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Inventory of the Albert Israel Elkus Papers, 1893-1993
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Related Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Albert Israel Elkus Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1893-1993
    Collection number: ARCHIVES ELKUS 1
    Creator: Elkus, Albert Israel, 1884-1962
    Extent: Number of containers: 18 boxes (5 cartons, 12 legal size document boxes, 1 oversize flat storage box).
    Repository: The Music Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Elkus (widow of Albert) in 1965, and on December 26, 1978.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Music Library.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Albert Israel Elkus Papers, ARCHIVES ELKUS 1, The Music Library, University of California, Berkeley.


    Elkus, Albert Israel (b Sacramento, CA, 30 April 1884; d,Oakland, CA 19 Feb 1962). Teacher, pianist, and composer. He received early training from his mother, Bertha Kahn Elkus, and then studied piano with Hugo Mansfeldt in Sacramento and San Francisco from about 1894 to 1906 and attended the University of California, Berkeley (BLitt 1906, MLitt 1907). A gifted pianist, he gave many public recitals during this period throughout northern California, particularly with the Saturday Club of Sacramento. In 1907-1908 he studied theory and composition with Hugo Kaun in Berlin, and on his return to the Bay area in 1909, with Oscar Weil. He again went abroad for three years (1912-1914) and studied privately with Harold Bauer (piano) in Paris, Josef Lhivinne (piano) and Georg Schumann (composition) in Berlin, and Robert Fuchs (composition), Karl Prohaska (counterpoint and composition), and Franz Schalk (conducting) in Vienna. In 1915 he joined the faculty of the Jenkins School of Music in Oakland, and he went on to teach at the San Francisco Conservatory (1923-1925, 1930-1937), returning as director from 1951 to 1957. He also taught at Dominican College, San Rafael (1924-1931), and Mills College (1929-1944). His association with the music department at Berkeley extended from 1931-1959; as chairman (1937-1951), he brought in such distinguished musicians as Bloch, Sessions, Arthur Bliss, Bukofzer, and the Griller Quartet.
    As a composer Elkus was not prolific, yet his music is well constructed and effective, written in a conservative, post-Brahmsian tonal style with emphasis on chromatic harmonies tinged with impressionism. His works have been performed by symphony orchestras in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, and elsewhere. With Fora Arnstein and Stewart Young he edited The Letters and Papers of Oscar Weil (1923).
    -- New Grove Dictionary of American Music

    Related Collection

    Title: Albert Israel Elkus papers,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 82/16 c