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Ruth Kafka collection on Theodore M. Tobani

Abstract

Title:
Ruth Kafka collection on Theodore M. Tobani
Author/Creator:
Tobani, Theodore
Collection number:
15-147-ABA
Size:
2.75 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1890-1927
Inclusive dates:
1829-1933
Collection Area:
Special Collections in Performing Arts
Repository:
Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Contact the curator: http://www.lib.umd.edu/scpa/contact
Abstract:

Theodore Moses Tobani was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1855 and died in New York City in 1933. He was a prolific composer and arranger active in the late 19th and early 20th century. This collection was donated by his granddaughter, Ruth Kafka, and contains scores, magazine articles, membership certificates, and miscellaneous items related to Tobani.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

The collection is open for research use.

Preferred citation:

Ruth Kafka collection on Theodore M. Tobani, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/32947
Publication rights:

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Theodore Moses Tobani (2 May 1855 - 12 December 1933), born Theodore Moses, was a composer and arranger of popular music. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, to Josef Moses, a cigar manufacturer, and Marianne Wede. He began violin studies at the age of three. His family moved to the United States, where he attended the Rivington Street School in New York City, but they returned to Europe when Theodore began to show significant musical proficiency. He was a solo violinist with a touring European company by the time he was 10. Later, he was a member of the Hamburg Stadttheater orchestra and studied piano and harmony with Julius von Berntuh, conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic. 1971, the family returned to the United States and Tobani became first violin at Simpson's Theater in Philadelphia. From 1872 to 1874, he was first violin in the orchestra of Louisa Lane Drew's Arch Street Theater in Philadelphia. In 1875, he returned to New York City and played first violin at Wallack's Theater (later known as the Star Theater) until 1881. From 1881 until 1890, he played at the Grand Opera House and at the Bijou, Thalia, Daly's, and Palmer's theaters.

Tobani's compositions were first published by Lee and Walker in 1873. In 1882 he began his publishing relationship with Carl Fischer. He wrote an estimated 550 original works, including his most famous composition, "Hearts and Flowers," and made more than 4,500 arrangements. Tobani's publisher encouraged him to write songs under several pen names due to his prolificacy. Some of these pen names included Florence Reed, F. Wohanka, Andrew Herman, and variations of his own name. In 1895, he legally changed his name and added the surname Tobani.

Tobani was first married in 1885 to Rose Luster, with whom he had three children. After his split with Luster, he married Helene Kracht in 1890, with whom he had six children before her death in 1928. Aside from his musical career, he was also a licensed real estate agent and owned several properties in Long Island City, a neighborhood in Queens, New York. In 1933, Tobani died in his home in Jackson Heights, Queens and was buried at St. Michael's Cemetery in neighboring Astoria.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ruth Kafka collection on Theodore M. Tobani covers the period from 1829 to 1933; the bulk of the materials date from 1890 to 1927. The collection consists of both personal and professional papers, including collected scores, articles, memorabilia, and photographs related to Tobani's career as a composer.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift of Raoul F. Camus (Honorary ABA Member), acquired from Mrs. Ruth Kafka (granddaughter of Tobani) on November 27, 2012, and donated to SCPA on June 22, 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Mario Perez in June 2015

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by John Davis, October 2015

Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized into four series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Scores, undated (1.5 linear feet)

This series contains scores belonging to and written by Tobani. Also, a ring binder that contains typed manuscripts indexing Tobani's scores.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 2: Magazine Clippings, 1895-1927 (0.25 linear feet)

This series contains clippings from several magazine articles concerning Tobani, including photographs.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 3: Certificates of Memberships, 1890-1926 (0.25 linear feet)

This series contains certificates presented to Tobani from various groups and associations to which he belonged.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Series 4: Personal Items, 1829-1933 (0.75 linear feet)

This series contains assorted memorabilia and personal documents of people associated with Tobani or Kafka.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.

Subjects