The correspondence, documents, notes, programs, clippings, and iconography that comprise the Rosina Lhevinne Papers chronicle the lives of both Rosina Lhevinne (1880-1976) and her husband, Josef (1874-1944). Owing to a fire at the Lhevinnes' home in 1910, the collection contains relatively few materials originating prior to that date.
The Rosina Lhevinne Papers have been organized to highlight the Lhevinnes' performing and teaching careers. Their correspondence, making up Series A of the collection, consists largely of personal letters from friends and students. Notable among the former are Vladimir Ashkenazy, Leonard Bernstein, Emil Gilels, Josef Hoffmann, Dmitri Kabalevsky, Eugene List, Guiomar Novaes, Sviatoslav Richter, Arthur Rubinstein, William Schuman, Rudolf Serkin, and Jennie Tourel. Lhevinne students represented by their correspondence include John Browning, Van Cliburn, Misha Dichter, Malcolm Frager, Tong-Il Han, Marek Jablonski, James Levine, Garrick Ohlsson, and Brooks Smith. Corporate correspondence, most of it from performing groups, record companies, and charitable organizations, is also included in Series A.
Series B consists of personal papers and documents. In addition to Rosina's medical, financial, and legal records, there are calendars, date books, and address lists belonging to both Lhevinnes. Biographical sketches, transcriptions of interviews, and a typescript of Rosina's unpublished memoir, My Eighty Years of Musical Experience, round out this series.
Rosina Lhevinne's teaching materials are among the most significant items in the collection. Gathered in Series C, they include both notes and complete lectures about all aspects of piano performance and pedagogy. Administrative papers relating to the institutions at which she taught - most notably, the Juilliard School, the Aspen Music Festival, and the University of California - include class rosters, repertoire lists, evaluations of student performances, and official correspondence. A photocopy of Josef Lhevinne's Basic Principles of Pianoforte Playing is the sole pedagogical document that bears his name, but his philosophy and method profoundly influenced his wife's teaching techniques.
Series D documents the Lhevinnes' performing careers, both individually and as a two-piano team. News clippings, printed programs, repertoire lists, publicity material, and concert schedules testify to Josef's successful European and American tours (1902-1943), while correspondence, programs, and brochures chronicle Rosina's solo career, pursued for the most part after Josef's death in 1944.
Honors, awards, and tributes to the Lhevinnes make up Series E of the collection. Scholarship funds in their names, as well as annual reunions held in Josef's memory, account for a significant amount of correspondence. Tributes inspired by Rosina's 75th, 80th, 90th, and 95th birthdays are also included, as is her honorary degree from the Los Angeles Conservatory.
The Rosina Lhevinne Papers include a substantial iconography collection in Series F. In addition to family and professional portraits, there are photographs of individual students, master classes, and friends (many unidentified).
Miscellaneous materials such as scrapbooks, non-Lhevinne concert programs, newsletters, and notes of a general nature make up Series G. Also included in this series are such unusual items as a metal photographic plate and a 19th-century reproduction of a medieval manuscript.
The Rosina Lhevinne papers are arranged in seven series: