Leo Kraft Papers
The Leo Kraft collection demonstrates Kraft’s commitment to his professional roles as educator, composer, and author. The Correspondence series contains exchanges between Queens College music faculty, notable publishers, and fellow composers that highlight his dedication to his work. This collection contains records pertaining to his compositions, over 85 works ranging in style and tradition from Americana to electronic music. Kraft served as conductor for the New Repertory Ensemble starting in 1978, and the Performances series contains a selection of those performance programs. Additional programs that feature performances of works by Kraft are also included. The Contracts series provides publishing records that pertain to both his composed works and authored textbooks. The Personal series contains a small selection of photos, articles, drawings, and a hand-written diary that exhibits his devotion to his family and community. The Oral Exercises series contains audiotapes of exercises that accompany one of his authored textbooks, A New Approach to Ear Training. The exercises were designed to supplement the text to provide a practical learning experience. This demonstrates his commitment to music education, encouraging students of music theory to further develop their performance skills.
- 1933 - 2013
- Kraft, Leo, 1922-2014 (Person)
The collection is almost entirely in English. The correspondence series contains small selection of letters in French.
Conditions Governing Access
Appointments to examine materials must be made in advance. Please e-mail QC.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use
Reproductions may be provided to users to support research and scholarship. However, collection use is subject to all copyright laws. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron. Per the Deed of Gift, materials in the collection created by Leo Kraft are made available pursuant to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License (see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Leo Kraft (1922 – 2014) was an American composer, educator, and author born in Brooklyn, New York. He taught music theory and composition at the Queens College School of Music, to later become the Aaron Copland School of Music, from 1948 to 1989. It is at Queens College where he received his BA while studying music composition under Karol Rathaus. He later received his MFA from Princeton in 1947 while studying with Randall Thompson. Kraft was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to study composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris from 1954 to 1955.
The larger body of Kraft’s work is comprised of chamber music, but he has also contributed orchestral, piano, vocal, and electronic music to his works. His music is published by Seesaw Music and Carl Fischer, and recorded on the CRI, Capstone, Albany, and Centaur labels. His works have been performed internationally.
In addition to his tenure at Queens College, Kraft served as Distinguished-Composer-in-Residence from 1989 to 1992 at New York University. He has authored several important music theory textbooks, and he was a contributing author and editor for the New Music Connoisseur. He was also inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
Kraft was devoted to his family and community. He has contributed to the important body of work by Jewish composers, with pieces that include Hebrew poetry. He was an active member and contributor to the Westchester Jewish Choral Society and the American Society for Jewish Music.
4.5 Linear Feet (10 boxes including 1 flat box) : Correspondence is the largest series, comprising approximately 50% of the collection, located in five boxes. The Performances series contains programs and performance reviews that are located in three boxes, comprising approximately 30% of the collection. The Contracts, Personal, and Oral Exercises series complete the remaining 20% of the collection.
Leo Kraft (1922 – 2014) was an American composer, educator, and author born in Brooklyn, New York. He taught music theory and composition at the Queens College School of Music, to later become the Aaron Copland School of Music, from 1948 to 1989. He was a key member in developing the music theory curriculum. Kraft composed many works of chamber music, and he also contributed orchestral, piano, vocal, and electronic music to his oeuvre.
Arrangement of Materials
The Leo Kraft papers are arranged into five series:
1. Correspondence 2. Performances 3. Contracts 4. Personal 5. Oral Exercises
The contents of each series are ordered chronologically. Materials included without a specific date range are noted.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The majority of the collection was donated to Queens College by Evan Kraft (son of Leo Kraft) in November, 2018. 10 manuscripts/scores donated by Deborah Miller in 2021 are arranged in their own series.
Howe, H. (2012). Review of Leo Kraft's 90th birthday concert. New Music Connoisseur,(20)1, 18. Kraft, L. (1999). A new approach to ear training (2nd ed.). New York: W.W. Norton.
Leon, L. (2013, August). "At the Piano Bench" with Leo Kraft. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/LcEKQQyLCQA Levin, N. (2019). Artists: Leo Kraft, 1922 - 2014. Retrieved from https://www.milkenarchive.org/artists/view/leo-kraft/
Printed materials in stable condition. Audiotapes should be digitized for long term preservation.
- Kraft, Leo, 1922-2014 (Person)
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository
Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
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