George Steiner papers
Scope and Contents
The papers of George Steiner consist of materials that document Steiner's career as a musician, conductor, and educator. The collection dates from 1955 to 1994, with the bulk of the material dating between 1960 and 1985. It includes programs, program notes, clippings, lecture and teaching files, correspondence, music manuscript, minutes, surveys, press releases, and television scripts. Subjects include the George Washington University Music Department, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Washington Camerata Orchestra, The Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra, the National Association of Schools of Music, and Music Teachers National Association. This collection is minimally processed and may not be available for research. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
- Creation: 1955-1994
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1960 - 1985
- Steiner, George (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Some material may be restricted. Access to student records is governed by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student education records. Student records in this collection are closed for 100 years from date of record creation. Please see Special Collections staff for assistance.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
Biographical / Historical
George Steiner was a violinist, conductor, administrator, teacher, and founder of the George Washington University’s music department.
Born in Baltimore in 1918, Steiner began playing the violin at age 6, and gave his first public performance at age 7. At age 15 he conducted the Baltimore City College Orchestra. He earned a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music (1938) at the Johns Hopkins University, and a Master’s in Music from the Peabody Conservatory (1940). He served in the Navy during World War II as a radar officer in the Pacific, and returned to Washington, D.C. in 1949 as concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra.
During the 1950s, Steiner also acted as the concertmaster for the National Gallery Orchestra, pursued graduate studies in musicology at Catholic University, and taught classes at American University where he played in the school’s string quartet and conducted the university’s Chamber Music Society and Contemporary Music Symposium.
In 1960 Mr. Steiner was appointed to the faculty of the George Washington University where he founded the university’s music department. As chairman of the department, Steiner established undergraduate and graduate degree programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, hired music faculty, and secured space for the department in the University Academic Center. He also taught violin and music history, and conducted chamber ensembles. Mr. Steiner resigned as chairman of GWU’s music department in 1983, and in 1984 the Steiner Music Scholarship was established in his name. He was given emeritus status in 1988, and taught at the George Washington University until 2007.
George Steiner conducted many ensembles throughout his career. In 1966 he became the music director for the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Steiner also directed the Washington Camerata Orchestra and the Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra. He was a soloist and guest conductor with many orchestras, and he directed, produced, and performed in many television programs and movie soundtracks.
He received many honors throughout his lifetime including the National Symphony Orchestra's Special Citation for Distinguished Service to the Washington Music Community (1953), The Distinguished Alumnus Award from The Johns Hopkins University (1973) and the Distinguished Washington Educator Award (1987).
George Steiner died on December 29, 2008 at the age of 90.
12 Linear Feet (8 record cartons)
Language of Materials
George Steiner was a violinist, conductor, administrator, teacher, and founder of the George Washington University’s music department. The collection dates from 1955 to 1994, with the bulk of the material dating between 1960 and 1985. It includes programs, program notes, clippings, lecture and teaching files, correspondence, music manuscript, minutes, surveys, press releases, and television scripts. Subjects include the George Washington University Music Department, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Washington Camerata Orchestra, The Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra, the National Association of Schools of Music, and Music Teachers National Association.
This collection is unprocessed and is in the order in which it was received. Please contact Special Collections staff for assistance.
Materials may be stored off-site, and may require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Transferred by the George Washington University Department of Music, 2009 (2009.070).
- George Washington University. Dept. of Music (Organization)
- Preliminary Guide to the George Steiner papers, 1955-1994
- Folder Inventory
- Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English