The Loeb Music Library is pleased to announce that The Werner Josten collection, 1917-1971 is now described online and available to use.

Born in Elberfeld, Germany in 1885, Werner Josten was educated in Munich, then in Switzerland and France. A 1917 concert programme shows that he returned home at least periodically as a young man, and this print of Elberfeld as seen from afar was among his belongings, both suggesting that he harbored good feelings toward his hometown after leaving it for larger cities and, eventually, America.

Concert program from a 1917 performance of Werner Josten's music in his hometown, Elberfeld

Merritt Room Ms. Coll. 173, Box 1

A print depicting the German town of Elberfeld, as seen from afar.

Merritt Room Ms. Coll. 173, Box 1

He toured the United States in 1920 and decided, while here, to emigrate. He became a professor at Smith College (whose Josten Performing Arts Library is named for him), conducting productions of the American premières of several Monteverdi operas, including, in 1969, L’Orfeo. Josten’s work was championed by Leopold Stokowski and by Serge Koussevitzky.

Manuscript score of a song entitled Abschied. Signed Werner Josten, 1920.

Merritt Room Ms. Coll. 173, Box 4

The collection consists chiefly of songs in both manuscript and print versions but there are also many manuscript transcriptions of works by other composers.

Werner Josten's arrangement of a piece by Lully and Rameau

Merritt Room Ms. Coll. 173, Box 5

All were the gift to this library of his late son-in-law, Charles Lowe ’42.

These and other special collections items are found in the Isham Memorial Library, which is located on the second floor of the Loeb Music Library. For directions to Isham as well as hours and contact information, please visit its website.