Eugene A. Kurtz papers
New Search | Return to Search Results

Eugene A. Kurtz papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040.
Creator: Kurtz, Eugene, 1923-2006
Title: Eugene A. Kurtz papers
Dates: 1931-1988, undated
Quantity: 2.75 linear ft. (6 document boxes, 1 oversize box)
Identification: ahc.MSS129

Biographical/Historical Note

Eugene Allen Kurtz was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 27, 1923. His father was artist and Civil War historian Wilbur G. Kurtz, Sr. Eugene earned a Bachelor of Arts from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Rochester. He left his studies at the Eastman School in 1943 to serve in World War II, arriving in France in 1944 as part of the 104th Infantry Division and returning in 1947 to finish his education. He settled in Paris in 1952 to study at the Ecole Normale de Musique. There he began teaching and writing for orchestras and chamber ensembles and composing pieces for film, theater, television, and radio. He returned to the United States twice to work as a guest professor in Music Composition at the University of Michigan School of Music. In 1983, he was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship grant. He received commissions from the Musical Arts Association of Cleveland, Radio France, the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs, and the University of Michigan. He lived in Paris until his death on July 7, 2006.

Scope and Content Note

This collection includes correspondence, educational records, military records, and printed materials such as booklets, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and promotional materials for concerts. Correspondence makes up the majority of the collection and contains information on Eugene Kurtz's life beginning in 1941 when he entered college, his time in the military, and his life as a composer in Paris. Correspondents include his father and stepmother, Wilbur G. and Annie Pye Kurtz; his brother, Wilbur, and sister Annie Laurie; and other notable Atlantans including Dr. and Mrs. Thad Morrison (members of the Atlanta Music Club), Helen Knox and Frank Daniel (music editors for the Atlanta Journal, Pittman Corry (founder of the Southern Ballet of Atlanta), and Robert Shaw (conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra). Correspondence also includes letters from Olivia de Havilland regarding the death of Wilbur G. Kurtz. Other correspondence include the people he met and worked with in Paris including his teachers Max Deutsch, Arthur Honegger, and Darius Milhaud, as well as other musicians and those in the music industry. Much of his correspondence details opinions on his composition in the style of the Schoenberg School and having his music performed both on the stage and on radio, television, and in film. Kurtz also wrote autobiographies, resumes, and lecture notes which are contained in the collection. There are promotional materials, including posters and programs, for concerts where Kurtz's compositions were played as well as music scores and an audio record of one of Kurtz's works. Also included are school records comprised of letters, report cards, and loan notifications as well as military records that include letters from the War Department.


This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Index Terms

Atlanta Music Club (Atlanta, Ga.)
Coca-Cola Company
Composition (Music)
Composition (Music)--Competitions
De Havilland, Olivia
Deutsch, Max
Eastman School of Music.
Great Locomotive Chase (Motion picture)
Ives, Charles, 1874-1954
Kurtz, Annie Laurie
Kurtz, Wilbur G., (Wilbur George), 1882-1967
Kurtz, Wilbur, 1912-1991
Paris (France)
Shaw, Robert, 1916-1999
Southern Ballet of Atlanta.
University of Michigan. School of Music.
World War, 1939-1945--France

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

Audio recordings were made on a 33 1/3 rpm disc and can be made accessible only through conversion to digital audio. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Eugene A. Kurtz papers, MSS 129, James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1980

Description Control

Collection reprocessed in 2011.


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Related Material

All visual arts materials have been separated from the collection and are unprocessed. Please contact an archivist for access to these materials.

Container List




11Concert Promotions, 1941-1967
2Concert Promotions, 1968-1988



MSS OS 3.41Concert Promotions, 1983
3Correspondence, 1931January-1941October
4Correspondence, 1941November-1941December
5Correspondence, 1942 January-1942 February



21Correspondence, 1942 March-1942 December
2Correspondence, 1943 January-1943 July
3Correspondence, 1943 August-1943 September
4Correspondence, 1943 October-1943 December
5Correspondence, 1944 January-1944 February



31Correspondence, 1944 March-1944 April
2Correspondence, 1944 May-1944 December
3Correspondence, 1945 January-1945 March
4Correspondence, 1945 April-1945 September
5Correspondence, 1946-1947



41Correspondence, 1948-1950
2Correspondence, 1951-1952
3Correspondence, 1953-1955
4Correspondence, 1956-1957
5Correspondence, 1958-1959
6Correspondence, 1960



51Correspondence, 1961
2Correspondence, 1962-1963
3Correspondence, 1964-1965
4Correspondence, 1966



61Correspondence, 1967-1968
2Correspondence, 1969-1988
3Correspondence, undated
4Education Records, 1928-1949, undated
2Education Records, 1941
5Military Records, 1943-1947, undated
3Music Scores, 1965, 1966, 1968
6Newsletters and Booklets, 1940-1974
7Newspaper Clippings, 1941-1972, undated
8Personal Writing, Eugene Kurtz, 1952-1966, undated


AV 129.001.001Record, LP, The Chamber Symphony for the Fourth of July, 1958