Tag: Otto Luening

A “Virtual Séance” with the Founders of the American Music Center

17 East 42nd Street, New York NY,
November 1939


  1. Personal & Musical Backgrounds of the Founders
  2. The Pre-History of the Center
  3. The Center Opens
  4. The Center’s Difficult First Years
  5. Great Teachers and Music Education
  6. The State of Music in the United States
  7. What is American Music?
  8. On Other Composers and Other Forms of Music
  9. Later History of the American Music Center
  10. Advice for Today’s Composers

The ‘virtual séance’ is a compendium of quotes from archival interviews, books and letters by the six founders of the American Music Center spanning their entire careers. Although the texts have been shuffled and re-organized to emulate a conversation relevant to the concerns of the American Music Center in November 1999, every statement contained in the ‘virtual séance’ is in the words of one of the founders unless otherwise stated. It is a product of intensive research conducted by NewMusicBox editor Frank J. Oteri during the months of September and October 1999 at Yale University (New Haven CT), the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (New York NY) and the Archives of the American Music Center. The efforts of many people have made this possible. NewMusicBox would like to thank: Vivian Perlis – Director of Oral History, American Music at Yale University; Deborah Bellmore – Administrative Secretary for Oral History, American Music; Suzanne Eggleston – Reference Librarian, Yale University Music Library; James Undercofler, Director Eastman School of Music; George Boziwick – Curator, American Music Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; and Peggy Holloway, University of Nebraska at Lincoln.