Lev Aronson Musical Score and Personal Papers Collection
Scope and Contents
- 1912 - 1988
- Other: Date acquired: 2008 January
- Aronson, Lev Zacharovitch (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Collection Historical Note
After immigrating to the United States in 1948, Aronson settled in Texas, performing as principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony until 1967. He retired from the symphony do to health reasons and accepted a teaching position at Baylor University and later at Southern Methodist University.
Lev Aronson is best remembered for his contributions in teaching, inspiring generations of musicians with his knowledge of the cello and with his strength of personal character.
Lev Aronson's first cello teachers included Aron Rafaelovitsch Rubinstein and Paul Berkowitz. He began public performance at the age of 13, performing in silent movie orchestras. Upon his graduation from high school at 16, Aronson moved to Berlin to study law, but a doctor, who was an amateur cellist, introduced him to Julius Klengel in Leipzig and he returned to cello studies with him. After working with Klengel, Aronson continued with Alfred von Glehn at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory in Berlin.. When von Glehn died, Gregor Piatigorsky took over his class. Piatigorsky was to become Aronson's life-long mentor and friend.
Aronson left the the Berlin Conservatory in 1932, he began performing locally with three German friends in the Peters String Quartet in addition to performing throughout Europe as a soloist and in orchestras. Although the Jewish population of Europe became subject to increased political hostility through the 1930s, Aronson was able to perform and served as principal cellist for Liepaja (Libaja) Philharmonic Orchestra. German forces invaded and occupied Riga in June of 1941. Aronson's cello was confiscated and he and his family were trapped in the Riga Ghetto. Aronson worked as a slave laborer in the Riga-Kaiserwald system until September, 1944 when he was deported to Stutthof. From there he went to Burggraben and worked in the Danzig shipyards and later he went to Gotentov (near Lauenberg) where he was liberated in the spring of 1945. Some of the musicians from the Riga ghetto survived the war in the same camps; the tenor Gregor Shelkan was one of them. After the war, Aronson and Shelkan, memorializing those who had died in the war (including Aronson's parents and sister), composed several of the original compositions within the collection. Just months after liberation, Aronson, along with many other survivors, was arrested and sent to a Soviet repatriation camp. He managed to escape and made his way with the help of the Jewish underground through Poland to the American militarized zone.
Aronson immigrated to the United States in 1948, reuniting with his mentor Piatigorsky. He accepted a contract with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and moved to Texas. Aronson served as principal cellist in the Dallas Symphony until 1967. Aronson was offered a teaching position at Baylor University in Waco. In 1980, Aronson began teaching at Southern Methodist University and married cellist Harriet Springer, whose collection is incorporated into Aronson's sheet music. In the 1970s, Aronson collaborated with Croatian cellist, Rudolf Matz, producing the two volume work, The Complete Cellist. Drafts and correspondence relating to this publication can be found in the personal papers collection of Aronson and Matz.
Lev Aronson died in Dallas on November 12, 1988. His students include Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirshbaum, Brian Thornton, John Sharp, Adron Ming, Brook Pearce, Christopher Adkins, Alicia Randisi-Hooker, Karen Terbeek, Carol Haski, Philip Taggart, Kevin Dvorak, and Mitch Maxwell.
147.00 Linear Feet (98 boxes)
Language of Materials
Offensive Language Statement
Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.
- Cello -- Instruction and study.
- Cello ensembles.
- Cello music.
- Concertos (Cello) -- Solo with piano.
- Concertos (Cello).
- Music -- Manuscripts
- Music -- Manuscripts -- Facsimiles
- Sonatas (Cello and piano).
- String quartets.
- String trios.
- Suites (Cello)
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Holocaust -- Jewish (1939-1945), in music
- Lev Aronson Musical Score and Personal Papers Collection
- Stacey Krim
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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