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Paul Koch Collection

 Record Group
Identifier: MSS0015
Includes three regular boxes and three oversize boxes. Regular boxes are arranged alphabetically by composer. Oversize boxes contain very fragile items which require careful handling.


  • Majority of material found within The materials in this collection cover dates between 1858-1983


5 linear feet Linear Feet

Biographical / Historical

Paul was a graduate of Schenley High School in Pittsburgh. He studied at both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Tech. He was awarded a fellowship to study organ at the famous Leipzig Conservatory with Gunter Ramin. After two years, he went to Paris to study with Marcel Dupre for one year. He took over the position of Music Director and Organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oakland after his father Caspar Koch retired and remained in that position from 1949-1989. He served two terms as Dean of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Guild of Organists from 1947-49. In 1944 he taught piano and organ at the Pittsburgh Musical Institute. He was director of music at Mellon Institute from 1950 until 1975. He was a member of the guest faculty that participated in the summer Liturgical Music Workshops in Boys Town, Nebraska. He performed at the dedication of the Boys Town Collection in March of 1990 at Duquesne University. Biographical Sources: Paul Koch. Oral Interview, 7 January 1992, Tape recording in the possession of Carnegie Public Library, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, The Maurice Levy Oral History of Music in Pittsburgh Collection. 2 Schmitt, Monsignor Francis P. “Regalement in Pittsburgh.” Sacred Music 116.01(1989): p. 9-10. Print.


Caspar Koch (Father) (1872-1970) Caspar Koch was born in Karnap, Germany on November 25, 1872 and died in Pittsburgh, PA, on April 3, 1970. His parents immigrated to the USA in 1881. Graduated from St Francis College, Joliet, Illinois. He later studied in Berlin with Heinrich Reimann, Franz Kullak, and others, and at the Kirchenmusikschule in Regensburg. He was organist at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Pittsburgh for 33 years. He served as a faculty member at Carnegie Institute of Technology from 1914 to 1941. He wrote the authoritative Book of Scales for the Organ (New York, 1918) and the Organ Student’s Gradus ad Parnassum (1945), an interesting, informed, and sensible performance-practice book that became well known. Koch played the first local organ broadcast in Pittsburgh, a city that pioneered in radio broadcasting. He was city organist there for 50 years (1904–54) and played more than 2000 recitals in North Side Carnegie Hall. He was succeeded in this post by his son Paul. In addition to being a world known organist, Caspar Koch was also a teacher, composer, transcriber, author, musicologist and authority on J.S. Bach. He assembled hymns for the first Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Hymn Book. He was on the Duquesne University faculty during the years 1909-1914. In 1922, he received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Duquesne. Caspar’s father-in-law was John Singenberger. John Singenberger, born in Switzerland, was an American teacher, composer, author, editor, and organist. He established a Caecilian Society, an organization committed to historic Catholic music and liturgical practices (e.g., Gregorian chant and the polyphonic works of Palestrina). He completed his academic studies under Franz Xaver Witt at Regensburg. Shortly after, he founded the American St. Caecilla Society and was editor of Caecilla, (see Box 4) the oldest music periodical in the country. Caspar married Singenberger’s daughter, Myra, an ex-opera singer, on June 30, 1903.

Biographical Sources: Daniel Jay Grimminger. "Singenberger, Johannes Baptist." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 31 Aug. 2016. />. Gaul, Henry B. Dr. Caspar P. Koch’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Carnegie Music Hall, North Side, Pittsburgh, 1929. Vernon Gotwals and Judi Caldwell. "Koch, Caspar." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 30 Aug. 2016. />.
Edwin Henry Lemare (1865-1934) (Transcriptions) Edwin Lemare was born in Ventnor, England on September 9, 1866 and died in Hollywood, CA on September 24, 1934. He was an English organist and composer. At the age of 13, he was awarded a three-year scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) where he studied under the direction of Steggall. In 1892 became an organ professor and examiner for the Associated Board of the RAM and the Royal College of Music (RCM). By this stage he had already made his reputation by playing more than 100 recitals (two a day) in 1884. Lemare was one of the most brilliant players of his day and a gifted extemporizer. A 100-recital tour of the USA and Canada during 1900–01 led to his engagement as organist of the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh (1902–5). He also made several hundred organ transcriptions of orchestral repertory, including many of Wagner’s works.

Biographical Source: Paul Hale and William Osborne. "Lemare, Edwin." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 30 Aug. 2016. />.
Franz Xaver Haberl (1840-1910) Franz Heberl was born in Oberellenbach, Bavaria in 1840. He was a German musicologist and church musician. He was ordained a priest in 1862, and was subsequently head of music in the episcopal seminaries and deputy choirmaster at Passau Cathedral. He founded a school of church music in Regensburg that soon acquired an international reputation. Pope Leo XIII made him an honorary canon of Palestrina Cathedral in 1879, the year in which Haberl founded a Palestrina society and became editor of the first complete Palestrina edition, which Breitkopf & Härtel had begun in 1862. Haberl edited the continuation of the anthology Musica Divina from 1872, and the Cäcilien-Kalender from 1876, changing its name to Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch in 1886. From 1888 he edited Musica sacra and from 1899 the Fliegende Blätter für katholische Kirchenmusik, later entitled Cäcilienvereinsorgan. Haberl was one of the leaders of the Regensburg Cecilian movement, which aimed to put into practice the reform of church music initiated by Carl Proske. Haberl's seminal publications in the field of ecclesiastical music from the 15th to 17th centuries, his role in the first complete editions of Palestrina and Lassus, and his historical and critical researches make him one of the pioneers of modern musicology.

Biographical Source: Dieter Haberl. "Haberl, Franz Xaver." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 30 Aug. 2016. />.
Paul Koch Collection
Melodie Frankovitch
August 2016
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Repository Details

Part of the Archival Music Collections Repository