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Stephen Albert papers

 Collection 0128-SCPA

Stephen Albert (1941-1992) was an American composer and teacher. Graduating from the Philadelphia Musical Academy with a BM in 1962, he received commissions from notable American Orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Seattle Symphony. He worked as a teacher, one of his most notable positions being at the Juilliard School. James Joyce inspired much of Albert’s later music, yet two of his most well known compositions are his Cello Concerto (1990), for which he received a Grammy Award, and his symphony RiverRun (1992-93), which won the Pulitzer Prize. Included in the papers are Albert’s published and unpublished scores, manuscripts, correspondence, personal files, photographs, books, and musical instruments.


  • 1888-2008
  • Majority of material found within 1964-1992

Use and Access to Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

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.


40.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Stephen Albert papers covers the period from 1888 to 2008; the bulk of the materials date from 1964 to 1992. The collection consists of both personal and professional papers including published and unpublished scores, manuscripts, scores by contemporaries and masters, personal files, correspondence, programs, books, photographs, newspaper clippings, and articles related to Albert’s work as a composer and teacher, including his work at the Juilliard School, Smith College, and as a commissioned composer for several professional orchestras.


Stephen Albert (1941-1992) was an American composer and teacher. He began studying composition as a teenager with Elie Siegmeister, later studying with Darius Milhaud and George Rochberg. In 1962 he graduated with a BM from the Philadelphia Musical Academy. As a composition teacher, one of his most notable positions was at the Juilliard School. Albert received numerous commissions from orchestras and other organizations including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the National Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Library of Congress, and the Fromm and Ford Foundations, and from 1985-1988 he served as the composer in residence for the Seattle Symphony.

Albert's music is known for combining Romanticism with twentieth century compositional techniques. Inspiration for this style of composition came from Bartók, Stravinsky, and Sibelius. Four of Albert's later works were based on the writings of James Joyce, however much of Albert's later career was dedicated to composing instrumental music. Two of his most well known works include his Cello Concerto (1990), and his symphony RiverRun (1993-94). His Cello Concerto, written for Yo-Yo Ma, received a Grammy Award, while RiverRun received a Pulitzer Prize in 1985. At the time of his death Albert was working on his Symphony No. 2 for the 150th Anniversary of the New York Philharmonic.


The Stephen Albert papers are organized into ten series.

  1. Scores
  2. Recordings
  3. Programs
  4. Correspondence
  5. Personal files
  6. Photographs
  7. Related items
  8. Books
  9. Musical instruments
  10. Posters and art

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Placed on deposit by Dr. Marilyn Albert, his wife, in January 2003.

Related Material

Information on Stephen Albert can also be found under the composers section of the G. Schirmer Co. website, [last accessed January 23, 2013].

See also, Albert, Stephen Joel; one news release, 1966-1967. Contemporary Music Project records, 2.17.1. Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, University of Maryland Lbraries.

Stephen Albert papers
Amy Grossnickle
December 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

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