Mary Howe papers, 1884-1972

Howe, Mary, 1882-1964


36.3 linear feet (72 boxes).
Arranged in series: I. Scores, texts and indexes, 1897-1964; II. Subject files, 1911-1967; III. Papers and writings, 1884-1969; IV. Scrapbooks, 1947-1964; V. Photographs, ca. 1929-1965; VI. Books, 1931-1972.
The Mary Howe papers document the life and career of the American composer, pianist, and patron of music -- The collection consists primarily of scores that represent the entire range of Howe's career as a composer. Another large part of the collection is the extensive professional and personal correspondence that underscores Howe's prominent role in Washington artistic and social circles. The collection also contains writings, concert programs, scrapbooks, photographs, and a small set of books.
Mary Howe (1882-1964) was an American composer, pianist, and patron of music in Washington, D.C. -- Born Mary Carlisle, she studied piano in Germany and the United States and received a degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory in 1922. As a pianist, she toured in a two-piano team with Anne Hull from 1917-1935. A prolific composer, Howe worked in many genres and often reorchestrated the same composition for multiple settings. She also created many song settings for poems, in addition to her other orchestral work. Howe and her husband, Walter Bruce Howe, were prominent Washington socialites and were among the co-founders in 1931 of the National Symphony Orchestra. Howe was close friends with the orchestra's first music director, Hans Kindler and also had a significant working relationship with the conductor, William Strickland. She was active in numerous local and national organizations, including the National Federation of Music Clubs and she was also a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and the Huntington Hartford Foundation. Towards the end of her life, Howe was on the board of the National Cultural Center (later renamed the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts).
The Mary Howe papers were reprocessed in 2005, incorporating materials that had been described formerly in the catalog as Selections and List of musical works.
See also the Mary Howe collection of noncommercial recordings (*L(Special) 90-18) in the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Collection guide available in repository and on internet.

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