Schirmer, G., Inc.
Schirmer, G., Inc.
Schirmer, G., Inc., American music publishing firm. It was an outgrowth of the business founded in N.Y. in 1848 by Kerksieg & Breusing, of which Gustav Schirmer became manager in 1854. With another employee, Bernard Beer, he took over the business in 1861, and the firm became known as “Beer & Schirmer.” In 1866 he became the sole owner, establishing the house of “G. Schirmer, Music Publishers, Importers and Dealers.” After his death in 1893, the firm was incorporated under the management of his sons, Rudolph Edward Schirmer and Gustave Schirmer. Rudolph Schirmer died in 1919, and was succeeded by his nephew Gustave Schirmer, third, who was president until 1921. W. Rodman Fay was president (1921–29). Carl Engel served as president from 1929 to 1944, with the exception of 1933, when Hermann Irion held the office. Gustave Schirmer, third, was again president from 1944 until 1957. In 1969 G. Schirmer, Inc. was acquired by Macmillan, Inc., and in 1973 Schirmer Books was founded as a division of Macmillan Publ. Co., Inc., taking over the publication of books on music for college, trade, and professional/reference markets, while G. Schirmer continued publication of musical works. In 1986 the latter was sold to Music Sales Corp. of N.Y. After several subsequent changes in ownership, Schirmer Books became an imprint of the Gale Group in 1999.
In 1892 the firm began publ. of the Library of Musical Classics, notable for careful editing and general typographical excellence; with its didactic Latin motto, “Musica laborum dulce lenimen,” it became a familiar part of musical homes. In the same year was launched the Collection of Operas, a series of vocal scores with original text and Eng. tr.; another series, The Golden Treasury, was begun in 1905. Schirmer’s Scholastic Series, containing pedagogical works, began publ, in 1917. Among other laudable initiatives was the American Folk-Song Series, offering authentic folk material. The firm entered the field of musical lexicography in 1900 when it publ. Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, ed. by Theodore Baker. A second ed. appeared in 1905. Alfred Remy was ed. of the third edition (1919). The fourth edition was ed. by Carl Engel (1940). Nicolas Slonimsky brought out a Supplement in 1949, and then ed. the 5th edition (1958) and the Supplements of 1965 and 1971; he subsequently ed. the 6th (1978), 7th (1984), and 8th (1992) editions. The exhaustively rev. and expanded 9th “Centennial” edition, was pubi, in 2000. Theodore Baker also compiled and ed. A Dictionary of Musical Terms (G. Schirmer, N.Y., 1895; many reprints) and Pronouncing Pocket-Manual of Musical Terms (1905; more than a million copies sold). In 1915 the Musical Quarterly was founded under the editorship of O.G. Sonneck; its subsequent editors have been Carl Engel (1929–44), Gustave Reese (1944–45), Paul Henry Lang (1945–72), Christopher Hatch (1972–77), Joan Peyser (1977–84), Eric Salzman (1984–91), and Leon Botstein (from 1992). It has pubi, articles by the foremost scholars of Europe and the U.S.; beginning in 1989, it was pubi, by the Oxford Univ. Press. The music catalog of G. Schirmer, Inc. comprises tens of thousands of publs., ranging from solo songs to full orch. scores. Particularly meritorious is the endeavor of the publishers to promote American music; the firm has pubi, works by Ernest Bloch, Charles Loeffler, Charles Griffes, Walter Piston, Roy Harris, William Schuman, Samuel Barber, Gian Carlo Menotti, Paul Creston, Leonard Bernstein, Elliott Carter, Henry Cowell, Norman Dello Joio, Morton Gould, Virgil Thomson, Milton Babbitt, Gunther Schuller, and many others; it also took over some works of Charles Ives. Among European composers, the works of Arnold Schoenberg, Gustav Holst, and Benjamin Britten are included in the Schirmer catalogue, as well as a number of works by modern Russian composers.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire