New York College of Music

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Carl Hein and August Fraemke and NY College of Music Building

The New York College of Music was an American conservatory of music located in Manhattan that flourished from 1878 to 1968. The college was incorporated under the laws of New York and was empowered to confer diplomas and degrees ranging from a Bachelor of Music to a Doctor of Music.[1]


The New York College of Music was established in 1878 by Louis Alexander (1839–1903)[2] and flourished for the next 90 years. Its first location was 163 East 70th Street.[3] The faculty, around the time of its founding, included conductor Theodore Thomas and pianist Rafael Joseffy.[1] Alexander Lambert (1862–1929), a pianist, served as the second director from 1887 to 1905.[4] On September 1, 1891, he moved the college to a "handsome new building" at 128-130 East 58th Street. Faculty under Lambert included pianist Leopold Godowsky.

Later directors included Carl Hein (1864–1945)[clarification needed] and August Fraemcke (1870–1933), who served as co-directors. In 1920, Hein and Fraemcke moved the college to its third and final home at 114–116 East 85th Street.[5] At the death of Fraemcke in 1933, Hein carried on as director until his own death in 1945. Arved Kurtz (1899–1995) succeeded Hein[6] and remained director until 1965. In 1965, Jerrold Ross (born 1935), became President of the College, the youngest in its history, and remained in the position until 1967.

Under Hein and Fraemcke, faculty included Hans Letz, who headed the violin department. He was one of the foremost musicians in the country. From 1912 to 1917 he was member of the Kneisel Quartet and later first violinist with the Letz Quartet. The piano department was under the direction of Fraemcke. Cornelius Rybner (de) in the mid 1920s, took the place of Rubin Goldmark as the head of the theory and composition department. The vocal department was under the direction of Carl Hein. William Ebann (1873–1945), principal cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1901 to 1902 and also cellist with the New York Philharmonic, headed the cello department for 45 years, until his death. Wilbur Luyster (1871–1949) was the director of the sight-singing department.

In 1920 the conservatory absorbed the German Conservatory and in 1923 it took over the American Conservatory.[7] In 1958 the school presented the United States premiere of Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw.[8]

After nine decades of operation, the conservatory closed in June 1968[9] after a merger with New York University and be reinvented as the Steinhardt School.[10] At the time of its closing, the New York College of Music was the oldest music conservatory in New York.[2]

Notable alumni[edit]

Awards and honorary degrees[edit]

New York College of Music Medal
Honorary Doctor of Music

Notable faculty[edit]

Bibliographic collections[edit]

  • Vladimir Padwa Collection at the Peabody Conservatory
  • Correspondence: with Marian Anderson (1965); OCLC 63560441
  • "Reminiscences of Otto Herz" (oral history; 1975); OCLC 122513671
  • "Erich Katz Collection, 1918–2007;" OCLC 434502464
  • "Interview with Isaac Nemiroff (1974); OCLC 664381109


  1. ^ a b "New York College of Music Commences 48th Season," Brooklyn Standard Union, October 24, 1926, pg. 10
  2. ^ a b Paul Creston: A Bio-bibliography, by Monica J. Slomski, Greenwood Publishing Group (1994), pg. 12
  3. ^ The Year-Book of Education for 1878, by Henry Kiddle and Alexander J. Schem, E. Steiger (1879), pg. 242; OCLC 4240709
  4. ^ Gustav Mahler's American Years, 1907–1911: A Documentary History, Gustav Mahler &b Zoltan Rom, Pendragon Press (1989), pg. 154; OCLC 18069517
  5. ^ College and Private School Directory of the United States, Educational Aid Society (1937), pg. 288; OCLC 2972949
  6. ^ "School's 75th Anniversary," New York Times, September 14, 1952
  7. ^ Juilliard: A History, by Andrea Olmstead, University of Illinois Press (1999), pg. 8; OCLC 40744118
  8. ^ "Music: Britten's 'Turn of the Screw' Introduced," by Ross Parmenter, New York Times, March 20, 1958, pg. 34
  9. ^ American Universities and Colleges: A Dictionary of Name Changes, by Alice H. Songe, Scarecrow Press (1978), pg. 137; OCLC 3844739
  10. ^ "Beta Tau, New York University," Pan Pipes, G. Banta Publishing Company, Vol. 62, pg. 56, 1969
  11. ^ Chicago's Most Wanted — The Top 10 Book of Murderous Mobsters, Midway Monsters, and Windy City Oddities, by Laura L. Enright, Potomac Books (2005), pg. 285; OCLC 755605408
  12. ^ "Kern, Jerome David," Who Was Who, Oxford University Press (2010) OCLC 5557245594 (retrieved May 10, 2010 — requires subscription)

External links[edit]