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Piedmont Chamber Orchestra Records

Identifier: MC-0004

Scope and Contents

This collection is made up of materials produced by the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra, a professional affiliate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, from 1969-1983. The collection contains correspondence with potential tour hosts and sponsors, Orchestra members, the Orchestra’s Board of Directors, and the NCSA Foundation. Apart from correspondence, the collection also includes contracts, program offerings, public relations materials, financial reports, notes and meeting minutes, and tour planning information such as mileage and lodging records. Correspondence related to fundraising and development is particularly represented. The organization received a number of grants through the Southern Arts Federation, which had been known as the Southern Federation of State Arts Agencies until around 1978.

Two U-Matic tapes, #2006 and #2010, and two ½ inch open reel audio recordings are also included in this collection. Both audio reels are labeled ‘Virginia Sampler for NC Dance Theatre’ and dated February 1976. U-Matic tape #2006 was recorded by the South Carolina Educational Television Network (SC ETV) and labeled "Rossini". It most likely contains works by Italian composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini. This recording was made in 1979 and lasts 30 minutes. Tape #2010 includes the Orchestra performing Suderberg’s composition for Conductor Harsanyi, ‘Voyage de Nuit d’Apres Baudelaire’. This performance was recorded by SC ETV on 18 September 1979 and lasts 28 minutes.


  • 1969-1983
  • Majority of material found within 1973-1981


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research. Use of audio-visual materials may be restricted due to their format.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Archives collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information which is protected under federal or state privacy laws, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina School of the Arts assume no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

The Piedmont Chamber Orchestra (PCO) was the first professional affiliate of the North Carolina School of the Arts. Established with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1968, the PCO was a part of a larger organization, the Piedmont Chamber Players (PCP). The PCP included smaller musical ensembles as well as dance and theatrical groups that may have formed the origins of the North Carolina Dance Theatre and Festival Theatre, Inc. The Claremont String Quartet and Clarion Wind Quintet, existing professional ensembles recruited to the North Carolina School of the Arts by Vittorio Giannini before his death, formed a part of the orchestra. They were joined by the Ciompi String Quartet, in residence at Duke University; professional musicians from the NCSA faculty; advanced music students from the school; and professional musicians hired to play in the Orchestra.

The Claremont String Quartet included Marc Gottleib, 1st violin; Vladimir Weisman, 2nd violin; Scott Nickrenz, viola; and Irving Klein, cello, when they began their residence at NCSA in the school’s first year. Weisman left after one year and was replaced by Philip Ruder. Nickrenz was briefly replaced by Emile Simonel, until Simonel was named manager of the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra and resigned from the Quartet in 1969. The same year, Jerry Horner and Vartan Manoogian joined on viola and violin, respectively. The Clarion Wind Quintet counted among its members clarinetist Robert Listokin, bassoonist Mark Popkin, flautist Philip Dunigan, oboist Stephen Adelstein, and Fredrick Bergstone on French horn when the school opened in 1965. The original ensemble performed together until 1974, when Roger McDonald took the place of Stephen Adelstein. Another ensemble, the Razumovsky Quartet, joined the Orchestra in 1973. Other faculty members involved in the Orchestra included J. Massie Johnson, percussionist, and Anne Woodward, violist, among many others.

The Piedmont Chamber Orchestra typically toured in October and March of each year and visited cities throughout the southeast, with some tours taking them much farther. Igor Buketoff was the group’s first conductor. In June 1971, Hungarian-born Nicholas Harsanyi was appointed Dean of Music for NCSA, succeeding Dr. Louis Mennini. At the same time, he became conductor and musical director of the PCO and the NCSA Orchestra. That September, through a collaboration with the Moravian Music Foundation, the PCO participated in the inaugural festivities of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. A Contemporary Performance Ensemble was added during the 1975-1976 season that later became the Kaleidoscope program. In the early years of the school, faculty participation was mandatory, but that requirement was lifted in 1976. ‘Import’ or ‘extra’ players were employees of the Orchestra unaffiliated with NCSA that supplemented the faculty players; these were not always included.

As the organization grew, it required its own leadership and decision-making body. The first meeting of the Orchestra’s Board of Directors was held on 9 October 1977, and the organization was incorporated in March 1979. That same year, the Orchestra’s longstanding conductor, Nicholas Harsanyi, retired. A special performance was held in New York City to honor his retirement. Chancellor Robert Suderburg composed ‘Concerto: Voyage de nuit d'apres Baudelaire’ for the orchestra in 1978, dedicating it to conductor Harsanyi. His wife, Elizabeth Suderburg, sang soprano in the piece’s first performance in 1979. After Harsanyi’s retirement, the Board of Directors searched for his replacement and eventually offered the position to George Trautwein, who served until the Orchestra’s final season. Correspondence shows that the organization was placed into a ‘dormant’ position by school administration pending the approval of a graduate music program during the 1982-1983 season.


9 Linear Feet (17 document boxes, 1 oversize box, 2 video tapes, 2 audio tapes)

Language of Materials



The collection is made up of materials produced by the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra, a professional affiliate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, from 1969-1983. It contains correspondence with potential tour hosts and sponsors, orchestra members, the Orchestra’s Board of Directors, and the NCSA Foundation. Also included are contracts, program offerings, public relations materials, financial reports, notes and meeting minutes, and tour planning information such as mileage and lodging records.


This collection is arranged by date and subject, with undated materials listed at the end. Each dated folder corresponds to a school year, for example "1980-1981". While the bulk of the material in each folder is related to the school year spanning August-July, materials may be found spanning the entire date range. Folders covering the same time span are arranged alphabetically. Within each folder, materials are arranged chronologically, with undated materials behind dated material.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials found in collection; there is no documentation concerning the provenance of these materials.

Related Materials

Additional performance and event programs from the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra can be found in the Program Collection (RG-0045). The Piedmont Chamber Orchestra performed during the North Carolina Summer Festival; related information may be found in the Festival Theatre Inc. Collection (MC-0007). The Orchestra received funding from the NCSA Associates (MC-0025) and the NCSA Foundation (RG-0006), and more information can be found in those collections.

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused in archival enclosures. Original file names where maintained where relevant.

Guide to the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra Records
Laura Silva. UNCSA Archives staff, date unknown.
December 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the UNC School of the Arts Archives Repository

1533 South Main St.
Winston-Salem North Carolina 27104 United States