Kurtz, Efrem, Russian-born American conductor; b. St. Petersburg, Nov. 7, 1900; d. London, June 27, 1995. He studied with N. Tcherepnin, Glazunov, and Wihtol at the St. Petersburg Cons., then at the Univ. of Riga (1918–20). He then took music courses at the Stern Cons, in Berlin, graduating in 1922. He made his conducting debut in Berlin in 1921, and then was a guest conductor with the Berlin Phil.; subsequently was conductor of the Stuttgart Phil. (1924–33). He was conductor of the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo (1933–2), with which he toured throughout Europe and the U.S. He then went to the U.S., becoming a naturalized American citizen in 1944. He was conductor of the Kansas City Phil. (1943–8) and the Houston Sym. Orch. (1948–54); then was joint conductor of the Liverpool Phil. (1955–57). In subsequent years, he appeared as a guest conductor in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. He was married to the flutist Elaine Shaffer from 1955.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire