Julia Smith Collection (Music), 1920-1989
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Brief Description: The collection consists of approximately 67 boxes of music books, scores, correspondence, memorabilia, manuscripts, photographs, and recordings relating to the career of composer and University of North Texas alumna, Julia Smith (1905-1989), as well as Smith's handwritten transcriptions of more than a dozen scores by Aaron Copland.
Held at:
Music Library
Record Series Number: 06/021
Created by: Smith, Julia (1905-1989)
Volume: 67.0 Boxes
Acquired: 00/00/1989.
Biographical Note for Smith, Julia (1905-1989) : While some sources give Julia Smith's birth date as 1911, her birth certificate confirms a date of January 25, 1905 in Caldwell, Texas, to James Willis Smith and Julia Miller Smith of 1105 Mulberry Street in Denton, Texas. She took her first piano lesson from her mother, and later studied piano with Harold von Mickwitz of Dallas while she was a student at North Texas State Teachers' College.  Smith graduated in 1930 with a degree in English and went to New York to study piano performance at the Juilliard School of Music.  Her teacher, Carl Friedberg, encouraged her to pursue composition at the School.  Smith became a composition fellow and spent five more years at Juilliard studying with Rubin Goldmark and Frederick Jacobi. In 1938, Smith married architect Oscar Vielehr.  The following year, Smith's first opera, Cynthia Parker, received its premiere at her alma mater.  The opera was based on the legendary Texas abduction and recapture of its title character.  Cynthia Parker enjoyed a much-publicized premiere.  Smith's next opera, The Stranger of Manzano, was also premiered at NTSTC (1945).  She is best known for her six operas and biography of Aaron Copland (1955), and spent over fifty years as a composer, pianist, and advocate of American music. Smith's date of death is recorded as April 18 or April 27, 1989, with her gravestone displaying the latter date.
Access Restrictions: Access to this collection is provided only by special arrangement. Please contact the Music Library for more information.
Subject Index
Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990
Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
Parker, Cynthia Ann, 1827?-1864
Smith, Julia, 1905-1989
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Music Library. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Physical Access Notes: Collection is housed in remote storage and in the UNT Music Library. Advance notice for use is required. Please contact the Music Library for further information.
Acquisition Notes: Gift
Related Materials: See also: the Carl Friedberg Collection in the UNT Music Library.
Finding Aid Revisions:

This finding aid was initially compiled by Katie Buehner, and adapted for this finding aid platform by Maristella Feustle.

Item-level description added in Series 18 on January 22, 2019.