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Carlos Salzedo collection

Identifier: MP-0013-01


Carlos Salzédo (1885-1961) was a French-born harpist, teacher, and composer, who performed with the Metropolitan Opera and founded Trio de Lutéce as well as the Salzédo Harp Ensemble. The collection consists of his own published compositions, annotated scores and arrangements by other composers, and issues of the Eolian Review, for which he served as editor.


  • 1916-1960



4.8 Cubic Feet (2 sets containing a total of 29 volumes, housed within 6 boxes)

Language of Materials




Scope and Content of Collection

This is the personal collection of Carlos Salzédo. It contains his own published compositions, including studies. Annotated scores and arrangements of pieces from different composers and issues of the Eolian Review are also included.

It contains published works by European and American publishing houses with annotations and personal notes by the composer. Salzédo's annotations include those on works by Debussy, Widor, Handel, Caplet, Faure, Freed, Forst, Britten, Berlioz, Goossens, Tournier, C.P.E. Bach, Miller, Saint Saens, Ravel, Hindemith, Damase, Haydn, Massenet, Mozart, Inghelbrecht, Pierne, and Villa-Lobos.

Access Restrictions

Originals have restricted access. Access copies are photocopies of originals.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Biographical Note

Carlos Salzédo (born 1885, Arcachon, France - died 1961, Waterville, Maine) was a renowned harpist, composer, and teacher, who was considered the foremost musician/composer for the harp of his generation. Salzédo was born in France of Basque descent, studied music at the Paris Conservatory, where he graduated in 1901 with first prizes in both harp and piano, and became a citizen of the United States in 1923. In 1909, he became the principal harpist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under conductor Arturo Toscanini, and remained with the Orchestra until 1913. Salzédo then formed an ensemble called the Trio de Lutèce, which toured the United States and Europe. He formed the Salzédo Harp Ensemble in 1917.

In 1921, Salzédo co-founded the International Composers Society with Edgard Varèse, a fellow French-born American composer. Salzédo also wrote several works for the harp, including his Sonata for Harp and Piano (1925) and his Concerto No. 1 for Harp and Seven Winds (1925-1926). His works are notable for their virtuosic technical demands and innovative ideas, influenced by French impressionism.

In 1928, Salzédo married his second wife, Lucile Lawrence, who was also his long-time student. The couple divorced eight years later, but they remained friends and musical collaborators. Lawrence became a noted harp soloist, and was a member of the harp faculty of Mannes School of Music from 1942 to 2000. She and Salzédo co-authored several books on harp technique, including Method for the Harp (1929), and The Art of Modulating (1950).

Salzédo taught at The Juilliard School, and at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he established the harp department in 1924. He also established the Salzédo Harp Colony in Waterville, Maine, in 1931, as a summer school for harp students and teachers. Salzédo continued to teach at Juilliard and Curtis in winter and at the Harp Colony in summer, and his last performance in New York was in 1959, two years before his death in Maine at the age of 76.


Batt Archambo Wiest, Shelley. “Salzédo [Salzedo; Salcedo], Carlos (Léon).” In Grove Music Online. Accessed February 5, 2021.

“Carlos Salzedo, Harpist, 76, Dead.” The New York Times, August 18, 1961.

Course Catalogs. “Mannes College of Music.” College of Performing Arts Course Catalog Collection. 1942-2000. The New School Archives Digital Collections, New York, New York.

Fifield, Christopher. “Salzedo [Salzédo, Salcedo], Carlos (Léon).” The Oxford Companion to Music, edited by Alison Latham. Accessed February 5, 2021. “Heart-Strings and Harp-Strings.” The Minneapolis Morning Tribune, July 28, 1929: 68.

Pfeifer, Ellen. “Students, Colleagues Honor ‘Miss Lawrence.’” Boston Globe, October 11, 2000.

“Salzedo Centennial Fund.” American Harp Society. Accessed February 5, 2021.

Staff, Rovi. “Carlos Salzédo.” Accessed February 5, 2021.


Collection is organized into volumes by musical document type, with each volume assigned a number within the document type series. The New School Archives staff does not know who organized the collection and assigned the numbers. New School Archives staff arranged the volumes alphabetically by document type in 5 series: 1. Annotations Volumes I-VIII; 2. Arrangements Volumes I-II; 3. Compositions Volumes I-II; 4. Eolian Review/Eolus Volumes I-II; 5. Studies Volume 1.

Custodial History

While no known accession file exists for this donation, New School Archives staff hypothesize that the collection may have been donated to Mannes School of Music by Lucile Lawrence, Salzédo's second wife and longtime collaborator who taught at Mannes until 2000. Documentation found in the volumes of Eolian Review/Eolus appears to indicate that some documents previously belonged to Salzédo's first wife, Viola Gramm.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Harry Scherman Library of the Mannes School of Music to The New School Archives and Special Collections, 2015.

Processing Information

The New School Archives staff built upon a legacy library catalog record to create this finding aid. In some cases, text within the finding aid is copied directly from the legacy record, but the majority of the descriptive content was provided by New School Archives student employee Greta Golbart in 2022. To further protect the materials, Goldbart placed volumes into archival boxes in 2022 prior to returning the collection to offsite storage.

Guide to the Carlos Salzedo collection
Jason Adamo and The New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
September 19, 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description