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Pierre Monteux Music Manuscripts

Identifier: Modern-MS-Monteux

Scope and Content of the Collection

Musical pieces written by Monteux early in his musical career, including solo piano, vocal, chamber, orchestral works, and opera.

Although only two works are dated (1896 and 1905), it is assumed that Monteux wrote most of the pieces between 1890 and 1910, when he was at the Paris Conservatory and just beginning his musical career. Although the caption title of one score pencilled "13 Avenue Gambetta," the work is actually the most complete part of an opera Monteux penned in 1896 based on Racine's 1668 play Les Plaideurs.

Most of Monteux's early musical works were never published. A piece entitled "Maître, aimer, viellir!" was published in Paris in 1906, and "Naître, aimer, viellir" was published in Paris in the 1920s.


  • Creation: approximately 1896-1905



Materials are in French.

Conditions Governing Access

The Pierre Monteux Music Manuscripts are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Pierre Monteux Music Manuscripts are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Pierre Monteux

French conductor.

Monteux was born in Paris in 1875. In 1884, at age 9, he entered the Paris Conservatory of Music, studying harmony and composition. His first conducting experience was at age 12, and he also studied violin and viola. He was engaged as a violist in the Paris Opera Comique in 1890 at the age of 15, and attended the Paris conservatory at the collegiate level from 1892-1896.

Monteux's career as a conductor is a long and distinguished one. He conducted, among others, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes orchestra (1911-1914), the Paris Opera (1913-1914), the Metropolitan Opera, New York (1917-1919), the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1919-1924), the Nederland Concertgebouw (1924-1934), the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (1936-1952), and was appointed Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1961, at the age of 86. In addition to these appointments, Monteux was a guest conductor at the annual Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, from 1937-1962, the longest tenure of any Ravinia Festival conductor. During his residency with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Monteux coached Robert Shaw and Andre Previn in Conducting and Leon Fleisher and Samuel Lipman in the piano concerti repertoire. In 1943, he founded a school of conducting in Hancock, Maine. Among his students were Erich Kunzel, Neville Marriner, Werner Torkanowsky, and David Zinman.

Monteux died on July 1, 1964, at his home in Maine. He and his wife, Doris Hodgkins Monteux (who was 20 years his junior and who died 20 years later), are buried in Hancock's Riverside Cemetery.

Biography of Gordon Benes Peters

American percussionist and conductor.

Gordon Benes Peters, who donated this collection, studied with Monteux every summer from 1952 to 1963, and received the Monteux Discipleship, one of 11 special awards bestowed by Pierre Monteux. Peters was the Principal Percussionist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1959 to 2001, and also the Conductor / Administrator of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the training school of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) from 1965 to 1987.


1.2 Linear Feet (1 box)


Manuscripts of early compositions by famed French conductor Pierre Monteux (1875-1964). Includes chamber pieces, short orchestral works, and an opera based on Racine's play Les Plaideurs.


Music manuscripts arranged alphabetically.

Collection Stack Location

1 38 3


Gift, Gordon Benes Peters, 2016.

Processed by

Alison Hinderliter, 2016.

Inventory of the Pierre Monteux Music Manuscripts, approximately 1896-1905
Alison Hinderliter
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States