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Natalie Hinderas and Leota Palmer papers


Held at: African American Museum in Philadelphia [Contact Us]701 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA, 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

"Natalie Hinderas was born Natalie Leota Henderson to Abram L. Henderson and Leota Palmer (1904-1997) on June 15, 1927, in Oberlin, Ohio. She became a celebrated pianist and music instructor in Philadelphia. She was one of the first African Americans to gain worldwide fame as a classical pianist. Hinderas was also the first African-American female pianist to be featured by a symphony orchestra.

"Her parents were both musicians in their own right. Her father was an accomplished jazz pianist while her mother, trained in classical music, also taught courses in institutes of higher education such as Fisk University and Philadelphia's Settlement Music School. Growing up in this musical atmosphere, young Natalie began playing piano at the age of six. By the time she was eighteen, she had graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with a degree in Music. Following her time at Oberlin she continued to hone her craft by studying at Julliard with Olga Samaroff who encouraged her to change her name from Henderson to Hinderas which because of its European sound, would open more opportunities for her. Her first high profile recital performance as a professional came in 1951 in New York and was reviewed well by the musical critics of the New York Times.

"For the next three decades, Hinderas would perform all over the world and become one of the country's most acclaimed pianists. In 1966, she joined the teaching staff at Temple University's Boyer College of Music. She was promoted to full professor in 1973 and taught there until her death in 1987... Hinderas was married to fellow musician Lionel Monagas and had one child, a daughter named Michele Lisa. She passed away after battling cancer in 1987."


Quoted text from: Finding aid for "Natalie Hinderas Collection, 1969-1987." Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, Collection BM012NH. Accessed October 29, 2013.

This collection consists mostly of materials relating to Natalie Hinderas, with a significant amount of materials relating to Natalie's mother, Leota Palmer. Most materials relate to Hinderas's music career and education; there are also some personal papers. Materials include: correspondence, programs, scrapbooks, family photograph albums, newspaper clippings, and family property records/deeds from Ohio from 1904.

An inventory for the collection exists on site.

Gift of Marcellas Henderson, 1994 (AAMP.G94.025).

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact African American Museum in Philadelphia directly for more information.

African American Museum in Philadelphia
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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