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Inventory of the Frederick Preston Search collection, 1910-1957
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Obituary of Frederick Preston Search

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Frederick Preston Search Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1910-1957
    Collection number: ARCHIVES SEARCH 1
    Creator: Search, Frederick Preston, 1889-1959
    Extent: Number of items: 132 items in 18 boxes
    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


      Stephen Heron, the Search Ranch, Carmel Valley, California.
      Date of gift:
      In two installments: August 12, 1980 and February 16, 1981.


    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], Frederick Preston Search collection, ARCHIVES SEARCH 1, The Music Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Obituary of Frederick Preston Search

    Frederick Preston Search, 70, famed as a cellist, conductor and composer and actively identified with the early musical life of Carmel, died yesterday afternoon at his ranch home near Jamesburg in upper Carmel Valley.
    Mr. Search's death was unexpected, presumably following a heart attack. The exact cause will be determined by autopsy.
    A native of Pueblo, Colorado, he was born on July 22, 1889. His father, Preston W. Search, was a noted educator, author and traveler and the entire family was musically talented. The son's virtuosity was recognized at an early age; he earned his first cello selling poultry, began his musical studies at 10, and at 13 made transcontinental concert tours as a "boy prodigy."
    He received the best musical training on two continents, beginning at 10 with a year under the court cellist of Saxe-Weimar. This was followed by two years at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston under Josef Adamowsky; four years in the Cincinnati College of Music; and five years at the Royal Conservatory of Leipzig, Germany, where his cello teacher was the renowned Julius Klengel.
    He also studied composition under Gustav Schreck, cantor of the famous Bach Choir; harmony under Richard Hoffman; and conducting under Arthur Nikisch, considered the world's greatest instructor in this field. During his five years at Leipzig, he served continuously as European music critic for American magazines.
    During the first quarter of the century, Search was recognized as one of the finest instrumentalists in his field. He appeared in recitals in all the musical centers of this country and Europe, and was first cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and soloist with other leading orchestras.
    He was no less widely known for his musical compositions, a long list of which have been played by leading orchestras. They include cello solos, string quartets, concertos, sonatas and two symphonies. He was composer of the "Festival Overture" which was played at the San Francisco Exposition of 1915.
    Mr. Search came to Carmel first in 1914. From 1920 to 1932 he directed the orchestra at the old Del Monte Hotel and supervised the orchestra and chorus at Monterey High School from 1927 to 1929. In 1932 and 1934 he made concert tours of the United States and during those years first performances of his "Sixth String Quartet in D Minor" and "Cello Concerto in A Minor" were given in Carmel. His "Bridge Builders" for soloists, chorus and symphony, celebrating the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge was performed in 1938 with the composer conducting.
    During World War I Mr. Search canceled his concert engagements and volunteered his services. He was appointed "First Musician in the Navy" and took over as head bandmaster and orchestral leader at Mare Island. Among his violinists was Paul Whiteman.
    Mr. Search was a former president of the Musical Art Club of the Peninsula and a member of the American Composer's Alliance, National Association for American Composers and Conductors and the Society for Publication of American Music. During World War II, with his wife, whom he married in 1923, in Carmel, the former Opal Heron, he lived quietly near Orinda, returning to the Peninsula in 1949, when he purchased a 300 acre ranch near Jamesburg, remodeling the old Tularcitos adobe for their permanent home.
    The couple has lived there in semi-retirement since that time, their main interest raising prize Embden and African geese and a much sought after breed of English shepherd dogs.
    His wife is the only close surviving relative.
    Funeral services are pending at the Dorney and Farlinger memorial Chapel and will be announced later.
    This obituary was written by his wife, Opal Piontkowski Heron Search.
    (Monterey Peninsula Herald, November 10, 1959)