Collection 008 - Julius Schloss Collection

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Julius Schloss Collection

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

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  • 1920-1973 (Creation)
    Schloss, Julius, 1902-1972

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Physical description

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Biographical history

Schloss was born in Saarlouis, Germany on 3 May 1902 and studied composition at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. He continued his education in Vienna under Alban Berg, for whom the young pupil emerged as a competent and trustworthy assistant, editor and friend. Schloss oversaw the editorial work on Berg’s opera Wozzeck and his Lyric Suite for string quartet. During this time, Schloss composed several significant works, including his first string quartet, a sonata for piano, and a requiem for chorus and percussion, for which he won the Emil-Hertzka Gedächtnis prize in 1933. By the late 1930s, Schloss’s Jewish heritage put him at great risk under the Hitler regime. After being briefly interned at the Dachau concentration camp in 1938, Schloss immigrated to Shanghai. In 1948, he left China for the United States, settling in Belleville, New Jersey and attaining citizenship in 1954. In spite of his European success, Schloss was unable to secure a teaching position or editorial work in his new homeland. While his works continued to be performed with support from long-time friend Karl Steiner, Schloss continued to compose until his death on 26 October 1973 at age 71.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Julius Schloss Collection consists of Julius Schloss’s complete portfolio of published and unpublished compositions, sketches, studies and analyses. In addition, it contains documentary artefacts, including correspondence, newspaper, magazine and journal clippings, concert and competition programs, media reviews, and photographs, that chronicle both the early life of this German-Jewish composer in Europe and his later days in exile in Shanghai and the United States.
The content of the collection pertains to several lines of historical research: First, Schloss’s close relationship with Alban Berg as a personal assistant and chief copy editor, as well as his interaction with other contemporaries in Vienna during the 1920s, may offer new insight in studies of the Second Viennese School. The items of Bergiana, including a handwritten Baudelaire poem by Berg which served as a “secret program” to the Lyric Suite and a selection of correspondence surrounding Berg’s last wishes for the Lyric Suite score, are particularly valuable. Second, Schloss’s ten-year exile in Shanghai, documented in assorted correspondence, programs, reviews and miscellaneous artefacts, may provide a new account of the Shanghai generation. Finally, the continuation of Schloss’s life in the United States as a struggling composer and teacher bears witness to the difficult conditions for the American émigré population after World War II.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Purchased 1972 by McGill University in an arrangement with Karl Steiner, a long-time friend of Julius Schloss. An additional collection of correspondence involving Alban Berg, Julius Schloss, Julius Schloss Collection – Finding Aid 2 of 31 and others was donated by Schloss to Hans Moldenhauer in the 1960s; it currently resides in Moldenhauer Archive of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. A final component of the Schloss Nachlass was sold Karl Steiner to the Musikverein in Vienna.


The Julius Schloss Collection is organised into seven series:
• Correspondence
• Compositions
• Studies & Analyses
• Concerts & Competitions
• Clippings
• Miscellaneous
• Photographs

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Collection material in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Mandarin.

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

The Julius Schloss 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.

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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No further accruals are expected.

General note

An index of the books and scores found in the Schloss library exists as a supplement to the find aid. A second supplement contains a bibliography of sources in current scholarship that pertain to Julius Schloss and his music.


The status of copyright on the materials of the Julius Schloss Collection is governed by the Copyright Law of Canada.

Preferred citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: container number, Julius Schloss Collection, Marvin Duchow Music Library, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montréal, Québec.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Prepared by Daniel Cooperman and edited by Cynthia A. Leive. Revision August 2010; updated and entered into AtoM by Geneviève Beaudry, May 2019.

Language of description

  • English

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