University of Texas San Antonio

A Guide to the John M. Steinfeldt Family Papers, 1819-1993

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Steinfeldt, John Mathias
Title: John M. Steinfeldt Family Papers
Dates: 1819-1993
Creator Abstract: John Mathias Steinfeldt, known as the Dean of Texas Pianists, was a composer, pianist and organist and a Master-teacher. In San Antonio, he served as organist at the First Baptist church, San Fernando Cathedral and at Temple Beth-El. Steinfeldt gave lessons and encouraged the study of music throughout his career. He was president of the San Antonio College of Music, which he founded in 1920. He had four children with wife Vivia May Steinfeldt: Cecile, John Jr., Robert and Eric. Cecile and John Jr. were also accomplished musicians and taught for a few years at the San Antonio College of Music.
Content Abstract: Music scores, correspondence and scrapbooks, which contain clippings and other ephemera. The material, most of which dates from 1900-1954, documents events in the career and personal life of John M. Steinfeldt. The collection includes some of his musical compositions, including published works, drafts, sketches and fragments of his work. Some material also concerns the activities of his wife and children, particularly those of his daughter Cecile.
Identification: MS 35
Extent: 9.5 linear feet
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Biographical Note

John Mathias Steinfeldt, known as the Dean of Texas Pianists, was born in August 1864 near Hanover Germany. His family came to the United States when he was 10 years old and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. He studied in both the United States and Europe under some of the great musicians of the day including Isidor Philipp and Rafel Joseffy. He moved to San Antonio, Texas in 1887 and called the city home for the rest of his life. He married the former Vivia May Ripley in July 1893.

Mr. Steinfeldt's musical talents were substantial and varied. He was a composer, pianist and organist and a Master-teacher. In San Antonio, he served as organist at the First Baptist church, San Fernando Cathedral and at Temple Beth-El. In 1893, he became the organist at St. Mary's Catholic Church, a position he held for over 50 years. In October 1943, Mr. Steinfeldt received an Apostolic Benediction, a blessing from his Holiness Pope Pius XII for his half century of service as organist of St. Mary's Catholic Church. He also performed as a soloist with the San Antonio Symphony as well as with the Chicago and Cincinnati orchestras.

He composed and arranged a large amount of liturgical and secular music and won many awards for his efforts. Missa Maria Immaculata, a Mass written in 1924 for the dedication of a new building for St. Mary's Catholic Church, and The Fountain were particularly well received pieces. Mr. Steinfeldt gave lessons and encouraged the study of music throughout his career. He was president of the San Antonio College of Music, which he founded in 1920. He taught Piano, Organ, Harmony, Composition and Theory there. In his career, he offered private lessons and was the head of the music department of the Mulholland School.

John M. Steinfeldt and his wife Vivia May had four children Cecile, John Jr., Robert and Eric. Cecile and John Jr. were also accomplished musicians and taught for a few years at the San Antonio College of Music. Mrs. Steinfeldt died on February 9, 1936 in San Antonio. Mr. Steinfeldt died on February 28, 1946 in San Antonio.

Scope and Content Note

The John M. Steinfeldt Family papers are composed principally of music scores, correspondence and scrapbooks, which contain clippings and other ephemera. Some photographs and record albums are also in the collection. This collection helps to document how music was performed, taught and composed in the first half of the 20th century and how music contributed to the cultural life of San Antonio during this period. The material is divided into five series: Correspondence, Programs and Clippings, Scores, Scrapbooks and Photographs, and Topical Files.

Correspondence contains both personal and professional correspondence to and from John M. Steinfeldt and members of his family. Most of the Programs and Clippings series material provides information about the musical performances of Mr. Steinfeldt, his family or his pupils. Some of the clippings, however, reveal information about Mr. Steinfeldt's personal rather than professional life.

The musical Scores are the bulk of the collection. This series contains copies of works by John M. Steinfeldt including final copies of finished compositions as well as some drafts, sketches and fragments of his work. Works by other composers that were given to the Steinfeldts or which were used as teaching material. Some of these scores predate Mr. Steinfeldt's birth. There are approximately four linear feet of commercially produced music scores that have not been processed. These scores were owned by the Steinfeldt family but have no distinguishing marks. This material is open to researchers.

The Scrapbooks and Photographs series contains material such as programs, clippings, and other items about the Steinfeldt family. Some of this material was collected during the family's travels abroad. Most of the material concerns John M. Steinfeldt.

The Topical Files contain material which does not fit into the other four series. It contains some biographical material about John M. Steinfeldt. Material relating to his teaching, including material from the San Antonio College of music and recordings of his music can be found here. Some information about the musician Walter Dunham, which was given to the library by the Steinfeldt family is also included. A selection of books from Mr. Steinfeldt's personal library has been separated from the collection, however a list of the titles is available.


  • Series 1. Correspondence, 1879-1946
  • Series 2. Programs and Clippings, 1903-1968
  • Series 3. Scores, 1819-1949
  • Series 4. Scrapbooks and Photographs, 1895-1993
  • Series 5. Topical Files, 1900-1989


Access Restrictions

This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.

Usage restrictions

Permission to publish from the John M. Steinfeldt Family Papers must be obtained from University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Index Terms

Personal Names
Steinfeldt Family.
Dunham, Walter.
Steinfeldt Marshall, Cecile.
Steinfeldt, John M., 1864-1946.
San Antonio College of Music.
Composers--Texas--San Antonio.
Music--Texas--San Antonio.
Music teachers--Texas--San Antonio.
Musicians--Texas--San Antonio.
San Antonio (Tex.)--History.
Local Subjects
Family Collections
San Antonio History

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John M. Steinfeldt Family Papers, 1819-1993, MS 35, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

The bulk of the materials in this collection were donated in 1980 (Acc. 1980-001); an additional photograph album was transferred from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library in 1993.

Processing Information

Eric Hartmann, Processing Archivist, July 1998.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Correspondence, 1879-1946

Incoming and outgoing correspondence with the Steinfeldt family. It includes personal as well as professional activities. John M. Steinfeldt is the principal correspondent in this series. A small amount of the correspondence is written in German and French. John M. and Vivia Steinfeldt wrote a long succession of postcards from all over the world to Erma Shulper.
Arranged by correspondent and organized chronologically.
Box Folder
1 Steinfeldt, John Mathias
1 Contracts, 1914-1940
2 Family, 1896-1942 and undated
3 Personal, Undated
4 Personal, 1889-1945
5 Professional, Undated
6 Professional, 1896-1932
7 Professional, 1933-1944
Box Folder
2 1 Steinfeldt, Vivia, 1902-1932
2 Condolence, 1936-1946
3 Shulper, Erma, undated

2. Programs and Clippings, 1903-1968

Programs from concerts in which John M. Steinfeldt or his family and pupils played. Newspaper clippings which mention John M. Steinfeldt and his family and friends. Some of these clippings also mention pupils of the Steinfeldts.
Box Folder
2 Programs
4 Family, 1924-1934
5 John Mathias, 1896-1943
6 Pupil, 1900-1942
7 Family, 1910-1968 and undated
8 Friends, 1932-1935 and undated
Box Folder
3 1 John Mathias, Undated
2 John Mathias, 1903-1946

3. Scores, 1819-1949 and undated

Includes compositions by John M. Steinfeldt, including drafts, sketches and fragments of musical manuscripts, as well as works by other composers. Some of these other works have been autographed by the composers, some have notations made by the Steinfeldts or their pupils. Others have been inscribed by the Steinfeldts, in some cases with personal notes. There are four additional feet of unprocessed scores that were owned by the Steinfeldt family.
Arranged by type of score and organized by composer.
Box Folder
3 John Mathias
3 Index and Notes, undated
4 Adagio, undated
5 Appreciation, 1937
6 At the Old Chateau, 1905
7 Ave Maria, 1903-1940 and undated
8 Aveu (Confession), 1940
9 Ballad (dedicated to his wife), undated
10 Barcarolle/Impromtu Minuetto, 1896 and undated
11 Berceuse et Revere (dedicated to his wife), 1900
12 Brinnerung an Nordwalde, 1903
13 Chanson D'Amore, 1907
14 Chasing Butterflies, undated
15 A Cheerful Fancy (Why Worry?), 1930
16 Dance from Spain (Danza Espanol), 1928
17 Le Desir (Longing), 1906
18 Dreaming by the Brooklet, 1928
19 Echoes from Vienna, 1928
20 Eight Miniatures,1928
21 Ensuenos de San Antonio (Dreams of San Antonio), 1907
22 Etude Poetique, 1934
23 An Evening at the Grand Canal in Venice, 1939
24 Evening Song, 1929
25 A Fairy Tale, 1928
26 Fondayne, 1944
27 The Fountain, 1905
28 Four Miniatures, 1904
29 A Forest Violet, 1909
30 A Fragment, 1938
31 Furl Your Sail, My Little Boatie, 1913
32 Gavottina (dedicated to Bruno Klein) and La Graciosa, undated
33 General Wheaton's March, 1895
34 Gloria and Go to Sleep, undated
35 Grave, undated
36 Haec est Domus Domini, undated
37 Handel's Largo, undated
38 Happy Go Lucky, undated
39 A Haunted Place in the Forest, 1928
40 Hodie Chritus Naturs est (Christmas Anthem), undated
41 Homage to MacDowell, 1929-1969
42 Hymn to the Incarnate Word, 1939
43 I Think of Thee and Tubal Cain, undated
Box Folder
4 1 In an Old Feudal Garden, undated
2 J.S. Bach: Das WohlTemperiate Klavier
3 Jesu Redemtor Omnium, undated
4 Jesus in the Manager, undated
5 Le jeu de la Fontaine, undated
6 Jli es Sacredos, undated
7 Kyrie, 1924
8 Leaves are Dancing, 1928
9 A Legend, undated
10 A Little Reverence to Papa Bach, 1928
11 Die Lotusblume, undated
12 Lupita, 1905
13 Madre Hummoreque, undated
14 March (dedicated to Lola Stone-Evans), undated
15 March Armistice, undated
16 Marzurka Caprice, undated
17 Melancolia and Melancolie, 1933
18 Memorare, 1936
19 Minuet, undated
20 Missa in Honorum Sti Thomae Apostoli, 1934
21 Missa Maria Immaculuta, 1924
22 Minuet, undated
23 Moose Lullaby and Ox
24 Morning Prayer, undated
25 The Nightblooming Cereus, 1933-1938
26 “Nita” Valse de Salon (dedicated to Anita Schlathey), undated
27 O Saving Victim, undated
28 Panis Angelieus, 1940
29 Un Pensee Merreilleuse, 1933
30 Le Petit Moulin, 1929
31 Petite Champion and a Portrait, undated
32 Porque me abondeste?, 1942
33 A Prelude (dedicated to Bernhardt Kalthoff), 1938
34 Recollection of Switzerland, 1929
35 Recurerdos De San Antonio,
36 Red Roses, 1935
37 Reverie d' Amour, 1904
38 Reverie at Twilight, 1928
39 Romance Triste dedicated to Viva Steinfeldt, 1942
40 Romantic San Antonio, 1926-1927
41 Romanza in E flat and Romance Sans Paroles, undated
42 Le Ruisseau, 1905
43 Salve Pastor Joseph and Salve Regina, undated
44 Sanctus, undated
45 Scherzetto, 1940
46 Scherzo Caprice, 1940
47 The Serenade, undated
48 Sernata Mexicana, 1927
49 Since we Parted Yestereve, 1928
50 The Soilders are Coming, undated
Box Folder
5 1 Die Sotusblume, undated
2 Song of the Blessed Sacrament, undated
3 Song of the River, 1920
4 Squirrels at Play, 1928
5 Studies by A. Henselt and TH. Dohler, 1888
6 Supplication, 1941
7 Sur le Sac, 1926
8 The Swallow, undated
9 Tendresse, 1941
10 Tensamientos, 1933-1935
11 Texas Liberty, undated
12 Thee I've Ever Loved, 1912
13 Thinking of you, undated
14 Three Minatures, undated
15 Three Twilight Moods, 1934
16 Twenty Third Psalm, undated
17 Tristesse, undated
18 Untitled or uncertain, 1881 and undated
19 Valse d'Armor, 1924
20 Valse Lent on the Musical Name La-Re-Do, 1927
21 Valse Miniature andVere Domimus est loco isto, undated
22 Water Hyacinths (dedicated to Supita Martinez), 1933
23 Where the Waters Rush and Sing, 1926
24 Wind and Stream and A Winter Violet, undated
25 The Word of God and Wehmuth, 1934 and undated
26 Yolanda, 1941
27 The Young Musicians Waltz,
28 Zwei Klavierstuecke (dedicated to Viginia Gillette)
Box Folder
6 1 Autographed, 1891-1956
Folder Folder
6 John Mathias or Cecile
Box Folder
6 2 A, 1907-1932
3 Bach, 1913-1930 and undated
4 Beach-Boston, 1914-1931
5 Brahms, 1915-1922 and undated
6 Cademan-Chopin, 1913-1949
7 Cole-Cui, 1906-1924
8 Diabelli-Dvorak, 1903-1938
9 Falla-Gurlitt, 1906-1931
Box Folder
7 1 Hambourg-Huss,1902-1931
2 Jensen-Lichtner, 1908-1929
3 Litz, 1915-1925 and undated
4 Loomis-Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, 1913-1930
5 Modern Russian Piano Music, 1915
Box Folder
8 1 Moszkowski-Raff, 1913-1926
2 Ravel-Scharwenka, 1887-1935 and undated
3 Schubert-Seeling,1892-1927 and undated
4 Siloti-Viril,1912-1930
5 Weber-The Young American Artist, 1907-1935
Box Folder
Box Folder
9 1 B-M, 1854-1936
2 N-T, 1819-1965
Box Folder
Box Folder
9 3 Arensky-Buck,1890-1939
4 Chopin-Dohnanyi, 1881-1917
Box Folder
10 1 Egghard-Joseffy, 1879-1929 and undated
2 Lind-Litz, 1903-1908 and undated
3 Marzials-Mozart, 1898-1943 and undated
Box Folder
11 1 Parker-Pierne, 1905-1928 and undated
2 Rimsky-Korsakov- Rubenstein, 1879-1912 and undated
3 Schubert, 1875
4 Scarletti-Simmons, 1887-1939 and undated
Box Folder
12 1 Social-Strauss, 1850-1936
2 Untitled
3 Thome-Wood, 1925 and undated

4. Scrapbooks and Photographs, 1895-1993 and undated

Scrapbooks that were put together by the Steinfeldt family. They contain clippings, programs and other ephemera. The photographs include family and tourist pictures as well as photographs given to the Steinfeldts by pupils. One photograph album was transferred from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library in 1993 and has been indexed. This series includes oversized material kept at the end of the collection (OVS 1-4).
Arranged chronologically.
Box Folder
Box Folder
OVS 1 1 1895-1915
Box Folder
12 4 1900-1920 and undated
5 1911-1916
6 1911-1920
Box Folder
13 1 1919-1934
2 1919-1938
3 1920-1925
Box Folder
OVS 1 2 1920-1929
3 1922-1938
Box Folder
13 4 1924-1936
Box Folder
OVS 2 1 1927-1933
Box Folder
13 5 1934-1935
Box Folder
OVS 2 2 1939-1944
3 1946-1947
Box Folder
OVS 3 1 1950
2 1951-1952
3 1953-1954
Box Folder
14 1 Cecilia, 1925-1936
2 Cecilia, 1945
3 Robert H., 1916-1943 and undated
4 Europe, undated
Box Folder
OVS 4 1 Album, [1890-1910]
2 Index of Album, 1993
Box Folder
14 5 Family
6 Miscellaneous, undated
7 Identified, 1924-1932
8 Unidentified, undated

5. Topical Files, 1900-1989

This series contains administrative and teaching material from the San Antonio College of Music. It also contains family biographical information as well as other topics of interest to Steinfeldt family members. Recordings of some John M. Steinfeldt's compositions are in this series. Material relating to San Antonio musician Walter Dunham is also here.
Arranged alphabetically and organized chronologically.
Box Folder
14 9 Biographical Material
10 The Homophonic forms of Musical Composition
Box Folder
15 1 Music: An Art and a Language, 1920
2 Shawmut: or The Settlement of Boston by the Puritan Pilgrims, 1845
Dunham, Walter
3 Correspondence, 1930-1942
4 Miscellaneous, 1941-1989 and undated
5 Photographs, 1923-1928 and undated
6 Programs, 1922 - 1940 and undated
7 Honors for John M. Steinfeldt, 1925-1934
8 Music Associations, 1901-1979
9 Notes for Texas Composers and Their Compositions by Cecile Steinfeldt Marshall.
San Antonio College of Music
10 Programs and Announcements,
11 Teaching Materials, 1896-1942
Box Folder
16 1 Teaching Materials, undated
2 Ledgers, 1921-1922
3 Ledgers, 1922-1923
4 Ledgers, 1925-1927
5 Ledgers, 1921-1929
6 Ledgers, 1927-1942
Mapping Materials
Box Folder
17 1 Maps, 1887-1976
2 Manuals, 1956-1969
Music Recordings of John M. Steinfeldt Compositions
3 Chanson d' Amor Serenata Mejioana
4 The Fountain
5 The Fountain with other pieces
6 The Fountain (played by John Steinfeldt)
7 Star Chart, undated
Notebook, undated