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James Bolle papers

 Collection 0196-SCPA

James Bolle (1931-2019) was an American conductor and composer who was instrumental in founding numerous musical organizations, including the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra. As a composer, his major works include the opera Oleum Canis, five sinfonias, four string quartets, concerti, orchestral works, songs and chamber music. The James Bolle papers includes materials relating to the festival Monadnock Music, press books, and notated music materials, such as holographs, print masters, and individual parts. from many of Bolle’s more notable works, including the Christopher Smart Cantata, and four concerto for violin, piano, oboe, and clarinet.


  • 1950-2011
  • Majority of material found within 1950-2011

Collection Use and 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.


17.00 Linear Feet


James Bolle (1931-2019) was an American composer born in Evanston, Illinois. Bolle received instrumental training on the violin, viola, and French horn, and studied under students of Nadia Boulanger and Paul Hindemith. He studied at Harvard, Antioch College, and Northwestern, and was a student of French composer Darius Milhaud. Bolle was instrumental in founding numerous musical organizations, the first being The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra at age 15 in 1946.

As a conductor, Bolle founded the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, which he directed for 29 years, and the festival Monadnock Music, which he directed for 42 years. He has also appeared as a guest conductor in the United States, Canada, Israel, Hungary, Russia, and Germany. Bolle was responsible for several premier operatic performances, including: Lully's Armide, Handel's Lotamo, Schubert's Die Freunden von Salamanka, and Weber's Abu Hassan.

As a composer, Bolle's major works included the opera Oleum Canis, after the story of Ambrose Bierce, five Sinfonies for ensembles, four string quartets, concerti for piano, violin, oboe, and clarinet, several large orchestral and chamber pieces, and a the Christopher Smart Cantata for two sopranos and large ensemble.

Bolle resided in Harrisville, New Hampshire with his wife, Jocelyn, who also served as a founding director of Monadnock Music and was central in forming its education program.


This collection is arranged into three series.

  1. Scores
  2. Press books
  3. Monadnock Music
James Bolle papers
Nicole Horstman
March 2014
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