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At a Glance
This collection is arranged into 5 series.
Papers, letters, memoranda, memorabilia, and manuscript music scores assembled by and related to the life and musical activities of Anton Seidl. The collection includes many letters from Cosima Wagner and her children addressed to Anton Seidl and his wife, the opera singer Auguste Kraus Seidl. There are also letters from Lilli Lehman, Edvard Grieg, Antonin Dvorak, Bronislaw Hubermann, Carl Goldmark, Maud Powell, Marianne Brandt, Felix Weingartner, Lyman Abbott, and many others. The letters are chiefly concerned with musical performances, composition, and related affairs. There are journals, diaries, and memoranda in Seidl's hand, as well as photographs and clippings relating to his conducting career. Also, twenty-seven manuscript scores of Seidl's orchestrations of various works.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
The following boxes are located off-site: 7-49. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
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); Anton Seidl collection of musical papers; 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
All of Richard Wagner's letters to Seidl were withdrawn before the collection came to Columbia University
On deposit from the Music Library.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1905. Accession number--M-05.
Wagner score insc. & signed by RW: Source of acquisition--Schleicher, Ruth. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--06/21/1999. Accession number--M-99-06-21.
Gift of Ruth Schleicher, 1999.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 09/--/1989.
Processed by Jennifer Sears, August 2002.
Wagner score insc. & signed by RW Cataloged HR 04/05/2000.
2010-03-10 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
Anton Seidl was a noted Wagnerian conductor and chorus master. He was born in Pest, Hungary, was a member of Wagner's household from 1872 to 1878, during which time he served as Wagner's musical secretary and later as conductor of the Richard Wagner Theater in Beyreuth. He was a close friend of Wagner's and had much to do with the spread of his music and influence through Europe and America.
Conductor Anton Seidl was born in Pest, Hungary on 7 May 1850. His early years are unrecorded and some suppose him to be the natural son of Franz Liszt. In 1870 he entered the Leipzig Conservatorium where he studied music under Ernst Ferdinand Wenzel Oscar Paul and Ernst Friedrich Richter. In that same year he returned to Pest to pursue studies with Hans Richter a musician who had been assisting Richard Wagner in preparing the score of Die Meistersinger. Upon Richter's recommendation Seidl was engaged by Wagner in 1872 to help him in his work at Bayreuth where Seidl became a member of the Wagner household. He was empolyed in making the first copy of the Nibelungen score and during the six years he was with Wagner helped to complete the scores of Die Gotterdammerung and Parsifal. Wagner entrusted to Seidl many of the details of the first Bayreuth festival in 1876. In 1879 Seidl was appointed conductor at the Leipzig Opera House where in teh season of 1881-1882 he conducted the first performances of the nibelungen cycle ever heard in Berlin. The following season he was appointed conductor of the travelling Wagner Theatre with which he toured through England and most of Europe. In 1883 he became conductor of the Bremen Opera House. On 29 February 1884 he married Auguste Kraus a singer who had been associated with the Travelling Wagner Theatre.
In 1885, Seidl was invited by Edmund C. Stanton director of teh Metropolitan Opera House to come to New York as conductor of German opera. On 23 November 1885 Seidl debuted at the Metropolitan with a successful performance of Lohengrin. After that time to his death he lived in New York and in 1891 became a naturalized American citizen. When German opera was temporarily dropped at the Metropolitan in 1891 Seidl became conductor of the Philharmonic Society of New York. DUring 1895-97 seasons he again conducted German opera at the Metroplitan and in 1897 visited London and Bayreuth to conduct special performances. A movement was inaugurated in New York to forma permanent Seidl orchestra and to guarantee its expenses but these plans were interrupted by Seidl's sudden death by ptomaine poisoning on 28 March 1898.