Collection 001 - Charles Reiner Collection

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Charles Reiner Collection

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the name of the creator

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Biographical history

Charles Reiner came to Canada in 1951 as part of the Jewish diaspora caused by persecution in his native Hungary. Before he left Europe, he was interned at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria from 1944–1945. Afterwards, he returned to Hungary where he attended the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, studying with Arpad Hanak, Arnold Szekely, and Bela Böszörmenyi-Nagy. He won the International Compeition for Music Performers in Geneva in 1947 and was awarded the first prize for virtuosity by the Geneva Conservatory the following year. After he came to Canada, Reiner established himself as a successful concert artist and educator. He was particularly adept at collaboration, performing with Hymen Bress, Maureen Forrester, Antonio Janigro, Arthur LeBlanc, Igor Oistrakh, Ruggiero Ricci, Henryk Szeryng, and Richard Verreau, among many others. He was a professor at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for 40 years.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Charles Reiner Collection consists of correspondence, newspaper reviews and clippings, performance programmes, personal documents including legal material, photographs, writings, published and unpublished music by Reiner and other composers, audio and visual recordings of Reiner and other performers, books, and awards. Of particular interest is correspondence from Rudolf Serkin, Alfred Cortot, and Kurt Waldheim; legal documents from both before and after Reiner’s immigration to Canada; and the extensive collection of programmes and newspaper clippings that document Reiner’s extensive performance career.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift; Charles Reiner estate; 2009


The Charles Reiner Collection is organised into five series:

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

Collection material in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, and Hungarian

Location of originals

Sound recordings and moving images were transferred to the Marvin Duchow Music Library, Audio/Visual Division.

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Certain folders contains personal information and their access is restricted by the Privacy Act.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

The Charles Reiner Collection is open to research. Researchers are advised to contact the Marvin Duchow Music Library prior to visiting.Certain restrictions to use or copying of materials may apply.

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No further accruals are expected.

Preferred citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: container number, Charles Reiner Collection, Marvin Duchow Music Library, McGill University, Montréal, Québec.


The status of copyright on the materials of the Charles Reiner Collection is governed by the Copyright Law of Canada.

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Prepared by Elliott Cairns and edited by Cynthia A. Leive. Revision July 2010; updated and entered into AtoM by Geneviève Beaudry, May 2019.

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  • English

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