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The Eric Simon Papers

Call Number: MSS 84

Scope and Contents

The Eric Simon Papers consist of scores and parts of manuscript and photocopied music, the majority of which are Simon's own musical compositions and arrangements. A short pedagogical work co-written by Simon is also included.


  • 1938-1978 (inclusive)


Conditions Governing Access

The Papers are open to researchers by appointment. There are no restricted materials in the collection. Please contact the Special Collections staff to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Eric Simon Papers are the physical property of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University. Copyrights belong to the composers and authors, or their legal heirs and assigns.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Eric Simon Papers were established in the Music Library of Yale University in 1994 by the bequest of Eric Simon.


In 1 series: I. Music.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Compositions and arrangements by the Austrian-American clarinetist and composer Eric Simon (1907-1984)

Biographical / Historical

Born in Vienna, Eric Simon (1907-1994) studied piano from the age of 8, and at the age of 14 he began studying the clarinet with Victor Polatschek, the principal clarinetist of the Vienna Philharmonic. Simon later studied with Polatschek's successor, Leopold Wlach. After spending one year in the Soviet Union, where he played in the Moscow Philharmonic, Simon subsequently held positions playing the clarinet in the Vienna State Opera orchestra and the Prades Festival Orchestra. In 1938 Simon left Europe for the United States, moving first to New York, and in 1949 settling in Sherman, Connecticut, where he maintained his home for the rest of his life. Following his move to the U.S., Simon played in the New York City Symphony under Leopold Stokowski and Leonard Bernstein.

In 1940 and 1941 Simon gave clarinet lessons to Benny Goodman, who had been recommended to Simon by John Hammond. Simon's work with Goodman was indicative of the esteem in which he was held by his musical colleagues, first in Europe and later in the United States. The list of friends with whom Simon carried on correspondence and musical collaborations constitutes a veritable who's who of twentieth-century music. An important collection of Simon's correspondence with composers, conductors, and other musicians now resides in the Music Library at the University of California, Los Angeles, under the shelf-mark Collection no. 128.

Throughout his teaching career, both in his private studio and at the Mannes School of Music and the New School, Simon insisted that students of all ages be engaged with the best musical models possible, and he often created his own transcriptions and arrangements to facilitate such interactions. Simon's musical transcriptions also show an abiding love of the Viennese masters Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss, and Brahms, whose music figures prominently both in this collection of manuscripts and in the several published editions of Simon's arrangements. In addition to his active career as a teacher and arranger, Simon also turned his attention on occasion to original composition. Of particular note in this collection are the original works for organ and choir that he composed in the 1970s for the First Congregational Church in New Milford, Connecticut.

The Eric Simon Papers
Edited Full Draft
Compiled by Kendall L. Crilly
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Music Library Descriptive Practices
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Gilmore Music Library Repository

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