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College of Music / Quicklinks / Music Library / Special Collections / Personal Collections / Ernst von Dohnányi Collection

Ernst von Dohnányi Collection

Ernő Dohnányi (1877-1960)

Ernst von Dohnányi (also known in Hungarian as Ernő Dohnányi) taught piano and composition at FSU from 1949 until his death in 1960. Born 1877 in what is now Bratislava, Hungary, Dohnányi found early musical success with both his compositions and his exceptional work as a pianist. His first serious composition, his Piano Quintet in C, op. 1 was highly praised by Brahms. By the time he came to FSU in 1949, he had an international reputation without peer. He was described by the Miami Herald (7/27/1958) as the "last surviving representative of the romantic age of Brahms, Schumann and Wagner."

Dohnányi Symphony in E major (working MS)

The Warren D. Allen Music Library houses a substantial collection of documents related to Dr. Dohnányi. The collection includes a large collection of manuscripts, including a corrected copyist's manuscript of Dohnányi's (arguably) greatest choral work, Cantus Vitae, szimfonikus kantáta, op. 38, and the working manuscript of his Symphony in E major, op. 40 (pictured at right). Also included are scores from Dohnányi's personal library, more than 150 recordings on reel-to-reel, cassette, and LP, and a significant collection of scrapbooks, letters, photographs and other memorabilia. This is an extremely valuable collection with which the library is fortunate to be associated.

Dohnányi with his wife and family at home. Dohnányi's grandson, Christoph, in upper left

The materials do not appear in our online catalog. FSU alumnus Dr. James Grymes has cataloged much of this collection as well as those at the British Museum and elsewhere in his Ernst von Dohnányi: a bio-bibliography (SPEC ML134 .D55 G79 2001). We have also prepared electronic inventories of portions of the Dohnányi collection:

  • Books and Scrapbooks in the Dohnányi Collection: Dohnányi Books (40 kB)
  • Dohnányi's Scores and Manuscripts: Dohnányi Scores (68.4 kB)
  • Dohnányi's Recordings: Dohnányi Recordings (370.8 kB)
  • Ernő Dohnányi (right) with friend and FSU colleague Edward Kilenyi

    Miscellaneous Letters and Personal Communication in the Dohnányi Archives (partial list only): Dohnanyi Letters (38.12 kB)

These inventories do not represent the full extent of the collection, but we present them here to provide access to what portions of the collection we can.

Most of the collection is owned by descendents of Dohnányi, and is being stored in the Warren D. Allen Music Library on a long-term loan basis.

Dohnányi conducting at Ohio University

Those who are interested in doing research in the collection must secure permission in writing from the owners. For more information, including how to contact the Dohnányi descendents, please contact our Collection Development Librarian, Sara Nodine.