Skip to main content

Adalbert and Family Virkhaus papers

Identifier: IHRC3790


Certificates, diplomas of Kirsti and Taavo. correspondence of the family, Journal "Triinu" article, newspaper clippings, programs, books: "Judging and Coaching Women’s Gymnastics" by K.Kjeldsen, C.O.Bowers, J.U.Fie, A.B.Schmid; "Who’s Who Gymnastics 1973" by US Gynastics Federation; "Su palet ma otsin" by L.-A.Parlo (poetry); "Ad Astra" by H.Visnapuu (poetry); "Elurada" by K.E.Sööt (poetry); "Juhan Simm Sõnas ja Pildis" (Tallinn 1975, book about J.Simm); "Mart Saar Sõnas ja Pildis" (Tallinn 1973, book about M.Saar); "Vari" by Juhan Liiv (Geislingen 1947, poetry); "Sinine Liblikas" by Karl Ristikivi (Stockholm 1946); Catalogue - A Representative Selection of Estonian Books and a Special Exhibit of Estonian Exlibris (1944-1972); 6 gift books about Estonia (1966-1975); church periodicals (3 pcs); "Selection Of Choral Songs" published by Estonian Singers Association (2 pcs)


  • undated

Language of Materials

Estonian, English


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.


Adalbert Virkhaus (Adalbert August Wirkhaus) was composer and conductor. He was born on 17.05.1880 in village Väägvere, parish Sootaga, Estonia and died on 19.12.1961 in Fort Lauderdale, USA. He was a founder of Estonian brass music and as a follower of K.A. Hermann and Aleksander Läte he was one of the founders of Estonian national music and first professional Estonian conductor. He graduated in 1908 the Conservatory of Leipzig (Artur Nikischi conducting and Max Reger composition class). He worked in 1909-1912 in theatre "Estonia", 1912-1917 in society "Säde"=The Spark in Valga as conductor; 1918-1943 in Tartu as music teacher, he also conducted choirs and orchestras. He conducted first operas and operettas in "Estonia". 1944 he fled to Germany and in 1949 emigrated to USA where he continued his work as composer, conductor and organist. Father: David Otto Virkhaus (1837-1912; conductor and music figure; 1851-1912 conducted brass band of Väägvere); broher:Leo Virkhaus (1910-1984); wife: Helene Virkhaus (maiden name Sild, 24.12.1895-17.05.1992); son: Taavo Virkhaus; daughter: Kristi Virkhaus Kjeldsen. Kirsti (Kitty) Virkhaus Kjeldsen was born in Tartu, Estonia, on 02.03.1930 and died on 27.12.2004 in Norh Conoway hospital, USA. 1944 fled with her family to Germany. She studied at Estonian Gymnasium in Geislingen. 1949 emigrated with family to USA. Graduated from Springfield College with a degree in physical education (1956); later MA of Computer Science. Taught and coached women’s gymnastics at UMASS Amherst. She was director of the National Women’s Gymnastics Judging Association and worked at several financial institutions in the field of computer programming and analysis. Taavo Virkhaus was born on 29.06.1934. He studied in Elementary School of Tartu Seminary for 1,5 year. 1944 fled to Germany. There he continued his studies in Estonian Elementary School in Gesilingen and after that in Estonian Gymnasium in Geislingen. 1949 emigrated to USA. 1951-1955 he studied in University of Miami (field of study was music). 1957 graduated the University of Rochester Eastman Music School with MA of music theory, 1967 graduated same school with PhD. 1956 he made his debut in conducting with the Miami Ballet Guild orchestra. Since that he has been conducting several orchestras in USA, Canada, Europe and Russia. 1978 he got the first opportunity to conduct in Estonia (Estonian National Symphony Orchestra). T.Virkhaus has presented a number of Estonian composer’s works in America. T.Virhaus has worked in Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as conductor; University of Rochester. Eastman School of Music as assistant, professor, associate professor and director of music; West Miami Junior High School as music teacher (1955-1956); Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra as conductor and music director (1977-1994); Huntsville Symphony Orchestra as conductor (1989-2003). Social activities: The Eduard Tubin Society (member); Estonian American National Council (council member); corp. Fraternitas Estica (member); Estonian Mixed Choir in Buffalo (conductor, 1957-1961). Tartu City Government recognized him with the medal to honor his activities for carrying on Estonian music life in Abroad and for participating in Estonian and Tartu Song Festivals


1 Linear Feet


Collection transferred to the IHRC from the Estonian Archives in the U.S.A. (EAU) in 2003-2005. It was processed as part of a collaborative project between the Estonian Archives in the USA (Lakewood, New Jersey), the National Archives of Estonia (NAE), and the IHRC in March 2011. Gerli Raadik and Peeter Valjas of the National Archives in Tallinn, Estonia, worked with IHRC staff on the project.

IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area