crown CU Home > Libraries Home
Columbia University Libraries Archival CollectionsRare Book & Manuscript Library Collections
 

   George Edwards papers, 1963-2012

Download and Print CitationContact Bookmark Share

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); George Edwards Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).
picture

Summary Information

Abstract

George Edwards (1943-2011) was an American composer, critic, and teacher. He taught in Columbia University's Music Department from 1977 to 2006 and was named an Edward MacDowell Emeritus Professor of Music by Columbia's Board of Trustees. This collection includes scores, teaching materials, audio recordings, programs, clippings, correspondence, and biographical materials, including medical records and information surrounding Edwards’ death from Alzheimer's disease.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1573
Bib ID:8704587 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Edwards, George, 1943-2011
Title:George Edwards papers, 1963-2012
Physical description:16 linear ft. (19 document boxes, 6 flat boxes, and 1 CD box.)
Language(s): In English.
Access: This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. This collection has no restrictions. The medical records in Box 19 are open to researchers. To use audiovisual materials in Series VIII, please contact the library to discuss access options as most of these materials have not been reformatted and are not readily available for use.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

Return to top

Description

Scope and Content

George Edwards (1943-2011) was an American composer, critic, and teacher. Edwards' papers include scores, teaching materials, audio recordings, programs, clippings, correspondence, and biographical materials, including medical records and information surrounding Edwards' death from Alzheimer's disease. The papers also include some subject files and written and musical works by other authors.

The strength of the collection is the documentation of Edwards' activities as a composer. Most of Edwards' major works are represented here, in sketches, drafts, and/or published scores. There are a large number of composition notebooks, showing Edwards' compositional process for some of his major works. There are also a significant number of draft fragments and sketches that have not yet been identified. A collection of programs shows that many of Edwards' works received numerous performances throughout his lifetime. Many of Edwards' works are also represented in the audio recordings included in this collection.

Edwards' activities as a teacher and scholar are also well documented. There are drafts of his written works, as well as syllabi, musical analyses, and handouts for Music Humanities and Species Counterpoint classes in Columbia University's Music Department. For the most part, Edwards' administrative activities are not documented in this collection.

A final noteworthy aspect of this collection is the inclusion of Edwards' medical records, which document his decline and death from Alzheimer's disease from 2005 to 2012. This file includes correspondence between Edwards' wife and his doctors that documents the effects and challenges of the illness for Edwards and his family.

Series I: Biographical and Personal Files, 1965-2011 undated

This series includes Edwards’ biographical information and personal files, including curriculum vitae (CV) drafts, lists of works, diplomas and certificates, a datebook and expense log, miscellaneous notes, and materials relating to his death and memorial concert at Columbia, including programs, correspondence, recordings, and photographs.

Series II: Musical Works, 1963-2004 undated

Most of Edwards’ works are represented here by sketches, drafts, and/or bound holographs. The series begins with musical notebooks containing a number of unidentified sketches and drafts. Individual scores range from early works as a composition student at Oberlin College to vocal, chamber, and large-ensemble pieces composed as late as 2004. There is a significant amount of unidentified loose fragments of sketches and drafts that may include some unfinished or unpublished works. This series is arranged chronologically by work, with unidentified materials at the end of the series.

Series III: Written Works, 1962-1998 undated

This series contains drafts and published copies of essays and articles written by Edwards, from college essays to journal articles. Edwards’ collected essays were published in the volume Collected Essays on Modern and Classical Music in 2008; that volume is not included in this collection, though most of the essays within it are represented here in draft form.

Series IV: Teaching Materials, 1997-2002 undated

Edwards taught in Columbia University's Department of Music from 1977 to 2006. This series includes notes, syllabi, musical analyses, and handouts for Music Humanities and Species Counterpoint classes at Columbia. Many of these materials are undated.

Series V: Programs and Clippings, 1964-2007 undated

This series contains programs, program notes, and clippings and facsimiles of reviews, which all document the many performances that Edwards’ works received throughout his lifetime.

Subseries V.1: Programs and Program Notes, 1964-2007 undated

This subseries contains programs collected by Edwards that include performances of Edwards’ works, starting at Oberlin College and ending in 2007. It also includes several drafts of program notes, including Edwards’ biographical statement, and descriptions of his works.

Subseries V.2: Clippings, 1965-2000

This subseries contains clippings and facsimiles of reviews of performances of Edwards’ works, from newspapers, newsletters, and magazines.

Series VI: Correspondence, 1967-2005 undated

Correspondence from Edwards includes letters written home from the American Academy in Rome, and unfinished letters towards the end of his life. Correspondence to Edwards includes letters from Richard Hoffman, Jacques Monod, David Saperstein, and other colleagues, teachers, students, performers, and figures from the New York City contemporary music scene.

Series VII: Subject Files (Created by Others), 2005-2012

This series contains materials created by others regarding Edwards, mostly dating towards the end of his life. Much of it was created by his wife, Rachel Hadas. The series includes correspondence regarding a concert and a recording session of Edwards’ works, a list of books, scores, and recordings owned by Edwards at the time of his death, and a folder of extensive medical records and correspondence regarding Edwards’ illness and death. Edwards began to experience unidentified symptoms in the late 1990s that developed to include dementia, and were attributed to Alzheimer's disease after a brain autopsy following his death in 2011. The medical records may be useful to researchers aiming to understand the experience of Alzheimer's sufferers and their families.

Series VIII: Sound Recordings, 1964-2006 undated

Many of Edwards’ works are represented here on recording, from his Oberlin senior recital through performances in the mid-2000s. The series is divided into subseries by audio media type, and within the subseries arranged chronologically by work. Performers include the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gunther Schuller, Collage, Parnassus, the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, the Pro Arte Quartet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and the Columbia University Sinfonietta conducted by Jeffrey Milarsky.

Subseries VIII.1: Tape reels, 1964-1981 undated

Tape reels include performances from the 1960s at Oberlin College through the early 1980s.

Subseries VIII.2: LPs, 1975 undated

This subseries contains commercially published LPs featuring three of Edwards’ works.

Subseries VIII.3: Cassettes, 1982-1997 undated

Cassettes include professional live performances from the early 1980s through late 1990s.

Subseries VIII.4: Compact Discs, 2002-2006 undated

CDs include multiple performances from American Composers Alliance annual music festivals, a performance by the Columbia University Sinfonietta, and two "demo CDs" dubbed from other performances.

Series IX: Works by Others, 1987-1991 undated

This series is divided into audio recordings of musical works by other composers, and written works by other authors.

Series X: Additions to the Papers, 2016

This series includes material added to the papers since their original processing.

Return to top

Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

This collection has no restrictions.

The medical records in Box 19 are open to researchers.

To use audiovisual materials in Series VIII, please contact the library to discuss access options as most of these materials have not been reformatted and are not readily available for use.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes, except that permission is required to copy musical scores. 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); George Edwards Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Finding aid available online.

Return to top

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed by Emily Clark (GSAS), 2015

Finding aid written by Emily Clark (GSAS), 2015

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion May 23, 2015 Finding aid written in English.
    2015-05-23 File created.
    2015-05-29 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

Return to top

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.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
AudiotapesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
ClippingsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Programs (Documents)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
ScoresPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Columbia University--FacultyPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University--Music DepartmentPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University--Music Department--FacultyPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Composers--United States--20th centuryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Edwards, George, 1943-2011PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Music--United States--20th centuryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Return to top

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

George Edwards (1943-2011) was an American composer, critic, and teacher. He attended Oberlin College from 1961-1965, and Princeton University from 1965-1968, where he studied with Milton Babbitt, Edward T. Cone, and Earl Kim, and obtained an Master of Fine Arts (MFA). He taught music theory and composition at the New England Conservatory in Boston from 1969-1976. He was a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome from 1973-1975, and won the Rome Prize in Composition in 1975. In 1977 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Columbia University in New York. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in both 1980 and 1986, and earned tenure at Columbia in 1987, heading the composition program from 1987 to 1995. He also served on the Advisory Committee of the Alice M. Ditson Fund from 1988 to 2005, serving as the Committee's Secretary from 1995-1998. He served as Chair of the Department of Music at Columbia from 1996 to 1999. After his retirement in 2006, he was named Edward MacDowell Emeritus Professor of Music by Columbia's Board of Trustees.

Return to top