Herman Goldner collection of music programs and ephemera
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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
Herman Goldner (December 28, 1891-September 24, 1982) was born in Belgrade (Serbia), then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to a middle-class Jewish family originally from Hungary. While neither of his parents (Desider David Goldner, 1851-1921, and Emma "Alte" Adler Goldner, 1868-1947) were musicians, the Goldners prized musical education, and encouraged each of their children to take up an instrument. Herman studied the cello, while his three sisters Julia (1890-1981), Stephanie (1896-1962), and Gertrude (1900-1985) respectively played the piano, the harp, and the violin. All of the three Goldner sisters would later become professional musicians, often appearing together in concerts in the late 1910s. After the death of their father in 1921, Stephanie and Gertrude performed in the United States, where Stephanie permanently settled when she became the first harpist of the New York Philharmonic (the first woman to be hired by such orchestra). In 1922, Stephanie married Hungarian-born violinist and conductor Eugene Ormandy, who was then taking his first steps in the New York City music scene.
Unlike his sisters, Herman chose for himself a career in business, but remained interested in music and would often attend concerts in Vienna (the city where he lived until 1939) as well as in other cities in Europe and in the United States. During those years, he saved ephemera from those concerts, eventually gathering a remarkable number of items including programs, admission tickets, and musical publications.
In the 1930s, mounting antisemitism made the political climate increasingly hostile for the Austrian citizens of Jewish ancestry. In the eve of the 1938 annexation of the country (Anschluss, in German) to Nazi Germany, the Ormandys arranged for the relocation of their Viennese relatives to the United States, which took place between 1937 and 1939. In March 1939, after a "long, anxious wait in Italy for papers" (according to his niece, Doris Gundert Balant) Herman Goldner embarked on the S. S. Veendam from Southampton, England, to New York City. In the United States, Herman moved into the Ormandys' home in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, along with his mother, his sister Gertrude, and Gertrude's two children Doris and Stephan. After the divorce of Stephanie from Eugene Ormandy in 1947, and the death of Gertrude's second husband Heinz Caspar in the same period, the two sisters moved in a new home in Philadelphia, where Herman join them at a later time. Herman died in Paoli, Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1982.
After Herman passed away, his collection of programs and ephemera was handed over to Doris Gundert Balant (born in 1929), the daughter of his sister Gertrude and her first husband, neurologist and psychiatrist Herman Gundert (1894-1964). This material joined the University of Pennsylvania collections in 2012, as part of a series of gifts by Doris Balant including a collection of family movies featuring the Ormandys and their Viennese relatives. Herman Goldner, who came into possession of the movie collection after the divorce of his sister Stephanie from Eugene Ormandy, can be seen in some of those films from the 1930s and 1940s.
The Herman Goldner collection of music programs and ephemera consists of three different series: I. Programs and published materials from Austria; II. Programs from other countries (England, France, Germany, and the United States); and III. Admission ticket stubs and publications. Series I contains the bulk of the programs in the collection (about 370 items), which were gathered by Goldner during the several decades he spent in Vienna and Austria. Some of the programs are annotated by Goldner. Wherever possible, programs are arranged chronologically and classified by city, venue, and organizing authority. The Viennese portion of the collection includes programs from many among the city's most prominent venues, including the Musikverein (1909-1937, 212 programs), the Wiener Konzerthaus (1913-1938, 112 programs), the Bösendorfer-Saal (1909-1913, 20 programs), the Saale der Sezession (1922 and 1924, 3 programs), Wiener Urania (1922 and 1928, 3 programs), and the Festspieltheater im Belvedere Park (1921 and 1923, 2 programs). The concert venues are classified in alphabetical order. For the concerts that took place in the Musikverein, the Wiener Konzerthaus, and the Bösendorfer-Saal, the programs were divided depending on the orchestras, music societies, and professional agencies that organized the events. Notable organizers include orchestras such as the Wiener Tonkünstler-Orchester (40 programs) and the Wiener Philharmoniker (9 programs), while the most represented music societies and professional agencies are the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien (30 programs) and the Konzertverein (35 programs, in two different venues), the Konzertdirektion Albert Gutmann (109 programs, three venues), the Konzertdirektion Hugo Heller (31 programs), and the Konzertdirektion Georg Kugel (14 programs, two venues). Because orchestras were not necessarily involved in the organization of the concerts, they could be engaged by different societies and agencies for their service. Therefore, researchers interested in the concerts performed by a specific orchestra are encouraged to consult all of the folders relating to each venue. A small number of items from Salzburg include two programs from the Salzburger Festspiele 1937, and another one relating to a concert organized by the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum. Additional information on the music programs and performers featured in the Austrian concerts can be found at the series level.
Series II consists of 37 additional programs from England (London, 2 programs), France (Paris, 15), Germany (Berlin, Stuttgart and Leipzig, 7) and U.S.A. (New York City, 10). The programs are arranged in chronological order. Notable events include a concert of the London Symphony orchestra (conducted by Arthur Nikisch with solo violinist Bronislaw Huberman on June 7, 1914); a concert of composers of the young Italian school including composer Alfredo Casella at the piano (Paris, February 2, 1914); a concert organized by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde zu Berlin for its 25th anniversary (conducted by Heinz Unger, January 12, 1933); and seven concerts at the Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, featuring conductors Erich Kleiber, Arturo Toscanini (with the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York), Serge Koussevitzky (with the Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Leopold Stokowski (with the Philadelphia Orchestra). A program of a concert of the NBC Symphony Orchestra (conductor Toscanini, April 26, 1948) is autographed by Lizette Hermant Sarnoff, the wife of businessman and NBC founder David Sarnoff. Other notable solo performers featured in the programs include singer Richard Tauber, pianists Jose Iturbi, Rudolf Serkin, and Emil von Sauer, cellist Pablo Casals, violinist Yvonne Astruc, and various ensembles including the Quatuor Lejeune, and the Budapest String Quartet.
Series III includes about 70 admission ticket stubs, along with two publications and a newspaper article from the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung about Toscanini's refusal to conduct at the 1933 Bayreuth Festival. The admission tickets are relating to concerts in Vienna (circa 65 tickets) and Paris (3 tickets). Many of the admission tickets were annotated by Goldner, and provide useful information on the artists and the musical works that were presented during the concerts. Because the admission tickets are arranged in chronological order, researchers interested in a specific music season at any institution can easily integrate this material with the program notes included in series I and II. Contained in the series are also two publications from Vienna: the short book Das Musik-Festliche Wien (1912), edited by the Viennese Akademischen Verband für Literatur und Musik; and an issue of the journal Kunst und Volk: Mitteilungen des Vereines Socialdemokratische Kunststelle (IV/1, September 1929).
As a whole, the Herman Goldner collection of music program notes provides an extensive overview of musical life in Vienna, with an emphasis on non-operatic music, in the decades immediately preceding the annexation of the country by Nazi Germany in 1938. The wide chronological period covered by the collection allows for an assessment of elements of continuity and change in the programming of the city's main musical institutions, also in connection with the many orchestras, societies, and professional agencies that operated within them. Finally, by comparing the programs from Vienna with those collected by Goldner in other countries, researchers can reconstruct the musical interests of a member of an increasingly discriminated community in a crucial historical moment.
Gift of Doris Gundert Balant (niece of Herman Goldner), 2012
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Siel Agugliaro
- Finding Aid Date
- 2018 January 29
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.