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The Paul Hindemith Collection

 Record Group
Identifier: MSS
The Hindemith collection consists of seven series arranged by importance. They are Provenance, Correspondence, Music, Photographs and Newspaper Clippings, Memorial Service, and Miscellaneous. The materials include letters, postcards, pamphlets, musical scores, programs, newspapers, photographs, books, a puzzle and even a piece of a desk. It is 2 linear feet and the earliest date is in 1881 though the majority ranges from 1943 to 1964.

Series I, entitled Provenance contains three folders with dates ranging from 1994 to 2002. It contains papers that deal with the creation of this collection and papers dealing with the organization of the Hindemith collection at Yale. The first folder contains letters from Phyllis Bauer on how she knew Hindemith. The letters also relate how she decided to leave this collection to Dr. Shankovich and lists describing what she was sending him. The Second folder is the finding aid for the Yale Hindemith collection which was made in 1994. The last folder is from Dr. Shankovich and contains material from the National Archives that he received when he was given lessons on caring for this collection.

Series II, Correspondence, has a range of items including photographs, letters, postcards, and a letter in the form of a puzzle. The majority of the material range from 1943 to 1965. The first folder contains information on the next three folders concerning what they are about and the status of other correspondence collections by Yale. The next three folders contain photocopies of correspondences from Hindemith. The fist contain letters from 1943-1949, the second letters from 1950-1958, and the third contain letters that were not dated. The next folder in the series is of hand made post cards from Hindemith for Christmas and the New Year from 1945-1965. There is also a card celebrating his 50th and 65thbirthdays. Lastly there is a card indicating the recipient should look behind. The next folder is of postcards sent by Hindemith to Karl Bauer. Finally the last folder is of postcards sent to Hindemith. There is also a framed puzzle wrapped in padding that is a message to Karl Bauer.

Series III deals with Music. It includes pamphlets, musical scores and concert programs, most being from 1946 to 1965. The first folder contains pamphlets listing Hindemith’s work. The second folder has musical scores he was working on and the last folder contains concert programs from his work, pieces he attended and a work by his friend Carl Orff.

Series IV contains Photographs and Newspaper clippings. There is a wide range of dates from 1944 to 1964. The photos contain images of Hindemith at varying ages, and his friends and acquaintances. Some were professionally taken and produced as postcards while others are family snapshots. Only a few have writing or dates on the back. The next folder has newspaper clippings. This includes his obituary, a clip from the NY Post about a production in Rome that was banned for those under 18, and lastly a copy of the Schott-Kurier that featured Hindemith.

Series V contains one folder on his Memorial service. It took place in 1964. In it is a program from his Memorial service at Yale and a copy of a speech in German for Hindemith.

Series VI is titled Miscellaneous. There is one folder containing items from 1881, 1947 and 1961. There is a notice for a concert held Oct. 13, 1881. There is also an invoice from Weinberger from when he received his first royalty check. Also a German Copy of Musikverlag B. Schott’s Söhne – Mainz and finally a small musical score for Karl Bauer’s 60th Birthday from Henry Cowell. There is also a Desk panel that Hindemith would add illustrations to every time he visited Karl Bauer.

Series VII consists of books written by Hindemith, about him, or written by or about his friend Carl Orff. There are 36 books in this collection both hard back and paperback. Five of them also have writing on the front title page. Hindemith’s two books on Johann Sebastian Bach, Hindemith Unterweisung im Tonsatz, Carl Orff by Gersdfort and one of the copies of Carl Orff, Ein Bericht In Wort Und Bild


  • 1943-1964


2 Linear Feet

Biographical / Historical

Paul Hindemith was born in 1895 near Frankfurt in Hanau and was taught the violin as a child. He attended the Hochsche Konservatorium in Frankfurt where he studied music, including composition. From 1915 to 1923 he led the Frankfurt Opera orchestra and played the second violin in the Rebner string quartet in 1921.

In 1929 he founded the Amar Quartet where he played the viola and toured all over Europe. In 1922 some of his pieces were played at the International Society for contemporary Music festival in Salzburg and for the first time attention was paid to him by an international audience.

Back in his home country, however, he was not as well liked. His music was deemed degenerate by the Nazis and in 1934 on December 6th Joseph Goebbels publicly denounced his works. Due to this free publicity many anti-Nazi states supported him and in 1935 he traveled to Turkey to reorganize the music educational system. In addition he also prepared the material for the “Universal and Turkish Polyphonic Music education Programme” for all music related institutions in Turkey.

While he was not Jewish his wife, Gertrude, was and so in 1940 they immigrated to the United States. There he taught at Yale University and held the Charles Eliot Norton Chair at Harvard. He became a United States Citizen in 1946 but by 1953 he had returned to Europe where he lived in Zurich and taught at the University there. He remained active in the music world right up to the end, even winning the Balzan Prize in 1962. He died December 28, 1963 in Frankfurt from acute pancreatitis.

This collection was left to Phyllis F. Bauer by her husband Karl, who was the U.S. representative of the publisher B. Schott’s Söhne Mainz. Through his work he developed a deep friendship with Paul Hindemith. After the death of her husband Phyllis Bauer decided to leave the collection to Dr. Shankovich of Duquesne University, who she felt shared Hindemith’s commitment to furthering musical education.


Dr. Shankovich donated the Paul Hindemith collection to the Duquesne University Archives September 2006.
The Paul Hindemith Collection
An inventory of the personal papers, letters and books in relation to Paul Hindemith
Abby Cape
January 2007
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archival Music Collections Repository