The Roman Ryterband Collection

Roman Ryterband (1914-1977) was a pianist, composer and conductor, active in Poland, Switzerland, Canada and the United States. The history of the Collection goes back to the late 1980s when, following her husband’s passing, Clarissa Ryterband reached out to Wanda Wilk, the PMC’s founder and former director. It was not until 2015, however, when we gradually began to receive materials carefully sorted and arranged by the composer’s daughter, Diana Eisele. The stream of deliveries of the Ryterband Collection to the PMC was interspersed with visiting Clarissa, who attended the April 2016 concert celebrating the donation of the Ryterband Collection to us. Additional deposits to PMC were made by the Ryterband family throughout 2017.

The Ryterband Collection contains manuscripts, family photographs, correspondence, and recordings. Some of Ryterband’s manuscripts were given by his widow in the mid-1980s to the Moldenhauer Library at Harvard University, so the PMC has copies or alternate versions of these works. The highlights of the Collection include:

  • Solo compositions, mainly for piano, including such works as Three Nocturnes (1939-1941), Suite Polonaise (1944), Suite internationale (1948), Sonata No. 1 (1951) as well as Deux Images for harp (1943) and Sonatina for Guitar (1978)
  • Chamber music, including works for saxophone and piano, violin and piano, cello and piano, trombone and piano, flute and harp, compositions for voice and chamber ensembles, quartets, quintets, etc.
  • Orchestral works, including Concerto for Piano, Strings and Harp (1948), Vida Heroica (1953), Russian Rhapsody (1962), We Are the People (1975), and Herakles and the Argonauts (1978)
  • Choral music with texts in Polish, German, French and English
  • Liturgical music with texts in Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish, German and English
  • Popular music with texts in Polish, German, Yiddish, English, French and Italian