s Sabin Music Library combined with the published and archival music material found with The Solomon Rosowsky Papers, ca. 1871-1962. The processing and cataloging of the music from the Papers was completed in 1995; the Library’s collection has now grown from its original twelve items to one hundred thirty seven entries. Highlights of the music collection include unpublished orchestral scores and sketches, 1914; n.d.; all of Rosowsky’s music published by the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music, 1912-1917; excerpts and complete scores of incidental music to early Hebrew language theater productions, 1928-1936; n.d.; and assorted other chamber, vocal and dramatic works. Of special value is the collection of manuscripts related to Rosowsky’s father, Cantor Baruch Leib Rosowsky (1841-1919). These include holographs and manuscripts of many of his unpublished compositions for the synagogue, ca. 1871-1919.

Solomon Rosowsky carried three major musical influences with him throughout the course of his life. These were:

1. His composition studies, ca. 1904-1911, with Russian nationalist composers Rimsky-Korsakov, Lyadov and Glazunov at the St. Petersburg Imperial Conservatory of Music.

2. The founding of the Zionist movement in 1897 and the subsequent settling of the land of Israel.

3. The knowledge of Rosowsky’s father, cantor/composer Baruch Leib Rosowsky, in the area of Polish-Lithuanian nusah hatefilah (chanting prayers to specified motives and modes) and synagogue and Yiddish song, which was lovingly transmitted to his son.

Inspired by the words of their composition teacher Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) that “Jewish music awaits its Glinka,” Rosowsky and two other Jewish student composers, Ephraim Skliar (1871-194-) and Lazare Saminsky (1882-1959) founded the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music in 1908. The Society was primarily concerned with collecting authentic Yiddish folk songs, publishing these songs in artful arrangements for voice(s) and/or instruments and giving lectures on and performances of Jewish art music throughout Russia and Eastern Europe. In its brief 10 years of existence the Society gave some 1200 concerts and published 81 pieces of music.

The Solomon Rosowsky Music Collection contains all eight of Rosowsky’s vocal and chamber pieces published by the Society. There are Yiddish song settings for voice and piano (A Wieg-Lied, 1912, Lomir sich ueberbeten, 1914 and Ich bin a Balagole, 1914); pieces for wind quintet (Mosche der Schuster, 1917, A Niggun on assof, 1917); and two other chamber music pieces, Fantastischer Tanz for piano, violin and cello, 1914 and Ebraeische (chssidische) Melodie for alto instrument, 1917. The eighth piece, Ebraische (chssidische) Melodie for cello and piano [1917] is here only in manuscript form under the title Chassidische Melodie fuer Cello und Klavier (Orchester), n.d.

Rosowsky’s lifelong interest in orchestral composition was no doubt also inspired by his studies with Rimsky-Korsakov, recognized as one of the great orchestrators in music history. The Collection includes several of Rosowsky’s orchestral works: the earlier “tone painting” Chassidim, 1915, Ebraeische (chssidische) Melodie for cello and orchestra, n.d., and three separate versions of Trauer Ode for soprano and orchestra, n.d.

Rosowsky was constantly revising and refining his music and the Collection contains many sketches and sometimes even four separate versions of one work. These will hopefully be useful to future scholars interested in publishing accurate editions of his music.

It was no historical accident that the Society for Jewish Folk Music chose the ethnic folk song for the fertile soil in which to grow a new “Jewish national style” of music. Their aspirations, along with their methods, were really no different from those of their Russian teachers, or for that matter the nationalist English composers Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst or the Hungarians Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly. When Rosowsky emigrated to Palestine in 1925 he projected his national musical aspirations onto the land of Zion. The Collection contains the revised edition of an anthology of Hebrew folk songs of the chalutzim (pioneers) that Rosowsky collected and edited (Mi-zimrat ha-aretz = Chansons de’Erets Israel, Paris: Salabert, 1935); some transcriptions of Hebrew folk or religious songs ([Palestine song collection], ca. 1925-47); Rosowsky’s simple arrangements of Hebrew folk songs for voice and piano (Reitiha, Song of an elegant cabman, both n.d. and Saenu, 1953); and his more sophisticated Hebrew folk song settings, Tsod tsadatni and Vocalize, both n.d.

Rosowsky was also instrumental in providing music for the newly emerging Hebrew language theater. Buoyed by the success of their 1922 production of The Dybbuck with music by Joel Engel, the Habimah Theater company had Rosowsky write incidental music to two other early productions, Ozar (The Treasure, 1928) and Die Krone Davids (David’s Crown Keter David, 1929). He also wrote music for the early Ohel Theater of Tel Aviv production of Jakob und Rahel (Jacob and Rachel, 1928). In addition to the vocal score for piano four hands, the Collection also contains play scripts, presumably from the original production of Jakob und Rahel and a nearly complete set of orchestral sketches. In 1936 Rosowsky provided incidental music to one of the first original Hebrew language plays, Bystrytzky’s Sabbatai Zevi — another Ohel Theater production. The Collection has orchestral and piano sketches of only a few of the scenes from Sabbatai Zevi.

Rosowsky’s father, cantor/composer Baruch Leib Rosowsky, was a unique and well- rounded musician in his own right. He was the first Jewish student to attend the Imperial Conservatory of Music at St. Petersburg, where he studied voice and composition (1867-1870). In 1870 he studied with two of the preeminent European cantors of that time, Salomon Sulzer and Hirsch Weintraub. In 1871 he began his 48 year career as Oberkantor at the Great Synagogoue in Riga, Latvia.

B.L. Rosowsky’s synagogue music reflects his broad range of musical influences. His style is a creative and well-crafted amalgam of hazzanut (synagogue melos) and Yiddish song and Western European harmony and counterpoint. The Solomon Rosowsky Music Collection contains the only published collection of Baruch Leib’s synagogue music, Schirei Thefiloh (vol. 2 for High Holidays; Berlin : Juwal, 1924) as well as three manuscript collections of his original synagogue compositions found among The Solomon Rosowsky Papers. These include [Synagogue music collection, entire liturgical year], [Synagogue music collection, Sabbath, festivals, miscellaneous], [Synagogue music collection, miscellaneous], all n.d. Schirei Thefiloh, vol. 1 for Sabbath and festivals was never published and the Library’s collection of B.L. Rosowsky’s unpublished scores may be the only copies that survive.

The Polish-Lithuanian style of cantillation practiced by Rosowsky senior was “the object of study in which I have been engaged for a number of years,” wrote Solomon Rosowsky in the introduction to his book The Cantillation of the Bible (NYC: Reconstructionist Press, 1957). This monumental research work attempts to codify in musical and prosodic terms the melodic motives used to chant the Pentateuch by East European Jews for centuries. Rosowsky presented a paper on the topic in 1934 to The Musical Association in London, published as The Music of the Pentateuch. There are several aluminum disks within The Solomon Rosowsky Papers that presumably contain field recordings of chants from other books on the Bible, recorded by Rosowsky in Palestine, ca. 1935 (Box 9, not cataloged at this time). Solomon Rosowsky made rhythmic transcriptions of some of these chants and then successfully combined them with twentieth century harmonic settings (Shir ha-shirim, Esther, Eikha, Haftarah, all n.d).

-- Eliott Kahn

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See Caption Below

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Tikanta Shabbat.
Baruch Leib Rosowsky. Riga, Latvia, ca.1900.
Holograph score of Sabbath prayer setting.
(B.L. Rosowsky, Solomon's father, was Oberkantor in Riga from 1871-1919.)

BIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENT

Solomon Rosowsky (also known as Salomo or Schlomo) was a composer, musicologist, collector and editor of Jewish sacred and secular music, music critic, teacher, and author of The Cantillation of the Bible: The Five Books of Moses (New York: The Reconstructionist Press, 1957).

Rosowsky was born in Riga in 1878, the son of noted cantor Baruch Leib Rosowsky (1841-1919). After periods at the Leipzig Conservatory of Music (during 1905) and the University of Kiev, where he studied law, Rosowsky graduated from the St. Petersburg Imperial Conservatory of Music in 1911. While in St. Petersburg, he was a music critic for the St. Petersburg Dyen and served, in 1918, as music director of the city’s Yiddish Art Theater. In 1908 Rosowsky helped found the Society for Jewish Folk Music in St. Petersburg.

In 1920 Rosowsky returned to Riga. There he founded, and subsequently taught at, Riga’s Jewish Conservatory of Music. Rosowsky worked as a music critic in Riga, and he began editing his father’s musical works. In 1924 one volume of Baruch Leib Rosowsky’s two volume Shirei Thefiloh, edited by his son, was published.

After five years in Riga, Rosowsky emigrated to what was then Palestine. There he taught at the Palestine Conservatory of Music, 1940-1946, conducted the research on biblical cantillation which became the basis for his book, The Cantillation of the Bible, and composed music. Some of this music was theater music, written for the country’s Hebrew language theaters, including the Habimah, Ohel, and Jerusalem Studio. In 1946 Rosowsky was elected chairman of the Federation of Musicians’ Associations in Palestine.

Anxious to publish his work on biblical cantillation, Rosowsky travelled through Europe and the United States during the 1930s, lecturing on the subject. In 1947 he and his wife Rachel (a chemist, born Rachel Rossiensky in Moscow, 1891) came to the United States to try to further efforts to have the book published.

Rosowsky spent the last years of his life in New York, teaching at the Cantor’s Institute of The Jewish Theological Seminary and the New School for Social Research. He died in 1962.

Note: biographical information comes from the Rosowsky Papers, and from the following published sources:

Encyclopedia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, Ltd.,1971. v. 14 p. 313.

Appleton, Lewis. The Music of Gershon Ephros, Solomon Rosowsky, Heinrich Schalit, Jacob Weinberg, New York: National Jewish Music Council, 1963. (Rosowsky Papers, box 4, folder 6.)

Nulman, Macy. Concise Encyclopedia of Jewish Music, New York: McGraw Hill, 1975.

Sadie, Stanley. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, London: Macmillan; Washington D.C.: Grove’s Dictionaries of Music, 1980.

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PROVENANCE AND ARRANGEMENT

On May 22, 1963 Rachel Rosowsky, the widow of Solomon Rosowsky, gave her husband’s papers to the library of The Jewish Theological Seminary. In 1970 Evelyn Mehlman did some preliminary work on the collection. In 1993 staff members of the Ratner Center for the Study of Conservative Judaism (the central archival repository for the Conservative movement) began to systematically arrange and describe the material. This process was completed in early 1995.

The Solomon Rosowsky Papers date from the late nineteenth century to the 1960s and fill ten boxes (approximately twelve linear feet). Due to the extreme disorder in which most of the papers were found, the order of the correspondence (Series I) and subject files (Series II) was largely imposed by Ratner Center staff. The fragmentary character stilll evident in some portions of the collection is a reflection of its original disorder.

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SERIES LIST

I. Correspondence, ca.1920s-1960s

II. Scrapbooks, late 19th century - 1964

III. Subject Files, ca.1900-1960s

IV. Cantillation of the Bible, ca.1957; n.d.

V. Papers of others:

A. Joseph Achron, 1920s-1963; n.d.
B. Max Laserson, 1924-1951; n.d.

VI. Musical Materials, ca. 1904-1962

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SERIES DESCRIPTION

I. Correspondence, 1920s-1960s
Box 1
Oversized files: box 10, folders 1-13

Rosowsky’s correspondence dates from the early 1920s to the late 1960s (letters written after his death in 1962 are addressed to his widow, Rachel Rosowsky). The letters are principally in four languages: English, Russian, Hebrew, and Yiddish, although there are also letters in French, German, Italian, and other languages. The letters are organized by language and are grouped in alphabetical order. Letters with unknown or indecipherable names are filed at the end of each language sequence. Letters from the same correspondent have been brought together. In cases where a group of letters from one correspondent was found together and the letters are in more than one language, we have kept the group together and filed it with the letters in the preponderant language. Individual letters written in more than one language are also filed by the language that is most heavily used. Since so many of Rosowsky’s correspondents were multilingual, it sometimes happens that letters from one correspondent can be found in various different files depending upon the language. Letters in unknown languages are filed at the end of the entire correspondence series.

The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters received by Rosowsky. Drafts or copies of Rosowsky’s letters to others have been filed by name of correspondent, when known. Rosowsky’s correspondents are friends, largely Russian or Polish Jewish musicians living in the United States, Israel, Latin America, and Europe; colleagues, such as Hugo Weisgall and Siegfried Landau of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Cantors Institute and Frederick Jacobi of Juilliard; students and former students; cantors writing for permission to perform Rosowsky’s works, asking him to lecture on Biblical cantillation at their synagogues, or writing to discuss other musical matters; Jewish music organizations such as the Jewish Music Forum and MAILAMM; publishers; supporters of his work; and members of his family. Letters both to and from Rachel Rosowsky are included.

In some instances correspondence with a given correspondent is clearly fragmentary, with only one or a few letters present. Yet in other cases there are significant groups of letters from an individual or institution - enough to get a sense of a relationship or situation. A dominant theme is Rosowsky’s effort to raise funds to complete and publish his Cantillation of the Bible. Documenting this effort are letters written in support of his work by biblical archaeologist William F. Albright, Cambridge music professor Edward J. Dent, British chief rabbi Joseph H. Hertz, Mordecai Kaplan, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, King’s College professor V.O.E. Oesterley, and Stephen Wise. Evelyn Hattis Fox head of the Rosowsky Bible Cantillation Committee. The Lodz-born musicologist, organist, and conductor Joseph Yasser was also a supporter of Rosowsky’s work and there are many letters by him in English and Russian. Also included is Rosowsky’s correspondence (and correspondence of others on his behalf) with organizations to which he applied for funding. These include the American Academy of Jewish Research, American Council of Learned Societies, Guggenheim Foundation, Jewish Agency, Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, and the Littauer Foundation.

Rosowsky's correspondence with colleagues and former students provides interesting documentation of the Jewish musical concerns of his times. Included, for instance, is a group of letters, 1957-1959, from Cantor Jules Hirsh, with some drafts of Rosowsky’s responses. Hirsh was a member of the United States 7th Army Symphony Orchestra stationed in Europe. He writes describing his tours with the orchestra and his experiences singing in synagogues in Stuttgart and Paris.

Another student, composer Jack Duffy, describes his efforts to incorporate American folk music - particularly “Negro melodies” - into his compositions and seeks Rosowsky’s advice. He also complains about Aaron Copland, with whom he worked at Tanglewood in 1960: “...I am afraid that it ended in unpleasantness. Like so many modern composers, he is afraid of melody...”

Erwin Jospe, music director at Congregation Anshe Emet in Chicago, writes in the 1950s, expressing anxiety about the possible replacement of choir and cantor at his synagogue with the congregational singing which was favored by Rabbi Solomon Goldman.

H. Segal, of Pretoria, South Africa writes in 1947 describing the state of Jewish music in his city. At a Succot event that year the Pretoria Jewish community found a singer and violinist who:

...were apparently unfamiliar with any modern Jewish music. The singer’s repertoire consisted solely of excerpts from Italian grand opera, interspersed with English folk songs and contemporary American musical comedy numbers. The violinist, bless her heart, knew ‘Kol Nidre’ and ‘Eili Eili’ and proceeded to treat us to a mournful rendering of these classical Hebrew melodies at this Succoth social!

As on previous occasions the whole effect of a beautiful Jewish atmosphere was completely spoilt...

One interesting group of letters is from Alexander Tansman, a Polish/Jewish composer, conductor, and pianist living in Paris. In a series of letters written in English from 1961 until Rosowsky’s death in 1962, Tansman describes the production of his own opera “Sabbatai Zevy, Le Faux-Messie” which took place in Paris in March, 1961 (unrelated to Rosowsky's piece of 1936). The letters also concern radio broadcasts of the production, and his and Rosowsky’s efforts to have the work produced in New York City.

Other correspondents include: Raikin Ben-Ari, one of the original members of the Habimah theater, writing in Hebrew and English; Paul Ben-Haim (German); Anna May and Julian Brodetsky; Ethel Cohen, writing mainly on behalf of the American Academy of Jewish Research concerning funding for Rosowsky’s book; Julius Chajes, music director of the Detroit Jewish Community Center and chairman of Hashofar, the Society for Advancement of Jewish Music; Joel Engel; Abel Ehrlich (German); Richard Gottheil (Columbia University); the Hebrew Folklore and Ethnology Society (Hebrew); M. Golinkin; Herman Jadlowker; China Kaminer-Rosowsky, an Israeli actress and a niece of the Rosowskys; Maxim Mandelstamm; Alexander Tankayan (English and Russian); Moshe and R. Rudinow (Hebrew and Russian); Nicolas Slonimsky (English and Russian); Maximiliano Tschiptschin, of Sao Paulo, Brazil (English and Russian); and others. There is also one inconsequential letter each from Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer.

Additional correspondence can be found in both the scrapbook and the subject files.

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II. Scrapbook, late 19th century - 1964
Box 2, folders 1-50
Oversized files: box 10, folders 21-23

This scrapbook was put together by Evelyn Mehlman during her survey of Rosowsky’s papers in the 1970s. It has been disbound for reasons of preservation, but the items found in the scrapbook have been kept together. Included are clippings, 1932-1962; letters, 1934-1958; passports, identity cards, and other personal documents of Solomon and Rachel Rosowsky, 1911-1962; a large group of photographs dating from the late nineteenth century up to the 1960s; programs, invitations, and other printed material, 1930s-1960s; a biographical sketch by Solomon Rosowsky of his father, Baruch Leib Rosowsky in Russian titled “How My Father Fell Into the Jewish Synagogue;” and an undated essay in German about the Judeisches Volks-Konservatorium in Riga which Rosowsky founded and headed in the 1920s.

The clippings are in Russian, English, French, Yiddish, and Hebrew. They include reviews of performances of Rosowsky’s work and of concerts and lectures by Rosowsky’s students and colleagues. Music reviews by Rosowsky, including an article, 1958, titled “Great Musicians I Have Known,” are also included. Of note are reviews and notices of performances of the Habimah theater in New York, including “David’s Crown,” 1948, with music by Rosowsky. Also included is a review of the Carnegie Hall concert, May 19, 1948, celebrating the birth of the state of Israel. The orchestra was conducted by Siegfried Landau of The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Cantor’s Institute.

The programs, announcements, invitations, and other printed material similarly document concerts of Jewish music - including Rosowsky’s - and other Jewish musical events, such as lectures and meetings, in New York. David Putterman, Siegfried Landau, and others colleagues of Rosowsky at the Seminary’s Cantors Institute are among those represented by these materials.

The photographs consist of snapshots and posed portraits of Solomon Rosowsky, his family, friends, students, teachers, and colleagues, taken in St. Petersburg, Riga, the United States, and Palestine/Israel. Of note are photographs of Hanna Rovina and other actors in the Habimah Theater; shots of Rosowsky in class at The Jewish Theological Seminary; a group portrait which includes Rosowsky and Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov, presumably taken at the St. Petersburg Conservatory; portraits of Baruch Leib Rosowsky; and a number of late nineteenth century Russian portrait photographs whose subjects are unknown (although they are presumably family members of Rachel and Solomon Rosowsky).

The letters found in the scrapbook are largely thank-you, congratulatory, condolence, and routine communications. Also included are requests to play Rosowsky’s works. Of note is a letter written, possibly, in Yiddish, on the stationery of the Rigas zidu minoritates teatris, Riga, 1936. Also of note is a photograph of a German letter, 1933, written to Rosowsky and signed by Arnold Schoenberg, Oskar Fried, Ernst Toch, and Darius Milhaud. The writers are responding positively to Rosowsky’s proposal to establish a Jewish music organization.

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III. Subject Files, ca. 1900-1960s
Box 2, folder 51 - box 4, folder 16
Oversized files: box 10, folders 14-20

The subject files, arranged in alphabetical order by topic, were created out of a mass of disorganized material by Ratner Center staff. In cases where items were found together and seemed to have a relation to one another, they were kept together.

The subject files contain a mixture of material documenting aspects of Rosowsky’s musical professional, and personal lives. Included are address books; notebooks; letters; photographs; newspaper clippings in English, Russian, and Yiddish which include reviews of Cantillation, articles about Anna Akhmatova, articles by or about Rosowsky, and his obituaries; notes; material from courses Rosowsky taught; grant application materials; manuscripts of essays, lectures, and other writings; programs and announcements from musical performances; and personal documents including financial papers, Rosowsky’s will, passports, official permits and papers, and papers documenting medical and financial arrangements for Rachel Rosowsky at the end of her life.

There are many items of note here. They include Rosowsky’s reminiscences, in English and Russian, of the founding of the Society for Jewish Folk Music in St. Petersburg, 1908). A file of Hebrew notes concerns Joel Engel, who was associated with Rosowsky in the Society for Jewish Folk Music (box 2, folder 59).

A document, 1921, probably in Latvian, seems to be a Riga registration document of some kind. In addition to its offical stamps and text, it is covered with handwritten notes.

Files of announcements and programs from musical performances, lectures, and other events largely from the 1940s and 1950s, give a good picture of Jewish musical life in New York at that time. The New York musical community is also documented by a file of letters, 1930s, to Rosowsky, from representatives of MAILAMM, the Jewish music organization, concerning the activities of the organization and Rosowsky’s involvement with it.

Material, 1930s-1960s, from the British Performing Right Society concerns copyrights of Rosowsky’s music.

A minute book, in Russian, documenting pedagogical meetings of the Technical School of Mitovsk, 1900-1901, is the oldest item in the subject files.

Of curiosity value is a collection of Russian rubles, in a variety of denominations, from both the Czarist and Soviet periods.

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IV. Cantillation of the Bible, ca.1957; n.d.
Box 4, folder 17 - box 5, folder 13
Oversized files: box 10, folders 24-25

These files document the publication and reception of Rosowsky’s Cantillation of the Bible. Much of this material is undated, but presumably comes from around 1957 when the book was published. Included are proofs of text and music; publicity material; reviews and congratulatory letters. There is additional material concerning the book throughout the collection. The Subject Files (Series III) contain clippings of reviews of the book and application material documenting Rosowsky’s efforts to get funding from foundations such as the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Littauer Foundation. The Correspondence Files (Series I) also contain many letters documenting the funding, production, and reception of the book.

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V. Papers of Others:

a. Joseph Achron Papers, 1920s-1963; n.d
Box 5, folders 14-25

b. Max M. Laserson Papers, 1924-1951; n.d.:
Box 5, folders 26-31 - box 6, folders 1-6

For reasons which are not clear, Rosowsky’s papers contain small but significant groups of papers of two other men, Joseph Achron and Max Laserson, who were presumably Rosowsky's friends, or were associated with him in some other way.

Joseph Achron (1886-1943) was a Russian violinist and composer. Like Rosowsky, he studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music and was involved with the Society for Jewish Folk Music. After a period in Berlin (1918-1922) Achron went to Palestine in 1924, one year prior to Rosowsky. In 1925 he emigrated to the United States, settling first in New York, and then, in 1934, in Hollywood where he composed music for the movies.

Achron’s papers here include letters, in English and Russian, including some written by his wife Marie; programs and lists of works; photographs; and a biographical sketch in Russian. There are additional letters, programs, and other material concerning Joseph Achron throughout the collection.

Max Laserson (1887-1951) was a Latvian lawyer and author who held government positions in minority rights in both Russia and Latvia. In 1917, in Alexander Kerensky’s government, Laserson was Deputy Director of National Minorities in the Ministry of the Interior. In 1920 he returned to Latvia, and from 1922-1931 he represented the Socialist Zionist faction in the Latvian parliament. After he was arrested in 1934, Laserson went to Palestine. In 1939 he emigrated to the United States where he settled in New York and taught at Columbia University.

This group of Laserson’s papers includes a bibliography of his works; a resume documenting his career; manuscripts of writings or portions of writings including Democracy As It Is, “The International Duty of Saving Democracy,” 1938, and Jews and Nationalism; and other notes and documents, including a 1951 letter from his son, Eleazar, in Israel.

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VI. Musical Material
Boxes 6-9

Included here are odd musical materials which were not cataloged along with the Solomon Rosowsky Music Collection. These consist of notebooks, and some loose notes, in which Rosowsky worked out problems in counterpoint, harmony, orchestration, and the music of Bach; published music by Chopin, Debussy, and other composers on which Rosowsky made notes; and a group of recordings on metal discs. The discs, which have labels handwritten in Hebrew, appear to be recordings of Jewish sacred and secular music gathered by Rosowsky during his years in Palestine.

The irregular arrangement of the notebooks and notes is a function of their odd sizes.

-- Julie Miller

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BOX LIST
     
    I. CORRESPONDENCE, ca.1920s-1960s
     
BOX FOLDER(S) DESCRIPTION
     
1 1-26 English
  27 French
  28-31 German
  32-52 Hebrew/Yiddish
  53 Italian
  54-68 Russian
  69 Russian - Joseph Yasser letters
  71-72 Russian - correspondents unknown or indecipherable; fragmentary letters
  74 Unknown languages
     
    Oversized Correspondence:
10 1-3 English
  4 Greek
  5-8 Hebrew
  9-13 Russian
     
    II. SCRAPBOOKS, late 19th century - 1964
     
BOX FOLDER(S) DESCRIPTION
     
2 1-2 Clippings, 1932-1962
  3 Letters, 1934-1958
  4 Personal documents, 1911-1962
  5-47 Photographs, late 19th century - ca.1960s
  48 Printed material, 1940s; n.d.
  49 Programs, invitations, and announcements, 1932-1964
  50 Rosowsky, Baruch Leib, biographical sketch by S.Rosowsky, in Russian
     
    Oversized Scrapbook Material:
10 21 Clippings, 1932-1962
  22 Juedisches Volks-Konservatorium in Riga
  23 Programs, invitations, and announcements, 1932-1964
     
    III. SUBJECT FILES, 1900-1960s
     
BOX FOLDER(S) DESCRIPTION
     
2 51-52 Address books
  53 American Council of Learned Societies, grant application material, 1959; 1960
  54 Biblical tropes, course on, notes.
  55 Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, 1962
  56 Counterpoint, course on, notes.
  57 Debts, list of.
  58 Edel, speech about, notes, (in Russian)
  59 Engel, Joel
  60 Essay, “La Probleme d’Etude”
  61 “Eternal Light” radio program on cantillation, 1958
  62 Federation of Musicians’ Associations in Palestine, 1946
  63 Financial material.
  64 Guggenheim Foundation, application material, 1950s
  65 Institute of Jewish Liturgical Music
  66 Instructions for singing Torah tropes in service
  67 Israel, trips to, 1940s-1960
  68 Jewish Music Forum, 1954-1961
  69 Jewish Theological Seminary, Cantors Institute, 1956-1962
  70 Landauer, S. Ein Interessantes Fragment des Pseudo-Jonathon, Strassburg, 1909, proofs
  72 Letters concerning publication of Music of the Pentateuch, 1933; 1947
  73 Littauer Foundation, 1952-1953
  74 Mailamm, 1933-1938
  75 Material about Rosowsky’s death
  76 Medical records, 1947
  77 Minute book, pedagogical meetings, Technical School of Mitovsk, 1900-1901
  78 National Jewish Music Council, 1960s; n.d.
  79 Naturalization and visa documents, 1947-1948; 1953; n.d.
  80 The New School, 1947-1950; n.d.
  81-82 Newspaper clippings, Russian
3 1-7 Newspaper clippings, Russian, Yiddish, other languages
  8-13 Notebooks
  14 Notes on [Admon]
  15-20 Notes and fragments, English, German, Hebrew and Yiddish, Russian
  21 Obituaries, 1962
  22 Palestine Conservatoire of Music
  23 Passport, United States, 1960
  24 Performing Right Society, London, 1930s-1960s
  25-27 Photographs and negatives
  28-30 Programs and announcements, 1940s-1950s
  31 Records of Jerusalem Conservatory, 1930
  32 Registration document, Riga, 1921
  33 Reviews (by Rosowsky) in Sevodnya, of “Boris Gudonov” and Shostakovich (in Russian)
4 1-5 Rosowsky, Rachel, miscellaneous papers
  6-7 Rosowsky, Solomon, writings about, biographical and critical
  8-9 Rosowsky, Solomon, writings by
  10 Rubles, collection of
  11 Russian poetry
  12 Society for Jewish Folk Music, reminiscences of, English and Russian
  13 Taneef system, notes on
  14 Unidentified passage in Greek
  15 Will
  16 Wolpe, Stefan, “Referat gehalten vor dem Plenum der Musikkommission,” 1938
     
    Oversized Subject Files:
10 14 American Academy for Jewish Research
  15 Article, “Die Music der Bibel,” n.d.
  16 Lecture material, Chicago, n.d.
  17 Lecture material, London, Cambridge, 1933-1934
  18 Miscellaneous Certificates, 1952; 1957
  19 Printed Material, Misc.
  20 Rosowsky, Solomon, writings about, biographical and critical
     
    IV. CANTILLATION OF THE BIBLE
     
BOX FOLDER(S) DESCRIPTION
     
4 17 Congratulatory letters, 1958
  18 Copyright application
  19 Inscriptions
  20 Jackets
  21 Manuscript, German - probably an early version
  22 Production
  23 Publicity
  24-26 Reviews
  27-28 Plates
  29-32 Printed copy, unbound, 1957
  33-36 Proofs, pages 1-199
5 1-9 Proofs, pages, 200-669
  10-13a Music manuscripts, proofs, and notes
     
    Oversized Cantillation Files:
10 24 Announcement of publication, 1958
     
    V. PAPERS OF OTHERS
     
BOX FOLDER(S) DESCRIPTION
     
    a. Joseph Achron Papers, 1920s-1963; n.d.:
     
5 14 Biographical sketch of Achron, in Russian, n.d.
  15 Letters, English and Russian, 1923
  16-22 Letters, Russian, 1923-1930; n.d.
  23 Letters, Russian, Marie Achron, 1955-1958
  24 Papers (letters, programs, lists of works), Russian, German, English, 1933-1963; n.d.
  25 Photographs, 1920s-1930s; n.d.
     
    b. Max M. Laserson Papers, 1924-1951; n.d.:
     
5 26 Bibliography of chief works
  27 “The Formative Period” (Chapter VI of an unidentified work. The chapter is about interwar minority rights.)
  28 Clippings (review of Russia and the Western World)
  29 Curriculum vita
  30 Democracy As It Is, manuscript
  31 The International Duty of Saving Democracy,” 1938, typescript
6 1 Jews and Nationalism, manuscript
  2 Laserson, Eleazar (son), letter from, 1951
  3 Miscellaneous notes and documents, 1924-1942
  4 Nationalism and Jews, chapter summaries and notes
  5 Portrait (photograph)
  6 Yiddish document
     
    VI. MUSICAL MATERIALS
     
BOX FOLDER(S) DESCRIPTION
     
    a. Notebooks and Notes:
     
6 7-9 Bach studies
  10-14 Modern Harmony
  15 Orchestration
7   Counterpoint
8   Harmony
     
    b. Music by Other Composers Annotated by Rosowsky:
     
6 16 Chopin, Frederic, Waltz op.64, no.2
  17 Debussy, Claude, Preludes, books one and two
  18-23 Other composers
     
9   c. Discs, probably field recordings of sacred and
    secular music recorded by Rosowsky in Palestine, ca. 1935.
     
    Oversized Box 10 (the contents are also listed with each series, above):
     
    Oversized Correspondence:
10 1-3 English
  4 Greek
  5-8 Hebrew
  9-13 Russian
     
    Oversized Subject Files:
10 14 American Academy for Jewish Research
  15 Article, “Die Music der Bibel,” n.d.
  16 Lecture material, Chicago, n.d.
  17 Lecture material, London, Cambridge, 1933-1934
  18 Miscellaneous Certificates, 1952; 1957
  19 Printed Material, Misc.
  20 Rosowsky, writings about, biographical and critical
     
    Oversized Scrapbook Material:
  21 Clippings, 1932-1962
  22 Juedisches Volks-Konservatorium in Riga
  23 Programs, invitations, and announcements, 1932-1964
     
    Oversized Cantillation Files:
10 24 Announcement of publication, 1958
  25 Esther, manuscript
 

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