Guide to the M. William Karlins (1932-2005) Papers

Collection Title: M. William Karlins (1932-2005) Papers
Dates: 1953-2005
Identification: 19/3/12
Creator: Karlins, M. William
Extent: 12 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Composer and music professor M. William Karlins came to Northwestern as an Associate Professor of Theory and Composition, and in 1973, he was appointed a full Professor. He was also the director of the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble from 1967 until his retirement in August 2001. The M. William Karlins Papers fill 12 boxes and consist almost exclusively of his musical works. The material spans the period 1953 to 2004, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1957 and 1994. Non-musical material includes biographical materials and correspondence; musical materials are grouped into sketches, manuscripts, and scores.
Acquisition Information: The M. William Karlins papers were donated to the University Archives by Mrs. M. William (Mickey) Karlins as Accession 06-30 on March 7, 2006.
Processing Information: Ely Sheinfeld, January-February, 2007.
Separated Materials: A few duplicate and extraneous materials were separated and discarded.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Composer and music professor M. William Karlins was born in New York City, NY, on February 25, 1932. In 1967, Karlins came to Northwestern as an Associate Professor of Theory and Composition, and in 1973, he was appointed a full Professor. He was also the director of the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble, beginning in 1967, until his retirement in August, 2001. The world premiere of his work “Concert Music No. 5” was performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on December 20, 1973.

Karlins obtained a B. Mus. and an M. Mus. concurrently in 1961, from the Manhattan School of Music, and a PhD in Composition from the University of Iowa in 1965.

From 1963 to 1965, Karlins held a graduate assistantship position at the University of Iowa. He joined the faculty of Western Illinois University in 1965 as Professor of Music, a position he held until 1967.

In 1967, Karlins came to Northwestern as an Associate Professor of Theory and Composition, and in 1973, he was appointed a full Professor. He was also the director of the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble, beginning in 1967, until his retirement in August, 2001.

Karlins wrote his compositions for a wide range of groups. Among them are works for chamber groups, solo instruments, string quartets, choral groups and five Concert Music pieces; 3 for full orchestra, 1 for chorus, and 1 for wind ensemble. His music has been performed by the Chicago, Dallas, Albany, Nuremberg, and Grant Park Symphony Orchestras, as well as by numerous string, wind, and saxophone groups, other concert organizations, and many soloists throughout the world.

The world premiere of his work “Concert Music No. 5” was performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on December 20, 1973. Karlins also held the position of Composer-in-Residence at the World Saxophone Congress (es) in London, Bordeaux, and Nuremberg. He was a member of various composer organizations throughout his life, both locally and nationally.

Karlins was married to Miriam (Mickey), neé Cutler, and had two children: a son, Wayne, and a daughter, Laura. Karlins died at his home in Northbrook, Illinois, on May 11, 2005.

Scope and Content

The M. William Karlins Papers fill 12 boxes, including 7 dropfronts holding oversized materials, and consist almost exclusively of his musical works. The material spans the period 1953 to 2004, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1957 and 1994. Non-musical material includes biographical materials and correspondence; musical materials are grouped into sketches, manuscripts, and scores. Within each category the files are arranged alphabetically unless stated otherwise.

The biographical materials include a curriculum vita, news clippings, press releases, an obituary, and teaching materials. The correspondence deals entirely with partial copies of his works sent to others, with notes on certain passages.

Sketches are full or partial versions of Karlins' musical works in various stages in the composing/writing process. There are numerous examples of versions of the same works in different stages of composing or of variations upon the same theme. At the end of the sketches are included numerous sketchbooks from the mid-to-late 1950's, in which some of Karlins' notes for classes can be found.

The manuscripts are final versions of Karlins' works, either on standard musical lined paper, or written in freehand on onionskin paper.

The scores are published copies of his works.

Arrangement of Materials

The manuscripts and scores are of various sizes, and have been organized by size into legal-size boxes and three sizes of dropfront box: small, large, and extra-large boxes. They have been arranged alphabetically within their respective size and category. Sketches and manuscripts are foldered; note that each folder contains between two and five musical pieces, with the titles of the first and last musical piece indicated in the folder title. Most of the published and bound scores are not foldered, and titles of all scores are listed.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). School of Music--Faculty

Genre Forms

Music--Manuscripts--United States--Catalogs

Personal Name

Karlins, M. William

Subjects

Composers--United States--20th century

Music--Study and teaching (Higher)--Illinois--Evanston


Container List / Contents

  • Biographical Materials
    • Biographical Records/C.V., 1968, 1972, 1982Box 1, Folder 1
    • News Clippings, 1971-1976Box 1, Folder 2
    • Press Releases, 1968-1982Box 1, Folder 3
    • Obituary, 2005Box 1, Folder 4
    • Teaching Materials, 1961, 1963, 1989, n.dBox 1, Folder 5
  • Correspondence
    • Correspondence, 1978, 1994, 1996, 2003Box 1, Folder 6
  • Sketches
      Note:  legal-size boxes
    • “A Sax and Organ” - “Birthday Music No. 2”, 1962-1985Box 1, Folder 7
    • “Blake Song(s) for High Soprano” - “Catena”, 1961-1980Box 1, Folder 8
    • “Catena II” - Clarinet Duo, 1963-1966, n.d.Box 1, Folder 9
    • C Minor Fugue - “Concerto for Double Bass and Winds”, 1963-1982, n.d.Box 1, Folder 10
    • “Concerto Grosso No. 1” - “Concerto Grosso No. 3”, 1959-1964Box 1, Folder 11
    • “Concert Music No. 2” - “Concert Music No. 5”, 1960-1972Box 1, Folder 12
    • “Drei Kleine Cembalostücke” - English Horn and Piano Piece, 1953-1993, n.d.Box 1, Folder 13
    • Evans' Songs - “Fantasia for Tenor Saxophone and Percussion”, 1966-1978, n.d.Box 1, Folder 14
    • “Four Etudes” - Hemke Piece, 1967-1994Box 2, Folder 1
    • “Infinity” - “Ki Lekach Tov (Eits Chayim)”, 1962-2001Box 2, Folder 2
    • “Lamentations” - “MD”, 1967-1997Box 2, Folder 3
    • “Music for Cello Alone, II” - Organ Piece, 1962-1993Box 2, Folder 4
    • “Outgrowths for Solo Clarinet” - “Passion”, 1959-1964, n.d.Box 2, Folder 5
    • “Passive Through Nature To Eternity” - Piece for Solo Violoncello, Percussion and Piano, 1962-1965, n.d.Box 2, Folder 6
    • “Politics” - “Quartet for Piano, Trumpet, Drums and Woodwind”, 1961-1974, n.d.Box 2, Folder 7
    • “Quartet for Saxophones” - “Quintet for Brass”, 1953-1975Box 2, Folder 8
    • “Quintet for Alto Saxophone and String Quartet”, 1973Box 3, Folder 1
    • “Rhapsody for Horn and Orchestra” - “Sonata for Oboe and Bass Clarinet”, 1965-1989, n.d.Box 3, Folder 2
    • “Sonata for Piano” - “String Quartet”, 1958-1965Box 3, Folder 3
    • “String Trio” - “Suite of Preludes”, 1961-1988Box 3, Folder 4
    • “Symphony No. 1” - Three Songs for Woman's Voice, Flute, Violin and Violoncello, 1961-1979Box 3, Folder 5
    • “Trio for Clarinets No. 1” - “Trio (Sonata) 1960 for Flute, Violin and Violoncello, 1953-1970Box 3, Folder 6
    • “Two Saxophones and a Piano” - “Winter”, 1990-2003, n.d.Box 4, Folder 1
    • “Woodwind Quintet” - Single sketch sheets, 1965-1970, n.d.Box 4, Folder 2
    • Sketchbook 1, 1954-1955Box 4, Folder 3
    • Sketchbook 2, 1955Box 4, Folder 4
    • Sketchbook 3, 1956-1957Box 4, Folder 5
    • Sketchbook 4, 1957-1958Box 4, Folder 6
    • Sketchbook 5, 1959, n.d.Box 4, Folder 7
    • Sketchbook 6, 1959-1960Box 4, Folder 8
    • Sketchbook 7, 1959-1961Box 4, Folder 9
  • Manuscripts
      Note:  legal-size boxes
    • “Catena II” - “Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra”, 1970-1984Box 4, Folder 10
    • “Fantasia” - “Music for English Horn and Piano”, 1968-1979Box 5, Folder 1
    • “Quartet No. 2 for Saxophones” - “Quintet for Trumpet and Strings”, 1956-1975Box 5, Folder 2
    • “Saxtuper” - “Three Songs from 16th and 17th Century Poems”, 1957-1989Box 5, Folder 3
    • “Two Pieces for Trumpet and Clarinet” - “Woodwind Quintet”, 1954-2004Box 5, Folder 4
  • Scores
      Note:  legal-size boxes
    • “Blues for Saxophone Quartet” - “Children's Bedtime Songs”, 1970-2004, n.d.Box 5, Folder 5
    • “Drei Kleine Cembalostücke” - “Introduction and Passacaglia”, 1994-2004Box 5, Folder 6
    • “Just A Line From Chameleon” - “Music for English Horn and Piano”, 1986-2004Box 5, Folder 7
    • “Music for Oboe, Bass Clarinet and Piano” - “Nostalgie”, 1966-1994Box 5, Folder 8
    • “Piano Sonata No.1” - “Suite of Preludes”, 1959-2004Box 5, Folder 9
    • “Three Love Songs” - “Variations on ‘Obiter Dictum’”, 1957-1971Box 5, Folder 10
  • Manuscripts
      Note:  dropfront - small
    • “Birthday Music No. 1” - “Celebration”, 1960-1981, n.d.Box 6, Folder 1
    • “Children's Bedtime Songs” - “Concerto Grosso No. 1”, 1955-1963Box 6, Folder 2
    • “Concerto Grosso No. 2” - “Fantasia on My Mother's Name”, 1961-1992Box 6, Folder 3
    • “Fantasy and Passacaglia” - “Four Short Pieces for String Quartet”, 1957-1962Box 6, Folder 4
    • “Impromptu” - “Looking Out My Window”, 1962-1990Box 6, Folder 5
    • “Music for Cello Alone” - “Music for Oboe, Bass Clarinet and Piano”, 1966-1969Box 7, Folder 1
    • “Music for Tenor Saxophone and Piano” - “Outgrowths - Variations”, 1961-1995Box 7, Folder 2
    • “Piano Sonata No. 3” - “Quintet for Alto Saxophone and String Quartet”, 1959-1983, n.d.Box 7, Folder 3
    • “Quintet for Brass Instruments” - “Sonata No.2 for Piano”, 1954-1964Box 7, Folder 4
    • “Sonata for Violin and Piano” - “Suite of Preludes”, 1957-1988Box 7, Folder 5
    • “Symphony” - “Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Cello”, 1955-1985Box 7, Folder 6
    • “Trio 1960 for Flute, Violin and Cello” - “Variations and Outgrowths”, 1960-2003Box 7, Folder 7
    • “Variations on ‘Obiter Dictum’” - unnamed mss., 1965-1978, n.d.Box 8, Folder 1
  • Scores
      Note:  dropfront - small
    • “Academic Festival Fanfare”, 2001Box 8
    • “Birthday Music No. 1”, 1962Box 8
    • “Birthday Music No. 2”, 1963Box 8
    • “Catena II”, 1982Box 8
    • “Concert Music No. 3”, 1963-1964, 2003Box 8
    • “Concerto Grosso No. 1”, 1959-1960Box 8
    • “Concerto Grosso No. 2”, 1961-1962Box 8
    • “Elegy”, 1992, 2003Box 8
    • “Fanfare With Fugato”, 1981Box 8
    • “Fantasia for Tenor Saxophone and Percussion”, 1978-1979Box 8
    • “Four Inventions and a Fugue”, 1962Box 8
    • “Infinity”, 1978Box 8
    • “Little Piece for Four Double Basses”, 1962Box 8
    • “Music for Cello Alone No. 1”, 1966Box 8
    • “Music for Cello Alone No. 2 with Mobiles”, 1969Box 8
    • “Outgrowths - Variations”, 1961Box 8
    • “Piano Sonata No. 2”, 1962Box 8
    • “Quartet for Saxophones”, 1966-1967Box 8
    • “Quartet No. 2 for Saxophones”, 1975Box 8
    • “Quintet for Saxophone and String Quartet”, 1973-1974Box 8
    • “Reflux”, 1971-1972Box 8
    • “Solo Piece for Clarinet”, 1964Box 8
    • “Symphony No. 1”, 1979-1980Box 8
    • “Variations on ‘Obiter Dictum’”, 1965Box 9
    • “Woodwind Quintet No. 1”, 1970Box 9
    • “Woodwind Quintet No. 2 (…and all our world is dew…), 1977-1978Box 9
  • Manuscripts
      Note:  dropfront - large
    • “Catena II” - “Children's Bedtime Songs”, 1955-1983Box 9, Folder 1
    • “Concert Music No. 1” - “Concert Music No. 2”, 1959-1960Box 9, Folder 2
    • “Concert Music No. 3” - “Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra”, 1963-1982Box 10, Folder 1
    • “Elegy” - “Lamentations”, 1968-1992Box 10, Folder 2
    • “Nostalgie” - “Reflux”, 1961-1991Box 10, Folder 3
  • Scores
      Note:  dropfront - large
    • “Catena”, 1980-1981Box 11
    • “Concert Music No. 2”, 1960Box 11
    • “Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra”, revised, 1984Box 11
    • “Lamentations”, 1968Box 11
    • “Passacaglia and Rounds”, 1970Box 11
    • “String Trio”, 1962-1963Box 11
  • Manuscripts
      Note:  dropfront - extra-large
    • “Concert Music No. 1” - “Symphony No. 1”, 1972-1980, n.d.Box 12, Folder 1
  • Scores
      Note:  dropfront - extra-large
    • “Concert Music No. 4”, 1964Box 12
    • “Concert Music No. 5”, 1972-1973Box 12