The compositions of late IU Musicology Professor Walter Kaufmann have been subject of renewed interest from performers, publishers and audiences. Some of his works have been recently recorded by ARC Ensemble (CHANDOS). Now Doblinger Musikverlag is embarking on a project to publish his large compositions, many of which remain in manuscript at the Walter Kaufmann Archives at IU’s Cook Music Library.
Walter Kaufmann (1907-1984), hailing from Karlsbad, studied music in Berlin with Franz Schreker and Curt Sachs, and later under Gustav Becking and Paul Nettl in Prague. Not long after having completed his dissertation on Gustav Mahler, Kaufmann was forced to seek refuge from Nazi persecution in Bombay, where he worked as a director of music at the All India Radio from 1937 to 1946. After a year in England as a guest conductor at the BBC, Kaufmann accepted a position as a professor of piano and composition at the Halifax Conservatory of Music in 1947. Kaufmann married pianist Freda Trepel, his frequent musical collaborator in 1951. In 1957, Walter and Freda moved permanently to Bloomington, IN, where Kaufmann served as Professor of Musicology at Indiana University from 1957 to 1977. During his career at IU, he continued to compose and his works were often performed by musicians from the School of Music, including his opera The Scarlet Letter.
Professor Kaufmann remained an active member of the Musicology Department until his death in 1984. His scores can be found in The Kaufmann Archive at the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at Indiana University, in Harvard University’s Houghton Library, and in the Moldenhauer Archives in Spokane, Washington.