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American Today


Donation Doubles the Size of Music Library

Classical music fans take note: the AU music library has recently doubled in size.

Late last year the school received about 4,000 CDs from the partner of the late Robert M. Sasmor. A classical music and opera enthusiast, Sasmor’s collection includes noted opera singer Maria Callas’s 24 complete productions.

After cataloguing the collection, the library recently has made the CDs available for checkout.

“That’s a great thing about this collection,” said Nobue Matsuoka-Motley, AU’s music librarian. “The CDs are very good quality, but we are not restricting it to be used in the library. Students are taking them out, they are circulating like crazy now.”

Sasmor was a lifetime lover and collector of music. His family provided a strong appreciation for the arts, and he followed in his mother’s footsteps as a pianist. The reverence and passion Sasmor felt for the arts is evident in both the scale and depth of his personal collection and his dedication to keeping it in pristine condition.

The instrumental part of this collection includes the Great Pianists of the Twentieth Century series featuring more than 180 artists as well as historical recording sets of violinists Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, and Arthur Grumiaux, and major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Symphony, Chicago Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra. Many of these recordings are out-of-print or imported items.

The collection is the largest and the most comprehensive sound recording donation the library has ever received. By the time the entire Sasmor collection is available to the public by January 2010, the music library’s CD collection will grow to 10,000.  

—Mike Unger and the American University Library