Collection 48 - Hart House String Quartet collection

Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUFM 48

Title

Hart House String Quartet collection

Date(s)

  • 1924-1946 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

12 scrapbooks

Context area

Name of creator

(1924-1945)

Administrative history

The Hart House String Quartet was founded by violinist Geza de Kresz, violist Milton Blackstone (formerly Blackstein), cellist Boris Hambourg, and violinist Harry Adaskin. They gave their first performance in 1924 at Hart House Theatre, and its success of the concert led to the groups permanent establishment with funding by the Massey Foundation. The quartet continued to perform internationally until 1945. They performed 10 annual concerts at Hart House and 10 annual concerts at Convocation Hall, University of Toronto, as well as performing across Canada, the United States, and two tours of Britain and Europe.

Geza de Kresz left the quartet in 1935 and was replaced by James Levey; Harry Adaskin was replaced by Adolph Kodolfsky in 1938, and then Henry Milligan in 1942; and Milton Blackstone was replaced by Allard de Ridder in 1941 and Cyril Glyde in 1944. Boris Hambourg remained with the quartet throughout its existence.

Name of creator

(1894-1974)

Biographical history

Milton Blankstein was born in New York in 1894 and died in Toronto in 1974. He moved to Toronto in 1911, where he studied with Luigi von Kunits and played in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Frank Welsman) and the Academy String Quartet at the Canadian Academy of Music. He also played viola with the Hart House Quartet and served as their business manager from 1923 until his retirement in 1941.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection consists of 10 scrapbooks created by the Hart House String Quartet and their business manager, Milton Blackstone, which contain programs and newspaper clippings of reviews and press releases for their concerts. Two volumes (Volume 5, 1929-1931; and, Volume 7, 1932-1934) are missing from the collection. The collection also contains two scrapbooks for the Canadian Concert Association, during the time that Milton Blackstone was the director (1933-1935 and 1936).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Scrapbooks are extremely fragile. Please handle with care.

Finding aids

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Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Also see the Milton Blackstone fonds held at the University of Toronto Archives, and a scrapbook compiled by Milton Blackstone (formerly Blackstein), which is part of the Toronto Music Life Collection at the University of Toronto Music Library. The latter scrapbook cover Blackstone's performance career prior to the formation of the Hart House String Quartet (1908-1923). The Milton Blackstone fonds at the University of Toronto Archives contains six scrapbook that cover the Hart House String Quartet's performances from 1924 until 1941.

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OTUFM

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