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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

MUS 199

Thumbnail [44K] Oscar Peterson, [194-?], Photo: D.C. [Langford]. (by permission of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company).

Oscar Peterson fonds.  - 1940-1998.  - 2.42 m of textual records.  - 598 photographs.  - 3 slides.  - 8 graphic records  - 8 audio tape cassettes. 

Biographical sketch
Pianist, singer and composer born in Montréal, Quebec, Oscar Peterson studied piano with his sister before pursuing his training with pianists Lou Hooper and Paul de Marky.  In 1940 he won an amateur music competition, and about this time began his radio program Fifteen Minutes Piano Rambling.  From 1948 to 1949, he formed a trio with double bassist Austin "Ozzie" Roberts, drummer Clarence Jones and, for a time, guitarist Ben Johnson.  The trio performed at the Alberta Lounge club and on radio station CFCF in Montréal.  In 1951, under the management of American impresario Norman Granz, the artist formed a new trio (piano, guitar and double bass) in the United States.  With his trio and as a soloist, Oscar Peterson gaves many concerts in the United States, Canada and Europe.  His compositions include Canadiana Suite, Hallelujah Time, Blues for Big Scotia, African Suite, Easter Suite, Royal Wedding Suite and Hymn to Freedom.  Winner of many Grammy Awards, he was also made an Officer of the Order of Canada (1972), Companion of the Order of Canada (1984), Officer of the Ordre des arts et des lettres in France (1989), and Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec (1991). 

Scope and content
The fonds consists of records pertaining to the musical activities and popularity of Oscar Peterson.  It contains, among others items,  biographical records; passport; correspondence; contracts; lecture notes; itineraries and schedules; certificates; diplomas; concert programmes; financial records; posters and promotional material; press clippings; periodicals; photographs of Oscar Peterson; sound recordings by various artists. 

The fonds contains the following series: MUS 199/A Correspondence; MUS 199/B Concerts; MUS 1999/C Awards, Honours and Tributes; MUS 199/D Printed Material Concerning Oscar Peterson; MUS 199/E Drawings, Serigraph and Reproductions; MUS 199/F Photographs; MUS 199/G Miscellaneous.

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from Oscar Peterson in several accessions, between 1991 and 1997. 

Restrictions:  none. 

Finding aids:  Stéphane Jean.  The Oscar Peterson fonds: Numerical List. Ottawa:  National Library of Canada.  2000. 43 p.  (

Accruals:  further accessions expected. 

Proactive Disclosure