The extensive collection of papers and letters of the late Henri Temianka, one of the 20th century’s foremost concert violinists and leading figures in classical music, have been donated to Chapman University. The items will be digitized, allowing access to students and historians worldwide.
“I am so touched and grateful to have this collection here at this great institution. This is a dream come true,” said Dr. Daniel Temianka, the musician’s son, speaking at a dedication ceremony for the Henri Temianka Archives at Chapman’s Leatherby Libraries.
The collection includes more than 1,500 items, from letters and concert notes to programs and photographs, gathered over Temianka’s long career. The conductor and virtuoso violinist founded the Paganini Quartet and the California Chamber Symphony, the first true chamber orchestra in Los Angeles. He performed more than 4,000 concerts, and his talents made him a global favorite as well as a hero of the Southern California music scene.
Students can see a portion of the collection firsthand by reserving the Henri Temianka Multimedia Study Room at Leatherby. The bookable room houses video displays and a timeline of Temianka’s life. Just outside the room is an interactive iPad exhibit where visitors can learn about the musician’s musical influence and career. The themed study rooms are a Leatherby hallmark.
“This is what we love about our bookable rooms. They inspire people to stretch and learn more about their world,” Charlene Baldwin, dean of Leatherby Libraries said during the room dedication.
The archives build on the Temianka legacy at Chapman. In 2014 a $2.25 million endowed music professorship and scholarship in his name was gifted to the University by Dr. Temianka and his wife, Zeinab Dabbah, M.D. (J.D. ’12). The family also donated an Albert Saparoff violin and bow to the University for exclusive use by a designated Temianka Scholar, and established the Temianka Violin Endowment in the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music.