Julia Klumpkey

Portrait of Julia Klumpkey

Julia Klumpkey (1870? Or 1875? -1961) "Lulu", violinist and composer, was a native of San Francisco. She attended the New England Conservatory of Music in 1894-1895, and received her diploma in violin performance in 1895.  While at NEC, Klumpkey studied violin with Emil Mahr and Herman Hartmann, and composition with Percy Goetschius.  In 1908, Klumpkey visited Iola Ingols in Honolulu and gave a recital there.  At some point in her career, perhaps between 1910-1922, Klumpkey taught violin at Converse College in South Carolina. Apparently, she taught there for some ten years as head of the violin department, and served as concertmaster for the Spartanburg Symphony Orchestra.

In 1922 and 1929-1930, Julia attended the Conservatoire Américain, where she studied violin with Maurice Hewitt and composition with Nadia Boulanger. Klumpkey also studied with other European masters including: Eugene Ysaye (Brussels), Leopold Auer(Dresden), William Henley(London), and A. Dieudonne.  In 1928, Klumpkey toured the world on a floating university, the highlight of which was seeing Gandhi in India. In the mid-1930s, Klumpkey and her sisters returned to the U. S. because of the threat of war.  Julia was apparently residing with Anna in Oakland, California in 1935, and attended the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, San Francisco in 1939. Klumpkey resided in her hometown of San Francisco from at least 1950 until her death in 1961. She is buried in San Francisco at the Neptune Society's Columbarium along with two of her sisters and her father.  In her will, Klumpkey left scholarships for the San Francisco Symphony and Converse College. 

In addition to her accomplishments, Julia had very talented siblings: Anna Elizabeth(1856-1942), portrait painter; Augusta (Dejirne), a doctor; Dorothea (Roberts) (1861-1942), astronomer; Mathilda (Dalton) ca.1892?-; and brother Willie, an engineer, who died during WWI of spinal meningitis.

Physical description

The Klumpkey Papers consist of two manuscript boxes.  The collection includes personal items (correspondence, certificates, concert programs etc), and music manuscripts of Julia Klumpkey, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in 1895. Published music originally with the collection has been separated out and individually cataloged and can be found by searching our online catalog. Classic Catalog


This collection was discovered among some used music at the San Francisco Conservatory by an NEC alumnus, David Reffkin.  These materials had been donated to the San Francisco Conservatory by Julia's grand-niece, Catherine Mueller (granddaughter of Julia's sister Mathilda). Reffkin organized these materials and donated them to NEC in January 1991. In November 2008, a copy of a Julia Klumpkey letter from 1933 was added to the collection with email documentation.


Access to the Julia Klumpkey Papers is through the permission of the NEC Archivist.  Appointments must be scheduled in advance. Published music originally with the collection has been separated out and individually cataloged and can be found by searching our online catalog. Classic Catalog


All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory. Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the NEC Archivist. This collection should be cited as: NECA 18.18. Julia Klumpkey Papers, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.

Scope & Content

The Julia Klumpkey Papers consist of two boxes of materials, mostly spanning the years 1895-1950s. The first box contains items of a personal nature including documents, letters, newspaper clippings, brochures, photographs and other miscellaneous items relating to Julia Klumpkey's life.  Through this portion of the collection, one can get a glimpse into the life of an extraordinary woman of her time, and also into her relationship with her equally talented sisters, particularly Anna. The recent correspondence concerning this collection is very helpful in putting together a biographical sketch, although somewhat incomplete, of Klumpkey's life. The majority of the papers, however, consist of Klumpkey's music manuscripts which are organized by genre and then alphabetically within each folder. Originally in this collection there was a group of published music as well. This music has been separated out and cataloged into the main library collection. A chronological list of the published works can be found at the end of this finding aid. More detailed information on individual pieces can be found in our online catalog. Classic Catalog

Container List

Box 1

Series 1 - Personal materials

Contains items of a personal nature which belonged to or were created by Julia

Envelope 1- Documents and certificates

This envelope contains only a few documents including Klumpkey's Certificates from the American Conservatory (Conservatoire Americain) in Paris (with the signatures of Nadia Boulanger and C.M. Widor), and a photocopy of a certificate from the California Composers Festival(part of the World's Fair, 1939).

Envelope 2- Photographs/Clippings

There are only four small photographs. Two of the four have been identified; one is of Dorothea Mathlide Tolle Klumpke (Julia's mother) and the other is Dorothea with Julia's sister Anna. There are a few newspaper clippings about Julia Klumpkey(which also refer to her sister, Anna) and a few other clippings about particular concerts, two about Igor Stravinsky, which Klumpkey had saved.

Envelope 3 - Personal correspondence

This envelope consists of several handwritten letters, most of which appear to be written to Julia Klumpkey or her sister Anna.  Many of them are in French, and one has a pressed flower with it.  Also included in this folder is a personal narrative written by Julia Klumpkey about her trip to India, where she met Gandhi.

Envelope 4 - Correspondence related to Julia Klumpkey and this collection

This envelope contains letters written between 1990-1993 including exchanges between David Reffkin and Ellen Pollak, from the NEC Alumni Office, and Henry Janiec from Converse College. There are also letters from Jean Morrow, NEC library director to Dr. Britta Dwyer. Also included is a listing of Klumpkey's compositions, and her record of courses at NEC.

Envelope 5 - Programs/brochures

Included here are a few programs of concerts given by Julia Klumpkey, including the recital she gave at the New England Conservatory in fulfillment of her degree in May 1895. There are also a few brochures publicizing Klumpkey's career, with a description of her background and various testimonials and press notices.

Envelope 6- Miscellaneous music related notes-dittos

This folder contains Julia Klumpkey's notes, some of which appear to be related to her compositions, and others for theory/composition instruction.  A group of typewritten notes was probably used for a class taught by Klumpkey.

Envelope 7 - Miscellaneous items

This series contains miscellaneous items such as two poems, presumably set to music by Klumpkey, place cards, a newsletter, envelopes sent or received by Julia Klumpkey, etc.

Series 2 - Music Manuscripts
Arranged into thirteen folders by genre, and within each folder arranged alphabetically.

Folder 1- Songs with varied accompaniments (1)

Among the Things
Candle lighting - words by Arthur Ketchum
Death is only an old door
Dusk at sea - words by Thomas S. Jones Jr
The Fairies - words by Rose Fyleman
The Fog-horn off San Francisco coast
I Sent my love - words by Constance Grosvenor Alexander
If there were dreams - words by Lilian Whiting
If you love me - words by Lilian Whiting
Lullabies - words by Patricia Walsh -- If any little word of mine -- A smile
May time - words by Isabel Kemsley

Folder 2 - Songs with varied accompaniments (2)

My garden - words by Thomas E. Brown
Only a voice - words by James L. McLane Jr.
Radio - words by Lilian Whiting
Remembrance - words Ethel Joslin Vernon
Ships that pass in the night - words by Longfellow             
A smile and a frown
A Song - words by James Whitcomb Riley
The Tide Rises- the tide falls - words by Longfellow
The Wind - words by C. G. Rossetti

Folder 3 - Songs with varied accompaniment(3) - Groups of Songs

I. Four little birds; II. When the Sun; III. In the Garden; IV. When I was little.

IV. It seems a little angel - words by Patricia Walsh; V. She is somewhere in the sunlight - words by Richard de le Gallienne.

Songs for children: I. Sing-Song - words by Christina Rossetti; II. Kookoo-wokoo; III. If the Moon; IV. The dog lies in the kennel; V. Lullaby - oh Lullaby.

Folder 4 - Songs with varied accompaniments (4)

The Flower Garden: 3 Dances and 2 songs for children
I., III., V.- Dances; II. Song - The Daisies- words by Frank Dempster Sherman; IV. Song - June -The Roses - words by Douglas Mallock.

Folder 5 - Violin and piano music

Interpretive dance in a Greek mode
Moods- clouds and breakers off the California coast
Tango "Ad Astra"
Variations I and II
3rd Sonate par Guillaime Gommaire Kennis

Folder 6 - Viola and piano music

Rayon de lune - Moonbeam ; II. In the Highlands; III. Nostalgia; IV. Canon
Suite for viola and piano (San Francisco Bay): I. The Foghorn; II. Rippling Waves; III. Sea gulls
Second Suite for viola and piano: I. Andante and Sicilienne; II. Minuet; III. Lamento; IV.Chant de Batalier (The Boatman's Song)

Box 2

Folder 1 - String Trio Music (1)

Four Trios for Strings: I. Andante con moto; II. Lullaby III. Miniature String Trio; IV. Allegretto - On the River
Ave Maria
String trio - Habanera
String trio
Trio for strings - Exercise

Folder 2 - Trios - Other Combinations

Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 for 2 violas and piano
First trio for violin, clarinet and piano
Second trio for violin, clarinet and piano ('Boatsong Trio')
Trio for piano, violin and cello

Folder 3 - String Quartet Music (1)

Allegretto for 2 violins, viola and cello
Rondo for String Quartet
String Quartet - I, II, III(Dirge), IV

Folder 4 - String Quartet Music (2)

Petite Suite for String Quartet in 5 movements

Folder 5 - String Quartet (3)

String Quartet or Trio
String Quartet III
String Quartet II (1st violin part)

Folder 6 - Choral Music

Benedictus - Vocal Quartet
Consecration - words by Lilian Whiting
He shall give his angels charge over thee - Anthem for vocal quartet and organ
I will praise thee (Psalm 138) - Anthem for mixed quartet and organ
Wait on the Lord (Psalm XXVII, Verse 14); The Lord is my light and my salvation (Psalm XXVII, Verse 1) - for mixed vocal quartet and organ

Folder 7 - Orchestral Music

Suite for small orchestra

Folder 8 - Miscellaneous manuscripts, notes, and proofs

Collo obbligato for Valse Fantaisiste
String Quartet
Ms. Proofs for Four Trios for String Quartet
Proofs of 'Moods' for violin and piano
Proof for Suite for Viola and Piano

Note: Originally in this collection there was a group of published music as well.  This music has been separated out and cataloged into the main library collection.  Here is a chronological list of the published works.. More detail on individual pieces can be found in our online catalog.

Title / year of publication / publisher

The Lord is my Shepherd / no date / Novello
He shall give his angels charge over thee / 1927 / Novello (2 copies)
Quatre Pieces / 1932 / Maurice Senart
Adagio / 1933 / Geo. Austin
Songs for Children / 1933 / Geo. Austin
Tango "Ad Astra" / 1933 / Geo. Austin
Three Songs / 1933 / Geo. Austin
Valse Fantaisiste / 1933 / Geo. Austin
Anthems / 1935 / Geo. Austin (3 copies)
Lullaby / 1937 / Wesley Webster
Moods / 1937 / Wesley Webster
The Spirit of the birch / 1938 / Wesley Webster
The Twin Guardians of the Golden Gate / 1939 / Wesley Webster
In Flanders Fields / 1940 / Wesley Webster
My Garden / 1940 / Wesley Webster
I Sent my love / 1946 / Wesley Webster
I Have Been Here Before / 1947 / Wesley Webster
Ships that pass in the night / 1947 / Wesley Webster
Four Pieces for string trio / 1949 / Wesley Webster
Suite for Viola and Piano / 1951 / Wesley Webster (2 copies)