Skip to main content

Richard Lert papers

Identifier: 0210

Scope and Content

This collection includes Richard Lert's personal papers, his annotated music score library and sound and video recordings of his lectures, performances and rehearsals. Please see the Scope and Content notes of individual series for more information.


  • 1900 - 1981


Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Richard Lert was born September 19, 1885, in Vienna, Austria. He trained as an orchestral conductor under Arthur Nikisch and began his career in Darmstadt, Germany, where he met and married his wife, Vicki Baum, in 1916. They had two sons. Lert held posts in Frankfurt, Kiel and Hannover before becoming the music director of the Berlin National Opera. Lert and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1932, where he became the music director of the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his work with the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra, Lert also conducted at the Hollywood Bowl. From 1957 on, he spent his summers at the American Symphony Orchestra League's training camps in Asilomar, California and Orkney Springs, Virginia. Lert passed away in Mountain View, California on April 25, 1980.


58.54 Linear Feet (71 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of Richard Lert’s video and audio recordings of performances, rehearsals and lectures, personal papers and his music score library. Lert was born in Vienna and trained as an orchestral conductor in Germany. He moved to the United States in 1932 with his family and was the conductor of the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra from 1932 until his retirement in 1972.


Collection is arranged into four series: Personal Papers, Music Scores, Sound Recordings and Video Recordings. Music scores are arranged alphabetically in the finding aid; however, their physical arrangement is largely determined by size. Please consult the finding aid for box information for specific scores.


The Richard Lert papers were donated to USC by Rice University's Fondren Library in 1998. The collection was donated to Rice University by Lert's son, Wolfgang Lert, in the early 1980s.

Separated Materials

The books donated as a part of the Richard Lert Papers were separated from the collection and transferred to USC's Rare Books Library, as were some of the oldest scores. There are cataloging sheets from Rice University that indicate the presence of more items than the collection currently consists of; it is unclear when (or where) those items were separated from the collection.

The accession files for the Richard Lert Papers contain the cataloging records created by Rice University upon its receipt of the Lert Collection as well Rice University's University's correspondence with researchers and Wolfgang Lert about the collection.



Finding Aid of the Richard Lert papers
Rebecca Hirsch
June 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States