Smallens, Alexander , Russian-born American conductor; b. St. Petersburg, Jan. 1, 1889; d. Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 24, 1972. He was taken to the U.S. as a child, and became a American naturalized citizen in 1919. He studied at the Inst. of Musical Art and the Coll. of the City of N.Y. (B.A., 1909), then took courses at the Paris Cons. (1909). He was asst. conductor of the Boston Opera (1911–14), he accompanied the Anna Pavlova Ballet Co. on a tour of South America (1915–18), and he then was on the staff of the Chicago Opera (1919–23) and of the Philadelphia Civic Opera (1924–31). From 1927 to 1934 he was asst. conductor of the Philadelphia Orch., and from 1947 to 1950 music director at Radio City Music Hall in N.Y. In 1934 he conducted the premiere of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in Boston; conducted it on a European tour in 1956. He retired in 1958.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire