Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Russell Stanger Papers, 1920-2008, undated | Music Special Collections

By Jessica Mirasol

Collection Overview

Title: Russell Stanger Papers, 1920-2008, undated

ID: 00.1/DCR MG 2

Primary Creator: Stanger, Russell (1924-2015)

Extent: 100.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement: This collection has been organized into the following series: Series I: Conducting: Scores, Parts, and Recordings; Series II: Original Compositions: Scores, Parts, and Recordings; Series III: Guest Conducting; Series IV: Programs and Publicity; Series V: Correspondence; Series VI: Virginia Symphony; Series VII: Music Lecture Notes; Series VIII: Personal Interest Files; and Series IX: Photographs and Scrapbooks.

Date Acquired: 08/00/1994. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Music--United States--20th century

Forms of Material: scores (documents for music)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains the personal papers of composer Russell Stanger.

Biographical Note

Russell Stanger was born on May 8, 1924 in Arlington, Massachusetts, the son of Herbert Theophilus and Millicent Caroline Stemler Stanger. When he was eight years old, Stanger began studying strings with violinist, Marguerite Estaver, in Newton Center (Massachusetts). At the age of twelve, he organized his first orchestra - of neighborhood children in Newton. After entering the New England Conservatory of Music, he continued his string studies with violinist, Harrison Keller, and violist, Georges Fourel, of the Boston Symphony. During World War II, from 1944 to 1947, he served in the United States Naval Reserve. On Nov. 21, 1970, he married the former Mildred ("Millie") Sheffield.

Stanger attended three summers at Tanglewood, in Lenox, Massachusetts. In 1952, he received a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. From 1950 to 1953, he was the director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, followed by three years at the Boston University Symphony Orchestra. In 1956, Russell Stanger was selected from 120 contestants as the winner of the Eugene Ormandy National Conductors Competition in Philadelphia. He organized the Boston Little Orchestra in 1958, and served as the assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1960 to 1962, under Leonard Bernstein. From 1964 to 1966, he was Associate Conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony (now the Minnesota Orchestra).

In 1966, Russell Stanger came to Virginia as the music director and conductor of the Norfolk Symphony (now the Virginia Symphony). He remained the director for fourteen seasons, and is currently conductor laureate. Since 1982, he has been the music director of the New York State Summer School of the Arts at Saratoga. For the last decade, he has made many conducting trips to Japan. In 1989, he was commissioned to compose a piece for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Mukogawa Gauquin, the largest Japanese women's university. He is the artistic advisor of the Miyazaki (Japan) Symphony Orchestra, and has conducted the Kyushu (Japan) Orchestra in the performance of two of his own works.

Maestro Stanger has served as a guest conductor with some of the leading North American and European orchestras. These include the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Canadian Broadcasting Company Symphony, National Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra, Bilbao (Spain) Symphony, Jalapa (Mexico) Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Reims, and Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire, Paris.

In addition to conducting, Stanger has composed several works, including "Buffoons; A Merry Overture" [1963]; "Childhood Images" [1968]; "Rock Opus" (for symphony orchestra and optional rock group) [1970]; "Episodes '76" [1976]; "Symphony No. 1, Op. 10" ("Kitakyushu") [1989]; "Commemorative Celebration" [1989]; and "Miyazaki, Op. 12" [1994].

Russell Stanger has received cultural citations in Philadelphia and Norfolk, and is a member of the music honorary societies, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Tri-M. In 1988, he was awarded "The Most Outstanding Artist of the Year" from the Dai Nippon Butoku-Kai (Japan), the world's oldest virtue and martial arts society. A recording he made with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London), and pianist, Earl Wild, was awarded the "Critic's Choice Award." He is listed in several biographical volumes, including Notable Americans of the Bicentennial Era, Who's Who in the East, International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory, Men of Achievement, Symphony Conductors of the USA, Music and Dance in the New England States, Virginia; A Pictorial History, and Norfolk's Waters; An Illustrated Maritime History of Hampton Roads.

Maestro Stanger was a long-time friend of F. Ludwig Diehn, and a promoter of his music. Diehn died in 1995, leaving a bequest that was to benefit Old Dominion University through the Norfolk Foundation. At that time it was the largest individual gift in the University's history. Russell Stanger was an advisor to the F. Ludwig Diehn Fund and the E.K. Sloane Fund, both of which fall under the purview of the Norfolk Foundation. Russell Stanger died in Norfolk on January 6, 2015.

Subject/Index Terms

Music--United States--20th century

Administrative Information

Repository: Music Special Collections

Accruals: A large addition was received in 2009.

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Physical Access Note: Original reel to reel recordings are not available for use.

Acquisition Source: Russell Stanger

Acquisition Method: Gift of Russell Stanger

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Russell Stanger Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

Processing Information: The Russell Stanger Papers were processed by Jessica Mirasol in 2009-2011.

Finding Aid Revision History: Major revisions to this finding aid occurred in 2010-2011 after new additions were processed.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Conducting: Scores, Parts, and Recordings, undated],
[Series II: Original Compositions: Scores, Parts, and Recordings, 1976-1998, undated],
[Series III: Guest Conducting, 1954-2008, undated],
[Series IV: Programs and Publicity, 1920-1998, undated],
[Series V: Correspondence, 1983-2004, undated],
[Series VI: Virginia Symphony, 1965-1990, undated],
[Series VII: Music Lecture Notes, 1970, undated],
[Series VIII: Personal Interest Files, 1924-2007, undated],
[Series IX: Photographs and Scrapbooks, undated],

Series VI: Virginia Symphony, 1965-1990, undated
Sub-Series 1: Papers, 1965-1980, undated
Box 184
Folder 1: Stanger Hiring, undated
Folder 2: Norfolk Symphony Association Call Record and Letter Log, undated
Folder 3: Pops Brochures, undated
Folder 4: Young People's Concerts, 1965-1966
Folder 5: Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, 1968
Folder 6: Fiftieth Anniversary Norfolk Symphony Article, 1969 October 12
Folder 7: Move to Chrysler Hall, 1973
Folder 8: Norfolk's Bicentennial Salute, 1976
Folder 9: Italy Tour, 1977-1978
Folder 10: Bach Festival "Bach at the Beach", 1978
Folder 11: Super Band, 1978-1979
Folder 12: Norfolk Symphony Reviews, 1978-1979
Folder 13: Norfolk Symphony Orchestra Becomes Virginia Philharmonic, 1979
Folder 14: Norfolk Symphony/Virginia Philharmonic Publicity, undated
Folder 15: Norfolk/Virginia Symphony, undated
Folder 16: Virginia Symphony Orchestra Programs, undated
Folder 17: Virginia Symphony Orchestra, undated
Folder 18: Table of Contents All Programs, 1975-1980
Folder 19: Promotional Materials, 1977-1979
Folder 20: Russell Stanger Final Season Performance Reviews, 1979
Folder 21: Resignation, 1979
Folder 22: Reviews, 1979
Folder 23: Schedule Book, 1979-1980
Folder 24: Virginia Philharmonic, 1979-1980
Folder 25: Harborfest, 1980
Folder 26: Mahler's Second Performance Review, 1980
Folder 27: Kennedy Center Performance Review, 1980
Sub-Series 2: Cassette Tapes, 1978-1990, undated
Box 185
Item 1: Virginia Philharmonic, 1980 May 12
Item 2: Virginia Symphony Mahler #2, 1980 May 12
Item 3: Demo of Sound Effects for Bicentennial Concert, undated
Item 4: John Sebastian Rock, undated
Item 5: Schubert: Symphony #3, Britten: Variations and Fugue on Purcell, undated
Item 6: Burta: Ode for Orchestra, undated
Item 7: Episodes '76 (Dramatic Oratorio) Part II, undated
Item 8: NSO Symphony Broadcast: Massaen/Sibelius/Himy Interview, 1978 March 7
Item 9: NSO (Norfolk Symphony Orchestra), 1978 November 14
Item 10: Poulenc: Organ Concerto, undated
Item 11: Virginia Philharmonic, 1980 April 21
Item 12: Outdoor Concert Harborfest, 1979
Item 13: Harborfest, 1980 May 25
Item 14: VSO (Virginia Symphony Orchestra), 1990 March 23
Item 15: Performances with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, undated
Item 16: Selected VSO Performances at Chrysler Hall, undated
Brahms, Academic Festival Overture; Liszt, Piano Concerto No. 2 (Jorge Bolet, pianist); Rachmaninoff, Three Folk Songs (with Christopher Newport College Chorus); Shostakovich, Cello Concerto No. 1 (Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist); Debussy, Prelude to "An Afternoon of a Faun"; R. Strauss, Til Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks; Stanger, Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra (Kim David Peoria, Bassoonist)
Item 17: Selected VSO Performances, undated
Item 18: Selected VSO Performances, undated
Item 19: Selected VSO Performances, undated
Item 20: Selected VSO Performances, undated
Item 21: Virginia Philharmonic, 1980 March 10
Sub-Series 3: VHS Tapes, 1980, undated
Box 185
Item 22: "Super Band", undated
Item 23: "Super Band", 1980 August

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Conducting: Scores, Parts, and Recordings, undated],
[Series II: Original Compositions: Scores, Parts, and Recordings, 1976-1998, undated],
[Series III: Guest Conducting, 1954-2008, undated],
[Series IV: Programs and Publicity, 1920-1998, undated],
[Series V: Correspondence, 1983-2004, undated],
[Series VI: Virginia Symphony, 1965-1990, undated],
[Series VII: Music Lecture Notes, 1970, undated],
[Series VIII: Personal Interest Files, 1924-2007, undated],
[Series IX: Photographs and Scrapbooks, undated],

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