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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Virgil Thomson Papers 1962-1967

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Thomson, Virgil. Papers

Dates:

1962-1967

Size:

.1 linear ft. (1 folder)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Virgil Thomson, composer, journalist, author. The Virgil Thomson papers consist of correspondence regarding a piece of choral music commissioned from Thomson for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the University of Chicago, an invitation and a press release (photocopies) for the event, as well as a letter to Bernard Weinberg from Virgil Thomson.

Information on Use

Access

No restrictions.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Thomson, Virgil. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

Virgil Thomson was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1896. He began studying music as a child. He served in the National Guard during World War I, entering Harvard University in 1919 after the War's end. Thomson studied music at the University, where he became a member of the Harvard Glee Club. In 1921, Thomson toured Europe with the Club. He remained in Paris for an additional year with the aid of a travel fellowship. Thomson retuned to finish his degree at Harvard in 1922.

In 1925, Thomson returned to Paris where he lived for the next fifteen years. There he met Gertrude Stein with whom he composed one of his best know works, the opera "Four Saints in Three Acts" (1934). While in Paris, Thomson also began his long career in journalism, reporting on the Parisian music scene.

In 1940, Thomson returned to the United States, settling in New York City. There he worked as chief music critic for the New York Herald Tribune from 1940-1957. During this time he also composed the opera "The Mother of Us All" (1947).

Thomson wrote several books and won many prestigious awards. His published work includes, his autobiography Virgil Thomson (1966), American Music Since 1910 (1971), and the Virgil Thomson Reader, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1981. Thomson won the Pulitzer Prize for his film score of "Louisiana Story" (1948). He is also the recipient of the French Legion of Honor, and the Kennedy Center Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Virgil Thomson died in 1989.

Scope Note

The Virgil Thomson papers consist of correspondence regarding a piece of choral music commissioned from Thomson for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the University of Chicago, an invitation and a press release (photocopies) for the event, as well as a letter to Bernard Weinberg from Virgil Thomson.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Bernard Weinberg. Papers

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

Correspondence

  • VT to Bernard Weinberg, 1962
  • VT to Mignon Hickman, 1966
  • Notes on Richard Crashaw for Mignon Hickman, n.d.
  • Richard Vikstrom to VT, 1966
  • VT to Richard Vikstrom, 1966
  • VT to Mignon Hickman, 1967
  • VT to Mignon Hickman, 1967
  • VT to Richard Vikstrom, 1967
  • VT to Richard Vickstrom, 1967
  • Press release, University of Chicago, 1967
  • Invitation, University of Chicago, 1967
  • VT to Richard Vikstrom, 1967
  • Richard Michell to VT, 1967