Title and statement of responsibility area
Alan Lessem fonds
General material designation
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Level of description
CA ON00370 F0243
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
[ca. 1956]-1994 (Creation)
Physical description area
0.24 metres of textual records
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Alan Phillip Lessem, professor and musicologist, was born 29 November 1940 in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zambia) and educated at the University of Cape Town where he received his BA and B.Mus., both in 1963, and Cambridge where he received his M.Litt. in 1967. He taught at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and the Telma Yellin School in Tel-Aviv before enrolling at the University of Illinois, Urbana where he completed a Ph.D in Musicology in 1973. He is a founding member of the Department of Music at York University and was a lecturer, assistant and associate professor there from 1970 until his death. He was the Chair of the Department of Music at York from 1975-1982 and Associate Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts from 1985-1988. He is the author of the book "Music and Text in the Works of Arnold Schoenberg : The Critical Years, 1908-1922" as well as the author of numerous essays, articles and reviews that have appeared both in scholarly journals in published collections. In addition to his academic career, he was also an accomplished pianist, cellist and composer. He died on 10 October 1991 in Toronto.
Evelyn Lessem gave her husband's records to the Rob van der Bliek of the Sound and Moving Image Library, York University ca. 1994. They remained in Mr. van der Bliek's custody until he transferred the records to Archives and Special Collections in 2003.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of copies of published and unpublished papers, journal articles, conference papers and reviews written by Lessem, course material, a copy of his M.Litt thesis, "The Style and Structure of Frescobaldi's Keyboard Ricercari and Fantasias", and other material that documents his career as an academic.
Immediate source of acquisition
Transferred to Archives and Special Collections by Rob van der Bliek in 2003.
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Restrictions on access
To be determined
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
The fonds comprises the following accession: 2003-002. Further accruals may be expected.