van Dyk, Gerrit
Gina Bachauer Archival Research
Faculty Mentor: David Day, Music/Dance Librarian
My project was to spend time searching among the 30+ boxes of memorabilia concerning Gina
Bachauer which was donated to the University by Alec Sherman her second husband.
1. Review of Wade, Graham. Gina Bachauer, a Pianist’s Odyssey. Leeds: GRM
a. I learned a lot about Gina’s life and some information about her first husband,
b. I found many instances where Gina was called “masculine” or “strength like a
man” in her style of performance. I thought that this would be wonderful fuel in a
feminist investigation, but I learned from the Audio interviews below that this
may not be as simple as I thought.
2. Inventory of the boxes in GBA
a. This was probably the most disappointing portion of my research. I mostly found
old agendas and travel plans or year planners of Alec’s. It was rather laborious to
sift through much of the items to find gems. Although it has much of worth, I did
not use as much of the memorabilia and personal writings as much as I had
anticipation because of the narrowness of my focus.
b. The archive has some letters of Gina’s to various people and from them to her.
One of these was her first husband, John – all in Greek. Many of these were
already printed in English on Pianist’s Odyssey so my need to translate was
c. Although there are some items that have little value to me, I could see the value
for another who may want to research more about Gina’s politics and
humanitarian feelings. As an example, I found some letters in English to a young
man who was sponsored by Gina. I believe he lived in one of the islands in the
pacific, perhaps the Philippines. Her donations helped the boy’s learning and his
gratitude as well as that of his parents was deeply apparent.
3. Audio interviews of Gina and her husband, Alec
a. These seven CDs were very informative. Her voice and her humor come across
easily and her grace as a performer. The greatest wealth I gleaned from these was
her concept of being a woman performer which I incorporated into my
I included a sound bite from a few of the interviews including this one from Interview 11 which has Gina saying, “It is not that
women are not great talents like men, it is not that. But it is because of this life, you know, this gypsy life, living continuously in
a suitcase and traveling around. Living in a hotel room. Always, you know, in an airplane or a boat or a train. It is not life for a
woman. A woman likes her house, she likes her children, you know, she likes to have a home. And artists have not a home. So
for a man it is a different thing. Men like to travel, and men adore to come back to their home and find their children and their
wife waiting for them and so on” (BYU Archives, Interview 11).
b. In some of the interviews, Gina responds to the question of her “masculine style.”
She deflected the comments saying that it meant nothing. She thought simply that
some women play like men and some men play like women. Her deflation of the
issue made it difficult to include in the presentation. Here is another example of
her grace and charisma.
1. GBA was used more
a. BYU’s Archive was used more.
2. Experience in research
a. I gained more experience in archival research
3. Presentation experience
a. I also gaind experience in presenting before a group of experts.
4. Appreciation of Gina a person
a. I also gaind a deep respect for Gina as a person, not just a performer. I hope to
meet her in the Hereafter.
5. Publicity of GBA in public forum
a. Since the results of my research was presented publicly the existence of the GBA
is more-widely known.
Although I was unable to publish a paper about my findings and no new information about John
Christodoulo, I still believe this project was successful: the archives were used and my research