Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Fritz Reiner papers, 1916-1983

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1060
Bib ID 4079910 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Reiner, Fritz, 1888-1963
Title Fritz Reiner papers, 1916-1983
Physical Description 0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Unique time-based media items have been reformatted and are available onsite via links in the container list.



This collection is arranged into 2 series.



Letters, notes, programs, photographs, and printed materials. The collection is comprised primarily of handwritten correspondence between Reiner and notable music figures including Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, Darius Milhaud, Arthur Nikisch. Arnold Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, and Leo Weiner. Also of note, letters from writer and conductor Gian Francesco Milpiero and his wife Auna detailing wartime conditions in Italy (1946).

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Unique time-based media items have been reformatted and are available onsite via links in the container list.

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.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Fritz Reiner papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of Carlotta Reiner.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Papers: Source of acquisition--Reiner, Carlotta. Method of acquisition--Gift/Transfer from Music Library; Date of acquisition--2001. Accession number--M-2001.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed JS/HR 07/27/2002.

Revision Description

2010-02-24 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Notes (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Programs (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
American Youth for Democracy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Babin, Victor, 1908-1972 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Barber, Samuel, 1910-1981 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bartók, Béla, 1881-1945 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bernstein, Leonard, 1918-1990 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Casella, Alfredo, 1883-1947 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Conductors (Music) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dent, Edward J (Edward Joseph), 1876-1957 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Foss, Lukas, 1922-2009 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Godowsky, Leopold, 1870-1938 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Milhaud, Darius, 1892-1974 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Music -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Music -- New York (State) -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Musicians Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New York Philharmonic Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nikisch, Arthur, 1855-1922 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Operas -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Orchestral music Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Schoenberg, Arnold, 1874-1951 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Strauss, Richard, 1864-1949 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Weiner, Leó, 1885-1960 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wobisch, Helmut, 1912-1980 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Reiner was born in Budapest in 1888. He graduated from the Budapest Academy of Music in 1908 where he studied with Bela Bartok. Various conducting and directing appointments followed in Budapest and in Dresden, including that of chief conductor of the Royal Opera House in Dresden for 1914-1922. An acquaintance of Richard Strauss, Reiner was influenced by conductor Arthur Nikisch and Hungarian composer Leo Weiner. In 1922 Reiner left Europe to become the appointed director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1930. In 1928 he became an American citizen. He married his second wife, Cincinnati actress Carlotta Irwin, in 1930.

From 1931-1941 Reiner served as head of the orchestra and opera departments at the Curtis Institute of Music, where Leonard Bernstein was his student. He supervised activities of the Philadelphia Academy of Music and was a frequent guest conductor at the Philadelphia Grand Opera. During that time he also participated in opera festivities at Covent Gargen in honor of King Edward VIII's coronation and Wagner performances at the San Francisco Opera from 1936-1938.

In 1938 Reiner was appointed conductor and music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, resigning in 1948 over financial disputes. He became conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City where he debuted with an historic performance of Strauss' Salome on February 4 1949. Among the 113 performances conducted during that brief tenure were acclaimed performances of Tristan und Isolde and Der Rosenkavalier and the organization's premiere of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.

From 1953-1962 Reiner conducted the Chicago Symphony. He died in New York City on November 15 1963.