Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ennio Bolognini Joins the Cellists Represented in the UNCG Cello Music Collection

The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections &University Archives is pleased to announce the addition of Ennio Bolognini’s personal papers, photographs, and artifacts to the UNCG Cello Music Collection. Ennio Bolognini (1893-1979) was an Argentine-born cellist, composer, conductor, pilot, and professional boxer. Referred by Pablo Casals as “The greatest cello talent I ever heard in my life,” it is rumored that even Emmanuel Feuermann stated, “For my money, the world’s greatest cellist is not Casals, Piatigorsky, or myself, but Bolognini!”

Bolognini began studying cello performance with his father (Egidio Bolognini), completing his education with José García at the St. Celicia Conservatory in Buenos Aires. He debuted as a soloist at twelve years of age, winning the Luigi Rovatti cello (presently in thecollection of the Smithsonian) at an Ibero-American International competition. Bolognini was awarded an honorary doctorate of music by the University of Buenos Aires in 1921, and spent two years conducting in Chile before immigrating to the United States.
Caricature of Sammy Davis Jr. on manuscript music in the hand of
Ennio Bolognini

Bolognini moved to the States to serve as the sparring partner boxer Luis Firpo to prepare Firpo for his match with Jack Dempsey. Bolognini had been welter-weight champion of South America in the past. In addition to music and boxing, he was also an avid pilot, co-founding the Civil Air Patrol, the civilian auxiliary of the United State Air Force during World War II. Bolognini was responsible for training cadets to fly B-29 bombers. He was known to be extremely proud of his talent in flying, honored to be a member of the elite “Quiet Birdmen’ Pilots” organization.

Bolognini served as principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1929 to 1930, when a dispute made him quit the orchestra. After leaving, he enjoyed a successful career as a soloist in the night club scene, as well as performing in major music festivals such as Ravinia. In 1951, he moved to Las Vegas, performing in casino orchestras and founding the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra in 1963. Within the course of his career, Bolognini composed seven pieces for cello, six of which are dedicated to noted cellist Christine Walewska, one of his students.   

The Ennio Bolognini Collection is a small, but growing collection donated by his wife, Dorothy Barber Bolognini. Presently, it contains a few manuscript musical sketches, caricatures drawn by Bolognini, articles, concert programs, and photographs relating to his life and career. Ennio Bolognini is the thirteenth cellist represented within the UNCG Cello Music Collection. Consisting of the archival music collections of Luigi Silva, Elizabeth Cowling, Rudolf Matz, Maurice Eisenberg, János Scholz, Fritz Magg, Bernard Greenhouse, Laszlo Varga, Lev Aronson, Lubomir Georgiev, Marion Davies, and Douglas Moore, the Cello Music Collection at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro constitutes the largest single holding of cello music-related material worldwide.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Happy Founders Day, UNCG!

October 5th is the day we celebrate Founders Day and the opening of the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) in 1892. Here are some fun UNCG Founders Day trivia facts for you!

  • On October 12, 1909, the first official Founder's Day was dedicated to the memory of State Normal founder and President Charles Duncan McIver, who had passed away three years prior. Alumnae met in groups across the state, and students placed wreaths on his grave in Green Hill Cemetery. In a letter to alumnae, the Alumnae Association wrote, "We hope that such a day may help the students to understand and appreciate the life work of Dr. Charles D. McIver, the founder and first president of our college. This day will also help impress upon them their relation to the state. For the opportunities offered at a State's College they must as good and useful citizens give their best efforts and services to the state."
  • In 1911, the date of the event was moved to October 5th in celebration of the day in which classes first began at State Normal in 1892.
Wreath laying at McIver grave site in Green Hill Cemetery in 1939
  • In 1912, the McIver Statue was dedicated on Founder's Day. It originally stood in front of the McIver Memorial Building [site of the current McIver Building], but was moved to its current location in front of Jackson Library in the late 1950s.
  • In 1942, during the 50th anniversary celebration, the Litany of Commemoration for Founders Day by Josephine Hege was first introduced.
  • The 1948 Founder's Day ceremony was the first to be broadcast on the radio. Other programs throughout the 1950s were also carried and distributed statewide by local radio station WFMY.
  • 1955 is the first reference we can find in the archives to the Founder's Day ceremony being televised. L. Richardson Preyer delivered the annual Founder's Day address, and it was televised live on WUNC-TV.
  • 1955 is also the first year that a wreath was placed at the McIver statue. Previously, the wreath-laying ceremony was only at the McIver grave site in Green Hill Cemetery.
Wreath laying at McIver statue on campus in 1957
  • In 1958, the address given as part of the Founder's Day ceremony was officially named the McIver Lecture. Dr. Frank Porter Graham, first president of the UNC Consolidated System and, at the time, U.N. Representative for Pakistan and India, delivered the first McIver Lecture.
  • On Founder's Day in 1959, a cornerstone from the previous McIver Memorial Building (razed in 1958) was laid to start construction on the new (current) McIver Building.
  • In the early 1970s, Founder's Day was encompassed within a larger "Falderal" celebration. Falderal also included a campus-wide lunch, a soccer game, celebrations on the Quad, and fireworks.
  • The 1973 Founder's Day celebration featured a 48-foot long cake that weighed in at 900 pounds (300 pounds of icing alone!). There was also a hula hoop contest, a live band, and other activities.
Serving of the giant cake at Founder's Day in 1973
  • In 1977, the Alumni Association launched a McIver Conference, usually a two-day conference featuring lectures by faculty, alumni, and other scholars on art, architecture, and history.
  • Around 1980, the text for the programs and other references switch from "Founder's Day" (singular) to "Founders' Day" (plural). In University Archives, we have a copy of a program from Founders' Day in 1980 where an alumna circled the apostrophe and wrote "I thought this was a typographical error."
  • The McIver Medal was established by the UNCG Board of Trustees in 1983 to recognize "distinguished public service to the state or nation performed by a North Carolinian." It was first awarded in 1985 during the Founders' Day program.
  • 1989 is when the apostrophe was dropped and we went from "Founders' Day" to "Founders Day." All official references since have been apostrophe-free.
To learn more about UNCG history, be sure to read the Spartan Stories blog. A new story is published every Monday morning. You can subscribe via email or RSS feed on the blog site (located in the column on the right side of the page when viewing on a desktop browser).

Today is also #AskAnArchivist Day on Twitter, so be sure to follow us (@UNCGArchives) and send us your questions about UNCG history!

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Testimony through Music: The Compositions of Lev Aronson. Cellist, Teacher, and Holocaust Survivor

Lev Aronson is remembered as a distinguished cellist, teacher, and survivor of the Holocaust. Born February 7, 1912 in München Gladbach (now Mönchengladbach), Germany, the story of Aronson’s life and music serve as inspiration for countless students and fans, well beyond his death in 1988. With his family forced from their home in Latvia during World War I and losing five years of his life to the camps of World War II, Aronson endured one of the darkest times in human history, surviving these events to bring beauty to the world through music.

The exhibit “A Testimony through Music: The Compositions of Lev Aronson” conveys the story of his Aronson’s life through his sheet music, the collection of which is available for research at the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives at Jackson Library. This exhibit features several musical manuscripts, composed by Aronson, relating to his experiences in the Nazi and Russian labor camps. Included among these pieces are vocal works in Yiddish focused upon his experiences during the war, as well as two concert pieces for cello composed by Aronson and signed with his inmate identification number. The exhibit will be available for viewing from October 3rd, 2016 to March 31st, 2017.

Monday, September 26, 2016

War & Peace Imagined Celebrates Lev Aronson, featuring Internationally-Renowned Cellist, Lynn Harrell

University Libraries UNCG and the UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts is collaborating to make December 2016 a spectacular month for music fans. As many of you may know, the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives at #UNCG is home to the largest single holding of cello music-related materials in the world, and every few years, we celebrate one of the musicians represented in our collection. This year’s campus theme is "War & Peace Imagined," an exploration of war and peace through the arts and humanities. Therefore, it is most fitting that we celebrate the musical legacy of cellist, Lev Aronson.

Lev Aronson is remembered as a distinguished cellist, teacher, and survivor of the Holocaust. With his family forced from their home in Latvia during World War I and losing five years of his life to the camps of World War II, Aronson endured one of the darkest times in human history, surviving these events to bring beauty to the world through music. Among Aronson’s many students is internationally acclaimed cellist, Lynn Harrell.

We are sponsoring a concert (Dec. 2, 2016) and recital (Dec. 3, 2016) featuring Lynn Harrell. The information is available below and tickets are on sale now:

Ernest Bloch Hebraic Rhapsody for Solo Cello and Orchestra

When: Friday, December 2, 2016, 7:30 pm
Where: UNCG Auditorium

The UNCG Symphony Orchestra will accompany the world-renowned cellist as he performs Ernest Bloch's passionate and exotic work, Schelomo: Rhapsody for Solo Cello and Orchestra. Crafted in faith and misery, Schelomo premiered 100 years ago as part of Bloch's Jewish Cycle. This will be one piece in a larger concert from the UNCG Symphony.

UPAS: Lynn Harrell, recital

When: Saturday, December 3, 2016, 8:00 pm
Where: Recital Hall
Tickets: $30 adult/$25 student/ $25 senior
Lynn Harrell will complete his UNCG residency with this recital of virtuosic works including those of Lev Aronson, Mr. Harrell's cello teacher. Lev Aronson, himself a cellist and composer, was interned in both a Nazi Concentration Camp and a Russian Labor Camp. He eventually made it to the United States where he became the Principal Cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and a beloved teacher of many successful cellists.
Sonata in G major (edited by Lev Aronson), Henry Eccles

Cello Sonata in C major, op. 119, Sergei Prokofiev
Cello Sonata, Claude Debussy
Introduction, Theme and Variations, op. 82, no. 2 (arr. Gregor Piatigorsky), Franz Schubert
Cello Suite no. 3 in C major, BWV 1009, J.S. Bach 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hop into History!

On Thursday, September 15 from 5pm until 7pm, archivists from UNCG will be at Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Company in Downtown Greensboro to launch the new monthly "Hop into History
 series with an exhibit on the local civil rights landscape in the 1950s and 1960s.

Come see the typewriter used by one of the first African American students to enroll at UNCG in Fall 1956, a scrapbook created by Curly Harris (the manager of Woolworth’s during the 1960 sit ins), a flyer distributed by students leading a boycott of segregated businesses on Tate Street in 1963, materials from the Black Power Forum held at UNCG in November 1967, and more.

We’ll also have coloring pages for the kids and even some doggie treats for any visiting history hounds. HISTORY IS FOR EVERYONE! We hope you’ll join us for this great opportunity to learn more about your local history and archives while enjoying your favorite beer! Baconessence food truck will be at the taproom too, so you can plan to have your dinner as well!

For more information and updates, see the Hop into History Event page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/171257499949673/.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Learning from Medieval Manuscripts

On exhibit in the Hodges Reading room in Jackson Library

“Learning from Medieval Manuscripts”

The University Libraries is fortunate to have in its collections, “Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts.  Western Europe: XII-XVI Century”, a portfolio collection created by Otto F. Ege in the 1940’s, a professor of art history and dean of the Cleveland Institute of Art.  His intent through these portfolios was to provide opportunity for many to view and learn from these individual leaves. 

The selected leaves span through several centuries and across countries, taken from imperfect volumes from Otto Ege’s personal collection.  These manuscripts have provided the university community rare and special opportunities to view first hand historical documents that illustrate a time before mechanical printing was introduced. 

Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives  has made available these medieval manuscripts to university faculty and students through teaching opportunities and research.  Through the years the original storage has become less than perfect.  The preservation division was able to design and create new protective enclosures for these portfolio items to ensure their conservation for the future. 

The exhibit documents the construction of the new enclosures and provides a view of several of the leaves from the collections, presenting some interesting historical facts regarding the creation of medieval manuscripts.

-Audrey Sage

Monday, April 18, 2016

SCUA at Reunion Weekend: Welcoming back the Class of 1966!

On Friday, April 15 as part of the University's Reunion Weekend activities, staff of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives set up a large exhibit on University history and the University in the 1960s in the Pre-Function Room of the EUC Auditorium. Members of the Class of 1966 were able to reminisce while looking at photographs of former faculty members, gym suits, yearbooks, scrapbooks, and other items from their time on campus. Materials from members of the Class of 1966 who were veterans were also on display.