Young Henri Temianka playing the violin.

Henri Temianka was a world renowned violinist, educator, conductor, and writer whose career spanned over 3,000 concerts worldwide and comprised over 100 published articles and books. Temianka founded the Paganini Quartet and the California Chamber Symphony, the first chamber orchestra in Los Angeles. Throughout his successful career, Temianka performed and trained with many of the world’s most influential musicians. In addition to working with them, he maintained constant communication with many. From the early 1920s until his passing, Temianka saved most of the letters he received. When he passed, his entire archive was given to his son, Daniel Temianka.

Dr. Daniel Temianka standing beside a bust of his father, Henri Temianka, during his visit to Chapman last fall.

Daniel Temianka has since donated the vast collection of over 3,000 letters, program flyers, photographs, ephemera, and memorabilia to the Chapman University Leatherby Libraries’ Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives. The collection delves into his many interests, including the effects of modern European history on musicians and artists, as well as the growth of classical music in Southern California on which Henri Temianka had a major influence. 

“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 during the dedication ceremony for the Henri Temianka Archives. I was lucky enough to meet Daniel Temianka during one of his visits to campus while he welcomed the Quartetto di Cremona, a string quartet who perform using the same instruments his father played, to campus. To read about that  visit, check out this blog from last year! 

Photos and letters on display in the Temianka study room.

Surrounded by the M. Douglas Library of Music on the third floor sits the Henri Temianka study room. Being in the room, I was able to see, firsthand, a portion of the collection that highlights key moments throughout Henri Temianka’s career as well as artifacts and papers. Just outside the room, an interactive iPad exhibit allows people to learn about Temianka’s career and influence.  

“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 in 2017. The best thing about the study rooms is that they surround the students in topics spanning all sorts of topics! The Temianka study room is built with music studies in mind. The room has built in speakers that allow students to immerse themselves in music as well as surround them with the life of Henri Temianka.

Since this is my last blog of the semester, I want to thank everyone who has kept up with my explorations of all the rich and interesting exhibits that the Leatherby Libraries has to offer. It has been a joy to share with you what this library holds. And there is so much more for us to explore together! I hope everyone has a happy holiday season and let’s continue this adventure during the Spring semester!