Ezra Rachlin Archive

Scope and Content

The collection chiefly contains the manuscript and published musical compositions and arrangements of the conductor and pianist Ezra Rachlin (1915-1995), a large number of printed performance and miniature scores of works by other composers,together with newspaper cuttings, scrap books, recordings and printed ephemera associated with his professional performances. Rachlin was also a photographic artist, but there are very few such works present in this collection: a group of hisphotographic works were donated to Grey College by Ann Rachlin in 2013. As evidenced by a number of items in the collection, a running theme in Rachlin's career from the 1950s onwards was his engagement with young audiences, an interest furthered incollaboration with his second wife Ann Rachlin after their marriage in 1969.

Administrative / Biographical History

  • 1915 Born 5 December in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
  • 1918 Begins studying the piano, taught by his mother, a concert pianist.
  • 1925 Begins studies in Germany, under Professor Moritz Mayer-Mahr.
  • 1927 Berlin (solo piano) debut.
  • 1929 American (solo piano) debut at Carnegie Hall.
  • 1932 Enters Curtis Institute of Music, studying piano with Josef Hofmann, Leopold Godowsky, Joseph Lhevinne.
  • 1935 Begins studying conducting under Fritz Reiner.
  • 1935-1941 Photographic exhibitions in Europe.
  • 1937 Selected by the Sergei Rachmaninoff to perform the first European performances of his 3rd Piano Concerto.
  • 1940 Musical Director, Philadelphia Opera Company.
  • 1946-1949 Personal conductor and accompanist to Lauritz Melchior.
  • 1949-1969 Musical Director and Conductor, Austin Symphony Orchestra.
  • 1958-1965 Guest Conductor, Houston Symphony Orchestra and Houston Summer Series.
  • 1964 Photographic exhibition at Houston, Texas.
  • 1965-1971 Musical Director and Conductor, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
  • 1966 x 1969 Photographic exhibition at Fort Worth, Texas.
  • 1966-1969 Chairman of the Jury and Finals Conductor, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
  • 1970-1972 Chief Conductor, Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
  • 1970-1990 International tours, including Italy, Portugal, Israel, UK, Mexico, Brazil.
  • 1976 Photographic exhibition at Swiss Cottage, London.
  • 1983 Good Vibrations photographic exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall, London.
  • 1986 Funtasia concerts, with London Symphony Orchestra, and Ann Rachlin.
  • 1987 Through the eye of the conductor photographic exhibition at the Barbican, London.
  • 1995 Died 21 January in London.


  • RAC 1: Correspondence
  • RAC 2: Financial record
  • RAC 3: Manuscript compositions, arrangements and writings by Ezra Rachlin
  • RAC 4: Published compositions and arrangements by Ezra Rachlin
  • RAC 5: Performances, including programmes and performance timings
  • RAC 6: Curtis Institute
  • RAC 7: Scrap books, cuttings, promotional material and ephemera
  • RAC 8: Photographs and other graphic artwork
  • RAC 9: Objects
  • RAC 10: Recordings
  • RAC 11: Scores: see Library catalogue for full bibliographic records, shelfmark RAC.
  • RAC 12: Miscellanea

Access Information

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Ann Rachlin, widow of Ezra Rachlin, 11 October 2013, 2 June 2014, 10 March 2017: Misc. 2013/14: 15, 70, Misc.2016/17:101.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogue of manuscripts and papers.

Books and other printed items are entered in the Library's catalogue http://library.dur.ac.uk/.

Separated Material

After his death, at the behest of Ezra Rachlin, the bulk of the Rachlin collection of scores was given to Richard Markson, conductor/cellist, who studied conducting with him.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail PG.Library@durham.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assistwhere possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

A collection of photographs by Ezra Rachlin were donated by Ann Rachlin to Grey College of Durham University in November 2013.