Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Mus 259

Rudolf Kolisch additional papers

Additional papers of Austrian-born, American musician Rudolf Kolisch.


  • 1926-1964

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English and German.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Includes: correspondence; a notebook recording concert dates; programs, reviews, and clippings of the Kolisch Quartett, New School Chamber Orchestra, and the Pro Arte Quartet; biographical materials on Kolisch; and photographs of Kolisch and the Kolisch Quartett.

Correspondents include Theodor W. Adorno, Ernst Krenek, Roger Sessions, and Edward Steuermann.

Biographical / Historical

The violinist Rudolf Kolisch was born in Klamm, Austria, in 1896. He studied violin, composition and musicology in Vienna, and was close to the circle around his teacher Schoenberg (who married Kolisch's sister Gertrud in 1924). Kolisch's quartet was founded in 1922; first known as the Wiener Streichquartett, then Kolisch Quartett, it became internationally known as one of the protagonists of the Second Viennese School. Bartok, Berg, Webern, and Schoenberg entrusted them with the first performances of many of their works. In 1939, while touring the USA, the quartet in its original formation disbanded. In 1944, after years of struggle, Kolisch became the primarius of the Pro Arte Quartet, in residence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and later joined the faculty at the School of Music. In 1967 he left that position for the New England Conservatory, Boston, where he taught until his death in 1978.

[For additional biographical information, see Claudia Maurer Zenck, "Was sonst kann ein Mensch denn machen, als Quartett zu spielen? Rudolf Kolisch und seine Quartette. Versuch einer Chronik der Jahre 1921-1944," in Österreichische Musikzeitschrift no. 53 (1998), p. 8ff.]


Arranged into the following series:
  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Performance records and other material

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

2005M-26. Source unknown; received: 2005.

Processing Information

Processed by: Barbara M. Wolff
Link to catalog
Kolisch, Rudolf, 1896-1978. Rudolf Kolisch additional papers, 1926-1964: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440