[Monteux, Pierre. (1875–1964)] Ormandy, Eugene. (1899–1985) & Zirato, Bruno. (1884–1972) & Bing, Rudolf. (1902–1997) & Willson, Meredith. (1902–1984) & Schippers, Thomas. (1930–1977)
Collection of Letters to the Family of Pierre Monteux
Interesting grouping of six letters by noted conductors and composers, most addressed to Doris, wife of conductor Pierre Monteux, and regarding her formation of the Pierre Monteux Memorial Foundation. Two typed letters signed are from Eugene Ormandy, one addressed to Monteux's daughter Nancy (December 5, 1940, 1 p. on personal stationary), the other to "Mrs. Pierre Monteux" (June of 1970, 1 p. on A4 Philadelphia Orchestra Association stationary). Three letters date to the months immediately following Monteux's death, including a touching autographed letter signed from Bruno Zirato (2 pp. on personal stationary, July 6, 1964) to Doris dated only five days after his passing, reading in part "[t]here is no 'pen' in this world that could ever write satisfactorily + adequately of our beloved maestro!," and a pair of TLS dated to early November in the same year, one from Rudolf Bing, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera (1 p. on Met stationary) and the other from Meredith Willson, composer of The Music Man, regarding sponsorship of the Pierre Monteux Memorial Foundation. Willson's letter (1 p. on personal stationary, with original transmissal envelope) reads in part "[y]our letter reawakened many warm memories of my San Francisco days when I was privileged to know you and the peerless Monteux." The final letter is a TLS (December 18, 1973; 1 p.) from prominent opera conductor Thomas Schippers. All in fine condition.
The great conductor Pierre Monteux was known for conducting the premiere of the Rite of Spring and for his tenures with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris, and the San Francisco Symphony. Pierre and Doris Monteux met in 1922, during Monteux's time with the BSO. Though he was married (to his second wife, Germaine) and she had two children from a previous marriage, their attraction was immediate. They became a couple, although they could not marry until Germaine granted Monteux a divorce, and Monteux legally adopted Doris' children. They remained devoted to each other for the rest of their lives, frequently traveling together and together founding the Pierre Monteux School for conductors in Doris' native Maine.