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Alan Hovhaness letters to Judith Malina

Call Number: YCAL MSS 359

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of handwritten letters from Hovhaness to Judith Malina in which he expresses, in prose as well as poetry, his ardent love for her. The letters also include comments regarding his travels, compositions, and his desire to collaborate on various works with Malina. Each letter is enclosed in a sheet of paper annotated with date and city by Malina. Accompanying the letters are two drafts of letters from Malina to Hovhaness; two letters from Hovhaness to Julian Beck regarding a production with a carbon copy of Beck's response; photographs of Hovhaness, his wife Serafina, and Malina; lists of Hovhaness's performances, and printed notices, performance programs, and press clippings; and copies of typed transcripts of the Hovhaness letters annotated by Malina.


  • 1953-1959


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Alan Hovhaness Letters to Judith Malina are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Margolis & Moss on the Adele Gutman Nathan Theatrical Collection Fund, 2009.


Arranged chronologically.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection consists of Alan Hovhaness's letters to Judith Malina with accompanying notes, poems, photographs, and printed material. Two letters from Hovhaness to Malina's husband, Julian Beck, and a carbon copy of his response are also included.

Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000)

Alan Hovhaness was a prolific American composer whose works were influenced by both Western and non-Western musical traditions. He composed over sixty symphonies including Symphony No. 2, Mysterious Mountain, which was premiered by Leopold Stokowski in his debut with the Houston Symphony in 1955. Hovhaness also wrote incidental music for Clifford Odets' Broadway play The Flowering Peach and composed music for several of Martha Graham's choreographic works. In 1952 he met Judith Malina, co-director of the Living Theatre, through his wife Serafina Ferrante Hovhaness, who performed with the company. Following their meeting Hovhaness performed benefit concerts and composed incidental music for the Living Theatre production of Strindberg's Ghost Sonata.

Judith Malina (1926-)

Judith Malina, actor, writer, and director, co-directed the Living Theatre, a New York-based avant-garde theatre company, with her husband Julian Beck from 1947 until Beck's death in 1985. Malina and company member Hanon Reznikov (who became her second husband) co-directed the company until his death in 2008, after which she assumed sole directorship.

Guide to the Alan Hovhaness Letters to Judith Malina
by Susan Brady
January 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


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New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

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