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Finding Aid for the Feri Roth Collection of Papers, Photographs and Recordings, 1930-1969
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Feri Roth Collection of Papers, Photographs and Recordings,
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1969
    Collection number: 197
    Creator: Roth, Feri
    Extent: 9 boxes (4.5 linear ft.)
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: Correspondence, photographs, recordings, programs, clippings, datebooks and other personal papers from the estate of the violinist Feri Roth.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact Performing Arts Special Collections Special Collections for paging information.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights in the physical objects belong to the UCLA Music Library. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish if the Performing Arts Special Collections does not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Feri Roth Collection of Papers, Photographs and Recordings, 197, Performing Arts Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Acquisition Information

    Marissa Roth, June 2001

    Processing Information

    Processed by: Hermine Vermeij, June 2004


    Born July 18, 1899, at Zvolen, Czechoslovakia, Feri Roth received his musical training at the Royal Hungarian Academy of Music in Budapest where he graduated in 1917. His first position was the concertmastership of the Budapest Opera from 1919-1920; a year later he joined the Berlin Volksoper in the same capacity. In 1922, he founded the string quartet which bore his name for forty-seven years. Two years later, the quartet made a successful debut in Paris, then embarked on a tour of Europe and Africa. On an invitation from Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge in 1928, the quartet, reorganized to include Jeno Antal, Ferenc Molnar, and Janos Scholz, made its first appearance in the United States at the Pittsfield (Massachusetts) Music Festival. Subsequently, the quartet concertized throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, participating in concerts at the Library of Congress, giving many concerts of modern works in New York City and Washington, and performing all of Beethoven's string quartets including his Grosse Fuge.
    In 1937, the quartet joined the faculty of Westminster Choir College at Princeton University. Resigning from the college in 1939, Mr. Roth assembled a new group consisting of former members of the Manhattan String Quartet: Rachmael Weinstock, Julius Shaier, and Oliver Edel. In 1947, Roth began his long association with UCLA, joining the Department of Music as Lecturer. In 1960, he was named full professor. During his years at the University, he made further changes in the personnel of the quartet. The group that was most familiar to concert goers included Thomas Marrocco, professor of music at UCLA; Irving Weinstein; and Cesare Pascarella, UCLA lecturer in music. It was principally this combination that Roth led in his yearly festivals of Beethoven's chamber music. He made many other important contributions. Occasionally he would exchange his violin and bow for the conductor's baton and lead larger chamber music ensembles in performances of concertos by Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach, and of Bach's The Art of Fugue. For more than ten years, he organized the Tuesday Noon Concerts, a weekly production of the Department of Music in Schoenberg Hall Auditorium. His authoritative and stimulating teaching found expression in a continuing series of chamber music classes, and his course on the music of Bach and Beethoven attracted thousands of students.
    A champion of modern music, Roth's quartet performed in concert many works by composer-colleagues in the department, and gave public readings of newly composed works by graduate students. This service was invaluable. In its off-campus appearances, the Roth Quartet concertized widely, not only on the west coast, where it gave many performances each year, but also on the east coast, in Canada, and in Great Britain. During 1963 and again in 1966, the quartet played a series of concerts in London; and in the spring of 1968, it presented the entire cycle of Beethoven's quartets in New York City's Lincoln Center. A further presentation of the cycle, scheduled for Elizabeth Hall, London, in the spring of 1969 had to be cancelled because of Roth's death, on May 7, 1969.
    During its long history, the Roth Quartet recorded thirty-five albums for Columbia Masterworks and five for the Society for Forgotten Masterpieces. Especially important is the quartet's recording of Bach's Art of the Fugue, in the Harris-North transcription. In 1966, the Roth Quartet was televised at UCLA during performances of two Beethoven quartets: Opus 74 (The Harp) and Opus 95 (Serioso). The video tapes are valuable to students, and also to amateurs, for their visual clues to the secret of successful quartet performances.
    Feri Roth was the recipient of the Award of Merit from the National Association of American Composers and Conductors in 1942 for outstanding service to American music, and he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music from the New York College of Music in 1949. He was a member of the Beethoven Association of New York, the International Society for Contemporary Music of London, the Mozart Society of Salzburg, and the Triton Music Society of Paris.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of correspondence, photographs, recordings, programs, clippings, datebooks and other personal papers from the estate of the violinist Feri Roth. Correspondents include George Antheil, Alfredo Cassela, Carlos Chávez, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, Aaron Copland, David Diamond, Lukas Foss, Benny Goodman, Morton Gould, Roy Harris, Andre Previn, Artur Schnabel, William Schuman, Roger Sessions, Marcel Vertés, and Meredith Willson.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Roth, Feri--Archives