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Minuetta Kessler Collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Audio/Visual

Correspondence

Manuscripts

Print Masters

Programs, Articles, Reviews

Published Scores



Contact us about this collection

Minuetta Kessler Collection, 1920-2002 | Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database

By Catherine Hammer, under the supervision of Elizabeth Berndt-Morris

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Collection Overview

Title: Minuetta Kessler Collection, 1920-2002Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates: 1945-1997

Collection Identifier: Kessler Collection

Primary Creator: Kessler, Minuetta, 1914-2002

Extent: 31.0 Cubic Feet

Arrangement:

Arranged in 6 series:

1.      Audio/Visual

2.      Correspondence

3.      Manuscripts

4.      Print Masters

5.      Programs, Articles and Reviews

6.      Published Scores

Languages: English, Yiddish

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains materials from 1919 and 2002 which relate to the career of Minuetta Kessler: this includes correspondence, audio/visual recordings, manuscripts, and published works. Spreadsheets with more detailed inventory available upon request.

Biographical Note

Minuetta Shumiatcher Kessler was born in Russia in 1914. Both of her parents were Canadian citizens, but her mother was visiting family in Russia when she was born. A child piano prodigy, she grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and gave her first public performance at the age of 5. She graduated from Juilliard School of Music and went on to perform at Carnegie Hall as well as with the Boston Civic Symphony and the Boston Pops.

            While a student at Juilliard, she met Ernest Borek, a microbiologist at Columbia University. The two married, and their son, Ronald, was born in 1943. Shortly after her son’s birth, she decided to stop touring in order to spend time with him; it was also at this time that she began composing again in earnest. She had created her first original work at the age of 4 and had written piano pieces through her time in Juilliard, but at this point, she wrote her first fully orchestrated work. Alberta Concerto, inspired while traveling in Canada during the summer, premiered in 1947; it was very well-received.

            Following her divorce from Borek in 1948, she continued to compose. Her body of work includes a very wide range of styles and source material: vocal pieces which incorporate sacred text, children’s piano books, a full length opera, and original creations that she performed while on tour. She moved to Massachusetts in 1952 when she married Dr. Myer M. Kessler, a physicist at MIT; the two had a daughter had a daughter named Jean. Many of her original works were self-published by Musical Resources, a publishing company she ran out of her home. Dr. and Mrs. Kessler remained in Massachusetts until their deaths: his in 1997 and hers in 2002.

            In addition to her performance career, Minuetta Kessler was an advocate for female composers and became a notable voice in music education. She was involved with the New England Pianoforte Teachers’ Association, the American Women Composers of Massachusetts, Sigma Alpha Iota, and cofounded New England Jewish Music Forum, Friends of Young Musicians, and Concerts in the Home.

Administrative Information

Repository: Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database

Use Restrictions:

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. The Boston Public Library does not hold copyright on the material in this collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

When reproducing material from this collection please include the credit line "Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Arts Department."

Physical Access Note: Many items are fragile and require special handling, please notify the Fine Arts staff prior to your visit.

Acquisition Method: The Boston Public Library acquired the Kessler Collection through a donation by the Minuetta Kessler.

Processing Information: Initially processed by staff of the Boston Public Library. Re-processed by Catherine Hammer (2016), under the supervision of Elizabeth Berndt-Morris, Curator of Music.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Audio/Visual],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Manuscripts],
[Series 4: Print Masters],
[Series 5: Programs, Articles, Reviews],
[Series 6: Published Scores],
[All]

Series 1: Audio/VisualAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Item 1: Alberta Concerto, 1989Add to your cart.
Personal Cassette - 2 piano version - Minuetta Kessler and Helena Vetsterman, performers
Item 2: Alberta Concerto and Allegro Energico, 1947Add to your cart.
Personal Cassette - Alberta Concerto premiere - CBC Symphony Orchestra with Minuetta Kessler, piano
Item 3: Childhood Cameos:  Songs by Minuetta Kessler, 1981Add to your cart.
AFKA Cassette - Minuetta Kessler, Jennifer Paterson,  and John Oliver, performers
Item 4: Fanfare by Minuetta Kessler, 1985Add to your cart.
Personal Cassette - Lenox Brass Quintet, performers
Item 5: Morning Pro Musica, 1988Add to your cart.
WGBH Cassette - Sonata No. 1 (Sonata for Cello and Piano) - Nancy Hair and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 6: Morning Pro Musica: Music of Minuetta Kessler, 1985Add to your cart.
WGBH Cassette - Trio No. 1, Sonata No. 1, To Ignite a Star for violin and piano - Includes Interview with Kessler - Tamarack Trio: Ann Karnovsky, Judith Shapiro, Jeffrey Butler, and Timothy W. Roberts, performers
Item 7: Sonata Concertante by Minuetta Kessler, 1984Add to your cart.
WC Knapp Custom Recordings Cassette - Hyung-Woo Kim and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 8: Trio No. 2, "The Opabin," Op. 125, 1988Add to your cart.
Personal Cassette - Keith Papa, Nancy Hair, and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 9: Trio No. 1 - Brookline Library, February 17, 1989Add to your cart.
Sound Reflections Cassette - Maynard Goldman, George Seaman, and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 10: Twinbrook Library Concerts - Rockville, MD, 1983Add to your cart.
Personal Cassette - Ballet Sonatina, Etude Brilliante, The Room with a Door (premiere), Lake McArthur Fantasy, and Gilbran's Trilogy: "The Prophet" - Minuetta Kessler, performer
Item 11: Rondeau a la Nadeau, 1989Add to your cart.
WGBH Cassette - Rondeau a la Nadeau Premiere - Includes interview with composer - Minuetta Kessler, performer
Item 12: Mrs. H.H.A. Beach Concert, Saturday, May 13, 1989Add to your cart.
Personal VHS - Performed at the YMCA
Box 2Add to your cart.
Item 1: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, 1994Add to your cart.
MMC CD - Includes Alberta Concerto - Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra - Robert Black and Robert Stankovsky, conducting - Frances Burnett and Helena Vesterman, performers
Item 2: Minuetta Kessler Microfilm, 1974Add to your cart.
MIT Library Microfilm - Baby's Music Box and Sonata No. 1 (Sonata for Cello and Piano)
Item 3: Minuetta Kessler Segments - Answer PrintAdd to your cart.
Reeves Sound Studios Motion Picture Film
Item 4: Minuetta Kessler Segments - D696Add to your cart.
Reeves Sound Studios Motion Picture Film
Item 5: Alberta Concerto, 1974Add to your cart.
Continental Reel to Reel - Alberta Concerto Premiere - CBC Symphony Orchestra and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 6: All Minuetta Kessler Program for WGMS, 1979Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel - Ballet Sonatina, Lake McArthur Fantasy, Sonata Concertante, and Lake O'Hara - Includes interview with Kessler - Constance Boykan, Leslie Holmes, and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 7: Minuetta Kessler Broadcast - Washington D.C., 1983Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel - Lake McArthur and The Room with the Door - Constance Boykan, Leslie Holmes, and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Box 3Add to your cart.
Item 1: Childhood Cameos: Songs by Minuetta Kessler, 1981Add to your cart.
AFKA LP - Minuetta Kessler, Jennifer Paterson, and John Oliver, performers
Item 2: Music for Solo Instruments by Minuetta Kessler, 1979Add to your cart.
AFKA LP - Ballet Sonatina, Sonata Concertante, and Fantasy for Oboe and Piano - Marylou Speaker, William Wrzesian, Patricia Morehead, and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 3: Concert of Works by Minuetta Kessler, 1975Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel - At Northeastern University, Boston, MA - Sonata No. 1 (for Cello and Piano), Trilogy from Gibran's The Prophet, Baby's Music Box, and Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello - Deborah Thompson, Susan Stone, Susan Gottschalk, Margaret Gonyea Brundage, and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 4: Dateline: "Concert in the Home", 1965Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel
Item 5: Dateline: "What's the Score?", 1964Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel - Minuetta Kessler with Roland Nadeau
Item 6: Dateline: "Why not Women Composers?", 1964Add to your cart.
WHDH Boston Channel 5 Reel to Reel - Boston Red Sox Premiere - Minuetta Kessler with Roland Nadeau
Item 7: With Minuetta Kessler in Musicland, 1958?Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel of Television show
Item 8: Kol Nidre Cantata, 1970Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel - Cantor Jacob Seully, conducting - Rabbi Earl G. Rollman and Alpha Morrison, performers
Item 9: Kol Nidre Cantata, 1970Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel - Minuetta Kessler, performer
Item 10: Sonata Concertante, 1975Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel - Presented for Chromatic Club of Boston - Marylou Speaker and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 11: Sonata Concertante, 1975Add to your cart.
Personal Reel to Reel - possible copy - Marylou Speker and Minuetta Kessler, performers
Item 12: Beach Interview with Mary Jane Hillary, May 1989Add to your cart.
Personal VHS - Interview with Kessler discussing Mrs. Beach
Folder 1: Transcription Discs, November 20, 1947Add to your cart.
Radio Canada
Item 1: Alberta Concerto: First MovementAdd to your cart.
Item 2: Alberta Concerto: Second MovementAdd to your cart.
Item 3: Alberta Concerto: Third and Fourth MovementsAdd to your cart.
Item 4: Ballet SonatinaAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Audio/Visual],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Manuscripts],
[Series 4: Print Masters],
[Series 5: Programs, Articles, Reviews],
[Series 6: Published Scores],
[All]


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