Scope and Content
Title: Sven Reher Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1918-1979
Collection number: 1231
Extent: 47 boxes (19 linear ft.)
1 oversize box
University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Abstract: Sven Reher (d. 1991) was prominent on the Los Angeles music scene as a violist and composer since 1934, when he left his studies
at UCLA to audition for Otto Klemperer and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He was associated with the Evenings on the Roof program
in post-World War II Los Angeles, the Sinfonia Orchestra of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the California Chamber Symphony
Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Brentwood, Huntington Park, Santa Monica, Compton, Glendale, Santa Barbara, and
Pasadena. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, concert programs, music notebooks, and ephemera related
to Reher's life.
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library,
Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright,
are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of
the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the
copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC
Regents do not hold the copyright.
Restrictions on Access
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.
Additional Physical Form Available
A copy of the original version of this online finding aid is available at the UCLA Department of Special Collections for in-house
consultation and may be obtained for a fee. Please contact:
- Public Services Division
- UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
- Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
- Box 951575
- Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
- Telephone: 310/825-4988 (10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Pacific
- Email: email@example.com
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Gift of Sven Reher, 1979.
Gift of Vincent Reher, 1994.
[Identification of item], Sven Reher Papers (Collection 1231). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research
Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
Sven Reher fled Germany as a young man to continue his musical education in the U.S.; prominent on the Los Angeles music scene
since 1934, when he left his studies at UCLA to audition for Otto Klemperer and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; he and his brother,
cellist Kurt Reher, were members of the Evenings on the Roof program in post-World War II Los Angeles; he composed 12 studies
for viola, a sonata for solo viola, and a rhapsody for flute and viola; he associated with the Sinfonia Orchestra of the Los
Angeles Master Chorale, the California Chamber Symphony Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Brentwood, Huntington Park,
Santa Monica, Compton, Glendale, Santa Barbara, and Pasadena; Reher's recording of the Hindemith solo sonata, Opus 25, no.1,
was nominated for a Grammy award; he died January 31, 1991 of heart failure.
Sven Helge Reher (born Hamburg 1911) came to Los Angeles with his family in 1914. His father, Wilhelm Reher, was a violinist
who had performed under Nikisch, Mahler and others in the Hamburg Philharmonic; in the period 1914 to 1918 he was a member
of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra under Adolf Tandler. Frau Reher (née Callesen) was a pianist who had studied in Leipzig.
After sundry continental and transoceanic peregrinations--during which Wilhelm reorganized the Houston Symphony and served
among the first stands of the Cincinnati Symphony under Reiner--the Rehers settled permanently in Southern California.
Given his family's inclinations it was inevitable that Sven should become a musician; his first violin lessons were under
the supervision of his father. Then, in the mid-nineteen twenties, both Sven and his younger brother Kurt studied at the prestigious
Berliner Hochschule für Musik. Trading his violin for the heftier viola, Sven joined the ranks of the Los Angeles Philharmonic,
then directed by Otto Klemperer, and served eight years (1934 to 1942).
After a stint in military intelligence in the European Theater, Reher returned to Los Angeles where he has ever since been
an outstanding feature in the musical scene: as a member of the Hollywood String Quartet, as a regular performer on the Monday
Evening Concerts, as a soloist with community orchestras, as a much-sought-after studio musician, and as an educator. He is
the dedicatee of works by Walter Piston, Mario Castel-Nuovo-Tedesco, Ernst Kanitz and others; his recording of the Hindemith
Sonata for Viola Unaccompanied was glowingly reviewed in the
New York Times.
The documents in this collection record a rich musical life as it has unfolded on two continents. The collection is supported
by an oral history of Mr. Reher completed in 1979.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of correspondence, photographs, concert programs, music notebooks, and ephemera related to the life of
violist Sven Reher. Includes materials related to concerts in which he and his father, Wilhelm Reher, were involved. Also
includes materials related to musical events in the Los Angeles area and Reher's notes from Arnold Schoenberg's classes at
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Composers--California, Southern--Archival resources.
Violists--California, Southern--Archival resources.
We Must Go Farther Yet [oral history transcript] / Sven Reher, interviewee. UCLA Oral History Department interview,
1979-80. Available at Department of Special Collections, UCLA.