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Eugene A. Kurtz papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS129

Scope and Content

This collection includes correspondence, educational records, military records, and printed materials such as booklets, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and promotional materials for concerts. Correspondence makes up the majority of the collection and contains information on Eugene Kurtz's life beginning in 1941 when he entered college, his time in the military, and his life as a composer in Paris. Correspondents include his father and stepmother, Wilbur G. and Annie Pye Kurtz; his brother, Wilbur, and sister Annie Laurie; and other notable Atlantans including Dr. and Mrs. Thad Morrison (members of the Atlanta Music Club), Helen Knox and Frank Daniel (music editors for the Atlanta Journal, Pittman Corry (founder of the Southern Ballet of Atlanta), and Robert Shaw (conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra). Correspondence also includes letters from Olivia de Havilland regarding the death of Wilbur G. Kurtz. Other correspondence include the people he met and worked with in Paris including his teachers Max Deutsch, Arthur Honegger, and Darius Milhaud, as well as other musicians and those in the music industry. Much of his correspondence details opinions on his composition in the style of the Schoenberg School and having his music performed both on the stage and on radio, television, and in film. Kurtz also wrote autobiographies, resumes, and lecture notes which are contained in the collection. There are promotional materials, including posters and programs, for concerts where Kurtz's compositions were played as well as music scores and an audio record of one of Kurtz's works. Also included are school records comprised of letters, report cards, and loan notifications as well as military records that include letters from the War Department.


  • 1931-1988, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

Eugene Allen Kurtz was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 27, 1923. His father was artist and Civil War historian Wilbur G. Kurtz, Sr. Eugene earned a Bachelor of Arts from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Rochester. He left his studies at the Eastman School in 1943 to serve in World War II, arriving in France in 1944 as part of the 104th Infantry Division and returning in 1947 to finish his education. He settled in Paris in 1952 to study at the Ecole Normale de Musique. There he began teaching and writing for orchestras and chamber ensembles and composing pieces for film, theater, television, and radio. He returned to the United States twice to work as a guest professor in Music Composition at the University of Michigan School of Music. In 1983, he was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship grant. He received commissions from the Musical Arts Association of Cleveland, Radio France, the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs, and the University of Michigan. He lived in Paris until his death on July 7, 2006.


2.75 linear ft. (6 document boxes, 1 oversize box)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

Audio recordings were made on a 33 1/3 rpm disc and can be made accessible only through conversion to digital audio. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1980

Related Archival Materials

All visual arts materials have been separated from the collection and are unprocessed. Please contact an archivist for access to these materials.

Description Control

Collection reprocessed in 2011.

Eugene A. Kurtz papers
Laura Starratt
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305