Hugo Davise Fund for Contemporary Music

The Hugo Davise Fund for Contemporary Music

The Hugo Davise Fund for Contemporary Music provides funding to the UCLA Music Library to support contemporary music in a wide variety of ways including, but not limited to:

  • the purchase of material for the UCLA Music Library: scores, books, recordings, media, and online resources
  • the preservation, conservation, and digitization of this material
  • sponsoring scholarly conferences and concerts
  • comissioning works by outstanding but less publicized composers, the manuscripts to become part of the UCLA Music Library's collections
  • rental of parts for student performances
  • support for the performance of contemporary music in the Herb Alpert School of Music and in Los Angeles

Call for Proposals

The Music Library welcomes requests and suggestions for projects within the guidelines of the fund as detailed below, as well as requests for purchases of contemporary music for the Music Library. Please contact the Music Librarian, David Gilbert.

Current Projects

Projects underway or planned and funded by the Hugo Davise Fund include:

  • sponsorship of free concerts annually by outstanding Los Angeles based contemporary music ensembles at UCLA
  • an annual grant to support research in the UCLA Library Special Collections in collections related to contemporary music, film and television music, and musical theater
  • parts rentals for Herb Alpert School of Music students and ensembles
  • rental of special instruments for student performances
  • in the planning stages are an annual composition competition for student composers

Who Was Hugo Davise?

Hugo Davise was born Hugh Edward Davies in 1907. A lifelong Angeleno, Davise worked for the Department of Agriculture during World War II. After the war, he earned his doctorate in philosophy at UCLA, and spent much of his career teaching at Santa Monica College and Los Angeles City College. His devotion to music was unwavering but private; he did not seek out acclaim or public performances. Yet he studied and composed in the most significant styles of the twentieth century, producing atonal, polytonal and modal works, and developing his own compositional system in response to that of Arnold Schoenberg.

Davise taught privately into his late eighties. His students learned strict counterpoint, composition, and music history. His former student, composer Ginger Mayerson, writes, "Hugo was a great teacher; I learned a lot about composition, music history, and a few things about myself…I think Hugo and [wife] Christine between them knew almost everything about western music and it was wonderful to listen to them talk about it." Although he wrote in multiple genres, the bulk of his music is for solo piano, his own instrument. Thanks to his bequest to the UCLA Music Library, many of the Davise scores are available in the Performing Arts Special Collections as photocopies.  Originals are held in the private collection of composer Marco Marinangeli, Davise's student and protégé for over fifteen years, who considers Davise one of the exceptional musical minds of the twentieth century. Davise died in 2000.

Davise Trust Document Rubric

"Fund income...shall be used each year to promote the works of outstanding but relatively unpublicized music composers and/or to support the aquisition, and /or preservation and/or cataloging of scores and recordings of music composers from the year 1900 and later. ...

Activities supported by the Fund may include, but are not limited to, the following: sponsoring or partially sponsoring scholarly conferences at UCLA devoted to contemporary music; commissioning musical compositions and/or premiere performances, the manuscripts or recordings of which would become the property of the UCLA Music Library; sponsoring or partially sponsoring music performances or festivals."

Thanks to Andrea Moore, Hugo Davise Fund Assistant, for the biography of Davise and help in planning and implementing these projects.