Walter Cohrssen papers
Scope and Contents
This collection spans the time period between 1929 and 1983. The bulk of the collection consists of Cohrssen's own handwritten musical scores, approximately 21 compositions. Several of the scores are noted as performances in the concert programs also included in this collection. Of note, there are included here some audio recordings of Cohrssen's pieces, originally on tape reels and converted to CD-ROM format. A scrapbook documents highlights of Cohrssen's career as a Professor of Music at Seton Hall University and as a composer. The Bishop McQuaid Medal he received in 1972 is also among the items in this collection. Several photographs of both a personal and work-related nature are included as well. Documentation of his life prior to arriving in the U.S. and joining the faculty of SHU is lacking, albeit for a few items, however the collection provides an extensive representation of his musical career.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection includes audio-visual materials. Access copies of audiotapes, audio cassette tapes, video cassette tapes, film reels, or other audio-visual materials may need to be ordered prior to on-site research. Please contact us to inquire about access to audio-visual materials.
Otherwise, materials are available for research at the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center. Advance appointments are required for the use of archival materials.
Conditions Governing Use
All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.
Biographical / Historical
Walter J. Cohrssen was a Professor of Music at Seton Hall University between 1952 and 1977, as well as a musical composer. Born in 1906 in Germany, Cohrssen would forgo his study in Engineering to pursue the musical career he truly desired. His studies at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna, and later, at the State Academy of Music in Berlin were interrupted by the rise of Hitler's power. Cohrssen fled to France and Italy before arriving in the United States in 1938. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Cohrssen joined the army and was placed in charge of the Italian P.O.W.'s because of his multi-lingual skills. Later, he was assigned to Voice of America, writing and producing radio programs.
Able to complete his studies after the war, Cohrssen graduated summa cum lauda in 1952 from the Academy Santa Cecilia in Rome. Upon promptly returning to the United States, he joined the faculty of Seton Hall University where he remained until 1977. A respected faculty member, Cohrssen received the Bishop McQuaid Medal in 1972. In addition, many of Cohrssen's own musical creations were performed in the U.S. and abroad in Europe. He also served as President of the Composers Group of New York from 1961 to 1965. He was married to Dr. Carla Wormit until her death in 1975. Remarried to Dr. Geraldine Sussman in 1978, Cohrssen resided in Florida until his death on March 27th, 1983.
5 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Walter J. Cohrssen was a Professor of Music at Seton Hall University between 1952 and 1977, as well as a musical composer. This collection spans the time period between 1929 and 1983 and consists of Cohrssen's own handwritten musical scores, as well as some audio recordings of Cohrssen's pieces, a scrapbook, and several photographs and ephemera.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection is the gift of Walter Cohrssen to the Archives and Special Collections Center in 1983. Terms of accession unknown.
This collection was processed by Lori Lauterbach in October 2011. Finding aid written by Lori Lauterbach in 2011.
- Walter Cohrssen papers, 1929-1983
- Lori Lauterbach
- October 2011
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.