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George Tremblay papers

 Collection 0117-SCPA
George Amedée Tremblay (1911-1982) was a Canadian born composer and teacher who relocated to the United States in 1920, settling in Los Angeles by 1925. He is known primarily for his work as a pedagogue of the serial technique of composition. In 1965 he discovered the "definitive cycle," a serial technique that he explored in his own compositions as well as in his book The Definitive Cycle of the Twelve Tone Row (NY: Criterion Music Corp., 1974). The George Tremblay Collection consists of both personal and professional papers including scores, performance reviews, correspondence, musings, recordings, and notes on the definitive cycle related to Tremblay’s work as a composer and teacher in the Los Angeles area, and his involvement with the American Composers Alliance, Broadcast Music Inc., and the Fleischer Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Dates

  • 1923-2008
  • Majority of material found within 1960-1982

Use and Access to Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the physical gift of the scores. The composer or his publishers 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

13.75 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The George Tremblay Collection covers the period from 1923 to 2008; the bulk of the materials date from 1960 to 1982. The collection consists of both personal and professional papers including scores, performance reviews, correspondence, musings, recordings, and notes on the "definitive cycle" of the twelve tone row related to Tremblay’s work as a composer and teacher in the Los Angeles area and his involvement with the American Composers Alliance, Broadcast Music Inc., and the Fleischer Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Biography

George Amedée Tremblay was born on January 14, 1911 in Ottawa, Canada. His early musical training came from his father who was organist and general music director at the Basilica in Ottawa. He began to improvise when he was only three-years old on a small portable reed organ. Eventually he mastered the art of improvisation, which was a skill that served him well throughout his life.

The Tremblay family moved to the United States in 1920, initially settling in Salt Lake City before moving to California in 1923, and then Los Angeles in 1925. Tremblay became an American citizen in 1939. In Los Angeles, Tremblay studied composition with David Patterson and Arnold Schoenberg, who had a decisive influence on Tremblay's music. Using the twelve tone row in its simplest form, the chromatic scale, Tremblay established a "definitive cycle" that yielded two hundred eighty-eight related rows out of the original. He pursued this "definitive cycle" in his own works. Earlier in 1937, he helped to establish the American Composers Alliance.

Tremblay devoted a large portion of time to his students. In 1965, he founded the School for the Discovery and Advancement of New Serial Techniques in Los Angeles. The school provided film and television composers with a center for consultation and for experimental studies. Tremblay suffered a series of illnesses: two heart attacks, cancer in 1971, and a serious liver ailment. These health problems had a significant impact on his teaching and creative schedules. George Tremblay died on July 14, 1982 in Tijuana, Mexico.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into eight series
  1. Series 1: Scores
  2. Series 2: Compositions
  3. Series 3: Definitive Cycle
  4. Series 4: Correspondence
  5. Series 5: Musings
  6. Series 6: Files
  7. Series 7: Recordings
  8. Series 8: Books

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Mrs. Patricia Tremblay (George Tremblay's widow) gave the collection in fourteen gifts between February 2005 and August 2010, and deeded the collection to the University of Maryland in November 2010.

Related Material

American Composers Alliance official records and score collection
Title
George Tremblay papers
Status
edited-full-draft
Author
Processed by David Brenneman, May 2011
Date
2011-05-01
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2012-11-21: EAD checked and verified using Oxygen by Amanda May, November 2012.

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library Library

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