Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Inventory of the Naoum and Eugenia Blinder Papers, 1909-1988
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Naoum and Eugenia Blinder Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1909-1988
    Collection number: ARCHIVES BLINDER 1
    Creator: Blinder, Naoum, 1889-1965
    Extent: Number of containers: 1 carton, 1 oversize folder

    Linear feet: 1.25
    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


    The papers were given to the Music Library in three installments--September, 1981; October, 1981; and August, 1989.


    The first two installments of the Blinder Papers were from Mrs. Eugene Blinder; the last installment from the estate of Mrs. Eugene Blinder via the San Francisco Symphony.


    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], Naoum and Eugenia Blinder Papers, ARCHIVES BLINDER 1, The Music Library, University of California, Berkeley.


    Naoum Blinder, violinist and teacher, was born in Lutsk, Russia in 1889. He graduated from the Imperial Conservatory of Odessa at 14, where he studied with Alexander Fiedeman. From 1910 to 1913, he attended the Royal Manchester College of Music, where he studied with Adolph Brodsky. After graduation, he took up a teaching post at his alma mater, the Imperial Conservatory of Odessa, and remained there until 1920.
    Blinder embarked on a concert tour in 1921. He gave concerts in the Ukraine, Turkestan, Leningrad, Moscow, and other cities. In 1926, Blinder went on a more extensive tour which included the Republic of Turkey, and Palestine, and returned to Russia by way of Siberia in January of 1927.
    In 1928 Blinder (later joined by his wife and daughter) went on a concert tour in Japan which included 7 concerts in Tokyo alone, and 23 concerts in other cities of Japan. Instead of returning to Russia, he went to the United States (via Honolulu and San Francisco) to record for Columbia Records in New York. The Blinders remained in New York; Naoum taught at the Juilliard School between 1929 and 1931. It was around this time that his only daughter contracted tuberculosis and died at 13 years of age.
    At the invitation of Issay Dobroven, Blinder accepted the concertmaster position at the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, where he played under Pierre Monteux and Enrique Jorda in addition to Dobroven. Blinder remained with the orchestra until 1957, when his failing eyesight forced him to retire. During his years with the SFSO, he was soloist with many orchestras around the country. He was one of the founders of the San Francisco String Quartet (1935), which was comprised of members of the orchestra, including his cellist brother, Boris.
    Blinder was a dedicated teacher as well. His most noted student was Isaac Stern. At one time, he had 17 students in the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and all the members of the first violin section of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra were Blinder students as well. Other noted students were David Abel, Austin Reller, and Glenn Dicterow, who was the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic. Blinder died on November 21, 1965, of heart failure. He was 76 years old.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains materials for both Naoum and Eugenia Blinder; however, the majority of the materials concerns Naoum and his concert career. The types of materials include newspaper clippings of concert reviews, concert programs and posters, photographs of many professional musicians of his day, biographical documents such as naturalization papers, and a concert tape. The collection also includes photocopies of Blinder materials presently held at the American Jewish Archives. Some of the materials are duplicates of our holdings.
    The materials are largely acquired in three installments. Two portions were acquired in the fall of 1981, donated by Eugenia Blinder. Eugenia Blinder left the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra her estate at her death in 1989. The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra subsequently donated more papers to the Music Library in August, 1989. (See Series I, folder 1 for more information.)
    Numerous items have received conservation treatment. Newspaper clippings have been photocopied onto acid-free paper, scrapbooks are also dismantled and photocopied (though the original order was retained), photographs were also treated, and some items were encapsulated.