Richard Ralf papers
Scope and Content
The collection includes musical scores composed by Ralf; audio recordings of his music; correspondence related to his work; photographs of Ralf conducting; and article clippings, programs and reviews related to his productions.
- circa 1930s-1974
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.
Conditions Governing Use
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Richard Ralf was a German composer born in Karlsruhe, Germany on September 30, 1897. He showed interest in music at an early age and his older sister gave him his first piano lesson when he was six years old. Ralf's father, a singer and a choir master at the Court-Opera in Karlsruhe, took over his instruction and concentrated his studies on accompaniment and sight reading. By the age of 17, Ralf was already a professional musician and earned his first job as a coach and accompanist at a small city theater. Soon after, Ralf was awarded a scholarship by the Archduke of Mecklenburg which enabled Ralf to study in Berlin at the master classes of the Scharwenka Conservatory. However, with the outbreak of World War I, Ralf was forced to give up his studies. He spent three years in the army and suffered from severe shell shock while serving at the French front. Following the war and his recovery, Ralf resumed his studies in composition and studied with Professor Hugo Kaun. After his graduation, he stayed in Berlin and enjoyed much success in all fields of music. He created musical scores for a large number of movies, served as a composer for radio and television, and performed as a permanent conductor and advisor for large theaters and publishing concerns. In 1946, he moved to the United States where he eventually settled in Los Angeles. Ralf's music followed the florid and emotional trend of post-Wagnerian Romanticism. Among his compositions were Transcendental Ballet (1921), Violin Sonata (1923), String Quartet (1924), Violin Concerto (1925), Brothers Arise Cantata (1959), and Symphonic Songs for Mezzo-soprano and Orchestra.(1968). Ralf died in Los Angeles on June 22, 1977.
21.58 Linear Feet (22 boxes)
The collection is organized into the following series: 1. Scores; 2. Audio Recordings; 3. Correspondence; 4. Photographs; 5. Printed Materials
The collection was given to the University of Southern California on March 2, 1983.
- The Finding Aid of the Richard Ralf papers
- Katie Richardson and Carina Lin
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the Council on Library and Information Resources.
Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States