Barzin, Leon (Eugene)

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Barzin, Leon (Eugene)

Barzin, Leon (Eugene), Belgian-born American conductor and teacher; b. Brussels, Nov. 27, 1900; d. Naples, Fla., April 29, 1999. He was taken to the U.S. in 1902 and in 1924 he became a naturalized American citizen. He studied violin with his father and in Belgium with Ysaye. In 1919 he became a violist in the N.Y. Phil., where he was principal violist from 1925 to 1929. In 1929 he became asst. conductor of the American Orchestral Soc. in N.Y., which was reorganized as the National Orchestral Assn. in 1930 with Barzin as its music director, a position he held until 1958 and again from 1970 to 1976. Under his leadership, it became an outstanding training ensemble. He also served as music director of the Hartford (Conn.) Sym. Orch. (1938–40), the Ballet Soc. of N.Y. (1947–48), and the N.Y. City Ballet (1948–58). He was a conductor of the Pasdeloup Orch. and a teacher at the Schola Cantorum in Paris (1958–60). In 1960 he was made a member of the Légion d’honneur of France.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Barzin, Leon (Eugene)

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