Theater Chamber Players records
Scope and Contents
The Theater Chamber Players records (1960-2007) include administrative and business documents, correspondence, working files, concert programs, publicity material, photographs, recordings, scores, and reference material.
Series 1 contains documents related to the founding of TCP and its players. Included are basic administrative papers, biographies of players/musicians, and the papers of Dina Koston. Series 2 contains the business records of TCP. These include meeting minutes, fundraising material, grant applications, tax records, musician contracts, licensing agreements, and outreach material. Series 3 contains information about various composers. Included are concert programs and correspondence. Series 4 contains correspondence from composers, members of TCP, and the general public.
Series 5 includes concert programs and working documents related to the planning of each concert. Series 6 contains TCP publicity material, including brochure drafts, clippings, press releases, advertisements, and correspondence relating to PR. Series 7 contains concert programs and loose publications related to TCP performances from 1968 to 2004. Series 8 includes newspaper reviews and other press about TCP performances from 1968 to 1986. Series 9 contains print photographs of TCP members, performances, rehearsals, and travel.
Series 10 contains various recordings of TCP performances between 1960 and 2003. The formats include reel-to-reel tape, audiocassette, CD-ROM, DAT (digital audio tape), and Betavideo. Series 11 includes published and photocopied scores that have been annotated by TCP musicians for performances. Series 12 includes reference publications related to music and performance, including music catalogs and newsletters from publishers.
- Theater Chamber Players (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for use at the Peabody Archives.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.
Some scores from this collection may circulate to Johns Hopkins University borrowers.
Biographical / Historical
Established in 1968, the Theater Chamber Players (TCP) were one of Washington D.C.'s most distinguished artistic organizations for over 30 years. Dina Koston (pianist and composer) and Leon Fleisher (pianist and conductor) co-founded the TCP to present concerts of 20th-century music in tandem with time-honored chamber repertoire. Rather featuring a program of either just traditional or contemporary chamber music, the TCP aimed to introduce audiences to new music by putting it in aesthetic and historical context. They accomplished this by juxtaposing contemporary pieces with legacy chamber works of a similar musical character to illustrate the heritage and evolution of those musical features.
Koston and Fleisher also wanted to use the TCP as a vehicle for demonstrating that there is more to chamber music than string trios and quartets. They featured chamber ensemble pieces that included winds, percussion, and voice. To these ends, TCP commissioned, premiered, and introduced audiences to many contemporary composers.
The TCP began performing at the Washington Theater Club in 1968, and in 1974 it became the Smithsonian’s first resident chamber ensemble. In 1977 it was the first group to be named “resident ensemble” at the new Terrace Theater in Washington’s Kennedy Center. The group also performed in Baltimore, New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, and was broadcast by National Public Radio and CBS Television. The ensemble disbanded in 2003.
The Theater Chamber Players had a strong connection to the Peabody Conservatory faculty. In addition to long-time faculty member Leon Fleisher, who co-directed the ensemble, conducted, and sometimes performed as a pianist, soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson performed with the group and served on its board of directors, and co-founder and co-director Dina Koston taught at the Conservatory for a time. Other Peabody faculty who performed with TCP include Laurence Lesser, Ellen Mack, Berl Senofsky, Donald Sutherland, and Karen Tuttle. Peabody Conservatory alumni, including Patricia Green, Hyo Kang, Kim Kashkashian, Sharon Robinson, David Starobin, Jeanette Walters, and Andre Watts, also appeared with the TCP.
66.5 Cubic Feet (66 boxes and 30 map-case drawers)
Language of Materials
The Theater Chamber Players, founded by Peabody Institute faculty members Dina Koston and Leon Fleisher, were a chamber music ensemble that featured 20th-century music and was based primarily in Washington, D.C., from 1968 to 2003. The TCP records include administrative and business documents, correspondence, working files, concert programs, publicity material, photographs, recordings, scores, and reference material.
Other Finding Aids
A partial inventory of Series 10 (Recordings) is available offline. Contact the Peabody Archives for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of the estate of Dina Koston in 2009, facilitated by Phyllis Bryn-Julson.
Processed by Rebecca Roose in 2016.
- Guide to the Theater Chamber Players records
- Kerri Sheehan
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note