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Karen Tuttle papers

Identifier: MSS 8308

Scope and Contents

Contains the personal papers of violist Karen Tuttle, including music scores, recordings of viola performances, concert programs, and personal documents. Also contains materials related to Karen's work in viola pedagogy, including letters to students, clippings, notes, and publications. Materials dated approximately 1720 to 2007. Earlier dated materials are part of the scores series, and are facsmiles. The bullk of the materials are dated 1940-2007.


  • approximately 1720-2007
  • Majority of material found within 1940-2007


Conditions Governing Access

Photographs in folders 3 and 5: Open for public research. Items kept in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Negatives in folder 4: Open for public research. Items kept in cold storage; access requires 72 hours advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Karen Tuttle was born Katherine Ann Tuttle on March 28, 1920, in Lewiston, Idaho. Early in adulthood, she changed her name to Karen. Karen became an accomplished violinist at an early age. She studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with William Primrose where she switched to the viola and developed the "Karen Tuttle Coordination Technique." Karen became a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as the Peabody Conservatory, the Mannes School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Banff Centre of Performing Arts.

She participated in six Marlboro Festivals under Rudolph Serkin, had solo performances with Scheider Chamber Orchestra, Scherman "Little Orchestra Society," and Saidenberg Chamber Orchestra, and toured across the United States as a viola soloist with the Camera Concerti and with the Association of American Colleges. Her Carnegie Hall debut was in 1960. Karen was a member of the Philomusica Chamber Society in New York, and the Theater Chamber Players in Washington, D.C. She was a member of The Julliard School faculty from 1987 to 2003. Karen Tuttle died December 16, 2011, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


2 boxes (1 linear ft.)

3 folders (0.3 linear ft.)

1 oversize folder (0.1 linear ft.)

2 media boxes (1 linear ft.)

6 oversize boxes (3.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in five series: 1. Karen Tuttle personal papers, 1940s-2001. 2. Karen Tuttle papers on performances, 1948-1980. 3. Karen Tuttle pedagogy papers, 1961-2007. 4. Karen Tuttle collection of scores, approximately 1720-1999. 5. Karen Tuttle audio recordings, approximately 1950-1997.

Custodial History

Materials were donated by Karen Tuttle's daughter, Robin Herskowitz Heald, in 2013 and January 2019.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Robin Herskowitz Heald; 2013.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Robin Herskowitz Heald; January 2019.


Published and manuscript music and methods that feature the viola (Music Special Collections Collection Development Policy, IV.a).

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital copies of recordings available for use in the Reading Room.

Processing Information

Processed; Lizzy Thorup; November 2023.

  • Headshots, programs, clippings, teaching materials
Register of Karen Tuttle papers
In Progress
Karen Glenn
2024 March 4
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States