Clara Rockmore collection, 1898-1996 (1930-1980)

Rockmore, Clara


6.50 linear feet.
Organized as nine series: 1. Articles and reviews, ca. 1910-1998 (0.45 linear feet) ; 2. Projects, festivals, and exhibits, ca. 1983-1997 (3 folders) ; 3. Programs, publicity, and tour arrangements, 1932-1990 (0.25 linear feet) ; 4. Writings and correspondence, ca. 1924-1998 (0.45 linear feet) ; 5. Personal items, 1917-1968 (1 folder) ; 6. Photographs and visual art, ca. 1910-ca. 1998 (1.00 linear feet) ; 7. Scrapbooks, 1915-1941 (1.00 linear feet) ; 8. Books and recordings, 1922-1995 (1.25 linear feet) ; 9. Scores, 1895-1960 (3.00 linear feet).
The Clara Rockmore collection covers the period from 1898 to 1996; the bulk of the materials date from 1930-1980. The collection consists of clippings, programs, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks and scores related to Rockmore's career as a musician and her personal life. Among the most significant holdings are correspondence between Rockmore and Leon Theremin, scores adapted for performance on the theremin, and photographs from Rockmore's early childhood.
Clara Rockmore (1911-1998) was a Russian-born American thereminist. Originally trained as a violinist, Rockmore was forced to abandon the instrument after developing severe joint and muscular pain. During the mid-1920's, she immigrated to the United States and soonafter became a student and close friend of scientist and inventor Leon Thérémin. For nearly two decades, Rockmore played the theremin in a series of concert tours in New York and throughout the United States. She also performed frequently with her sister, pianist Nadia Reisenberg. In 1977, Rockmore released a recording that brought her widespread attention and acclaim among enthusiasts interested in contemporary electronic instruments, including Robert Moog, who made her acquaintance and began to help her document her life story. In 1993, documentary filmmaker Steve Martin created a movie about the history of the theremin which featured Rockmore and her instrument. During the late 1990s, a series of festivals honored Thérémin and Rockmore.
This collection is open for research use.
Clara Rockmore collection, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy [] for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
Collection is predominantly in English.

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