Stanford University Libraries receives music collection of Jacques-Louis Monod

October 13, 2017
Jerry L McBride
Monod and his grandson (1998)

The Stanford University Libraries received a collection of documents and manuscripts from the conductor, pianist, composer, and music editor, Jacques-Louis Monod. He was born at Asnières-sur-Seine, France on 25 February 1927 and, as a child prodigy, began his education at the Paris Conservatory in 1935. He studied composition principally with René Leibowitz, who was a major influence on his work, and also with composers Olivier Messiaen, Bernard Wagenaar, Boris Blacher, and Josef Rufer.

He studied in conducting with Rudolf Thomas and Richard Franko Goldman. Throughout his career he championed the works of contemporary composers, especially those of the Second Viennese School and serial composers, and performed the premieres of works by composers including Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg, and Milton Babbitt. He was married from 1951 to 1956 to the soprano Bethany Beardslee, with whom he performed as a pianist and conductor in song recitals and concerts. From 1952 to 1982, he was the chief editor for Boelke Bomart (later Mobart Music Publishers), where he edited important works by Arnold Schoenberg, Milton Babbitt, Charles Ives, Arthur Berger, Elliott Carter and others. In 1975 he founded the Association for the Promotion of New Music to foster the publication and performance of American composers. Membership in the Association is by nomination. He also taught music at a number of institutions including Columbia University, the Juilliard School of Music, Princeton University, Harvard University, and the Sorbonne.

During his career he was in contact with major composers and performers, and his correspondence includes letters from Milton Babbitt, Arthur Berger, Elliott Carter, Hanns Eisler, Roberto Gerhard, Rudolf Kolisch, Ernst Krenek, René Leibowitz, Dmitri Mitropoulos, Luigi Nono, Michel Philippot, Arnold Schoenberg, Mátyás Seiber, Roger Sessions, Seymour Shifrin, Edward Steuermann, Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt, Egon Wellesz, Stefan Wolpe, and others.

In addition to letters, the collection contains musical analyses, editorial notes for music publications, musical scores (manuscript, facsimile manuscripts, and published), articles, reviews, and programs from Monod’s musical career and work as an editor at Boelke-Bomart. In 2016 and 2017, many manuscript scores of Monod’s own compositions were added to the collection dating from 1967 to the present, as he continues to compose new works.

A listing of the contents of the Monod Papers received through 2013 is available from the finding aid. The papers can be consulted at Special Collections.