Skip to main content

Marcel Dick papers

 Collection
Identifier: Spec-Coll-00017

Scope and Content

The Marcel Dick Papers consist of compositions, sketchbooks, correspondence, clippings, oral history transcripts, programs, and lectures. Spanning the years 1921-2006, the collection documents his career as a composer and music educator in Europe and the United States. The collection is arranged into the following series and subseries: Series 1: Compositions; Subseries 1: Chamber Music; Subseries 2: Orchestral Music; Subseries 3: Miscellaneous; Series 2: Personal Papers; Subseries 1: Miscellaneous; Subseries 2: Lectures. The Marcel Dick Papers were acquired by the Special Collections Research Center at the Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University in two gifts from Marcel Dick in 1981 and from his daughter, Suzanne Dick in 2000. Additions in the form of commemorative programs are added on occasion.

Series 1: Compositions, 1921-1984. Though Dick began writing as a young man, the earliest composition in the collection dates to 1921. Dick did not compose between 1922 and 1934, roughly the years he worked with Arnold Schoenberg, claiming that -working with Schoenberg you were too overwhelmed by Schoenberg himself to compose.-

Subseries 1: Chamber Music, 1921-1984. Includes quintets, quartets, trios, duos, and solo works. There are many copies of the same piece as well, for example: there is a handwritten copy of the score for his work An Irrelevant Manifesto as well as a photocopy of the score and the handwritten parts of the cello, oboe, trumpet, harp, and percussion. String Quartet No. 1, his first work completed after working with Schoenberg, is included in this subseries as well as his three other string quartet compositions. Trios, duos, and songs are also part of this subseries.

Subseries 2: Orchestral Music, 1932-1982. Includes symphonies and compositions for small orchestras. Examples include First Symphony, considered his major work, Symphony for Strings and Variations, Interludes, and Cadenzas for Small Orchestra, and Adagio and Rondo, which introduced the composer to New York audiences.

Subseries 3: Miscellaneous, 1921-1977. Includes handwritten manuscripts with tone rows, which Dick used as his blueprints for compositions or musical sketches that may or may not have been used in later works. This subseries also has sketchbooks dated 1921-1977, many of which contain tone rows and musical ideas in his hand and unidentified full works.

Series 2: Personal Papers, 1921-2006. Includes personal papers consisting of correspondence, clippings, lectures given to Cleveland area interest groups, and the rough and final transcripts of an oral history conducted by Anne Trenkamp.

Subseries 1: Miscellaneous, 1923-2006 and undated. Includes correspondence, clippings, citizenship papers, event programs and two copies each of the rough draft and the final transcript of an oral history conducted by Dr. Anne Trenkamp in a series of interviews conducted in 1974. A copy of Studies in the Schoenbergian Movement in Vienna and the United States Essays in Honor of Marcel Dick. Trenkamp, Anne, and Suess, John G., editors, 1990, has been filed in this subseries as well.

Subseries 2: Lectures, 1961-1984. Consists of public lectures given to Cleveland area interest groups on a range of musical topics.

Dates

  • 1921-2006

Language of Materials

The records are in English

Biography of Marcel Dick

Marcel Dick was born in Miskilcz, Hungary, in 1898, to Miklos and Anna Dick. He had two siblings, a brother named Robert and a sister named Alice. Dick began his music studies at an early age; by age five he had begun violin lessons and gave his first public recital at six. He enrolled in the Royal Academy in Budapest, Hungary at age eleven. There he studied violin under Joseph Bloch and Rezso Kemeny, and studied theory and composition under Victor Herzfeld and Zoltan Kodaly. By the age of fifteen he had earned his degree in violin and was appointed Professor of Music at age nineteen. From 1919 to 1921, Dick worked as a violist with the Budapest Opera and Budapest Philharmonic. In 1921 he moved to Vienna where he served as assistant concertmaster of the Volksoper for the 1922-1923 season. From 1923-1934 he was the principle violist of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Concurrently, he played with the Gottesmann Quartet and, in 1924 co-founded the Kolisch Quartet.

In response to the spread of anti-Semitism throughout Europe, Dick and his wife, Ann, moved to the United States in 1934. Shortly after emigrating he became the principle violist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. From 1935-1943 he also played with the Stradivarius Quartet, then affiliated with Harvard University. From 1943-1949 he was principal violist for the Cleveland Orchestra which position he left to become department head of graduate theory and composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). He remained in that position until his retirement in 1973.

In 1962, Dick received the Music Award of the Cleveland Arts Prize, given annually to leading creative artist in the Cleveland area. In 1978, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Musical Arts from CIM. Dick was invited to conduct several orchestras throughout his career including the Longy School Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the CIM orchestra, the Shaker Symphony in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and, the Cleveland Orchestra. He taught at the Royal Academy in Budapest, the Municipal School of Music in Vienna, the Black Mountain Music School in North Carolina, Kenyon College, Case Western Reserve University, and Cuyahoga Community College. Married in 1927, he and his first wife, Hela, divorced in 1929. Dick married his second wife, Ann Weil, a native of New York City, in 1932. They had one daughter, Suzanne. Marcel Dick died in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, in December, 1991 at the age of 93.

Extent

24.26 linear feet

Overview

The Marcel Dick Papers consist of compositions, sketchbooks, correspondence, clippings, oral history transcripts, programs, and lectures. Spanning the years 1921-2006, the collection documents his career as a composer and music educator in Europe and the United States.

Statement of Arrangement

The Collection is divided into 2 series and 5 subseries

Physical Location

Special Collections Research Center

Acquisition Information

The Marcel Dick Papers were acquired by the Special Collections Research Center at the Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University in two gifts from Marcel Dick in 1981 and from his daughter, Suzanne Dick in 2000. Additions in the form of commemorative programs are added on occasion.
Title
Finding aid for the Marcel Dick Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Andrew Kaplan
Date
2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding Aid Written In English

Repository Details

Part of the Kelvin Smith Library Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland OH 44106-7151 United States
216.368.0189