Shilkret, Nat(haniel), American conductor, arranger, and composer; b. N.Y, Dec. 25, 1889; d. Franklin Square, Long Island, N.Y, Feb. 18, 1982. He studied composition with Pietro Floridia. He played the clarinet in the Russian Sym. Orch. in N.Y, the N.Y. Phil, the N.Y. Sym. Orch., and the Metropolitan Opera orch., as well as in bands led by Sousa, Pryor, and E.F. Goldman. In 1916 he became music director of the Victor Talking Machine Co., and created the Victor Salon Orch. in 1924, for which he made numerous arrangements, recordings, and radio broadcasts. In 1935 he went to Hollywood, where he became active as a film score arranger and composer. He wrote a symphonic poem, Skyward (1928), a Trombone Concerto (1942), various descriptive pieces for orch., chamber music, and numerous songs; also commissioned Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Toch, Milhaud, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Tansman to write a movement each for a biblical cantata, Genesis (1947), to which he himself contributed a movement.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire