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Music Library

Music Library Special Collections: Isidore Philipp


Photo of Philipp
Isidore Philipp

The Isidore Philipp Archive was established in 1977 at the University of Louisville under the aegis of the American Liszt Society and is recognized as the largest Isidore Philipp repository. A catalog of the archive is forthcoming. Inquiries and additions to the archive are welcome.

The French pianist, teacher, composer, and editor Isidore Philipp (b. Budapest, 1863; d. Paris, 1958) fled Paris during the Nazi invasion in 1940, arriving in the United States in 1941. His teachers at the Paris Conservatory included George Mathias (pupil of Chopin), Theodore Ritter (pupil of Liszt), and Camille Saint-Saëns. From about 1900 to 1955 Philipp was a pre-eminent teacher of piano at the Paris Conservatory, at the American Conservatory of Fontainebleau, and in New York. Many of Philipp's students became celebrated pianists, conductors, composers, and teachers. Notable are: Aaron Copland, Guiomar Novaes, Wilfrid Pelletier, Albert Schweitzer, Alexander Tcherepnine, and Beveridge Webster. Among his associates and friends were Boulanger, Busoni, Debussy, Godowsky, Lumière, Massenet, Paderewski, Rosenthal, Saint-Saëns, and Widor.

In November 1941, Philipp's friend, music school dean Dwight Anderson, who had been Philipp's pupil in Paris in the 1920s, hosted Philipp in Louisville. Philipp taught, gave lectures and spoke to L'Alliance Française de Louisville. Philipp also gave Anderson autograph letters of famous colleagues. These and Anderson's collection of Philipp's letters, compositions, and editions formed the nucleus of this archive. The Speed Art Museum, adjacent to the University of Louisville, holds five casts of Philpp's right hand, an early 1942 project of Hattie Bishop Speed in collaboration with noted American sculptor Brenda Putnam.

Collection Includes

  • Philipp's compositions for the piano
  • his exercises and studies
  • his editions of Liszt's compositions
  • his editions of other composers' works, exercises and studies
  • published articles
  • sound recordings
  • correspondence (203 letters in Philipp's hand, 26 letters to Philipp, 53 letters between others about Philipp, 2 Liszt autographs)
  • photographs
  • memorabilia and related documents

How to Use this Collection

To view materials in this collection please contact one of our librarians or ask for assistance at the first floor help desk.

Materials in this collection do not circulate outside of the Music Library.