The Music Division and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

By Boziwick, George | Notes, June 2014 | Go to article overview

The Music Division and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts


Boziwick, George, Notes


The Music Division and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts has acquired the George Avakian / Anahid Ajemian Archive. Avakian was a record producer most notably for Columbia Records. Avakian's wife Anahid Ajemian, a violinist, was the foremost interpreter of American modern classical music of her time. The Avakian portion of the archive contains correspondence and business papers documenting George Avakian's day-to-day work of signing and producing top recording artists such as Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Bill Haley, and others. The archive includes memos, contracts, recording session logs, and in some cases, the original handwritten music played by the musicians in the recording studio. Also included in the archive are lectures, notes, published and unpublished articles, oral histories, essays and interviews, all documenting Avakian's personal recollections and professional activities. By far the rarest portion of the Avakian Archive is the unreleased recordings: hundreds of never-before-heard broadcasts, live venue recordings, studio takes, and complete recording sessions of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Peggy Lee, Keith Jarrett, Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, and Ravi Shankar. …

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