Fiedler, Arthur (1894-1979)
Scope:
The Arthur Fiedler collection includes professional files, correspondence, manuscripts, financial material, photographs, artwork, printed material, film, audio, personal memorabilia, and musical instruments. The collection as a whole is nearly comprehensive; there are numerous items present in each category.

Fiedler’s professional files include notes, correspondence, itineraries, programs, publicity items, press releases, contracts, and other documents. The files cover his concerts and tours with the Boston Pops Orchestra and other orchestras; listings of the scores, recordings and books in the Fiedler Library (present at Boston University); scripts for television appearances by Fiedler; press books and press kits; contracts with various organizations, including RCA; programming; travel arrangements; and other documents. This material dates from the late 1920s through the late 1970s.

Correspondence in the collection is extensive, comprised of numerous personal and professional letters, as well as a large amount of fan mail. Most of the correspondence in the collection is professional in nature, comprised of letters with agents, musicians, bookers, government officials, and others. The letters date from 1927 to ca. 1979. Notable musicians represented in the collection include Leroy Anderson, Chet Atkins, Leonard Bernstein, E. Power Biggs, Neil Diamond, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, James Galway, George Gershwin, Alberto Ginastera, Morton Gould, Andre Kostelanetz, Serge Koussevitzky, Peggy Lee, Henry Mancini, Darius Milhaud, Seiji Ozawa, Walter Piston, Richard Rodgers, Mstislav Rostropovich, Beverly Sills, Georg Solti, Arturo Toscanini, and William Walton. Also included is a letter from John Lennon and Ringo Starr, ca. 1966. Other notable correspondents include Ernst Bloch, Edward W. Brooke III, Jimmy Carter, Roy O. Disney, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Foster Furcolo, Bob Hope, Coretta Scott King, Ronald Reagan, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Francis W. Sargent, and Ben Vereen. Also present in the collection are two letters from Richard Wagner, collected by Fiedler; they are dated Sep. 4, 1856 and Apr. 28, 1876.

Manuscripts by Fiedler in the collection include musical compositions orchestrated or arranged by Fiedler, as well as other musical material in his hand; and a few essays and speeches by Fiedler. Manuscripts by others include books, dissertations, libretti, and catalogs sent to Fiedler.

Financial material in the collection includes material regarding checking accounts, bills for sheet music, royalties, expenses, receipts, and other items.

Photographs in the collection include numerous prints of Fiedler (color and black and white), conducting with various orchestras as well as alone or with his family. Notable figures represented in the photos include Muhammad Ali, Chet Atkins, Pablo Casals, Ray Charles, Jack Dempsey, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Gerald Ford, Morton Gould, Paul Hindemith, Serge Koussevitzky, Charles Munch, Eleanor Roosevelt, Leverett Saltonstall, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Richard Wagner, and Kevin White. Also present are several photo albums, primarily of Fiedler conducting; most of these also include newspaper clippings.

Artwork in the collection primarily consists of representations of Fielder in various media, including portraits in oil on canvas, charcoal on paper, mixed media, and a bas-relief in plaster of Fiedler. Additional items include a bust of Arturo Toscanini and other miscellaneous works.

Printed material in the collection consists of numerous clippings, reviews, concert programs, commencement programs (from ceremonies at which Fiedler received honorary degrees), scrapbooks, catalogs, magazines, posters, and musical scores and sheet music. The sheet music primarily consists of items given as gifts to Fiedler; some have his notes and/or markings in them. (Most of the bound scores Fiedler actively used in his conducting are located in the Fiedler library.)

Film reels in the collection (all 16mm) include Fiedler and his wife in Japan; Fiedler’s appearance on a NBC game show, “Masquerade Party” (1959); “Arthur Fiedler’s Christmas in Boston,” broadcast on WNAC-TV (1964); four sixty-second commercials for the American Red Cross, two featuring Fiedler (1977); and a television appearance. A few miscellaneous video cassettes are also present in the collection.

Audio recordings in the collection include a cassette tape of “A Tribute to Arthur Fiedler,” broadcast on WJIB; three thirty-second public service announcements for the Greater Boston Red Cross (reel-to-reel); twenty-five live recordings of Fiedler (reel-to-reel, 1966-1971); twenty-eight orchestra recordings of Fiedler (reel-to-reel, 1963-1976); and various other reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, eight-track cassettes, and record albums.

Personal memorabilia in the collection includes numerous items, primarily awards, citations, and honorary degrees for Fiedler. Several of the items are awards of the rank of honorary firefighter, from various firefighting companies across the Unites States. These items include honorary degrees from Tufts University (1931 and 1971), Boston University (1951), Jacksonville University (1964), St. John’s University (1965 and 1975), Northeastern University (1966), University of Massachusetts (1970), Springfield College (1971), New England Conservatory (1971), Emerson College (1971), Berklee College of Music (1972), Boston College (1972), Bowdoin College (1973), New England School of Law (1973), University of Maine (1974), Dartmouth College (1976), Harvard University (1976), Babson College (1978), and other institutions; as well as the Croix de Chevalier de la Legion D’Honneur from the government of France (1954), an award for distinguished service from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (1967-1968); tributes from the U.S. Air Force (1961) and the U.S. Army (1972), the George Foster Peabody award from the University of Georgia, for conspicuous service in broadcasting PBS’s “Evening at Pops” (1970); and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by Gerald Ford (1977). Fiedler garnered several other awards and accolades from various U.S. states and cities, arts and musical organizations, philanthropies, businesses, foreign governments, and other groups. Also present are various batons, coins, medallions, sculpted figurines and miniatures, badges, pins, keys to cities. Textiles include academic robes, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard uniforms, Japanese jackets, various hats, boots, and other items.

Musical instruments in the collection include a Japanese koto, an unstrung mandolin, wooden castanets, a large field drum, and a “vibra-slap” percussion instrument.
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Associated Subjects
1. Music Collections Subject Guide
2. Scores
3. Popular music
4. Conductors (Music)
5. Conducting
6. Sound recordings
7. Music
8. Photographs