The papers of composer Walther Wilhelm Klein (Walther Klein) were donated to the Music
Library in July 1987 by his only son, Gerhard Klein. The papers consist primarily of his
music manuscripts, as well as his translations into German of texts set to music by
composers such as Honegger and Poulenc. Biographical papers and pedagogical documents and
writings also form part of the collection. Correspondence documenting his personal
friendships with Giacinto Scelsi, Ernst Toch and Fritz Reiner are included.
A native of Austria and longtime resident of Vienna, Klein immigrated to the United
States in 1939. A composer and music theory teacher, Klein obtained his doctorate from
the University of Vienna in 1905 and pursued a teaching career with the Vienna State
Academy of Music, the American Summer School at Mondsee, the Austro-American Institute
and the Hellerau Eurythmics School. On his arrival in the U.S., he settled on the West
Coast and obtained a teaching position with Mills College, Oakland and subsequently with
The Katharine Branson High School in Ross, California. Among his published works are
Zwolf Lieder, published by Breitkopf & Hartel, 1920.