Skip to main content
Use the right side menu to identify relevant boxes and place requests.

Yarbrough and Cowan Collection

 Collection 0010-IPAM
Joan Yarbrough (--) and Robert Cowan (--) were a husband-and-wife piano duo involved in numerous performances throughout their career. They were duo-pianists in residence at the University of Montevallo in Alabama and artist-faculty members at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. They also gave performances throughout the world, including in the Far East, Russia, and Austria. The collection consists of correspondence, programs, articles, recordings, flyers, photographs, music journals, and scores related to Yarbrough’s and Cowan’s careers, the music organizations they were involved in, and the colleagues that they had close relationships with, including Robert Shaw, Paul Creston, Frederich Koch, and Eugene Hemmer.

Dates

  • 1900-2007
  • Majority of material found within 1967-1991

Use and Access to Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Extent

20.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Yarbrough and Cowan Collection covers the period from 1900 to 2007, and the bulk of the materials date from 1967 to 1991. The collection consists of correspondence, flyers, programs, photographs, recordings, articles, music journals, and scores related to Yarbrough’s and Cowan’s career as a husband-and-wife piano performance duo, including their performances at Brevard Music Center and at University of Montevallo, and with the Walla Walla Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and the New Philharmonia Orchestra.

Biography

Summary: Joan Yarbrough and Robert Cowan were a husband and wife duo piano team with a busy concert career of almost 300 concerts in the U.S., Europe, and Mexico (1964-1965). They have been duo-pianists-in-residence at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama, and artist-faculty members at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina.

Full History: Joan Yarbrough and Robert Cowan were a husband and wife duo piano team. They traveled with their two 7-foot Hamburg Steinways to many of their engagements throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Additional concert tours took them to the Far East, Russia, Austria and Czechoslovakia.

Joan Yarbrough received a B.M. Degree with honors from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1960. She has also studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she received the L.R.A.M in 1963 after studies with Franz Reizenstein.

Robert Cowan has studied with Joseph Raieff at Julliard (B.S. and M.S. Degrees), Cecile Genhart at the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.), and with Harold Craxton as a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal Academy of Music (L.R.A.M.). Yarbrough and Cowan met in London in 1962 and were subsequently married. A busy concert career followed for them, with close to 300 concerts in the U.S., Europe and Mexico from 1964-1965. They have been duo-pianists-in-residence at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama, and artist-faculty members at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina.

Yarbrough and Cowan commissioned and performed works for piano duo which include Wallingford Riegger's Variations for Two Pianos and Orchestra, Paul Creston's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, and Niels Viggo Bentzon's Symphonic Fantasy for Two Pianos and Orchestra.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into five series.
  1. Series 1: Performance Files
  2. Series 2: Correspondence/Subject Files
  3. Series 3: Recordings
  4. Series 4: Miscellaneous
  5. Series 5: Scores

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Donated by Robert Cowan in 2002.

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Title
Yarbrough and Cowan Collection
Status
Completed
Author
This collection was processed by Max Brown.
Date
2003-01-15
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Sponsor
This collection was donated by Robert Cowan in 2002.

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

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