Otto Luening collection of non-commercial sound recordings, 1950-1983

Luening, Otto, 1900-1996


257 audiotape reels : analog.
5 in.
7 in.
10 in.
Items are organized in the order in which they were transferred to preservation tapes.
Collection of 257 reel-to-reel tapes of Luening's works (primarily from the late 50s, 60s, and 70s), performed by various performers and groups, as well as works written by others (students and associates of Luening). Also includes recordings of various talks, lectures, and demonstrations given by Luening, and concerts given in his honor.
Otto Luening was born on June 15, 1900 in Milwaukee, and died in New York, on Sept. 2, 1996. He was an American composer, teacher, conductor, and flautist, and was a pioneer in the field of electronic music -- Luening began composing as a child in 1906. He made his debut as composer/conductor in 1917. In 1920 Luening came to Chicago, and conducted the American Grand Opera Company in performances of operas in English. From 1925 to 1973 he was on the faculty at many different schools including the Eastman School, the University of Arizona, and Bennington (Vermont) College. In 1944 Luening was appointed director of opera productions at Columbia University (where he developed a graduate seminar in composition) and professor at Barnard College. Luening was a founder of CRI [i.e. Composers Recordings, Inc.](1954) and a trustee of the American Academy in Rome (1953-70), where he was also composer-in-residence (1958, 1961 and 1965). He and Vladimir Ussachevsky established an electronic music center at Columbia University (later named the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center). In the late 1960s Luening renewed his interest in chamber music. A strong proponent of music education, he wrote many works for chamber groups with modest abilities. Luening was awarded two Guggenheim fellowships (1930-31 and 1931-2), which enabled him to write the libretto and music of his opera Evangeline. He was awarded a third Guggenheim fellowship in 1974. Luening was associate conductor, under Hans Lange, of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Chamber Orchestra (1936-8), and from 1941 together with Alan Carter was active in the Vermont Chamber Music Composers' Conferences. In addition Luening was a co-founder of ACA [i.e. American Composers Alliance] (1938) and the American Music Center (1939). Luening continued to teach at Columbia until 1960, and retired from Barnard in 1964. He became professor emeritus and music chairman of the School of the Arts at Columbia until his retirement in 1970. He then taught at the Juilliard School (1971-3). Among his many students are Wuorinen, Dodge, Carlos, and Laderman. (Source: Grove Music online).
Commercial recordings received were assimilated into the general collection of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.
Collection is open to the public. Users never directly handle sound recordings. Listening selections are transmitted through a playback system.
Most items have been transferred to preservation and service copies. Original items which have not been transferred may require advance notification for use. Refer to item description in finding aid for more information.
Otto Luening papers reside in the Music Division of the New York Public Library.
In English and German.
Guide to the collection (i.e. Finding aid) available on internet.

Related Resources

Guide to the Otto Luening collection of non-commercial sound recordings:
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