Music: Special Topic: Spotlight on Historical Utah Composers

Music Research Portal

Special Collections on Campus that Focus on Historical Utah Composers and Musical Leaders

You will find resources in the Marriott and McKay Libraries about significant composers and leaders in Utah musical history. In addition to the documents highlighted below, searching the library catalog will also yield photograph and--in some cases--audiovisual collections.

Utah's Musical Luminaries

Maurice Abravanel was the founding conductor of the Utah Symphony with a tenure from 1948 until his retirement in 1979. Abravanel's conducting scores are held by the McKay Music Library, and his papers are located at the Marriott Library in Special Collections:

Ramiro Cortés, a Texan, taught composition at UCLA and USC before coming to the University of Utah in 1972. According to the biography compiled by the Texas State Historical Association, he was "perhaps the first Mexican-American composer of classical music to achieve an international reputation."
Marie Nelson Bennett received a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Utah. In 1995 she was nominated for the Kennedy Center Freidham award for orchestral composition and in 1996 she received a Merit of Honor from the University of Utah Emeritus Alumni Association.

Leroy J. Robertson, born and raised in Utah, began his musical life as a young boy on a sheep farm. He eventually studied music composition formally, winning national composition awards and leading the music departments at BYU and the University of Utah. The McKay Music Library holds Robertson's scores and parts for rental, while the Leroy J. Robertson papers are held by the Marriott Library Special Collections department.
Arthur Shepherd, a musical prodigy who entered the New England Conservatory at twelve years old, came to Utah after his graduation and lead one of Utah's early orchestras, cultivating the region's orchestral endeavors which what would eventually lead to the formation of the Utah Symphony.


Music Librarian

Profile Photo
Lisa Chaufty
School of Music
1375 E. Presidents Circle
McKay Music Library,
Room 100
Subjects: Music
Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library