Richard Stöhr Collection

by escott

Bulk 1940-1960

15 linear feet (30 boxes)

Richard Stoehr was born in Vienna, June 11, 1874.  He was educated in Vienna and received a degree in Medicine from the University of Vienna in 1898.  Rather than practice medicine, he devoted himself to music and became a professor of music at the Vienna Academy of Music.  In the wake of the Nazi takeover of Austria, Stoehr came to the United States.  In 1939 he settled in Philadelphia, taking a position at the Curtis Institute of Music.  He moved to Vermont in 1941, joining his former student Karl Schwenger, who had recently begun working at Saint Michael’s College.  The College sought to hire Stoehr with financial assistance from both the Oberlander Trust and the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, a committee of the Institute of International Education.  The Oberlander Trust was not able to supply funding, but Dr. Stoehr did come to Saint Michael’s as the Director of Musical Activities and as an instructor in German.  Music instruction was not a high priority at Saint Michael’s during the war and post war years, and Stoehr was able to devote a significant amount of time to performing and composing.  He also taught occasionally at the Vermont Conservatory of Music.  He continued working at the college, teaching German and music until 1950, when he retired from teaching.  Until 1960, he maintained an office at Saint Michael’s, where he spent time composing.  Although it is unclear if the College formally granted him emeritus status, he was referred to as both Emeritus Professor and Composer in Residence until his death on Dec. 11, 1967.  In 1974, the 100th anniversary of his birth, Saint Michael’s College held a Memorial Mass and a memorial concert was held at Trinity College in Burlington.

Among his students were Erich Leinsdorf, Walter Hendl, Artur Rodzinski, and Leonard Bernstein, who in 1964 saluted Stoehr during a New York Philharmonic Tribute to Teachers program.  In 1964, Vienna Music Academy President Dr. Hans Sittner published a biography of Stoehr entitled Richard Stöhr; Mensch, Musiker, Lehrer.   Interest in his work wained following this period, but saw a slight resurgence in the early part of the 21st century.


The collection consists of Stoehr’s body of work and biographical materials.  The bulk of the collection dates from the mid 20th century.  In addition to compositions, diaries, appointment books, guest books and a number of photographs are among the items included.  Compositions are in either Manuscript or printed form(in some cases both), and some have been published.  There are numerous c. of some of the works, and many include complete scores and parts.  Not all of the parts are present for all compositions–available parts are noted on the inventory.  For some of the published works more than one edition is available.  The guest books and photographs are quite interesting, as Stoehr’s students are often pictured or noted, and many of them were fairly well known at the time.

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