Sylvia Meyer papers

Sylvia Meyer papers

Dates: approximately 1930-2001

The collection contains letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, books, articles, concert programs, correspondence, and World Harp Congress harp publications collected by Sylvia Meyer throughout her career as a harpist. Approximate dates range from 1930 to 2001. The items are associated with the American Harp Society. It also contains directories, notes, and certificates regarding members of the American Harp Society.

  • Extent: 16 boxes (8 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Meyer, Sylvia, harpist
  • Call Number: MSS 7764
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; Music Special Collections; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84606;
  • Access Restrictions: Open to public research.
Languages and Scripts
Materials are in English.
The collection is arranged into six series: I. Sylvia Meyer personal papers, 1916-1997. II. American Harp Society records, 1956-1996. III. World Harp Congress publications, 1974-1997. IV. Sylvia Meyer collection on Salzedo Centennial, 1985-1998. V. Sylvia Meyer collection on the Ginaster Concerto, 1967-68. VI. Sylvia Meyer collection of harp journals, 1976-1998. The original order of the collection has been retained. Items in the series are spread throughout the collection.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Sylvia Meyer papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 7764; Sylvia Meyer papers; International Harp Archives; L. Tom Perry Special Collections; Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 7764, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by Sylvia Meyer in 1997.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Sylvia Meyer; 1997.
Subject Terms
American Harp Society; Meyer, Sylvia, harpist; World Harp Congress; Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Harpists--United States; Music
Genre / Form
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.); Letters; Photographs; Programs; Publications
Processing Information
Processed; Lynzi Phillips; March 2011.
Appraisal Information
Prominent Harpists (Section IV.a.i. International Harp Collection Development Policy, January 2011).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Meyer (Sylvia) papers
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Lynzi Phillips
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2011-12-07T14:03-0700
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Sylvia Meyer (1907-2005) was a prominent harpist of the 20th century. She studied under Carlos Salzedo and was the first female member of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Sylvia Meyer was born in Madison, Wisconsin, November 23, 1907. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Washington because of her father's job. Sylvia got her start on the harp when her mother, an antique collector, brought home a $2.50 harp that was rusting and was missing the base and pedals. Her parents thought it was important to play an instrument, and she started playing at age seven. She then began studying at a local conservatory in Washington and eventually went on to graduate from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. She was also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in geology. She studied with Carlos Salzedo at his summer school in Camden, Maine. Salzedo then recommended her to the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) where she became the first female member in 1933. Sylvia played with the orchestra for decades before losing a fingertip in a gardening accident with pruning shears. Because of the extended medical leave caused by this accident, she was replaced by Ann Hobson-Pilot and was forced into retirement. Sylvia was married to Oliver Gasch, a former judge on the U.S. District Court, until he died in 1999. Six years later, she died of pneumonia at Suburban Hospital on March 26, 2005. She was ninety-seven years old.

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Series I in MSS 7764

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David Day
Curator - Music Special Collections