Guide to the Arne Oldberg (1874-1962) Papers

Collection Title: Arne Oldberg (1874-1962) Papers
Dates: 1917-1976, n.d.
Identification: 19/3/3
Creator: Oldberg, Arne, 1874-1962
Extent: 1 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Oldberg joined the music faculty of Northwestern University in 1897, eventually becoming the Director of the Graduate Music Department in 1924. The Arne Oldberg Papers are arranged in seven folders and include mainly biographical materials and clippings dating between 1917 and 1976. Also included are listings of Oldberg's musical compositions (one such listing features a biographical sketch [Box 1, Folder 3]); a photocopy of an original composition, “In the Country;” and a small amount of correspondence.
Acquisition Information: Mary Swissler Oldberg donated some of the materials found in this series (Accession #87-237), the remainder came from the University Archives biographical files. Addition: The additions have been separated from papers from Eric Oldberg (Accession # 06-69) donated to the University Archives by Ellen Schantz on June 20, 2006. Addition: The additions have been separated from papers from Eric and Oscar Oldberg Papers (Accession #: 10-20) donated to the University Archives by Ania Kimmerle on February 11, 2010.
Processing Information: Processed by Margaret Faverty; June 19, 1991.Addition processed by Kate Mazurek; April 1, 1999.Addition processed by Katherine Oldberg; November 11, 2011
Separated Materials: Nineteen photographs of Oldberg and conductor Frederick Stock have been transferred to the University Archives photograph collection. Addition One-half inch of duplicates was separated.Separations: Diploma for Arne Oldberg from Northwestern University for gaining Degree of Masters of Arts on June 10, 1916 has been added to Certificates and Diplomas Collection.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Related Materials: The University archives holds the papers of Arne Oldberg's son, Eric. They can be found under Series 55/30.
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

Arne Oldberg was born July 12, 1874, in Youngstown, Ohio. He joined the music faculty of Northwestern University in 1897, eventually becoming the Director of the Graduate Music Department in 1924. Oldberg possessed a consuming interest in musical composition and wrote a large number of concertos, symphonies, quartettes and quintets for piano, string, and wind instruments. Oldberg was granted an emiratus appointment in 1941 and died in 1962.

With his parents, Oscar and Emma (Parritt) Oldberg (see Northwestern University Archives Series 61/1), he moved to Chicago in 1886. At a very early age Oldberg exhibited musical talents and his father taught him to play the piano. He studied music with several piano instructors at the Gottschalk Lyric School in Chicago and in 1892 was graduated with honors. He continued his musical education for two years with Theodor Leschetizky in Vienna. On his return to his family's home, now in Evanston, Illinois, Oldberg was occupied with composing, presenting piano recitals, and teaching piano in Chicago.

He joined the music faculty of Northwestern University in 1897. Oldberg traveled to Europe again in 1898 to study composition with Joseph Rheinberger at Munich's Royal Academy of Art. In 1899 Oldberg accepted an instructorship on the faculty of the School of Music at Northwestern. Subsequent appointments at Northwestern included: Professor of Piano and Composition (1901-1941), Director of the Piano Department (1919-1941), and Director of the Graduate Music Department (1924-1941). The University awarded Oldberg with an emeritus appointment in 1941.

Oldberg possessed a consuming interest in musical composition and wrote a large number of concertos, symphonies, quartettes and quintets for piano, string, and wind instruments. As early as 1908 his compositions were performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Oldberg attained widespread recognition by many of the great orchestras of the United States. For several summers in the 1930s he was a guest professor of composition at the University of California at Los Angeles. Oldberg also taught music at Mount St. Mary's College, again in Los Angeles. One of Oldberg's compositions won first prize at a Hollywood Bowl music contest in 1931.

Oldberg married Mary Sloan on July 2, 1900. Both were honored in 1941 when the City of Evanston named a park near Northwestern's School of Music after them. When this land was used for a University building another property was named in their honor. In 1976 Northwestern University sponsored a recital and reception dedicated to Oldberg s memory. Northwestern and Evanston joined in celebrating Arne and Mary Sloan Oldberg Day on December 10, 1976, a recognition of their many contributions to the community.

The Oldbergs had five children: Eric (see Northwestern University Archives Series 55/30), Karl, Elsa, Richard, and Robert. Oldberg died in Evanston on February 18, 1962. Mary Sloan Oldberg died in Evanston in April 1968.

Scope and Content

The Arne Oldberg Papers are arranged in five folders and include mainly biographical materials and clippings dating between 1917 and 1976. Also included are listings of Oldberg's musical compositions (one such listing features a biographical sketch [Box 1, Folder 3]); a photocopy of an original composition, “In the Country;” and a small amount of correspondence. Two letters from pianist and composer Artur Schnabel (1933) may be found in the folder of correspondence.

Letters of condolence relating to Oldberg's death are filed with the papers of his son, Eric (see University Archives Series 55/30, Box 4, Folder 15).

Addition, Box 1

This Arne Oldberg Papers addition is arranged in two folders. One consists of copies of various compositions of Arne Oldberg. The other is a collection of program notes from performances of his works by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1908 to 1958.

Addition: This Arne Oldberg Papers addition is arranged into the correct existing folders, as well as in a new half size box. Biographical materials, correspondence, composition listings, clippings and press releases, and program notes have been integrated into their appropriate folders. An oversized letter to George Sloan from James Robertson, dated November 13, 1848, is placed in the new box, along with an old addition of Program Notes.

Subjects

Corporate Name

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

Personal Name

Oldberg, Arne, 1874-1962

Subjects

Composers--United States

Pianists--United States


Container List / Contents

  • Addition
      Separated materials:  One-half inch of duplicates was separated. Scope and Contents: This Arne Oldberg Papers addition is arranged in two folders. One consists of copies of various compositions of Arne Oldberg. The other is a collection of program notes from performances of his works by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1908 to 1958.
    • Compositions, n.d.Box 1, Folder 6
    • Program Notes, 1908-1958Box 1, Folder 7
  • General Biographical Materials, 1920-1976, n.d.Box 1, Folder 1
  • Clippings and Press Releases, 1917-1976, n.d.Box 1, Folder 2
  • Compositions Listings, 1961, n.d.Box 1, Folder 3
  • Composition: “In the Country”, n.d.Box 1, Folder 4
  • Correspondence, 1933, 1941, 1950, 1954, n.d.Box 1, Folder 5
  • Program Notes, 1908-1958Box 2, Folder 1
  • Letter to George Sloan from James Robertson (facsimile), 1848Box 2, Folder 2