Skip to main content

SCOUT

Special Collections Online at UT

David Van Vactor, Passacaglia and Fugue in D Minor

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3328

This score for Passacaglia and Fugue in D Minor occupies 33 pages and was intended to take 9 minutes to play. Van Vactor most likely composed the piece while living and working in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dates

  • circa 1943-1947

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

This score for Passacaglia and Fugue in D Minor occupies 33 pages and was intended to take 9 minutes to play. Van Vactor most likely composed the piece while living and working in Kansas City, Missouri.

Biographical/Historical Note

David Van Vactor was born to Daniel Ellsworth and Mathilda (Fenstermacher) Van Vactor in Plymouth, Indiana on May 8, 1906. He completed three years of pre-medical education at Northwestern University before transferring to the School of Music, where he earned his BA (1928) and MA (1935) degrees. Additionally, he studied with several prominent musicians in the Chicago area, at the Wiener Akademie in Austria (1939), and at L'Ecole Normale in Paris (1931). Van Vactor began his professional music career as a flutist with the Chicago Symphony, where he remained for thirteen years. During this time, he also began conducting. He served as the Symphony's Assistant Conductor in 1933 and 1934 and earned the Frederick Stock Scholarship in conducting in 1939, after which time Stock mentored him until his (Stock's) death in 1942.

In 1943, Van Vactor moved to Kansas City, where he worked as the assistant conductor of the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra and as the Head of the Department of Theory and Composition in the Conservatory of Music. Van Vactor also undertook several tours to South America with the sponsorship of United States Department of State and the League of Composers during this time. He made one tour as part of a woodwind quintet (1941) and two others as the visiting conductor of the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Santiago, Chile Orchestras. He also served as a visiting professor at Chile University, where he had a profound impact on many young composers.

Van Vactor came to Knoxville in 1947 to conduct the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. He remained at this post until his retirement 25 years later. He also founded the University of Tennessee's Fine Arts Department (now the School of Music) where he taught until 1976. Van Vactor died in Los Angeles, California on March 24, 1994. He was survived by his wife, Virginia (Landreth) Van Vactor (1911-1995), and two children, Raven Harwood (nee Adriaen Virginia; 1933-1994) and David Landreth Van Vactor.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

The Miller Nichols Library of the University of Missouri, Kansas City transferred this score to the University of Tennessee's Special Collections Library in January of 2009.

Related Archival Materials

Missing Title

  1. MS.0651: The Householder (by David Van Vactor)
  2. MS.1942: David Van Vactor Collection
  3. MS.2106: David Van Vactor Papers, 1935 November 11-1982 July 6
  4. MS.2710: David Van Vactor Papers (addition to MS.1942), circa 1947, 1970-1995

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480