Cage, John. (1912–1992)

Small Archive of Correspondence, 1961–1990

An interesting collection of autograph letters from the influential composer to music publisher and owner of C. F. Peters, Walter Hinrichsen (1907–1969) and his wife, Evelyn Merrell Hinrichsen (1910–2005), dating from 1961 to 1990. Complete contents listed below.

ALS (Stony Point, NY, December 20, 1961; 2 pp.) to Walter Hinrichsen: "Dear Walter, Just a note to say Seasons Greetings and that I have just finished the 4th violin part of 'Atlas Eclipticalis' which I dedicate to you and Evelyn. I had hoped to bring you by Christmas the work completed. But there is too much yet to do and Christmas finds me unprepared. (Someone came in the other day and said 'Which piles of papers do you sleep on?') As ever, John." 8.5 x 11 inches and very fine.

ALS (September 11, 1962; 3 pp.) to Walter Hinrichsen: "Dear Walter: Isn't this magnificent? I'm so happy about it I'm quite silly, I'm only sorry to see it first without you're [sic] being here too. I spoke with Evelyn and she said you'd be here this evening and that she would see it this evening too. I don't think I'll ever be able to express my gratitude to you sufficiently but I trust there will be many years for me to try. The Doctor says I'm going to live to a ripe old age! Very sincerely, John. Please call me: either AL5-7240 or in the country." 5 x 8 inches, with water damage; good.

Autograph postcard (October 28, 1969) to Kurt Michaelis at C. F. Peters, after the death of Walter Hinrichsen: "Hi! Please send Walter Hinrichsen tribute to Mr. Hans Moldenhauer. He wd. like to have a copy. He is on Lincoln St. I believe in Spokane, Wash. As ever, John."

ALS (November 14, 1977; 1 p.) to Evelyn Hinrichsen: "Dear Evelyn, Best wishes for your recovery, and while doing that a good rest I hope. I was so shocked to hear of your illness when I came to Peters this morning. I had expected to see you. Everyone loves you very much and I am one of them. Today I delivered a Qt. for perc. (1935) freshly copied, and the Cheap Imitation for Vn Solo edited by Paul Zukofsky. Kurt and Don & Stephen & I all think this would be more suitable for general publication than the Mesostics. I hope you agree. Again, love and best wishes, John." 8.5 x 11 inches, fine, together with envelope.

ALS (Geneva, June 17, 1978; 1 p.) to Evelyn Hinrichsen: "Dear Evelyn, Everything is going well. The 'Sounday' in Amsterdam actually happened and Frans van Rossum who asked me to do it was very pleased. Grete and Paul and Demetrio STratos and nine Dutch musicians (young people I trained) played beautifully. Just as we were about to board the plane to come here, I was given a large bouquet of flowers. They were sent by Walter's sister and I don't have her address. I am enclosing a card which I trust you will forward to her. The flowers are beautiful, all kinds, and they make the room a pleasure to enter. Both Grete and Paul have told me also of your thoughtfulness. Let me say what you already know that I count it my good fortune as ever to be one of your 'family.' As ever, John." 8.25 x 11.75 inches (21 x 29.5 cm). Fine, together with envelope.

ALS (February 3, 1990; 1 p.) to Evelyn Hinrichsen, on a Note-O-Gram: "Thank you very much for the books on mushrooms and fossils and the bag with the cat on it in which Don brought them. And thank you for the material about eczema which I had not seen. Just today there shines some hope that I will get free of it. I happened to mention my trouble to Joel Sachs and he recalled that the Soviet composer Arthur Schnittke had found a doctor in Boston who cured him in 3 days: it seems he had a deficiency of phosphorus! At any rate you made several international calls, reached Schnittke, who gave the Dr's name; I will see him this coming week. Wonders never cease! He is a wholistic doctor and his office is called Turning Point! I will let you know what happens. Love, John." 8.5 x 7.5 inches. Fine, together with envelope.

Original photograph of Hinrichsen studying a large modern score. Stamped on the verso by C. F. Peters. 5 x 7 inches, tear to right edge, overall very good.

Three copies of a mesostic poem around Evelyn Hinrichsen's name, written by Cage for her 75th birthday. One autograph copy in Cage's hand and two typed copies signed by Cage. 8.5 x 11 inches, fine.

Walter Hinrichsen (1907–1969) was born in Germany and apprenticed with his father, Henri Hinrichsen, at C. F. Peters in Leipzig. In 1936, Walter left Germany and founded C. F. Peters Corporation, New York; his brother Max had founded Peters Edition in London some years earlier. In the post-war years in the United States, Hinrichsen and his wife Evelyn became important players in the world of contemporary music. In particular, their signing of the young John Cage to the publishing house established it as one of the leading publishers of avant-garde composers. Cage and the Hinrichsens maintained a lifelong friendship. (17491)

Classical Music