Piatigorsky Archives at the Colburn School 2016.GP.CS

Clarice De Veyra
The Colburn School
200 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Contributing Institution: The Colburn School
Title: Piatigorsky Archives at the Colburn School
creator: Piatigorsky, Gregor, 1903-1976
source: The Colburn School
Identifier/Call Number: 2016.GP.CS
Physical Description: 154.90 Linear Feet 151 boxes, approximately 19,000 items: 30 boxes of published and unpublished scores; 3 boxes of handwritten music manuscripts; 6 boxes of personal and work papers; 5 boxes of correspondence; 1 box of book manuscripts; 6 boxes of clippings; 1 box of ephemera; 5 boxes of concert programs; 10 boxes of photographs; 29 boxes of sound recordings in 7", 10", and 12" sound discs and reel tapes; 4 boxes of video recordings in film and reel tapes; 16 boxes of books, journals, and catalogs; 17 boxes of supplemental collection materials; 2 boxes of realia and textiles; 5 boxes of presentation materials; 4 boxes of duplicate materials; 1 box of 'treasure box' materials 39 storage cartons, 31 periodical boxes, 19 record boxes (12"), 16 document boxes, 14 print boxes, 9 CD boxes, 6 newspaper boxes, 4 multipurpose boxes, 2 record boxes (45 rpm), 1 record box (10"), 2 textile storage boxes (40")
Date (inclusive): 1900-1999
Date (bulk): 1930-1976
Abstract: The Piatigorsky Archives consists of 19,000 items documenting the life and career of cellist Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976). The collection includes musical scores and manuscripts, papers, correspondence, clippings, concert programs, photographs, sound and video recordings, books, and ephemera. The majority of the materials in the archives consists of Piatigorsky’s personal collection, but it also includes items collected by or given to him by composers, colleagues, and friends. The collection was donated to the Colburn School, a music conservatory in Los Angeles, in 2014.
Language of Material: Primarily English with many materials in Russian and French. Also includes materials in German, Italian, Hungarian, Polish, and Spanish.

Biographical / Historical

Gregor Piatigorsky was among the most celebrated cellists of the twentieth century. At age 15 he was principal cellist of the Bolshoi Orchestra in Moscow and at 18 he was principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic. From the mid-1920s through the 1950s he toured as a soloist and recorded extensively. In the 1960s he performed often with his close friend, the violinist Jascha Heifetz.
Gregor Piatigorsky was born in 1903 in Ekaterinoslav, Ukraine. Coming from very humble beginnings, by the age of eight he was already a professional cellist, playing in restaurants and theaters. At fifteen he joined the Bolshoi Orchestra in Moscow as principal cellist. At eighteen, he escaped from Communist Russia and at twenty-one he was principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Beginning in the mid-nineteen-twenties, Piatigorsky had an extensive career as a cello soloist, performing with the great orchestras and conductors of the day and playing chamber music with the most illustrious musicians of the twentieth century. He toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He made hundreds of recordings and appeared on radio, television, and film.
Piatigorsky was known as a great musician, raconteur, art collector, and a man of great warmth and generosity. In January 1937, Piatigorsky married Jacqueline de Rothschild in Ann Arbor, Michigan while on an American tour. During World War II, Piatigorsky was forced to leave Europe with his family, settling first in upstate New York. When Piatigorsky was appointed to the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1941 the family moved to Philadelphia. Finally, Piatigorsky settled in Los Angeles in 1949, for a short time teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and later teaching master classes at the University of Southern California (USC) from 1962 to 1976.
The last concert Piatigorsky played was on June 15, 1976 opening the new Robin Hood Dell Series with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy, in the Brahms Double Concerto with Isaac Stern and Don Quixote by Richard Strauss, a work with which he had been associated throughout his career. A few months later, Piatigorsky died of lung cancer on August 6, 1976 at his home in Los Angeles.

Scope and Contents

The Piatigorsky Archives were accessioned by the Colburn School through the Piatigorsky family in January of 2014. The collection consists of musical scores and manuscripts, papers, correspondence, clippings, ephemera, concert programs, photographs, sound recordings (interviews, test pressings, commercial recordings, personal record collection), video recordings (performances, home movies, commercial films, biographies), and books. The materials came from Piatigorsky's personal collection at his home in Los Angeles, CA. Additionally, the collection includes supplemental materials donated to, or acquired by the Archives. A portion of the collection has been digitized, including photographs, music manuscripts, recorded audio interviews, and selections of concert programs and correspondence.


The collection is arranged in 6 series with sub-series:
Series 1. Scores and Manuscripts: published scores, unpublished scores, music manuscripts (27.99 linear feet). Series 2. Papers: personal and work papers, correspondence, book manuscripts, clippings, ephemera, concert programs (27.11 linear feet). Series 3. Photographs: family, general, performance and rehearsals, portraits (6.38 linear feet). Series 4. Sound and Video Recordings: interviews, test pressings, commercial recordings, record collection, audio tape reels, video recordings (27.26 linear feet). Series 5. Books, Journals, and Catalogs: books, journals, music catalogs (15 linear feet). Series 6. Supplemental Collections: Adele Freedman Siegal collection, Margaret Bartley collection, Piatigorsky scores collection, CD collection (15.05 linear feet).

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research by appointment. Material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the archives at piatigorskyarchives@colburnschool.edu.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the archives at piatigorskyarchives@colburnschool.edu.

Preferred Citation

Item name, item date, unique identifier, box # : folder #. Piatigorsky Archives at the Colburn School, Los Angeles, CA (date accessed).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Clarice De Veyra (archivist), Meagan Mason and Alison Butler (musicologists, archives assistants), and Carol Merrill-Mirsky (archives consultant), 2014-2016.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Piatigorsky, Gregor (1903-1976) -- Archival resources
Cellists -- California -- Los Angeles
Music -- 20th century -- Archival resources
Musicians -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archival resources
Musicians -- Classical music -- 20th century
Piatigorsky, Gregor, 1903-1976
The Colburn School

box 1-33

Scores and Manuscripts

Language of Material: Primarily English, includes materials in Russian.

Scope and Contents

Piatigorsky's collection of published and unpublished scores, and his own handwritten manuscripts.


Arranged by unique identifier.
box 1-22

Published Scores

Language of Material: Primarily English (boxes 1-20), includes materials in Russian (boxes 21-22).

Scope and Contents

Piatigorsky's personal collecton of published scores.


Arranged by composer and piece.
box 23-30

Unpublished Scores

Language of Material: Primarily English (boxes 23-29), includes materials in Russian (box 30).

Scope and Contents

Unpublished scores, often sent by composers requesting Piatigorsky perform their pieces.


Arranged by composer and piece.
box 31-33

Music Manuscripts

Scope and Contents

Handwritten music manuscripts written by Piatigorsky, his wife Jacqueline, or a copyist. Includes Piatigorsky's own compositions and arrangements.


Arranged by unique identifier.
box 34-57


box 34-39

Personal and Work Papers 1924-1996

Language of Material: Primarily English, includes materials in Russian.

Scope and Contents

Papers related to Piatigorsky's life and work. Includes awards, concert fees and commissions, contracts, instrument documentation, personal notes, and more.


Items arranged either chronologically or alphabetically.
box 34, folder 1-2

Art collection 1942-1976

box 39 (oversize), folder 1

Art prints

box 34, folder 3-6, box 39 (oversize), folder 2

Awards and honors 1947-1975

box 34, folder 7-11

Concert fees and commissions 1939-1972

box 34, folder 12

Contacts 1940-1976

Scope and Contents

Contact information for Piatigorsky friends and colleagues. Includes saved envelopes with addresses, business cards, and handwritten notes with phone numbers and addresses.
box 34, folder 13

Contracts: agents and managers 1940-1956

box 34, folder 14

Contracts: books 1947-1970

box 34, folder 15-18

Contracts: concerts 1938-1970

box 34, folder 19

Contracts: films 1949-1974

box 35, folder 1

Contracts: music publishers 1942-1972

box 35, folder 2

Contracts: radio and television 1939-1975

box 35, folder 3

Contracts: records 1939-1975

box 35, folder 4

Events 1955-1973

box 35, folder 5

Ford Foundation 1961-1971

box 35, folder 6-7

Gerontology Center, USC 1969-1976

box 39 (oversize), folder 3

House blueprints 1949

box 35, folder 8-9

Instrument construction, repairs, inquiries 1934-1976

box 35, folder 10

Invitations 1940-1976

box 35, folder 11

Koussevitzky Foundation 1942-1973

box 35, folder 12-15

Memberships and contributions 1940-1976

box 38

Objects: plaques, awards, certificates

box 35, folder 16-17

Personal documents 1938-1976

box 35, folder 18-19

Personal notes

box 35, folder 20

Personal notes (Russian)

box 35, folder 21

Piatigorsky Award 1953-1973

box 35, folder 22

Piatigorsky funeral 1976

box 36, folder 1, box 39 (oversize), folder 4

Piatigorsky, Jacqueline 1940-1999

box 36, folder 2-3

Piatigorsky recordings 1924-1986

box 39 (oversize)

Piatigorsky's briefcase

box 36, folder 4


box 36, folder 5

Poetry (Russian)

box 36, folder 6-7

Posthumous: memorial tributes and programs 1976-1987

box 36, folder 8

Posthumous: music manuscript and transcriptions requests 1976-1987

box 36, folder 9

Posthumous: publication of recordings 1976-1990

box 36, folder 10

Posthumous: Rosen, Nathaniel 1978-1986

box 36, folder 11

Posthumous: Stradivari exhibit 1987-1990

box 36, folder 12

Posthumous: Terry King book 1987-1996

box 36, folder 13

Press materials

box 36, folder 14

Publications of Piatigorsky's biography 1943-1977

box 36, folder 15

Radio programs 1946-1976

box 36, folder 16

Record collection 1977

box 36, folder 17

Royalties: Cellist 1957-1969

box 36, folder 18

Royalties: film 1951-1970

box 36, folder 19-20

Royalties: music publishers 1940-1975

box 36, folder 21-24

Royalties: record companies 1934-1975

box 37, folder 1

Schedule and programs 1930-1976

box 37, folder 2

School children letters 1965

box 37, folder 3

Stamp collection

box 37, folder 4-7

Student programs 1949-1976

box 40-43, 116

Correspondence 1923-1976

Language of Material: Primarily English and Russian, includes letters in French, German, Italian, and Polish.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence to Piatigorsky from friends and colleagues (other musicians and performers), composers, and others. Includes letters from Piatigorsky to his wife, Jacqueline, while on tour and small amount of letters he wrote to others. A selection of correspondence has been digitized.


Arranged chronologically or alphabetically.
box 40, folder 1

Admiration and congratulations 1941-1976

box 40, folder 2-5

Agents and managers 1940-1976

box 40, folder 6-7

Book publishers 1947-1976

box 40, folder 8-9

Book "Cellist" 1944-1974

box 40, folder 10-12

Composers 1939-1974

box 40, folder 13-14

Concerts 1920-1976

box 40, folder 15-19, box 41, folder 1-6

Condolences 1976

box 41, folder 7

French correspondence 1940-1976

box 41, folder 8-15, box 42, folder 1-5

Friends and colleagues 1939-1976

box 42, folder 6

From Piatigorsky 1941-1964

box 42, folder 7

German correspondence

box 42, folder 8-13

Gregor to Jacqueline 1939-1958

box 42, folder 14-15

Inquiries 1940-1977

box 42, folder 16

Italian and Polish correspondence

box 42, folder 17

Jacqueline to Gregor 1940-1971

box 42, folder 18-19

Music manuscripts collection 1954-1976

box 42, folder 20

Music publishers 1939-1965

box 42, folder 21-22

Records 1941-1976

box 43, folder 1

Rothschilds 1945-1976

box 116, folder 1-2

Russian correspondence: composers 1940-1974

box 116, folder 3

Russian correspondence: family (Stogorsky, A.) 1957-1975

box 116, folder 4

Russian correspondence: family (parents) 1939-1961

box 116, folder 5

Russian correspondence: family 1956-1971

box 116, folder 6-13

Russian correspondence: friends and colleagues 1940-1976

box 116, folder 14-15

Russian correspondence: Nicolai 1940-1968

box 116, folder 16

Russian correspondence: Piatigorsky, Gregor 1923-1965

box 116, folder 17

Russian correspondence: Tchaikovsky Competition 1965-1966

box 116, folder 18

Russian correspondence: unidentified letters

box 43, folder 2-7

Students 1942-1976

box 43, folder 8-14

Universities and schools 1943-1976

box 44

Book Manuscripts 1950-1965

Scope and Contents

Drafts of Piatigorsky's autobiography, "Cellist", published by Doubleday in 1965.
box 44, folder 1-15

Manuscript and drafts of "Cellist" 1950-1965

box 44, folder 16

Manuscript of "Cellist II"

box 46-51

Clippings 1923-1976

Language of Material: Primarily English, inlcudes materials in Russian and French.

Scope and Contents

Newspaper and magazine articles about, by, or related to Piatigorsky. Cut outs, whole newspapers or magazines, and scrapbooks.


Arranged chronologically by subject.
box 46, folder 1, box 48 (oversize), folder 1

Articles about Piatigorsky 1936-1977

box 46, folder 2

Articles by Piatigorsky 1957-1976

box 46, folder 3

Awards and honors 1949-1976

box 48 (oversize), folder 2

Cellist book articles and reviews 1949-1976

box 48 (oversize), folder 3-5, box 49 (oversize), folder 1-4

Concerts 1923-1976

box 46, folder 4

Film 1946-1976

box 49 (oversize), folder 5

Foreign languages

box 46, folder 5-7, box 49 (oversize), folder 6

Interviews with Piatigorsky 1939-1976

box 46, folder 8

Jacqueline Piatigorsky 1966

box 50 (oversize), folder 1

Master class, USC 1961-1976

box 46, folder 9-12

Mentions of Piatigorsky 1948-1989

box 47, folder 1-2

Miscellaneous clippings 1940-1976

box 47, folder 3-4

Music 1948-1976

box 47, folder 5, box 50 (oversize), folder 2

Obituaries, eulogies, and tributes 1976-1997

box 47, folder 6

Radio 1948-1963

box 47, folder 7-9

Record ads and catalogs 1942-1975

box 50 (oversize), folder 3

Record reviews 1943-1975

box 47, folder 10

Rothschilds 1961-1963

box 51


box 50 (oversize), folder 4

Teaching and judging 1948-1976

box 47, folder 11

Television 1956-1974

box 50 (oversize), folder 5

Young Musicians Foundation 1957-1975

box 52

Ephemera 1927-1976

Scope and Contents

Press, concert flyers, announcements, and advertisements for Piatigorsky.


Arranged chronologically.
box 53-57

Concert Programs 1902-1981

Language of Material: Primarily in English, includes materials in Russian, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese.

Scope and Contents

Programs of Piatigorsky's performances as well as those collected from the Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and concerts in which Piatigorsky did not perform. A selection of the programs have been digitized.


Programs are arranged by General, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Piatigorsky Performances. Organized by date.
box 53, folder 1-4, box 56 (oversize), folder 1

General 1902-1981

box 53, folder 5

Hollywood Bowl 1925-1976

box 57, folder 1

Los Angeles Philharmonic 1920-1963

box 53, folder 6-11, box 54, folder 1-12, box 55, folder 1-17, box 56 (oversize), folder 2

Piatigorsky performances 1920-1976

box 56 (oversize), folder 3

Russian programs 1920-1921

box 58-67


Scope and Contents

Approximately 1,800 photographic prints. All items have been digitized.


Arranged roughly chronologically by subject: family, general (friends, colleagues, performers, events), portraits, performance and rehearsals. Each item has a unique identifier.
box 58, folder 2, box 65 (oversize), folder 1

Family 1912-1980

box 58, folder 3-6, box 59, folder 1-4, box 60, folder 1-4, box 65 (oversize), folder 1-2

General 1912-1980

box 58, folder 1


box 62, folder 1-4, box 63, folder 1-3, box 65 (oversize), folder 1, box 67 (oversize), folder 1

Performance and Rehearsals 1912-1980

box 64, folder 1-5, box 65 (oversize), folder 1, box 66 (oversize), folder 1-2

Portraits 1912-1980

box 68-100

Sound and Video Recordings

Scope and Contents

Sound recordings of interviews, performances, and in studio. Includes commercial recordings and Piatigorsky's personal record collection. Video recordings include performance, commercial film, interviews, home movies, and biographical films.


Arranged by composer or unique identifier.
box 68

Interviews SR.IN.0001 - SR.IN.0024

box 69-75

Test Pressings SR.TP.0001 - SR.TP.0234

box 76-83

Commercial Recordings

box 84-91

Record Collection

box 92-96

Audio Tape Reels

box 97-100

Video Recordings

box 101-115

Books, Journals, and Catalogs

Language of Material: Primarily English and Russian, inlcludes materials in German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Scope and Contents

Piatigorsky's personal library of books, music journals, and music catalogs.


Arranged by author and unique identifier.
box 117-133

Supplemental Collections

Scope and Contents

Collections donated to or acquired by the Piatigorsky Archives as supplementary materials.
box 117-118

Adele Freedman Siegal Collection

Scope and Contents

Materials donated by Piatigorsky's unofficial secretary and long-time friend, Adele Freedman Siegal. Includes correspondence from Piatigorsky, clippings, photographs, and secretarial documents regarding Piatigorsky's work.


Arranged chronologically by subject.
box 117, folder 1

Cellist book edits and correspondence 1961-1974

box 117, folder 2

Cellist book review clippings 1965

box 117, folder 3-5

Correspondence from Gregor Piatigorksy 1949-1972

box 117, folder 6

Correspondence with Jacqueline Piatigorsky

box 117, folder 7

Financial documents 1954-1972

box 117, folder 8

Miscellaneous materials

box 117, folder 9

Piatigorsky clippings 1954-1977

box 117, folder 10

Piatigorsky concert programs 1951-1976

box 117, folder 11

Piatigorsky ephemera 1950-1977

box 117, folder 12

Piatigorsky photographs

box 118


box 117, folder 13

Secretarial documents 1955-1987

box 119-123

Margaret Bartley Collection

Scope and Contents

Research materials donated by biographer, historian, and author of "Grisha". Includes historical research about Russia, Piatigorsky's travel documents, correspondence with Piatigorsky's peers, and sound and video recordings. Most items are photocopies of originals.


Arranged chronologically by subject.
box 119, folder 1-3


box 122

Audiovisual materials

box 119, folder 4

Concert programs

box 119, folder 5-9


box 120, folder 1-2

Mr. Blok manuscript

box 120, folder 3-4

Musicians and friends

box 120, folder 5-6


box 120, folder 7

Piatigorsky, Jacqueline

box 120, folder 8

Piatigorsky materials (misc.)

box 121, folder 1-2

Piatigorsky writings

box 123


box 121, folder 3


box 121, folder 4-7

Russian research

box 121, folder 8

Ships manifest and travel documents

box 124

Piatigorsky Scores Collection

Scope and Contents

Published scores composed or arranged by Piatigorsky acquired for the Archives.


Arranged by composer and piece.
box 125-133

CD Collection

Scope and Contents

CDs created by digitizing original recordings, "The Piatigorsky Recordings". 15 full sets (47 volumes each set), one incomplete set, and miscellaneous CDs.


Arranged by sets.