Robert Ward papers, 1910-2012 and undated
Navigate the Collection
- Ward, Robert, 1917-
- Robert Ward was a composer primarily of operas, instrumental works, and symphonic choral works. He won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera, The Crucible, which remains his best-known work. Ward served as Chancellor of the North Carolina School of the Arts and as a faculty member at Columbia and Duke Universities. His papers span from his time as a student at the Eastman School of Music in the 1930s to his final years composing in 2012. They include scores, music sketches, recordings, libretto drafts, correspondence, scrapbooks, research and information files, writings and speeches by and about Ward, as well as concert programs, newspaper clippings, photographs, awards, and other materials that document his professional life and work as a composer.
- 137 Linear Feet
- Collection ID:
- Scope and content:
The Robert Ward Papers have been divided into eight series: Biographical Materials, Correspondence, Operas, Instrumental Works, Vocal Works, Music Sketchbooks and Student Works, Music by Others, and Untitled Recordings. Biographical Materials consists of documents pertaining to Ward's work as a composer, including newspaper clippings, profiles, the composer's published writings and interviews, documents from the organizations with which he affiliated, events held in his honor, and certificates and awards he received. The Correspondence series primarily consists of professional communications between Robert Ward and several organizations. Ward's music has been divided into three series based on genre and arranged alphabetically by title of piece within each series: Operas, Instrumental Works, and Vocal Works. Materials for each composition may include scores, recordings, and publicity materials such as newspaper clippings, programs, and reviews. Music Sketchbooks and Student Works contains assorted untitled music sketches and sketchbooks by Ward, as well as manuscripts for some of his student works. Music by Others includes a variety of scores and recordings by other composers included in Ward's papers, the majority of which are recordings. Untitled Recordings comprises assorted media that contain no composition titles, although some recordings are labeled and dated as specific performances.
- Biographical / historical:
Robert Ward was a composer primarily of operas, instrumental works, and symphonic choral works. Born in 1917, Ward began composing as a student. He attended the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School in the 1930s and early 1940s before joining the United States Army during World War II. During the war he served as a band director, and was stationed in the Pacific. Following the war, Ward taught at Juilliard and Columbia, and continued composing and conducting. His second opera, The Crucible, based on Arthur Miller's play, premiered in 1961 and became his best-known work. He won the Pulitzer Prize in Music for the opera in 1962. Ward eventually left New York and served as Chancellor of the North Carolina School of the Arts from 1967-1975. He joined Duke University as the Mary Duke Biddle Professor of Music in 1979, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1987. He continued to live and compose in Durham, North Carolina until his death in 2013.
- Acquisition information:
- The Robert Ward Papers was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in 1998, 2001, 2003, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2018.
- Processing information:
Initially processed by Don Sechler, Arístides Llaneza, Eric Hanson, and other Rubenstein Library staff.
Processed in full by Paul Sommerfeld, May 2017.
Addition 2018-0046 processed by Laurin Penland, May 2018.
Accessions included in this finding aid: 1998-0196, 1998-0564, 2001-0105, 2003-0139, 2010-0123, 2010-0177, 2013-0014, 2018-0046.
- Physical location:
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Rules or conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
- Composers -- United States -- Correspondence
Composers -- United States
Columbia University -- Faculty
North Carolina School of the Arts -- Faculty
Duke University -- Faculty
Opera -- 20th century
Symphonies -- 20th century
Chamber music -- 20th century
Orchestral music -- 20th century
Choruses (Mixed voices), Unaccompanied
Overtures (Wind ensemble)
Concertos -- 20th century
Sacred songs (High voice) with orchestra
Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices) with organ
Brass band music -- Scores and parts
String quartets -- Scores and parts
Digital audio tapes
- Duke University. Department of Music
Ward, Robert, 1917-
Using These Materials
- Using These Materials Links:
Using These Materials
Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Contact Research Services for the production of listening or use copies.
The rest of the collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
- Terms of access:
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
- Before you visit:
- Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
- Preferred citation:
[Identification of item], Robert Ward Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.