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German bibliophile, collector of musical manuscripts, incunabula, early editions, theoretical works, and other items.

Son of a Frankfurt industrialist, and himself later vice-president of the chamber for industry and trade in Frankfurt, Paul Hirsch was a fine violinist, and from 1896 on a collector of musical manuscripts and early editions, notably of works by Mozart, and of theoretical works from before 1800. By 1930, he was the premier music collector in Europe, with some 15,000 items. In May 1936, he moved to Cambridge, England with his whole collection, which he continued to expand thereafter. In 1946, the collection was sold to the British Museum in London. Hirsch also contributed many articles to journals and collective works, about early editions and manuscripts.

The catalogue of his (albeit not his entire) collection was published as:

  • Catalogue of Printed Music in the British Museum: Accessions, Part 53: Music in the Hirsch Library (London, 1951);
  • ibid, 3rd series, Part 291B: Books in the Hirsch Library, with Supplementary List of Music (London, 1959).

There is no known correspondence between Hirsch and Schenker. However, Hirsch was reported to have said to Schenker's pupil Felix Hupka: "I know every single one of the theoretical works of your teacher--a pugnacious fellow, your teacher!" (OJ 14/1, [H1]).


  • MGG1
  • NGDM1 and 2

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