The Steven Gerber papers relate to the professional and personal life of American composer Steven R. Gerber. This collection contains five series: “Compositions,” “Business,” “Personal,” “Other Composers,” “Audiovisual.” The Compositions series consists of nine subseries, all related to Gerber compositions. The first six subseries are divided by the type of compositional work, including “Orchestral,” “Chamber,” “Vocal,” “Choral,” “Piano,” and “Other Solo.” They contain sketches, drafts, revisions, and final copies of many of Steven Gerber’s compositions from 1967-2013. The seventh subseries, “Song Texts,” contains loose texts from Gerber’s vocal and choral works. The subseries “Unidentified Drafts,” consists of sketches, drafts, and excerpts that cannot be identified as belonging to a particular work. These are organized by type of work or placed into an “other” folder if the draft cannot be categorized. The final series, “Computer Files,” contains three disks of Finale and PDF files of Gerber scores.
The second series, “Business,” contains papers related to the business side of Gerber’s career. This series contains five subseries: “Financial,” “Legal,” “Publicity,” “Publishing and Writing Guidelines,” and “Musical Writings.” The “Financial” subseries contains payment slips for royalties and ticket sales paid to Gerber in 2014. The “Legal” subseries contains patent/copyright slips 1991-2003 for musical works, copyright contracts 1967-1975 regarding literary texts for which Gerber obtained the rights, publishing contracts from Lauren Keiser and Bomart companies 1978-2015, and and recording contracts 1999-2015. The “Publicity” subseries contains papers related to public relations and premiers. It includes press releases to be sent out 1996-2009 regarding Gerber publishing, performance, and recording news; performance programs in which Gerber music is featured and notices from various companies announcing Gerber musical premieres; and internal documents sent between Gerber and his management relating to the plan for publicizing Gerber’s musical accomplishments. It also contains professional biographies and lists of Gerber composition publications circa 1970-2015; posters from Russian tours and other performances; magazine interviews of Steven Gerber from 2001-2002; original and copied newspaper, magazine, and online reviews of Gerber works and performances from 1980-2013; clippings from Russian newspapers regarding Gerber performances and arts/culture from the period of the tours; and various papers and pamphlets regarding proper procedures for printing, publishing, and writing collected by Gerber. The final subseries, “Musical Writings,” contains essays, composer obituaries, and interviews written by Steven Gerber.
The third series, “Personal,” contains personal documents related to Gerber’s interests, relationships, and social responsibilities. It consists of ten subseries. The first subseries, “Address Books and Contact information,” contains several address books and assorted business cards, as well as notes containing phone numbers and addresses of colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. The second subseries, “Calendars and Planners,” contains a 2015 calendar, and planners from 2008, 2009, and 2010 detailing appointments, concerts, and meetings with friends. The subseries “Clippings” contains newspaper, book, and magazine excerpts related to the stock market, and miscellaneous interests. The subseries “Collected Essays and Poems” contains materials collected but not written by Gerber, such as magazine articles regarding music, the economy, literature, international relations, and other intellectual interests, as well as miscellaneous poems, possibly by friend Paul Breslin, who often sent Gerber his drafts. The subseries “Diaries, Notes, and Scrapbooks” contains a travel diary from the 1990 Russia tour, miscellaneous notes, and a scrapbook containing obituaries, stock reports, and newspaper clippings. The subseries “Legal” contains personal legal documents such as leases, Gerber’s birth certificate, and and the estate evaluation of Ellen P. Hymes. The “Photographs” subseries consists of a large number of photographs, most unidentified. The first several folders contain photographs and albums from trips and vacations to locations such as Oaxaca, Mexico, Cuba, Japan, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom. The rest of the subseries contains miscellaneous rolls of film, pictures of friends and family, and photographs of Gerber circa 1960-2015. The “Postcards and Art” subseries contains collected postcards from possible trips, gallery openings programs, and a few pieces of miscellaneous small drawings and paintings. The final subseries, “Miscellaneous Memorabilia,” contains items from Karl Gerber’s birthday, trip itineraries, ticket stubs from musical events and plays, a Gerber family tree, and a package of photocopied diaries/letters from 1948 from an unidentified correspondent in the Navy.
The fourth series, “Correspondence,” contains both business and personal correspondence from 1960-2015; often a single letter will contain both professional and social information concurrently. The first subseries, “Common Correspondents,” contains letters and postcards to and from nineteen correspondents who show up frequently in the collection including friend Paul Breslin, parents Karl and Leona Gerber, and composers Yehudi Wyner, Jan Swafford, and Robert Parris, and publisher/friend Max Schubel. The second subseries, “Professional Correspondence” contains correspondence specifically related to business including letters from publishing companies, nominations for awards by colleagues, notifications of Gerber receiving composing awards, and correspondence from composer-related organizations. The final subseries, “Other Correspondence,” contains invitations to parties, concerts, and events; letters Gerber wrote to editors of publications and their responses, other correspondence 1961-2015; and undated and/or unsigned correspondence circa 1960-2015.
The fourth series, “Other Composers,” contains materials related to other composers and their music. The largest of the three subseries, “Compositions,” is comprised of collected compositions by other composers, which may be of interest to researchers as they are often annotated by Gerber. Some of the compositions were organized into folders by Gerber and retain that order, denoted by the title “Gerber File.” The remaining loose compositions are organized alphabetically. This section includes compositions by Milton Babbitt, Roger Sessions, Robert Parris, Arnold Schoenberg, Arvo Part, Aaron Copland, Johannes Brahms, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Billy Layton, and others. The majority of the compositions are complete and the composer is known, but some are partial and/or do not state the author. The second subseries, “Song Texts,” is comprised of loose texts used in pieces by other composers. The corresponding works may or may not be present in the collection. Additionally, the subseries contains a collection of the texts and music of the American spirituals which became the basis for Gerber’s multiple settings of “Spirituals” for orchestra and chamber ensembles. The third subseries is titled “Biographies and CVs” and contains the resumes or CVs, as well as biographies, belonging to other composers. The final subseries, “Programs and Works Listings” contains collected programs not featuring Gerber and printed lists of other composers’ musical works.
The final series, “Audiovisual,” consists of audio recordings related to Gerber and others. The subseries “Gerber Recordings” contains professional recordings and public relations samples of Gerber works, as well as informal recordings of Gerber’s, including reel to reel tapes of concerts and early works. The subseries “Miscellaneous Audio” contains informal recordings of other composers and a bibliography of Gerber’s professional CD and cassette tape collection of artists and composers like Gustav Holst, John Coltrane, and Billie Holiday.