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Guide to the George Barati Papers, 1913-1996
MS 94  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: George Barati Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1996
    Collection number: MS 94
    Creator: Barati, George
    Extent: 51 boxes,

    ca. 30 linear ft.
    Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
    Santa Cruz, California 95064
    Abstract: Contains biographical material, correspondence, writings and speeches, concert programs, scores, photographs, recordings, posters, and miscellaneous materials documenting Maestro George Barati's professional career as a conductor, composer, cellist and music educator.
    Physical location: Collection is stored in Special Collections & Archives and at NRLF: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please consult the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    George Barati Papers, MS 94, Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of the Barati Family, 1990-2000.


    George Barati was a distinguished cellist, conductor, and composer. Born in Gyor, Hungary, Barati lived in the United States since 1938. His recollections include highlights of his international career as cellist, conductor, and composer spanning some 60 years, and reflections on the state of the musical arts in the United States since the end of World War II.
    Barati graduated from the Franz Liszt Conservatory of Music in Budapest in 1935. During the 1930s he was a member of the Budapest Concert Orchestra, where he played under the most celebrated conductors of his era. He was a founding member of the Pro Ideale Quartet and studied or performed with Bartok, Dohnanyi, and other eminent faculty members at the Liszt Conservatory. While still a student he became first cellist with the Budapest Symphony and the Municipal Opera. Barati settled in the United States in Princeton, New Jersey in 1938. There he taught cello at Princeton University and studied composition with Roger Sessions from 1938 to 1943.
    In 1946 Barati moved to San Francisco, where he was a member of the San Francisco Symphony during the tenure of Pierre Monteux. He was also a member of the California String Quartet and founding conductor of the Barati Chamber Orchestra of San Francisco from 1948 to 1952. Barati also began to achieve recognition for his own compositions at this time.
    From 1950 to 1968, Barati was music director of the Honolulu Symphony and Opera. During this period he also began an extensive international conducting career that included guest and visiting conducting appearances with some 85 orchestras on five continents, including Japan, Europe, and Latin America.
    In 1968 Barati returned to the mainland and became executive director of the Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts and conductor of the Villa Montalvo Chamber Orchestra in Saratoga, California. From 1971 to 1980 he was music director of the Santa Cruz County Symphony.
    In addition to his conducting career, he was a juror for the Mitropoulos Competition for Conductors from 1957 to 1970 and participated as a juror for both the Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera Competitions. His honors and awards include the doctor of music, Honoris Causa, from the University of Hawaii in 1955, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1965-66, the Ditson Award in 1962, and the Naumberg Award for Composition in 1959.
    George Barati died in 1996 at the age of eighty three.
    Biography courtesy of Regional History program, UCSC, 1997.

    Photo by Ansel Adams, 1956.

    Scope and Content

    Contains biographical material, correspondence, writings and speeches,Honolulu Symphony Orchestra papers, concert programs, publicity, photographs, scores, recordings, posters, and miscellany items. Bulk of the material date to 1950-1968, recording George Barati's 18 year music directorship in Hawaii and international concert tours during that same period.


    The correspondence files are divided into two sections; Alphabetic correspondence, and chronological correspondence. This division is based on the initial organization done by Mr. Barati & Paul Machlis. A complete list of correspondents and dates exists for the alphabetized letters. Concert programs and publicity files are arranged chronologically. The Scores are arranged chronologically within a genre: Sections A. Orchestral Music, B. Chamber Music, C. Solo Piano Music, D. Other Solo Works (except vocal), E. Vocal Music, F. Music for the Stage, G. Film Music, H. Other - miscellaneous. Concult Special Collection Staff for item by item listing of the recordings and photographs. The reel-to-reel recordings are restricted from use because of their fragile condition.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Barati, George, 1913-1996
    Honolulu Symphony Orchestra
    Composers, United States
    Conductors (Music), United States

    Related Material

    Oral History

    George Barati : a life in music  / interviewed and edited by Randall Jarrell. Published Santa Cruz : University of California, Santa Cruz, University Library, 1991.

    Collections of Personal Papers

    Ernest T. Kretschmer Archive, MS 93,  Special Collection, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Additional collection guides