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At a Glance
This collection of autographed inscriptions and letters from noted 19th century musicians was assembled by Mason. The material includes the signatures of 85 composer, performers, and other musical people, most of whom were Dr. Mason's contemporaries and personal friends. There are 103 items the majority of which are bits of music in script with signatures, and a few autograph letters to Mason. Among those represented are Berlioz, Jenny Lind, Franz Liszt, MacDowell, Paderewski, Rubinstein, Saint-Saens, Samaroff, and the Schumanns.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located on-site.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); William Mason collection of autographs of musicians; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Existence and Location of Copies
This item has been microfilmed. See microfilm #MN-0235.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Van Sindern, Mina Mason: Address--Gift.
Gift of Mina Mason Van Sinvern, 1933.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Van Sindern, Mina Mason Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 08/--/89.
2010-02-16 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Pianist, teacher, and musical theoretician.
William Mason (January 24, 1829 July 14 1908 was a noted pianist composer and teacher. He made his musical debut at seventeen with the Boston Academy of Music March 7 1846. In 1849 he went to Germany to complete his education and studied with a number of pianists including Franz List. Upon his return to the United States in 1854 he started to tour the country giving piano recitals.
In 1857 Mason married Mary Isabella Web. In 1855 he helped to found the Mason-Thomas Soirees of Chamer-Music at which many compositions by Schumann and Brahms were first performed in the United States. After 1868 Mason mostly wrote and taught music and piano technique. His most famous book is Touch and Technic. He wrote about forty pieces for the piano among them Silver Spring and Capriccio Fantastico He died at age seventy-nine at his home in New York.