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Minas Christian Papers


Minas Christian Papers
Christian, Minas
Collection number:
1 linear foot
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
Special Collections in Performing Arts
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:

A conductor and violinist, Minas Christian (1921-1989) served as the conductor and music director of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra in Evansville, IN from 1953 to 1979. During his tenure he helped create many of the orchestras programs and organizations, including county and Tri-State youth concerts, the Evansville Chorus, pop concerts, the Philharmonic Guild, and the orchestras first subscription series. In addition, he made guest appearances both as a conductor and as a performer with many international orchestras. The collection consists of correspondence, most notably with Aaron Copland, documents concerning the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, one published pamphlet, manuscript scores and photographs documenting his musical career.

Important Information for Users of the Collection


There are no restricted files in this collection.

Preferred citation:

Minas Christian Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

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Publication rights:

Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please make an appointment with the curator: Vincent J. Novara Tel: 301.405.9220, Email:


This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Minas Christian (1921 1989) was an American violinist and conductor of Greek parentage. He began his career as a child prodigy at the age of 10 in Wichita, Kansas, just two years after beginning the violin, and made his debut with the London Symphony. He went on to study at the University of Michigan, the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, and Julliard School of Music in New York. After serving as a 1st Lieutenant with the Army Medical Corps during WWII, he became the conductor of the University of Arkansas Symphony.

Christian conducted the Evansville (Indiana) Philharmonic Orchestra from 1953 through 1979 and served as the first full time conductor and music director. Christian also helped to launch the Philharmonic Guild and began a series of concerts for young people, recognizing the importance of music education for young children. Christian left the orchestra in 1979 under circumstances which divided the organization and surrounding community.

Throughout his tenure with the Evansville Philharmonic, Christian made guest appearances with other orchestras around the world, including the National Broadcasting Orchestra of Greece and the Cape Town Orchestra in South Africa, as well as in Canada and Europe. Upon ending his tenure with the Evansville Philharmonic he moved to Virginia to pursue real-estate investments. Christian passed away on May 12, 1989 at the age of 68. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Caniff Christian, as well as two children and two stepchildren.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Minas Christian Papers contain letters, newspaper clippings, documents concerning the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, one published pamphlet, manuscript scores and photographs documenting parts of the musical career of Minas Christian. The collection spans the years 1953 through 1978. Manuscript highlights of the collection are three signed typed letters from Aaron Copland and two manuscript scores by Thurlow Lieurance.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Gift of Barbara Christian (widow) of Arlington, VA, September 1989.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Bonnie Jo Dopp

Encoded by:

EAD markup completed by Amanda May, August 2013.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Letters, 1958-1974 (3 folders)

This series contains correspondence to and from Christian, including correspondence between Christian and Homer Papastefanou (both in English and in Greek), Aaron Copland, and Andreas Makris.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Correspondence (fourteen letters) in Greek and English between Christian and Homor Papastefanou, filed chronologically, 1958-1959 series 1box 1folder 1
Three typed, signed letters from Aaron Copland, 1971 series 1box 1folder 2
Correspondence (six letters) between Christian and Andreas Makris, 1974 series 1box 1folder 3

Series 2: Evansville Philharmonic Documents, 1953-1978 and undated (6 folders)

This series contains official documents and personal notations related to the Evansville Philharmonic, including the organizations By-laws, repertoire list, a list of soloists, and personal notes.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
By-Laws, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestral Corporation, 1975-1976 series 2box 1folder 4
Repertoire List, 1953-1978 series 2box 1folder 5
Soloists with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, 1953-1978 series 2box 1folder 6
Gerald Fishbach articles and reviews- copies (EPO soloist), 1970-1972 series 2box 1folder 7
Sidney Harth publicity brochure (EPO soloist), undated series 2box 1folder 8
[Notes] Ives Symphony No. 2 cuts, undated series 2box 1folder 9

Series 3: Press Reviews, 1958-1964 and undated (5 folders)

This series contains excerpts of press reviews related to shows Minas Christian conducted, as well as newspaper clippings in Greek, English, and Afrikaans.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Excerpts of press reviews, 1958-1959 series 3box 1folder 10
Excerpts of press reviews, 1960-1961 series 3box 1folder 11
Evansville Philharmonic Press Reviews (two newspaper clippings), undated series 3box 1folder 12
Two Gina Bachauer newspaper clippings, February 24, 1964 and undated series 3box 1folder 13
Newspaper clippings in English, Afrikaans and Greek: articles about Christians guest appearances, 1958-1964 series 3box 1folder 14

Series 4: Articles on Minas Christian, 1977-1978 (2 folders)

This series contains two full articles related to performance conducted by Minas Christian.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Maestro: Fine music really turns on our conductor, The Sunday Look, September 25, 1977 series 4box 1folder 15
Man who pulls the music together, On the Go!, December 21, 1978 series 4box 1folder 16

Series 5: Study of Legal Documents of Symphony Orchestras, 1958 (1 folder)

This series contains Study of Legal Documents of Symphony Orchestras, published by the American Symphony Orchestra League, Inc. and signed by Christian.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Study of Legal Documents of Symphony Orchestras, 1958 series 5box 1folder 17

Series 6: Manuscript Scores by Thurlow Lieurance, 1950 and undated (2 folders)

This series contains two handwritten manuscript scores for violin and piano composed by Thurlow Lieurance, an American composer, and including a note addressed to Minas Christian.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Lullaby, 1950 series 6box 1folder 18
Silhouette No. I, undated series 6box 1folder 19

Series 7: Photographs, 1947-1969 (.50 linear feet)

This series contains 30 photographs, primarily studio portraits of soloists who appeared on programs conducted by Christian. Many photographs include signed messages to Christian from soloists.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / FrameItem
Photographs, 1947-1969 and undated series 7box 2folder 1
Pierre Monteux- To Minas Christian one of my most faithful pupils very cordially, Pierre Monteux (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 1.0
Nicanor Zabaleta, harpist- Pour Minas Christian [In French, illegible], Nicanor Zabaleta (January 22, 1963) series 7box 2folder 1item 2.0
Walter Fredericks, tenor- To Maestro Christian- With sincere gratitude, Walter Frederick Samson" (1957) series 7box 2folder 1item 3.0
Mary Costa, soprano- unsigned, includes newspaper clipping (1963) series 7box 2folder 1item 4.0
Henryk Szeryng, violinist- To Minas Christian, in deep and sincere appreciation, Henryk Szeryng (February 20, 1961) series 7box 2folder 1item 5.0
Joseph Fuchs, violinist- Front: To Minas Christian with pleasant Remembrances and best wishes, Sincerely, Joseph Fuchs, Nov. 7th, 1947; Back: Minas Christian/ 5332 E. Central/ Wichita 6 Kansas (November 7, 1947) series 7box 2folder 1item 6.0
Janos Starker, cello- To Minas, with sincere good wishes, Janos Starker (1956) series 7box 2folder 1item 7.0
Leonard Pennario, pianist- To Minas- a marvelous conductor. In happy remembrance, Leonard P. (1960) series 7box 2folder 1item 8.0
Gloria Jane, mezzo soprano- To Minas Christian, a very wonderful conductor and a wonderful person, Sincerely, Gloria Jane" (1956) series 7box 2folder 1item 9.0
Toshiya Eto, violin- To my dear Minas with most cordial greetings, Toshiya Eto, No. 20, 1962) [also some writing in Japanese] (1962) series 7box 2folder 1item 10.0
Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra- Minas Christian conducting, taken in Evansville, IN (March 8, 1969) series 7box 2folder 1item 11.0
Mary Costa, soprano- To Maestro Minas It has been one of my greatest pleasures making music with you. Finest wishes always and continued success, Mary Costa" (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 12.0
Front: Irene Jordan, soprano; Back: Three Men- Minas Christian on far right (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 13.0
Ruggerio Ricci, violinist- For Minas Christian, it was a great pleasure to play with you. Rugerio Ricci" (1963) series 7box 2folder 1item 14.0
Lily Pons, soprano- To Minas Christian. To a happy future for the Evansville Orchestra, Lily Pons" (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 15.0
Front: Eva Likova, soprano; Back: Thurlow Lieurance, composer "To my friend Minas" (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 16.0
Front: Raya Garbousova, cellist- To my friend Minas Christian with great admiration, Raya Garbousova Evansville (February 28, 1955) series 7box 2folder 1item 17.0
Leslie Parnas, American cellist, Prize Winner- International Tchaikowsky Competition, Moscow, 1962- To M. Christian with warm wishes and thanks for wonderful accompaniment, Leslie Parnas" (1962) series 7box 2folder 1item 18.0
Elanor Steber, soprano- To Minas Christian with outstanding memories of a marvelous conductor and orchestra. Devotedly, Elanor Steber (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 19.0
Leonard Rose, cellist- To Minas Christian with sincere appreciation of his fine talents and gratitude for Schelomo & Rococo, Leonard Rose April 10, 1961 (April 10, 1961) series 7box 2folder 1item 20.0
Jerome Hines, bass- To Minas Christian, to a wonderful man and a great conductor, your friend, Jerry Hines" (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 21.0
Joseph Szigeti, violinist- To Minas Christian in Remembrance of happy collaboration! Joseph Szigeti 1953 (1953) series 7box 2folder 1item 22.0
Mario Braggioti, pianist- To Minas Christian with sincere admiration, Mario Braggioti" (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 23.0
Two pictures, both signed by Jan Peerce (1954) series 7box 2folder 1item 24.0
Erica Morini, violinist- To Minas Christian with appreciation, Erica Morini 1959, back: for Minas (1959) series 7box 2folder 1item 25.0
Aaron Rosand, violinist- To my good friend Minas with thanks for a fine Sibelius. All the best, Aaron Dec. 5, 1955 (December 5, 1955) series 7box 2folder 1item 26.0
Shirley Verrett, mezzo-soprano- To Maestro Christian, Many thanks for bringing me to Evansville, Sincerely, Shirley" (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 27.0
Victoria de los Angeles- To Mr. Minas Christian with warmest thanks and friendship, Victoria de los Angeles 1964 (1964) series 7box 2folder 1item 28.0
Ferrante & Teicher, duo-pianists- To Minas, We had a wonderful time. Lets do it again soon. The only 3 headed 2 piano team, Louis & Arthur" (undated) series 7box 2folder 1item 29.0
Alexander Brailowsky, pianist- To Minas Christian, in remembrance for our artistic collaboration, A. Brailowsky, (1956) series 7box 2folder 1item 30.0

Related Material

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