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Emil Danenberg Collection

 Collection 0002-IPAM

A performer and music professor, Emil Danenberg (1917-1982) was extensively involved in chamber music, including performances with the New Hungarian Quartet, with violinists Matthew Raimondi and Andor Toth, and with cellist Pierre Fournier. Danenberg also gave numerous solo recitals and taught at both UNC Chapel Hill and Oberlin Conservatory. In addition, Danenberg was the president of Oberlin College and taught many master classes there. The collection contains concert programs, scrapbooks, recordings, photographs, correspondence, autographs, and other miscellaneous documents related to Danenberg’s career, the ensembles he was involved in, and his relationships with his colleagues and friends, especially his wife, Mary Ann Danenberg, and his theory teacher, Arnold Schoenberg.


  • 1895-1994
  • Majority of material found within 1957-1982

Use and Access to Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection.


8.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Emil Danenberg Collection covers the period from 1895 to 1994; the bulk of the materials date from 1957 to 1982. The collection consists of concert programs and reviews, letters, recordings, photographs, autographs, posters, and other miscellaneous documents related to Danenberg’s performing career with various performers and ensembles, including the New Hungarian Quartet, violinist Matthew Raimondi, cellist Pierre Fournier, and violinist Andor Toth; his career as a music educator at UNC Chapel Hill and at Oberlin Conservatory; his presidency at Oberlin College; his childhood; and his relationships with various people and organizations, including his wife, Mary Ann Danenberg, his teacher, Arnold Schoenberg, and Marietta College, where he received an honorary degree.


Summary: Emil Danenberg was born in Hong Kong in 1917. He performed various concerts starting in 1950 and was active in chamber music. Danenberg also served as both Dean of Oberlin Conservatory of Music (1944) and President of Oberlin College. Emil Danenberg died in 1982.

Full History: Emil Danenberg was born in Hong Kong in 1917. His initial studies were with his father, a graduate of the Leipzig Conservatory. After his family emigrated to Los Angeles in 1926, Danenberg continued his piano studies with Abby De Avirett and Edward Steuermann while also studying theory with Arnold Schoenberg. Danenberg received B.A. and A.M. degrees from UCLA and honorary degrees from Marietta College and Franklin College. He made his New York debut in 1950 followed by a Town Hall recital in 1953 in which he played a diverse program ranging from Bach to Kirchner. Concerts followed in Darmstadt, Salzburg, Vienna, Graz and throughout the United States and Canada. Danenberg maintained an active chamber music career, collaborating with violinists Matthew Raimondi, Stuart Canin and Andor Toth, and cellist Pierre Fournier.

Danenberg commenced a long association with Oberlin College in 1944 by joining the piano faculty. He served as the Dean of the Conservatory of Music, and later was appointed President of Oberlin College. As an administrator, Danenberg was responsible for expanding and diversifying Oberlin's curriculum to encompass new courses and majors in early music, jazz and ethonomusicology. Emil Danenberg died in 1982.


The Emil Danenberg Collection has been divided into seven series.

  1. Series 1: Concert Programs
  2. Series 2: Teaching/Administrative Activities
  3. Series 3: Correspondence
  4. Series 4: Scrapbooks
  5. Series 5: Recordings
  6. Series 6: Framed Photos and Documents
  7. Series 7: Miscellaneous

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Materials were received September 2008. Donation was made by Charles Timbrell, with the cooperation of Mary Ann Danenberg.

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Emil Danenberg Collection
This collection was processed by Max Brown.
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Donation was made by Charles Timbrell, with the cooperation of Mary Ann Danenberg.

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States