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Adolph Weiss and Paula Hughes papers

 Collection 0380-SCPA
Adolph Weiss (1891 – 1971) was a modernist American composer, and once a pupil of Arnold Schoenberg in Vienna. Weiss also served as a professional bassoonist in a number of orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Symphony Society, the Rochester Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony. Paula Hughes was a patron of the performing arts who lived in Ojai, California. The papers contain materials that span the period of 1959 to 1971; the bulk of the material dates from 1960 to 1965. The collection consists of correspondence, assorted papers, and photographs. The correspondence and photographs intimately document the romantic relationship between Weiss and Hughes, as well as Weiss’s activities as a composer and bassoonist.

Dates

  • 1959-1971 and undated
  • Majority of material found in 1960-1965

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the physical gift of the papers. The donor and appropriate estates retain any copyright possessed in the collection. The University of Maryland Libraries is granted permission for the use in scholarly research by the Libraries’ patrons under fair use in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act.

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The Adolph Weiss and Paula Hughes papers contain materials that span the period of 1959 to 1971; the bulk of the material dates from 1960 to 1965. The collection consists of correspondence, assorted papers, and photographs. The correspondence and photographs intimately document the romantic relationship between Weiss and Hughes. Also gleaned from the letters are Weiss’s activities as a composer and professional bassoonist, as well as his associations with notable composers (e.g. Edgard Varese and Henry Cowell), and his life as a touring musician. Based on one program in the collection, it appears that Hughes was a patron of the performing arts.

Biographical / Historical

Adolph Weiss (Baltimore, Maryland, November 12, 1891 – Van Nuys, California, February 21, 1971) was a modernist American composer, and once a pupil of Arnold Schoenberg in Vienna. (His father was a pupil of Ferruccio Busoni.) Weiss also served as a professional bassoonist in a number of orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Symphony Society, the Rochester Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony.

Weiss moved to Los Angeles in the late 1940s and befriended Mitzi Kolisch, who was part of the household of her brother-in-law, Arnold Schoenberg. It is believed by the donor that Kolisch introduced Weiss to Paula Hughes (1903-1995) around 1957, in Ojai, California, where Hughes lived with her son. Hughes’s husband, Walter Hughes, had died four years before and Adolph and Paula had a romantic relationship from 1957 until 1965. Per the personal letters within the collection, their relationship was unquiet. Multiple letters indicate Weiss’s unsuccessful intentions to marry Hughes, including a letter to her son seeking approval. Based on the evidence in the collection, it is assumed that the relationship ceased unceremoniously sometime after 1967.

Sources: Correspondence with the donor, December 2017; American Composers Alliance online Composers Gallery: “Adolph Weiss,” http://composers.com/adolph-weiss (last accessed 14 December 2017).

Custodial History

Gift made on 13 December 2017 by Arthur Hughes, son of Paula Hughes.

Related Materials

Official Records of the American Composers Alliance: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/30672 American Composers Alliance composer gallery: http://composers.com/adolph-weiss
Title
Adolph Weiss and Paula Hughes papers
Status
Completed
Author
Vin Novara, December 2017
Date
2017-12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

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