Alfred Leonard and Joseph Leonard Collection
P. (Peter) Alfred Leonard (ne Alfred Levi; b. Mannheim, Germany 1909; d. September 10, 1988) was an entrepreneur, director of symphonic programs on KFAC, radio host for The Golden Hour in 1935 for which he also published several monographs for subscribers, owner of a Los Angeles music store, Gateway to Music (1939-1958), founder of the Los Angeles Music Guild (1944) and director of its concert series (1945-1952). His family was originally from Mannheim, and he came to the United States in 1933. As an avid supporter of classical music, his circle of friends included Ernst and Lilly Toch (also from Mannheim), Artur Schnabel, piano duo performers Vitya Vronsky and Victor Babin, among others whose concerts he sponsored and careers he followed such as Joseph Szigeti, and Otto Klemperer. His relationship with the Tochs was very close, and correspondence included exchanges of gifts, poetry, and musical manuscripts. As Ernst shared the same birthday as Alfred's daughter, Barbara, for several years he sent musical compositions and a theme and variations based on her name in celebration of their joint birthday. Alfred was also a writer; this collection includes his articles published in magazines and a collection of essays, and other unpublished writings and lectures. He published Gateway to Music - Bulletin (1939-1952) as an adjunct to his store with reviews of recordings. As the host to the radio show, he also kept reel to reel recordings of his shows, and maintained recordings of Music Guild concert performances.
His brother Joseph Julius Leonard (ne Josef Julius Levi) (b. August 7, 1903; Mannheim, Germany d. May 20, 1979) was a blind, talented pianist and organist, who had an extensive performing career in Germany before immigrating to the United States. In 1936 he was invited by Manuel Compinksy to join the faculty at the Pacific Institute of Music and Fine Arts, where he served on the faculty. In Los Angeles, he served as organist and choir director at Beth Am synagogue (1953-?) and performed in secular and religious concerts as a soloist and choir director.
This collection provides valuable documents on Los Angeles Western classical musical programs, local Jewish community musical events, Toch materials not found in other collections, German and German Jewish newspapers from the 1920s-30s, and correspondence with important composers and performers. In addition, this collection provides supporting material on the lives of Ernst Toch, Artur Schnabel, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, piano duo Vitya Vronsky and Victor Babin, and Joseph Szigeti.
Collection consists of documents, clippings, correspondence and photographs relating to the career of Alfred Leonard, including 16 letters from Artur Schnabel to Leonard with related replies. Also includes music and other printed publications, manuscripts and copies of musical compositions by Joseph Leonard and others, reel-to-reel audiotapes, and phonograph discs.
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