Location: M2A 3,6
Size: .5 feet
Biography: Ludwig Schenck was the son of Heinrich Schenck a German-born flutist who immigrated to the United States around 1850 and settled in Rochester in about 1851. Heinrich took his two sons back to Germany for a period of several years in order for them to study music. Ludwig became a violinist and studied with Sevcik, among others, while Emil became a very accomplished cellist. Both brothers played for the New York Philharmonic under Damrosch. Ludwig subsequently joined the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, leaving it and returning to Rochester when Thomas moved to Chicago. Ludwig became a very successful freelance musician and teacher in Rochester. He also founded the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, which was important in raising the level of music appreciation in the Rochester community. Schenck taught violin at the Eastman School briefly before his retirement.
Provenance: Some of the collection was donated to the Sibley Library by Ludwig Schenck, probably during his career at the Eastman School during the early 1920's. Other items appear to have been donated by his widow.
Scope and Content: The collection contains mainly programs of the local orchestra that Schenck conducted, called variously the Symphony Orchestra and the Rochester Symphony Orchestra (1921-1925). A few items of correspondence and biographical material along with two photographs are included. The collection is quite important for understanding the development of a musically literate public in Rochester during the early 20th century. This function was vital in creating an environment supportive of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music, founded in the early 1920's. Schenck's orchestra pursued mainly an educational mission in the community and so is particularly interesting for understanding the development of music appreciation in the public.
Associations: Watanabe Special Collections holds special collections relating to the 19th century Rochester Philharmonic Society Orchestra and Herman Dossenbach's orchestra, variously known as the Rochester Orchestra and Dossenbach Orchestra. The Dossenbach Orchestra was the immediate predecessor of the current Rochester Philharmonic. The department also holds the remains of a scrapbook compiled by Heinrich Schenck, father of Ludwig.
Series Name: Ephemera
Series Description: This series embraces the materials of the entire Ludwid Schenck Collection. It includes primarily programs of Schenck's Rochester Symphony from its inception in 1901 to its conclusion in 1925, which are arranged chronologically by year. Also included are other programs related to Schenck, a small amount of correspondence and two photographs.