Scope and Contents
The Kurt Stone Papers highlight Stone's interest in contemporary music. His work on twentieth-century musical notation is well documented, including notes, lectures and published articles. The collection contains substantial professional and personal correspondence with Elliott Carter and Paul Hindemith. A significant portion of the Carter correspondence details the publication of Carter's Double Concerto. Also notable is a full score of Charles Ives' Fourth Symphony with annotations by Stone.
While there is a wealth of correspondence with Carter and Hindemith, the collection does not contain correspondence with other contemporary composers with whom Stone worked. While the collection contains notable examples of edited scores, chiefly Ives' Fourth Symphony, there is not enough musical material to fully document Stone's editorial process.
- Circa 1930-1986
Language of Materials
The materials are in English, German, and Danish.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright status for collection materials is unknown.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Else Stone, 1988 and 1992.
The papers are arranged in three series: I. Personal and professional papers, 1931-1988. II. Elliott Carter, 1939-1986. III. Paul Hindemith, 1945-1973.
4.75 Linear Feet (6 boxes)
The Kurt Stone Papers highlight Stone's interest in contemporary music. His work on twentieth-century musical notation is well documented, including notes, lectures and published articles. The collection contains substantial professional and personal correspondence with Elliott Carter and Paul Hindemith. A significant portion of the Carter correspondence details the publication of Carter's Double Concerto. Also notable is a full score of the fourth movement of Charles Ives' Fourth Symphony, with annotations by Stone.
Biographical / Historical
Kurt Stone (previously known as Kurt Salomon) was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1911. He studied piano privately with Walter Kraft from 1931 to 1933, and began a music degree at Hamburg University. In 1933, Stone fled Germany. He relocated to Copenhagen, and began his studies at The Royal Danish Music Conservatory. In Copenhagen, Stone met his wife Else, who had also fled Nazi Germany. Stone graduated in 1937, specializing in piano, harpsichord and music theory, but was unable to obtain a work visa in Denmark. Stone decided to relocate to the U.S., while Else remained in Denmark. She was later evacuated to Sweden, when Germany invaded Denmark.
In 1938, Stone came to New York on the affidavit of a cousin. He taught piano and musicianship privately, and was hired by the Dalcroze School of Music. During his six years at Dalcroze, Stone entered the field of music publishing as a freelance editor (under Arthur Mendel, among others). After a one-year position at the music reference division of The New York Public Library, Stone was hired as the editorial head of the orchestra and band department at G. Schirmer, Inc., in 1950.
In 1956, Stone was appointed editor-in-chief of Associated Music Publishers, Inc. After the firm’s sale to G. Schirmer, he left for Alexander Broude, Inc., where he became director of publication from 1965 to 1969. From 1969 to 1976, Stone was director of publication at Joseph Boonin, Inc.
As an editor, Stone worked mostly with contemporary twentieth-century composers, such as Milton Babbit, Earle Brown, Elliott Carter, Henry Cowell, Paul Hindemith, Charles Ives, Arnold Schoenberg and Virgil Thomson. Stone also produced his own editions of 14th-19th century music, including the works of J.C. Bach, Buxtehude, Gesualdo, and Schütz. Stone produced copious liner notes for recordings, as well as articles and reviews.
Stone became increasingly aware of musical miscommunication between contemporary composers and the performers of their music. This interest led to Stone’s establishment of the Index of New Musical Notation at the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center in 1971. This project, funded by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, culminated in an international conference on new music notation in Belgium, in 1974. A Guggenheim Fellowship supported Stone’s publication of his textbook, Music Notation in the Twentieth Century: A Practical Guidebook (W.W. Norton, 1980). Another notable publication, The Writings of Elliott Carter (Indiana University Press, 1977), was compiled, edited and annotated by Stone and his wife, Else, who were good friends of Elliott Carter and his wife, Helen.
Kurt Stone died in June of 1989, in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Manuscript score by Heitor Villa-Lobos, String Quartet no. 7 (1942), removed from collection and added to Music Library holdings as Misc. Ms. 616.
- Guide to the Kurt Stone Papers
- Edited Full Draft
- compiled by Emily Ferrigno and Mary Caldera
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Gilmore Music Library Repository
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