Violinist Louis Krasner, born on June 21, 1903 in Cherkassy, Ukraine, was brought to the USA at the age of five. Krasner graduated in 1922 from the New England Conservatory, where he studied the violin with Eugene Gruenberg and composition with Frederick Converse. Further studies in Europe, under Flesch, Lucien Capet and Ševcík, led to an active concert career there and in the USA, during which he became closely identified with 20th-century music.

In 1934 he commissioned Berg’s violin concerto and gave its première at the 1936 ISCM Festival in Barcelona, and that of Schoenberg’s concerto in Philadelphia in 1940; both concertos were also first recorded by Krasner. His other first performances included concertos by Casella (1928, Boston) and Sessions (1946, Minneapolis), as well as shorter works by Cowell and Harris. Krasner became the concertmaster of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra under Mitropoulos (1944–9), and then moved to Syracuse University, where he taught the violin and chamber music until 1972. In 1976 he joined the faculties of the Berkshire Music Center, as well as New England Conservatory where he taught for the remainder of his life. Krasner died in Boston on May 4, 1995. 

Physical description

This collection consists of one clamshell box (15 folders) containing solely paper files.


This collection was given to the NEC library by Krasner himself in the early 1990s. In 1992, Krasner also donated several hundred published scores of violin and chamber music that he had acquired while at Syracuse University. For an itemized list of this published music, click here


Access to the Krasner Collection is granted by the Archivist or Director of
Libraries. Appointments must be scheduled in advance. There are no restrictions pertaining to this collection.


All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory.
Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Director of Libraries. This collection should be cited as the Louis Krasner Collection,. New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.