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Katherine Bacon Collection

 Collection 0025-IPAM
A pianist and music teacher, Katherine Bacon (1896-1982) performed many solo recitals, chamber ensemble concerts, and concerts with major orchestras around the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras. Bacon also taught piano at the Chatauqua School of Music in Chatauqua, NY and Mannes College of Music in New York, and she was on the faculty at the Juilliard School. Her husband, Arthur Newstead, gave performances around the world and taught piano at both the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD and at the Juilliard School. The collection consists of 4.00 linear feet of programs, reviews, promotional flyers, correspondence, photographs, articles, legal documents, scores, and manuscripts related to Bacon’s career, the ensembles she was involved in, and her relationships with her close colleagues, including her student, Saul Braverman, her husband, Arthur Newstead, and her daughter, Joan Newstead.

Dates

  • 1860s-2006
  • Majority of material found within 1913-1966

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research use.

Extent

4.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Katherine Bacon Collection covers the period from the 1860s to 2006; the bulk of the materials date from 1913 to 1966. The collection consists of 4.00 linear feet of programs, reviews, promotional flyers, correspondence, photographs, articles, legal documents, scores, and manuscripts related to Bacon’s work as a pianist and piano teacher, including her work teaching and performing piano at the Chatauqua School of Music and at the Juilliard School of Music, her performances at Peabody Conservatory of Music, and her work performing the Beethoven and Schubert Sonata Cycle. This collection also contains materials related to Arthur Newstead, Katherine Bacon’s husband and piano teacher.

Biography

Katherine Bacon Summary: Katherine Bacon was born in Chesterfield, England on June 2, 1896. She started studying with the young English pianist, Arthur Newstead at age eleven and married her teacher three days after her graduation from Peabody (1916). Katherine Bacon made her New York Debut in 1920 and played numerous solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and concerts with major orchestras, including New York Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony. She performed the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas in a series of seven weekly recitals at Aeolian Hall in New York in commemoration of the Beethoven Centenary (1927) and gave a series of four concerts of Franz Schubert's works celebrating his centenary (1928).

Katherine Bacon directed the Piano Department of the Chautauqua School of Music in Chautauqua, New York (1955) and Bacon lectured and performed at universities and colleges throughout the United States as part of the Association of American Colleges Arts Program (1930-1968). Katherine Bacon also taught piano at the Mannes College of Music in New York (1921-1929) and served on the faculty of the Juilliard School (1940-1972). On January 30, 1982, Katherine Bacon died in a New York nursing home.

Katherine Bacon Full History: Katherine Bacon was born in Chesterfield, England on June 2, 1896. Soon after taking a few piano lessons with a family friend at the age of four, she was encouraged to begin regular lessons with a local piano teacher. At age nine she began serious study in piano and harmony with a local professor.

When Katie was eleven, she was taken to a concert of the young English pianist, Arthur Newstead. After the concert she played for him on the concert hall stage, and he praised her talent and musical promise. Shortly thereafter, she began studying with Mr. Newstead, traveling 600 miles a week to London for two weekly lessons.

In 1913, Mr. Newstead was appointed to the Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, and his young prodigy was not long in following. While at Peabody, Miss Bacon attracted considerable attention by playing a series of five different recital programs in the span of one month. On May 29, 1916, three days following graduation and the completion of her degree at Peabody, Miss Bacon and her teacher were married in Annapolis, Maryland.

The following year, Miss Bacon had a daughter Joan and shortly thereafter Mr. Newstead accepted a teaching position at the Institute of Musical Art (now the Juilliard School) in New York City. For a period of one or two years he commuted back and forth from Baltimore to New York, but eventually the family settled in New York.

After her New York debut on November 19, 1920, Katherine Bacon was regarded as one of the outstanding young pianists of her day. In addition to numerous solo recitals, she appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony, to name a few, as well as with fine chamber music players.

Outstanding achievements in her career include a 1927 performance of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas in a series of seven weekly recitals at Aeolian Hall in New York in commemoration of the Beethoven Centenary. The following year, marking the centenary Franz Schubert, she gave a series of four concerts in which she performed all his important piano works. In 1939-40, Miss Bacon repeated the Beethoven cycle at Town Hall in New York as well as at the Juilliard Summer School.

In 1955 Katherine Bacon temporarily directed the Piano Department of the Chautauqua School of Music in Chautauqua, New York. In addition to a full teaching schedule, her responsibilities included two weekly master classes, 13 different recital programs, and an appearance with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

From 1930 to 1968 Miss Bacon lectured and performed at universities and colleges throughout the United States as part of the Association of American Colleges Arts Program. In the fall of 1966, a far Eastern tour took her to Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong for concerts, radio and television broadcasts, and lecture recitals.

Katherine Bacon taught piano at the Mannes College of Music in New York from 1921 to 1929 and served on the faculty of the Juilliard School from 1940 until her retirement in 1972. In addition, she participated in the Juilliard Summer School program for its 21 years of operation from 1932 to 1952.

On January 30, 1982, Katherine Bacon died in a New York nursing home at the age of 85.

Arthur Newstead Summary: Arthur Newstead was born in London August 4, 1881. After his graduation from the Royal Academy of Music, he was promoted to Professor of that institution at the young age of 21. After two years, Mr. Newstead was forced to resign due to numerous public engagements.

At age 27, Mr. Newstead had already performed in 17 countries, playing more that 200 concerts. He toured the British Isles (1904-1905), and he traversed the Western Hemisphere, starting with South America, then Mexico, and finally the West Indies, and a contract was made to return to Buenos Aires after eleven concerts. Mr. Newstead also toured Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and Germany, where he had the opportunity to play before the Royal Family in Sweden three times (1906-1907).

Mr. Newstead joined the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland after his third tour in South America (1913). He and Katie Bacon were married (1916) after she resumed her study with him, and they had a daughter, Joan a year later. Afterwards, Mr. Newstead taught at the Institute of Musical Art (now the Juilliard School) in New York City, where he was on the faculty for 35 years. Arthur Newstead died in his New York City home on April 1, 1952.

Arthur Newstead Full History: Arthur Newstead was born in London August 4, 1881 and studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music under Oscar Beringer and later with Harold Bauer. Months after his graduation from the Royal Academy, his distinction, earned from masterful performances at many academical concerts, promoted him to Professor of that institution at the young age of 21 years. After two years, Mr. Newstead was forced to resign his position due to numerous public engagements following a tremendous success at an orchestral concert in which he played three concertos by Beethoven, Liszt, and Saint Saens.

At the age of 27 years Mr. Newstead had already visited and performed in 17 different countries, playing more that 200 concerts. Mter a tour of the British Isles during 1904-1905, he traversed the Western Hemisphere, starting with South America, then Mexico, and fmally the West Indies. His success in Buenos Aires demanded eleven concerts before the fmal farewell concert and a contract was made to return the following August. A similar success in Mexico City resulted in twelve concerts given during the span of a month at which Mr. Newstead played over 100 works.

During the winter of 1906-1907, Mr. Newstead toured Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and Germany at which time he had the opportunity to play before the Royal Family in Sweden three times and was received with high praise. Upon hearing Newstead's performance of one of his own works, the renowned Norwegian composer Edward Grieg was extremely pleased and exclaimed that·Mr. Newstead's interpretation of the work coincided very nearly with his own.

At the close of his third tour of South America in 1913, Mr. Newstead was invited to join the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. Soon thereafter Katie Bacon sailed to America to resume her study with Mr. Newstead. On May 29, 1916, three days after Katie's graduation from Peabody, Arthur Newstead and Katie Bacon were married, and the following year a daughter, Joan, was born.

Next, Mr. Newstead accepted a teaching position at the Institute of Musical Art (now the Juilliard School) in New York City and for a short while he taught both in Baltimore and New York. Finally the family settled permanently in NYC, and Arthur Newstead remained on the Juilliard faculty for 35 years.

Arthur Newstead died in his home in New York City on April 1, 1952.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into eleven series.
  1. Series 1: Katherine Bacon Performance Files
  2. Series 2: Katherine Bacon Correspondence Files
  3. Series 3: Katherine Bacon Photographs
  4. Series 4: Recordings
  5. Series 5: Katherine Bacon Subject Files
  6. Series 6: Arthur Newstead Performance Files
  7. Series 7: Arthur Newstead Correspondence Files
  8. Series 8: Arthur Newstead Photographs
  9. Series 9: Arthur Newstead Subject Files
  10. Series 10: Miscellaneous Materials
  11. Series 11: Supplementary Materials

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift of Joan Newstead, Katherine Bacon's daughter, received in December 1990. Additional materials were received in 1991.

Related Material

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

Processing Information

An item-level inventory of recordings is available on request.
Title
Katherine Bacon Collection
Status
Completed
Author
This finding aid was prepared by Ileana Posada under the direction of Neil Ratliff.
Date
1991-06-10
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Sponsor
Gift of Joan Newstead, Katherine Bacon's daughter, received in December 1990. Additional materials were received in 1991.

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

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