Boskovsky, Willi

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Boskovsky, Willi

Boskovsky, Willi, noted Austrian violinist and conductor; b. Vienna, June 16, 1909; d. Visp, Switzerland, April 21, 1991. He entered the Vienna Academy of Music at age 9 to study violin with Mayrecker and Moravec, graduating at 17 with the Fritz Kreisler Prize. He made appearances as a soloist until 1939, although he joined the Vienna Phil. in 1933; from 1939 to 1971 he was one of its concertmasters. In 1937 he founded the Boskovsky Quartet, and in 1948 the Vienna Octet, with which he remained active until 1958. From 1954 to 1979 he served as conductor of the New Year’s Day Concerts of the Vienna Phil., which brought him international recognition through its radio and television broadcasts. From 1969 he also was chief conductor of the Vienna Strauss Orch., and likewise conducted the Vienna Mozart Ensemble.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire