William A. Chrystal papers
Scope and Contents
The William A. Chrystal papers, 1946-2015, contain Chrystal's music manuscripts, programs, clippings, professional documents, and sound recordings.
Series 1 contains primarily manuscript music scores by Chrystal. These include Chrystal's arrangements for piano or another solo instrument of classical works, popular songs, and jazz standards, and scores of Chrystal's original compositions, including incidental music for orchestra.
Series 2 contains programs of musical events that Chrystal participated in as a pianist, conductor, or composer. Also included are clippings, photographs, and a scrapbook of professional correspondence and documents. This series also contains some materials related to Chrystal's students, including musical theater composer Stephen Flaherty.
Series 3 contains unpublished sound recordings featuring Chrystal as a pianist, conductor, arranger, or composer. The majority of the analog tapes in this collection have been digitized.
- Creation: 1946 - 2015
- Chrystal, William A. (Person)
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.
Biographical / Historical
William A. Chrystal (1931-2008) was a pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor based in the Pittsburgh area for most of his career. He attended the Peabody Conservatory in the 1950s and earned a Teacher's Certificate (1951), Artist Diploma (1954), and Master of Music (1956) in piano performance. Chrystal was a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra, and the Wheeling Symphony. He served on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, taught at Chatham College, and gave private lessons.
1.74 Cubic Feet (7 flat score boxes, 2 legal document boxes, 1 small card file box, 1 medium photograph album, 33 reel-to-reel audiotapes)
Language of Materials
William A. Chrystal was a pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor based in the Pittsburgh area for most of his career. He attended the Peabody Conservatory in the 1950s and earned degrees in piano performance. The William A. Chrystal papers contain music manuscripts, programs, clippings, professional documents, and sound recordings.
Other Finding Aids
An inventory of song arrangements is available offline. Please contact the Peabody Archives for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Scores gifted by Chrystal's widow, Ann Traeger, in 2012. Documents, photographs, and recordings gifted by Traeger in 2020.
Series 1 processed by Isaac Greene and Matt Testa in 2017. Series 2-3 processed by Matt Testa in 2022-2023.
During processing of sound recordings in 2022-2023, Matt retained identifiers assigned by Tree Lady Studios when possible and extended the naming convention for other media objects that did not have a usable identifier. In most cases it was possible to identify the analog media objects that correspond to the digital objects, but there were a few digital files whose master tapes were not received (or are mislabeled) and several recordings where Matt could not definitively say which reels correspond to which digital files.
Matt imposed some loose arrangement of digital files created by Tree Lady Studios in an effort to connect the digital files with their analog masters and prepare them for Peabody's digital preservation systems. A "pims0008_" prefix was appended, but otherwise the original file names were unchanged.
- Guide to the William A. Chrystal papers
- Matt Testa
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Edition statement
- Revised in 2023 to include accession 2020-21.PIMS.14.