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Collection Manuscript/Mixed Material Serge Koussevitzky archive, Koussevitzky archive

About this Item


  • Serge Koussevitzky archive,

Other Title

  • Koussevitzky archive


  • The archive includes correspondence, personal and business papers, photographs, writings, clippings, scrapbooks, programs, and other materials which serve as a record of Koussevitzky's life and career, and document some of the most significant aspects of twentieth-century music. Through Koussevitzky's work as a conductor and publisher, and his efforts to commission new musical works, he maintained deep ties with many of the finest composers and musicians of the day. These figures are represented in their personal and professional affiliations with the conductor. The collection extensively chronicles periods in the history of organizations such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Berkshire Music Center, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and the American International Music Fund. Material in the collection dates from Koussevitzky's years in his native Russia and also contains material created after Koussevitzky's death, reflecting his widow Olga's continuing work with various organizations and projects.
  • The Correspondence series, one of the largest in the archive, and the first to be processed, contains both professional and personal correspondence between the Koussevitzkys and their colleagues, family, friends, and the public. Correspondents include most of the leading musical and artistic figures of the first half of the twentieth-century reflecting Koussevitzky's stature and influence in the field. The Correspondence series is divided into ten subseries. Items found in the General subseries reflect the many important connections between the Koussevitzkys and leading musical and artistic figures of the first half of the twentieth-century. The remaining subseries include family correspondence between Serge, Natalie (Koussevitzky's first wife and Olga's aunt), and Olga Koussevitzky; requests from artists wishing to work with him; greeting cards from servicemen to Koussevitzky; routine solicitations; professional and personal invitations to various events; appreciations and fan mail; requests for his time or financial support; greeting, calling and business cards; and correspondence from unidentified individuals.
  • The Writings series is subdivided into two subseries: By Serge Koussevitzky and About Serge Koussevitzky. The writings by Koussevitzky include a wide array of documents, from addresses, articles, and essays, to brief comments or statements on musical topics, or political issues of particular importance to him, such as Russian relief and support of Israel. The bulk of the writings about Serge Koussevitzky are dated from the 1920s to the 1940s. They include articles and essays from popular magazines and scholarly journals, newspaper reviews and editorials, scripts, tributes, and poetry written in honor of Koussevitzky.
  • The Personal Files series relates to the private lives of Serge, his first wife Natalie and his widow Olga Koussevitzky. It contains materials related to their deaths, including obituaries, tribute statements, and condolence letters. Identity documents for all three individuals are present, including naturalization papers and passports. Wills, estate documents, and marriage certificates are included, as well as a significant amount of personal financial, tax, and legal documents. Materials that relate to Olga and her family, such as her memoirs and diaries, correspondence, and her writings (much of it about her husband) can be found here. Documents relating to Olga's caricatures of world-famous musicians (housed in the Visual Materials series), include correspondence, programs, clippings and articles.
  • The Visual Materials series spans 1888 to 1972, with the bulk of the materials covering Koussevitzky's life in the United States, from 1924 to 1951. It is divided into four subseries: Photographs, Slides and Negatives; Artwork; Posters; and Architectural and Landscape Designs. The Photographs, Slides and Negatives subseries contains primarily photographs (including contact sheets), both formal and informal, of Serge, Olga and to a lesser extent, Natalie Koussevitzky. The formal portraits of Serge come in various sizes and include shots of Koussevitzky with the double bass and posing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. There are many shots of Koussevitzky conducting the BSO and other orchestras. Informal snapshots feature birthday parties at the Berkshire Music Center, trips with Olga to such places as Brazil and Israel, or Koussevitzky with various friends and colleagues at different events. There are numerous photographs of Serge and/or Olga with musicians, composers, Berkshire Music Center and Boston Symphony Orchestra colleagues, such as Bernstein, Copland, Charles Munch, Seiji Ozawa, and Michael Tilson Thomas. The early days of the Berkshire Music Center and Berkshire Symphonic Festival are well-documented with photographs from the 1930s. The Artwork subseries includes Olga Koussevitzky's caricatures of famous musical figures, including herself and Koussevitzky; drawings, sketches, and cartoons of Serge and Olga; and photographs of paintings, drawings, and sculptures of Koussevitzky. Of particular interest in the Posters subseries are posters from 1909-1910 announcing concerts in the "Serge Koussevitzky Concerts" series, and Russian posters from 1942-1943 announcing various concert events. The Architectural and Landscape Designs subseries contains designs relating to the Berkshire Music Center and Tanglewood, including blueprints of Tanglewood Pavilion, and of the Berkshire Music Center small studios created by Eliel and Eero Saarinen.
  • The Business and Organizational Files series is the largest series in the archive and spans the years 1881 to 1978. This series contains papers relating to the creation, management, and activities of the following entities: the American International Music Fund, Berkshire Music Center, International Music Fund, and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation. In addition, it contains papers relating to the management and activities of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, primarily during Koussevitzky's tenure as music director, and correspondence to and from major music publishers. The American International Music Fund is an affiliate organization of the International Music Fund dedicated to stimulating and promoting the appreciation of contemporary music through live performance, recording and broadcasting. The materials include documents relating to the founding of the fund and its day-to-day management, such as incorporation papers and by-laws, board agendas, membership lists, program suggestions, and materials relating to international composition contests. Of particular interest are materials related to the Koussevitzky International Recording Award and the Recording Guarantee Project. The Berkshire Music Center materials date from 1936 when the Boston Symphony Orchestra made its first appearances at the Berkshire Symphonic Festival, in western Massachusetts. Koussevitzky's addresses and statements spelling out his vision for creating a "musical academy" at Tanglewood are here, accompanied by planning documents, correspondence, promotional materials and clippings. Most seasons contain the following types of materials: clippings; correspondence with students, faculty, board members, donors, artists, staff, and the public; reports; promotional materials; student rosters, programs, and schedules; score and repertoire lists; addresses by Koussevitzky; and faculty rosters.
  • The Boston Symphony Orchestra materials span the years 1881 to 1977, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1924 to 1949, during Koussevitzky's time as music director. Under Koussevitzky, the Boston Symphony Orchestra became a world-class orchestra, acclaimed for its sound as well as for linking its classical repertoire with contemporary European and American music. Each symphony season, particularly during Koussevitzky's tenure, is well-documented by such materials as concert schedules; clippings; promotional items; programs; and score and repertoire lists. There is extensive correspondence, materials relating to Koussevitzky's recordings, his contracts, documents on the unionization of the BSO, and numerous repertoire lists compiled in various categories. The International Music Fund was created in 1948 by Koussevitzky to further the cause of contemporary music and to help and encourage living composers. These papers document the creation, management and activities of the fund. Materials in the subseries include financial and budget documents, correspondence, promotional materials, articles and speeches, clippings, reports, programs.
  • The Koussevitzky Music Foundation was created by Serge Koussevitzky in May 1942, in memory of his wife Natalie, for the purpose of stimulating the growth of musical culture by commissioning new works and supporting the development of musical talent through varied activities. These materials date from the creation of the foundation to Olga Koussevitzky's death in 1978. The foundation, which is still operating today, has supported the creation of many major musical works, including Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, Britten's Peter Grimes, Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Stravinsky's Ode for Orchestra, to name just a few. These materials also include papers relating to the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, a permanent endowment which was established by the KMF in 1950. The papers of the foundation document the management of the organization and its activities in carrying out its mission. In addition, there are materials related to the catalogs of commissioned works, such as proofs, corrections, lists of commissions and composer entries.The Composers/Artists section contains materials related to composers who received or were being considered for commissions, and other individuals from the world of music and culture. Some files are accompanied by critiques by Koussevitzky and others.
  • The Subject Files series contains materials on a wide range of topics that did not fall easily into the other series and that document the Koussevitzky's interests in various issues and organizations. Topics include Koussevitzky's concerts as a double-bass player and his compositions for the instrument, the various charities supported by the Koussevitzkys, his recording career, tours, the Moses Smith lawsuit, and their activities during World War Two.
  • The Clippings series contains newspaper and magazine clippings containing articles and reviews from American and international publications documenting Koussevitzky's life and career. A significant number relate to the Berkshire Music Center and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
  • The Scrapbooks series contains mostly clippings from American and international newspapers chronicling news, reviews and activities of Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Of particular interest is a scrapbook devoted to Koussevitzky's double bass recitals and a scrapbook from the 1940s containing programs, advertising broadsides, and clippings relating to Russian music organizations and concerts.
  • The Programs series (1907-1977) is divided into two subseries: programs from performances that feature Koussevitzky as performer, conductor, composer, or producer, including some from his earlier career in Russia; and programs that the Koussevitzkys collected over the years. The Awards series contains honors and certificates awarded to Koussevitzky and the Realia series includes inscribed books.


  • Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951
  • Koussevitzky, Olga
  • Naumov, Aleksandr Nikolaevich, 1868-1950
  • Serge Koussevitzky Collection (Library of Congress)


  • -  Koussevitzky, Serge,--1874-1951
  • -  Koussevitzky, Serge,--1874-1951--Archives
  • -  Koussevitzky, Serge,--1874-1951--Correspondence
  • -  Koussevitzky, Serge,--1874-1951--Photographs
  • -  Koussevitzky, Serge,--1874-1951--Performances
  • -  Music--20th century--Sources
  • -  Conductors (Music)--United States
  • -  Conductors (Music)--Russia
  • -  Composers--United States
  • -  Composers--Russia
  • -  Double bassists--United States
  • -  Double bassists--Russia
  • -  Koussevitzky, Natalie
  • -  Koussevitzky, Natalie--Correspondence
  • -  Koussevitzky, Natalie--Photographs
  • -  Koussevitzky, Olga
  • -  Koussevitzky, Olga--Correspondence
  • -  Koussevitzky, Olga--Photographs
  • -  American International Music Fund
  • -  Berkshire Music Center
  • -  Berkshire Music Center--Photographs
  • -  Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • -  Boston Symphony Orchestra--Photographs
  • -  Koussevitzky Music Foundation
  • -  Library of Congress.--Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation
  • -  International Music Fund
  • -  Berkshire Music Festival
  • -  Berkshire Symphonic Festival
  • -  Édition Russe de Musique
  • -  Library of Congress.--Music Division
  • -  Abell, Arthur M.--Correspondence
  • -  Bales, Richard,--1915-1998--Correspondence
  • -  Barber, Samuel,--1910-1981
  • -  Barraud, Henry,--1900-1997
  • -  Bartók, Béla,--1881-1945
  • -  Berezowsky, Nicolai,--1900-1953--Correspondence
  • -  Bernstein, Leonard,--1918-1990
  • -  Bernstein, Leonard,--1918-1990--Correspondence
  • -  Bernstein, Leonard,--1918-1990--Photographs
  • -  Borovsky, Alexander,--1889-1968--Correspondence
  • -  Boulanger, Nadia--Correspondence
  • -  Bulley, Hebe--Correspondence
  • -  Burgin, Richard,--1892-1981
  • -  Cabot, Henry B.--(Henry Bromfield),--1894-1974--Correspondence
  • -  Cabot, Henry B.--(Henry Bromfield),--1894-1974--Photographs
  • -  Carpenter, John Alden,--1876-1951--Correspondence
  • -  Carvalho, Eleazar de--Correspondence
  • -  Carvalho, Eleazar de--Photographs
  • -  Casadesus, Henri Gustave,--1879-1947--Correspondence
  • -  Chardon, Yves,--1902-2000--Correspondence
  • -  Chasins, Abram,--1903-1987--Correspondence
  • -  Coolidge, Elizabeth Sprague,--1864-1953--Correspondence
  • -  Coolidge, Elizabeth Sprague,--1864-1953--Photographs
  • -  Copland, Aaron,--1900-1990
  • -  Copland, Aaron,--1900-1990--Correspondence
  • -  Dane, Ernest Blaney--Correspondence
  • -  Diamond, David,--1915-2005--Correspondence
  • -  Downes, Olin,--1886-1955--Correspondence
  • -  Duke, Vernon,--1903-1969
  • -  Engel, Carl,--1883-1944--Correspondence
  • -  Foss, Lukas,--1922-2009
  • -  Graf, Herbert,--1903 or 1904-1973--Correspondence
  • -  Grant, Margaret--(Executive Secretary)
  • -  Hadley, Henry,--1871-1937--Correspondence
  • -  Hanson, Howard,--1896-1981--Correspondence
  • -  Harris, Roy,--1898-1979--Correspondence
  • -  Harris, Johana--Correspondence
  • -  Hindemith, Paul,--1895-1963--Correspondence
  • -  Kachouk, Michel--Correspondence
  • -  Karr, Gary,--1941
  • -  Knopf, Alfred A.,--1892-1984--Correspondence
  • -  Koshetz, Marina--Correspondence
  • -  Leavitt, Donald L.--Correspondence
  • -  Leinsdorf, Erich,--1912-1993
  • -  Lipkin, Seymour--Correspondence
  • -  Lipkin, Seymour--Photographs
  • -  Lourié, Arthur,--1892-1966--Correspondence
  • -  Mackinnon, Lilias--Correspondence
  • -  Martinů, Bohuslav,--1890-1959--Correspondence
  • -  Moore, Douglas,--1893-1969--Correspondence
  • -  Munch, Charles,--1891-1968
  • -  Munch, Charles,--1891-1968--Correspondence
  • -  Nabokov, Nicolas,--1903-1978--Correspondence
  • -  Naumov, Aleksandr Nikolaevich,--1868-1950
  • -  Newman, Ernest,--1868-1959--Correspondence
  • -  Ozawa, Seiji,--1935-2024--Photographs
  • -  Paĭchadze, Gabriel--Correspondence
  • -  Piatigorsky, Gregor,--1903-1976--Correspondence
  • -  Piatigorsky, Gregor,--1903-1976--Photographs
  • -  Prokofiev, Sergey,--1891-1953--Correspondence
  • -  Rachmaninoff, Sergei,--1873-1943
  • -  Roosevelt, Eleanor,--1884-1962--Correspondence
  • -  Roosevelt, Eleanor,--1884-1962--Photographs
  • -  Roussel, Albert,--1869-1937--Correspondence
  • -  Rybner, Dagmar de Corval,--1890-1965--Correspondence
  • -  Saarinen, Eero,--1910-1961--Correspondence
  • -  Saarinen, Eliel,--1873-1950--Correspondence
  • -  Sevitzky, Fabien,--1891-1967--Correspondence
  • -  Shaw, Robert,--1916-1999
  • -  Shostakovich, Dmitriĭ Dmitrievich,--1906-1975--Correspondence
  • -  Sibelius, Jean,--1865-1957--Correspondence
  • -  Smith, Moses,--1901-1964
  • -  Sorokin, Pitirim Aleksandrovich,--1889-1968--Correspondence
  • -  Spivacke, Harold,--1904-1977--Correspondence
  • -  Stravinsky, Igor,--1882-1971--Correspondence
  • -  Strunk, W. Oliver--(William Oliver),--1901-1980--Correspondence
  • -  Tansman, Alexandre,--1897-1986--Correspondence
  • -  Zederbaum, Vladimir--Correspondence
  • -  Britten, Benjamin,--1913-1976.--Peter Grimes
  • -  Conducting
  • -  Orchestral music--Performances
  • -  Musicians--Correspondence
  • -  Music--Instruction and study--United States
  • -  Music--Commissioning
  • -  Music patronage--United States
  • -  Music in education
  • -  Music publishing--United States
  • -  Music trade--United States
  • -  Musicians--Labor unions--Massachusetts--Boston
  • -  Musicians--Caricatures and cartoons
  • -  Music--Caricatures and cartoons
  • -  Music--United States--History and criticism
  • -  Music--United States--20th century
  • -  Double bass
  • -  Radio Corporation of America.--RCA Victor Division
  • -  Sound recording industry--United States
  • -  Sound recordings--Production and direction--United States
  • -  Fan mail--United States
  • -  American Federation of Musicians
  • -  Baldwin Piano Company
  • -  Arts, Russian--20th century--Political aspects
  • -  Arts, Russian--20th century
  • -  United States--Relations--Soviet Union
  • -  Soviet Union--Relations--United States
  • -  Russia--Politics and government--1894-1917
  • -  Russia (Federation)--Civilization--20th century
  • -  Soviet Union--Civilization
  • -  World War, 1939-1945--Civilian relief--Soviet Union
  • -  World War, 1939-1945--War work


  • Articles
  • Artifacts (Object genre)
  • Awards
  • Blueprints (Reprographic copies)
  • Caricatures
  • Clippings (Information artifacts)
  • Contracts
  • Correspondence
  • Drawings (Visual works)
  • Financial records
  • Minutes
  • Notes (Documents)
  • Photographic prints
  • Posters
  • Programs (Documents)
  • Promotional materials
  • Scrapbooks
  • Writings (Documents)


  • -  Organized into the following series: I. Correspondence, 1909-1977, II. Writings, 1914-1975, III. Personal Files, 1880-1978, IV. Visual Materials, 1888-1973, V. Business and Organizational Files, 1881-1978, VI. Subject Files, 1908-1977, VII. Clippings, 1908-1977, VIII. Scrapbooks, 1921-1945, IX. Programs, 1907-1977, X. Awards and Honors, 1946-1949, undated, XI. Realia.
  • -  Serge Koussevitzky (b. July 26, 1874, Vishniĭ Volochek, Russia - d. June 4, 1951, Boston, Mass.) was a conductor, composer, and double-bassist. He was an innovator and visionary in his roles as a composer, music director, music publisher, recording artist, champion of contemporary music, and supporter of musicians' rights. He founded the Berkshire Music Center (now Tanglewood Music Center) in 1940, and as conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924 to 1949, he championed the music of American composers. His publishing house, Édition Russe de Musique, issued music by Scriabin, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff.
  • -  Collection material in English, Russian, and French.
  • -  Gift; Olga Koussevitzky; 1960.
  • -  Bequest; Olga Koussevitzky; 1978.
  • -  KMF scrapbooks and Olga's Music for Israel scrapbook; Gift; Boston Symphony Orchestra; 2017.
  • -  Musical compositions commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky are part of the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation Collection, and are shelved in ML30.3c, ML30.3c2, ML30.3c3, and ML30.3e2.
  • -  The materials had been maintained at one time by Mrs. Koussevitzky in the Koussevitzky's home in Lenox, Mass., and in an apartment in New York.
  • -  Sound recordings; Serge Koussevitzky Collection (MAVIS collection no. 3173); Transferred to the; Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.
  • -  Finding aid available in the Library of Congress Performing Arts Reading Room and at
  • -  Serge Koussevitzky Archive, Music Division, Library of Congress.


  • approximately 200,000 items (505 boxes, 224 linear feet)

Call Number/Physical Location

  • ML31 .K66


  • Library of Congress Music Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA dcu

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2002604961

Rights Advisory

  • Restrictions apply concerning the use, photoduplication, or publication of items in this collection. Consult a reference librarian in the Music Division for information concerning these restrictions.

Access Advisory

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Koussevitzky, Serge, Olga Koussevitzky, Aleksandr Nikolaevich Naumov, and Serge Koussevitzky Collection. Serge Koussevitzky archive. 1880.

APA citation style:

Koussevitzky, S., Koussevitzky, O., Naumov, A. N. & Serge Koussevitzky Collection. (1880) Serge Koussevitzky archive.

MLA citation style:

Koussevitzky, Serge, et al. Serge Koussevitzky archive. 1880.