Fonds 1473 - Maurice Zbriger Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Maurice Zbriger Fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the subject of the fonds.

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

CA JPL-A 1473

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1918-1989 (Creation)
    Creator
    Zbriger, Maurice, 1896-1981

Physical description area

Physical description

Contains 0.13m of textual records, 151 photographs, and 49 sound recordings.

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1896-1981)

Biographical history

Maurice Zbriger was a Canadian composer, conductor, and violinist born on July 10, 1896 in Kamenets-Podolskiy, Ukraine in 1896. Trained in violin as a child and into adult under Leopold Auer at the St Petersburg Conts (alongside Jascha Heifetz and Nathan Milstein), Zbriger spent his budding music career performing at cafes around Europe until 1924, when he emigrated to Montreal.

Zbriger devoted the following decades of his life to his music career, beginning with co-founding the Traymore Quartet (later Traymore Salon Orchestra) in 1925 where he popularized the “gypsy music” genre in Canada and produced 78s for Compo. Zbriger was primarily a soloist and conductor, and collaborated with numerous radio programs--most notably CKAC, through which he hosted a radio program for 40 years, and CBC. Zbriger joined the Montreal Orchestra in the early 1930s, and later on in the decade became a member of the orchestra of the CSM (MSO) and Montreal festivals. Zbriger co-composed a number of his 250 songs (including 42 marches and 8 overtures) with his wife Mary Zbriger; some notable musicians who performed his works include Yolande Dulude, Yoland Guérard, and Erna Sacks.

For the last several decades of his life, Zbriger was the sole owner of Schwartz’s in Montreal. Zbriger passed away in 1981. In 1982 the NFB produced a film about him entitled The Concert Man.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds is comprised mostly of records pertaining to Maurice Zbriger's career as a musician and composer, including sheet music both used by Zbriger in practice, and composed by Zbriger himself, mostly ranging from the late 1910s through the 1950s. Likewise, the fonds contains several albums worth of vinyl and shellac records to which Zbriger contributed, typically as composer; while some of the records are commercial editions, many are first prints or one-offs. Additionally, some signage and pamphlets for concerts and performances can be found in the fonds, as well as newspaper clippings and signed documentation pertaining to a song's copyright.

The fonds also contains a number of photographs of Zbriger's family, friends, and collaborators. Many feature his wife, Mary Zbriger, or Maurice Zbriger with other musicians (including Erna Sack at CKAC); additionally, a small collection of musicians' portraits (some of whom were Zbrgier's collaborators) is included.

Finally, a number of Zbriger's personal documents, including a small amount of personal correspondence, notes, and memos, can be found in the fonds.

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Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Romanian
  • Russian

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    General note

    All sound recordings are currently being stored at O/S 4 in their albums while they await archival record sleeves (they will ultimately end up in O/S 2 & 3).

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    This description was created by Processing Archivist Kate Moore on October 30th, 2022.

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