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Gordon Childs collection on other violists, 1782-2014, bulk: bulk 1900-2014

Identifier: MSS 8507 Series 2

Scope and Contents

This series contains materials Gordon Childs collected and received from several prominent contemporary viola d'amore players and composers. The collection includes a rare piece of music given to him by the well-known composer, Vaclav Nelhybel, to perform. Dated 1782-2014 with the bulk being from 1900-2014.


  • Publication: 1782-2014
  • Majority of material found within 1900-2014


Language of Materials

Materials in English, Italian, German, and French.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Gordon Childs papers on the Viola d'Amore must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

Gordon Childs (born 1927) is a well-known viola d'amore performer and teacher and was one of the co-founders of the International Viola d'Amore Society/Congress.

Born on October 22, 1927 in Springville, Utah, Gordon B. Childs has B.A. and M.A. degrees in Music Education and Musicology from Brigham Young University and the Ed.D. degree in Music Administration from the University of Montana.

A violist and violinist, he was introduced to the Viola d'Amore by Homer Wakefield in a music history class at BYU in the fall of 1951. He subsequently wrote his master's thesis on the History, Technique and Literature of the Viola d'Amore, and played a graduate recital of viola d'amore music using Wakefield's instrument.

From solo to chamber music to concerti, he has given solo recitals, chamber music concerts and played concertos with symphony orchestras in most of the mid-west and western states in America and in Mexico, Poland and Germany.

Assisted by Myron Rosenblum of New York and Daniel Thomason of California, the directors of the Viola d'Amore Society of America, Childs hosted the first International Viola d'Amore Congress in 1982 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie where he was on the music faculty. Since the success of this first Congress, others have been held every other year in many cities in the United States, in England, Germany, and Poland including two he organized in Utah after retiring there in 1993.

Even after 21 years of retirement in Orem, Utah, Childs still teaches and performs on this beautiful "Viola d'Amore, Viole d'Amour, Viola of Love."


7 folders

2 oversize folders


Arranged into nine sub-series which are organized alphabetically by the last name of the musician: 1. Gordon Childs papers on Joseph Ceo, approximately 1900-2014. 2. Gordon Childs papers on Geoffrey Gibbs, 1989. 3. Gordon Childs papers on Robert Millett, 1998. 4. Gordon Childs papers on Vazgen Muradian, 1955-1998. 5. Gordon Childs papers on Vaclav Nelhybel, approximately 1919-1996. 6. Gordon Childs papers on Hans-Karl Piltz, approximately 1920-2014. 7. Gordon Childs papers on Daniel Thomason, 1782-1992. 8. Gordon Childs papers on Hugo Walter Voigtlander, approximately 1859-1933. 9. Gordon Childs papers on Carl Wunderle, approximately 1866-1944.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States