Gerhard Meyer-Sichting Collection
Scope and Contents
The collection contains the correspondence between the writer and artist Rafaello (Lello) Busoni and the violinist Gerhard Meyer-Sichting from 1955 until Busoni’s death in 1962. Also included are diary entries; drawings; poems; a biographical book; and photographs. The majority of the materials relate to the creative and scholarly work of the two artists, as well as their familial life and their personal thoughts or opinions about art exhibitions; theater; and opera visits.
Series I contains the correspondence between the writer and artist Rafaello (Lello) Busoni and the violinist Gerhard Meyer-Sichting. In their letters, the two shared intimate details about their personal and familial lives as well as their impressions and opinions about operas, theater productions, literature, fellow artists, or philosophy. However, the majority of the correspondence deals with their personal artwork, e.g., Busoni’s progress on his book “Cervantes”, or their scholarly activities as lecturers.
Series II contains the diary entries of Gerhard Meyer-Sichting from the years 1937-1938, 1940-1943, and 1945-1949. The entries are mainly concerned with the daily life of Meyer-Gerhard and his thoughts on the political situation during the time of fascism in Europe, the developments of the war, and the situation in Germany after the war. The collection furthermore includes photographs (folder 6), letters to relatives of Gerhard Meyer-Sichting and Rafaello Busoni (folder 1), as well as newspaper clippings.
- Majority of material found within 1955-1962
- Meyer-Sichting, Gerhard, 1902-1980 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in German, with parts in English and French.
Conditions Governing Access
Open to researchers.
Conditions Governing Use
There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection.
Gerhard Meyer-Sichting met the musician Ferruccio Busoni in Berlin and later befriended his son, Rafaello Busoni.
The violinist and writer Gerhard Meyer-Sichting was born in December 1902 in Bremen, Germany. He studied music and philosophy in Cologne and performed with orchestras and concert productions, such as the Berliner Staatsoper, and an ensemble with his wife, the singer and pianist Elisabeth Meyer-Sichting. He also worked as a writer and journalist and published the books “Vier Versuche über Hellas”, “Hofmannsthals Turm”, “Grillpaerzers dramatisches Spaetwerk”, and others. His writing was mainly concerned with critiques or discussions of artistic works and literature. Furthermore, Meyer-Sichting worked as a music teacher, e.g., in Breslau, Lübeck, and as director of the academy of sound art in Darmstadt. - Gerhard Meyer-Sichting died in 1980 in Germany.
Rafaello (called Lello) Busoni was born on February 1st, 1900, in Berlin, Germany as the son of the Italian musician and composer Ferruccio Busoni and Gerda Sjöstrand, the daughter of a Swedish sculptor. Rafaello Busoni was a graphic artist, illustrator, painter and illustrator of theater and opera literature, and author of several books.
After his art training in Switzerland, Rafaello (Lello) Busoni worked in Paris and Berlin, where he earned his reputation as an illustrator. He got married to Japanese Hide Busoni, and their daughter Kiki was born in 1927. Hide died in 1930 of tuberculosis after treatment in Switzerland was unsuccessful. In the same year, Rafaello (Lello) Busoni married Hannah Busoni, daughter of the renowned lawyer Dr. Alfred Apfel. Hannah had been a piano student of Hide.
In January of 1935, the newlywed couple, accompanied by Kiki Busoni, took the steam ship Arlanza to Madeira and lived there until the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936; they then went back to Berlin. In November of 1938, Hannah and Rafaello's son Mario was born. Knowing they could not stay in Germany, Rafaello decided to move the family to Sweden, his mother's home country. However, after only six months, the Busonis were forced to leave again, given the choice to return to Germany or go to Italy. Choosing neither, the Busonis boarded a ship in October of 1939 in Norway that brought them to New York. On October 15, 1939, the Busonis arrived at Ellis Island.
The three Busonis proceeded to live with Eva Feilchenfeld, a close friend of Hannah's, in Mount Vernon, New York, for a few months before moving to New York City. There they settled into an apartment in Midtown. Hannah started a framing business, while Rafaello continued painting and earning a living as an illustrator. On March 17th, 1962, Rafaello passed away.
0.5 Linear Feet
The collection contains the correspondence between the writer and artist Rafaello (Lello) Busoni and the violinist Gerhard Meyer-Sichting from 1955 until Busoni’s death in 1962. Also included are diary entries; drawings; poems; and photographs. The majority of the materials relate to the creative and scholarly work of the two artists, as well as their familial life and their personal thoughts or opinions about art exhibitions, theater, and opera visits.
The collection is arranged in two series:
- Gerhard Meyer-Sichting Correspondence Collection, 1955-1962
- Diary of Gerhard Meyer-Sichting, 1937-1949
The book “Partitur eines Lebens – Erinnerungen eines Musikers” by Gerhard Meyer-Sichting has been removed from the archival collection and can be found in the library of the Leo Baeck Institute.
The materials were received in folders, ordered chronologically. Building on this, the materials have been arranged in chronological order reflecting the correspondence between Lello Busoni and Gerhard Meyer-Sichting and have been placed in acid-free folders.
- Guide to the Papers of the Gerhard Meyer-Sichting Collection
- Processed by Marlene Wulf
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States