Fonds 59 - Greta Kraus fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Greta Kraus fonds


  • 1898-2006, predominant 1938-1997 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

37.5 cm of textual records and other materials (3 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Greta Kraus was a harpsichordist, pianist accompanist, and teacher. Born in Vienna on August 3, 1907, she studied at the Vienna Academy of Music, from where she received her Music Teacher's Diploma (1930). After graduation, her teachers included Hans Weisse (1924-1931) and Heinrich Schenker (1931-1934).

In 1938, Kraus immigrated to Hawkesbury, Ontario, before moving to Toronto in 1939 to teach at Havergal College. From 1943 to 1969, she taught at the Royal College of Music in Toronto, and then at the University of Toronto (1963-1976, part time after 1976). She coached lieder and taught harpsichord, accompanying, and Baroque performance practice. She was also the director of Collegium Musicum (Toronto).

Kraus was a prominent harpsichord player, known for her performances of Bach and twentieth-century composers. She performed as a soloist and in collaboration with many musicians, including Arnold Walter, Robert Aitken (in the Aitken Kraus Duo, 1965-1986), Lois Marshall, and Sir Ernest MacMillan (in performances of the Messiah, St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, and Mass in B Minor, 1942-1956). In 1958, she founded the Toronto Baroque Ensemble (1958-1963) with Elizabeth Benson Guy, soprano; Nicholas Fiore, flute; Donald Whitton, cello; and Corol McCartney, violin.

Kraus received many awards for her contributions to music performance and education, including a citation from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (1973); Outstanding Woman of the Province of Ontario (1975); Toronto Arts Award (1990); the Order of Ontario (1991); and, the Order of Canada (1992).

She was married to chemist Erwin Dentay.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated from the Estate of Greta Kraus Dentay (A2020-09).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the personal and professional papers of Greta Kraus, including correspondence, photographs, programs, and some materials relating to the Kraus family.

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Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • German

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Language and script notes

Much of the material in this collection is in German.

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Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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Related units of description

Other papers and Greta Kraus's harpsichord are held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC).
The A2020-09 accession also included some correspondence sent to Emmy Heim; these letters can be found in the Emmy Heim fonds. Emmy Heim and Greta Kraus taught together at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

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