University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Carl Venth Papers, 1885-1959

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Venth, Carl, 1860-1938.
Title: Venth, Carl, Papers
Dates: 1885-1959
Abstract: The Carl Venth Papers, 1885-1959, contains correspondence and memoranda, printed and handwritten sheet music, notes, legal documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, and programs concerning the career of Venth. Also included are documents concerning his wife Cathinka. Carl Venth (1860-1938) was a German composer, violinist, conductor, music educator, and scholar.
Accession No.: 1941; 1943; 1960; 64-107; 64-124; 66-35; 69-14; 71-31; 2016-082
OCLC No.: 702689990
Extent: 18 ft., 9 in.
Language: Materials are written in English, German, and Norwegian.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

German composer, violinist, conductor, music educator, and scholar Carl Venth (1860-1938) was a leading classical music figure in Texas in the first half of the twentieth century. After studying with Ferdinand Hiller at the Cologne Conservatory and Henry Wieniawski in Brussels, Venth became the concertmaster of the Flemish Opera House at age 18 and then became the concertmaster of the Opera Comique in Paris in 1879. In 1880 he immigrated to New York City, where he led and organized several orchestras and musical ensembles, such as the Venth College of Music and the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra.

In 1908, Venth moved to Texas to work as violin director at the Kidd-Key College in Sherman. He also served as dean of the School of Fine Arts at Texas Woman’s College (later Texas Wesleyan University) in Fort Worth from 1914 through 1931 and as head of the music department of Westmoorland College (now part of Trinity University) in San Antonio from 1931 through 1938. Furthermore, Venth directed the Frohsinn Chorus, conducted the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and organized and served as the first conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. He served as president of the State Music Teachers’ Association, receiving an honorary life membership. He also accepted honorary degrees from the Chicago Musical College and New York College.

On July 13, 1899, Venth married Norwegian-American Cathinka Firth Myhr (1867-1958).


Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Venth, Carl (1860-1938)," /handbook/online/articles/VV/fve5.html (accessed May 14, 2010).

Scope and Contents

The Carl Venth Papers, 1885-1959, primarily consists of printed and handwritten sheet music composed by Venth. The papers also include correspondence and memoranda, notes, legal documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, sound recordings, and programs concerning the career of Venth and his wife Cathinka.

Archivist’s note: A portion of this collection is catalogued in the Reading Room’s Card Catalog – Section A. Please refer to it for specific compositions and locations.


Access Restrictions

Use of audio material by appointment only; please contact sound archivist.

Use Restrictions

Unrestricted use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Venth, Carl, 1860-1938 -- Archives.
Venth, Cathinka Finch Myhr, 1867- -- Archives.
Subjects (Organizations)
C. C. Birchard & Co. (Boston, Mass.)
Texas Federation of Music Clubs
Texas Woman’s College
Music -- United States.
Opera -- United States.
Composers -- United States.
Violinists -- United States.
Conductors (Music) -- United States.
Music teachers -- United States.
Musicians -- United States.
Texas -- History -- Sources.

Related Material

See also the Venth (Carl) Papers at the Fort Worth Library in Forth Worth, Texas.

Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Artifact Collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Carl Venth Papers, 1885-1959, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection contains unprocessed materials.

This collection was processed by Chester V. Kielman and B.S., June-July 1964. Subsequent revisions were made by W.H. Richter, February 1966 June 1969; Sara Rumbo, February 1973; Laurel Rozema, May 2010; and Paloma Graciani, March 2016.

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2L311-352 Sheet music, 1885-1955
(Please refer to separate Venth (Carl) Collection Checklist in Card Catalog - Section A for item-level description)
2L349 Staff paper
2L350 Venth, Carl. My Memories. San Antonio, Tex.: Alamo Printing Company, [1939].
2L351 Sound recordings of Venth Trio
2L352 Contracts, copyrights, correspondence, 1896-1938
Scripts of the Reformer
Translation of an author’s prefae by Cathinka Venth
Programs, 1912-1951
Correspondence, 1916-1940
Tribute, portrait of musician, and memories of a musician
Clippings, souvenirs, etc.
2L353 Clippings, correspondence, etc.
Autographed framed photo of Edvard Grieg
Autographed framed photo of Anton Seidl
Silver framed photo of Carl Venth
Framed photo of “Charles Jules Venth – 3 chums” in Bruxelles
Framed photo of Cathinka Venth
Photos of students from Texas Woman’s College
2L353a-2L361 Unprocessed materials
3H342 Clippings concerning production of "La Vida de la Mision"
Autographed program of "La Vida de la Mision"
"Rhapsodie" musical score
3S134 Sketch of Shumann
4N1b Trio for violin, piano, and cello [photostats]
4N8c Framed degree of Dean Venth
3C30 Correspondence, 1923-1924, undated
Texas Federation of Music Clubs resolution, 1936
Lyrics, undated
First wedding anniversary poem from Carl to Cathinka, July 13, 1900
4Jc123a [2016-082]
Correspondence, 1938-1940
Important papers (birth and marriage certificates, naturalization documents, other), 1867-1936
Miscellaneous photograph, 1908
Lecture notes for slides of Europe, undated
Henry George related documents (photograph, biography, letters), 1939-1954, undated
Rudolph Baumach’s Zlatorog, 1892