Sevitzky (real name, Koussevitzky), Fabien

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Sevitzky (real name, Koussevitzky), Fabien

Sevitzky (real name, Koussevitzky), Fabien, Russian-born American conductor, nephew of Serge (Alexandrovich) Koussevitzky; b. Vishny Volochok, Sept. 29, 1891; d. Athens, Feb. 2, 1967. He studied double bass at the St. Petersburg Cons., where he graduated with its gold medal (1911). He then played in orchs., made appearances as a soloist, and began his conducting career. His uncle, who was already a celebrated double bass player himself, suggested that he adopt a truncated form of the last name, and he complied to avoid a family quarrel. In 1922–23 he played in the orch. of the Warsaw Opera and in the Warsaw Phil. With his wife, the Russian singer Maria Koussevitzky, he went to Mexico in 1923; then emigrated to the U.S., becoming a naturalized American citizen in 1928. He played in the Philadelphia Orch. (1923–30); organized the Philadelphia Chamber String Sinfonietta in 1925, and led several ensembles in Boston from 1930. He then was music director of the Indianapolis Sym. Orch. (1937–55), the Univ. of Miami Sym. Orch. (1959–65), and the Greater Miami Phil. (1965–66). He died while on a visit to Athens to conduct the State Orch.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire