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Walter Winslow papers

 Collection 0425-SCPA-WINSLOW

Walter Keith Winslow (b. September 26, 1947; Salem, Oregon - d. February 12, 1998; Princeton, New Jersey) was an American composer, pianist, and teacher. He studied at the Oberlin Conservatory as an undergraduate, receiving degrees in both music composition and Russian. He then received a Ph.D. in music from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. Winslow’s composition teachers included Richard Hoffmann, Edward Dugger, Andrew Imbrie, and Olly Wilson. His compositions range from solos for piano and chamber works for mixed instruments to musical theater works and suites based on poetry. Winslow taught at various institutions including his alma maters, Reed College, Columbia University, and the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ.

The collection consists of manuscripts, scores, and part sets for compositions ranging from 1959 to 1998; recordings of Winslow’s music on both audio tape and video cassettes ranging from 1967 to 1995; and concert notices and programs ranging from 1963 to 1999.


  • 1959-1999

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room during SCPA’s operating hours. Please contact the curator for an appointment or if you have questions related to digital access of the materials.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the gift of any copyrighted materials. All rights remain with the creators and rights holders. 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.

To inquire about duplication of materials for research or for publication, please contact SCPA’s curator.


4.5 Linear Feet (Two Hollinger boxes, one score box, 22 tape reels, one video cassette, three VHS tapes, three audio cassettes, and two digital audio tapes) : Series 1 and 3 of the collection are housed in SCPA; Series 2 is housed in Paged Collections.

Content Description

The Walter Winslow papers contains materials that span the period of 1959 to 1999; the bulk of the material dates from 1963 to 1998. The collection contains manuscripts of early works from childhood as well as those from Winslow’s studies at Oberlin and Berkeley, though some of Winslow’s mature compositions are represented as well; these range from 1959 to 1996. All of the recorded media are personal recordings on tape or video cassette; these range from 1967-1995. The programs represent performances of Winslow’s works as a high school student to posthumous concerts in 1998 and 1999, both in the United States and Europe; these range from 1963-1999.

Historical Note

Walter Keith Winslow was born September 16, 1947 in Salem, Oregon and began composing music and playing the piano around the age of eight. He graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in 1970 with degrees in music composition and Russian, and he received a Ph.D. in music from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. While at Berkeley, Winslow played piano with and composed for the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players. At Oberlin, Winslow studied with Richard Hoffmann, and at Berkeley, he studied with Edward Dugger, Andrew Imbrie, and Olly Wilson. Throughout his life, Winslow was on the composition faculties of Oberlin, UC Berkeley, Reed College, and Columbia University. From 1990 to 1997, he served as a piano instructor and accompanist at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.

Winslow’s compositional output places him solidly within the world of contemporary American classical music. His earliest works are largely for piano, Winslow’s primary instrument, but the collection includes compositions for mixed ensembles of piano and strings dating as early as 1961. Other idioms for which Winslow composed include string quartet, musical theater, orchestra, choir, and various mixed ensembles of woodwinds, strings, brass, and percussion. Winslow’s compositions were informed by great composers of the Western classical tradition such as J. S. Bach as well as by cutting-edge ideas in the twentieth-century musical academy. This union of the past and present is best exemplified by his final composition, “Concertati Veneziani” (1996), a stylistically diverse work for four violins, viola, and cello commemorating the 200th anniversary of the 1797 extinction of the Venetian Republic.

In addition to the personal recordings in this collection, a compact disc of Winslow’s music, entitled Walter Winslow: “Concertati Veneziani” and Other Works, was released posthumously and is available from New World Records/Composers Recordings, Inc. Among Winslow’s achievements are two fellowships in composition from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Rome Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in composition in 1986.

Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized into three series.

  1. Manuscripts and scores, 1959-1996
  2. Recordings, 1967-1995
  3. Programs, 1963-1999

Custodial History

Gift of Dr. Patricia Brown, December 13, 2021.

Related Materials

American Composers Alliance records, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries (finding aid)

Walter Winslow papers
Hayden J. Kramer
January 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

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