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George Antheil papers

Identifier: Coll 456

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of a single orchestral composition, in two parts. The piece, commissioned by and dedicated to the Douglas Fir Plywood Association, is entitled "The Forests of Oregon." Each part was intended to last around three and a half minutes, and was written for an orchestra of 23.


  • Between 1922 and 1959


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

George Antheil was born in Trenton, New Jersey July 8, 1900. He began his career in music at the tender age of 5 with violin lessons; five years later he began taking piano lessons as well. At Trenton High School he studied music theory, and upon graduation studied with composer Ernest Bloch in New York City.

In 1922, Antheil moved to Europe, where he hoped to launch his career as a concert pianist. A year later, after a brief residency in Berlin, Antheil moved permanently to Paris, focusing more on composition than on concert tours. It was in Paris that he met and married Elizabeth "Boski" Markus (m. October 4, 1925).

Antheil's crafted his most well-known composition in 1926, the Ballet mecanique. Originally created as a soundtrack to Fernand Leger's motion picture Le Ballet Mecanique , the piece called for 8 pianos, a player piano, and various percussion instruments, including anvils, bells, and buzzers. Antheil's first opera, Transatlantic, debuted in Germany in May of 1930.

In 1933, Antheil left Europe for New York City; for the next several years he worked writing articles for Esquire magazine. In 1935, he moved to Hollywood, California, where he quickly found work writing scores for motion pictures (e.g. The Plainsman , Specter of the Rose , Knock on Any Door , and The Pride and the Passion ).

His total works include 6 operas, 6 symphonies, 29 film scores, and three books, including his autobiography, The Bad Boy of Music (1945). George Antheil died in Manhattan, February 12, 1959.


1 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



Collection contains an original musical composition by George Antheil, an American composer.


This collection contains two items. Any arrangement is either derived from the records' creators or custodians or from staff at the time of initial processing. It may be necessary to look in multiple places for the same types of materials.

Physical Description

1 flat manuscript box

Guide to the George Antheil Papers
Preliminary Description
Rachel Lilley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA