Peter and Agnes Lisowsky papers
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains personal and professional materials from the life of two musicians resident primarily in St. Paul, MN. There are three boxes of personal correspondence (between Peter and Agnes Lisowsky while Peter was touring with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra), five boxes of personal documents (wills, contracts, etc.), books, tapes and clippings, scrapbooks, one box of photos and three boxes of concert programs containing programs of concerts attend by the Lisowskys and of concerts in which one or the other played an instrument.
- Creation: 1910-2004 (bulk 1924-1970)
Language of Materials
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open and available for use by researchers in the Andersen Library Reading Room.
Restrictions on Use
There are no restrictions on the collection.
Peter Lisowsky was born June 26, 1883 in St. Paul, MN. From the age of 14 he played the violin in a wide variety of settings, including the St. Paul Symphony Orchestra, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, and around with orchestras around the world including Stockholm, Poland, New York and Boston.
He trained at the Cincinnati Conservatory and the NE Conservatory (Boston), and studied with Alexander Mogilewski, the former head of the Moscow Conservatory.
Lisowsky returned often to St. Paul and played at the Café Continental (in the Commodore Hotel), the Terrace Grill (in the Hotel Lowry) and organized the St. Paul Junior Symphony in 1925. This organization became the Center Symphony, housed in the St. Paul Jewish Community Center and Lisowsky conducted for 25 years. Over the years he played with or conducted such groups as the Griffe Opera Company (Minneapolis, MN), the Minneapolis Arts Orchestra, the Minnesota Federal Symphony Orchestra (a WPA project), and formed the Peter Lisowsky Symphony Orchestra to play engagements on an irregular basis.
Lisowsky married Agnes Thro in 1930. Thro was born in Mankato, MN in 1905 and began taking piano lessons during high school (taking the train from Mankato to Minneapolis (MN) each week) and later attended MacPhail, graduating in 1924. She accompanied singers and students of Lewis Shawe, a well-known voice teacher in St. Paul, MN.
The Lisowskys remained immersed in music until the end of their lives – Peter played violin, toured with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra and conducted various musical groups; Agnes gave piano lessons and arranged recitals for her students at various halls over the years.
Peter Lisowsky died on February 20, 1970; Agnes Lisowsky died in November, 2004.
(from notes prepared by Dr. David Docter, former chair of the Music Department at Normandale Community College (Bloomington, MN) and processor of the collection. A much longer sketch of the lives of the Lisowskys is available in the Archives.)
The collection contains personal and professional materials from the life of two musicians resident primarily in St. Paul, MN. There is personal correspondence (between Peter and Agnes Lisowsky while Peter was touring with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra), personal documents (wills, contracts, etc.), books, tapes and clippings, scrapbooks, photos and concert programs.
The collection is organized into four series:
- Personal Papers
Received in 2005 from the Minnesota Orchestra.
The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Dr. David Docter.
- Peter and Agnes Lisowsky papers
- Dr. David Docter
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note