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Ernest Drucker Collection

Identifier: AR 25166

Scope and Content Note

The Ernest Drucker Collection chronicles the professional, and to a smaller extent, personal life of the violinist Ernest Drucker. Much of the collection focuses on the developments in his professional life, from his time in orchestras and chamber music groups in Germany through his emigration and positions in the United States. The collection consists largely of correspondence, but also includes official documents, biographical articles and notes, contracts, newspaper clippings, reviews, performance programs, a few copies of photographs and some sketches.

The core of this collection is the extensive amount of correspondence in Series II, which has been further subdivided into correspondence of specific individuals and more general letters. It primarily consists of correspondence sent to him by others, many of them friends and fellow musicians. This series also holds letters about employment, such as those from the Jüdischer Kulturbund or Bronislaw Huberman. Details of Ernest Drucker's own life, especially anecdotes and highlights of his life, as well as significant experiences of others are often mentioned in these letters. A smaller amount of his own letters to others are present in Series II.

Ernest Drucker's professional work, including material related to performances given by groups of which he was a part, is located in nearly every series of the collection. The abovementioned correspondence of Series II is one such area. Series I holds copies of professional documents, such as contracts and reference letters from employers and former instructors. Series I also contains papers that pertain to his employment while in the U.S. Air Force; related may be the unidentified sketches of musicians in uniform, located in Series V. In Series III are numerous programs and clippings with reviews of performances of ensembles that included Ernst Drucker, both those in Germany and later in America.

Biographical summaries of Ernest Drucker's life are located in several series. Series I includes Drucker's curriculum vitae along with a letter with a detailed description of his life. Series V also contains some biographical data.


  • 1926-2003
  • Majority of material found within 1935-1965


Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Reserve" button.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Ernst (later Ernest) Drucker was born in Cologne in 1909. He graduated from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Cologne in 1933. He joined the Stauch Trio (Adolf Stauch and Oswald Uhl) and also led his own string quartet. He also worked as the concert master and soloist for the Jüdische Kulturbund in Frankfurt and Berlin. In 1938, he immigrated to the United States and became a member of the Indianapolis and Cleveland orchestras. He married Ethel Gisnet in Brooklyn in 1939. In 1943, he was drafted into the armed forces and served in the Air Force. After his discharge in 1945, Adolf Busch asked him to join the Busch Chamber Players, and Drucker toured with them through Europe. He left the Busch Chamber Players to spend more time with his wife and his son and became the first violinist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 1947. He kept this position until 1985. He died in New York in 1993.


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This collection documents the life of the violinist Ernest Drucker, with a larger focus on his professional work in various orchestras and ensembles. The bulk of the collection consists of a large body of correspondence of friends and colleagues, most of them other musicians. Other papers in the collection include official documents, newspaper clippings of reviews and concert announcements, programs for performances, a few copies of photographs and some sketches.

Related Material

The LBI Arts and Objects Collection contains a framed drawing related to this collection.

Processing Information

The collection was initially processed by Viola Voss in 2004, including the establishment of the bulk of the arrangement and the creation of the existing series and biographical note. In March 2012 Dianne Ritchey reprocessed the collection in preparation of the EAD finding aid. A few changes were made to the arrangement. The previous Series IV: Correspondence was moved to Series II due to the more personal material found in this series. In addition, folders of miscellaneous correspondence were subdivided and renamed to provide more specific titles of their contents, including the establishment of Subseries 2 in Series II. The folders of Series V, formerly known as "miscellaneous" were retitled to reflect more specifically upon their contents.

Guide to the Papers of Ernest Drucker (1909-1993) 1926-2003 AR 25166
Processed by Dianne Ritchey and Viola Voss
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from ErnestDrucker.xml

Revision Statements

  • November 21, 2012 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States