Julia Klumpkey (1870? Or 1875? -1961) "Lulu", violinist and composer, was a native of San Francisco. She attended the New England Conservatory of Music in 1894-1895, and received her diploma in violin performance in 1895. While at NEC, Klumpkey studied violin with Emil Mahr and Herman Hartmann, and composition with Percy Goetschius. In 1908, Klumpkey visited Iola Ingols in Honolulu and gave a recital there. At some point in her career, perhaps between 1910-1922, Klumpkey taught violin at Converse College in South Carolina. Apparently, she taught there for some ten years as head of the violin department, and served as concertmaster for the Spartanburg Symphony Orchestra.
In 1922 and 1929-1930, Julia attended the Conservatoire Americain, where she studied violin with Maurice Hewitt and composition with Nadia Boulanger. Klumpkey also studied with other European masters including: Eugene Ysaye (Brussels), Leopold Auer(Dresden), William Henley(London), and A. Dieudonne. In 1928, Klumpkey toured the world on a floating university, the highlight of which was seeing Gandhi in India. In the mid-1930s, Klumpkey and her sisters returned to the U. S. because of the threat of war. Julia was apparently residing with Anna in Oakland, California in 1935, and attended the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, San Francisco in 1939. Klumpkey resided in her hometown of San Francisco from at least 1950 until her death in 1961. She is buried in San Francisco at the Neptune Society's Columbarium along with two of her sisters and her father. In her will, Klumpkey left scholarships for the San Francisco Symphony and Converse College.
In addition to her accomplishments, Julia had very talented siblings: Anna
Elizabeth(1856-1942), portrait painter; Augusta (Dejirne), a doctor; Dorothea (Roberts) (1861-1942), astronomer; Mathilda (Dalton) ca.1892?-; and brother Willie, engineer, who died during WWI of spinal meningitis.
This collection consists of two manuscript boxes. The collection includes personal items(correspondence, certificates, concert programs etc),and music manuscripts of Julia Klumpkey, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in 1895. Published music originally with the collection has been separated out and individually cataloged.
This collection was discovered among some used music at the San Francisco
Conservatory by an NEC alumnus, David Reffkin. These materials had been donated to the San Francisco Conservatory by Julia's grand-niece, Catherine Mueller (granddaughter of Julia's sister Mathilda). Reffkin organized these materials and donated them to NEC in January 1991. In November 2008, a copy of a Julia Klumpkey letter from 1933 was added to the collection with email documentation.
Scope and Content Note
The Julia Klumpkey collection consists of five boxes of materials, mostly spanning from 1895-1950s. The first box contains items of a personal nature including documents, letters, newspaper clippings, brochures, photographs and other miscellaneous items relating to Julia Klumpkey's life. Through this portion of the collection, one can get a glimpse into the life of an extraordinary woman of her time, and also into her relationship with her equally talented sisters, particularly Anna. The recent correspondence concerning this collection is very helpful in putting together a biographical sketch, although somewhat incomplete, of Klumpkey's life. The majority of the collection, however, consists of Klumpkey's music. The box of published music is organized chronologically, while the two boxes of manuscripts are organized by genre...songs, string trios, orchestral music etc.
Access to the Julia Klumpkey collection is through the permission of the Archivist or Library Director at New England Conservatory. Appointments must be scheduled in advance.
All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory. Permission to publish materials from this collection isgranted by the Director of Libraries. This collection should be cited as: Julia Klumpkey Collection, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.